There are many steps that one must take to become a long haul truck driver. Some are easy, some are down right scary. To me, the scariest step, the one that almost turned me away from trucking, has now become the best part of my journey into trucking so far.
After completing trucking school and passing the necessary State tests, you must then select a company that you deem worthy of your highly qualified services. Once this company is chosen, you attend an orientation that lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 days. During this orientation, you are not yet an employee, it's more like a job interview. If you pass their interview process, they then pair you with a trainer who will take you over the road and show you the ropes. This was the hurdle that I wasn't sure I could get over.
The training period that the different companies offered varied greatly. One company wanted me to train for 8 weeks, one for 6 weeks and 2 others told me that their training would last about 3 weeks. Now, bear in mind, the sleeper berths on modern trucks are quite roomy. At the same time, you must also consider what exactly you would call "roomy" when sharing quarters with a complete stranger. For this reason, I selected the company that had the shortest training period. I knew that if there was one thing that would prevent me from making it through training, bunking with another trucker would be it. However, I knew I had to cross this hurdle, as difficult as it was.
On Monday I received a call from a Driver Manager informing me that they had located a trainer for me. She said the trainer would give me call and tell me when and where to meet him. I started packing my bags to prepare for my dreaded and disgusting road trip when the call from my trainer came in. Much to my surprise, and elation, he told me that he only ran local routes and was home every night. I can't even begin to tell you excited I was to hear that!!!!
The local gig is awesome! We are running mostly shipping containers back and forth from a mill in St Helens to a Rail yard in Portland. The trainer I got is a good guy, close to my age and he rides a motorcycle. The thing that I like best about him, I have no idea if he snores or not, and I'm OK with keeping it that way.
Sooo thankful for this!!!