Thursday, February 28, 2008

Not to bad

Today wasn't to bad of a day. The general stupid crap and another long string of bored time.

As usual I was on time and ready to go. Dale told us we would be backing this morning then go driving this afternoon.

As usual I let Perry go first so Dale could spend time with him working out his driving issues. And boy did Perry need help. Dale aligned the truck perfectly straight in the box and Perry took over. He pulled straight forward to the stopping spot, put it into reverse and promptly turned the wheel, jackknifed the truck and destroyed a cone. It is now 7:20am and I realized it was going to be a long morning.

I told Dale to let him work it out and see if the guy could finally "find" his trailer. I went into the college and picked up a paper and returned to my car to 'watch', catch up on the news and listen to Open Road on XM171.

Around 8:45am it looked like Dale was on his last nerve so I hopped out of the car and said I'd back for a while. Don't think I've ever seen anyone so relieved. However, I didn't let Perry off the hook, I made him ride in the cab with me to see how I do it and to give him some pointers.

I feel for the guy, he's trying but he's just not getting it. And going by the conversation I had with Dale this morning, he doesn't think (and neither do I) that Perry has the bones to be a truck driver. But, as today is day four of being behind the wheel he has eight days till our test to work out his issues.

I pulled about twenty straightline backs, and totally blew one parallel parking routine, but nailed three or four others so all was good.

Once I'd been in the truck about forty-five minutes I gave the reigns back to Perry after setting him up with a perfect straightline back start, and returned to my car.

About ten minutes later, campus police stop by and tell Dale and I that we needed to move the truck off the range so the Dallas Police Department could bring in their helicopter (AirOne) for a demonstration flight for one of the college classes. They said it would take about fifteen minutes and then they'd be gone.

Well 10:00am comes by and the chopper is already fifteen minutes late and I'm starting to get really bored.

It finally shows up about ten after and between the high winds we were getting today and the wash from the chopper, the parking lot where we do our backing range work was completely clean of dirt and debris.

The pilots lock down the chopper and head inside the school for their presentation before bringing the students out, and so we begin to wait some more.

After almost an hour of waiting they bring the students out to look at the chopper for about thirty minutes, then finally take off and leave about 11:30am. Leaving us with half the morning wasted sitting on our asses again.

During this downtime I was talking to Dale about Perry's shifting issues, and we came up with the idea to drop the trailer and let him bobtail around the lot in a huge circle practicing up and down shifting so maybe he would get some rhythm before we head out on the road. So from 11:30 till just after noon that is what Dale and Perry did. He seemed to be doing ok, but then again I wasn't in the truck, I was sitting in my car listening to XM.

Lunchtime came and went, and then we finally hit the road for some practice.

As usual I let Perry go first for two laps, and hung on for dear life. He wasn't to bad today, he's still grinding the gears and shaking all the teeth out of our head, but he is getting a 'bit' better. However, I can give him props on one thing, he can turn that truck. He has not hit a curb, or crossed a line since Monday. So he seems to be good at at least one thing.

I took two trips around and struggled a bit today with double up-shifting but I've just about got it nailed down.

Two more trips each and it was time to head back.

Today was a pretty good day, and each day even though I'm only getting maybe about 50 miles driving in, I'm doing fantastic. At least according to Dale.

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