Randy's Truck Driving School - Day 11

by rbradyjohnsen

Oooh, ooh, BIG relief! I felt a little tense today, wondering if Randy passed his pre-trip inspection test. But he called at lunch and he aced it and was "cool as a cucumber" besides! Then he took a well-deserved power nap. He's been doing so well up to this point that I hardly even feel nervous about his road test tomorrow. Hey, wait a minute! Now that I said that, I better start worrying, cuz I don't want to jinx him! ;) He is wavering between confident and doubtful. He sees so many current CDL holders still struggling, he's seen so many people fail, he sees people he started with falling behind, and he's still hearing alarming rumors. I must have talked to him for 2 hours today, he called 3 times.

I'm sooo looking forward to him having some down time and finally he is supposed to get the day off on Monday (Labor Day-school employees won't be there). I am so fascinated by the trucking industry but, after so many months of research and now these past couple weeks of talking about practically nothing else...even I am getting a little burnt out on the subject, so Monday will be nice. I miss my "normal" husband, the one who isn't hyped-up every minute of the day, the one who makes me laugh until I can barely breathe.

- Randy had a little trouble with downshifting but thinks he's ready for the test tomorrow. He didn't get much time to practice because a guy who's having real problems took up the entire afternoon in the truck. They also briefly went over the Qualcomm and trip planning/atlas skills.

-The worst snorer roommate has switched rooms, but there's still plenty of rumblin' going on. A lot of them have cute nicknames for each other...they call Randy "the professor" because he wears reading glasses sometimes. And those glasses make him look so smart! :)

- The woman who was crying and shaking back on the first day in the trucks was sent home, along with more people, including a bunch of experienced ones...they are dropping like flies out there.

- He heard today that there used to be a driving simulator, but the students trashed and destroyed it. I thought they could only do that to "real" trucks, but I was wrong.

- An instructor told him that he has personally witnessed people get so nervous that they throw up, pass out or even have a heart attack! What a job that must be!

- They all get excited when they see any pretty office ladies walk through, because they are surrounded by "truck driver-looking" people all day. And I think it kind of smells like a locker room there now. Well that doesn't sound very appealing, does it?

- One guy is getting some flack for sucking his thumb, while making sucking noises and with his finger up his nose. What???!!! That surprised me, but we all have issues, so we shouldn't judge. No snarky comments please, I heard he's a nice guy.

- A Muslim roommate (one of the new guys) left the school. I just don't see how it would work to operate on the school (or driving) schedule and stop to pray at certain times, etc. Maybe it's possible, I don't know. No racist/hateful comments please!

That's it for day 11.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

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