Advice For My CDL Test

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Shantiwa there is no short cut to learning how to back. Practice is the only solution to your problem. Lots and lots of reps. And this practice should be you trying to work it out... not someone standing over you constantly intervening with input. Request practice time. You paid for this... get your money’s worth.

Shantiwa W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys for some of the encouragement, I tend to over shoot the box on my right offset and under shoot on the Left. The instructor is not very kind to me because I’ve struggled since the beginning with absolutely no experience at all. He’s only years students that succeed quickly with respect. He treated me stupid for asking questions and asking for help regardless of me being a “cute female” 🙄 and wouldn’t allow me to adjust the mirrors to myself to see the cones, he got better once I notified the school though but now I’m kind of restarting because even following his directions to a T I’m still messing up and that’s where I’m confused. The rigs are an international and a KW both 48’ I believe. I was given an extra day of training at no cost because the school believes in me and sees all the hard work I’ve put into learning everything. I don’t think the comment was intended this way but I do want to make it clear that I, regardless of being and attractive woman, have worked my ass off to get where I am and am not privileged due to beauty in this industry and don’t like to be treated differently than others due to being pretty. I’m just like everyone else, I’m just here trying to get some help, ideas, and start a career to provide for my kids. I’m no different than anyone of you while driving in the road. Thank you for the comments though!

So my problems are that I’m still not seeing cones when I’m supposed to and I’m over shooting and don’t know how to adjust into a straight back on either offset. If there are any videos that have helped y’all, please let me know

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Like I said practice, practice and more practice. Everyone learns at a different pace, don’t beat yourself up. Stay focused. And firmly but respectfully stand your ground with the instructor...especially mirror adjustment and seat position. Get comfortable in the chair.

Although I’m not there to see what is happening I believe you are adjusting before you need to and when you are adjusting, it’s too much. Oversteer is a common entry level mistake. You’ll overcome it...

Try to keep these things in mind:

The setup is more important than the back. Try to setup in a way that makes the back easier. Food for thought not only now, but for every future backing situation you are faced with. I know; “easier said than done”... eventually you’ll understand how to put the truck in the optimal position enabling an easier backing maneuver.

Watch what your tandems do, how they track before you adjust. It takes 3-4’ for the trailer to respond to steering input. Watch where the tandems are going before changing the steering wheel position and then make minor adjustments. Be patient.

Go slow, little to no throttle, creep.

To minimize the oversteering, work with your hands at the bottom of the wheel, your elbows coming in contact with your sides will reduce the tendency to oversteer.

And finally; go to Walmart or Target and buy a small tractor trailer toy. On a flat surface back the little truck into a targeted area. I know this sounds corny, but it will respond to input almost exactly how the real trailer responds.

Again get more practice. Trust me when I tell you this... you’ll be adequate at backing once you exceed about 500 repetitions. No exaggeration...truth. It takes time.

Good luck!

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

John, you've made two posts and already none of us want you here.

double-quotes-start.png

It was my observation that the administrator of the school I attended only gave personal extra training time to the females in the class. It's just human nature

double-quotes-end.png

For you, it comes naturally, so you assume it must come naturally to everyone else. We all think that our way of seeing the world is "normal." So whatever we think, we assume most others think the same way. So you just gave yourself away. You're the type that would chase the pretty ladies and give them extra favors. Don't assume that about others.

We also tend to find what we're looking for. You expected the instructor to treat the ladies better, because that's what you would do, so confirmation bias clouded your judgment when you saw a lady getting help. Maybe she actually needed more help. Maybe she got the same. But you saw exactly what you expected to see.

Agreed, great insight on John. Everytime I see a post like John here i just cringe. People that do that think it is a compliment but others reading or hearing it get that cringy, creepy vibe. Ask any female waitress if she takes these types of comments as a compliment or if it makes her feel a creep vibe from the guy saying it. This is not a dating site and in the modern #MeToo era these comments are not warranted and could eventually land you in trouble. Even i i was thinking it i sure wouldn't say it. Not to mention John's comment completely devalues all of the hard work and energy Shantiwa has put forth in learning and doing what she has in order to get to this point, making it as though she has only succeeded thus far based on looks. John, if you can't understand why you shouldn't say crap like that then just stop commenting online and please, don't ever talk to your waitress. I'm sure you "didn't mean for it to be taken like that" but thats how most other people take it, not a compliment just creepy and demeaning.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Shantiwa, if you feel that you are not ready for your CDL test, you need to talk to your school trainers ASAP. See what they can do for you in advance of the test to help you.

Also, your name is unique, Shantiwa. What is the origin of the name? Is it Native American? And I admire every female driver I encounter. I’m happy the trucking industry has accepted the female driver.

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.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Shantiwa probably has a lot higher chances than I did since she's a cute female.

John S.

Hey you guys that have met me, am I a good-looking female or not? Actually, I have worked in mostly male jobs and I don't care if I am or not...because it doesn't come into the equation.

John, your comment is offensive. Most women getting into trucking aren't using their looks or their gender to learn how to drive and make a living in this field. Brett described you very well, so learn from it and grow up.

Laura

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I’m bumping this in an attempt to get back on point focused on helping the OP, Shantiwa.

Like I said practice, practice and more practice. Everyone learns at a different pace, don’t beat yourself up. Stay focused. And firmly but respectfully stand your ground with the instructor...especially mirror adjustment and seat position. Get comfortable in the chair.

Although I’m not there to see what is happening I believe you are adjusting before you need to and when you are adjusting, it’s too much. Oversteer is a common entry level mistake. You’ll overcome it...

Try to keep these things in mind:

The setup is more important than the back. Try to setup in a way that makes the back easier. Food for thought not only now, but for every future backing situation you are faced with. I know; “easier said than done”... eventually you’ll understand how to put the truck in the optimal position enabling an easier backing maneuver.

Watch what your tandems do, how they track before you adjust. It takes 3-4’ for the trailer to respond to steering input. Watch where the tandems are going before changing the steering wheel position and then make minor adjustments. Be patient.

Go slow, little to no throttle, creep.

To minimize the oversteering, work with your hands at the bottom of the wheel, your elbows coming in contact with your sides will reduce the tendency to oversteer.

And finally; go to Walmart or Target and buy a small tractor trailer toy. On a flat surface back the little truck into a targeted area. I know this sounds corny, but it will respond to input almost exactly how the real trailer responds.

Again get more practice. Trust me when I tell you this... you’ll be adequate at backing once you exceed about 500 repetitions. No exaggeration...truth. It takes time.

Good luck!

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

DayCab's Comment
member avatar

Yep, not to overstate it, but your instructors are there to help you pass the test, so as your best (and really only) resource, use them mercilessly, lol. Where I went to school we used the lines in the lot for all the maneuvers “When your landing gear crosses here, counter steer til you see X in your mirror” And while you likely won’t find anyone that will let you “borrow” their rig, you can ask for extra time at school (free to ask, anyway) and if you have a friend with a short pickup and a big trailer it really can’t hurt to back it up for a while. And of course, YouTube. Best of luck, and you can totally do this!

Banks's Comment
member avatar
I’m over shooting and don’t know how to adjust into a straight back on either offset. 

You're not going to land in a straight back position.. It'll be more of a 45ish (maybe wider) angle. Mirror placement is important, you have to see what you need to see and that's what makes the offset a little more difficult. Things disappear.

Oversteering is a problem I also had. I would also stop and steer making my lose my track and not know where the trailer was going to go. The only thing I can tell you is start with one rotation and straighten the wheels once the trailer changes direction and once you lose sight in the mirror countersteer to get visuals in the other one.

Idk if this will help so it's meant to be a guideline, not set in stone. I struggled with backing too and if not for my instructor and perseverance (literally couldn't afford to fail), I probably would've quit due to frustration. Moe is another good example. He maxed out (or got close to) all the attempts he can make so he crossed state lines to keep taking tests in another state. Now he's kicking it at Marten.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I was under shooting my turning reference point for backing. I was taught the 45 degree backing set up. Get my back shoulder to the middle of the next trailer, crank hard right to The 12 hundred position , hard right position for a hard left. To the 3:00 position.Now I know that the position for the hard right should be about 6 feet further on. This has made an incredible improvement in my backing.

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