Continental - Mid-Week 3
by, 08.30.2011 at 10.19 PM (343 Views)
Today wrapped up Tuesday of week three. As you read before, I had a lil bit of rant and apprehensiveness about the driving instructors.
Several years ago I learned how to drive a forklift. The first time I ever plopped my butt in the seat of the forklift a guy stood beside me and worked the handles at the same time saying, "This goes up... down. This tilts forward, backward. This opens and closes your hopper. Be careful and don't hurt anyone. Ask anyone if you have questions." If I may pat myself on the back, I became a #### fine forklift driver and LOVED it.
My practical truck training is similar to that.
Our two instructors, Fred and Robert, are kinda like big ol kids. I've decided that in some fashion, they are less instructors and more or less there to babysit the trucks. Not entirely, but somewhat. I mean, the school HAS to have someone there.
Apparently another student had already complained to management about the trainers just sittin in the a/c while the students drove. After being here a few days, I can see the sense in cutting them some slack. After all, for our part, we're primarily focused on backing and parallel parking. For the trainer to have to sit in the cab for about 10 hours and just roll back and forth.... yeah, that'd get old fast.
We're at the point that repetition is what we have to work on; gettin it down. We're working on a 9 speed manual, so my thigh's gettin a lil sore, but the repetition can not be avoided.
Robert handles the automatic for the road test. Yesterday we all piled into the auto and went on the road, took turns driving. We have a Nepalese guy who drove first, for the longest. We survived. This guy has been here over three months and has yet to pass his road tests. The DMV ladies are about tired of him; scared of him. He came in this morn and tested/failed again. Gotta hand it to the lil guy for persistence. And he's as nice as can be. But he fails to follow simple commands like "Turn right." He'll even repeat it, "Turn right? Ok, good." Then blow straight on through the intersection.
(Aint it the law that CDL drivers have to be able to communicate in English? But hell, why bother enforcing that one too, right?)
Anyway, Robert and Fred are like big ol kids. From what I've seen so far, it's not the kinda cussin like you might expect to get from R. Lee Ermy. It's a BS kinda personality thing. "What the F** are you doin with ya foot on my clutch mutha ##**? Don't be wastin all my GD gas! Is you thinkin you the boss of this mutha f** truck? Get yo ### out my driver seat! What ya doin?!?! You s'posed to be drivin mutha ##***!"
We started out this morning listening to a 10 minute argument over who's doing what with who's paperwork. All show. Had we not been standing around to giggle for Beavis and Butthead, their conversation wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes. THEN we trained.
We backed for a few minuted while Robert headed out to the DMV with a couple of guys. Then we headed over to the DMV to practice on their lot. The boxes we have to hit are a bit narrower there; so the challenge is greater. We also drove their route to get some familiarity with it. Then back for lunch.
Had an excellent surprise: My lovely wife joined me for lunch. Her patient had to see the doc in Dallas, so she had some free time. Nice. Nice.
Spent the rest of the day ping-ponging. Looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.
As per jobs, I've got three potentials. One I don't think I can even mention their name yet. The one having most contact with me is McElroy Truck Lines. The other is TMC. I inquired with Maverick, but they said they don't train felons, no matter how old the convictions (mine's about 20 yrs, non drug/non-violent.) They told me to call em back after I had about six months experience.
I hear flatbed is a lot of work. But I'm looking to make a living while maximizing my time with my family. Flatbeds are the only ones I hear talking about most home time, especially for rookies. So that's my angle. (However; I hear companies like Pilgrim's Pride pay decent, is a day job and are hiring.)
Moving on! Yall come back now, ya hear!?