There wasn't anything eventful about my first time. I got it rolling, got onto the roadway, started going through the gears, and cruised around for about 10 minutes on an open highway. When my turn was up (they bring 3 or 4 students in each truck at a time and take turns) I pulled to the side, got out, and looked back at the truck. I couldn't BELIEVE I had just driven a building on wheels!!! Actually, it was pretty easy!!! I was soooo excited.... we all were.
After weeks of work and often times months of planning it was finally coming together. We finally did it for real and realized that we were really on our way to becoming real truck drivers! A new, exciting, and much higher paying career for almost all of us. Wow, what a feeling!
I remember the hotel I stayed at was right next to the interstate. The school I attended was 7 weeks long. Every night I used to walk across the bridge over the interstate to go get something to eat. I would stop on that bridge and watch the trucks pass underneath and just dream about my chance to do it someday soon.
They were REAL truck drivers and they were REALLY traveling to far away places, making great money! I would watch ‘em pass into the distance wondering where they came from, where they were heading to, and most of all what it would feel like when I was doing it for real.
I knew someday soon a class would come into that same school behind me and those students would be dreaming of their day as they watched me fade away into distance. Those were really, really good times. And I can tell ya it turned out to be everything I'd ever hoped it would be and so much more! I really did pass under that same bridge dozens and dozens of times over the years.
Every time I did I would look at that hotel and wave to the school and smile. I never forget how excited I was back then and I was always so thankful for having the career I have. It's been great. We'll get to a lot more stories soon. But for now, on with the schooling.
So the time to start taking the CDL tests is drawing near. You would think it would be a nervous time for all of us but it really wasn't. The school I went to was the best and we all felt quite comfortable that we were very well prepared. Most of the written test questions we had been practicing for weeks would be word for word the same as on the actual test. And the driving portion of the test was EXACTLY the same thing as we had been practicing.
There are three parts to the test... the written, the backing up, and the road test. The written you can do in your sleep. The backing had a couple challenging parts but after six straight weeks of practicing we all knew we had it down. The road portion was also easy... easier than the backing portion I would say.
In a class of 27 people we all passed and got our CDL. All of us. So don't let any insecurities you may have toward passing the test play a factor in your decision to go for your CDL. With a little bit of effort almost anybody can do it. There are millions and millions of truck drivers in this country that have done it and surely if they were all capable of it so are you.