A person's portfolio of automotive experiences should contain more than just family vehicles and the occasional sports car. That's why our list of 1,001 Automotive Things To Do Before You Die includes driving all sorts of different vehicles. So far we've driven drift vehicles, off-roaders and even tanks, and there are many more interesting conveyances we still want to sample.

One that's been on our list since the show's beginning is driving a big rig truck. We all pass these beasts of burden on the highway and probably don't give them a second thought, except maybe to question why one is blocking our way on the one day we're late for work.

Still, these many-wheeled machines account for the bulk of shipping that occurs in the US, and there's an army of highly trained drivers who pilot the nation's fleet. You can't just step out of your Ford Explorer and into the driver's seat of a big rig; you need schoolin' first.

We sent Jessi and Patrick to Southern California's Dootson School of Trucking, and because we had high hopes our two pupils could be taught to drive a big rig on public roads, before school started they were required to pass a Commercial Drivers License written permit test, as well as receive a physical and drug test as ordered by the Department of Transportation. With that out of the way, their lesson could begin.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is honestly one of the hardest things that I had to ever learn. Especially when you are coming from a much smaller vehicle. My instructor was intense, but helpful. I not only have a new found respect for truck drivers, but I feel that I am learning something that most people are not interested. I have always been respectful of them and I am courteous. As a student driver, I was taught the same exact way, minus the fact that I was driving a sleeper with a 53' trailer on 5 axles. Plus, My instructor was intense. As I learned more from him, I understood why he was so hard on us (mostly me being a former city-boy). He just wanted to get the bad habits out of us as quickly as possible. I have learned that there is no rush. Your job is to only get it there safely and not damage the product. Also, you are looking out for jackasses who seem to have a deathwish. I think having a camera on the dashboard, rear trailer and mirrors, are an excellent idea. Throw a sticker on the trailer warning other motorists that there is a camera watching them if they are too close, attempt to pass on the right, make sudden stops when no one is in front of them and driving wrecklessly. I have driven exotic cars and land-yachts and ricers, but this is on a totally different level.
      Erica Arvizu
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would like to say this is one of my favorite episode, women truckers rock!!! Nothing personal guys! :) Good Job Jessi for never drivin a Big Rig before you too Patrick. Wow you guys went on the Freeway!!! Keep on Truckin...
      G37S
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have never driven a big rig,yet I know it is much different than driving a normal truck. They need more room to stop and turn,also it takes them more time to leave the light,people in cars need to realize this and stop being idiots around trucks. My dad has been a trucker for more than 36yrs,has taken me on trips with him,and instilled in me that you have to respect the big rigs. I give rigs room to turn on surface streets,and slow down or move over on the highway to allow them to pass slower moving traffic in their lane. I also never drive in their blind spot - rule of thumb is if you can see them in their side mirror,they can see you and if you cannot see them,they cannot see you -,or drive very close to the back end of one.
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am not a fan of this reality show
      J0HN ViGgi Y0
      • 1 Year Ago
      you can teach yourself to driver a tractor trailer,but going forward and backing up is one thing ,but driving in heavy truck car traffic ,and crazy other drives ,and underpasses,is the real deal good luck,i drove 40 years in nj ,ny,pa,conn, nyc,and the 5 boros ,1% fun and 99% YOUR JOB .
      Brutal
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's a lot more to driving a rig than putting it in first and getting it rolling down the road. Anyone can do that. All the other stuff you have to do in one is where it gets a little tricky. To get really good can take some drivers years. So, when you are out there mixing it up with the big rigs on the highway, try and remember that probably 2 or 3 out of 4 of those rigs have a driver who is not a master of the rig.
      j1935waspm
      • 1 Year Ago
      Been there, done that. Biggest problem for drivers of the big rigs is motorists who don't respect how big they are. they will cut you off, pull into spaces that you are leaving between you and the vehicle ahead. It is really harrowing for the drivers of the big rigs.
      colokern
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thanks for keeping the big rigs mechanic working, just kidden. it takes time and practise to down shift smoothly. Keep on truckin!!!!!!!!!!!!
      trs51061
      • 1 Year Ago
      got along way to go and a short time to get im 18 wheels and rolling, to those of you who remember the movie ,keep on truckin
      reevesmrkr
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have driven a truck for almost 17 years, and have been in every major city except Miami and S.F. This video brought back many memories, and made me laugh. Everyone should give it a try.
      Dan Bowkley
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's one helluva steep learning curve, and it never really stops either. I'll hit a million career miles this year and I'm still learning new stuff here and there. Thanks for opening some fourwheelers' eyes to life up here!
      Dans AOL
      • 1 Year Ago
      Haven driven 2.5 million career miles since 1987 hauling all kinds of goods from high value clothing on hang in a set of pups to 8 ft tall rolls of paper, from aluminum sows to make engines for your cars to coiled aluminum going to Reynolds to what ever you could get in a dry van traileror a reefer , I was still learning till my type 2 diabetes finally took me out of a CMV for good. I remember like it was yesterday driving a single stack Pete suicide cabover with a 225silver 72 v6 screaming Detriot Diesel and a 6 speed spicer, no power steering or a/c, just heat all the time. The fun part was having to parelle park that bugger in front of the Rockbottom Drugs Store on 38th ave in Jackson Heights Queens, then spend 3-6 hours unloading the truck on rollers . best job I ever had was pulling USPS for a company that contracted to the US Postal Service 1 round trip from Springfield LNDC to Kearny NJ LNDC paid 25.50 an hr, 8.75 hrs a day weather I worked them or not and usually only worked 8 hrs max, Tue. through Sat. and on saturday it would take 6 hrs max to do te round trip unless there was a Yankees game or something going on at the Meadow Lands