Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Working and Learning

Today didn't really turn out the way it was planned, but was a good day none-the-less.

Dale called in sick, apparently his back was having some kind of problem so he was not going to be able to come in today. Instead the main campus sent over Keith ride herd on us today. Now I've already met him several times and he's a pretty good guy. Been teaching at the school for seven years so he obviously knows what he's doing. And what he taught us today was invaluable.

He showed up about a 8:00am, once he arrived we talked things over and he asked me to setup the truck and cones for backing practice. This really made me feel good because he recognized from talking to me and from his conversations with Dale that I was much farther along than Perry.

So, I pulled the truck out set it up in place then laid out the parking area for straight line and parallel parking, as well as the traffic cones for the turns and run outs.

However, we never got a chance to do it. About five minutes after I was done he got a call from the main campus. Something happened with the one of the testing trailers at the DPS and they needed ours so those students could test.

So, I packed everything back up and off we went. He drove us to the DPS testing station, once we got there that was the last time he drove.

We got there and he hopped out and told me to backup and drop the trailer then pickup the one that DPS said they couldn't use for testing. So I kind of thought about it and said, OK ... no problem. I moved the trailer into position using a 45. Hopped out and unhooked it and disconnected and pulled away. Then pulled around backed up and snagged the other trailer, finished the hookup and moved out after testing the air brakes.

Was surprised I did it without any mistakes and didn't miss a thing, considering we hadn't really trained on it much and I was working from intuition more than training.

Afterwards we took a break and chatted with the other students who were there to test, then we took the trailer over to the shop to have the clearance lights worked on then took it and dropped it at the main campus. Just a note, I did all the driving including the D/H at the repair yard and the drop at the campus.

Once we were all done with that we ate lunch and waited for the other group to bring our trailer back. Once they got back, I went through the whole thing again and hooked up our trailer. Then we drove down and ran the DPS test route once each.

By then it was 2:00pm and we headed back to our campus for the backup skill work that we were supposed to have done this morning.

Once there, I backed up a few times and Keith let me take off early so he could work one on one with Perry who seemed to forget everything he's ever learned about backing a truck. The guy needs serious help.

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