Up and at ’em, 5:30. Hotel breakfast. Spent the morning discussing the merits and demerits of the various military branches. I come to realize that my squadron was one of the best damn squadrons in the whole military, let alone the Navy. There were people from every branch at the breakfast table, all talking about the various problems they used to face. All the while I’m thinking, I never faced any of those issues, because the Navy was structured to avoid those issues. I thought that was just the way the military worked, but apparently it’s just the Navy. I appreciate my time in the service even more.
On the bus at 6:30, headed to Trucker U. We spent the first half of the day learning the Qualcomm system and safety requirements. Then we did a pre-trip test, talked about insurance policies, then had lunch at 11:15.
12:00, the hour of reckoning. We bussed out to the lot, got in the truck, and ran the obstacle course.
Watching the other candidates run the course, I was sweating. I’d like to say it was because of the sun, but I’d be a liar if I said so. After I got in the cab, though, all that tension melted away and it was down to business. Hit the marks, make the grade. I considered trying the automatic transmission, but I wanted to stick to what I knew, so I drove the manual. That truck handled like a dream! The trucks we drove in CDL school were spiteful creatures, grinding and fighting when I tried to shift gears, but this truck shifted smooth and easy. I finished the test with no issues, and rejoined the candidates feeling relieved and victorious.
Sure, that course is cake if you’re a pro, but it was a moment of pride for me.
Next thing I know, we’re meeting our trainers, pairing off, and hitting the road.
The journey has begun!