Randy At Truck Driving School - Day 1

by rbradyjohnsen

Well, I spoke to Randy for nearly an hour last night about his first full day at truck driving school, and it was over a 12-hour marathon starting at 7 am. Ha, he thinks I'm a genius now for all the research I've done (he used to get irritated and say I was over-thinking it). And he thinks that Brett and the other drivers on the TruckingTruth forum, where I go for help, are super-geniuses! Because everything he is experiencing is stuff that I told him was going to happen.

First Impressions Of The Trucking School

He's very impressed by the school, and described it as a cross between a military base and a college, but he also sees why it's a "CDL mill" and said it looks like a big money-making machine. He still hasn't found an affordable way to eat, and is almost out of all the high-protein snacks I packed him. He said that the restaurant there is usually empty because most of the students have no money. But the place is rather isolated and they've received no information about how they're supposed to eat or any time to figure it out yet. But he said that at least 75% of the people there are overweight, so maybe that's on purpose. ;)

He spent hours and hours just standing in lines, but that's where he met lots of interesting characters and heard lots of rumors/info. Apparently nearly EVERYONE was saying "Don't take the lease!"...gotta love the internet for keeping people well-informed! Most of the students are in their 40's and 50's, and either lost good jobs or (like my husband) had their well-established businesses fail due to the economy. He made a new best friend of his roommate from Las Vegas (who is his same age) a former construction manager who introduced himself by saying how scared he was. He also heard a lot of whiners and complainers who were ill-prepared and hadn't done any research...they complained about the bus ride, didn't know anything about the company or the school, and didn't understand the whole process. One guy said the recruiter just told him to get on the bus and bring a flashlight. :-?

Several Trucking Students Eliminated The First Day

They started the day with about 80 people (mostly guys) but after the physical and interview process, there were only 55 left. While standing in lines, they all speculated that those unfortunate people had lied about their health or criminal history or something. And then they just escorted them right off the premises. They have zero tolerance for any infractions of their rules, which also gets you escorted away. Where is away I wonder? Do they at least give them a ride to the bus station? As it turns out, they do not.

Everyone Was Very Nervous

Randy only had one problem. He, like nearly everyone he spoke to, was extremely nervous (he's sweated through 4 shirts already, good thing I packed so many). At the physical, his blood pressure was high, which has NEVER happened to him before. He's been to the doctor a couple times this year and his blood pressure is always normal or a little low. So they'll take it again tomorrow, and I hope it's o.k. or they'll get rid of him too. I'm so glad we didn't pay upfront now, just in case.

He likes his seven roommates and even slept well the 1st night. He's a bit overwhelmed by the fast pace, which probably didn't help the blood pressure any. All-in-all, he's doing well so far, after 1 whole day. As for me, a psychologist told us (years ago) that we were "entangled". So I guess now we're "detangled", and I'm still having husband-withdrawl symptoms. :)


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
by Brett Aquila

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