Florida State College At Jacksonville (FSCJ) - Commercial Vehicle Driving

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Seatack's Comment
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Day 25 (9/26/22)

The start of week 2 behind the wheel! We are still driving for the first part of the day and doing pad work in the afternoon.

Today we had a different truck, different trailer and took a new route on our morning drive. Len wants us to have a chance to drive all/most of the trucks we have on campus. Last week we drove a 2019 Peterbilt (I think) , this week we are in a 2015 Kenworth T660 studio sleeper.

This was an unwelcomed change, at least at first. We had come accustomed to the feel of the Pete. The K dub has some funky control pedals (at least compared to the Pete we were driving last week). The fuel pedal is tiny and the brake pedal is gigantic. The two are almost too close together! But, boy does it shift smoothly! The clutch has this perfect sweet spot!

I quickly got used to the higher hood silhouette. And before I knew it I was driving just as smooth as I did last week. At least until it came time to downshift. 🤣🤣🤣 I was grinding gears and under revving like it was my first day again. Len told us the first Monday back is usually the hardest for most of his students. The layoff from the weekend really showed.

Our 3rd student was back so we were back to our normal driving time. We each drove a complete circle around Jacksonville on 1-295. The city was beautiful on this sunny morning, especially crossing the Dames Point and Buckman bridges. I got 70 miles behind the wheel today.

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We returned to campus and took lunch. We did our usual pre trip and backing practice when we returned until 5pm. We did our logs and went home for the day.

Seatack's Comment
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Day 26 (9/27/22)

Yesterday was a little rough for some of us shifting. Len decided it would be best if we spent our drive time locally practicing upshifting and downshifting. The stop and go would give us more gear shifts than the interstate.

I drove 3rd leg, from about 10:45 to noon. Just before my behind the wheel time we recieved word via school email that the campus would be closed Wednesday through Friday in anticipation of Hurricane Ian. 🥺

I was really disappointed that our week was gonna be cut short, especially because we have our first shot a passing pretrip on Wednesday next week.

I finished my local drive with 43 miles behind the wheel. We went back to campus and had our lunch break.

We returned to a small discussion about how the program would proceed with the campus being shut down for 3 days.

All testing dates will remain the same. Pre-trip Wednesday, if we pass we have backing on Thursdsy. Pass backing and we will have the road test in week 4 on Tuesday. Any failed test will push that test to the next testing date. For those who need it, the 3 missed days will be given back to complete all necessary testing. Testing will be done during pad time so everyone will still get the driving time in their designated slot.

We broke from our meeting and headed to the pad. Len said it would be a little rough but he believes we could pass the tests without the extra days. He's prepared to give them to us if we need it, but he will help us as much as he can.

We continued with our backing practice on all 3 maneuvers till about 3:45. At that time we went back to doing pre trip until 5pm.

Our Instructor gave us some pre trip worksheets he made up to help us study over the break. They were blank and we had to fill in the necessary information on each section. We had to write down the component and say how we would inspect it. I asked for extra copies so I could do it multiple times since we would be out for 5 days.

We filled out our logs and went home.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

I finished my local drive with 43 miles behind the wheel. We went back to campus and had our lunch break.

We returned to a small discussion about how the program would proceed with the campus being shut down for 3 days.

All testing dates will remain the same. Pre-trip Wednesday, if we pass we have backing on Thursdsy. Pass backing and we will have the road test in week 4 on Tuesday. Any failed test will push that test to the next testing date. For those who need it, the 3 missed days will be given back to complete all necessary testing. Testing will be done during pad time so everyone will still get the driving time in their designated slot.

We broke from our meeting and headed to the pad. Len said it would be a little rough but he believes we could pass the tests without the extra days. He's prepared to give them to us if we need it, but he will help us as much as he can.

We continued with our backing practice on all 3 maneuvers till about 3:45. At that time we went back to doing pre trip until 5pm.

Our Instructor gave us some pre trip worksheets he made up to help us study over the break. They were blank and we had to fill in the necessary information on each section. We had to write down the component and say how we would inspect it. I asked for extra copies so I could do it multiple times since we would be out for 5 days.

Haya, Seatack!!!

Wow, you actually sound pretty upbeat (and PUMPED!) and doing well in your schooling; glad to hear, man. I'm impressed, with how everything held together quite well, considering the hurricane and all..

Good for you, getting the extra copies of worksheets, for the long break, for sure! You can always 'refresh' with Daniel B.'s, just don't cheat! LoL~

I'm anticipating a 'win win' ... for yourself, and the company you'll drive for!

Best always,

~ 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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