Profile For mikemotorbike

mikemotorbike's Info

  • Location:
    Sechelt, BC, Canada, not in, WA

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:
    mikemotorbike On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 1 month ago

mikemotorbike's Bio

Mature artsy, former property maintenance guy, now changing direction.

I'm in skool now, far from the warm shores of home, going to TRU, Thompson Rivers University, in Kamloops, British Columbia Canada, attending the Class 1 Greenhorn Driver course there. I am keeping a Trucking School Diary on my 'social link,' above.

"Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall"

It's about grabbing hold of the wheel of life. Pushing yourself to the limit, making mistakes, learning from them, and ultimately (hopefully) landing on your feet running. It's an honest take on trying to live life by learning a new challenging career.

www.tru DOT ca/trades/continuing-studies/professional-driver-training/courses/class1greenhorn.html

~creative writing~

Glancing back at the breakwater while walking my three legged dog, I saw the mist blanketing the graveyard across the bay. I felt I was looking at it for the last time. It's a new year, and a new beginning.

"Rescue Angel"

Poised on the edge of tomorrow / Ready to leap into the abyss / Listless dreams and a lust for life

One last look back down / At friends lost to the valley mist / Different paths taken

Debt paid in full, blessed yet battleworn / Who knew it would be this challenging? / Defying the inertia of sleep

High on the bridge, shining like a beacon / A truck idles as if magically suspended over the sleeping town / One last miraculous demonstration to witness / The questioning passenger door propped open / Will anyone answer the call of life?

On the road now / The future bright for those who toil late and long in the night / Called to assist those who awaken in the dark of night / ~

--------

I started with a paper route farm hand then I worked bartender signmaker cleaning windows and gutters then I died

trucker jesus waits on the other side of the highway: my skeleton on fire, flesh dropping in chunks ---------------

To be entrusted with the responsibility of people's safety, vehicles and cargo is a privilege, not a right.

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Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Thanks Army, i appreciate that.

2 months since my last post, wow. Been busy, got a job– Septic Pumper. That means we clean out porta potties and tanks.

They were excited to have a driver to relieve their overworked class 3 (3 axles, i.e.: dump truck) driver. Questions and introductions were asked quickly in the boardroom interview with the ops manager and the head manager. It was a huge relief to dislose honestly that I'm new out of school, I don't know anything, I'm learning, and I've never driven commercially before, (except a few days riding shotgun in another septic company where I was fired - for not knowing how to back up steep driveways.

They replied in unison "We like you, can you start immediately?"

Ok....great! "That was easy", I thought, and then my buddy got me hammered that night to celebrate, as I drank my rum and coke I wept long held bittersweet of immense relief. Finally! I got a job.

It 's been a hair-raising journey coming from a mid life crisis, changing my whole life this whole last few years. I lost my Dad, my inheritance beachouse because of his dementia, my Mum inconsolable, my cat died, my dog died, my relationship ended. I sat on the couch for three years and retrieved dead bodies for cash. The universe was kicking my ass.

My entire focus has been becoming a truck driver this whole year. Suspended in midair, highly strung, 100% engaged to the max, and sometimes beyond. Mistakes, accidents, temper flares. Studying, the school...then being tried, fired, dumped, trying again, only to be let go once more– always the trainers same verdict: "Can't drive!, talks too much, can't get a word in edgewise to train."

Insecure after a midlife crisis, I guess I talk too much, too loud, too enthusiastic, too green, too eccentric."

So I got a job sucking poop, something I should be good at, apparently. I love it, and the hours are long, somtimes r15 hr days, mostly 12, rarely 8

regular pay for Driver is $21.44 overtime after 8 hours is time and a half, $32.16 doubletime after 12 hours is $42.88

no breaks, no lunch different trucks to learn to pre trip everyday no route of my own we have to fend for ourselves no training to speak of, a few days with drivers on their established routes

they're swamped, need drivers! The thing is, I'm about one quality job a day. Cleaning a roof, pressure washing a drive. Do it well! Overdeliver! you have all day to make 100-300 bux. Mass production is about numbers, and customer pecking order: the industrial clients should get done first. Know your customers, route plan accordingly. a million details

I never route planned before. I love each and every customer equally, and do the same fantastic job for each. With numbers, you have to learn to cut corners. I'm thorough, and its costing me credibility in the office big time. They discuss me I am told, concerned I'm too slow, that I won't make it. What am I doing, standing there? they can see me on GPS, I am always reminded. What I'm doing is puzzling over google maps, or writing the directions to the true location of the potties.

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Its' a bit of a driver secret. They don't write it. I continually live in fear I will lose my job. I am told otherwise by wise people I won't. But I still worry, and want to improve. Everyday is a new lesson. Today it is to go slower to plan and think better.

I haven't received a uniform, tablet, truck, route, locker or keys yet. Other new hires have. I am always being tested, I think. Pushed to grow, new routes every day, new problems, changes, events, and I have to find the hidden porta pottie.) I'm stretched to my limit everyday. It's still like it was in school. All the drivers started when they were 13. One 25 year old got his beginners car licence at 16, "You've got a licence" they said, and was thrown the keys to the propane truck.

The girl quit. They gave her everything. I get nothing but a diesel card. I like the hotdogs at the truck stop. Except, i will admit am given some respect for having a class 1...which I am not aloud to use. At least, yet. They are right, of course. I need to learn to drive in the city. I have improved immensely in a month. But I still do eccentric manouvers which startle other drivers. Truck driving is giving me an objective measure to assess and evaluate my continuing progress as a person. Because its not about the driving, but everything around driving; it's about character.

I feel stipped naked in the garage in front of everybody.

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I find it hard to get enough sleep, but my mechanic biker buddy, the one who said I looked like a trucker....the words which inspired me to jump start my life. He's here to take me to lunch with his wife who just won a tennis championship at 65. He's proud of me. *added later* I paid for the lunch! Im working now! Time to pay back favours.

NEver any time to edit, to plan, to anticipate. It's a film composed of raw footage. The principle actor is exhausted, running dangerously on empty Filled with hope and spit, levitating in the air holding himself up by his balls and the everpresent promise of redemption.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Whew!

turns out i still had the tab open in the background, so I composed a cover letter sentence clicked SEND and my application went through!

well see...but we continue to refine our job search as we refine our career plan

this is hair-raising stuff! A driver should be better prepared, but sometimes, you get in by the skin of your teeth. In this case, cautious and predetermined, I left the 'window open' while I did some research before I jumped.

I'm ready to do it. There's someone to look after Mum, a person to take my rescue dog, and a place in Vancouver (45 min commute), maybe even a place local to the job with a friends Mom. I could be the man about the house. We'll see.

I've got my washing mitts.

ready to wax on, wax off!

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

...contd

So I speed up, 10 km above the speed limit, to avoid tempting others to overtake. Its compassionate, and crazy: Crazy Wisdom! In the lower mainland, people go 20 km above. So what I do is, follow the traffic on the straightaways, but slow the f down approaching intersections. That’s where the safety is most needed. You have to protect other people from themselves. Essentially; they don’t trust authority, and they don’t trust themselves.

They defy authority, but will submit to it when caught. Why not accept the traffic laws are there for a reason: They work. People are like kids, exploring the boundaries, until they make a mistake. Driving as catharsis and teacher of limitations. Only problem is, the risk involves easy death. No return from that. People want to feel free, but freedom is within, earned through responsibility, and is not without consequences. These are spiritual characteristics underpinning our laws.

They don’t have a plan for their lives. They are insecure, and attribute power to others to derail their goals. When you know yourself, you have confidence. When you accept and love yourself, and embrace even your issues with affection, you have power to determine your destiny. 

This takes courage and a willingness to drop your ego and be vulnerable, even risk confronting your fear of failure, or paradoxically, fear of success. All those insecure inner voices are now given voice, now there is no self-censorship, and the confident belief you are capable of accomplishing anything, threatens to derail your ultimate trust in your innate authentic goodness.

Persevere. Risk being your real self, and gain confidence by succeeding at small accomplishments. Man up and take the correction, learn from it, be greatful someone was man enough to tell you you ducked up, and don’t do it again. Promise yourself. Believe in yourself. A truck driver must have confidence, for s/he is responsible for others lives.

So I now look at other drivers with compassion, as I look at a child, not giving a duck about their tantrums or their unwarranted fears they are ‘missing out’, or selfish and irresponsible need for immediate gratification all costs, even safety. Geez, I’ve just become a Conservative/Republican! And I used to be a liberal snowflake. wow. That's one to write home about…or not.

Because, when you are a trucker, you don’t give a truck about other peoples crap, but you truly care a lot about their safety. And you take steps to avoid dangerous situations. We use statistics and defensive driving techniques to keep our drivers abstracts clean.

We also say goodby to unproductive behavior, in ourselves and others. It means being prepared to let go of old friends, business associates, even family members. 'I have not come to bring peace, but a sword '. And if it comes to it, I'm prepared to walk away from it all, and start again as trucker mike II. The melted snowflake flows into the stream of life and gets recycled.

Because as we change, and become convinced of the rightness of the rule of law, our contunued presence creates an unbearable conflict in others who have been hurt, or feel betrayed by authorities, or their dads and moms and teachers. They can't handle the truth, which is that salvation lies within oneself, it does not come from outside, from someone giving you permission to be yourself. We decide, not others, not to play the victim.

One learns to forgive, be humble, and set the boundaries, and conditions for satisfaction with your interactions, just as you do in a truck.

This dovetails the blog about having Steely Determination to succeed in trucking, and in life. Be the 5%, fellow trucking candidates

I relate to recent blogs: Why You Should Not Start Your Trucking Career As A Local Driver by Old School https://www.truckingtruth.com/trucking_blogs/Article-3878/do-not-start-trucking-as-a-local-driver

"It is always prudent to start out doing something new, by exposing yourself to the least amount of risk. Are you aware that almost 95% of the people who attempt a new trucking career never make it to their one year anniversary date? Sounds like there is a high risk factor here doesn't it? This is not a career choice to be cavalier with."

and

My Recent Trucking Adventures - Quite A Challenge by TruckerMike (great name, eh? i want that one) https://www.truckingtruth.com/trucking_blogs/Article-1817/my-recent-trucking-adventures-quite-a-challenge

"Truck driving can be filled with stress. I think I've learned how to deal with stress more in my time as a truck driver, than the rest of my life. If you're just getting into the industry, be aware that you will make some bonehead mistakes, you will require the help of others from time to time, and you'll wonder how you got into and out of certain situations. It just comes with the job, and everyone goes through it. The key is to take a deep breath, and deal with the situation at hand. As soon as you get into a hurry out here, is when people get hurt. If you make a few people late, so what? Better that happens, than getting into a hurry and really making people late!"

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Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

I have so much to say, I have written pages and not posted them. Figuring out whats relevant or maybe useful to others.

Got a job riding with a septic tank outfit. It’s not as smelly or dirty as you might think.

TL:DR; The drivers are the best thing for a trainee. They don’t train you, dump that idea ever came in your head, forget it: they hire what they are familiar with, your trucker character. Your character gets you the job, and your lack of character looses it. The other day, as I walked away from the mirror, I felt like an unmovable rooted pole, or pillar(pillar of society?), and that the world comes and goes past stationary me. I am feeling great about confronting my fears about meeting new people, and confronting fears of inadequacy. I’m making interviews, being hired, fired and trying again. I am becoming a trucker. Without a job! But who gives a frack??!! I’ll just declare bankruptcy, like Trump! LOL

From one Driver/trainer. (They hate training, because they are not trained and skilled instructors. They’re drivers. They do however teach you tremendously through their character.) I learned the valuable lesson– not to give a truck/duck/luck/frack/****. I have never had road rage, I don’t insult or make fun of others, because I made the same mistake at one time. So giving no fracks was hard for me. I frack very much thank you. I am a snowflake, think of the orphaned kittens. Weep and bleed for them. Now I say, let the cycle of life be, and may I confront death and rebirth boldly with compassion.

Drivers are in a hurry, and don’t give a duck about me. They forget in a minute they were held back, but were willing to risk their, mine and others lives overtaking. I don’t give a duck means when they push me I’m not speeding up for them because they have poor time management skills, are ADHD, demonstrate impulse control issues, can’t see beyond their greedy selfish grabby nose and don’t consider how they affect other peoples lives, have the common misapprehension that the point of driving is getting there faster. It’s all about them.

I always catch up to them at the next light, bus, slower driver, or flashing cop. I also suspect there is an anarchistic bent in people to avoid the speed limit. You can drive below the limit too, its allowed. When I drive safe, I find people are forced to encounter inner beliefs which they can’t face, an almost pathological escapist tendency to speed. They will break any rule, pass on the turning lane, overtake on a solid line, confront oncoming cars in a desperate suicidal attempt to avoid following the speed limit.

I live on a single peninsula hwy(101) to the ferry. Theres nothing you can do to get anywhere quicker. You might make a minute or two, at most, if you risk others lives overtaking on hilly, curvy, wet, dark, no shoulder roads with animals and driveways. Most of the time there’s someone coming when they overtake, it’s predictable. And dangerous.

contd..

Posted:  5 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

CaturdayMay 5, 3:42 AM

I GOT MY CLASS 1!

Sliding into home base, I was worried I might lose steam. It wasn't about the test anymore, just getting through it. It is like a test everyday: A test of endurance. If I hadn't learned to chill, I would've burned out. So yesterday, after a brief warm up around town, I took the test. And I made a mistake! I aimed for 'normal', not 'super'. And I achieved what I set out for.

I haven't been to bed yet. I can't sleep well lately. NO reason to escape with sleep. My universe is safe.

The Big Cahoona recommends I seek work in my own town first. He's seen it where people go to Fort McMurray (oil up North), burn out working long days, never to return to trucking. It's important to have home.

Or the gravel pit! It's just two blocks away. I hear it at night and see the lights.

But I think....what I've been looking out my window every Thursday all these years...garbage truck.

Will I get romanced if I say I am garbage truck driver? If l am fit, then I think I might have a chance!

I was BS'ing with a beer drinking ex trucker tonight.: he suggested taxi. That is something I hadn't considered. I figure that's his dream. (btw, appropos, They can make $1000 a day up North)

He also wished he had got a heavy equipment ticket. He could operate anything then. But it too late, he's too old at 60, he says. I say, its about hope.

I say that a lot. Does anybody hear? I've leveraged everything I had, 15 Grand on my mastercard, my shoes are falling apart, my car needs a muffler, and I am packing for the undiscovered country. A mix of pride, sweet tears from the ordeal which nearly broke me, but i persevered. I learned humility, to fail well, and follow my dream.

The truck's idle throbs, poised on the bridge over the sleeping town. A few townsfsolk are roused, and astonsihed, find me levitating high above the town, marker lights appearing as a beacon.

I can't help but observe that it's the middle of the night now, as I re-visit this precient poem I wrote in my member page before I started. I'm heading out now, car packed, in trhe dawns early light of the dewy morning. My passenger seat is open.

Wanna take a ride?

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Mon/Tues/Wed April 23 2018 Instructor wisdom: “The other drivers are just doing their thing.” “It’s all abut the trailer.”

Today we avoided the city and kept on the highway to get comfortable in the seat again after my absence.

Practicing defensive driving/collision avoidance techniques in the car has made my truck driving easier. I enjoy the feeling of security knowing whats around me. I’m looking every few seconds without being reminded.

I’ve noticed the rear view is as interesting as the front. It’s like being in an IMAX movie, my instructor adds. Makes it easier to position the truck in a safe zone. Maybe I’ll see a bare naked lady beside me. Ahhh but that wouldn’t be safe, should be staggered. I’ll have to yell my cel number and let them chase me.

Practiced shifting from 1 to 2 on a lonely hill. Then we tried it at a sloped country intersection. The trick is not be anxious. Like so many things in life, the genius is in the details. Don’t rush it / easy does it.

-Stop farther back from the stop sign. -drive forward Bringing RPM to 17-18, because…..Hill (higher rpm on hill to upshift) -One - and - two. don’t force it, don’t rush it, pause between gears -use the clutch, deeper presses this time, (not a tap tap.) -Shift before you start a turn while going up a hill!

The back pull of the hill added to the pinching of the tandems on the pavement as they turn will stop you dead if you shift while turning. So; shift while moving forward to the middle of the intersection, not during turn.

Also, split gears are made for hills. At least in an 18 speed, where you have the luxury of split 1-4. You don’t need to clutch using split gears, and the shift is fast one-two straight through.

Wave back and smile real friendly like at the trucker you just let get by

I discovered a little while ago I started to enjoy getting up early. I used to be a night *******. Now I look forward to the adventure every day brings. *******.

I’ve left the past behind. You can’t back up in a truck (or in life.) You make yer mistakes and move on. And I’ve made plenty. Everyone is just doing their thing. Forgive and forget, let it go, live and let live, die another day, and keep on truckin’!

I don’t fit in with the Old Guard. I think I relate to the young truckers and they relate to me. After all, we’re both new, haven’t driven for 50 years, don’t know more people than God, didn’t know and party with all the cops, or played hockey and football together growing up. Well, I’ll speak for myself. In any case, we have to keep our mouths shut, our every action pure, toe the line, listen to and learn from the Elder Wisdom, make our mistakes, pay our dues.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Mon April 23 2018

I am heading back to school today, with an apple (or a cigarette) for the teacher, to finish what I started. I need to get some more seat time in(39 hours) prior to taking the test again. I didn't write for a while because that is part of my lesson: to learn to shut up. And stop trying too hard, overthinking it. Just be. There's no prizes in trucking for best trucker. And besides, the real trucking skills are about developing the correct personality and character traits.

In the past three weeks, I have been practicing safe driving techniques in my car. And for a few days, had the incredible experience of riding ***** with the Trucker gods who run the Coast. Wow! just… wow.

An instructive inside look at real life trucking in the raw- like a blue collar Cirque de Soleil. A friendly, rambunctious dance of logistics, radio talk, map knowledge, and solid networking contacts.

Holy **** I wish I’d done this when It was offered before I went to school. When someone recognizes your worth, accept the gift with gratitude and humility. But I didn’t want to bother them. (Like a fool I was.)

Being assertive and believing in my worth is another lesson to learn as a Trucker. Trick is to be Assertive, but sweet. Or as I head the the guys in the garage say when we drove in to get a new tire re-torqued,,' its not that someone’s an *******, but that we’re the kind of ******* which people might like.' (something to that effect.)

I’m not sure I will get a job on the coast. In fact, I received an omen which tells me I wont. But I need a year in basic driving, so maybe then I will be good enough to begin training with the gods of trucking. Perhaps the universe has other plans for me, I am open to anything, we’ll see. I might end up living in Kamloops, or Prince George driving a wood chip truck, staying at a 300 man camp.

This time I will let the teacher teach me.

The 13 Most Dangerous Traffic Situations and How to Survive Them

http://a.co/3snSkWJ Free for amazon subscribers

And

Google: “The Smith Method of Driving”

And

the teachers’ handbook, which is too long to post here, but gives you the idea.:

COLLISION AVOIDANCE TRAINING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page Elements of Good Driving 1 Space, Time and Visibility 3 Collision Avoidance Techniques 1. Eye lead-time – look ahead 4 2. Scan for the Hazards – See the whole picture 5 3. Direction of intended travel – is the way clear? 6 4. Communicate – eye contact – be seen 6 5. Lane Selection – plan your moves in advance 6 6. Billboards – large vehicles 7 7. Space Cushion – room to move 7 8. Following distance – 3 second rule 8 9. Braking points – cover the brakes 8 10. Point of commitment – stale green lights 9 11. Left-right checks at intersections – don’t rely on traffic lights 9 12. Stop line-crosswalk – consider pedestrians 10 13. Space at stops – protect your front 10 14. 3 count before moving off – no grand prix starts 10 15. Pace car – more speed – more space 11

0163035001524504905.jpg This is the same road i travelled on at night in a snowstorm when i first arrived in Kamloops. It doesnt quite show the steep cliffs, beacuse this is a pullout. But now I know to listen to my gut. Safe driving feels peaceful and pleasurable in the gut. Slow down to the point where all the observations are taken in and speed up from there. Don't let traffic push you. Learning to hold my space assertively and sweetly.

Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Have Gravel, Will travel

I just came back today from my first day of training in a real work environment: construction site gravel truck. My Boss is newly recovering from an operation, but offered to come in to train me today anyway. Taking dirt and dumping it on a lot 5 mins away. We did 27 loads, and even picked up some clean sand from the quarry around the corner. When my Boss went to the loo as the truck was being loaded, I yelled if I could move the truck forward as the excavator was done. He said yes. Of course, it's that simple.

It's never that simple! Everybody showed up out of the blue to celebrate me taking the initiative with my student licence: 1) Two women having an adventure exploring the construction site 2)the main owner of the development in his shiny1/2 ton beast 3) and a trade pickup all show up the moment I block the tiny intersection. I moved into the side street, to let the pickup pass. I went slow and applied my training by stopping backing when I lost sight of the women behind me; and then the Big Kahoona backed up for me, all-in-all good as no one got run over. As I was crawling along in 1st low, the boss told me to step on it and not keep the big guy waiting.

On the construction road out, I had to stop several times. I couldn’t find second. I seemed to have lost it back on the street. In this unfamiliar Mac truck on a incline, with a different tach layout, the shifting pattern is different– higher. I could have split first, but I am rusty after a week off and forgot. So much for paying all that attention all morning.

So, Out I Go back to the passenger seat.

On the next round, a new truck showed up out of the blue to help to remove dirt. I wonder if my little 'initiative' had anything to do with that? Everytime he passed us, he gave us a huge smile. He smiles a lot, my boss says.

So I watched my Boss for the remainder of the day. Learned how to raise the bed and open the hatch. And listen to the calls on the speaker. In this town, everybody knows each other, they all grew up and went to the same high school. Very friendly banter. Funny thing, the VHF radio doesn’t reach 20 km which renders it almost useless here on the coast. It's the foliage, and hills. So its the cell phone on cab speaker which is used mostly.

My boss gets asked advice by his friendly, likeable, easy going drivers throughout the day. Family matters, ribald humour, business, sales calls; he needs a switchboard operator! It's too bad the radio doesn’t work well here. I thought I read there was a way to put VHF radios onto a digital channel which travel farther.

He kindly offered to ask his guys if they would be available to help train me tomorrow. I had a nap when I got home, and called at 8pm, and left a message. He’s probably real tired, sore and resting now, and it's too late to answer calls. So I will call at 6 AM. Heck, I may even go to McDonalds at 6 AM where he and the boys go before starting the day, as I look forward to having another one of the most exciting days of my mature new life.

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Posted:  6 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Hi, thanks for your interest and patience, Pack-Rat, and lurkers.

Took a break to chill. Teacher's orders! And had a drivers test.

Since the last time: -resolved the mirrors issue -no biggie - the right flat one shows higher to see traffic farther -trailer offtrack about 6 inch - real life experience: still have to keep between the lines

-backed into neighbours car, left scratches on his bumper. I was tired, and practicing not using rear view mirror. don’t lack up if you don’t have to. According to the “Smith Method”, which my instructor had told me to look up before hand.

-Instructor forbade me to study. Except for pretrip. Less thinking more being. That's why no diary. It's all lazy boy for me.

-went back to coast for weekend. Took the famous Coquihalla, which is fast, dangerous and boring. Except for the constant imminent threat of death from being inattentive, and inexperienced drivers. I love the sudden snow the best, but the black ice and avalanches can't be beat!

The weekend break and drives tired me out for the week, and it really threw me off. Paradoxically, I did start to relax (I was exhausted) and begin to learn finally. It's been three weeks of adjustment. I am learning to chill. I’ve got a ways to go before I master 'laid-back and easy-going'. But less hyper, tense and overthinking it.

- Monday: Practical driving test. I drove 3 hrs sat and sun b4test mon. I aced the pretrip, but failed the test. Armageddon! Cats and dogs living together without benefit of the clergy!

Tester said my observation skills were above par compared to other students, a major relief. Chided me on overdoing the pretrip. I credit my dangerous goods driving Instructor. One off my bucket list. On the weekend, I was coached to slow down, not shift gears to much, and stop in 5th. I took the instruction literally on the test, and went 20 in 60s, and juddered to a halt at stops, missing the lines. Tester said I looked confused coming to stops. I was. I was doing something not natural for me. So I overcompensated. What can I say I am a libra! I used to drive to fast, now too slow. Now I believe the instruction was meant as a general advice not as a statement to follow literally. The primary task is to drive safely, then add speed when you're good.. Also, one can use the clutch to smoothly reduce speed coming to a stop, I thought that would be cheating, so attempted to slow using gears, and being in 5th….

So I was in shock. I got upset and cussed a bit, which the Instructor would have none of, and got out of the cab. He feels a bit hurt too, and fees disappointed I bet. He has stake in me. The next test is not for a month. Everyone knows this wait is unacceptable, however, I am a strange case. I had no previous driving experience. I had no trucker Dad. My exMil /Writer step-Dad drove sports cars. Instructor jokes that I am a Sports Truck Driver.

The School Owner said go back home to chill and deal with this after the Easter weekend. I returned to lick my wounds and de-stress and make a decision: to go back into the lions den at 500 bux a day, or take the offer of real life training in a gravel truck?

I re-rented my Kamloops digs for another month. I called the local trucker who had offered to train me before I went to school. I didn’t want to bother him before, but I bet I would have passed the practical test if I had trained before school.

I am now getting more serious about life.

Posted:  7 months ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

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Getting comfortable. too comfortable, starting to enjoy it too much. We can't have fun now, can we!

So I stopped the truck while shifting on three different hills. When that happens we sit laughing and enjoying the valley view from the middle of the highway, and talk about the pretty ICBC road tester. Everyone was happy, waving and blowing kisses at their happy and handsome men eating donuts in the middle of the freeway.

I was going splitting from 4 into 5, and I couldn't find the gear. Speed limit 70 km/h. I was going 30 km/h (i think). I have a habit of riding the clutch during delayed shiftting as it finds the gear. I also like to hit the gas right after shifting in a panic. All the while, the transmission is stopping, as the clutch disengages it. High range requires a higher progressive shifting pattern RPM than the lower gears, and even morso on a hill, up to 1800 RPM.

So now I stop on hills when I get a chance. Just for the kisses.

re: mirrors: buck it up, butter cup–and clean them!

We have flat and convex mirrors. Convex for cornering, flat shows a bit of the sides of the truck. Get used to using the spot or convex mirrors. Also, there is no ICBC regulations about mirror adjustment. So it's the wild west of mirrors out there.

0718406001521159174.jpg Single trucker likes to have coffee and treats while viewing he valley from the mountain top, seeks A&W worker with ample discounts.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

I have reached a milestone. Learning to go slow. A slow student driver. Now I intend to pay attention, and think, before acting. I’m not studying anymore. Except the pre-trip routine, and this blog. And for the first time since I got here. Its not all about grades. The important things you have to learn from your mistakes.

My Instructor has been telling me to slow down, and to let him teach me. For instance, lat week. I overshot the white stop line by 5 feet in the industrial park. All the other boys were looking. I later contemplated very, very seriously about this, I need to slow way down. I finally stopped when I felt something in me moved and I had a relization that ‘I am safe’. I had done my spiritual/introspective homework.

Today, I din't notice or din't remember, an exit my Instructor told me to take, had two lanes. A car startled me zooming on my right. I started to bail left and hit my brakes. A semi was behind me. A fuel truck. I din't notice him behind me. He went around, I drove over the while shaded area back onto the offramp. It was then my instructor had a heart attack. He said, I said he panicked. The proof of the pudding is, if I was driving safely, I should have been in a calmer, happier and non-anxious mood. I would had I been paying attention. My reaction could have cost several lives. I told him to tell me stuff earlier. The truth is, I should have been paying attention, and remembering, and planning, way earlier. Pay attention, remember, plan. act, see, think, do. Think. Plan. Act.

I shared with my instructor my philosophy that we are here to learn lessons. I notice certain traffic problems follow certain drivers. It depends on what your lesson is. I must believe that that I am meant to live, life has meaning, so stay with the plan, and trust The Big Instructor.

I complained to my (real) Instructor about the misaligned mirrors. OK , I flipped out again. I’m a real "tuff guy". I wondered if this were a test to see if I would demonstrate pro-active assertiveness by wrenching on them myself. With his ashen face inches from mine at the partially rolled down window, he solemnly and repeatedly endorsed the advice to talk to Ray.

Hi Ray,

I’m learning a lot in the course. Thanks for putting me with the observant, attentive and experienced Instructor BIg Wayne. I loved learning with Mike’s calm teaching style, and Kurt offered valuable experience from an alternative viewpoint.

By week three, I am finally slowing down a bit. Now I am learning to pay attention to what's going on around me to keep myself, other road users and my equipment safe.

To remain safe, it is essential that I effectively use the mirrors. I notice all the mirrors on tractor #110 offer different views from each other.

May I know please if/when I will be recieving instruction on mirror adjustment?

And if it’s no extra trouble, I’d really appreciate it if you could let BIg Wayne know when to train me in it.

Thank you, best wishes,

Mike

So I think its a test. I retrospect, don’t think it would have been wise for me to wrench them. My Instructor gave me good advice. Becasue, it’s not my property, and I don’t know the approved method, and other people lives are potentially involved. Also, did you see that I was polite? Am can be a hothead. Remember, I flipped out earlier over backing. My nerves are shot after a period of sensory overload.

Think about what happens to you In a day. You are effectively being tested. Maybe for real, maybe just because you are becoming aware of what you need to change about yourself.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Tuckers see everything, and its changing all the time. They are trained to reduce all of it into a simple plan of action.

Truckers can speak with brutal simplicity. throw out the fifty dollar words, and talk with: humility, respect, friendliness, and pride.

To: Butch’s Trucking

Hey Butch, Mike here, the trucking student. I am now halfway trough school (Kamloops - TRU Greenhorn Program), and getting a better handle on driving rigs. I’m really excited about driving a truck! I’ll be taking the test for my Class 1 at the end of march. I hope to have the chance to talk with you about training opportunities and/or potential work.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Wed mar 14 2018

A few days off from the journal to recalibrate. Less hype, mo money.

Study less…except for the pre-trip inspection. Its your mistakes that reveal where you need to focus, not perfect marks. That has almost nothing to do with real life. My deficit is awareness. Using Mirrors, watching and considering Pedestrians. Looking ahead.

Seeing road signs. Its mostly remembering them a moment or minute later. And listening to my instructor.

I am finally slowing down after 2 and a half weeks. I must see what is happening, and learn to think and plan. I cant go faster, its not a contest. I have to think of all the things, and more: plan escape route, if people change their plans.I gotta relax in order to be able to mange shifting focus, to include shifting the gears. And share that focus by distributing my attention around and back and out around again, the mirrors, tach, traffic, conversation. I find when I get flustered, I go faster and race through the gears.

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

If you are ever asked how you did on an air brakes test, never say you made 100%. Say you passed.

Ask me how I know.

We are supposed to make mistakes, and balance our training consistently. The point of an exam is not to make 100% in an all out free for all, no holds barred peak experience, but to learn.

For instance,I was given misleading directions to the Air Brakes knowledge test location. Actually, I couldn’t remember a key piece of info, the street, even tho I confirmed the rest of the directions, twice asking and receiving verbal confirmation on a key intersection. I still got to the wrong place.

Lesson: I should confirm directions with an official map.

I ended up at the ICBC Injury Claims office. I studied for an hour in the parking lot. After being seated for a while, I was politely corrected and graciously offered the correct address.

As I left, I noticed my phone inexplicably engaged in a live call to my buddy back west! Presciently, I looked up, and confirming the glass door was open, answered the phone, and precedded to walk directly into the glass wall!

I was rattled. I was calm before. So, recognizing my bodily anxiety, I calmed myself down. Then I took the test. Be prepared for anything! Its the road, anything can happen! Deal with it! Your brain cannot process information if you are in fight or flight response! Learn to be chill, laid back, unpretentious, amused with your own plans. Look up 'laid back'.

Identifying and dealing effectively with feelings in your body of anxiety and stress is a skill required by truckers, called Stress Management. You will find many opportunities offered in daily life to learn the demanded character attributes which are a precondition for professional driving. I theorize the psychological conditioning of training pts one into state which perceives mundane occurrences as meaningful, to the point of seeming paranormal. A consensus reality manifestation of probabilities, to which our heightened mental state attunes us.

I wondered if my subconscious was sabotaging my goal. Perhaps, it is preparing me for it! I am taking mine, and others, lives in a trust as I accept the responsibility to drive commercially.

You’ve gambled everything on this, and people are gambling their safety with you on the road. They want and demand competence in their truckers.

Humility Assertiveness Confidence Respect Discipline Consideration skill

Wow. Is there a group of strategical pychoanylyst PHDs at work intervening directly in our lives?

ARE YOU A ***** OR A STEER SOLDIER ?!?!

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Thank You

After uncoupling, my Instructor glances resignedly at me as he gets in the cab to park across the lot.

Reading his mood, and extending to him an olive branch, I say, “A Son has a conflicted relationship with his father. He chafes at his Dad's authority, while simultaneously needing his approval."

Across the Lot...

A female student, The Young Natural, and I are comparing notes. We are a week old, yet the newer Young Natural has already driven the tractor downtown, something we have yet to learn!

The instructors nearby are huddled peacefully, facing each other in silence. She observes this remarkable stance, so I advise her on male behaviour, "Men do that."

I follow as she gambles over, to stand opposite, equal and yet in relation to our contrasting roles as student to Instructor. Feeling the peace of the group, I shyly smile.

Thank you!

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Thank You

After uncoupling, my Instructor resignedly gets in the cab with me to park across the lot.

Reading his mood, and extending to him an olive branch, I offer, “A Son has a conflicted relationship with his father. He chafes at his Dad's authority, while simultaneously needing his approval."

Across the Lot...

A female student, the Newbie Natural, and I compare notes. The instructors listening nearby are huddling peacefully, facing each other in silence. She observes this remarkable stance, and I advise her on male behaviour, "Men do that."

I follow as she gambles over, to stand opposite, equal and yet in relation to our contrasting roles as student to Instructor. Feeling the peace of the group, I shyly smile.

Thank you.

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

I feel like Chicken Tonight!

Facing off with the well-meaning, well-seasoned Biker I mean Instructor, I threw my hat down, cursing passionately at the illogic of following his backing directions, when I can’t even see the parking spot for the snow.

The men next lot over, casually pretending to do work, clandestinely sauntered over to to investigate the drama unfolding.

He rolls his eyes, “I don’t see what the problem is, I could do it with my eyes shut!,” laying down his frustration with my going AWOL.

“If I had 50 years experience like you, maybe I could do it! But its an articulating hitch, going backwards, through mirrors, with the pylons buried in snow! Let me get a feel for backing, I have to learn it for myself! I am not a Don Juan like you, I am a student Romeo”. Let me play!”

Slamming the door after hailing ass my back into the cab, I aced the back up. I loudly celebrated, hi fiving, “Hot stuff! I am getting laid tonight! heck, I’m sampling to the whole seafood buffet!”

I happily went around the truck and enthusiastically pulled the handle decoupling the fifth wheel jaws, happy thoughts of good times dancing in my head.

meanwhile…

Across the lot, a student honks his horn twice prior to backing. Unexpected, a person appears in his mirror. Forced to abort his maneuver, he waits idling. The person finishes his task and departs.

The others student’s Instructor comes over. “Mike! You didn’t see my truck backing up! Didn’t you hear the horn?”

“Well, I thought I heard a couple of calves mewling in the next county, but not quite the herald of trumpets from God you’re talking about. Perhaps your student could give the horn a manlier punch?

“You could have been run over. You have to be aware of your surroundings.”

“I am learning situational awareness, I’ll admit.” I shoulder checked surreptitiously to ensure privacy, “To be honest,” I intoned conspiratorially with my hand cupped over the side of my mouth, “My Instructor John says he is going to ruin my car driving, and turn me into a truck driver!”

I’m John too. He’s big John, I’m little John, but I rule the lot!

I bent over and had to put glove under my nose evacuating my nose from suddenly laughing out loud.

So, Robin Hood, The Merry Minstrels John, and I are friends.

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Canuck CDL Journal: Balls to the Wall

Wed Mar 7. 2018

A beautiful stranger in distress appears to the boy-now-a-man across the hill. He makes a calculated gambit. He has to have confidence in himself that he has correctly assessed his own character and delivered the appropriate lessons to his charge. He swallows his own fears of inadequacy and boldly trusts the younger man to his own devices, as he once again gives of his life to help meet the needs of a stranger in greater peril.

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