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Old 04-10-2007, 02:01 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Texas
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Default Tips for passing the class A CDL driving test ......

I have a class B CDL and I have gotten hired by a local company to drive a vacuum truck. I passed the Hazmat test last Friday and I passed the combination and tanker endorsements today 4/9/2007. The company is going to train me with a company trainer. Please give me any advice you have on driving skills. ie: backing , turning , shifting
I have only driven school buses before with my class B CDL any advice you all have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:34 AM
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First thing is they take you around some tight right hand turns. Just make sure you don't cut off oncoming cars. Also staying in the correct lane when turning. The backing was first straight line which i did no problem. Just remeber it isn't a speed race. The next backing I did was alley dock and I had 4-5 pull ups cuz I had a gmc topkick with a bobcat trailer and it was really diffcult to do. ANother thing to remeber is take the outer left hand turn lane if there are two provided. Also keep checkin the mirrors. If I can pass you could pass!! haha I got mine a year ago 3 weeks after I turned 18!! so thats my claim to fame..
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2007, 06:03 AM
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Location: Longview, Washington
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Manage the space around your vehicle well, use the mirrors and don't stall the engine.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:49 AM
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DONT ROLL BACK!!!!
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2007, 07:05 AM
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I myself am a newbie just got my cdl in december. but i have been around driving for most of my life, its kind of in the family. im not about to say im the best driver or i know everything, but when our school was practicing for the cdl testing the instructors disappeared, so i was confident in my skills and i helped anyone that was having trouble the best i could. here is some of the advice i gave to them, i hope it works for you too.

1. if u have a measured right turn push ur left west coast mirror all the way out and down so u can see ur tandems in the middle of the turn.

2. if u have a serpantine, stay close to the cones as possible

3. if u have a 45 degree alley dock, coming in from the left, kick the trailer out to the right at the start of the back so u can come in at a straiter angle.

4. when making turns, finish in the lane closest to you, or stay in the same lane. then merge if need be. (if anyone disagrees with this let me know, i had one of them super truckers tell me i did it wrong one time down in albany ga, told me i should have ended in the right lane on a left hand turn.)

5. if u have a parellel ending in a jacknife, get close, but don't try to be perfect, you probly wont be. take a couple points (if thats how ur test works) for being off than a lot of points for pullups. that also goes for any backing, if u get close leave it alone, don't waste ur points on unecessary pullups.

6. if u do use a pull up make it worthwile, use all the room you have. and get the truck strait with the trailer so you can see whats going on.

7. keep the truck strait on the trailer as much as possible so you can see whats going on.

8. don't worry what the tester is doing while ur driving. they will probly write on their clipboard the whole time, but that doesn't mean ur doing something wrong. they make comments on everything.

9. in PA rubbing the curb is ok, running up on it is not. (may or may not be the same as in ur state) make sure you take all the room you have available and that you need. don't sell urself short.

10. depending on ur state, know the pre trip inside and out. i think maryland is the worst for that. they have to name off and point out every nut and bolt on the truck. or so i've heard. PA you do the pre trip but you don't say anything unless they ask what you are doing or looking at. might be good to find out what they require from someone who has taken the test.
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2007, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 20
Default Remeber this when Ur Driving

When backing straight Pull Straight first so you cant see the wheels on either side of your trailer behind you. When you start to back relax. Lay back in your seat watch both mirriors when you start to see your tires on one side turn your wheel towards them=only turn your wheel a quarter of a turn. then when you see them go back under the truck turn your wheel back to 12 oclock. Do not turn your wheel more then 3 oclock for right turn and no more then 9 oclock for left turn. It may look like nothing is happen but it is. Remember always, Wait for it to happen.. U cant get in a truck and try to be ruff with it cause all it will do is make you look stupid.

Backing 45 degree. Do not put your head outside the window. A guy that i went to trucking school was doinig it. The Mr. Hovac From Alliance told the guy. Boy, What are you doing, Boy you look stupid with your head outside that window, boy im going to put blinders on you like an old mule. I will always remember that. You dont need to stick your head outside the window. Think about if its raining hard u going to stick your head outside the window? lol. The point is You dont need to as long as you can see where your backing in your mirrors.

When your doinig a half moon back do not hold your head outside neither. Watch your mirror If your backing and you can not see the rear of your tracto in the mirror then your cutting to sharp. So do no let it reach to the point you have to lean forward to see the end of your trailer. If you see it start to goinig that far catch it by starting to straighting your truck with a hard right in the direction you need to go to straighten it.

The biggest thing you can do is no matter what your doing and how bad the day is going or if you make a mistake. Dont Beat yourself up about it. Keep a postive attitude, smile, and laugh. This will help you go through anything. The rest of trucking is basic, Just pay attention to your trainer and dont think you know more then he does. If you do you do but think about how long he has been driving and how long youve been driving.
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2007, 08:02 PM
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Thanks to everyone that has posted info. on this topic.
I really appreciate it and please if you have not replied feel free to do so. I can use all of the help I can get. :shock:
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2007, 12:07 AM
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Location: Irwin. PA
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1. Make sure you know how to check the airbrake system!!!!! You WILL fail if not!!

2. Do not shift while IN a turn

3. Dont be affraid to do a pull up (while backing) if you have to. You ARE allowed pullups. 3 usually.

4. If you go under any bridges or anything, make sure you pay attention to any clearance signs. The examiner may ask you afterwards what the clearance was.

5. Use your mirrors. Be aware. Dont have tunnel vision. Show the examiner that you are not intimadated by the vehicle. Show confidence.

6. If you grind a gear, dont panic. Just give it a tap of gas and try to get it in gear again. Dont let out of gears any longer than you have to though.

Hope this helps.
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  #9  
Old 04-11-2007, 05:10 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Tahlequah
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Don't flip the range selector to low when you try to downshift from 8 to 6. For some eason I did that and by the time I reliezed it I had coasted to far out of gear. i had done that 8 to 6 and 6 to 4 a 100 times perfect on my road trips. just a bad case of nerves. I take it again tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2007, 11:51 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Default Shifting without the clutch.

Well,
I learned how to shift without the clutch today. I had been trying to understand how it worked and why I could not ever do it before but, when my trainer said, "Don't be afraid of getting into the engine and put a little press on the shifter in the direction you want to shift as you let off the gas." After he told me that I tried it and what do ya know it freaking worked. :roll: I know that you Super Truckers are saying, "We told ya so!" I know that it seems trivial to mention it ,but it felt great to accomplish something like that on the first day that I had ever driven a tractor trailer. :rock:

P.S. : Please keep sending as much info. as you can spare.
Thanks
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