What Will A Good Driving Instructor Tell You?

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Mark .'s Comment
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Apparently there are some good driving habits to have when driving a big rig such as reading every road sign as you drive. What are other good bits of information that a good instructor would most likely teach?

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Always look at road signs. If you don't, you'll be forced to read each and every single road sign out loud to me.

Don't over-accelerate. Take your time through the gears.

Maintain following distance. And shows how to calculate following distance.

Explain RPM's and how they work.

Explain trip planning.

Eh, sooooooooo many things!!! smile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Apparently there are some good driving habits to have when driving a big rig such as reading every road sign as you drive. What are other good bits of information that a good instructor would most likely teach?

Be aware of your surroundings. Learn to compartmentalize your surroundings. While signs are important they are meant to be something to be processed and move on while the truck is moving you have 3 points of interest.

1) Moving objects. If it's moving it's a danger. Cars.people. and the like. The closer those moving objects are to you the higher level of awareness you have to assign them.

2) Non moving objects like street signs and trees and over passes. While important they will not jump out in front of you and their threat assessment is lower then that of moving object.

3) Anything else that does not fit into the first 2 things. Time of day. Weather. Buildings along the side of the road.

Now while this next part will sound wild you will pick up on it naturally and will become second nature. You take all three of those categories and learn to process all three a few hundred times a second. Or a few million times an hour.

An example.....you are driving along in traffic and the speed limit is 55. Traffic is moderately heavy to light. It's a beautiful sunny day. It's the weekend and kids are out of school.

You automatically sort through the level of awareness for each thing you see. You know it's 55 mph cause you saw a sign saying so. While it's still in your mind that it's 55 mph you are not focused on the sign. I bet you only glanced at the sign in passing but you automatically check you speed on the dash. Now although you are aware of the speed and maintain that speed you are watching the traffic around you actively. Why? Cause you mind has deemed the traffic to be a higher threat level and needs more of your attention. Sure you know it's sunny weather out but your mind processed that and assigned it a low threat assessment and the same for the buildings along the side of the road. And again your drawn back to the highest threat level. The traffic.

In the background you see kids playing and take a passing notice but those kids are a few hundred feet from the road and again you drawn back to the traffic because of the higher amount of threat level you have assigned that traffic.

Now here is the amazing thing about the human brain. The above scenario Would have all been taken in and processed and assigned a threat awareness level in less than a second. While your in that area your mind will be constantly updating the data a few millions times an hour.

Want to know what's really crazy? If you are on the road long enough you will be able to read minds. Whenever I am actively aware of a car I have been able to tell up to 1 minute before it happens what a car will do before they even know they wanted to do. Lol. It's no trick. Basically you are doing the same checks around the car that the driver in the car is doing. The reason it's clearer to us what they will do cause we have a bigger picture of all the outside influences That will effect them in the near future cause we have no blind spots that are blocking our view of their vehicle and we know what WE would do in any given situation if we were the driver of that car.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mark .'s Comment
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Thank you both. I appreciate any and all tips I can get.

6 string rhythm's Comment
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Guy you are a driving Jedi master. Always enjoy learning from your posts.

Scott B.'s Comment
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Look ahead as far as you can see. Whether it be 1500 ft to the crest of a hill or 2 miles down the highway. Great driving is not being able to get out of bad situations, it's about being able to avoid those situations before you get into them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Scott B.'s Comment
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Guy you are a driving Jedi master. Always enjoy learning from your posts.

And stay out of Newark you will.

Starcar's Comment
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I went to a 4 day cdl school...And of the very few things I learned, a few of them has served me well in my OTR trucking career. 1. When you stop behind another vehicle...alwyas stop where you can see their tail lights...cars disappear infront of truck hoods. 2. I was taught to make "L" turns, rather than the sweep turns..sounds weird, but I sure like it..gives you more room. 3. have your eyes moving all the time. It will keep you alert, and you will be able to assess driving conditions ahead, beside and behind you.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

Cynthia L.'s Comment
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Look everywhere, ahead, mirrors, and even over your left shoulder out your widow. I've been run off the road and almost hit because drivers look in the mirror but fail to look over their left should. Good luck.

Cynthia L.'s Comment
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Sorry n dropped in window not widow

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