Phase 1, Day 7: Lessons Learned

After a decent night’s sleep, my trainer pulled out of the truck stop and got us rolling again, heading for Illinois. It was overcast, but there were some breathtaking vistas as we rolled through the hills and valleys of Missouri.

When we reached Sullivan, we stopped at a shop for our CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) inspection. They found some issues and put us out of service for a few hours while they made repairs. We had breakfast at the truck-stop Denny’s, then returned to the truck to wait out the inspection. I burned through a few more chapters of Mona Lisa Overdrive, and enjoyed the hiatus.

When it comes to down-time and delays, it seems to me you can have two reactions. You can get frustrated, knowing that you’re being held back from driving, which costs you money (because you get paid by the mile, not by the minute). Or you can relax, knowing that it’s typically a minor setback, and that you’ll be on the road again before too long. Personally, I appreciate the opportunity to read my book and relax. When I’m on the clock, I hustle. I work hard. I don’t lay around and waste time. But when they put the truck out of commission for a few hours of repairs, I see no reason not to enjoy those few hours.

We were back on the road at 3:30, and I drove until 8:30. As we were passing through Saint Louis, I nearly missed an exit. The GPS typically alerts you to your exits, but this time it didn’t. As I tried to pull into the exit lane at the last minute, I nearly ran into a black sedan in my blind spot. My trainer alerted me and I avoided the vehicle and made the exit, but I learned a lot of lessons all at once. A) Don’t rely on your GPS. B) Check all your mirrors before you merge, every single time. C) Don’t wait until the last minute to get into the necessary lane. All of these are rules I already know, but if I’d been following them more closely, this situation would have been avoided. Mistakes: learn from them.

11:00, we parked at a Pilot in Illinois for the night, waiting until tomorrow for the delivery. After a long day, I’m ready for a good night’s sleep.

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