Questions To Ask Your First Trainer...

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Mark O. ~MiNi-Me~'s Comment
member avatar

Well, thanks to all the months lurking around here, a great experience with the Squire Knight school (albeit challenging), and dedication to learning, I got my CDL-A license.

Now I wait for the call from a trainer. I already know that I have to make sure they have the patience for a slow learner. My instructor told me I was one of the most improved from day 1 to graduation...ever.. LOL. It took me awhile to have my AHA moment with backing. I pulled it outta my a$$ and did it perfectly on testing day....but I am going to need to work on those skills and plan to be honest with the trainer right from the get-go. My driving is good, with problem areas when it comes to spatial awareness on turns...going wide on left and just kissing the curb every once in awhile on rights. I am better every time behind the wheel. I am good with mirrors, traffic checks, aim high in steering, big picture etc and always improving. Aced my PTI, even though I have never been mechanically inclined.

So other than asking about their expectations and vocalizing my own, what are some of the things that you wish you had asked your trainer on that first phone conversation but never did?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Well, thanks to all the months lurking around here, a great experience with the Squire Knight school (albeit challenging), and dedication to learning, I got my CDL-A license.

Now I wait for the call from a trainer. I already know that I have to make sure they have the patience for a slow learner. My instructor told me I was one of the most improved from day 1 to graduation...ever.. LOL. It took me awhile to have my AHA moment with backing. I pulled it outta my a$$ and did it perfectly on testing day....but I am going to need to work on those skills and plan to be honest with the trainer right from the get-go. My driving is good, with problem areas when it comes to spatial awareness on turns...going wide on left and just kissing the curb every once in awhile on rights. I am better every time behind the wheel. I am good with mirrors, traffic checks, aim high in steering, big picture etc and always improving. Aced my PTI, even though I have never been mechanically inclined.

So other than asking about their expectations and vocalizing my own, what are some of the things that you wish you had asked your trainer on that first phone conversation but never did?

I can't answer your last question/sentence, but I sure am HELLA HAPPY FOR YOU, MAN!

Major kudos, Mike. Aced the pretrip. NICE. Way to GO, you. (Now, you can LEAVE that 'self doubt' on a shelf somewhere, in an old gym locker or something!)

Following.

Best always & CONGRATS!

~ 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mark O. ~MiNi-Me~'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Well, thanks to all the months lurking around here, a great experience with the Squire Knight school (albeit challenging), and dedication to learning, I got my CDL-A license.

Now I wait for the call from a trainer. I already know that I have to make sure they have the patience for a slow learner. My instructor told me I was one of the most improved from day 1 to graduation...ever.. LOL. It took me awhile to have my AHA moment with backing. I pulled it outta my a$$ and did it perfectly on testing day....but I am going to need to work on those skills and plan to be honest with the trainer right from the get-go. My driving is good, with problem areas when it comes to spatial awareness on turns...going wide on left and just kissing the curb every once in awhile on rights. I am better every time behind the wheel. I am good with mirrors, traffic checks, aim high in steering, big picture etc and always improving. Aced my PTI, even though I have never been mechanically inclined.

So other than asking about their expectations and vocalizing my own, what are some of the things that you wish you had asked your trainer on that first phone conversation but never did?

double-quotes-end.png

I can't answer your last question/sentence, but I sure am HELLA HAPPY FOR YOU, MAN!

Major kudos, Mike. Aced the pretrip. NICE. Way to GO, you. (Now, you can LEAVE that 'self doubt' on a shelf somewhere, in an old gym locker or something!)

Following.

Best always & CONGRATS!

~ Anne ~

Thanks "welcome Mom"! Not long now and you'll take the leap!!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Mark, I love this question because it’s so important. The point is not what to ask your trainer on the phone, the most important questions come when you start driving with him. What questions should you ask? The short list is what questions not to ask because that list .is zero. Drive him absolutely insane with questions about everything you wonder about. Your time with him is so valuable to your continued success. If he doesn’t voluntarily check himself into a mental institution, blaming you, after you two part company, then you didn’t ask enough questions. That may be overstating things, but I’m sure you get the point.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Ask for his truck rules, like where do shoes belong. Let him know any special needs you may have, medication, diet health, etc. You will be in your trainer's home. Clean up after yourself. Let him know you are there to learn and ready to listen. He knows you can't back or drive. You have zero experience and that's where you're starting from.

Remember, when you are in the driver's seat, it's your butt and CDL on the line.

Good luck and stay safe. Never forget or be afraid to GOAL.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I never talked to my trainer before we met and jumped into the truck. This was in the midst of an ice and snow storm. I do remember asking him if he was sure he wanted me to drive…………

Thankfully, we are both still alive.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on passing your tests and getting the CDL!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

For questions on the phone and more importantly in person, ask anything you want more information on. "Never ask = Never know"

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.
Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, thanks to all the months lurking around here, a great experience with the Squire Knight school (albeit challenging), and dedication to learning, I got my CDL-A license.

Now I wait for the call from a trainer. I already know that I have to make sure they have the patience for a slow learner. My instructor told me I was one of the most improved from day 1 to graduation...ever.. LOL. It took me awhile to have my AHA moment with backing. I pulled it outta my a$$ and did it perfectly on testing day....but I am going to need to work on those skills and plan to be honest with the trainer right from the get-go. My driving is good, with problem areas when it comes to spatial awareness on turns...going wide on left and just kissing the curb every once in awhile on rights. I am better every time behind the wheel. I am good with mirrors, traffic checks, aim high in steering, big picture etc and always improving. Aced my PTI, even though I have never been mechanically inclined.

So other than asking about their expectations and vocalizing my own, what are some of the things that you wish you had asked your trainer on that first phone conversation but never did?

That's kind of how things went for me. It was mostly my drive that had instructors thinking that I wouldn't pass on the first try. I was one like 4 or 5 out of 16 that passed on the first try. Just like what you described, I pulled it out of my booty hole. I had struggled some on the backing during school, but did those to perfection on test day. The drive, I just channeled all of my nervous energy into being locked in with lazer focus. Almost failed by running over a curb, but checking my mirrors, I saw it just in time and was able to correct it. One of the proudest moments of my life was passing the CDL test on the first try. It's kind if what validated things for me that I CAN make it in this industry. One step at a time.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats!!!!dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

I asked a ton of questions. I asked him how much room, and what would be appropriate for things to bring. I asked him if he wanted me to bring my laptop (he said yes, we both used it) he asked me if I wore flip flops. I said hell no, I fired idiots for that.

I emptied the trash, cleaned up as much as I could without being asked to. I did the windows, after the third day I asked him to show me how, my side looked like a train wreck.

The point I'm getting at is that I asked him everything I could. I also tried to make sure I gave him personal space too. Every day, every mile I had a question. I never asked personal questions. I still talk to my trainer to date. Asked him questions about turns, curves and wind the other day for over an hour.

Steppenwolf 's Comment
member avatar

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif Great job.

Ask what to bring less is better, remember your in a small space. Ask anything and everything you can think of, this is your training time.

Good luck Steppenwolf

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