Our first week of training has been interesting so far. The company has started running us like we’re already a team, but I’ve only just begun training my wife how to drive a truck. I spoke with my fleet manager, and hopefully they’ll lighten up for a couple of weeks. Once Christina is feeling more confident, then we can transition into full-on team-driving mode, but until then, I need to be able to stay awake with her while she drives in order to supervise and instruct. That hasn’t been easy with the loads they’ve given us so far. The past couple loads have been 12-hour, due-the-next-morning loads which have had Christina driving all night and me driving during the day. It’s put me in a difficult situation: either I leave her unattended and get good rest, or I stay up and observe her driving and miss out on sleep. Or, the third option, I observe while she drives and sleep while she sleeps, and we deliver our load late. But that’s not really an option.
Fortunately, Christina has taken to the road like a natural. She’s doing quite well so far, and has been learning new skills quickly. I believe at the end of a week, she’ll be ready to drive on her own with minimal observation and instruction. She can do it now, for the most part, but I still need to be there, because while she’s a good driver, she’s still a beginner, and if she gets herself into a dangerous situation, I need to be able to help her out. So I’ve talked with my fleet manager, and I’m hoping it’ll have some positive effect.
In other news, I had quite an eventful morning. Woke at 5:30am and hit the road so we’d get to our delivery on time. As I was traveling down the interstate, I saw traffic suddenly begin to slow, and a truck pulled to the side of the road. Two fmore trucks followed suit, except they pulled to the opposite side of the interstate. I soon realized why: the first truck was on fire.
I immediately pulled to the side with the other two trucks that had stopped. It seemed we all had the same idea: each of us had climbed out of our truck and retrieved our fire extenguishers (which all trucks are required to have on-hand). I got to the burning truck just as the other two truckers had expended their extinguishers. Yet still the truck burned. It was not a big blaze, however – thankfully, the driver had pulled over shortly after the fire had begun, and the other three trucks (myself included) had arrived shortly after. As I approached, the truck was still burning, but the fire was smaller than it had been before.
When I was in the U.S. Navy, they trained me on how to fight fires in all sorts of situations. This is required knowledge when you’re going to be living on a ship. Every sailor is trained in fire-fighting. So when I was presented with this emergency, I recalled my Navy training. Stand six to eight feet away. Aim at the base of the fire. Spray in a sweeping motion. Before long, the fire was extinguished. I checked around the rest of the truck just to be sure, and was glad to see that the three of us had effectively eliminated the threat.
The trucker whose truck had ignited was safe; he was on the phone with his wife, telling her that three fellow drivers had come to the rescue and that he was safe and his truck was no longer burning. Just about this time, emergency personnel arrived, just in time to see that the first-responders (the truckers) had handled the situation already. They talked to us a little while, then sent us on our way, directing traffic and looking after the stranded trucker
I’m glad that we three truckers were on that stretch of road at that specific moment. If I (or any of the other truckers) had left even five minutes earlier or later than we had, we might not have been there in time to help, and that situation could have been a whole lot worse.
Christina was a little disappointed that she slept through the whole ordeal, but she’d been driving all night and needed her rest. She began driving again at around 7pm, and will continue through the night until we reach our destination or have to swap drivers.
Well, that’s all the news for now. Love you all! Goodnight.