Canuck CDL Journal: Balls To The Wall

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mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

So i'm not sure if i am allowed to share my driver training story here, i'm just canadian, and this is an American site. maybe Brent won't notice. Sorry if I am breaking the rules. :-)

just joshing ya! I am not that much of an blushing flower--- a shy and sweet Canadian: I am a Truck-Canuck with my Balls to the Wall!

Me: Where do I begin the story?

You: How about – at the beginning!

The beginning is when I felt I made a commitment:

not when a ferries mechanic biker buddy sized me up as a trucker six months ago, which really gave me the idea and started this whole thing not when I got bored of moping around like a sad sack of potatoes after a breakup not when I ceremoniously left drama queens and kings and my old ways not when I exercised and got fitter not when I researched ways to enhance attention, memory, focus and mood not when I passed my medical, after watching my diet not when I passed the beginners written test not when on my way to a trucking interview, I picked up a hitchhiking trucker (I must have a sixth sense), who invited me to the funeral of a bus driver, where I felt I met my new family, serendipitously meeting the rep of Waste Management, whom coincidentally I had interviewed yesterday, after chatting with their driver with whom I got along famously, meeting him filling up at the card lock where I get my 0% ethanol midgrade, which I went to following the advice of a trucker friend. Do you see a pattern here? not when I paid the trucking course deposit not when I got new winter tires, to go over the Coquihalla Mountain not when I practiced self-dicipline, self-defence, self-respect, consistent habits, to-do lists, effective social skills and tied up loose ends

not even when I got lucky...

In the end, it was the challenge to find a cheap motel which cracked me.

I was having difficulty deciding which one. Ultimately, I was putting off confronting that I will be living in a new home, in a new life, and a different, more better attitude. I will be attending a month long course in another town, and working in a new State..of mind.

My beginning happened when I rented a bachelor, and my old self died. I made the commitment when my money talked and my bull**** walked.

Now, I feel different; vaporous–yet secure, like I am finally almost there. As I move toward my goal, I can offer my honest testimony as a student. There are steps I would like to share; practical tips, insights. I start school in 15 days.

I have to prepare a box of stuff for the journey across the mountain. As I listen in the predawn light of a new spring to the trucks roarrrrring by as they shake my cottage on the highway as they have always done, for 18 years. But now, there is a different, living, urgent sound to them calling me to run with them, a call to fun, and a future. Or am I that dense that it took me this long to finally hear them calling my name?

--------------

Upcoming: making a decision: what kind of trucking job?

https://www.truckingtruth.com/truckers-forum/Topic-1351/Page-1/list-of-questions-to-ask-a-recruiter#

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

Thurs Feb 22, 2018

So when does a story begin? It begins with feeling, and intent. Life lessons come from all sides. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

“As the crow flies”

Google maps says it’s 4 hrs from Vancouver to Trucking School. The scenic route along the Fraser Canyon is 5 hrs. Great! (For a crow!)

Having the luxury of a few days planning, I was able to intuit the best day for traveling. Sunny, warm(BC Coast in feb), clear. So I came down from the land of bears and cougars and stayed over in Vancouver with a friend, and after a Truckers breakfast at Bonns off Braodway ($2.95), headed out at noon. Fueled at Hope. Enjoyed the scenery on clear roads.

I’m from the “Wet Coast’, and my experience with driving consists of 20 km between Gibsons (Beachcombers - ‘Mollys Reach”) and Sechelt.

As the beautiful sunset fell, I sailed along ancient lands with the crows flying in the sky, The Cache Creek turnoff to Kamloops passed by, as I was transfixed flowing on the hypnotic flashing yellow lights of a municipal vehicle.…going in the wrong direction!

WTF? It’s 6:00 PM,….I shouldn’t I be there now? Call my new landlord, hold dinner, google maps says I’ll be an hour later, and I’m already 2 hours late! Under a deceivingly bright sky, oblivious to the looming threat, I returned to the turnoff. The sky suddenly dims to eternal blackness as the sun disappears behind the mountains. As the snow begins to writhe like serpents under the headlights, the lines and the un-barriered cliff edges become indistinguishable. A unique effect!

“Does anyone know, where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours? The Sailors all say she’d have made Whitefish Bay, if she’d put 15 more miles, behind her!”- Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, by Gordon Lightfoot

Hair-raising. After 7 hours of driving, it is dangerously hypnotic. To keep my brain awake, I discovered I could wag my head back and forth to maintain focus. Eventually, I just gave up following the other cars. I mean, really, 110km at night in whiteout conditions, on a curving road along a cliff, with invisible lines? I’m glad I didn’t take my dog; I wouldn’t risk his life!

So I pulled over, had a stretch, a breath of cold air and ****ed like a racehorse, and felt alive again. It is touch and go for a wet coast dude not used to snow. I grew up in The East Coast, but I’m rusty.

And not as foolhardy at 54 as I was at 24. I would take off at night in a snowstorm driving my RX7 wearing nothing but a T shirt and my summer rubbers, to go to a nightclub in Moncton. Land in ditches and get out out somehow. Foolish, or savvy? Safe RX! :-p. Balls to the wall.: wear winter rubbers.

I arrived, frazzled but safe, 8 hours later, ready for a beer.

Lessons for traveling: -leave earlier but well rested, and take your time. Don’t drive at night in the snow if you can help it

Study the map before, write out the directions

keep them handy on the passenger seat if you don’t have a sexy navigator. Use google street view to see your turnoffs, exits etc.

Don’t get hypnotized by flashing lights. Give your head a shake!

Don’t wear summer rubbers on a winter date

Don’t even get me started on google maps

Next: Drop your ****s and pull up your Socks, a bunkhouse expression

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

Fri Feb 23, 2018

Drop your Sexy Navigator and pull up your Socks

a few more snow lessons from yesterday: -you cant stop safely on the highway, there's no shoulder anyway -and if you did, leave plenty of space for others to pass safety. Remember, they can’t stop either ! Here but for the grace of God and Angel Truckers. Thank you Sirs! I owe you more than one! I pledge to pay it forward.

After driving blind in Canadian Winter Conditions, I arrived finally at my ‘safe house’. It was lonely being silent and I just wanted to be driving, anything but be in a safe, quiet, clean, newly renovated and furnished, warm suburban suite. Paradoxical reaction.

The next morning, in the midst of selling my first-born son to pay for the course, when my Instructor called! My training begins on Monday. He invited me to witness a pre-trip inspection done by other students. I had 45 minutes to get to the lot, 10 minutes away.

An hour and a half later, after arguing with conflicting maps, I roll in like The Hero. The Teachers were outside, Warriors before battle braving the blustery squalls– and class was cancelled.

I finally get to meet one of my instructors. He suggested joining another pre-trip in progress, giving me directions going in a circle in the industrial area to enter the rear of the compound. I amuse myself with the thought that this may be a test for a newbie, similar to, “get blinker fluid”, to assess my map-reading preparedness or observational comprehension. I suppose determining from my expression I had not committed the map to heart, he blessedly offered to escort me. But the students were not there either. Another lesson: show up 15 minutes early, do not keep instructors or others waiting. I didn’t look at the clock or call. I also didn’t anticipate my arrival time taking in the conditions.

I decide to make use of the storm to battle my nemesis, winter driving. Confident drivers on the Trans Canada overtake me on the compacted slippery snow, confident through necessity, skill or perhaps impatience. Am I upsetting the traffic flow? demanded with my slower driving.

On arriving at the safe house, my Snow Plow Operator Landlord offers the suggestion that vehicles may improve traction by rolling to a stop on the compacted snow on either side of the black road surface tracks. Signs regulate separate speed limits for trucks: 80 KPH; and regular vehicular traffic: 100KPH. I’m comfortable at trucking speeds.

There are unexpected new challenges for a coastal bear out of his comfy lair: unknown streets, conflicting and GPS maps, learning to read highway signs, fancy road building technology, visual impairment due to blowing snow, navigating cliffs, invisible ice, different cultural personality style, and you don’t know anybody or where anything is.

I didn’t know where North was. In older cities, the streets align N,E,S,W. Here in the Rockies, the road follows topographical features. You have to study the land to reveal the direction. Trans Canada East may actually seem seem to be north going slightly east. I understand why truckers prefer paper maps.

Calling St. Christopher, Angel of Travelers. But there may be no assistance rendered: because the project of learning Trucking is about taking the reigns, um… steering wheel, of life. Can you do it on your own… Can you be trusted with the responsibility of a truck and a valuable load with nothing but the wide open sky and whats left of your wits? Figure it out on your own. Can you do a somersault, landing on your feet. Bull**** walks and money talks, with your balls to the wall in the glory hole which is occasionally life.

I have read other students’ first day accounts. For me it’s true that my first day is humiliating. I make every mistake in the book, some things even a gentleman doesn’t admit. Some sort of cosmic humility at work balancing my character. Something inside me is provoking my arrogance to acknowldge itself out loud and proud to be confronted. Dry sense of humour, ok; a positive attitude, good; humility, priceless.

This is not about my ego. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege. We are tasked with the responsibility of protecting ourselves, others, and to keep the vehicles and cargo safe. (It’s in the BC Commercial Driving Guide.)

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

"Yann Martel" is learning how-to drive a truck...you are quite the story-teller.

A few questions:

Where are you going to school? How long is the course? How far along are you in the process?

That will help everyone reading your diary.

mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

Mon Feb 26, 2018

Please send thoughts and prayers to the injured and their families.

Coquihalla Highway reopens after serious multi-vehicle crash

A serious six-vehicle crash closed the Coquihalla Highway in both directions north of Hope, B.C. for several hours on Sunday night and sent dozens of people to hospital.

As of 8:25 a.m. Monday, the road has now reopened.

OPEN – #BCHwy5 between #Merritt and #HopeBC. The road is now clear of the earlier vehicle incident.

— Drive BC (@DriveBC) February 26, 2018

The crash, which occurred near the Othello exit around 8 p.m. Sunday, involved a Greyhound bus, another passenger bus, two semi-trailers and two vehicles.

READ MORE: Coquihalla Highway reopens after fatal multi-vehicle crash on Family Day long weekend

Seven ambulances were initially dispatched — but eventually 36 units were involved, including two helicopters. Heavy snow in the area presented a challenge for first responders.

BC Emergency Health Services said 26 people were taken to hospital in conditions ranging from stable to critical. At least seven were said to be in serious condition.... (50% quote rule, more at links)

This is indicative of the challenge drivers face on our mountainous winter roads– and this on a state-of-the-art highway. My scenic route was along the Trans Canada through the Fraser Valley, and I had beautiful weather. Even then, I had moments which tingled my short-and-curlies. Not everyone is so lucky to have control over traveling schedule; think: commercial drivers.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

"Yann Martel" is learning how-to drive a truck...you are quite the story-teller.

A few questions:

Where are you going to school? How long is the course? How far along are you in the process?

That will help everyone reading your diary.

Yann Martel wrote the Life of PI, google says. I was raised in PEI by creative, immigrants from England and India, who 'came from away'... Toronto. East Coasters are big story tellers. It wasn't just windy, rather, "It was so windy, the good Nuns were flying in their habits and they had to tie the houses down to keep the cows from being hit." I was going to get into it later, challenges, one step at a time. You jumped the treadle on me! I was going to reveal the school at the end. The inner journey is my real teacher. OK, enuf of metaphors, I start REAL TRUCKING SCHOOL in two hours. However, I am also enrolled in the school of life. The lessons are free, and sometimes hard, but the rewards are priceless. Hope you join me in my cab to share the journey, I could use some good company. Thanks for dropping in. Grab a coffee.

mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

Monday Feb 26 2018

TL;DR: (too long; didn’t read)

My first day at trucking school. Step-by-turning proceedure. How to fool the Instructor by cheating.

Rubber hits the Road, Pedal to the Metal, Money Talks and BS walks , Balls…

My experience is nothing like the sponsored training offered in the US. I wasn’t sure how to share my experience. Generally we have a gentler ride up North. We come to school with our beginners in hand. We have demonstrated motivation as we often pay for school and lodging out of our own pockets, so we effectively pre-select ourselves. Although, there are employment programs which pay CDN$7,000 - 1,000 +/- and expenses. I admire the US students because the culture expects them to pull themselves up by their socks, without any support, and no one listens if someones feeling sorry for themselves. Altho the skool is free, its rugged! From the 30 hr bus ride, to the hostel sharing bunks with total unknowns, to no pay for expenses. Easier if you have a military background. The Americans extol great rewards for personal responsibility.

I am going to TRU, Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., Canada. I am taking the “Class 1 Greenhorn Driver” course: 4 wks, 4 hrs/day, 1-on-1 with instructor. 104 hours of in cab instruction,.Lots of extracurricular pre-trip inspection practice. You are expected to arrive with your beginners licence in hand. They will teach me air brakes in this course and set up the tests. There are other trucking courses of less duration and cost. I chose the greenhorn to assure employers of my competence, and to feel confident. They have a mentorship program with partner companies for grads. TRU trucking is respected by employers.

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

I wake up in the predawn light in the apartment I rented. I put on my winter long johns for the winter outside, eat breakfast, review the Drivers Guide, and gather the tools I brought for the pre-trip inspection. My car wasn’t dead in the cold, but I have a portable battery just in case. I got roadside assistance through ICBC, and have full insurance.

I left an hour and a half early to give myself time to find the place again. This time, I dint ask google to direct me. As I anticipated, I got lost. The road signs don’t agree with the google maps. Maybe I will try Apple maps. Or buy the damn paper map!

I got there 20 mins early to see the action is taking place in the truck yard. Introduced my self to an Instructor, who knew my name, and pointed out my teacher for the next two days. He was just finishing up with his morning student, and asked me to wait. I met a new student, female. There are lots of women in trucking. They are smoooooth operators apparently. I am jealous. I like to push a thing to its limits (and beyond) get a feel for it’s abilities and limitations. Sort of like the Instructor teaching a student.

But we adapt to the truck, the Instructor says, not the other way around, and every truck is different. I laid my hand on the dash and performed a ceremony. Assuring her that although she is 550 hp, and 18,500 ft/lbs of torque, that I appreciate it not how big she is, but her heart that matters. In silent communion, I assure her that although I am young(at heart) and inexperienced, and may inadvertently be rough and fumble with her at times, appreciate her temperance with meow, and ask for her forgiveness and patience. I appreciate her as a gift from God, and thank her for sharing with me her inner ways. ...contd

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

....cont'd

TIL (Today I Learned):

We hopped in the cab, my first time in a big rig since hitch-hiking! I showed him my drivers license and beginners. We did a quick pre-trip on the bobtail. Easy first day stuff. I teased him to try to make it harder, to give me a challenge, make me recite protocol. I expected a hazing, he warmly advised me it comes later.

We drove around the industrial area for a few mins as he demonstrated shifting. He makes it seem effortless! Watch your tach for when to upshift at 1,400-1,700 rpm ; two light pops on the clutch; first to pause at neutral, then to higher gear. There are 18 gears: 4 low, 4 higher, reverse and low. There is also an overdrive, which you can use in any gear apparently, and a finger paddle to shift between ranges. It’s actually simpler than it sounds. 4-8 is overlaid on 1-4: Remember, I know very little, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I enrolled in the longer course to get better. Maybe take what I say with a grain of salt. I may have made mistakes, there no time to write things down when you’re going around a corner.

Going around a Corner:

See stop sign. Signal. Slow down, brake to 1,000 rpm, flip paddle, blip clutch, neutral, blip clutch- maybe throttle blip, drop to 4. Brake to stop, keeping to left of lane if turning right and vice versa, while applying clutch fully, Shift to 2, keeping stop sign viewable in windshield. Breathe. Check traffic. Look in direction of travel. Release brake and clutch (swiftly but easy tiger), roll forward without touching treadle then accelerate to 1,400-1,700rpm,, keep both hands on steering wheel, no overhanding or wheel slipping, as turn progresses and steering wheel stops turning for the duration of the apex of the turn, remove one hand, load the shifter(?), blip clutch neutral smaller blip pull 3rd and replace hand on wheel, turn wide, floor it and burn rubber outta that dump!

Start in 2 when bobtailing. 4 is roughly 20-25km/h. Use the lower gears to get rolling, above 4 to accelerate.

Change to higher gears going uphill at hgher tach, downhill to higher gears at lower tach. Change to lower gears going uphill at lower tach, downhill to lower gears at lower tach. This is the tough part, Brakes are hot, with 70,000 lb+ monkey on your back, Going downhill and slowing the tach is near impossible, RUNAWAY! Thats when my Commanding Officer revealed himself. I wrecked the truck and killed bunch of people including me. Give me 40 in the slush right now soldier! That’s nothing meow, my late Step-Dad was a Lieutenant in the British Army.

Its all a feel, observation, tach, speedometer and making mental notes.

Your operating range of torque to horsepower is roughly between 1,000 and 17,000 rpm. Don’t go over 2,000 rpm or the she will explode. Well, the engine gets mad. Same thing.

It is a fun and exciting day. Like driving a big ride-on-lawn-mower that is allowed on the street. It’s sorta bucky and stoppy, with a patient Dad beside you, although he’s ready to lay down the law. I expressed concearn I whenI his face blanched, but he survived. I already lost one Dad last year, I need this one. He said I improved during the lesson.

I feel I could have paid more attention to my driving, and less on being “entertaining.” There is a quality of assertiveness composed of equal parts focus and guts which makes a trucker great. I am concerned I may have dinsappointed him a little that I didn’t demonstrate a Natural Born Talent at the task. I was too busy talking. I will have to rely on technique, and gain confidence. I have a sore back, as he warned I might. That clutch is a stiff long leg reach at the lower ranges. I need to learn to relax, take it easy and keep it simple, stupid. Adjusting to a whole new lifestyle means keeping good habits like drinking water so I get rid of this headache.

After class, I met a young dude who is taking his test tomorrow. I shook his hand and wished him luck, and encouraged him to just trust in his teachers instruction. Then I took a long drive in my SUV, which now felt like an electric go cart. I didn’t want to stop moving! I had a coffee at a gas station, and noticed the young tradesmen with caps and trucks with diesel tanks in pickup. I realize, we look alike, as I enter a new chapter in my life, full of promise and dreams of world domination.

And so our productive first day ended. We will be back tomorrow, and the Ol’ Man says I will get better after sleeping on it. Can’t wait !!

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

Tuesday Feb 27, 2018

It was an exhausting day. By acting meek and mild, I have been patiently supporting my instructors self image as a ‘teacher’, whist surreptitiously instructing him in the correct way to drive. It’s very tiring having to feed back everything he tells me to a way he can understand. Sometime brute force is required, emergency stops, popping the clutch, even screaming back waht he said and forcing gears while looking directly in his eyes, anything to fix him of his fixed delusions. Time will tell if this strategy succeeds.

He is telling me “You do what the trucks wants, it doesn’t do what you want”. Oh jeez, what do have here, a cowboy Yoda? Wax on wax off? Metaphysical mumbo jumbo. I am the head cowboy, get used to it!

I’ve had to trick* my ‘trainer’ into thinking I am a ready driver, to let me on the highway. I’m bored of this kid stuff in the back lot. Finally, he figured out I’m ‘ready’! LOL Fresh air and the open road! It was a blast, and another great day. I am in love with the road and a truck. My 'experienced' instructor** has realized my natural born talent. Life is good.

TIL (Today I Learned):

How to drive on the highway! Just like the big boys!

-the girls love truckers at A&W

-Observe everything around you at all times - its vital to know the road signs and where ll vehicles, people and objects are around you, and where you are positioned on road - the clutch is your enemy, depress fully only when stopped. Use lightly when shifting, and better not to use it at all. Use the tach to determine progressive shifting points

-Be smooth. Clutching, braking, accelerating evenly and with full control , no jerking

-go slow - road signs are meant for you. Big load, long stop, hot brakes, hot babes, safety #1

-enter lots slowly -then drive in first gear. slow is safe is professional. Be humble

-Approach a stop prepared by already being downshifted to 4th.

-Roll away from stop in 2nd (bobtail) upshift in turn at apex of turn, while steering wheel remains still

-keep two hands on the wheel at all times, except to shift and roll cigs

-don’t let starring wheel slip between your fingers, don’t hand over hand.(ICBC test)

-turn wide -be in right side of lane as you turn turn left, and vice versa

-plan your moves - so you don’t have to correct them.

-No backing up - There are always cars behind you at a stop sign.

-look ahead on highway, not in front of cab- the wheels will naturally follow the correct position in the road

-don’t determine clearance by sideswiping garbage cans, the neighbours are watching

-You represent the industry and you employer, restrain fisticuffs to caturday night

-Consider others

‘Cheat Sheet’ available at arious prices. act now!

**The first three paragraphs are a humour piece. MY INSTRUCTOR IS ACTUALLY AWESOME!

The TIL is my sincere attempt at recollection of todays lesson. There is so much more. I will start taking notes.

PS The aforementioned student who failed his first test (left his Jake Brake on) passed his Class 1 retest today! Now, he is a Man. We congratulated him, and I could tell our instructor especially is proud of him– he shook my hand in the excitement!

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

mikemotorbike's Comment
member avatar

The course is strange, in the way it pushes you to limit without you realizing it. There’s an undercurrent of urgency amidst the peaceful, well organized setting. The laid back, chill attitude prevailing with the students and Instructors. It's a surreal kind of uber-stress. It's like a test to handle stress. Learning to write is like learning to drive. When I post without reviewing completely, it's like I didn’t check my approach, and now I am stuck, I can’t edit it out(journal enties are uneditable.) I may cause a traffic jam or an accident, or maybe bruised feelings. I may not be able to back up!

Yesterday alone was worth the price of admission to the course! I got to drive a truck-tractor on the highway…. like a dream, only for real. I did balk on dropping the gears and had to stop in Neutral. This is bad because the failure to consider the tach, speed, stopping distance, and the traffic around me going down a hill enough to downshift is what causes a runaway. The lesson here is to be calm, go slow, plan ahead. This is big character attribute necessary for effective mental functioning.

I was permitted to back up the truck to a trailer….and I got it after a few tries. It’s a nice feeling. Like being on a dude ranch. When I do things right, I feel it in my gut and chest. A good feeling. I just know. When I aim from my gut. Impossible for the conscious brain, but easy for the all knowing subconscious.

I realize that in our conservation, there is very little small talk on his part. He is completely focused on driving. I mistake that for an invitation for conversation. He smiles politely at my attempts at humour. I need to pay better attention to my driving! He’s always one step ahead of me. The instructor has a lifetime of driving experience, raising sons, so he knows. You can trust him to steer you right.

We should come from a position of humility and strength. I see him in my minds eye flexing his bicep, in a short sleeved shirt like a proud father. He is either inviting me to arm wrestle, or saying…”be strong like me. You will get there”

I will always make mistakes. I will admit them and apologize for them. Sometimes you can’t backup or edit (journal posts can’t be edited). You have to be savvy, disciplined and friendly and humble, learn your lesson and move on.

I realize, I need to review the manual more everyday…homework. Nobody tells you what to do. You are assumed to be an adult. I am going to school now. My new instructor says I arrive early I can watch a pre-trip. Otherwise, I’ll study. I will study in any case tonight, as I am this morning. I gotta go.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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  • The High Road Training Program
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Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

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About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

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Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

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