Randy's Phase 1 CDL Training - Part 5

by rbradyjohnsen

Another day stuck at the school, another interesting story...don't know if it's true, but it's interesting. Supposedly, a student took a bottle of liquor on the truck while with an instructor and other students. They got 30 miles away at a truck stop, the safety manager and cops were called, and he got a D.U.I. If it really happened, it's incredibly stupid!

Randy has been trying to do some studying and taking some safety quizzes on the computer. And he did some laundry...the crazy boy washed his whites and darks together. Eeewww, I bet they don't look so great, but oh well.

I can't believe it's still hot there, and he got a little sunburned when he took a walk yesterday. I told him it's very fall-like here...in the 50's, cloudy and wind blowing leaves all around. I think it made him more homesick. And for the first time since he left, he told me he missed me before he said good-bye the last time and, of course, it made me cry. It's going to be a very long winter.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Today, Randy reminded me of my cats. They used to want to be outside when they were inside, and inside when they were outside...they could never make up their minds. Randy's kind of like that with trucking. When he's on the truck, he wants to be back at the school; when he's at the school, he wants to be on the truck. Well, not really because, right now, he'd rather be home for a little while. But that is currently not an option.

So, there was another commotion in his room last night when somebody came in, after lights out, turned on the lights and made a lot of noise. One of the guys took exception to that , there was nearly a fight, security came and escorted the offender out, never to be seen again. Then Randy was awake all night, called me (too early) in the morning and was ready to roll again. So he was happy when, this afternoon rather than tomorrow morning, the trainer came to pick him up again. And they are on their way to Southern California, near Los Angeles. I hope Randy gets to see the Las Vegas lights like he's been wanting to. I'm feeling envious again. :(

And I hope I get to see those lights one day as well. Right now, my big adventure is looking at awful, nasty little apartments. But I have discovered that it is not much more expensive for a nice one. And Randy wants me to be comfortable since I will be spending so much time home and alone, so I have his blessing to spend a little more money. Hopefully he'll still be o.k. with that in the winter when the freight dries up and we're both starving. ;)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Randy was so excited when I spoke to him in the middle of the night and he had just spent 15 minutes enjoying the lights of Las Vegas from the passenger seat. He awoke this morning to his trainer nearly hitting some crazy driver who was sliding sideways down the freeway, but they did manage to miss most of the rush hour. Then he called me later in the morning from East L.A. and the silly man was taking a walk when someone had just told him about all the murders there...I told him, "GET BACK IN THE TRUCK RANDY!" He likes to scare me. Anyway, the trainer bought him a HUGE pizza and they had 2 loads to drop and 2 to pick up, and they were stuck down there for over 12 hours I think. But Randy liked it, he thought it was interesting. He walked around talking to people, touching palm trees, talking to me on the phone, fully experiencing the sketchy areas they were in, and being generally happy for some down time on the road. That's because he's not being paid by the mile right now. ;)

Interesting side note: a lot of the people at the warehouses weren't very nice and they were repeatedly denied use of the restrooms...nice. What is wrong with people? I guess they like 2 grown men to have to pee by the dumpsters. Gross.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Randy started the day around Ogden, UT and I thought he was crazy when a little later (don't know if it was Utah or Wyoming), he took a picture of snow hitting the windshield and sent it to me while driving. At least it looked as if he was in the middle of nowhere. Why didn't he send me a photo of a palm tree or some shady characters yesterday? I can see snow here. :)

The first time he called, he was super-happy and excited to be driving again. It would have been nice if he hadn't included that he was enjoying it so much that he wasn't missing home today. :( When he was done for the day, he sounded more comfortable than usual in the bunk, and we had a nice long conversation. We had lots to talk about since I think I found us an apartment, and our son just got his second promotion in one week and is going to be moving to Chicago this month. Plus I did an hour and 15 minutes on my treadmill today. It's not ALL about Randy you know!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Somewhere near Memphis, Randy saw a truck/flatbed trailer tipped on it's side across 2 lanes...bummer. Other than that, it was business as usual. He did send me some new photos though. I like photos, but I prefer photos of him. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Poor Randy has screwed up the Qualcomm again while fueling and had to fix it on a paper log. I'm glad he's good at the driving part. ;) He has gone 6 days without showering, 5 without brushing his teeth...that trainer won't stop for anything! Gross, I would have to brush my teeth, that's nasty. The trainer told him a story of a trainee who once went 8 days without showering. I think I would demand extra pay for that. Otherwise, it was just a day of driving through windy conditions in Nebraska and Wyoming. He'll be back in Salt Lake by morning and then has another weekend off.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It was a nice boring day at the school. Randy watched several safety videos and took more quizzes, took a nice long walk, and talked to me several times (over 4 hours). He didn't see anybody he knows at all, so there's no "stories". He's kind of excited because the MN Twins could get into the play-offs tomorrow (if they win and Detroit loses). I don't care much about the Twins, but it means he'll be calling me to see what's going on, and I like that. ;) And he could be home in just a little more than 2 weeks!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Randy was awakened, too early, by someone in his room having coughing fits...hope he didn't have H1N1 or TB. :( Then Randy sent me some photos outside his school, and I sent him some (by request) of my progress packing up our house and the mess that our yard has become since he's not here to take care of it. He keeps hearing stories of drivers who bolt after Phase 1 training. He said he can understand that because he is REALLY ready for some home time.

Mid-afternoon, lucky him, the trainer called and said they were taking off a day early, not to California but back to Memphis instead. That made him very happy because he is completely sick of being at the school. I didn't hear from him again until almost 4 a.m., and he was a little rattled by having just driven through ice, snow, rain and fog. Apparently, I-80 was closed down just after he went through. I'm just glad he made it. :)


Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

by Brett Aquila

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