Friday, August 15, 2008

FIRST DAY OF TRUCKING SCHOOL

I attended trucking school in West Memphis, Arkansas for a trucking company which was the fifth largest trucking company in the country at the time. Just 2 short years later the company was bought out. That is another post.

Trucking school took place at the Greyhound Dog Racing park and all of the students who didn't live locally stayed at the local hotels which were very near the truckstops and the race park. I was in the Marine Reserves at the time and was a straight arrow. I ran everyday and did aerobics. My roommate was a pimp in the west memphis area. His name was actually "Pimp" and his girls came to the room once to give him some money. He was a little uncomfortable with me around, because as far as he was concerned I might as well have been a policeman.

One of the characters that I liked the most had just been released from prison for forgery and told me about how to use stamps over and over again by washing the ink off of them with shampoo. I have not used this information to this day so I don't even know if this is true, but having these people around made trucking school all the more fun.

The school was 2 weeks long and it was literally a crash course. We drove the trucks around the area and through a course on the Greyhound Racetrack grounds. The school comprised of backing through a serpentine and backing around blind corners. We did this all day everyday and for lunch some of the guys would go to the track and bet on the dogs. It was more like a party than a school. The trainers called me a natural and I was always comfortable behind the wheel.

When we went to take the test to get our CDL's one of the students couldn't speak English, so another student coached him through the test by basically answering his questions for him. All but a couple of people made it through the school the first time. Trucking school hasn't changed much from the days when I went and since it seems to be getting more and more difficult to be qualified, things are going to be harder.

No comments: