Friday, February 29, 2008

A Good Day

I knew it was finally going to happen, a good day would come along. Or at least a day that wasn't one frustration after another.

Morning started out with backing practice, and Dale setup the practice area like it will be when we take our DPS test. Basically we start by driving around the lot then pulling straight up into the parking lines box. Then do a pull forward and then do a straight line back. Once that is complete we pull forward and then parallel park into the adjoining lane in the box.

Everything went very well for me, my first round was excellent and made four of five attempts perfect. On the second try my tractor drive train crossed the line on the parallel park, all five attempts took me about thirty minutes.

Then Perry had his go, as was typical he was all over the place. Even after pulling straight into the box, once he started his backing after pulling forward he jackknifed the trailer repeatedly.

After letting him go at it for an hour, where he did improve but wasn't able to finish the parallel parking part I took over for another round.

Same thing, this time but I was able to complete all five maneuvers without problems.

As I was getting out, Dale informed me that the main school called and I won the lottery on the weekly random drug testing so I had to take off to go get tested. Not a problem for me since I have NO trouble passing those things so I talked to Perry for a few minutes, gave him some pointers on how to watch the trailer tandems in BOTH mirrors when backing and what steps to take when turning the wheels for the parallel, and took off.

I then spent over two hours doing my drug testing due to the wait at the facility then called Dale on the phone and told him I'd meet him at the driving range because I was closer to there than the parking range and didn't want to make them wait for me to get back (and to save gas).

They showed up at the range at 1:00pm and we started driving.

Now, I don't know what happened between the time I left and the time I met them at the driving range. But something FINALLY clicked for Perry. According to Dale about twenty minutes after I left Perry started doing great and was nailing the backing and parallel parking. So since Perry seemed to be on an up note I let him drive first.

And he did pretty damn well, his downshifting still needs a bit of work and he needs to stop getting frustrated over his mistakes but his driving was pretty damn good, which is finally nice that neither Dale or I have to hang on for dear life. It was a pleasant change over the previous days this week.

We each made two pull runs on the range, and my driving is getting better and better. I'm still having a bit of a time judging turning distances on right hand turns, but I'm not hitting the lines as often. Those turns are my current weak spot.

All in all it was a good day. Monday we are supposed to start full highway driving.

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