I am on a road to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This time I get an exclusive behind the scenes opportunity to speak with instructors at the SouthWest Truck Driving school and truck drivers and logistics people behind NASCAR. I learn about how CDL schools operate, what’s expected of the students, and how a major NASCAR race and season come together.
This opportunity was made possible thanks to PEAK Coolant and BlueDEF.
On this episode, I get to drive a new Freightliner semi truck and a standard 53-foot trailer with one of the certified CDL instructors. Driving a 73-foot long combinations vehicle that can be loaded to 80,000 lbs requires training, hands-on experience, and lots of concentration. It starts with the way you get in and out of the truck, the way you inspect the vehicle inside and out, and much more.
The truck I am driving in this video is equipped with an automated manual transmission. The instructors tell me that over 75% of big truck fleets use automated manual transmissions. This is a good way to learn, and it is a good way to get a job working for a large freight company. It’s also a stepping stone to become an independent owner/operator of your own truck.
While I had a great time behind the wheel, and successfully navigated a short route – I still failed to stop five feet before a stop sign. Check out the video below for all the details.