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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    The last month has been interesting.
    It's been the slowest winter for business that we have ever seen.
    We have some friends that own a nearby trucking company and one of their drivers injured a finger back in February.
    They needed someone to help him with tarping and strapping loads so I offered to help.
    The owners told me I have a golden opportunity to get a CDL with this arrangement. They don't train drivers but the injured driver could train me while I'm helping him on the road.
    We are hauling with 18 wheelers using mostly side kits/tarps and low-boy step trailers.
    It's turning out to be pretty interesting work and decided to try for my CDL.

    I've been on overnite runs to NY a number of times already. Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Manchester, Geneseo and a bunch of other towns I don't remember.
    Delivered light poles to the Battery Park renovations near Ground Zero. That was great being on Broadway with an 18 wheeler. We left at 0300 that morning to beat the traffic.
    After jumping through a bunch of hoops with the state of Pa and getting conflicting information from different PennDOT employees, I got all my paperwork lined up, and then took and passed my Class A knowledge test and air brakes test.

    I've been driving on private property for the past few weeks and Monday I start on the public roads.
    Some things are familiar as I've been driving large fire apparatus for awhile but its definitely different with a combination vehicle vs a straight truck.

    The nice thing about this job is that I will have flexible hours to work in the smithy and with the bees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    I always enjoyed driving a truck except for the time away from home, if you are OTR, gets real old real quick.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Sounds great. I have had one since they started them, got grandfathered and didn't have to take the driving test. 8) Personally I can't wait to retire and get rid of this thing. Between the drug screens and physicals it gets old.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    south central ohio
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    I've held a class a since 91. I enjoy it except when I don't...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Quote Originally Posted by oblib View Post
    I always enjoyed driving a truck except for the time away from home, if you are OTR, gets real old real quick.
    Yep, it's a hard life and I wouldn't recommend it to anybody. There's a lot of crazies out there you have to look out for. Plus being lost all the time and hateful receivers and shippers gets old quick. But I always liked the driving part (except for NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, etc.).

    Good luck on your license, but watch out for the other guy!
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    I second Slow Modem. Over 30 years driving, gave it up. Not sorry.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    I've had some good road time since this thread started.
    The down shifting has gotten better so that I don't have as many train wrecks like I first did.


    I feel for you OTR guys and would never want to do that at this stage of my life.
    Fortunately I'm going to be doing local runs within 100 miles or so.
    This is one of the rigs I've been driving.
    I was not wheeling the over sized load.
    The collage was shot while waiting to be loaded at Morton Salt in NY.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,903

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Allen, are you ready to haul some bees? Sometimes I haul small loads on a 22 ft flatbed about 100 miles or so, even that can be an adventure at times. An 18 wheeler full of bees going cross country is more than I can imagine, but certainly there are guys who can do it.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    LOL, no bee hauling for me but our company has done it once in awhile.
    Some of the drivers are doing California and British Columbia runs. That makes for a long day...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Reddick, FL (Ocala)
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Seen every square inch of the continental U.S., mostly at 80+ mph. 10 years, 3 million miles.

    Get your sleep. Period.

    Have the body clock of a five year old 8 years after parking my last ride. Not worth drawing that many comic books.


    Rule #1 to bumper cars, biggest car wins. The knuckleheads out there may bounce off you, if you try to dodge, you will do ten times the amount of damage going sideways. Don't swerve, just find a way to slow down. Sounds rude, difference is perspective of weight. 17 miles north of NY City @3:30 on a Friday afternoon, I swerved and tried to avoid the idiot. My trailer being too wide for the road as it came around me, rode up the guard rail and over the top, bumper being clipped off by North bound traffic and never found, I came to rest against the guardrail with my tractor tandems under it staring down a 150 ft drop. He clipped my steer tire and didn't know it, broke the steer linkage and held on for a ride in the rain, not fun!
    6 months to get the tape out of State of CT's hands and in front of judge, case immediately dismissed from $134,000 damage to light pole and guard rail, plus plus plus.

    Lawyers are expensive, so are fines and tickets. And stay far far away from the lot lizards!!!

    Favorite thing to do was to ask locals, "If I never get back this way again, what is the one thing I have to see here".. Interesting answers sometimes, usually worth a few minutes.

    Wife knows better than to ask me while driving four wheeler where I want to eat, Nebraska (Lincoln) for dessert, pecan pie homemade, Deuce Street for cheese n steak grinder, and Jersey for white pie with spinach and gorgonzola to take home!!

    Always Be Safe, SHINEY SIDE UP, RUBBER SIDE DOWN, Driver!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    That must have been quite a ride...
    Glad you're ok.

    A few days ago we hauled a loaded trailer with side kit to Greenville, NC, met one of the other drivers and swapped his step deck for ours.
    Didn't get to see NC during the daytime but WV looked awesome with all the red bud trees blooming.
    Am having a blast doing this so far.
    And, I have a job.
    My boss feels I'm ready for my test but I still want to practice my backing some more.

    This is what I was hauling today. The tall part is about 9' high.
    Only went 30'ish miles from the sand blaster back to the refurb plant.
    First time driving with that type of load. Felt stable but I still took it easy.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    I will be heading off for my permit early July. Decided to take a course thru the local vocational school here. Should end up with my lic in late august.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Good for you. Hope it all works out.
    I forgot to post an update, passed my CDL test a couple weeks ago.
    Here are some shots of Smokebomb on the job.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Another shot in Camp Hill, Pa with the low-boy trailer before the storms hit this afternoon.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Well passed my permit tests no problem. I guess taking the class paid off. Now its off to the driving portion.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Congratulations.
    One thing I learned is its easy to over-correct when backing.
    Go slow and remember GOAL (get out and look) if you're unsure.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Thanks.

    I have been running my bees back and forth using my 20 foot gooseneck trailer and am quite comfortable backing that up over quarter mile. Actually been practicing that on a curved roadway. The curve is to blind side but its not a sharp curve. I just keep my eyes on the edge of road and keep tires about 3 inches from edge till I am around it at idle speed with my truck. It has 5.13 gearing so idle speed in reverse is literally crawling. Get out and look is most critical. I learned that the hard way with this gooseneck trailer and hitting trees backip up when you cant see much. It takes more time and is a PITA, but then again its a bigger PITA if you back over someone on a bike or pedestrian.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    I was in Ithaca, NY on Thurs morning and went to Bellows Falls, Vt via Bennington and up over Hogback Mtn later that day.
    Went to White River Junction Fri morning and then home.
    Vermont is very picturesque.

    This Engine #405 of the Green Mtn RR in White River Junction.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Allen is it still as exciting as when you first started driving?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Got my Class A CDL learner's permit today

    Sorry I missed your question, I've been working a lot. And my bees didn't get the attention that they should have.
    I still like driving but don't like doing the overnights. That doesn't happen often but being a part-timer I do blacksmithing as soon as I get home for the day.
    And the overnights sort of mess things up.
    We were down several drivers and had an increased work load. Some new drivers were hired and the workload has eased up a bit.
    Here is an early morning iPhone shot of Smokebomb.
    The original was clearer than this one for some reason.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Allen; 11-19-2013 at 11:45 AM.

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