“If your wheels aren’t turnin’, you’re not earnin'”
To read this post from the beginning go to OTR Trucking School Adventure
Once we got the shifting to a manageable grind, and had a better idea of the location of the gears it made controlling the rig a whole lot easier. That was right about the time the instructors changed the route and sent us through the city of Green Cove Springs, Fl. The roads are narrow and the lights are quick. Traffic is steady, but light for the most part. The speed limit through the city is 45 MPH, but I decided 35 MPH was fast enough. The sheer mass of the semi is uncomfortable and unnerving, slowing my speed helped me relax and ease into the drive. I didn’t hear any complaining from the passengers (the other students) in the sleeper birth. They were just fine with a nice, slow, uneventful ride. After I drove for about 45 minutes we pulled over and switched drivers. We stopped at a cool little store named “Molasses Junction.” It’s kind of an old “mom n’ pops” store with antiques dotting the walls. They have fantastic hot wings and ice cold soda. Most importantly though, they have a place to park a 73′ tractor trailer.
OTR Trucking School Adventure Part 3
The next driver (the youngest of the group and my roommate) takes the wheel and heads down the road. I’ve never seen anyone grip a steering wheel with the force this young man did. Our old cantankerous instructor tried to relax him with some witty humor, but he was focused on the road and seemed to not hear a word he was saying. As we approached a tricky railroad crossing at a stop light I stood up and leaned forward to get a better look at what the instruction would be in this situation. Before I knew it I was hurdling at light speed towards the windshield. One of my fellow students grabbed me just in time. The driver had slammed on the brakes to avoid stopping on the tracks. That slightly irritated our instructor. He had us pull over, then he explained how sudden stops with 40 tons and wet roads can lead to lots of problems. We finished the day in one piece, and didn’t leave any civilian casualties along side the road. All in all, a good day.
Most days were uneventful on the road. Our group had the ability and desire to become professional drivers. Even the night drives and rainy days went off with out a hitch. Each day that passed brought more and more confidence. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and this time it wasn’t an oncoming train…To be continued..