Randy's Truck Driving School - Day 2

by rbradyjohnsen

I just got another update from Randy on his lunch break...he passed the blood pressure test, barely, at 138/90. He said there are rumors that the machine is calibrated high so that most people are failing. 75% of them failed it, and most of them are still too high! Why would that happen?

He also missed the shuttle to get groceries (wasn't paying attention or they didn't make the info available?) and he doesn't know where he'll keep food anyway (locker is small, no fridge or microwave). He's going to talk to other guys to see if he can figure it out. It's so ironic since I am tossing food here every day...it is going bad because there is nobody here to eat it, and I don't have much of an appetite since Randy left (like usual). Years ago, I used to hit the comfort food and pork up when I was stressed, but not any more.

Fast-Paced Schooling

He mentioned the fast pace of the school again, and we are wondering how people who have never touched a truck before will handle it. He's also going to ask, since the Utah CDL book is exactly the same as the MN one, if the class A permit he already has would be transferable. He did find out that his air brakes endorsement is good so he won't have to re-do that.

Apparently it's going to get to be 100 degrees+ there this week...yuck!

I'm so grateful to everyone on truckingtruth.com for their support.This really is a huge life change and, like all such drastic changes, you can prepare up the wazoo and it's still a bit of a shock. But I finally (mostly) stopped crying and have calmed down about 95%. The first few days are the hardest (so far).

Updates From Randy

Randy called me again this evening...I was so looking forward to talking to him, it's now the highlight of my day. But the fast pace of the school is making him incredibly hyper. He didn't sleep much last night, he's talking almost as fast as me (which is way fast), and he's so wound up! It's a miracle his blood pressure came down today. People's weight must be a very big issue there because he is also talking a lot about dieting, which is very unlike him (he loves his fast food). He also told me about a guy who left his unattended backpack in a classroom and it was stolen. He lost an expensive laptop, 2 cartons of cigarettes and all his money and credit cards. I guess he didn't have a nervous wife telling him not to let his bag out of his sight. ;) Then Randy cut our conversation quite short, which was disappointing.

CDL Training A Big Adjustment

I am trying to be understanding about what a huge adjustment this is for him (and so many others). Just a brief while ago, before the economy ruined everything, our life was so different. I mean we've always worked hard and we've been through some really rough personal stuff besides. And for a few busy weeks/months a year, we worked around the clock and for long periods with no days off.

But we were doing what we loved, and sometimes made up to $100/hr. We had the freedom to set our own schedule and, when business was slow, we would stay up all night watching VOD movies in our king-size bed and sleep in really late. Randy often took 30-50 mile scenic trail rides on his bicycle, sometimes stopping for a swim. He ate out a lot, and I always made his favorite foods. I also took care of most of the annoying details of his life, all the yucky paperwork, housework, etc. And, until recently, I was the one that had to go get a "real" job when money got tight. I would say he was pretty spoiled in some ways. It's lucky that he had that awful class B trucking job working for the ex-Hell's Angel's dude to help prep him for this big lifestyle change!

Meanwhile, in spite of lots of electronic and phone socializing and even some actual visitors, I'm so lonely that I was even talking to a cricket I found on my kitchen floor. Unlike Brett, I do not talk to tomato plants (at least not yet).


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.


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.

by Brett Aquila

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