Profile For Chevelleal

Chevelleal's Info

  • Location:
    Macedon, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 4 months ago

Chevelleal's Bio

just out of school.been driving everything from pickup/28' race car hauler to school buses to limos, and recently otr commercial motor coaches...but no experience in 18 wheelers yet. local CDL school only prepares us for road test which I aced, but in applying for jobs I am finding out that I am a long way from my first job...!!...still applying and responding to calls and email

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Posted:  2 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

The Life, Death, and Resurrection Of My Truck Driving Career

At the conclusion of our meeting, I thanked them profusely, and assured them they were going to see a new driver from now on. I told them I had become too confident after having just 2 months of uneventful driving under my belt, and in a way I was glad I had been humbled in such a brutal (but unfortunately expensive) way. I needed that. I know that the feeling of that truck starting to tip, the sight of the dirt pouring through the shattered windshield, and the sound of the truck scraping across the road will be forever etched in my mind, and I’m glad for it. I want it to be there constantly, to remind me of the reality of this business, that it isn’t a piece of cake, that you can’t sit there and think, “Nothing will ever happen to me.” The dangers are always present, and I just didn’t realize it, or at least I didn’t think I was so vulnerable. For me, it was one thing to hear stories about other wrecks and the stupid mistakes other driver’s have made in the past, but it was quite another to actually experience it. It made it all real for me. Last Tuesday could very easily have been my last day of life, but by the grace of God I am still here.

There was something else they mentioned during the meeting which I’d like to share. They told me about their theory on the “terrible 2’s of trucking.” The theory is that right around the 2-month, 2-year and 20-year marks of a driver’s career, they will usually have something happen that will knock some sense into them. Whether it’s something as minor as bumping into another truck in a truck stop or something major like what happened to me, it seems those are the times when a driver becomes either too comfortable, too complacent, or too confident. I was all three that day.

So anyway, they told me to go home for the weekend and call back on Monday. They were going to try to figure out which truck they would put me in and I would be back on the road again early next week. I called my wife and told her I still had a job, and then I drove home. We had a great 4th of July, I washed all my clothes and re-organized all my gear, spent some great quality time with the kids (I started watching The Lord of the Rings with my 10-year-old daughter who was watching it for the first time, but we didn’t get to Return of the King—she has to wait until I get home to finish the series!), and I called in on Monday. They said they had a truck lined up for me and to come in tomorrow morning.

So one week after I wrecked my truck, I was put into an identical Kenworth T660 (which somehow feels different from the other one for some reason) and I was sent to Texas with a load of… lumber At least this wasn’t rough-cut, but I still made sure to tighten and re-tighten the straps frequently and drive as easy as I could. It was a little nerve-racking at first hitting the road again. I was nauseous and uneasy; even feeling the slightest g-force from turns gave me flashbacks. I think I was suffering from some sort of temporary PTSD. But after the first day or two, I started to feel a little more comfortable. I am now super-cautious going around turns. I try go slow enough to not even feel myself turning if possible. I am on a year-long probation period now, so I know that if I have one more screw-up, I’m finished as a driver. So I’m being as cautious and conservative as I can reasonably be (keeping in mind that I still need to turn those miles!).

Looking back on what happened, I think of it this way: on the first day, my career died. On the second day, my life was a living hell of confusion and fear. And on the third day, my career rose from the dead... get it? I think that is so fitting. I am so grateful that I have been given this second chance. I know that with almost any other company, if this had happened I would be looking for a totally new career path right now. I don’t really know why I got so lucky, but I know there is a plan and a reason for everything, so I’m just trying to make the most of this situation and learn from it while moving forward. Forgive but never forget. Live and let live. Don’t run with scissors. A penny saved is a penny earned. You get the idea.

To everyone who actually took the time to read this whole thing, thanks. I really hope my story can be a wake-up call for any drivers who might be starting to fall into the same trap I was. Be as safe as possible out there, because safety is not just a buzz-word, it’s for real. And out here, the stakes are high. It’s life or death. Don’t take anything for granted, and don’t ever make the mistake of being over-confident in your own abilities or the capabilities of your truck. Keep them wheels rolling… on the pavement, not in the air!

i am fresh out of a local T/T training school...dont even have a job yet...thanks for your story; it will stick with me for a long time

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