My On-The-Road Training Ends And It's Home To My Family

by Peter Jr

Hello TruckingTruth Fam! I'm sorry I've been slacking on writing for the site. On the road, internet was hard to come by, and when I got home, my days were all about my wife, my beautiful twins (which are gigantic now, I'll go into that more later on) bar-b-ques, and ice cold Shiner Bock beer, which by the way, is possibly the best beer in the world. It was hard to sit down in front of the computer when so many wonderful things are around you.

Right now, I'm sitting in Hutchins, TX at the terminal. We just got our truck. But before I go into the here and now, let me do a little recap for you guys with all the fun stuff that happened after orientation. I had to wait a bit on my trainer to show up, which you can read about in my last blog. When he finally got into town, we did a nice little meet and greet with each other. It lasted all of 45 seconds. I loaded my stuff onto the truck, and we headed down and did some backing practice for a little bit, then BAM! On the road. I was out for 48 days, which was interesting. My trainer was a pretty nice guy, but after spending that much time with a stranger, it got a little…um…. Well it pretty much sucked. That long in a shoe box with a person who's the polar opposite of you can get a little strange. I started to pick up a southern drawl. Strange.

We ran mostly northeast states down to southern states and back. No California runs. I know driving a big truck through California can be a pain in the ass, but man did I want those miles! Just didn't happen. I think the farthest west we ended up getting was Salt Lake City, Utah. We were able to get a ton of shorter runs though, which made great pay checks, so I didn't complain.

I learned a lot on my first time out. People from Chicago are born rude. I walked into a pilot and accidently stepped on a little kid's shoe, and caught an ear full about how I need to watch my back. This kid was no more than 11 years old. In retrospect, I should have knocked him out, but I just apologized and laughed pretty hard. I'm pretty sure I could have taken that kid. I don't care where he's from.

Another thing learned is that soccer moms can't drive. It's hard to pay attention to that gigantic semi on the side with 3 screaming kids in the back, sipping a vanilla frappacino, and talking on the cell phone. I guess when they buy a big ass child transporter, they think they own the road. Erg! In addition to soccer moms, Greyhound busses aren't fun to drive by either. But man, those guys haul some serious ass! I don't know how fast they can go, but kudos to you Greyhound drivers out there for being able to go 70 in high traffic. Just try to keep your lane when you come up next to me.

I saw a lot of crazy accidents on the road, and there were some really gruesome ones. I'll spare the details, but it involved fire. A lot of fire. peterjr.jpg

After I finished up all of my driving segments (my company requires 35 driving segments, which all had to be over 4 hours) we caught a load back to the Lone Star state, caught some sleep, and took my student upgrade test. After all the driving we did, it was really hard to fail. I knocked that out and hopped a super-speed race bus home. When I finally got to San Antonio, my wife, sister, and brother in-law met me at the bus station. That was great! It was an amazing feeling to actually see my family instead of just talking to them on the phone. My mom was watching the kiddos, so I wanted to get home as soon as possible. When we finally pulled up, my mother greeted me outside with my son in her arms. My boy was gigantic! He had to put on 5 pounds. When I left, he was just a little guy. My twins were born at 3 pounds 7 ounces. They were super little. And now, to come home and see this little mini linebacker; it was great. My daughter must have been eating the same things, because she was just as big. Also, when I left they acted like newborns. No laughing, no giggling. Just eat, sleep and poop. But now, it's so easy for me to hear the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. All I have to do is smile at them, and like magic, I hear my children crack up. It's great.

In this career, I know I'm going to miss a lot of things, but I just keep having to remind myself what I'm doing this for. I'm driving to be able to afford to put those giggling babies into college. To make a better life for the little miss. So this damn economy doesn't make us have to stand in the bread line. And thanks to the wonderful Ms. Tumbleweed sending us a web cam, I can see all the moments I might have missed.

Now its time to go pack all my stuff into my 2008 Freightliner Colombia, catch some sleep, and get sent out on my first run without a trainer. Wish me luck, and pray for everyone else on the road! Just kidding. Safe travels!

-Peter Jr

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
by Brett Aquila

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