Four weeks of school. Check.
Passed exam and earned CDL. Check.
Quick trip south to pack up the old house and move north. Check.
Trucking life has now begun officially. First week was filled with informational videos, filling out forms, driving with a company trainer, information from various departments, a brief introduction to parking and being officially hired as a truck driver.
Second week, I moved stuff into our truck. Then, we took one more trip south to finish our move before heading out on the road for the serious truck driver training.
Third week was a mix of amazement, accomplishment and frustration. Driving on the open highway has been the easiest to adapt to. As one might expect, traffic jams take a lot of focus and can be pretty intense. As an auto driver for 30+ years, I’m familiar with driving in unfamiliar areas, but it can be a bit hairier to get a truck into the correct lanes than it is a car. Then there’s parking, communication with dispatch, fueling, recording Hours of Service (HOS), time management, inspecting the truck, connecting and un-connecting trailers, parking, checking in at shippers/receivers and fitting in eating/showering/sleeping, etc.
This week, I’m feeling a bit more comfortable, but I’m still getting used to balancing all these spinning plates and learning what goes where and when. I’ve driven through rain and wind gusts thus far. I’ve driven in daylight and darkness.
Now, I’m practicing more backing and parking with a 53 foot trailer behind me. This has been the biggest challenge for me in the journey thus far. There’s no rear view mirror in a semi, which makes seeing what’s going on behind the vehicle more challenging than it is in a car. More importantly, the semi is made of two pieces joined together and able to move in various directions. This requires some seriously counterintuitive thinking when backing.
If all goes well with my current learning activities, I’ll be graduating from trainee to rookie next weekend. I’m so thankful for God’s help with this and for the patience my teachers and husband have shown me.
Time to get some sleep so I’ll be ready to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.
Stay safe out there ☺️