Help! CDL School Didn't Teach Me To Down Shift

Topic 30618 | Page 2

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Mikey B.'s Comment
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I have to say, they obviously DID teach you to downshift. You cannot drive if you cannot downshift. What goes up must come down. If you ever drove fast enough to upshift you had to downshift. You couldn't have gotten your CDL without knowing how to downshift since the DOT tester would have failed you if you floated gears, missed gears and couldn't recover it or couldn't downshift. You probably did like most of us, learned just enough to pass the test then you have forgotten how to do it so you're now blaming the school. Do what others are suggesting, go automatic. You could probably rent a stick if needed but yes, they taught you to downshift.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

I have to say, they obviously DID teach you to downshift. You cannot drive if you cannot downshift. What goes up must come down. If you ever drove fast enough to upshift you had to downshift. You couldn't have gotten your CDL without knowing how to downshift since the DOT tester would have failed you if you floated gears, missed gears and couldn't recover it or couldn't downshift. You probably did like most of us, learned just enough to pass the test then you have forgotten how to do it so you're now blaming the school. Do what others are suggesting, go automatic. You could probably rent a stick if needed but yes, they taught you to downshift.

No they did not teach me to downshift. They told us to slow down coming to red lights and if it turned green then to proceed and let the truck catch up. If we had to stop at a red light/ stop sign they told us to reset back to 4th gear. The DOT tester was another instructor from that school. I was fortunate to have all red lights when making right turns and having to completely stop on left turns because of traffic. Like i said, i passed the CDL road test Aug. 6th and had an interview with road test for a company Aug. 11th. Very unlikely i would forget how to downshift in that period of time but remember the pre-trip inspection. Yes, i know it sounds crazy to you but NO, downshifting was not taught to the students at the school I went to....

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Banks's Comment
member avatar
The DOT tester was another instructor from that school

CDL mill that'll probably get audited in the future.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

CDL mill that'll probably get audited in the future.

Would that affect my CDL if they did get audited?

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

You'd probably have to get retested with an agent of the state.

James H.'s Comment
member avatar

No they did not teach me to downshift. They told us to slow down coming to red lights and if it turned green then to proceed and let the truck catch up. If we had to stop at a red light/ stop sign they told us to reset back to 4th gear.

Around here, as part of the test you're required to pull to the side of the road - not blocking any signs or driveways, set your brakes and four-way flashers, and describe what you'd do as far as placing your triangles. Then safely reenter traffic. And you're always supposed to downshift to sixth before coming to a stop. So slowing and downshifting is unavoidable even if you somehow hit nothing but green lights.

My first and only job is with an LTL carrier, and the driving audition they gave me was the first time I'd ever driven an automatic transmission truck. I still prefer a manual for backing into a dock or coupling the doubles I pull as a linehaul driver, since I like being able to feather the clutch and can be more gentle and in control. Although I've gotten OK with the automatic.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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