Thursday, April 20, 2017

CDL School is to Pass the Test

What I learned in truck driving school: How to pass the test. It's a time thing. Usually, you attend class for a 40 hour week of instruction. You will learn all you need to pass the permit test. Week two to four, you complete the driving portion rounding out your 160 week course.

At the time, it is overwhelming. There are all kinds of people in the class representing various levels of commitment to the task at hand. Our class was no exception.

Nothing makes that more abundantly clear than your test drive for a new job. I will never forget how that went down.... it went a little like this:

After interviewing for my current job, we were scheduled for a drive test. It was two weeks after we graduated from school and everything was riding on getting this job. It was about $70,000 more than our next closest offer. That's a lot of money riding on one 30 minute drive.

We showed up to test and found out that we had to couple two 28 feet trailers with a dolly. What! We had a dolly at school to look at, but it was an overwhelming thought to know that we had to do it was a company trainer with verbal directions. Only verbal directions. I didn't know this in the beginning but if you raise a dolly to high, it will settle in the upright position. That was fun... not.

Then, we drove the set of pups out of the yard into traffic. Real traffic. With just a few comments like, "Stay a bit to the left, you don't want to clip this BMW on the right." Real cars lots of real cars and corners that were not necessarily designed to accommodate trucks. But, something from school clicked. Doubles really do track. They are so much easier to drive then long trailers because you have the bend in the middle.

Every state is different... But in Washington, the pretrip is long and tedious.

Healthy Food Tips

Eating on the road has been,to say the very least, problematic. Sometimes, I feel like all the forces in the world are conspiring to make me as unhealthy as humanly possible. To help combat this irrational food availability ... I have been​ making food and bringing it on the truck.

REALISTICALLY ON THE TRUCK I HAVE 6 CUBIC FEET TO STORE FOOD! That's every single thing that's every Cheeto, every apple, or every bottle of water that's it– 6 cubic feet. So it's vitally important to only have what I absolutely have to have on this truck

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Every time I'm home I spend 5 to 10 hours cooking food. I will wake up go to the grocery store buy everything I need to make 5 meals bring it home and cook every single thing back to back and multi-task until it is all completely cooked. One weekend I might cook lasagna, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, chili, and bake two chickens. Then the next weekend I will cook green chile enchiladas, refried beans, Spanish rice, cornbread stuffing, and grill some chicken breast.

The key to making sure your making enough food for the truck is to make 6 to 10 servings of each meal at a time. Then, portion control the food into little bags, suck out the air and freeze them. This will stock your freezer with 6 lasagna, four servings of half chickens, excetera. You will always have a variety of food to eat and you are less likely to purchase food in a truck stop.

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Other items of food that I definitely have on the truck are little bags full of fresh vegetables usually carrots, tomatoes, and snap peas. I have fresh fruit bananas, apples, oranges, melon, or any other fruit that is in season and fresh. I'm not sure why but truck stops very rarely have organic anything so in addition to half a gallon of organic milk, I make sure and pick up some shelf-stable Horizon Organic milk and store it under the truck.

If you're a trucker than you know nothing ever goes perfectly right in the industry but one thing I can make sure is that I always have something that's healthy fresh and organic to eat everyday.


One soda at a truck-stop is approximately $2.25 depending on if they're going to rob you on soda this week or if they're going to rob you on chips. So to keep my costs down, I buy all my soda on sale and stick it in the side compartment. That way I can buy a six-pack for $2.50 to $3.50 depending on the sales in town. But, of course this is not me eating healthy.