Women in Trucking - One Woman's Journey
All That Other Stuff
After the time on the range, we started venturing out on the real highway. With all the other cars. And all the trucks that actually have an engine and can get up to 65 miles per hour in less than ten miles. I felt more confident than I had that first day in the yard. I knew that if I were to run into any serious trouble, my faithful instructor would get me out of it. I was starting to have fun with this.
In the next few weekends, we drove down 6% grades and through little towns. We drove in heavy Saturday traffic and parked at the mall. We hooked up the doubles and unhooked the doubles. We shifted many times in many different trucks. We were beginning to feel like real truck drivers.
I have to hand it to my instructors; they have the patience of Job. I still grind the gears. I have killed the engine at least once in an intersection. I have had trouble backing up. We have a student who has tried to go through a house instead of turning a corner. We have a student who tried to take a stop sign down. (Neither one of these was me. I am the one who drives slower than the speed limit.) Through all this, they laugh and help and keep their control. To them, my hat is off.
We have gone through 16 weeks of training (all on the weekends). We have been on backroads, in the city, up hills and down and there have been no wrecks. We have gone from a class full of people who didn't know the first thing about a semi to a class full of people who feel confident with their new chosen profession. For the last 2 weekends of our school, we will be back in the yard perfecting our backing up and fine tuning all we need to know to pass the CDL test.
I have learned a lot these past weeks. Not only about truck driving, but also about me. I learned that it is scary to try a new profession. I learned that I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to. I learned that I am not too old to teach something new. I learned that I truly enjoy driving. I hope I make a good driving partner for my husband.
What's next? I have been hired by the same company that my husband drives for, I quit my current job, I have someone to take care of my house, I found a home for my dog and I am ready for this next challenge. After I pass my test (keep your fingers crossed), I will get my house in order and go to my orientation. Then I will keep you abreast of all my antics on the big highway. You know the thing that worries me most is talking on the CB. What should I use as a handle?