Friday, January 29, 2021

Trucking Across America with a Stranger

Trucker Brook reporting for duty!

Backing is one of the most important parts of trucking. The load that you’d be delivering is stored in the trailer. The door to the trailer is in the back, just like it is in the trunk of regular car.  In order for receiving customer to unload, you, the truck driver, need to back your truck and trailer into the doc. Docs vary in accessibility. Some, I’m told, were designed back when trailers were 40 ft long. Trailers are now 53ft long and they expect us to be able to squeeze these into 40ft slots. It also matters if you’re driving a day cab; that’s ok the tractor without sleeping compartment, or not. I do, so, that’s more of a challenge, because my tractor is longer and I can’t use rear view mirror, I depend solely on the side mirrors. 

All that said, backing was a mutha for me! I was one of, if not, THE WORST in my class, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. 

Press Play!

I may have mentioned before that you get three chances to pass the test? Same applies to the driving part. I may or may not have needed some of these attempts to make it through. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The ones in my class who were better than others, made sure they flaunted that in our faces. 

Here’s a video I did on one my worst days in trucking school. 

Cut to: I Got my trucking license! Whew! Talk about blood, sweat and all the rest of it! 

The school sends us to paid orientation before we start backing.  I don’t know whose idea this was because, what if you don’t make it? Anyway? It’s nice break from boot camp style learning. Two full days of more shenanigans. I was just glad they paid us... and fed us. 

Now that I’ve passed, it’s the waiting part. Waiting for the company to find me a trainer who I was to go on the road with for 200 hours of driving experience. That can take up to 5/6 weeks. You will be living, eating, sleeping, farting in the same small truck with this stranger the whole entire time! Good luck! 

The good thing about the waiting period was that, every day I was at home, in limbo, I got paid. I was able to tie some loose ends, go for walks, catch up on more Brooking. 

Loquats. Used to eat them as a child

I had to grab me one loquat, if only for old time’s sakes! 
Long walk to freedom

Speaking of Freedom, while on this long walk, 10km (6miles), I received a call from driver placement department. They had a trainer for me! They asked if I was ready to head out the very next day. I said: sure! Why wait? They gave him my number, few minutes later, ring, ring! It’s the guy who was about to show me the ropes of trucking. Here we go folks! He seemed OK. Sounded like someone who’s done this a couple of times. I was another driver he was assigned to. I asked him what I should bring. He told me he always buys water for drinking in the truck. That’s nice but I drink tap water, so! Hashtag, cheap af. One of the very first things I asked was whether he had a fridge. It’s important to me as someone who is watching her weight. I preplan my meals and eat at home. That would’ve been tricky without a fridge. Well, it WAS GOING to be tricky! Brotha didn’t have a fridge! He told me it was ‘getting fixed’. I knew there and then, he doesn’t have a fridge for the truck. I’m grown! I’ve lived. I know people. I knew what that line meant. I had to figure out what I was going to buy to eat on the road that didn’t require a refrigerator. It’s not enough that I was going to be learning something new. Now, I gotta worry about what on earth to eat! Whew!

On my walk, I also bought chargers for my cellphone and iPad. I wasn’t going to be caught with my pants down! No mam, Pam! I walked back home and did finishing touches. It was an exciting day. The sooner I went over the road with this stranger, the sooner I got my own truck! Knock on wood

The toilet stall behind me was pit of order the whole tome I went to school there! 

My bags have been packed for a while, I had some food I could take along in the cupboard already, off to bed. Wake up, head off to the office, where I was to drop my car and get into the truck. Let the games begin! 

Buckle up, trucker!

 Contact  me here...

@BabalwaBrook on all social 
Write me at 
P. O. Box 4502

Sunday, January 17, 2021

A Trucker’s BirthDay Party.

Hello, my hearts and souls! First blog of 2021! I hope everyone and their loved ones made it! Mine did and I’m ever so grateful. 

My birthday came a few days into truck driving school. My boo thang, Derrick took me to dinner for my birthday. I was excited that he set time aside to treat me on my special day  he’s good with that kind of thing  you get a gift for Christmas, Valentine’s  day gift... if you’re lucky, you get dumped right around Valentine’s, but who’s counting?  We went to one of his favorite spots, a nice steakhouse. He’s a very meat and potatoes guy and does a lot of home bbq-ing. We dressed up, the whole vibe was exciting! Derrick’s not the best compliment giver. At least not when it comes to me! This was his reaction when I came out of his bedroom looking nice: Where are you going? He had a huge smile on his face as he asked. I knew that was meant as a compliment. 

He’s a screenshot of birthday dinner:
Birthday Dinner for Trucker Brook

Everything we ate was delicious as heck! I even got a box of complimentary truffle chocolates from the restaurant cos Derrick had told them ahead of time that it was going to be my birthday. We stuffed our faces silly with that ginormous tomahawk  steak and still had leftovers. We couldn’t even pass out after dinner for how uncomfortable we were from being stuffed. I hadn’t eaten all day because of the fast I was on.  

Birthday outfit

Next day, back to trucking school! It’s exercises after exercises, then homework, then tests, then then then! Before I knew it, it was time for Permit test or Learner’s license test. 
There was so much to grasp as everything we were learning was totally brand new to me, I was about to lose my sht. 
Here’s a youtube of that period in my life. ... 

Press play!

We were going to test first thing in the morning. If you don’t make it the first time, you had a couple more time to retry. If you passed the first time, you had the rest of the weekend off. I was tired as heck and needed the long weekend. I studied like a mofo and was pretty much up all night. 

Spoiler alert! ...

Mama, I made it!

I passed the first time, took my cute behind and went straight to the mall to spend some money! All I came out with, was a skipping rope / hump rope! Oh, to be me! I didn’t find anything exciting that I didn’t already have at Ontario Mall. Actually, I have a new great story to tell you about Ontario Mall. 

I’d the weekend off and got a bunch done around the house. Lots of prepping for life on the road. Gotta think ahead, right? 

Press Play!

Back to school the following week, straight into the truck for the first time! All along, we were confined in a classroom. Now, we get to really truck! A few students per truck. We learned what they call pre-trip. Basically, self explanatory. It’s things you routinely check before going on a trip. There are fcking 90 of them! We were going to get tested on these and could get up to 20 or so incorrect as a pass. 90 names of items you’ve never heard of in your life such as s-drum, this fcking belt,if it’s not broken, loose or missing. How in the hay will I know id something I don’t know is missing? Any who. Lots of memorising. That is not how my brain works. I need to understand what I’m learning, not memorize a bunch of things and then paste! Any who. It had to be done, so, buckle up trucker! They gave us a link online, if you’re in trucking, I mentioned that video in one of mine, you can check it. It’s very helpful. I was memorizing on my commute; to and fro. 
We were going to be tested on this as part of driving test. 

Driving test is in 3 sections- this long ass list of sht, backing and road test. We learned driving trucks on stick shift. Aka manual. 10 gears. There’s down shifting and double clutching. This is not your grandmother’s manual car! Nothing like you’ve done before. Everything was overwhelmingly new and jam packed. 

Only a couple days of pretrip, then, boom, backing! Few students per truck; time for straight back. This is going to be when you just need to back straight into a dock or parking spot. Most truck parking is reverse. It’s crucial you know how to back / reverse. Sidebar: when you turn truck steering wheel to the left, the trailer goes to the right and vice versa. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! 

While you do that, let me go to lala land. Chat soon. 

Contact me here...
@BabalwaBrook on all social 
Write me at 
P. O. Box 4502