Pre-Trip Test Anxiety

Topic 31685 | Page 2

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Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks! Everyone has been very helpful. I am making great strides in my pretrip.

My real demon, as it turns out, is handling a 10 speed manual. In Idaho, you only have to demonstrate double clutching once to the instructor. So they are teaching me how to float gears primarily. I went on my first road drive today through downtown Boise and the I-84 freeway. I am having a hard time catching gears consistently up and down to where I end up getting locked out into neutral and thus forced to coast (really bad I know). I usually end up finding 6th as my savior gear and can adjust accordingly. That said, I have to stop myself from panicking like a deer in headlights and slamming the gas in desperation to find anything to keep me going in traffic. The other thing is that I am so fixated on not screwing up my gears that I'm not paying attention to other equally important things like mirrors, good turns, and being as situationally aware as I am used to being in a bigger vehicle. I need to get over the hump where it feels at least natural enough to pass my road test. My employer that is waiting for me uses automatics. And while I'm not trying to use that as a crutch, I would rather learn other more important aspects of trucking once on the job before I get into a manual post-CDL school.

All that said, failure is not an option for me. I have so much riding on my ability to get this CDL. Not to mention, I am just really passionate about making this a career. I love being on the road. I am not oblivious to the many challenges I'm sure to face, but I can't imagine doing anything else. After 6 years at AAA and towing in wreckers / Flatbeds, I found the thing I enjoy the most is long haul driving.

Thanks for all the support. You are all awesome!

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

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.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on your new journey. I just finished with school earlier this year. I upgraded to solo a couple of weeks ago. From the sounds of it, you're going to do just fine. Couple of things that worked for me, maybe not for everyone. Each night I read through the entire pre-trip. I went through at least 1, sometimes 3 complete pretrips, tractor and trailer, every day when I wasn't backing or driving. I spoke everything aloud so I could hear how it would sound to the examiner. Once per day I would ask a fellow classmate to test me on a section of PTI. Some of my classmates thought I was over the top with it. But the day I tested for my CDL , the examiner told me "you absolutely crushed the pre-trip inspection." It's one of the most important parts of passing your exam. Can't get out of the parking lot without passing it.

Again, it sounds like you'll do well.

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.
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