Husband And Wife To Start April 11 With Driver Solutions/PAM

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Dixie Rose (Vicki)'s Comment
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As many already know my husband and myself are starting this new chapter together. I wanted to get a jump start on the diary for those that might be considering doing the same thing. Because it isn't just about going to school to learn to drive or getting on the road.

Lets start by saying about two weeks ago I applied with PAM. My husband applied a week earlier. He talked me into doing this since we were basically facing an eviction and to him this was our only solution. After thinking about it, I considered that he was right. So I left my job at WalMart and we started to sell off everything we own. We are not going to have a home for awhile except for our truck. No biggie to me, I enjoy the concept of tiny house living.

The hardest part was this past Saturday. I had to say goodbye to both of my cats. I do however get to pick one up after we are in our own truck. So that helps a bit. The second hardest part for myself was saying goodbye to the people I had worked with for almost a year. I didn't realize how many friendships I had made. The third hardest was actually selling our stuff. Not because I was attached to it, but because people wanted it for almost nothing.

For my husband the hardest part would be his family not accepting his new career choice. Guess they don't realize that without people like us they won't get their high end stuff they enjoy buying. My family is all for it. My mom is even looking forward to the day she can tell everyone her daughter is a trucker. LOL

Anyways we will get to Indy this Sunday (April 10) and check into the hotel. Monday morning at 6 am we report to Driver Solutions for the physical and drug test and the signatures of forever. I am very excited to be doing this. As is Paul (hubby). While the decision to this was mutual and the right thing for us to do, think hard about it. Giving up everything isn't as easy as it might sound.

Will update this probably either Sunday night after we get to the hotel, or Monday after our first day in classes.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dixie Rose (Vicki)'s Comment
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We arrived in Indy about 3 pm on Sunday April 10. We are being housed at a place called Extended Stay America. I have to say it isn't bad. Love the little kitchenette and the room is plenty big. There is laundry on site, free wifi, and they even supply you with things to cook with if you want. I do have to go buy coffee filters but that is a small price to pay. Tomorrow is the long day....6 am for DOT drug screen/physical. After that who knows.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Rick S.'s Comment
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Looking forward to hearing all about y'alls journey.

Rick

Dixie Rose (Vicki)'s Comment
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We are done with day #1. We got there at 5:30 am, had to be there at 6 am. As soon as we were able to get into the building Paul and I picked a seat and waited. Someone came in with tons of paper work for us to start filling out. Medical info, application for employment etc. That took about an hour. Then those who had highlighted papers (drug screen and physicals docs) were called out of the room and lined up.

By the time we were done with physicals it was almost 1 pm. Expect to wait. It was nearly 1:15 pm before we were allowed a break. But this was because we have a class of about 34 and it takes time to get through all of those people. Needless to say Paul and I both passed our physicals and vision part of the exams. And pretty sure that we passed the drug test too since we are both clean. They do not want you to drink coffee or smoke before testing because it can and most likely will raise your BP. Mine was 94/70 Paul's (my hubby) was 134/90, his was up there due to not getting a break and a couple "drivers" taking liberties and cutting in line.

Tomorrow they want us to go for our permit test. Eeeek.

Anyways we are back at the hotel now. Gonna crack open the books after dinner and study...study....study. Till tomorrow!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dixie Rose (Vicki)'s Comment
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Day #2 ...Well today was super busy. We had a full day in class with five practice tests. Then afterwards those of us who didn't have our permit(about 7 of us) were sent off to go take it. It was nerve racking to say the least. I can say one thing about the tests, read between the lines when you study. The questions are worded so oddly you are bound to mess up.

I can also say I am now the proud owner of my CDL permit. Sadly though my husband didn't pass today, but neither did the rest of the group. I kind of feel bad because I did pass and no else did. ( And I am getting "teased" about it too.) But from what I have heard not many do pass the first time taking it. He goes back tomorrow and will focus on the general knowledge test. I am helping him study but not sure how much it is going to help.

Anyways not a lot happened besides testing today. Hope tomorrow is more eventful and I have more information to give. Until then!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Charlie Mac's Comment
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If I can give you any advice, Keep your head down during the 1st week & stay focused. There are a lot of people more interested in cracking jokes & wasting time then focusing on their futures. Don't let it bother you. They will start to dwindle down & before you know it those that study & help one another practice will be the ones remaining.

They kind of weed themselves out LOL. I was slightly annoyed at first but being midway through week 2 a lot of them simply aren't around anymore. I can only imagine why.

Week 2 is HIGHLY self guided. They are figuring out who wants to be there. Just focus on helping your hubby get that permit for now & practice your pre-trip together. The keys aren't in the trucks after school but the range is ALWAYS open (to students) regardless of the time. Get to know them inside & out. Stay late, come in on the weekend's & USE THOSE TRUCKS. That's what they're there for. 😉

(Just don't drive them) Haha!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Dixie Rose (Vicki)'s Comment
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Today is Saturday. We finished week one with no problems. Hubs even got his permit yesterday. He is picking up pre-trip quick too. He almost has the four point down. I myself have about a third of the pre trip memorized. First week is hard, I won't lie about that. But if you are serious about doing this it does come.

Now with this all being said I should be at the range right now, but sadly laundry doesn't do itself. LOL We are going to the range tomorrow though. I will have that truck memorized before Wed. I want to start driving as fast as I can.

Right now my biggest obstacle is self confidence and being razzed about how I am doing my pre trip. Some say I look like I am trying to land a plane. But hey whatever works.

Our class has lost about 8 people so far. Some to family not liking them being gone, some to money issues and then the dumb ones. Drugs. If you are serious about driving you have to get off the drugs and alcohol. There is a zero tolerance when it comes to that sort of thing. You do the homework, you study and you study more....that is the only way to get through this. It takes dedication and it takes mental strength to even get through week one. But once you get through it you have accomplished something big!

Dixie Rose (Vicki)'s Comment
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Been a while since I posted. We got to week 3 and boom I got DQ'd on a medical. But I am happy to say that everything is clear now and we start back up this coming Monday (May 30). Only one thing though...we are not going to be driving for PAM anymore. Apparently they wouldn't sponsor us even with the all clear. So we went with Swift. We were one day out from testing at state when my little mishap occurred, and that frustrates me more than anything. Oh well things happen for a reason. And we go back, and will most likely be pushed hard since we know most of what we need to pass state.

OldRookie's Comment
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Hang in there!

Chris K.'s Comment
member avatar

Curious about the medical d/q, was it something they found in your history? I had an issue a cpl years ago and I'm waiting on my records to see how the dr worded/states the problem. Just don't want any surprises once I get started.

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