Started my Cat C Training Today - CPC Mod 4 Passed 02/07

As title says today was the day. Luckily for me my training hours are 11am - 3pm , when i say lucky I work late shifts so im not a early riser never have been and never will be ! My test is on Thursday next week.

Im training in a Scania which has a 4 over 4 manual gearbox. I found I much preferred this truck to the Mercedes Atego? I did my assessment in, nicer gearbox (still had troubles) a lot more comfier to be in and drive etc

My instructor is great, really nice to get on with, can have a good laugh but he is firm when needs to be which is good, its good to have someone who makes you feel relaxed yet is firm enough to tell you straight when and where you are going wrong I believe.

We had a chat about CPC, and general truck related stuff, all the controls, workings, do’s and don’ts, the weather was terrible lashed it down on and off all day. Out on the drive everything was fine but as with the Merc I soon started having troubles finding gears. Once you were in 2nd it was fine, 3rd, into 4th, then once id flicked the switch 5th seemed impossible to locate, all i got was a grinding of hitting the reverse gear, or a crash in revs as i put it into 7th :laughing: This happened continuously through the drive though i did manage to locate 5th successfully on a few occasions but then once id stopped at roundabouts etc 2nd started being a sod to find, i found i had to put the clutch up and down once or twice and it dropped straight in, strange one.

I had a couple of close calls, again mainly due to struggling with the gears i brushed a roundabout on my side, and had 2 in a row where some prat come off a slip road, decided he was going to let me change lanes (dual carriageway) he hung back for a second then decided he didnt want to and put his boot down :unamused: shortly up the road had a foreign driver practically dumped his truck half in a bustop half out of it and i about clashed mirrors with it as i passed it as the gap was tight.

In general once i was up to speed, moving and had got through the gears I was fine, things only got hairy when it came to roundabouts, (not everytime) where i struggled to get it into correct gear ( or id simply forgot what gear I was in pulled it out of gear and then couldnt work out what to drop it down into :unamused: :laughing: ) which meant it either shook the truck like mad as it struggled not to stall or lurched with high revs, by the time id found the gear id totally cocked up my position and was too far over one side of the lane then obviously due to fighting with the gears all mirror checks went out the window !

Monday Ive got half day driving and half day mod 4 training, should be better weather and hoping I can master the gearbox cause if i can master it then i think everything else should fall into place :slight_smile:

Sounds to me like to need to come to terms with the gearbox before you get involved in the likes of roundabouts. A quiet industrial estate is where you should be until you’re at least 80% with the gearchange. As you realise, nothing will be right till you can change gear.

All the best, Pete :laughing: :laughing:

Who is your instructor at DATA ACADEMY … John, Roger, Darren ?

Chris I have

It will come together I feel, one minute I was okay and the next I just fell to bits :lol:

My confidence grew rapidly throughout the day though I forgot to mention, at the start I was being told to get my speed up quicker but that soon changed to keep an eye on it :lol:

Sounds like me lol, it will come to you,i practised approach in my head using my arm to change gear when no one home . My overall problem was approaching roundabout to quick.good luck !

At least im not alone lol

I think maybe i need to slow things down a little, plan ahead more but i feel it will come. Setting off im fine once im in 2nd, i block change 2nd, 4th, flick the switch, neutral 5th etc… I think when id been in one gear for a set amount of time, chatting to the instructor and watching everything going on around me i soon forgot what gear I was in as daft as it sounds ! Just need to work on getting it into 2nd/5th on Monday without too much of a struggle. Makes me wonder in an auto I reckon id ■■■■ it in just a few days, its only the gears holding me back at the minute mainly. :slight_smile:

On most 4 over 4’s, 2nd and fifth would be straight back and straight forward from the “at rest” position. Try gripping it less, as they never respond well to a fight! Of course if the rubber bushes are worn, it will be harder to find the gears.

Chris I have

I hope you have been taking the tablets :laughing: - Tell Chris that ROG says that :smiling_imp:

What tablets?

Day 2 was today 30/06

Im doing 11 - 3pm and on my own as the other candidate does the morning 4 hours.

Drove around 11 till 1pm then back to base for CPC training until 3pm

A pretty shocking drive up to the reverse practice place about half an hour away. Had literally no troubles getting 5th today after flicking the switch bar i think one occasion, but coming to a stop, trying to get 2nd was like trying to stir solid concrete. Over to the left and down, nothing, back into neutral, try again, nothing, up and down with the clutch, there she is oh no thats 4th, tried again and managed to get 2nd.

If it went in first time then i was finding 8 times out of 10 or so I was in 4th which then created another issue - if i was on a slight incline stopped at a roundabout or lights, i got it into 2nd (or so i thought) handbrake off went for the pull away, and because i was doubting it was in second i was being too gentle with the clutch and too harsh on the revs making for a kangaroo pull off (if it was in second) and then a crash in revs as it barely kept itself going or stalled (if it was in 4th) because if it was in 4th and i treated as if it was in second then it would stall. This happened on route to the reverse area, to the point where i got so caught up at a roundabout in keeping an eye open for opportunity to go and wondering if i was in second, when i finally got moving i went straight over the roundabout instead of turning left - even though my left indicator was on… doh :confused: :unamused:

After a bit of an ear bashing for that we soon got to the reverse area, went in, spoke about the drive so far and both agreed it wasnt good. I was showed the ropes with the reverse. Got into position, had a bash at it with guidance managed it first time even though i was too far over one side a bit. Had another 2 attempts off my own back which went well, think I managed it okay but the final one I ended up having to take a shunt because i ended up too far over to the left ( I believe I wasnt quick enough returning the steering straight once id started to bring it round)

We left the reverse area to head back to base for the Mod 4 CPC training with another candidate. Again got out of the reverse area, went through the gears fine, got to the first roundabout and theres sort of space half way across the roundabout which was on a red light, I wasnt sure whether to go or not as i didnt want my back end sticking out on a live roundabout, instructors telling me to go as it was clear but i soon didnt have to worry about as i had 2nd gear go walkies again as i stopped at the roundabout because i almost stalled it and because of traffic coming from the right. Went for a second go thought i was in second, went to go and it spluttered as it was in 4th then im being told to stop because of a car coming, i tried for second again and it rolled back, so put the handbrake on and could not get it into second, the instructor give it two firm yanks and in it went - by this point the nose of the truck is sticking out onto the roundabout :unamused: :confused:

I had same issue again by base, stopped at junction waiting to turn right, wouldnt go into second until a few attempts later.

Managed to reverse it in the tight gap down the middle of two buildings , gateways etc, reversing I seem to have no issue with. I think whats going to knacker me come test day is the gears, because once the gears go ■■■■ up then everything else follows suit, positioning, mirror checking, blindspot, even direction, you get so caught up in trying to get the f*cker into gear everything else goes out the window.

Still im a believer, and i try and remain positive and ill continue to try. See what tomorrow brings. :slight_smile:

Isn’t there a gear indicator on the dash to confirm the gear you’re in?

Sounds like the gears are the main issue.

All the best, Pete :laughing: :laughing:

Being really honest, it sounds like you are driving a bit of a shed which isn’t helping. Two things come to mind:

In many trucks you can pull away in 3rd if you are only partially loaded and careful and you might consider asking if you can try this. (You will definitely need 2nd for hill starts though.)

Try making sure the rev counter is right down to idle before trying, then try going as if you are going for first, just far enough to find the gate, then straight back into 2nd.

Hang in there! Is it a Iveco by any chance?

Is it a Iveco by any chance?

Nothing wrong with a well maintained Iveco.

The truck in question does sound as though it’s seen better days.

Such are the joys of an unregulated industry - but I’m not going to start on that one again!

Pete :laughing: :laughing:

its a Scania 240, and funny i did think the same thing, if there was a gear indicator on the dash it would save the drama. Ill stick at it though, tomorrows another day :slight_smile:

it sounds like you are driving a bit of a shed

I can guarantee they are not sheds but its possible that something has gone a little amiss recently mechanically but if it has then it will be sorted asap - usually the same day

Rik, the owner of DATA, is a perfectionist when it comes to all of his business especially anything mechanical

georgy - has Chris done a quick demo to show you all is well? - if not then ask him to do so and he will

ROG , something I might suggest tomorrow, either that or im going to ask if i can play with getting it into 2nd/5th for a few minutes to get a feel for where they are. Ive just remembered driving around the reverse area into 2nd, i got into position, into reverse fine, did the manouvre then when i went to pull off again, took me a few attempts to get it into second. Probably just me though. :laughing:

I still fairly new to this, but are you approaching the junction to fast to start with, I try and always get pupils to go from 8th down to 7th then 5th and just before you stop flick the range down then straight back to second.
Most important thing don’t panic and try and take your time which means taking it slowly at first.

Keep at it and good luck.



Nervous as hell aswell, i was fine Friday on my first day, relaxed and chilled about it all, I felt today like I was on my test. See what tomorrow brings. CPC Mod 4 test Wednesday morning too. :slight_smile:

Assuming the vehicle is fine, then you probably need to slow yourself down and give yourself time to think. It takes a while for a range change to become second nature. In the meantime, it will win if you rush it.

I’ve never heard of problems with a Data vehicle so I expect that’s where the problem lies.

All the best, Pete :laughing: :laughing:

I used to suffer with anxiety really bad about 4 years ago after a nasty complicated relationship breakup and tonights brought it all back, sitting here with the resting heart rate of a serial killer, sweaty palms :laughing:

You have my sympathy- it can be a bit stressful! I was a bit like that at the beginning too, and somehow I got C and C+E behind me. So don’t give up.

It took me a while to realise that you can’t drive a lorry at car speeds, and the aim of training is not to learn to drive a lorry fast! Sounds stupid now, but it’s a journey of realisation that many of us have had to go on! So all I can say is relax, sod anyone behind you, they aren’t responsible for roughly 12t of metal and you are.

Something that helped me calm down was going for a McDonalds* before training and chilling out on my own a bit.

All the best for tomorrows lesson, and keep asking questions here; this forum is great for free advice and it certainly helped me.

  • other fast food outlets are available