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A New Career The Conclusion

"My fourth attempt"
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After failing the state exam three time I returned to school and used the option for another five weeks.

So I would now officially graduate trucking driving school on November 15 of 2013. About two weeks prior to my last day I was informed by the senior instructor to set up my testing date ASAP. I called during the first break of the day and I was informed that the next open date is the second week of December, I took the earliest appointment they had.

Now the schools only pays for the one test and no matter what the reason for being unable to keep your appointment they will not pay for another. Every other testing I took came out of my own pocket, this one would be no different or so I thought.

Now it seems that my temporary Class A license had expired so I had to report to the license bureau and retake some the written tests again, not a big deal. However when you report for testing you have to start from the beginning. So on a cold and chilly Friday morning I started out for the half hour plus drive to the testing center. I arrived early and checked in and paid my testing fee.

I had not taken 2 puffs out of my freshly lit cigarette when the examiner appeared. It was the same nice lady that I had during my first attempt so many months ago. She drove me back to the tractor trailer and I was given about ten minutes to familiarize myself again with the steps and language that they expect the candidate to use.

I got through the pre-trip inspection with time to spare and a passing score. Now would come the dreaded yard maneuvers. As there was another truck being tested I was actually given the choice between the alley dock or the parallel park, I chose the parallel park. I got through the straight line backing with no problems but earned a minus two points on the blindside back.

I began the very difficult task of parallel parking a tractor trailer. I took full advantage of my two get-out-and-looks as well as my two resets. My blood pressure sky rocketed and I was in a rolling sweat. I added another two minus points when I did a third reset. I wanted to ask the examiner another question but was informed that if I exited the truck for a third time I would fail.

I got the truck in space and uttering a silent prayer I honked the horn in indicate I was finished. The examiner did a slow walk around the tractor and trailer before coming to the passenger side door. She opened it and to my surprise she climbed into the cab.

"Now what was so hard about that?" she asked.

I was informed that I had passed the yard test. She buckled herself in and instructed me to exit the lot and make a left. Remembering all the horror stories of those that failed the first road test I made sure that I swung the rig wide and taking the two points for clipping a curb with the tractor, if you do it with the rear tires of your trailer you fail.

I was so nervous that when she told me to do a lane change I called out every step. To ensure I was paying attention she also would occasionally ask what was the last sign I passed. I got them all and after three times she stopped asking.

After about ten minutes of driving she had me do an emergency stop. That's bringing the rig to the right side of the road as quickly and safely as possible making sure your four way flashers and parking brakes are on and there is enough room for cars to pass you.

I was told to merge back into traffic, it was the only time I argued with the examiner. She said I was going too slow as there were cars coming up on me. I told her I saw them beginning to merge away from curb lane into the passing lane. She looked her mirror and then back at me.

"OK, I'll give you that one," was her response.

After what seemed like hours she had me head back to the testing site and return the truck to the position I started out in. I set the brakes and turned the engine off and asked how I did.

"You got a few points, but you passed," she responded with a smile. We got back into the golf cart and I was driven back to the front office where my vehicle was parked.

"Do I need to come in and sign anything?" I asked.

"No, by the time you reach the license bureau it will be in the system."

I thanked her and got in my car and cried like a baby as I was so happy.I then headed to the license bureau.

The date was Friday the 13th. So much for it being and unlucky day.

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