Inside the Rig - CDL School Week #1
by, 06.29.2012 at 07.53 AM (743 Views)
Training started Monday. Week one is now completed. This week I studied and passed my DMV exams for General Knowledge, Air Brakes, and Combinations. A 20-Day Commercial Learner's Permit is now in my possession, along with a 2 year Medical Certificate.
Monday and Tuesday were spent reviewing videos, reading, and taking practice exams on computer. Wednesday at lunchtime I went to the DMV and took my exams. I was happy I passed everything the first time. There's a lot to know and even though I passed I'm still reviewing the NC Commercial Driver's Manual. Not knowing things in that manual could cost a driver his/her job, or worse, but besides that, I just want to learn everything and anything I possibly can about trucking in order to be the very best I can be.
I also learned how to properly fill out a log book this week.
I got some observation time in the truck on Wednesday. What I learned in those two hours really helped. We have terrific instructor's at CTA and they ride the student's hard, but just like in boot camp, the stuff they are drilling into your head will help to save your life and the lives of others.
Thursday I had more observation time. I also got taught a great lesson by a graduating student, Frank, on how to pass the DOT pre inspection. His system, which he showed me, is going to be my system from now on. Start from the top and go to the bottom, and work your way from inside to outside on the truck and trailer when doing the inspection.
What took me by surprise Thursday was that while the 5 of us were driving around the outskirts of a local mall (3 newbs, instructor, 1 experienced), I was called up to do some BTW (behind the wheel). As expected, double clutching was a challenge and I performed badly the first half on my stint, but the second stint was much better. I did what practically everyone does, and that's letting off the clutch too quickly, and this caused the truck to jerk a lot. But I performed well with braking and steering the empty trailer. After it was done we were told that today was mainly just for us to get a "feel" for what needed to be done, and Monday we could practice shifting on a tractor only, going around the CTA campus. I'm looking forward to that.
Next Up: Training Week #2