Nagging Question -- Why?

Topic 4294 | Page 1

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truckersgirl53's Comment
member avatar

My b/f is presently in a CDL program. He has done everything, has his permit, driven and all his school evaluators have said he was an excellent driver and probably one of the best in his class, yet their MVD testors failed him twice (an automatic failure). First time because some moron cut him off making a turn (and he avoided an accident) and the second time because as he was negotiating a turn some idiot on a cell phone, who was stopped at the time, decided to start to roll across the crosswalk when he started his turn (guess he saw the "student driver" sign on the truck and decided he wanted a new car). That was at the beginning of the test, but the evaluator made him continue to take the test. Why? You failed him.

My b/f avoided any issues and was told "you shouldn't have given him the room to invade." WTH? Would they rather you have an accident? In any event, he is devastated and has to go back one more time. If he doesn't pass it this time, they want an additional $750 to do it. I don't think so.....$3900 for a class that contains approximately 6 hours of driving time.

My b/f is 59 years old but it seems they are failing the experienced people and passing the young yahoos that I wouldn't let walk my dog. Any ideas or experiences? 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.

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.

WA's Comment
member avatar

So, why did he fail? What did he do that caused the failures? You explained the circumstances, but didn't say what he actually did to fail. Usually a student has to make sure they don't forget the range selector button, or square up and take a turn wide enough, or check for traffic in both directions at an intersection while making a turn. A lot of people don't pass the first time. Hopefully your boyfriend knows what he has to focus on in order to pass the road skills test.

truckersgirl53's Comment
member avatar

The first time, he was making a left turn and the little car jumped in to his left as he started to turn and the instructor said he shouldn't have let him get there in the first place. ???? an accident is better?

The second time, the guy was stopped and he started to make his turn, the guy rolled in to the crosswalk and my boyfriend corrected not to hit him and the instructor said he should have stopped, automatically failing him, but made him continue with the test. This isn't his first experience with trucks, so I just don't get it.

Gary A.'s Comment
member avatar

Our instructor told us last week that the FIRST attempt has an average 100% failure rate...SO maybe they're just trying to keep the average up???

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Truckersgirl53, welcome to the forum!

Here's what I've got to say about this whole situation. Your boyfriend needs to just carry on and don't let it bother him. It's kind of hard for us to tell exactly what happened because we are only hearing your side of the story and most of that was blaming everything on the other drivers around him. Well, the biggest part of driving a big rig is watching out for those other morons on the road, it comes with the territory and it also comes with the testing.

Those testers have got to fail some drivers or it starts to look like they really aren't doing their jobs. So if we give them an opportunity they will usually jump on it. He just needs to get back on that horse that threw him and show them how it's done this next time out. If he's as good as you say, then he doesn't have a thing to worry about. Don't even begin to start thinking they are discriminating against him because of his age, he just had a couple of unfortunate scenarios take place while he was testing, and the testers seemed to think he didn't handle it properly.

My b/f avoided any issues and was told "you shouldn't have given him the room to invade." WTH?

There is a definite way that you can put your truck into a position that keeps others from invading space that they shouldn't be in. Now I will be the first to say that usually a driver develops this skill as he gains more experience, but the tester must have seen something he thought was going to cause your boyfriend some safety issues in the future. The best thing to do is to attempt to understand and learn from what caused his failures. Just blaming it on the other morons is hardly helpful.

The second time, the guy was stopped and he started to make his turn, the guy rolled in to the crosswalk and my boyfriend corrected not to hit him and the instructor said he should have stopped, automatically failing him

In a situation like that, I agree with the tester, he should have just stopped instead of correcting to avoid the accident. Everybody is moving slowly, so there really isn't much chance of him getting hit from behind, but by correcting he could have possibly hit another vehicle in his blind spot, or perhaps he corrected without checking his mirror, I don't know, but stopping and waiting to see what the other vehicle was going to do is the correct thing to do.

Look, I see no reason why your boyfriend can't pass that test on his third try. He's just got to get out there and don't be second guessing things. He needs to be cautious, and confident at the same time. You need to encourage him in his own abilities without laying all the blame on others.

If he doesn't pass it this time, they want an additional $750 to do it. I don't think so.....$3900 for a class that contains approximately 6 hours of driving time.

Here's the deal on that driving time. I've been through this so I understand how this works. Your boyfriend is in the truck while others are learning to drive also, that is just as much a learning experience for him as it is when he's behind the wheel, or at least it should be. I always paid close attention while the others were driving because I learned so much from watching them and hearing what the instructor would say to them while driving. You won't feel like you got short changed when you only spent about six hours behind the wheel if you are applying yourself the whole time and paying attention so that you can gain all the insight you can. This whole concept of learning to drive a big rig is a very long process, those classes and the test at the DMV are just the very beginnings of all this.

To kind of re-cap what I've been trying to express, he just needs to go out there with confidence and show them he knows what he's doing. Confidence is not ****iness, but rather a calm demeanor that takes care of business without being brash or overly zealous. It's the kind of attitude that is calm and in control without being rattled by the things that are going on around you. If he can perform like that he will be ready to move on to the next challenge in his career.

(take the "l" out of the word clock, and you'll understand what the word police deleted in that last paragraph)

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
truckersgirl53's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all! I have been trying to encourage him. I know he can do this and will be a great driver! I will keep you posted.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Aboard, Truckersgirl53!

Everything everyone has said above is right-on. I just took my CDL 2-3 weeks ago, although I'm trying to forget the day... Long story. lol. One thing he can do before he takes the test again :

... He should be sure he knows what all the "automatic fails" are. These are all related to safety and they are the most basic part of the CDL that the regulators want drivers to be clear on. He should be able to get a straight answer about what the failure criteria are, either from his instructors, the testers, or both, plus the manual. There aren't too many of them but these are things that will get him failed automatically, no matter how well he did on the rest of the test that day. For example: *shifting gears while crossing a railroad *hitting a curb on a turn, *running a red light, *getting into a car accident during the test, la-la-la.

If he hasn't done so already, he can also go through all the material offered in the CDL Training materials, right here, on Trucking Truth. It's very thorough.

It's awesome that you're encouraging him. Your support will go a loooonnng way. Believe me. He may be more tired than he realizes, too, which breaks all of us down, a bit. It's good for everyone, to be reminded how tough the school and CDL test truly are when you've had the bare minimum of training, even if you are paying attention, every moment. Some concepts just "click" better with experience that he can't possibly have had, yet. He'll get it, this time.

Focus more on getting it all "down" rather than the worry (about extra tuition, etc.) or the blame, at the moment. "Process" the bad parts and role it around in conversation, after he's all done.

You should sign back on, whenever you need because everyone here is so helpful and positive.

Good Luck!

-mountain girl good-luck-2.gif

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.
truckersgirl53's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Mountain Girl. I agree he is exhausted. He is a perfectionist and is frustrated that this has happened twice. He aced his pretrip and skills. Never thought the driving will be an issue. Meantime, I'm exhausted trying to keep him calm. I'll keep you posted.

Angela

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.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

You are very welcome, Angela.

While I'm a newbie, my guess is that fatigue (not extreme fatigue but it's hard work) is part of this industry and those who are really doing well have very thick skin, don't sweat the small stuff, and get it done no matter what the odds. Maybe for now, all he needs is to rest up and review all requirements and automatic fails before he re-tests.

"Lack of sleep makes cowards of us all." -Vince Lombardi

Best of Luck!

-mountain girl

good-luck-2.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Leonard K.'s Comment
member avatar

Truckersgirl53...

Trust me when I say I know how he feels .. Because some jack-hole cut him off during the driving skills test.

I was 1/2 way through the intersection on a right turn when a car pulled out of a parking lot right in front of me. Lost my gear in a downshift, but recovered .. because I secured the wheel with both hands But in order to avoid a accident I had to cut in sharply and yes... the tandems went over the curb. My examiner said I did the right thing to avoid the impact, But I knew then it was a fail... Only other thing I could have done was hit the brakes hard which in fact possibly could have cause a jackknife and made it worst .. I still would have ended up hitting the car

He said I couldn't have done anything different. He thought my driving was great, handling of the truck for a student was great, use of signals, keeping focus on everything around me at all time... Other then a jack-hole that couldn't wait for the truck to complete a turn.. I would have passed

Honestly.. I think the examiner was more upset about it then me.. because he knew I did the right thing. But still had to fail me because of the running onto curb..

BT

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".

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