Trucking School ends with the DMV Drive Test

by Collin Barnette
(Visalia, Ca)

I did it. I took my driving test at the DMV the other day , passed with flying colors and was awarded my Commercial Drivers License with all the endorsements, doubles and triples, tankers and of course Hazardous Materials.

I saw a couple of questions about shifting here a while back. I will only say that the DMV Examiner does not really care how you go about shifting. Double clutch, clutch out and slide in or don?t use the clutch at all. All they are concerned about is that you have control of the truck. Meaning you are in the right gear for the weight and speed.

I got hours of practice at the school in several different trucks and in all kinds of traffic and on many types of roadways, in town and out, freeway and two-lane. Once I felt I was ready, off to the DMV for my drive test. I am not really the type to be nervous but this day I admit I was just a touch on the anxious side. But once I put that truck into gear and pulled out into traffic it was just another drive.

The drive test lasted about one hour. We started out in town and made some starts and stops. Merging traffic and yielding to merging traffic. Then out onto the freeway and more maneuverings, keeping to my lane and to show that I
was using the mirrors and could keep a safe following distance. What was the clearance of that last over crossing? Yep they ask you that too. Out of town and on to some two lanes, across some railroad tracks and through some school zones. The examiner wants to see that you are making those traffic checks, watching for oncoming trains and pedestrians. A stop on a clear up hill to talk about the elements of upgrade and downgrade driving is included. The examiner asked about the placement of safety triangles in both situations.

They want you to able to explain and demonstrate how you would approach a steep downhill grade.

?I will start looking for a safe place to pull clearly over to the side of the road and check my brakes?. ?After I check my brakes I will get back in my truck, check traffic and then safely pull out onto the road?. ?Before going downhill I will select the proper gear?. ?While going downhill I will not use the clutch or accelerator and I will use controlled braking?.

In all it was a good drive, covering a fare variety of traffic conditions and situations.

Next week I am off to start orientation and training at Werner Enterprises in Fontana, Ca. so watch for my post. And if you have any specific questions get them in and I will do my best to answer them.

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Nov 03, 2009
How Long did it Take?
by: Bob

Hey Collin,

Congrats! How long did it take to complete the training? Was that at a community college? And, from start to finish, how long did it take from when you started talking with the state and college to when you were able to start driving for a living?

Thanks for the info...bob

Apr 04, 2009
Collin be a trucker!
by: Jimmy

Great news Collin. Was wondering where you went. Keep in touch, no quitting, continue on with the process. Follow through, stick it out, be the best damn trucker, deal with whatever they throw at you, no job hopping. Stand tall...... Jimmy

Mar 31, 2009
Congradulations on your successful completion
by: Hervy

Collin congratulations on getting er done. Thanks for blogging about the experience. We hope you will return and let us know things are going at Werner.

Hope it is all you expect.

Take care,

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