Saturday, February 27, 2021

Truck Driving on US Route 66

 My driving coach / mentor and I are headed to our first delivery together. #TruckerBrook is in the driver’s seat. Honk! Honk! Destination: Atlanta, Georgia. I’m excited!

Press play!

It’s late afternoon. Carlos, my driver trainer had already asked what time of day I’d prefer, nights or days. I told him I’m more of a morning person, I can start as early as can be, as long as I get to work days. He told me a lot of his students prefer it that way( so he’s used to driving nights. Perfect!
Now, with our first load, we had started in the middle of the day. I had 11 hours of driving time ahead of me. We get maximum  11 hours of driving time and a total of 70 hours in a row. The moment you go on duty, to type on the computer or do whatever, the 70 hour clock starts. Maximum on duty time per day is 14 hours, that includes the 11 driving and whatever else, checking in with the guard, processing paperwork etc. 
New Mexico... I think

We didn’t go that far, Carlos started vaping right next to me in the truck. There’s one thing I hate next to smoking cigarette in my fact... vaping in my face. I don’t care how amazing it smells to you. This is not about you, Sir! How would you like it if I sprayed my great smelling, expensive Christian Dior Poison perfume in your face? Exactly! When I requested a non smoking trainer to the job, I wasn’t kidding. Now, I’m a guest in your home, It’s our first day together. I wasn’t going to tell this man not to do whatever the fck he wanted in his own home. I was, however going to remember that he is that guy, moving forward! The truck was foggy from this vapor, or whatever its called. 
Desert Life. I grew up around prickly pear. We used to sell it to road users on the road between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (South Africa)

We drove until around midnight or so, then? We found a random truck stop? With hardly any services to crash for the night. I must tell ya, I went to bed with so much new information in my head. Carlos taught me so much just in that half a day. He was a good teacher, too. 

Following morning, we freshened up, ish, and continued our journey east. I drove, he sat in the passenger seat. We had a lovely talk getting to know each other. Mainly, me getting to know him, cos I can be guarded. I like to ask questions, he was pretty open, so, we talked about his love life. One of my fave subjects. He’d recently been married to a woman he met on a truck driving dating site. Some people on there aren’t truckers but they’re looking to be in relationships with truckers. I guess, she was one of those people. Their ultimate goal as a couple, is to drive together, she will drive day tome, he will do nights. But that’ll be after her youngest goes to college or something to that effect. The whole story didn’t feel right to me, Being a woman, I just didn’t see this lady trying to drive trucks. But what do I know. I’m a lady who drives trucks. Right? I would ask questions, he had answers, he seemed in love. It was sweet. But I wondered about the other half of the couple. It gave me something to focus on other than  driving on Route 66. P. S. Driving on Route 66 was super exciting. I felt like I was really exploring America. Which, I was! 
Gratitude journal next to me. Oh and boobies!

I appreciated Carlos’ openness to a complete stranger. I found myself being protective of him and his finances in some of his story about this relationship with this woman with 4 kids, whom he moved into their own home. She had been living with her ex husband and father of the children.  But after meeting Carlos, they thought it best for him to rent a house for she, her 4 kids and Carlos except, Carlos is never home. But I get it! Also, We won’t go into full details as this is not my story to tell.  I was told thinking to myself, sure if yalls own home. Except, ure never home. Carlos also mentioned that he had a trip planned for a month from my first day of training. Which meant that A month was what I had with him. The guy needed to be in Vegas. Which means we would need to be back before then, so that he can go home, get his family and make it to Vegas in time. Wow! Okay! I better learn fast then; I thought to myself. 

Carlos is making payments towards his truck. Eventually, he’s going to own it, meaning, the truck we were using is his own truck, not company owned. 

He taught me a bunch more things about driving and what to do and when, scheduling, etc. we ended up stopping very late that night. There was a bit of night driving in there but I under. We did start late. Following morning, I wake up and go to the bathroom. I tell ya, I’d no idea where what was. These trucks are so tall and I’m trying to see where the actual building is for restrooms and showers etc. Good Luck with that! I eventually find and and, me, being myself (spoiler alert: I get lost everywhere), I couldn’t find my way back to the truck! All these trucks come in one of 4 or 5 colors. Golly! 
#TruckerLife These are people’s homes!

We had spent the night in Texas, one of the largest states in America. It’s kinda fun going through a bunch of different states in one day. You really feel like you’re doing this sht! Carlos let me play my own music while I was driving, which I thought was nice. He was asleep most of the time. On the passenger’s seat. I’m over here, trying to peek the mirrors. You know how when you fall asleep, your neck becomes loose and your head bobbles al over the place? I wasn’t mad about that. You’re no the one driving, so you passed out! It can happen to anyone. Your job is to watch me but nature is nature. 

It was my first time in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, in no particular order. we passed through a little bit of Arizona as well in this trip. I’d been there before. I remember waking up in Amarillo, TX with the song Amarillo by morning stuck in my head. Guess which song I played first when we headed out? No prizes for guessing. Arkansas, some song by Ray Charles, came to mind here, Tennessee, the home state of Dolly Parton (In my Tennessee mountain home. That song!); and of course, Elvis Presley / Chuck Berry’s song - Memphis Tennessee! , Alabama and finally- Georgia! This trip was over a week, like I mentioned before. I enjoyed every single bit of it. Learned a lot along the way. My trainer was decent. He talked a lot on the phone. When you don’t think he’s on the phone, because he uses Bluetooth headset, he’s still on the phone. If he’s snoring in bed, you will hear him respond to someone on the phone, as if he’s been talking to that person for a while. He was either on the phone or sleeping. Or snacking. He had the best snacks haha. Very hard when you’re trying to be skinny. Turns out, he had lost a lot of weight too a few years ago, and was trying to keep it off. He told me he goes off and on Keto. Mh kay! 

Video taken in trainer’s truck. Day1. 

Me: karaoke-ing Memphis Tennesse in Los Angeles. Press play!

Get at me! 

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



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