Like what I did there? A little shout out to Titanic. 😀
Anyhow, this past week was kind of a “whoosh” of learning. I spent the first two days reviewing various safety information with the rest of my class as they prepared to test for their CDL permits. I–having already gotten my permit–didn’t really have to be in class, but I figured I could always learn something else.
On the third day, I was put with an instructor and a more advanced student to go driving on real roads in Indianapolis! It seemed so sudden and yet, that is what I came to school for, right? So, I spent part of that trip watching the other student drive and listening to our instructor’s coaching until it was my turn in the driver’s seat. Then, I adjusted my seat, steering wheel and mirrors so I could reach pedals and shifter. It felt mostly like a really big car.
Once I was set up, my instructor coached me through what gear to start in, how to shift and where to turn next. It definitely takes some getting used to because there’s a trailer behind that needs to be considered when turning and the shifting uses a double clutch technique which is a bit different from the single clutching in a car. Remembering which gear the truck is in and using the switch on the shifter to go from the bottom group of gears to the top are new things, too. All things considered, my first drive went pretty well.
The fourth morning, I drove with the same instructor and two other students. I was a bit more settled that time and my shifting started getting a bit smoother. That afternoon, I started backing. Backing is definitely more of a challenge for me than moving forward. The instructor said I did good for my first try, but I was feeling rather out of my depth when class was over that day.
Friday, I drove with a different instructor a some more advanced students. That time I started learning how to downshift. Apparently, that’s something important to know for the CDL test along with so many other things I have to not think too much about at risk of getting overwhelmed. (Yeah, the syntax of that last sentence should give you a little idea of the subject, lol) Anyhow, after driving a couple of times that day, I gave backing another go. I started getting a bit more of what I need to look for at each step figured out, but it was still a bit overwhelming.
By Friday evening, I was ready for a reboot. My husband was at the yard (that’s what companies call the big parking lots where their drivers park their tractors and trailers) that afternoon getting his tractor looked at, so we were able to spend the evening together. Then, because he didn’t need to head off to get his next load until early Sunday, we spent Saturday together, too. We even got to spend some time together with our daughter, which hasn’t happened in more than a year.
It was definitely an enlightening week. I believe by tomorrow morning I will be ready to jump in again and continue this journey forward learning as I go. I hope you all have a great week and keep learning wherever you are in life, too.
Until next time, stay safe out there 🙂