Check-in Day (or Thoughts From A Very Long Bus Ride)

Big Rig 01

I rode a Greyhound bus to Phoenix today. For 8 hours. On the bus was a sick guy who had absolutely no business being on public transportation. If the Zombie Apocalypse breaks out in Phoenix in the next few days, I’m not Patient Zero but I’ll have a pretty good idea who it was.

Saying goodbye to my wife at 6:00 AM was not easy, I’m not going to lie.  On the one hand, this will mark the longest time we’ve been apart for a while now.  We have become that old married couple that fit each other like a pair of comfy, well worn slippers.

On the other hand, that’s probably reason enough to do this.  We have lived our lives trying to avoid staying in a rut, and this is the change we probably both needed.  Also, it’s not like I’ve been abandoned on the moon.  I’m in Phoenix.  It’s, like, five hours away.

Or at least it would if you don’t take Greyhound.

And, lastly, this is the job.  Driving Over The Road means being away from home for long stretches of time.  “Truckin’…’s a lifestyle….”  I’ve heard that from several different people.  And they all say it the same, too.  It’s a phrase you say as you exhale a long, weary breath, like you are preparing your listener to receive some Yoda level wisdom you know their Luke Skywalker minds just can’t wrap their heads around.

I brought all the necessary items for a long bus journey, a book, my MP3 player, my phone and all it’s games, but I ended up just staring out the window for most of the trip.

I was watching the trucks drive past.  So many trucks on I-40.  All the names I’ve come to recognize; Swift, C.R. England, Werner, CRST, ABF hauling doubles, Fed-Ex hauling doubles.  Lots of tankers, flatbeds, intermodal loads.  And all the companies I didn’t recognize, Owner/Operators or small local companies just trying to get by.  There is so much variety in the business, I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface of the opportunities.

I was also thinking to about how different this highway looks from the mean, gritty and congested streets of North Las Vegas, where I just was.  So many different problems.  6% downhill grade, how would I handle that.  Strong crosswinds, how would I handle those?  I saw trucks stopped on the side of the road with their hoods up.  That will be me, someday.  How will I handle that.

One of the reasons I chose Schneider was that their training program was only 3 weeks long, as compared to being with a trainer 6 or 8 weeks, or longer.  Now, I’m not sure.

Or, maybe, that is the point. Maybe they know that you’ll never be able to cover all the problems that will crop up on the road.  Not in 6-8 weeks, not ever.  Best to just give you a good grounding, and set you out to learn for yourself.

Well, we’ll find out tomorrow what’s in store.  Goodnight, everyone.




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