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Travel Tips - Fuel Prices Everyone has travel tips. Share and discuss yours here with the rest of the group.

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  #11  
Old 07-16-2010
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WTarrier WTarrier is offline
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a few years in construction driving various types of trucks and a lot of years driving fire apparatus helped me feeling comfortable with the Bird, but something new gave me some newfoud confidence.
For the fire department, we are now required to pass a "driver rodeo" every year. The instructor/evaluator is a member of the department and a long time sheriff deputy/crash investigator. I felt pretty confident of my abilities, but a couple of tips he gave me has increased both my abilities and confidence level.
First, when going forward, don't begin a turn until the rear axle is at the point of the turn. so, when turning a corner, watch until the drive axle is at the corner then begin the turn. Takes all the guesswork out of it.
When doing the backing through a serpentine course, I always worried about hitting the markers with the front of the truck. He told me, then proved to me, that if you hug the side, cut hard when the drive axle clears the obstacle, the front will miss everything. And it does!!! What a concept.
Practice helps, but finding someone who has driven somehting large, who is also a techer (not a screamer) is invaluable.
Good luck with it.
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2010
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Sask,

Thanks for asking,
All these tips and reminders are valuable to all of us,
Only thing different I can add is to read the CDL manual available at your Sec of State or DMV. Log 2000 slow miles, this will built confidence.
Get a part time job at the local school bus garage, knock over a few mailboxes, and in one school semester you will be an excellent driver.
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2010
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WestySKPs WestySKPs is offline
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Hi Suska,

Disclaimer: You probably have more windshield time than we do.

Mary and I do not have a toad, so driving our bird has mostly been a solo deal, with the other following or leading in the chase vehicle. Mary was on the phone with me quite a bit the first 100 miles we had the coach (I was just waiting for one of those 15-y-old tires to go pinwheel-shaped), telling me how I was doing, giving me direction, encouragement. Mary is a much better driver than I am and has nerves of steel: She kept me relaxed. Having a second set of eyes outside the bus has also helped us begin to learn how it turns and where "between the lines" really is.

MnM
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1990 WLWB - "The TARDIS"
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  #14  
Old 07-16-2010
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oh yes, great tip. Time your turns by your back wheels, you'll get the hang of it real fast.

I was supposed to get driving lessons from the PO, but when I went to pick my bus up from the diesel shop that took all my money, he said "I'm playing golf, you can handle it. Just man up."

I ended up driving her home with no preparation. Did okay too.

Only thing I hit was a stop sign. Pretty much ended that stop sign's career though. Made a heck of a racket too.
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  #15  
Old 07-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pape View Post
Sask,

Thanks for asking,
All these tips and reminders are valuable to all of us,
Only thing different I can add is to read the CDL manual available at your Sec of State or DMV. Log 2000 slow miles, this will built confidence.
Get a part time job at the local school bus garage, knock over a few mailboxes, and in one school semester you will be an excellent driver.
Boy, does that ever bring back memories. Just out of college with a fresh diploma and no job. Got a job doing substitute school bus driving. Early in my short career as a bus driver, I had the route that is way out gravel roads where we meet with the next district. So I needed to turn around in a driveway. I didn't know the "proper" method yet (pass the drive, back into the drive and pull out onto the road), so I pulled into the drive frontwards and proceeded to back onto the road. I knew there was a post with about 6 mailboxes back there somewhere, but the kids (middle school age) were all in the back of the bus yelling "You are clear, lots of room, c'mon back" Boy, did I feel good , all those eyes helping me. I continued back until I heard a rather sickening crunch, followed by a lot of cheering from the little brats.
When I got back to the bus garage, I sheepishly went in to the transportation superintendants office, expecting to be royally chewed for hitting the mailboxes. I told him what happende, he asked which route I had driven then got a big grin on his face. I remember his exact words. "Don't tell me those little pricks backed you straight in to the mailboxes!" Yep. I asked if he wanted me to go out and repair the post (id was dead of winter) and he replied "#### no-let their parents fix it. Maybe they'll stop the little pricks from doing it again"
But I never forgot him teaching me the correct way to turn a big vehicle around.
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  #16  
Old 07-16-2010
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Thanks everyone for your tips!!!!
I am going to print these out and "study" them.
When I bought the coach from Heck Man I pulled out of a Cabella's parking lot and drove the first 250 miles from PA to Ma. Some where along the line (from spending time as a co-pilot), My confidence has dwindled

Thanks again for the info.....as the little Engine That Could said.......
I think I can , I think I can.....I think I can!!!!
Any one want to go for a ride
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2010
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Suska,
I also find I am less confident than I was. I think it is a mater of starting out with the 'I can do anything' attitude. Then you scrub the tires or enter a turn a little fast, and you get a 'wake up' call.

So the more I drive it, the more situations I experience, the more I experience it's size and weight and stopping power, the more respect I have for it. So it isn't really a loss of confidence as it is a process of gaining true control rather than assumed control. It demands constant attention rather than partial. But it is doable, just take it slow and easy. Pull over when you need a break. No rush
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2010
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Suska, If you drove it home you just need to get back in the left chair and do it. Lots of good tips given. Put that left front wheel where it needs to be, take your time and watch the mirrors. One thing I had to learn when I bought the PT was the position of the go pedal and the stop pedal. Seems like I had a problem getting the foot on the go when I wanted to stop. I learned to take my foot over and touch the steering column and that way I knew I was on the brake. I don't remember that problem with the FC.
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2010
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John,
I will have that problem (hitting the brake and catching the acellerator pedal at the same time) with the FC if I am not wearing small shoes. Work boots and hiking boots are out.
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  #20  
Old 07-16-2010
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Socks for me
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