Author Archives: hannahlcrawford
I’m happy to say in about a week we’ll be upgrading and getting our new truck!! Everything has gone great for me so far! I got lucky and got an awesome trainer. I’ve had a wonderful time and lots of learning experiences. I am my trainers first trainee so everything has been new to both of us! I’ve been to so many places. Upper new york was beautiful! I even got to see Canada! New Jersey was a headache though. Make one wrong turn and you’re screwed. fortunately I had my trainer to help watch the signs. It’s so easy to get lost there. I’ve realized I really need glasses. Even though I could pass the test by reading the letters on the wall I have to get too close to the signs to read them. That’s not good when I see I have to get over several lanes very fast! I’ve gotten a taste of the bad situations we’ll have to face. Like waiting 9.5 hours to get loaded or getting to a place to unload and having to wait over night because they’ve closed. But it’s all manageable. Russ hasn’t had such a good experience though. He’s on his 3rd trainer now. The first had to go home for medical reasons. The second took 6 days off right after he got on the truck but they didn’t get along anyways so he didn’t have to wait. He got his 3rd and he’s very happy with him. Third time’s a charm! All three lease so there are a few things company drivers do he’s not familiar with. They’ve also all had automatics so I told him I’ll teach him how to drive a manual! Haha! He knows how to but I’ve learned a lot I wasn’t taught in school. Like mountains and which gear matches which speed. The worst part of all of this for me is not being with him. In five years we’ve only been apart one week. So this was though! But we’re almost done!! Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. They’re working! Hopefully by next Friday I’ll be posting pictures of us in our new truck! That’ll be an awesome birthday for Russ!
Just an update. We’re both taking a bus back to Tunnel Hill today. Russ will be meeting his trainer & leaving with him. I’ll probably have to stay in the hotel for a night & meet mine the next day. I’m so glad we’re leaving at the same time! We’re kinda bummed about missing each others birthday (mine’s Aug 29 & his is Sept 9) but a new truck will be a pretty nice present!! Ok gotta go get ready! 🙂 Woohoo!
We finally got the word last night & drove home. Russ has a trainer meeting him at tunnel hill tomorrow & I’m not sure about me. It was a long process but I’m SO looking forward to continuing now! We’re staying at our wonderful friends Greg & Kathy’s house along with Willie (our cat) they’re pretty much adopting him. He’s such a lovable kitty! Well, I’ll probably have lots to talk about when we’re through training. Till then I can only update twitter via text messages since Russ will have the computer. Hopefully I can talk him into updating some. Thanks for all the support guys! Oh & please be praying for us. We’re going to need it!
All we need are our transcripts from school. I believe after that we’re hired. I don’t want to get my hopes up but there are other people staying and their rooms aren’t being paid for. Also Russ was told he has a trainer in Louisiana. So that’s definitely a good sign! We’ve enjoyed seeing everyone getting their trucks. The brand spanking new one are awesome! I would be beside myself!! On another note, since there’s not a lot to eat here & we have been hearing about this Mexican restaurant down the road we decided to try it. It was terrible! The cheese dip & guacamole were sour & Russ didn’t enjoy his meal either. That’s not what turned me off to this place though. I looked up at the ceiling and it was covered in water spots with mold all over it. Ugh I want to vomit thinking about it. Anyways, I did get to sleep till 8 today! It felt so good!
I’m worn out!! We got to the hotel yesterday afternoon and we were SO tired from all the packing & getting ready we went to bed about 7. I don’t know if it was nerves or what but I was only able to sleep till 12! & Russ only slept till 1. We decided to get up and get ready and explore the town. Not much to explore! haha. Anyways, the first day went well. We passed our physical tests & the road test. Which was just driving an automatic a few miles. We didn’t even have to do any backing! Easy peasy! Oh but I do think I damaged my kidneys! We were told at 7am we’d be doing drug tests soon so drink up. We ended up doing ours at almost 12. The bad part was twice while I was waiting I had to go so bad it was painful. I wasn’t allowed to just do the drug test or skip in line (I was at the end of the line and there were about 50 people there) and I was told that if I did pee and couldn’t pee for the test I was out of luck. The nurses would be gone. So yea I drank a ton of water. Literally. Anyhoo that was the worst part of the day. The best part was having absolutely no trouble on my physical. I was required to push 50lbs and I did 51! haha shew! There were quite a few people who couldn’t pass the physical & were sent home. That’s heartbreaking. Soo on to day two tomorrow! I think the hardest part of that will be staying awake! So I’m trying to stay up a little longer so I can get some sleep tonight. I felt so bad for some of the people there. They didn’t get in from the greyhound till almost 3 this morning! I’m so glad we drove! Yesterday and today we said we were going to longhorn but still haven’t mustered up the energy. Maybe tomorrow! Hmmm… I think that’s all. Oh I’m so tired!
After some difficulties we finally got everything sorted out. I wasn’t able to get in touch with our first recruiter so I decided to just talk to another since I really needed to get the ball rolling. Turns out none of our information was in the system! After a bunch of technical difficulties I was finally able to get our applications and information approved! We’ll officially be at orientation Wednesday August 3rd!!! Woohoo! I’m SO excited and nervous! I can’t wait!
We received the hard copy of our license yesterday! & I got sick today! We’re planning to go to orientation Wednesday so I just pray with lots of medicine and vitamins I will be well enough. I’m feeling very foggy so that’s all for now!
After a few days of me stressing hardcore about the hazmat exam I got a 100!! Russ ONLY got a 92! hahahaha. I read some forums online about how ridiculously hard it is so I basically decided to memorize that section in the book! All the classes & divisions … EVERYTHING. Ha It was the easiest test I’ve taken in the CDL process! I am SO happy & relieved. So now we wait for our hard copy to come in the mail. And we should be off. Woohoo!
I have good news! Our recruiter at US Xpress finally got back to us! He said everything looked good on our applications! I was shocked! I’ve been telling myself it wouldn’t happen because I didn’t want to be disappointed. So he told us all we needed was the hard copy of our license & we could get started. Well our hard copy came yesterday! So we’re thinking about getting everything ready this week & leaving next Monday. But we’re not sure if we want to wait till we get our hazmat endorsement. Either way we’ll be starting soon! I’m so excited. It’s starting to sink in that I’ll be away from Russ for a month. That sucks! I’m really not excited about that! But I’ll get through it. Now I have SO much stuff to get done before we leave!
Well this all started about a year ago. Russ & I were closing a restaurant we lost a year of our lives & pretty much all his savings to. We were depressed, broke, & had no clue what we were going to do. Neither if us had completed any college & now we couldn’t afford to. Oh and our best friend & roommate of four years decided to move out. (& that’s a whole other story) So one day Russ mentioned driving trucks. I immediately shot down the idea. Although I was curious enough to look into it but that just gave me more resolve. I read some horror stories! Wives that wanted to drive with their husbands and made it a couple of days. The one that stuck in my mind was a lady who was driving at night & in pouring rain. She said she couldn’t see the road & almost ran off it. After that she was done with trucking. I could just see that being me. I hate driving at night in the rain! I couldn’t have Russ pay $5000 for me to go to trucking school & me wimp out like that. So it wasn’t talked about for a long time. Then one day as I’m cleaning up someones mess of crab legs, shrimp tails, & just plain out nastiness and realize I’m getting paid $5 for this crap. After I just kissed their ass for an hour. I realized trucking looked pretty dang good! So I went home & did some more extensive research. I found tons of wonderful stories about couples that had done it for years & loved it. & The best thing I found that day was that we could go to school for free. Without having to sign any contracts! The hope grant paid for 10 weeks of professional truck driving at Griffin Tech! I think we paid a total of $300 (for both of us) on the tests & registration fees. So then we started our journey. I didn’t even know how to drive a stick shift! But I was determined & I had excellent teachers & classmates. I’m going to miss that class. Everyone was so supportive of each other. But it wasn’t always rainbows & sunshine. I remember a couple of times after repeatedly trying a maneuver & failing, I just wanted to quit. I said I can’t do this! & Once I was so upset because I felt the truck was made for a man to operate. It was almost impossible for me to pull the 5th wheel release handle, the clutch was killing my leg, & I just couldn’t turn the steering wheel fast enough. That’s when my wonderful teacher Mr. Harris stepped in and told me I could & would do this. Fast forward to test day. I’m insanely nervous. Russ had already passed & so the pressure was on. I still wasn’t confident with my blind side parallel & I heard the tester was a jerk. It was supposed to start raining hard that day so I only had to do a small part of the pre-trip. Later that night I realized I forgot to check the brake drums! I had to do straight back, blind side offset, & the 90. THANK GOD. I breezed through that. Then it was time for the road test which I thought would be the easiest part. When we started off the tester told me he wasn’t “into” downshifting. So immediately I’m scared to downshift! So I took an on ramp to 1941 in 8th gear! lol He said “that was pretty rough.” And that pretty much sums up my road test. Pretty rough. I’ve never done so bad. He was constantly telling me to hurry up & slow down. It was weird. BUT I PASSED!!! 🙂 I’ve never been so proud of myself. So now we just have to take our hazmat test & wait for the background check. We’re really, really, really wanting to drive for US Express. I’ve heard so many good things about them & they allow a dog. Which is my #1 concern! Well, that’s enough for now. I’ll update when something happens.