CDL test results and experience

First things first – I passed!

I’m going to share how I scored in a sec… but whew! What a weight that has been lifted! I proved that I can safely operate a commercial motor vehicle safely and in control, earning my Commercial Driver’s License. Wow. It’s still sinking in a little.

So now what? Well, I have four weeks left of school, so there’s a lot to learn yet (that will continue beyond school, too, of course). But dude! I am now a CDL holder! This is so exciting and obviously a pretty major part of this whole new adventure for me and Adam!
Now my focus can be on fine-tuning, as well as experiencing a variety of equipment and new scenarios. Up to this point we’ve been in day-cab trucks, so pretty soon I’ll be driving sleeper trucks (the ‘bigguns’ with the bunks in back). I’ll also be hauling a 53′ trailer (compared to the 48’s we’ve been using). Loaded trailers, tanker trailers, doubles, and different transmissions (I’m pretty sure there’s a 13-speed in there). I still have to learn about things like weight distribution, blind-side backing, more in-depth trip-planning, tandems and scales. Oh! And there’s the whole skid-pad training, too, where we force cars and trucks into a skid and work on correcting it! That’s going be bring-spare-underwear fun!

So anyway… the test.
Pre-trip Inspection: I was randomly given form B for my pre-trip portion of the test. This is the area from the tractor door to the back of the tractor, as well as the coupling devices. All I missed were two things – the platform of the 5th wheel, which is silly because I was just asking about it the day before my test, and the oil pressure gauge, which is also silly because it was directly in front of my face as I mentioned all the other gauges right next to it. Either way, I passed with only two points off pre-trip and I’m happy with that!

Backing:
I completed a perfect straight-line back. Zero points off for the easy one. Then I did my left offset back. I used both of my free pull-ups and finished with zero points off. Good. That meant I had 12 full points to use for my 90-degree backing maneuver. I got my trailer tucked into the lane pretty crooked, but it was in the lane. I knew at that point that I had it. When I stopped to use a pull-up I had a feeling I touched the boundary, and I did. Two points off for encroachment. I used both of my free pull-ups, but I was still a little bit crooked, so knowing I had some points to spare, I gave up one more point and pulled up once more to make it pretty. I tucked it back perfectly straight in the lane, then got out and used a “look” to see I was about a foot from my final position. I backed up that foot, finished my backing (whew!) and moved onto the road test with only three total points taken off of the backing portion of my test. I started to breathe a little easier…

“Just don’t hit a curb,” I told myself, “and you’ve got this!”

Road test:
I relaxed, I made a point to breathe, and took it slow. I felt pretty comfortable while out on the road and only got 8 points off on this portion to which my tester told me, “anything in single digits is considered excellent. Nice job.” I was BEAMING at this point. I sighed loudly with a big smile, looked at my tester and said, “I did it…” I don’t remember what all 8 points were for, but they were all pretty minor things. My biggest error was coming off the highway on a downhill off-ramp when I lost my gear for a second, and while I was trying to fix that I missed a couple of traffic checks. I think that was 3 of the eight. I even got both sign quizzes correct – an unmarked bridge clearance and a red parking sign.

After the test I signed some paperwork and immediately went to the DMV. They punched my old class D license with a fancy “VOID” hole punch and handed me my temporary class ABCD license with my N and T endorsements on paper. There ya’ have it folks. I’m officially a truck driver!

image

When a voided license is a good thing... because I'm getting a pretty cool upgrade.

Oh… and… Adam and I accepted a position with a local trucking company, but more on that later. We’re employed and excited to start getting a paycheck again! Well, I’ve got four weeks of school learnin’ still, but after that… hittin’ the road!

Yay!


You know what I love tonight? I’ve said it before… it’s you. Know why? Because you read my rambling, sometimes self-absorbed blog posts and even leave me the nicest and most supportive comments. I can’t tell you how much that fuels me and pushes me to succeed in crazy stuff like long hikes and new careers. So thank you.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

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10 thoughts on “CDL test results and experience

  1. Congratulations! I think I enjoy your adventures (almost) as much ad you do. I expect to host you guys whenever you make your way to soutnern Ohio. You know where we live.

  2. Congratulations Toots! That’s great news!

    I have some good news too. My request for a leave of absence was approved, so I’ll be hiking the PCT in 2015! Woot!

      • Ha Ha. Wasn’t planning to keep a blog. Seems like a lot of work to do it right. I sure have benefited from reading them though. Thanks for doing such a good job with yours! So good I’m still reading….

  3. Robin, your blogs are hilarious and often downright amazing. Who wouldn’t want to read them! Keep ’em coming and never give up on your dreams! ( And I know you won’t of course, Lol)

  4. Woo hoo! You did it! It’s kind of fun when you get behind on blog reading and have to catch up (do you read any blogs, or just write one?) because you get to keep reading the next installment to see what happens! Congratulations on all your hard work paying off.

  5. Hey I like the site was wondering if I can get a full picture of the Class A cdl pre trip I like how you broke it down into sections better then I Did let me know if I can get a full picture of the sheet thanks so much

    God bless

    • I no longer have that sheet, sorry! But the I got it from Fox Valley Tech. If you wanted to contact someone from their trucking school they might be able to help you.

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