I’m doing a helluva job!

That was what Donald told me tonight. TWICE! At the end of everyday he asks me how I did. He wants to make sure I know what I screwed up on. Well, I am my worst critic. So I tell him all the things that I think I screwed up on and he tells me that everything I mentioned will come with experience. I was getting 7.3 mpg today and he gets behind the wheel and gets 10.6….up and down hills.

He explained it to me and it makes total sense. Basically the way I was taught to shift in school was wrong. The way I need to shift is the way I was doing it at the beginning of my road training. I would shift according to the sound of the engine. Well, my road instructor saw that I never watched the tach and blasted the stereo so loud he had to yell to talk. He was trying to prove the point that it will be noisy in the truck when I am on my own and I need to watch the tach so I know when to shift. So, tomorrow Donald wants me to shift the way I want. I can even float the gears if I want and only use the clutch to stop and start. Donald is so awesome!!!

He also said that when we get done with this load, the next load is all me. I will be in charge of everything. That includes the route, fuel stops, and nightly stops. He wants to see how close I will come to how he would plan it.

His philosophy is that he doesn't know what we will do down the road, so he teaches everyone to be an O/O. Even if we don't want to do that, we can still apply everything to being a company driver.

Today was all me. We got up and had some breakfast at the Jake Break, and than it was off to hook up the trailer. I nailed it on the first try, so I was pretty pleased with that. The only thing I messed up on was the tug test to make sure the jaws locked around the king pin. I tugged a little to hard and pulled the trailer forward about a foot. That made it a real bitch to roll up the landing gear. Mental note…don't tug to hard. 🙂

I drove from Phoenix to about 60 miles outside Roswell and Donald took over. He was going to take over in Alamogordo, but wanted me to experience the hills at night.

We were going to stop in Amarillo, but Donald had been up all day and started yawning. So he did the smart thing and stopped. No need in pushing it. That's unsafe and we are all about arriving alive.

So, I will wake up at 7 and hit the road by 0830. We will have to stop for fuel in Oklahoma City, but I am not sure if that is where my day will end or not. Unlike Donald, I don't know the distances between places without looking…. Gimme a couple of months and I will though. 😉

Sent on the Now Network from my Sprint® BlackBerry

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