Not impressed w/my school so far, am I justified in being upset?

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by Switcher, May 5, 2021.

  1. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2017
    I barely touched a truck my first two weeks. The class is supposed to be 160 or 240 hours total, with iirc like 40 or 60 hours on the road, some of which got split among 3-4 students riding along and taking turns.

    Generally the closer you were to going to the DMV for your test, the more time you spent driving out on the road. My last two weeks were mostly driving or riding while another student drove. The last few days there was at least twice where it was just me driving around for a couple hours straight with nobody else in the truck but an instructor.

    One assignment they gave us in our first week was make flash cards for quizzing each other between taking our turns in the yard trucks. If your school hasn't had you do that, maybe get together with some fellow students and organize something. Focus on brake components and function, lights, pretrip, etc. One card might ask to list all the brake components in the order that they fuction. Another card might be to name a brake component and ask what it is and what it does. Another might ask to list all the parts of a brake test, another might list all the steps in one particular part. Another might ask for the seven things youre checking when you pretrip your tires, or what is a glad hand, or how far can your mudflaps legally be from the ground, etc, etc.

    When you get thru all the cards, shuffle them and start over.
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  3. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    It sounds pretty normal for CDL school. Virtually nobody feels they have enough stick time or time behind the wheel before test day.
  4. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

    May 3, 2016
    Hot Springs, AR
    You need to think out of the box.

    The next time you’re almost done with your stick time limit during backing practice, blast one of those LOUD, gurgling, wet flatulence bombs!

    I guarantee the first word out of the next guy’s mouth will be:

    “Go for another 15 minutes or so man. I’ll wait.”
  5. im not real sure

    im not real sure Bobtail Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    Athens, GA
    It's really just a CDL school, not a truck driving school. They teach what you need to get your CDL, that's it. Focus on pretrip, more people fail it than anything. Once you get a job, they will train you how to be a truck driver.
  6. Lonesome

    Lonesome Mr. Sarcasm

    Dec 15, 2007
    Northern Indiana
    you're trying to tell us something, aren't you.....
    slow.rider Thanks this.
  7. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    Sounds typical. 1 truck, 1 instructor, 4 students sharing said truck. 160 hours total instruction. 80 hours, classroom, then 80 hours behind the wheel over the last 2 weeks of instruction. BUT, the 80 hours is divided between the 4 students and includes pre-trip and yard backing etc. and highway driving. When I was an instructor, I had my students on the freeway (Fontana) with-in 45 minutes their first day ! It gave them lots of confidence to complete the course.
    nredfor88, Switcher, TripleSix and 2 others Thank this.
  8. tarmadilo

    tarmadilo Heavy Load Member

    Dec 12, 2018
    Yeah, my class was the same. I came very close to flunking the driving test because I still had very little clue about working a ten speed. I’m afraid that’s more the rule than the exception.
    Switcher Thanks this.
  9. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Switcher, hidden1, AModelCat and 2 others Thank this.
  10. natedogg323

    natedogg323 Light Load Member

    May 4, 2007
    Detroit, Mi
    I'm only on my 3rd day at my CDL school and basically what everyone saying here is true. It's a CDL SCHOOL only! They claim that they want to teach you how to be a professional driver but that is just not possible in 12 "class days" in 16 calendar days. Your future trucking company is going to pair you with a driver mentor and that is where the learning begins. By a veteran that has been through it and can help you see things from real world perspective.

    Hang in there and watch what others are doing. That can be helpful when you finally get behind the wheel. Watch how long they hold turns when performing backing maneuvers. Watch which way they turn the wheel to make the trailer do what they want it to do.

    Once again, I'm NO expert but these are tips I'm picking up watching when I'm not behind the wheel too.
    nredfor88, Switcher and Frank Speak Thank this.
  11. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

    May 3, 2016
    Hot Springs, AR
    Good post with one exception. You’re not likely to be “paired up with a veteran”. Your mentor will most likely have MAYBE a year of experience, possibly less.

    Remember, most pilgrims don’t stay at these training outfits much over a year or two. Well, there’s one in here that comes to mind. But, that’s another story and, frankly, I don’t have time to type it out. Lol
    Lonesome and natedogg323 Thank this.
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