AH! Monday after Christmas.

by Collin Barnette
(Visalia, CA)

Well, back to it today, and a very positive day it has been. Everybody had a great Christmas and the spirit is still with us.

More of the same today, practice those skills. The "Air brake systems check" and Pre-trip walk around. Hey, the more you do it the better it is instilled in the brain. With all my mechanical aptitude the one thing that is the hardest for me is ?Pre-trip Inspection". I don't know what the block is. Maybe it's just getting the thoughts right about what can leak and what should simply be secure. I know the parts and see them in my minds eye but the trick is to identify the part and verbalize what your eyes should be seeing. The DMV examiner has the list and is checking off those items. Luckily I get several trucks to practice on every morning.

Let's not forget the skills of parallel parking and the dreaded alley dock. Today we got to practice these as well. Why would you want to parallel park a semi? Well, the DMV examiner needs to know that you are in control of that truck and this is one of the ways to demonstrate it. Alley Docking consists of a 90 degree right angle backing to a dock. Sound simple? Just Wait. I have a little experience but this is something you want to get a lot of practice at. Trust me it is very humbling to say the least.

Work with your classmates and pay attention to the instructors and all be well. I know I have been critical of the schools structure and the casual style of the instructors, but I see the error of my ways. The goal is to get us to the truck and use it as a tool to build and reinforce the skills we are all there to acquire. My little bit of passed experience is nothing compared to learning a truck and trailer combination and how to handle them the right way. There is no substitute for learning from an individual who has been out there on the big road.

Secure, all mounting bolts present and tight, no cracks, no leaks, stay positive and have a great day!


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Dec 30, 2008
the pre-trip inspection
by: thecrazytrucker

lol, yeah, i remember when I first jumped on the pre-trip inspection. I couldn't remember all that stuff to save my life.

I used to just be making up parts. lol
Like you said though eventually, it sticks!

I did know what a block was though! So I can imagine the pre-trip seeming even more of a task for someone who didn't.

But you'll get it in a week.

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