Pre-Trip Test Anxiety

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Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

So today was day 1 of 8 at CDL school. I did better than expected in some areas, and worse in others. I expected my backing to need some work due to being out of a wrecker tow truck for a few years now. But it turns out, backing a trailer is actually easier than backing up a car (in my opinion). I nailed all 3 backing courses in one shot with no more than a single pull up. I expected to struggle on the 10 speed manuel transmission. I didn't expect to have as much trouble floating that gears (this is how they teach it and I only have to demonstrate double clutching a single time to the tester).

Where I really had some disturbing trouble is the pretrip inspection. I studied the ever loving crap out of it from multiple sites and videos. I even impressed my trainer who said I am absurdly ahead of the game because I knew the majority of the components. I got into trouble because I got into my own head, starting getting ahead of myself, and would forget elementary things because of nervousness and anxiety. Like I know the test but I am crap at putting it into words. Have any of you been down this road? How did you get over that hump? I know I have the fortitude and the will to succeed in trucking but this particular test just doesn't cater to my strong points as a person. I am just really bad at regurgitating information in that manner even though I know the material.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated more than you know!

-Thanks!

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.

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.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

So today was day 1 of 8 at CDL school. I did better than expected in some areas, and worse in others. I expected my backing to need some work due to being out of a wrecker tow truck for a few years now. But it turns out, backing a trailer is actually easier than backing up a car (in my opinion). I nailed all 3 backing courses in one shot with no more than a single pull up. I expected to struggle on the 10 speed manuel transmission. I didn't expect to have as much trouble floating that gears (this is how they teach it and I only have to demonstrate double clutching a single time to the tester).

Where I really had some disturbing trouble is the pretrip inspection. I studied the ever loving crap out of it from multiple sites and videos. I even impressed my trainer who said I am absurdly ahead of the game because I knew the majority of the components. I got into trouble because I got into my own head, starting getting ahead of myself, and would forget elementary things because of nervousness and anxiety. Like I know the test but I am crap at putting it into words. Have any of you been down this road? How did you get over that hump? I know I have the fortitude and the will to succeed in trucking but this particular test just doesn't cater to my strong points as a person. I am just really bad at regurgitating information in that manner even though I know the material.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated more than you know!

-Thanks!

Howdy, Drew!

That's gonna be the HARDEST part for me also, when I cross that bridge. Have you checked out Daniel B.'s Pretrip, made especially for usn's here on Trucking Truth?

Mountain Matt recently went solo with Wilson, and he downloaded the above .pdf, printed, laminated at an office store, and....voila! He's a month solo, right now, in MY home state!

Check out his diary, and his photo gallery. It's worked for many before him, and many since. I'll be relying on this, my own self!

Wish you the best;

~ Anne ~

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.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Pre-trip was my strong suit, since I've been a mechanic all my life,and started out in the 80's on semi's lol Was 1 part of steer axle, they call something dumb, it's actually the "Steering Knuckle" "the spindle part" LOL so, I know every part front to back, top to bottom...Was couple parts called something totally different in their training papers....

Just try to not overthink it Drew, we had this chick who studied her butt off and flew thru pre trip too. Had to give her props, since she started out not knowing much. All wasted time, I heard when she left the terminal , to get with her trainer, she told whoever she was riding with, about 80 miles out, "Take me back, I ain't doing this schit!" lol

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

If you really want to impress an examiner, tell him that the landing gear handle is the backup manual starter for the tractor, like a model T .

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

You are on day one of something you will be doing at least once per day. For your test you are saying what you are looking at and for. I usually say some things out loud while doing my pretrip everyday.

The hard part for your test is memorizing and speaking a script.

Do it the same every time. Good luck.

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Don’t beat yourself up! It was your 1st run at it, the more you do it, the more fluid it will become. Reading it out loud while studying helped me remember it and find a rhythm to recite it. For the in cab part, I sit in a chair and mimic all the movements as I recite it out loud.

Most importantly, slow it down. You don’t have to fly through it. Outside, work through the parts top to bottom, farthest away from you to closest. After you do it a couple times, you will scan the area your working on and see the pattern to follow.

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Sorry, I should have been more clear when I said farthest away from you to the closest meaning the specific area your on. Example. Work your way from the middle of engine compartment out, drive shaft out to axle seals, etc…

Matthew P.'s Comment
member avatar

This was a problem I had too. To overcome.it I had to practice standing at a truck and practice a lot. I would take the check sheet with me too and alternate between it and memory. It's just one.of those performance based things you have to drill repeatedly. Even then, I still missed a few items.

So today was day 1 of 8 at CDL school. I did better than expected in some areas, and worse in others. I expected my backing to need some work due to being out of a wrecker tow truck for a few years now. But it turns out, backing a trailer is actually easier than backing up a car (in my opinion). I nailed all 3 backing courses in one shot with no more than a single pull up. I expected to struggle on the 10 speed manuel transmission. I didn't expect to have as much trouble floating that gears (this is how they teach it and I only have to demonstrate double clutching a single time to the tester).

Where I really had some disturbing trouble is the pretrip inspection. I studied the ever loving crap out of it from multiple sites and videos. I even impressed my trainer who said I am absurdly ahead of the game because I knew the majority of the components. I got into trouble because I got into my own head, starting getting ahead of myself, and would forget elementary things because of nervousness and anxiety. Like I know the test but I am crap at putting it into words. Have any of you been down this road? How did you get over that hump? I know I have the fortitude and the will to succeed in trucking but this particular test just doesn't cater to my strong points as a person. I am just really bad at regurgitating information in that manner even though I know the material.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated more than you know!

-Thanks!

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

In school my instructor stressed how important everything on the pretrip is. However, if you're able to memorize the entire in cab and coupling you'll have almost enough off those alone pass the test, atleast in the state of Iowa.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Step by step

1. Everything is properly mounted and secured. Is it an "at both ends" part?

2. What is it made out of?

All metal is not CBB. ( Cracked bent or broken) all rubber is no ABC (abrasions bulges or cuts) mad probably not dry rotted or worn.

3. Does it transport something or hold something? Ex Not leaking or filled to manufacturer specifications... Oil, air, coolant, power steering fluid?

I color code my pretrip for my students if you know the trailer you know like 80% of the truck. Airbags, frame and cross members, the entire axle (spring hangers, arm, brake chamber, shock absorber, etc) are on the other sections also.

Of the entire pretrip, the brakes are the most important and an auto fail for doing it wrong. Learn that first. Then trailer. That is how I do it.

Good luck. And remember there is no time limit... At least not in my state so say everything twice aloud so they can hear you. Don't mumble to yourself. If they hear it, it counts.

The Examiner is a score keeper... And he wants you to pass.

Good luck

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.

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