What I thought was going to be a slam-dunk, turned out to be a lesson in humiliation.
I have decided to pursue getting my class A CDL drivers license this winter while work is slow. I would legally be able to drive a dump truck, cement truck, or semi, as long as I was not hauling hazardous chemicals, etc.
I decided to take the test driving a clutch vehicle (rather than an automatic) That would give me more options. I called John (someone who offers a short CDL class) on Tuesday.
He asked “Have you ever “double clutched” before?”
“No,” but how hard can that be I thought. My first car had a three in the tree, and at least four of my work trucks over the years have been 4 and 5 speeds, so driving with a clutch should not be too hard…right? 🙂
Just to be safe, I booked a lesson with John using a double clutch.
To use a word picture, if you are driving in the mountains, there is a danger if you use your brakes too much, they will overheat, and quit working. (You won’t have any breaks and won’t be able to stop.
Well, that’s what happened to my brain half way through the lesson last night… John, eventually lost his cool and started to holler. He said I was not paying attention. (I was)
*technical detail here…* when double clutching, instead of pushing the clutch pedal all the way to the floor, you push it 1/2 way, to take it out of gear, then push it 1/2 way down again, as you slip it into the next gear (either higher or lower, depending on what you are doing) If you push the clutch pedal in too far, the clutch goes into “break” mode, do it too often, and you will burn out a clutch.
That is a $2000 repair. (or maybe more)
Learning to driving a semi means learning a whole new set of terms and skills.
Just like wading out into the unfamiliar waters of self-publishing at age 40. Learning the difference between a PDF and Word, the pixel number of your photos, how to upload the file to a publisher…
Or going into teaching at a local community college for the first time at 50. Where you are required to create your own metrics for grading, creating lesson plans, knowing how to handle conflict in a class room with high school students….
Or my favorite… “Attempting” to learn how to roller skate for the first time at age 22 with a group of 8th graders.
We made it back to his shop….finally.
As I processed last night after I got home, I came to the realization, I am again in uncharted waters. What looked simple from the outside, (double clutching and driving a large truck) turns out not to be so simple.
Also came to the conclusion, John could be a better instructor, in terms of explaining things.
I need practice time behind the wheel. Next step is finding someone with a truck I can practice with, (and who is very patient.) 😉
I have been here before.
Growing up, if my dad got really ticked, my hand/ eye coordination driving the tractor with scaffolding would evaporate. No one around, and I was a master.
Cool, calm, crisp, and accurate.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Can you relate?
Tell me your story.