Randy's Truck Driving School - Days 16 And 17

by rbradyjohnsen


Day 16 of Truck Driving School

Well, the "school" part of truck driving school is over with. Randy graduated today, took care of last-minute details and is preparing to go out with a trainer tomorrow. He volunteered to go tonight, but there was a mix-up with his paperwork. That's probably just as well, since he has caught a cold.

He told me one more funny story about one his roommates who went out and purchased a Bible, then continuously dropped f-bombs while reading it! I guess it's disrespectful, but it is ironic and, since he's just a weak little human, I'm sure he'll be forgiven. ;)

I don't think Randy's ever been so emotionally overwrought at times...it really was an extraordinary thing to go through, mostly because of the accelerated pace there.

The intensity of the experience is part of what made it so special for him. He quickly formed a very close bond with many of his fellow students, and they are a diverse bunch of characters whom he never would have come to know so well under other circumstances. They've shared the difficulties, got on each other's nerves, had a few laughs, and developed a camaraderie that will be hard to leave behind as they go their separate ways. I will miss hearing about them.

And I am totally pleased with the results so far. He's so full of common sense now, and always lecturing me about safety issues. The structure and discipline have done him a world of good...I should have sent him there sooner!

We're both enthusiastically bracing for the next step and we are ''All in", so here we go!

Day 17 of Truck Driving School

Randy's day began with a former classmate (who was delayed, and ultimately failed) preparing to leave, but without money or a clue how to get home or even any money for food (hadn't eaten for 2 days)...very depressing.

It got better as he was told he was going to be paid for Tuesday through Friday this week, while he's waiting for his trainer?

I'm feeling hopeful about the trainer he's been assigned to. Here are the facts, as I understand them, from Randy's 1/2 hour phone conversation with the trainer:

- He is an O/O with a new dark blue Cascadia, has well over 1 million accident-free miles, and has a dedicated run to South Carolina and Ohio. Randy will be back in Salt Lake weekly (where he will leave much of his stuff for now) and I wonder where he'll stay? (I wish he'd ask more questions)

- He has an unpronounceable Polish name, is 6'3" with a deep voice, and sounded very intelligent and a little intimidating, but friendly at the same time.

- He was in the military, was shot in Iraq (temporarily paralyzed from his wound but had surgery to correct that), and has jumped out of planes with a parachute. He's also "football guy", which Randy is not.

- He asked Randy if he was allergic to anything. Well, thank heaven's he asked, because otherwise the guy would have brought along his 2 chihuahuas!

- Several employees from the school told Randy that his trainer is "one of their best". I hope that's true, but I suppose they say that to everybody.

- Randy will meet him for coffee, then off they go. And they must have hit it off on the phone, because the trainer was already talking about introducing Randy to his wife. Maybe he just wants to make it personal so Randy will be more careful not to "crash" him. ;)

Now I know it may be 5 or 6 weeks before I see him again. The training will last 4-5 weeks, depending on how it goes. And then it sounds like he may be on that nasty bus again.

One more interesting fact (that I hate): Randy has been told numerous times (by instructors) that he may know more than the Phase 2 trainer he will get!!! Well, at least they're honest. I understand why (from a business standpoint), but that is STUPID and it doesn't make sense to me. But I guess that's just life. :(

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

by Brett Aquila

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