Friday, April 4, 2008

Driving test: third time is the charm

I am officially a licensed commercial driver. Woohoo! It only took, uh, three tries, but I passed and that's what matters.

On Thursday I wound myself tighter than could ever be advisable and as a result stalled out the truck, which was an automatic failure. Felt like crap, because it's a stupid mistake that I haven't made since the second week of school. Went back Friday morning and passed everything, finally. Was still super nervous, but made it.

The truck driving test? It's no joke. Getting the thing through traffic, maneuvering in tight spots, backing up, knowing what everything under the hood does. It's a lot of stuff to know and put into practice.

This has been a very humbling experience. Now, I know I'm a pretty smart kid, but here I put myself into a situation where I came in not knowing my alternator from my brake chamber. Like the time several weeks ago when we were practicing doing pre-trip inspections and I stood in front of the opened hood and rattled off names of parts. Then the instructor said, "You can't just name the parts, you have to point to where they are in the truck," and I started laughing because I had no clue. Not saying I could fix a diesel engine now or anything, but at least I know my way around one.

But for a second there, between my embarrassing failure on Thursday and my eventual pass on Friday, I kept thinking, "Crap, what am I going to do? This was the Plan B for my life, and I don't have a Plan C."


the ineffable b said...

I think that reading up on your experience so far has really increased my respect for the skill that commercial truckers possess. Not that I thought the job was a cakewalk, but I certainly thought it wasn't a really highly skilled job. But now, reading what you've gone through training-wise, I don't think I'd cut it as a trucker.

Good job passing the test!

Hit that road!

Jason said...

Gypsy, your experiences and characteristics seem very similar to my own. My name is Jason, and I a fairly new driver for ol' Swift. I discovered your site thanks to your comment on Gigi's, and have bookmarked it for further 'study.' Like you, I'm taking a year off from my other occupation (teaching) to drive cross-country. Take it easy, and congrats on passing the driving test! Also, come check out my site if you have the time.
- Jason