Day Thirteen – 2 Hours of Pre-trip Inspection, 3 hours of practicing for the skills test, then driving the rest of the day

This is getting serious. Over the weekend, I had a dream about truck stops. I needed to get to one ASAP, but the lots were all full. I couldn’t stop my truck. It was a nightmare. I’m dreaming about truck stops.

Next day, awake and not dreaming, I’m in my car, at an intersection and waiting to make a left turn. Oncoming traffic is in the distance, but I sat there for 30 solid seconds saying, “Nope, don’t chance it, you won’t make it with that trailer.” I was in my car.

This is getting serious.

We did parallel parking practice today. I nailed it on the first try. Then proceeded to screw up every single attempt after that. It was a nightmare.

Overall, though, driving is getting better. Our trainer Military Guy is getting more laid back, and isn’t yelling at us that much anymore. Guy Two is actually coming along by leaps and bounds. He’s shifting better than all of us now. He strung together a sequence of upshifts so silky smooth Barry White would have taken notice. He’s still a bit timid, but getting better.

It was actually Guy One who got the brunt of it today. He does this thing when shifting, he tries to do this dramatic flourish with all his shifts, waving his arm and hand as if he’s following through on a golf swing. Or conducting an orchestra. It’s weird. And it’s not helping.

He better get it together. We all better get it together, it’s test week. I honestly can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I started this school. And now it’s almost done. Testing. I previously wrote that the actual driving test was going to be the Everlasting Gobstopper of stress. I can already starting to feel that stress starting to creep into my thoughts.

It’s a nightmare.

On the job front, I think I’ve decided to go with Big Blue* Trucking. I got a pre-hire letter and I’ve been talking with a recruiter over the phone. Already, however, I am starting to see the little discrepancies between what the recruiter said in the classroom, and what the recruiter over the phone has been telling me. I know, I know, I need to start getting everything in writing.

I’ve put in a half-dozen more applications, mostly to the Big Mega Huge Carrier companies. Because, frankly, it looks like those are the only ones who hire people straight out of CDL school. But, really, it’s only been Big Blue Trucking that’s bothered to get back to me. Driver shortage, indeed.

I figure I’ll put in my year, the mandatory “1 Year Experience” that every other trucking company seems to require, and then see what happens after that. We’ll see.

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to studying for my Pre-trip. Maybe tonight I’ll dream about everything being properly mounted and secured, with no abrasions, bulges, or cuts, and all hardware present.

*please note that blue does not indicate the actual color of their trucks.


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