Sunday, November 25, 2007

And so it begins...

After much tribulation, it was decided by me and the company that I should fly to Phoenix to meet my trainer.  A few phone calls later and I was on the 8am flight to Phoenix.  Not bad when you consider these were last minute arrangements on Thanksgiving weekend!  My trainer, Robert, has arranged to meet me at the airport and we finally met after days of trying to get together.  Everything works and we meet at the baggage claim.

Robert tells me that there is about a 2% chance that we will get a load on Sunday, so you know what happens next.  We decide to go get some food, the cell phone rings and bingo, we have a load!  It’s a fast run too, we’re already going to be late for the pick up unless we leave right away, so, the gear gets tossed into the truck and we hit the road!

During training, U.S. Xpress believes that the trainee (me) should do all the driving, backing and work, to get into the game fast.  It works.  Robert takes me through every step, gives me a “crash” course in operating this type of tractor and off we go.  Phoenix to just outside of LA, then down to San Diego.  What a LONG day that was.  First day in the truck and I have to drop an empty trailer in the drop yard, pick up the loaded trailer and head out for an 0600 delivery.

We get into the delivery area with just enough time to take a legal break and make our delivery time.  Talk about jumping in with both feet!  I was scared snotless at first, but then I got comfortable with the truck.  Robert taught me alot about being aware of everything around the truck.  It’s rather more of a deal to maneuver a 70 foot behemoth down the highway than your average 10 foot car.  Alot to learn, and alot to remember.  Luckily, everything goes without incident.