Feeling Discouraged In CDL School

Topic 30363 | Page 1

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Dee tizzle 's Comment
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It’s my 3rd day behind the big rig in at a private school. I’m having a VERY hard time straight backing. Earlier today was evaluation and I failed miserably. They told me that I am now on “academic probation” and have two days to correct my mistakes. I’m really down on myself and don’t know if I should give it up or not. Someone please help me out with maybe some words of encouragement.

It will be greatly appreciated

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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It’s my 3rd day behind the big rig in at a private school. I’m having a VERY hard time straight backing. Earlier today was evaluation and I failed miserably. They told me that I am now on “academic probation” and have two days to correct my mistakes. I’m really down on myself and don’t know if I should give it up or not. Someone please help me out with maybe some words of encouragement.

It will be greatly appreciated

Howdy, Dee !!!

Man, sure wish you'd've come here BEFORE you went & paid for school, and got INTO this conundrum.

Yet now, HERE WE ARE. I will give you some links with resources, but just BREATHE... all the time and always; don't second guess yourself if it feels right, and is happening as you've been trained. MANY people "mess up" this portion of CDL testing by GETTING UP IN THEIR OWN HEAD.

Davy's Knight training diary is a GREAT EXAMPLE, of just that: Here ya go . . . Davy's training diary

In addition, if you search topics by tags (since you're not familiar with our members here) this is what happens when I pulled up 'TIPS FOR BACKING for you: Topics tagged Tips for Backing

Our moderator, Errol, started with Swift, trained for them, went on to car hauling (YEAH!) and is now BACK training at another facility.. Here's his posts (and he has a LOT of backing info!!) Errol V.'s posts/threads.

Another MAJOR contributor/moderator/blogger, Old School . . . has REPEATEDLY coached persons as yourself, in backing, through comments. Here's his contributions: Old School's Wisdom

Lastly (for now, lol) if you are into YouTube videos, our own Kearsey has a channel (she drives for Prime) with MUCH wisdom!

Truckin Along with Kearsey

We will collectively try to get you 'caught up' to your peers; in the future, stop in here SOONER! Hope this helps;

Best wishes~

~ Anne ~

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Mackerel (Mike D.)'s Comment
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When trying something new and it doesn't "click" right away, that's ok. It took me a few tries to get my brain to agree with my hands when trying to adjust to driving using a mirror. Good luck, and be calm.

Davy A.'s Comment
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It’s my 3rd day behind the big rig in at a private school. I’m having a VERY hard time straight backing. Earlier today was evaluation and I failed miserably. They told me that I am now on “academic probation” and have two days to correct my mistakes. I’m really down on myself and don’t know if I should give it up or not. Someone please help me out with maybe some words of encouragement.

It will be greatly appreciated

Not quite sure whats giving you grief with it, but we all struggle at times. I have times where I cant seem to straight back to save my life, and other days I can do no wrong. I know as Anne said, Its our own head that is our worst enemy.

In terms of school, One of the things that really helped me was when my instructor was coaching another student in the truck with me, He said think of the mirrors as two glasses of milk, the trailer being the milk, the mirrors being the glasses. Then think about two kids fighting over which glass had more milk. The simple solution to keep the milk the same amount in both mirrors. The way to make sure the glasses stay the same is to look at both mirrors.

Although I dont so much do it now, I did in school, was to count out loud and switch my look from left mirror to right mirror by saying. Left......Right.......Left.....etc. I play drums, bass and piano, so its like a dance or a song. Also The instructors had us all back up with no hands on the wheel, in order to realize that by "getting into our head or over thinking" means we are giving way way too much movement to the wheel, over steering, over correcting and over exerting ourselves and thus the trailer. I found that if I had faith and just took it one step at a time, it worked well, but also to have confidence. I also repeatedly asked my instructors what specifically I was doing wrong and how to correct it. I would then ask, did that look better? Was that it? Is that correct? Very nicely pestered them all the time.

Dee tizzle 's Comment
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Thank you everyone for your replies, you all have helped me out tremendously. I’m at school right now, I’ll let everyone know how everything goes today.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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When they evaluated you, did they tell you what you needed to correct? If so do what they say. We all struggle in the beginning. Good luck.

When backing you need to be watching mirrors on both sides. This means your head is moving like it's watching a ping pong match.

Also, try to keep moving slowly and making small steering adjustments as you go.

Dee tizzle 's Comment
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They told me I need to work on my right and left turns and I need to work on straight backing. I’m being re-evaluated tomorrow.

When they evaluated you, did they tell you what you needed to correct? If so do what they say. We all struggle in the beginning. Good luck.

When backing you need to be watching mirrors on both sides. This means your head is moving like it's watching a ping pong match.

Also, try to keep moving slowly and making small steering adjustments as you go.

Old School's Comment
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Hang in there Dee!

Everybody struggles with backing a truck - you are not alone in this.

Check out this article. It may help relieve some of the pressure you are feeling right now.

The Backing Range = Clown Soup For The Soul

Errol V.'s Comment
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Straight back is always your first task. You learn how sensitive the trailer is in backing up.

A general rule I teach my students is whenever your tractor (power unit) is exactly in line with the trailer, stop for a second and look where you are going - compare the sides & tail end of the trailer with the cones.

In starting your backing you are almost always lined up this way. So as you back up, turn you head like the windshield wipers move - left, then right, then left and so on. Watch the sides of the trailer. If one side "disappears" and you don't see it, turn the steering wheel toward the other side - the side you do see. IMPORTANT: DO NOT TURN THE WHEEL MORE THAN HALF A TURN! Anything more than that is over steering. Watch the mirrors till you see the "missing" side again. Straighten out the steering wheel.

Stop at any time if you need to take a look - there's no penalty for stopping.

When you are straight with the trailer again, stop and compare the distance/ space. If the cones on one side look closer than the cones on the other, turn the wheel (no more than half a turn) toward the close-cone side. This part you do by guessing: back up a little bit then turn the wheel back to get straight again. Check the cone distance on each side. Rinse. Repeat.

Honk your horn as soon as your front bumper gets clear of the last cone.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Dee tizzle 's Comment
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Update: I want to thank everyone who has and will comment on this post in the future. I’m actually getting ALOT better at straight backing, so I’m not as worried anymore.

My biggest problem now is making right and left turns while driving. I believe that I need to slow down and calm down when I’m behind the wheel of these big rigs. Re-evaluation is tomorrow, which has made me even more nervous while on the road.

Please keep sending positive Vibes and tips my way. I appreciate you guys/girls SO damn much.

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