Woot!!! Passed CDL Test Today!

Topic 3117 | Page 1

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Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

After finishing school on 3-15, I was scheduled to take the CDL test today, 3-20 at 1000. I left in plenty of time to get to the site and it's a good thing. When I was about 10 miles from the testing site at 0820 I received a call from an instructor at my CDL school informing me that the test truck had a major air leak and they had to cancel my scheduled appointment. I told him I was 10 miles from the test site and told him of the hardships this would cause me if I didn't test this week ( i.e. I am scheduled to attend orientation on Monday 3-24). He called me back and said they cancelled someone else and gave me his 1400 appointment. Being so close to the site I decided to just go there. When I entered at 0835 the DDS lady asked me "Are you the 10 o'clock" to which I replied yes. She let me go ahead and check in. Then at 0910 the mechanic from my school informed everyone that the test truck was fixed. So it turns out my school had tried to postpone my test to an indefinite time next week (or later) because of a 1 hr downtime with the test truck.

The student who had the 0800 appt. got started about 0930 and ended up failing air brakes test. So I actually started my test around 1030 (on a 1000 appt). I missed checking the steering wheel play on in-cab PTI, touched a line on straight line backing of all things, and missed a downshift when entering a left turn which I quickly recovered. Considering how upset on top of nervous I was, I'm surprised I was able to get the key in the ignition. All in all, after being cancelled then rescheduled to 1400 I was holding my brand new Class A CDL at 1230.

I attended the cheapest school in Georgia and every single day I found out that you get what you pay for. In retrospect, I would have forked over the extra 500 bucks. But that part of the journey is now over and I'm so excited to be moving on to orientation and getting with my trainer. I will be going to Paschall Truck Lines, PTL, in Murray, KY on. Taking the dog on Sunday, 3-23.

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.
Hiram E.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats and welcome to the CDL holders club...let the real education begin. Enjoy the adventure!

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.
Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats and Good Luck on this next stage of the career

Jim M.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Scott,

May the road rise up to met you...

Peace

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Congrats Scott! That was a great test for what pretty much every day of your life will be like on the road. The traffic, weather, and schedule will change about every 15 minutes on average. You'll be tired sometimes when it's time to work and wide awake when it's time to sleep. They'll cancel your "hurry up and get there" load after making you scramble for three hours and they'll assign you a 500 mile run 30 minutes after you went to bed for the night. Experienced drivers will agree with what I'm saying - that day you had was just like most days you're going to have out there. So it's great you handled it so well!

Also, I don't think we've had anyone come through here and go to work for Paschall so we'd love to hear updates from you anytime you get the chance. And I won't tell them I edited your post because you spelled their name wrong.

smile.gif

Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

Appreciate that Brett. I think I'll stick with PTL from now on. I do plan on putting up some up updates regarding training and my experiences. There seems to be a long list of gripes against PTL on "that other forum" and the CSA scores leave a little to be desired. I'm not terribly concerned that as a rookie driver. I just know I have to use due diligence during PTI and make sure I keep my equipment legal. Hopefully, I can be a factor in turning that around. Just about everything else regarding PTL; training program, pay, APU , rider, pet, ESOP, benefits etc met up perfectly with what I was looking for so a few forum gripers and a nebulous score from the "guvmint" weren't enough to dissuade me.

The rescheduling and waffling on my appointment time didn't bother me too much. The fact their original solution was to cancel ME left me a little bit peeved. So without being a squeaky wheel, I would be sitting here with a bus ticket and orientation scheduled but no CDL and no idea when I was going to take the test. I feel a little bit of pride though since out of 14 people scheduled to test this past week, only 3 walked away with their CDL's. If they had cancelled me that number would have been 2.

Thanks everyone for your congrats and well wishes. See you on the long grey line.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Scott, you definitely rode the roller coaster of emotions all in one day !!! But you manned up, and proved you had it in you to go with the flow...And that is what you will have to do in trucking....Do as much as you can, and leave the rest to the people who get paid to fix it.... Good luck with your training....Now get out there and start your adventure !!!!

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats Scott! That was a great test for what pretty much every day of your life will be like on the road. The traffic, weather, and schedule will change about every 15 minutes on average. You'll be tired sometimes when it's time to work and wide awake when it's time to sleep. They'll cancel your "hurry up and get there" load after making you scramble for three hours and they'll assign you a 500 mile run 30 minutes after you went to bed for the night. Experienced drivers will agree with what I'm saying - that day you had was just like most days you're going to have out there. So it's great you handled it so well!

Also, I don't think we've had anyone come through here and go to work for Paschall so we'd love to hear updates from you anytime you get the chance. And I won't tell them I edited your post because you spelled their name wrong.

smile.gif

Brett that was a heck of a day but I did not blink an eye when I read that. Maybe I am jaded after 16 years but seems like a normal day to me. Hurry up and rush just to wait. And then wait just to rush to the next point......yep just a normal day in trucking.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I don't know what the heck 'woot' means, but congrats!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Brett that was a heck of a day but I did not blink an eye when I read that. Maybe I am jaded after 16 years but seems like a normal day to me. Hurry up and rush just to wait. And then wait just to rush to the next point......yep just a normal day in trucking.

rofl-3.gif I know! And don't forget he had to roll the dice and tell some "little white lies" to make things happen out there:

He called me back and said they cancelled someone else and gave me his 1400 appointment. Being so close to the site I decided to just go there. When I entered at 0835 the DDS lady asked me "Are you the 10 o'clock" to which I replied yes. She let me go ahead and check in

That's awesome! I mean, that really was the world's most perfect test for becoming a truck driver. You get put under pressure to get something done, the schedule changes, the truck breaks down, they throw you under the bus, you roll the dice and show up anyhow, you lie to give yourself the best chance at getting the job done, and in the end you do indeed get the job done! That's pretty much every single day of your life on the road - seriously - real seriously!

One of the reasons the turnover is so high in trucking is because a day that would leave most people exhausted, flustered, and curled up in the corner crying like a baby is just another day on the road. The problem is it's hard to communicate to people just how challenging life is out there. Scott had the perfect experience. That was a typical day in trucking. Now all you have to do is that exact same thing, every day, for about 15 years.

When people get started in trucking they often have no idea what it's really like out there. But it takes no time at all before they realize just how much respect a veteran driver deserves. It's an unbelievable accomplishment to say you have many years of OTR driving under your belt because there is no "faking your way through it". It's grueling. The challenges never end. You can not let your guard down for a moment.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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