First off…I have my CDL now! Well I have a piece of paper saying I’m an official CDL holder. The hard copy will be mailed to me but still I’m official now!
Which means, 3 hours later while flagged for a level three inspection the two violations would go on my license.
But wait, I’m getting a head of myself. Stop. Rewind. Start again…
After getting my license, I was dropped off by the lovely woman with best smile on the west coast, Kendra. I said my goodbyes and climbed into the drivers seat to head out to pick up a trailer. It seems the closest one was in Bellingham, WA.
Once in Bellingham, we had our choice of bad trailers. One which had doors that would not close or latch properly and where the cooling duct was ripped, or the trailer that had been out of DOT inspection since March of 2016 and had a defective battery on the refrigeration unit so we weren’t able to properly do a pretrip test on it. We went for the out of date trailer as we could stop at the TA travel center east of Seattle and get both items taken care of.
In most trucks that drive for the big companies, we have this item called a PrePass hanging on our front window.
This handy device will speak to many of the weigh stations and tell us if we actually have to go in to get weighed. Most of the time we are green lighted and we can bypass the station. Today, I was red lighted and had to go through the weigh station.
Weigh stations are there to ensure that professional drivers like myself (hehe that’s still weird to me) are not carrying more weight then they are allowed to and have the load balanced properly for safety. What you do is drive slowly over the scale and it weighs you one axel at a time. Usually, you do this and get right back on the highway. That is unless you’re red lighted again and told to bring all your paperwork into the station.
Yep, that’s exactly what happened.
At this point I think it’s only fair to say, I have a thing about tickets. I commonly will tell people “I don’t do tickets.” I never try to get out of a ticket, it’s just what happens. I try to only use my powers for good and this case was no different.
As we got out of the truck my trainer said, what sucks is that you’re going to get a ticket on your first day of having a full license.
I smirked and said “I don’t do tickets.”
Upon entering the station I looked at the state troopers and said “ok gentlemen, I need you to settle a bet between my trainer and I. He thinks you pulled me over because it’s my first day having a license and I think you pulled me over to congratulate me for getting my license today and being awesome.
Both men laughed and well not to belabor the point, let’s just say I kept them laughing the whole time.
When asked for the paperwork I sent trainer out to get it, stating all wide eyed, “You haven’t shown me where that is yet.” I then apologized to the officers for being so new and taking up so much of their time.
Yes, it was shameless. Yes, I was exercising my privilege. Yes, I was shamelessly flirting and I may have giggled a time or two. Let me repeat, I don’t do tickets.
So at the end of the “Level 3” random inspection we could have been cited for two infractions. One for hauling a trailer out of inspection and one for not having the registration paperwork (which my trainer was not able to locate). In the end, I was given a passed inspection and told that they didn’t want to cite me on my first day of having a full CDL.
I thanked the gentlemen, gave them an HR approved air hug, and told them to stay classy.
As we left the station and walked back to our truck, my trainer looked at me and said “How in the F did you do that?” I stopped looked him straight in the eye and said “I told you, I don’t do tickets.”
One day, my luck will run out and on that day I will get a ticket. Until then, I’m gonna keep being me and seeing just how far this luck will take me.
Once back in the truck, I drove us to the TA where we were told they could fix the battery on the refrigeration unit but couldn’t do the inspection. Knowing we had an appointment to pick up a load, we took what we could get.
The refrigeration unit on a trailer is located on the front and runs off of a separate fuel tank located under the trailer.
The unit can run several different preset temperatures and on the bill of lading it usually tells us what temperature is required.
Once the battery was fixed and a pretrip test was done on the unit, we were off for Prosser, WA to take another load of onions from Washington to the East Coast. This time we were headed to Georgia, which is known for their Vidalia onions but I guess they also have a need for onions from Washington.
After driving from South of Olympia, to Bellingham, back to Seattle, then across the state to Prosser and after being up at 7 to sit for hours at the DMV, well you could say I was done and ready for sleep.
After arriving at the location, I woke up my trainer to tell him my shift was over. I also told him that he should be careful because we were on a farm and the ground was soft, especially by the trailers that were parked on a hill.
As soon as I settled in to sleep, I was jolted by a string of loud profanities. It seems my trainer, in his infinite wisdom, decided to ignore my warnings and get us stuck in the mud. I blearily offered to help and was angrily rebuked to told to go to f-ing sleep.
Ok just in case you don’t know this, dear readers, I swear a lot. Usually off-handed and rarely directed at a person unless warranted. I was also raised in a household with a man who for most of my life had serious anger management issues, so I take offense when men raise their voice at me. I don’t do well in these situations and tend to react poorly. Knowing this could escalate quickly i simply said “don’t ever speak like that to me again” and closed the curtain to let him work it out for himself.
Long story short, we sat there in the mud until one of the farm hands came with a tractor to get us out. Once on our way I listed in and out of sleep. Finally nature called and I got up to ask him to pull over for a break.
The next few days were a blur of drop offs and pick ups. During my time with my trainer we had some fundamental issues that I haven’t spoken about before but suffice to say I now find myself back in Salt Lake City waiting on a new trainer. This was my choice and after several severe issues I finally asked to be reassigned.
This, dear readers, has been the reason for the lapse of updates.
My new trainer should be here in a few days so until then I’m working with my first trainer and his new trainees and being as helpful as I can.