Friday, September 9, 2016

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A few days ago, I passed the Behind the Wheel test, driving a rear engined Schoolbus. It was my 3rd attempt. The first time I ran over a curb on a corner. The next time I made far too many errors. This time I got through though I did lose points for braking sharply. I'd not anticipated a light turning red and had 200 feet to bring the bus to a standstill from 45mph. I managed it!

The test was thorough and involved crossing two railway lines, joining a 4 lane road from the far side correctly, maintaining the correct speed and turning right and left corners while keeping the back wheels on the road and not touching the curb. There was a right hand reverse where I gained more penalties for starting too wide but I brought it under control and ended a foot from the curb both front and rear and just behind the stop sign. The final part was an emergency pull over. I'm glad that parking the bus at the depot wasn't part of the test. I managed to park one rear wheel on the grass.

So, I can now drive a bus but I have work left to do to pass the CDL part of the test. This involves a 45 minute inspection of the bus in great detail. I gather there's parallel parking involved too.

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