I hadn’t got around to writing a post about days 1 and 2 of trucking school since I was swamped with homework after being dismissed. But I managed to finish what homework I had for tonight with enough time left over to write up a post. So here’s a breakdown of how Commercial Driving School has gone so far.
Day 1 was just like any other first day of any other school. It’s all about getting to know the instructor and any other students you will be learning with. Well, that was made easy since there is only one other student taking the class with me.
We filled out paperwork, went over informational packets, reviewed the course curriculum, and got right into it. Right off the bat, we were assigned 4 chapters of a 35-chapter course book teaching everything from Pre-Trip Inspections to Maneuvering. Our instructor also had us watch some YouTube videos about crashes in commercial vehicles to give us an idea of what we may face on the road.
After 8 hours of book work and introductions, the class was over, and I headed home to finish up what homework was assigned, and went to bed because I was exhausted. After all, it’s been 9 years since I’ve sat in a classroom!
Ohhh, day 2… Things got a bit interesting on Day 2. We started off in the classroom going over the previous nights homework. We watched some informational videos on truck motors, pre-trips, and shifting. Then we started in on some book work. 4 chapters assigned again for the day.
Once it was time for lunch, our instructor told us to meet him at the driving pad afterwards to go over how to pre-trip on an actual truck. He told us that we would be getting dirty, so wear something you won’t mind getting grease, oil, and dirt on.
Right on. It’s about time we got down and dirty.
Lunch is over, and we head to the driving pad which is about 3 miles from the actual classroom at the main college campus. Nice place. Horrible once the sun sets because it’s right next to a marshy/swampy area, which in South Florida translates to mosquito hell. And since winter just started, that means it gets dark at 5:30-6:00pm… Well we arrived at the pad at 5:00pm.
We start going over the pre-trip inspection very thoroughly. Everything is properly mounted and secured; nothing cracked, bent, or damaged; working properly as intended. Great. Easy enough.
Fast forward 30 minutes, and the instructor says we can go home because the bugs are just too bad. Get home, shower, change clothes, nurse the mosquito bites, and hit the bed.
Today was a real doozie. We arrive at the classroom and our instructor greets us. We get right into going over the classwork and homework from the day prior, and all is swell. Well, apparently not so much. One of the students at the pad calls our instructor and says that the pad instructor hadn’t shown up today. This now means that our instructor must go to the pad and do driving instruction since the two students at the pad were doing their final CDL test tomorrow. So we tag along and ride in the truck learning what these students had already learned.
Alley docks, blindside parking, parallel parking, offside right and left parking, straight line backing. All kinds of wonderful maneuvers. Then we got to ride in the back as the driving students went on a road test with the instructors. Learned all about downshifting, upshifting, emergency stopping, double-clutching, etc.
Overall, the day could’ve gone much worse. We may not have learned the 4 chapters of the book as was planned, but the day was not wasted. I was thoroughly impressed with the students’ handling of the trucks. They did not drive like rookies, which meant that the instructors had been doing their jobs.
The day ended, I went home, and now here I sit writing this post. I eagerly look forward to what tomorrow has to bring.