Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not Much Chance to Post

I've been in training about 12 days now, and it's been a real challenge trying to post.  Once I start solo in a month or a little more, there will be a lot more time to contemplate the various aspects of trucking life.

For now, I'll just say that Morgan, my trainer, is great for me.  He not only is a very skillful and knowledgeable trucker, but he's the polar opposite of my personality.  Where I am naturally introverted, reflective, moody and tend to isolate myself, Morgan is open, friendly, often boisterous and has a way with people that I envy.  I'm taking this time to learn not only about the art of trucking, but also about how to try to open myself up to other people.  Morgan has been taking me to school in both areas, demonstrating tricks of handling a truck or trucking-related personnel while also showing me how easy it is to strike up a conversation with the girl behind the counter, the guy at the fuel desk, other truckers, or whoever happens to cross our path.  This guy is someone that can teach me things I've needed to know for a long time.

I am sitting here typing this in The World's Biggest Truck Stop on I-80 in Iowa.  We just swapped a load, and will be starting to load back to California for Morgan's home time, which he will take at his home right outside of Sacramento.  I'll be laying up in a hotel for a few days while he focuses on his family and taking care of the things that pile up while you're out on the road.  I'm looking forward to the chance to start exercising some of the skills Morgan has been showing me on the hotel personnel, people in the restaurants and maybe even whoever I meet on the street.

For my first couple of weeks of training, Morgan was pulled from his usual 48-state run-all-over-the-country division to help on a dedicated account where we ran Toro lawnmowers and associated parts and raw materials in circles in rapid-fire succession.  Minnesota and Nebraska and Iowa, Oh My.  On the bright side, I was able to run out my 70-hour clock my first week and more, and got lots of drive time so far.  I've fixed some problems in my performance and am making good progress on others.  At the end of 300 hours of driving, I suspect I should have a pretty good handle on most aspects of what I'll need to know to make decent money going solo.  Basically, though, as Morgan put it once:  "Run like your ex-wife is behind you."  The boy has a way with words.  And also is on his third marriage.  He used this on me because he knows I have an ex myself.

After Morgan's break, we'll be going back on the 48-state beat, and I should learn more about trucking in other areas of the country.  I've heard...INTERESTING things about the trucking highways and byways of the southern and some of the Eastern seaboard states.  Sounds like Morgan gets down there a fair bit, and I'm looking forward to it.  But first, my first trip over the Rockies in many years.  Should be fun.  Set the jake brake and head out, driver.

1 comment:

  1. Dan,

    I just finished devouring every word of your new blog. Fantastic! All those years we worked together in IT, I had no idea you could have another career as an author, let alone a truck driver.

    Glad to hear you are doing well, and congratulations on the new career. I'll be following to see if it leads you to teaching, or if the road holds onto you.