Thursday, April 20, 2017

CDL School is to Pass the Test

What I learned in truck driving school: How to pass the test. It's a time thing. Usually, you attend class for a 40 hour week of instruction. You will learn all you need to pass the permit test. Week two to four, you complete the driving portion rounding out your 160 week course.

At the time, it is overwhelming. There are all kinds of people in the class representing various levels of commitment to the task at hand. Our class was no exception.

Nothing makes that more abundantly clear than your test drive for a new job. I will never forget how that went down.... it went a little like this:

After interviewing for my current job, we were scheduled for a drive test. It was two weeks after we graduated from school and everything was riding on getting this job. It was about $70,000 more than our next closest offer. That's a lot of money riding on one 30 minute drive.

We showed up to test and found out that we had to couple two 28 feet trailers with a dolly. What! We had a dolly at school to look at, but it was an overwhelming thought to know that we had to do it was a company trainer with verbal directions. Only verbal directions. I didn't know this in the beginning but if you raise a dolly to high, it will settle in the upright position. That was fun... not.

Then, we drove the set of pups out of the yard into traffic. Real traffic. With just a few comments like, "Stay a bit to the left, you don't want to clip this BMW on the right." Real cars lots of real cars and corners that were not necessarily designed to accommodate trucks. But, something from school clicked. Doubles really do track. They are so much easier to drive then long trailers because you have the bend in the middle.

Every state is different... But in Washington, the pretrip is long and tedious.


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