Wow, it's been a long 2 and a half months, but I did it! I passed upgrade today! Yes, I am now officially a solo driver with USA Truck! Here are some more answers to your fan questions. I hope these are helpful, and if there's anything else you'd like to know, comment on this post and I'll answer it in my next update!
1. What was your favorite state to drive through in a big rig?
I stayed east of the Rockies in the big rig and I must say that my favorite state I passed through was upper New York for sure. The rolling hills, changing leaves... the overall beauty of upper New York is really eye popping. I must say though, in the interest of safety in the truck, there isn't any time to really enjoy the scenery when you're rolling down the road. I was able to enjoy the beauty of upper New York from the truck stops and rest area stops. Missouri came in a very close second. Wow, does Missouri have some awesome mountain areas! But, I was too busy downshifting while going up them. There were some pretty impressive areas in Missouri, if you ask me.
2. What did you do for entertainment when you had some free time?
Entertainment wasn't too hard to come by in the first phase. I did a lot of walking and exercising. I was even able to spend some quality time on the laptop when we stayed at truck stops. Pilot has some really nice internet connections and you can buy time by the hour, day, month and year. You can buy time from a credit card right from your laptop or buy time from the cashier inside. I must say, I loved the fact I could buy time from the cashier since I was buying such small amounts at a time. I personally thought it was pretty affordable and used the one hour time frame quite frequently so I could blog and Facebook, write emails etc. I am thinking of buying the 4G Verizon wireless hook up for a monthly fee, or just keep buying the smaller time amounts from the truck stops. I just need to choose what's best for me. A lot of the truck stops have rooms where truckers can hang out and enjoy some T.V... In fact, on Saturdays when there were a few big football games on, there were quite a few people in there watching. It was quite a cool atmosphere.
3. What advice would you offer to someone considering a trucking career with USA Truck at this point?
Now that I have passed my upgrade and am no longer a student, I would recommend USA Truck to anyone! They truly care about your safety and they show it with all the CDL training. If you're safe, their trucks and our customer's goods are safe and that's a win-win for everyone, including the public. It is a tough job driving an 18 wheeler and all the training was thought out very well. They have core values they stick to. They even asked me if I wanted home time after all this training. Wow! I didn't expect that at all. The safety departments are top notch and really want you to succeed and be safe on the road. I know I made the right choice for sure. Now it's my turn to make it work, as they have given me all the tools and training to succeed OTR.
4. Did you listen to music, CB radio, etc? How did you settle on this with your trainer?
I will concentrate on my second phase for this question. My trainer had Sirius/XM radio. Very, very nice thing to have. As most people know now, Sirius/XM has just about every program you would want, including music/news etc. It was pretty easy to choose what station I would listen to when I was up, as my trainer was in the sleeper when I was driving so it wasn't much of an issue. For safety's sake, I found a station I liked and kept it on until I stopped the truck to change it. That might sound weird, but messing with knobs and turning the channel does indeed distract you. So I waited until I stopped to change the station.
That's all I've got for you guys today. Like I said, leave any questions you may have in the comments below this post!
Take care and be safe,
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