Inside the Rig - CDL School Week #4
by, 07.24.2012 at 03.52 PM (885 Views)
Wednesday and Thursday of last week I practiced for the road test, the last step in getting my CDL. My road test was scheduled for 1 PM on Thursday and luckily before the test I received more practice setting up for green light turns.
Approaching the light, by downshifting well in advance into the proper turning gear, was something I needed some work on. After some practice I was ready for the actual test as we rolled into the school and prepared to stop for a simulated RR Crossing, the beginning of the road test.
The test went really well I thought. I was hyper about scanning for oncoming traffic and constantly checking my mirrors for traffic behind me, as well as the position of the trailer on the road. Shifting went well although it wasn't perfect. When we first rolled out of the school and on to 401 South in Raleigh, my focus and confidence wasn't all that great and I forgot to put the button selector into high position and missed getting into 5th on an upshift. But I immediately recovered by dropping back down into 4th and approached the first light in fourth gear. It was a save; coasting in neutral for the length of the trailer is an automatic fail.
The first light was the only notable event. As the light changed, I shifted into third and began a left hand turn (green turn signal). I then noticed out of the corner of my eye that that several cars were approaching their right hand turning lane (to my left) and they were turning right in front of me. I knew this wasn't right; I had a left arrow turn signal and they were turning right so I knew that they were in fact running the light.
So I covered the brake and also covered the clutch in case I needed to make an abrupt stop. I braked slightly, and the last car that approached stopped suddenly at least a good 20 feet away to my left, never coming close to the right fender. The driver was a lady who then sheepishly looked up at me and shrugged her shoulders as if to say "Whoops, sorry". I didn't even have to come to a complete stop as there was no danger in hitting her, because I was turning so slowly and had the brake covered. I could have stopped on a dime if I needed to.
The fact that I had this situation under full control turned out to be a blessing for me. I then went on with the rest of my road test with the full confidence I needed to pass.
And when it was over I DID PASS my road test!
Finishing up in the Yard: Drop & Hook
Victor (Head Instructor) & Ronald
Charles, Ronald, James
Getting ready to hook
Tracy & Thomas