I went to class today on a mission to redeem myself and regain the confidence I need to keep driving without hitting snow banks.

I totally conquered that mission and I’m feeling much better. Not only did I do a much better job on the road (two roundabouts including the same one I screwed up on yesterday – with no incidents), but I also got signed off on my 90-degree backing! The 90-degree back involves driving up perpendicular to the lane I want to back into, then cutting the trailer into the lane while the truck turns to a near 90-degree angle to the trailer, then finish with the rear bumper of the trailer landing square in a three-foot box near the back of the lane. It was a boost to get a few really good ones while Instructor Jim watched. He even complimented me on one back where I almost didn’t need to pull up to straighten out. New goal: get a 90 without a pull up before I graduate. Goals rule.

Tomorrow is our long day, and I hope I have another good road day to prove to myself that today wasn’t a fluke and that I really am getting better at this whole driving a semi thing!

A couple of other things from today: I fueled up our truck for the first time today – over 50 gallons! We also had our first random drug testing. I wasn’t selected, but my classmate Tom was, but of course passed no problem. Even as students we are not immune to the industry’s laws. Good learning stuff happening every day.

Instructor Jake hassled me a bit about yesterday, which was great. He stood beside my truck window looking up at me with a grin on his face and says, “Hey, I’ve got a new nickname for ya’… Snowbank.” I laughed and told him I’ve already been calling myself that! I guess that means we’re on the same page.

All in all it was a good day and I hope to report more like it in the future. I know I’ll have my off-days, but I already know how important those days are in my learning experience, too.

Head up and onward. And my dad’s advice: “one mile after the other and dodge the alligators.” Love it!

Tonight I love a sense of humor. It sure helps make rough patches just a little bit smoother.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)


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