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Randy's Phase 1 CDL Training - Part 4

by rbradyjohnsen

So, Randy has been acting very strangely and I can hardly get him to talk to me at all. Two days ago he was all happy, now he seems really uncomfortable again...something is going on in that truck. I suppose I won't find out until he has some "alone time" again. He's supposed to be back in Salt Lake fairly early tomorrow.

This is all I could get out of him:

- Yesterday he got a log violation because he wasn't paying close enough attention to the Qualcomm's out-of-hours warning, couldn't find an exit soon enough, and went 2 minutes over his 11 hours. He said the trainer told him it was no big deal.

- It suddenly sounds as if there is not much communication going on in the truck. And there is no progress toward the "modules" that are part of the training, and I want to know why.

I waited over 25 1/2 hours to talk to him, and I got nuthin'. Two days in a row is making me paranoid. Is he hating it? Is he having problems with the trainer? Is he losing confidence? Is he angry with me for some reason? Maybe he's just really tired. I have no idea, I just know that something is wrong. Geez, I hope he hasn't had a "relapse".

Stay tuned, I guess...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Well, Randy is back at the school for the next 5 days while his trainer takes some time off. They'll be leaving again Tuesday morning for somewhere in California, unless the plans get changed. He's not too happy to be back in what he referred to as "the dingy little prison room", but he really needs a break.

I now know what was wrong with him for the past couple of days...he hates the team thing, and is not used to having to do things someone else's way 24/7, and that's been making him tense. He likes and respects the trainer, but I think egos may be clashing a little. So, I let him take it out on me. ;) The first time he called me, he was apologizing profusely and trying to explain why he's been so weird. The next time, he was all chatty and telling me about the past several days. The next time, after I mentioned how much money he's been spending, he yelled a lot and hung up on me. The next time, he was normal again; he enjoys trucking, but he misses his life here and looks forward to the day when he can (possibly) be a solo driver. I understand why it's making him a little unstable, he's not used to it yet and it's still a bit of a shock. I mean, really, does anybody want to team? Obviously you have to for training, but it would be easier to get through it if you knew you had options when you're done.

- One guy he knows (back at the school) has blown through 2 trainers already. The first one had crazy rules, told him he had to sleep in the top bunk, and told him he would be spending all his free time drinking. The second one refused to spend any money maintaining his truck and had a totally bald steer tire. There's always such interesting stories coming out of that school.

- Randy said once when he coming down the Smoky Mountains, his brakes were smoking...oh, big cringe! He almost always backs the trailer because he's so good at it, but he's making his right turns too wide. He's getting better with the Qualcomm , but he came within 30 seconds of running out of hours yesterday. But the trainer basically told him that he's going to make mistakes, as all trainees do, and not to worry about the "little" stuff.

Anyway, I'll be able to sleep better knowing that he's safe in bed at the school instead of having someone I don't know cruising 75 mph with my husband in the back. So we both get a little breather...yay!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Not so much happened today, but Randy is really tired of the "hotel", which is a euphemism for a ratty little room with 4 bunk beds (8 beds) at the school. The people in the rooms are constantly changing, but he has seen a few people he went to school with. He said that the air conditioning unit in his room is leaking water and the carpet is soaking wet so he has to watch out where he puts his stuff.

I made myself miserable this day by going on Travelocity and discovering that I could have spent a 3-day weekend with Randy (flight and hotel) for just a little over $500. And the airport is only a few miles away from him. It would have been fun, but now is not the time to be impulsive and self-indulgent. I hate being sensible all the time, but I have to think of how awful I would feel if things get really rough over the winter and I'm being wasteful now. Oh well, it would have been really exhausting to drag myself through those airports too, and I really am right in the middle of some major packing and organizing here. I'm getting really good at getting rid of stuff; I have another whole pickup load headed for Goodwill, and I got rid of 20 more pairs of shoes and most of my clothes that are too big.

Today is the 5-week mark, and Randy's getting super-homesick. In some ways, it's a good thing. When he comes back, I'm sure he will not be taking things for granted now that he knows what it's like to be without them for an extended period of time...including me! ;)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Days off at the school aren't so bad. Randy says it "smells funky" there, but he does get some privacy if he wanders to a picnic table or hangs out under his favorite tree. And I can tell where he is by the sounds I hear in the background. ;)

Actually, I think he's extremely lucky to get this break in the middle of training. He decided to take most of yesterday and today off (no quizzes on the computer, no laundry, etc.). He isn't able to sleep in or nap (too much commotion), but he has enjoyed several movies. BTW: Valkyrie has an unhappy ending...what, a Nazi movie that ends badly? Shocking! ;)

And I'm lucky because I get to talk to him for several hours each day. Thank heaven for unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes! We were, again, discussing things he misses here (besides the obvious), and now he realizes how much work it was for me to do his laundry...'bout time Mr.! And he's not even bleaching or ironing anything! When he comes home, he wants to eat bbq ribs, ride bicycle and take charge of a remote control. ;) But he better not plan to spend the whole time eating, biking and staring at the tube or I'll be irritated. Never mind. The way I feel right now, I'd be happy just to sit and watch him breathe. That sounds kind of silly, but we should all appreciate each other every minute, because life does not come with guarantees.

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

by Brett Aquila

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