Tomorrow, I get to go take my CDL skills test at 8 AM. Today was all practice leading up to that. We did quite a bit of driving around this morning, and I didn’t know it until after, but my instructor was grading me the entire time. Even without knowing that, and driving like I normally do, I scored a 94%. I lost some points at a railroad crossing because I forgot to put the bus back in gear before closing the door, but that doesn’t bother me, since it was an honest mistake. I also forgot to downshift when going up a steep hill, and that really doesn’t bother me too much, even though I do know better. I am, however, very embarrassed by my other point loss… I changed lanes while I was partially in an intersection to avoid a parked car. I knew damn well that I was changing lanes in the intersection, and I also am always very conscious to avoid it. I think I was just trying to be fluid in my driving and not have to slow down or something, but it still makes me mad that I did it. I guess I can’t be too mad at myself, since I did still get an A.
After the driving, we did a practice run-through on the CDL pre-trip inspection. I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I got 100%, and did it in 22 minutes (out of 30 allowable minutes). My biggest concern so far has been whether or not I would be able to remember the whole pre-trip, and it looks like I should have no problems tomorrow.
Then, it was on to the maneuverability test. I only got docked one point on my right-turn, and missed zero on the reverse serpentine. The alley dock has never been my friend, and I missed three points on that… one for going outside the imaginary line, one for taking a pull-up, and one for not being far enough back. I think when I go to take my test tomorrow, I am just going to make a super-half-assed attempt at the alley dock, rather than worrying about it. As long as I get it somewhat inside, I would only lose 2 points or so. On the parallel park, I only lost one point, for taking a pull-up to get my vehicle inside the box. I was maybe 6 inches outside, so I basically had the choice of losing a point on the encroachment, or losing a point on the pull-up. I think my mindset tomorrow will be to just avoid the pull-ups unless I absolutely have to. I can lose up to 14 points before failing the maneuverability, though, so I really don’t think I have too much to worry about.
I just wish that all of my hard work today would count for my skills test so that I wouldn’t have to go do it all again tomorrow. All I have to do, though, is be in the same mindset tomorrow, and I should have my CDL before noon. And that would just make for a very happy day for a very happy Mikey.