Advice For My CDL Test

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Kandyman's Comment
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There are youtube videos on backing. They could help w a reference point. Obviously you have to just do the maneuvers. Backing a truck is more frustrating than golf. I am just an ugly bobblehead though.smile.gif Good luck. I hope you succeed. I do believe this group is pulling for you. And if you read thru the site its not the place for sexist bs racism etc. Let the good lord shine a light

Shantiwa W.'s Comment
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Thank you for the input!! I never thought of getting a toy to help, I’ll do that tonight. I did try a mobile app for truck backing but wasn’t doing much for me. Thank you for your advice! Very much appreciated

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".

Shantiwa W.'s Comment
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I’ve had to drive an hour and a half to be an hour early most days at school to work on my pre trip and in cab, I was terrible with double clutching as I’ve had no experience ever but now I’m smooth as butter on my upshifts and downshifts. Hard work is how I get anything in life, never by my looks lol I would be making bank using my body if I was that type of woman haha thank you for standing up for women in this industry!

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

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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

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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.

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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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.
Shantiwa W.'s Comment
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My instructors gave me extra training today, I’ll be doing things on the side as well to help the concept sink in. Thank you! Yes my name is Cherokee, I was really worried about the sexual harassment and sexist treatment in this industry and unfortunately today I’ve officially experienced both. I had to put another male student in his place while I was practicing my backing today because he was making sexual comments about my body. I think it’s great to have a few men in their right mind to not be disrespectful about women being in this industry, so thank you!

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.
Shantiwa W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you! I spent 9 hours in the backing yard today with my instructors, I spent time training with more than the one instructor that doesn’t like me so I was able to get a fresh start I guess you could say. Thank you for the advice and encouragement!

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!

Shantiwa W.'s Comment
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Thanks that’s actually very helpful! That’s what I’m struggling to figure a way around

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I’m over shooting and don’t know how to adjust into a straight back on either offset. 

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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.

That

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.

Shantiwa W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you! I’ll try that the next time I’m in the rig, I’ve found that the instructor’s steps aren’t fool proof like he says and I need to crank the wheel the other direction a little bit before I hit the middle of the K bar

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.

Shantiwa W.'s Comment
member avatar

I seriously feel the brotherhood here haha thanks y’all for having my back and giving me great advice and encouragement!!

There are youtube videos on backing. They could help w a reference point. Obviously you have to just do the maneuvers. Backing a truck is more frustrating than golf. I am just an ugly bobblehead though.smile.gif Good luck. I hope you succeed. I do believe this group is pulling for you. And if you read thru the site its not the place for sexist bs racism etc. Let the good lord shine a light

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

First, words of wisdom for others who may be learn by your example. This is one of the reasons we preach the company sponsored training option over private schools. Going to school doesn't guarantee you'll get a CDL. Results vary by student and school, but on average only 80% of the time does a student at a private school earn a CDL. In my area several schools have a graduation rate around 50%. What becomes of the poor souls who finish their training without a CDL? They develop coping skills about the hole in their savings account. Some proceed with, "additional training for ~$800/day! Now, had you been attending company school you would have tested. If you fail you get, "recycled" - put in the class one week behind you and given another week for the tasks to soak in at no additional cost or obligation to you. The company school gets paid to put drivers in trucks, the private school gets paid to, "provide instruction" - whether you get your CDL or not isn't their problem.

You've really got two hurdles here. One, finding an O/O or L/O willing to let you drive their truck (a company driver would get FIRED for letting you drive their truck). Two, finding an insurance agent who is o.k. letting you drive that O/O's or L/O's truck. Most of the hiring decisions in the industry aren't made by the person or company who owns the truck they're made by the agent who insures the truck. I called the school where I got my CDL (in Colorado no less). They said they couldn't help (insurance) but suggested, Springs Truck Driving School. They offer skills test training for folks in your position and have a 99.5% pass rate.

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Howdy, Shantiwa!

It's AWESOME to hear they are giving you extra time and training!!!! Speaking up does one good, haha! (In appropriation, tho...)

I'm a trucker's wife, but had my permit twice .. and drove (and learned) for 6 months, twice.

Hubby pulled tanks for an Owner Op, so .. opportunities for my furtherance didn't abound. I DID learn a LOT, tho ... out there, AND right here; and the info they're all giving you is SPOT ON.

From a female; elbows in (till ya feel like you're smushing your puppies) ... and it'll help you focus.

SECOND. That toy tractor trailer? We still have the John Deere on the shelf here. Sure helps!

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I wish you WELL, ma'am!

Follow Truckin Along With Kearsey here & on YouTube as you can or choose; she's honest & awesome .. and IDMtnGal (Ms. Laura.) Both have contact information in their profiles. Fellow female idols of mine, for sure!

I wish you well, fellow female aspiring !

~ Anne ~

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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