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

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