CDL Test, not as easy as I expected

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by SmokeyBandit, Oct 21, 2022.

  1. SmokeyBandit

    SmokeyBandit Bobtail Member

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    Failed the first attempt. Passed pretrip and maneuvers. Failed road primarily over accumulating too many points for not swinging my head on a swivel at intersections. When you’re in a manual, it’s mentally challenging. Focus has to be everywhere at once. Shifting, traffic to the sides, potential for stop lights, and aggressive drivers. Do this test in a big city, with more-than-average amount of aggressive drivers, even more of a challenge. A lot potential catch-22 situations. Not sure what kind of discussion I want to make out of this.

    I felt good before my test, maybe a slight nervousness. Didn’t know exactly what to expect. Gonna give it another shot in two weeks. Just they don’t give these CDLs out like toys when you buy a happy meal. Being 95% isn’t good enough. Gotta be 110% with and a prayer that traffic signals and aggressive drivers don’t put you in impossible dilemmas.
     
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  3. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    What you went through on the driver's test is what the majority of drivers go through every day. You'll get it next time.
     
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  4. SmokeyBandit

    SmokeyBandit Bobtail Member

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    I don’t wanna be that guy that says I was given an impossible instructor. He was fair but still strict. I’m sure how people drive on the job and on a CDL tests are two different things, and I don’t mean that in a negligent way. I’ve learned a lot from school and through this experience, hopefully enough to pass it the next go around. Even if you are well rehearsed and can drive normally and safely, you’ll lose a significant amount of respect from your instructor if you do not sound confident. Not that I didn’t feel confident, but he sensed a little bit of test anxiety that was in my voice.

    My advice for the people that feel mostly good but not quite so sure, is display and talk with confidence from the get-go. Explain everything to your instructor into your decisions when put in those iffy situations.

    Although overconfidence and the ability to drive like an honor student will not impress your instructor. Drive 5mph below the speed limit, anticipate any green light turning yellow and red. Completely stop a car length before a stop bar not at or near. You can still think you were driving proficiently, but they want to see you drive safely and cautiously, not like you think how a pro would drive.

    All states are different, all test sites are different, all instructors are different. It’s the luck of the draw when it comes to a lenient vs strict instructor. Im not saying I was perfect, and maybe I did deserve to fail, but I really thought I did pretty darn good, until I got the news when we pulled back up to the test site. I just underestimated what some these instructors really want to see. Bottom line is drive with caution and defensively but not nervous.

    Obviously you definitely don’t want to curb it or impede traffic. That should be the primary focus. But those things you think are petty, like mirror checks every 8 seconds, turning your head left-right-left at every intersection no matter red, green, or nothing, big or small, and stopping and slowing like grandma would at a stop, those really can add up against you as well.

    Bottom line is take your time throughout this, and your more than likely not going to “impress” your instructor if that’s what you are trying for.
     
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  5. pavrom

    pavrom Road Train Member

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    I think most of us been nervous at the same moment ... no need to lie .. unless you superhero:)
     
  6. Concorde

    Concorde Road Train Member

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    Don’t sweat it.
    At least you got the pre-trip and maneuvers out of the way. You’ll be a lot less stressed when you go back for the road test.

    Now Get’r done!
     
  7. SmokeyBandit

    SmokeyBandit Bobtail Member

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    Thanks. Indiana everything has to be redone on retest even for one failed portion.
     
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  8. Concorde

    Concorde Road Train Member

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    That blows!
     
  9. aussiejosh

    aussiejosh Road Train Member

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    Ever wonder why ever professional sporting players still use coaches, whether it be Tiger Woods or Roger Federer, no matter how good we think we are there is still room for improvement so even those who've been driving for many years still will find there is always something new we can learn, so that is even more relevant to someone who is new to the industry. So stick with the plan bud as they say "practice makes perfect" Specially if this is the first time you've ever driven a tractor trailer with a 53' trailer behind it. I know when I took my test back in Texas I was really nervous having a police officer doing the assessment thankfully when we started she asked do you have any questions before we start " I said yeah how do you overcome nervousness?" I think that helped as she was just chatting to me in between giving me directions which helped relax me during the driving assessment, plus I think she liked my accent anyway I was only deducted a couple of points for not looking when I crossed an intersection when the lights went green an old habit of mine other than that it was all fine passed first go but then I had the advantage of prior driving experience even though I was sitting on the opposite side of the truck and driving on the other side of the road, so if you think that having to change gears is a distraction you try driving a vehicle having to sit on the opposite side of the vehicle and drive on the wrong side of the road and see how much that effects your driving skills. Having driven my whole life of the right hand side of a vehicle and the left hand side of the road, which is what we do in countries like Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, and even Canada at one stage till it caused to many complications for those visiting from the US or just driving through to Alaska so they converted to left hand drive. Anyway wish you all the best bud I'm sure with a bit more practice you'll master the skill and pass your CDL test.
     
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  10. snowmantrucking101

    snowmantrucking101 Medium Load Member

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    That's where i tested. Be mindful of the angle back & parallel parking. Get out and look to keep off the cones, etc. The lady was a strict tester, but knew us.
     
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  11. PaulRivers10

    PaulRivers10 Bobtail Member

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    It's because what they're demanding you do is a dangerous way to drive.

    The people who make these claims have no proof that any of this stuff provides benefit, it just follow a psychological narrative, where they impose their will on you and it makes them feel powerful. It's like those old school driving instructors demanding you "keep your hands at 10 and 2!" and then one day people forgot about it because it never mattered at all.

    Except they've gone to the next step where they're not just wasting your time, but demanding you drive in a way that's more dangerous to the people around you than not doing it. Swinging your head back and forth and back and forth over and over means you're no longer watching the road or your trailer.

    I was reading something that said that since they implemented all this stuff, safety has statistically gotten worse. I wish I could find the link, it was in a pdf from the fmca or something.
     
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