Yesterday was the longest day I have had in a long time. I got up at 0500 to check out of my room and be on the bus by 0700. We got released from orientation at 1400 and were taken to the airport to get our rental cars. Then I had to go back to the hotel to pick someone up and from there we headed out. We left the hotel around 1430, stopped in Chesterfield, MO around 2000 to drop off the first guy and replenish the gas tank. Left there around 2015 and dropped off the second guy in Olive Branch, MS around 0100 this morning. I took the controls at that point and rolled into the apartment complex at 0715. I just left my shit in the car, walked in the apt, and went to bed. I couldn’t sleep long though as the rental had to be returned by 1400. So, in the past 38 hours I’ve had about 5 hours of sleep. I feel like I am hungover, but without all the fun that usually causes them.
My trainer finally made contact with me today. He’s empty right now and won’t get a load until the planners get in at 0730 Monday so he told me to be up in Laurel, MS around 0600. Since we only have one car and Angie has to work, he is getting me a hotel room tomorrow and told me to come up sometime tomorrow night.
From the 45 minute conversation I had with my trainer on the phone, I don’t foresee any issues. He’s really laid back, but is by the book. While he was going over things with me, like the rules on his truck, it was exactly how I would be. It’s a relief to me as some trainers can be real assholes and look at trainees like money makers for them. My trainer already knew I had experience though, so he said he is basically going to make sure I know the TMC securement policies and can tarp like TMC requires. He is going to double-check Monday morning with my training coordinator on how long my training period is, but he doesn’t think I will be with him for any longer than two weeks. I could even be with him as little as one, depending on how quick I pick things up. I am still going to plan in my head that I will be with him for four weeks though because I know if I get anything else in my head, I will get frustrated if it doesn’t pan out.
One cool thing is he is on the 46/52 plan, which means he is home 46 weekends out of 52. That means I only need a weeks worth of clothes with me as I will be home every weekend I am with him. Angie will get real familiar with HWY 49. I’m pretty sure she won’t mind though. Hell, she already asked me how long I have to wait before she can come out with me and if I will be ready by June. The good news is that experienced drivers can have passengers as soon as we get a truck assigned. All I need to do is fill out the paperwork that is required pay the fee. It’s $5 a week for each authorization or I can just have a standing authorization that lasts until I cancel it and that is $20 a month. I’m going with the standing one so that way she can hop on anytime she can and all I will have to do is notify my Fleet Manager so they know she is on the truck. It’s illegal for anyone without a CDL to be in a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) without proper authorization. For example, let’s say she was on the truck and I got pulled over or stopped at a scale. They ask for the authorization paperwork and if I didn’t have it, they make her get out of the truck and they place me “out of service”. Hell, even though I have a CDL, I still have a card from TMC that authorizes me to be in their truck.
Another thing I’m excited about is my trainer has a Long Nose Pete. It’s still a 379, but there are two different kinds. It’s also a little bigger in the sleeper as well. Most of the 379s TMC has are of the short nose variety. I’m not sure what the actual length difference there is, but he did say it’s noticeable and that it turns a little wider. It’s all good though. I’m just excited to get this party started completed as the sooner this step is completed, the sooner I get my own truck assigned.
Once this step is complete, I will head back to Des Moines to finalize the training process and get my truck assignment. The apprentice drivers (those with no experience) have to take a driving test as well as a load securement test. I already did that last week though, so it’s a fairly easy process for me. If there aren’t any trucks in Des Moines I will have to go to either Indianapolis, IN, Joplin, MO, or Gaston, SC to pick up my truck. Most of those that got truck assignments from other classes when I was there last week went to either Indy or Joplin.
I will do my best to keep this up when I am out with my trainer, but can’t make any promises. Will all depend on what our schedule is and how tired I am. If i’m not able to, I will do a recap at some point before I get my truck assignment.