This afternoon myself and another driver named Charles were pulled from the classroom to talk with our instructor and the head of Safety at Hill Bros. I had an inkling what they wanted but I let Charles sweat a bit. Its just the kind of guy I am :)
It turns out, our paperwork had come back clean in near-record time so we were asked to show up extra early tomorrow morning at 0530 to be the first two to take our drive tests, so we can finish up orientation a day early. Neither of us being clinically insane, we quickly agreed.
Today was filled mostly with presentations on things ranging from the 401(k) program, the lease-purchase program and an hour with one of the Hill Brothers, who went over the screens that the load planners and driver managers see and how our satellite unit inputs fit into the scheme of things. We were also visited by the head of Operations who spent a long time going over the various facets of his side of the organization and answering a wide variety of questions.
Our classroom instructor Scott was a bit... flustered today as some folks had difficulty following his directions. Somehow, unbelievably, someone in the class had missed the answer to a question that he had us mark down a few days ago on the test itself. Like: "Question 10 is out of date, so mark down (D) then finish the rest." Someone answered something else. Boggles the mind.
We lost the second candidate today, a guy named Terry. They found a felony conviction from 1996 that wasn't disclosed (he said he told everyone) and decided to send him home. It sucks to be someplace for three days then have that happen.
I have a hazmat test and questionnaire to finish tonight here at the hotel, then a driving test, pre-trip test and backing test over at the yard before I get assigned my truck. Hill Bros runs mostly Volvos, but a smattering of other makes and I'm hoping being one of the first to finish will give me the pick of the litter from the company fleet.
Driving early in the morning has its plusses and minuses. On the plus side, the traffic should be fairly light. On the down side, I will be in an unfamiliar vehicle (though the test truck is a Kenworth T600, the same type as I drove for CFI for the past 16 months) and in unfamiliar surroundings. Still, it shouldn't be difficult to demonstrate that I am a safe driver in a new truck.
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