Randy's Truck Driving School - Day 9

by rbradyjohnsen

I think the argument with my husband on Monday night was a good thing...it helped diffuse the building tension. I think he was cracking a little under the pressure (me too). ;) In spite of a slight crisis of confidence, he's doing much better today. When he is so stressed and behaving differently, it's stressful for me. Our life really has been turned upside-down here. Talking to him at the end of the day helps each of us maintain a tiny sense of normalcy, and we had a lovely, long conversation tonight.

- Randy is so relieved he's finally being properly trained by a "real" trucking company after the "weirdo outfit" (as Brett called it) he worked for up until 2 months ago (besides owning our business). Here's an interesting post in the trucking forum.

- He was out on the road again today, practicing shifting and turns. They've been driving around an industrial park and haven't been in "real" city traffic yet. He said the instructor yells at them like a drill sergeant while they drive, then is friendly and joking when they stop. That method must work, or he wouldn't do it. ? Randy said it's kind of weird when he has to verbalize all road hazards as he's driving.

- None of the guys is getting any sleep there (too wound up). The "snorer" (from Day 8) was so worried about causing more trouble that he slept on a couch in the t.v. room down the hall. Then the guy who had kicked the bed and started the fight was snoring himself last night!

- There is an amusing rumor that they have a right to go home every three weeks, and that it's illegal to keep them away from home longer than that. That's so silly. Maybe they'll get a spa weekend too. J (P.S. Whenever he gets to come home, I will be thrilled and relieved to see him!)

- Over 5000 people a week are applying just at this company! Obviously they're not all accepted, but they keep having huge, record-breaking class sizes. It makes me wonder how will there be enough work for all the drivers they are graduating?

- Current CDL holders DO have to re-take the driving tests, just like everyone else. But they are usually the first to test out of there. The instructors call those people "Hard Copies". Some of the students walking out last week left because they hadn't done their research and were shocked by the low starting pay.

I like doing these updates...it makes me feel like a reporter, like my daughter. But I need to start taking better care of myself. As hard as you think this will be, it's even harder. All the stress has made me lose 10 lbs since we started packing for school a few weeks ago. ;( So I'm getting off this computer, putting down my pack of Misty's (stupid addiction), grabbing some deep-fried cheese and fresh veggies, and jumping on my treadmill! J

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

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