Truckin’ with JJ: Year Three, Phase Three!

Truckin’ with JJ: Year Three, Phase Three!

It’s a Sunday Morning on the farm… I gather the ingredients for Blueberry Belgian Waffles, pack a bag and head downstairs, as I live on the 2nd floor loft of the main house. Stairs aren’t my favourite, but the theory behind second floor accommodations was the alure of the balcony on one side of the loft, along with the forced process of re-strengthening walking muscles with the stair climbing as I transition off of driving my big rig on long hauls. I made the decision to ‘come off the road’ in May this year, return home to the farm and find a position that allowed me to be home more often, if not every night. I looked for dispatcher work or driver instructor roles with my then employer Schneider National, but they had nothing in my area. I was hoping I could even do some remote work until something opened up, but in the end, I resigned from Schneider June 1st, and moved on.

I had kept in touch with my CDL School over the years, coz they gave me such a great start in the industry, and they were happy to see me succeeding and enjoying my new career. I even stopped in to chat with the transportation director off and on when I found myself rolling down highway 81 in Virginia. They loved receiving signed copies of my two books, haha.

During my last visit I had asked if he had suggestions for me as I entered this new phase of trucking, and long story short, they had a possible opening as a CDL-A instructor, along with other ad-hoc type projects that he thought I might excel in. That sounded super! He even recommended a local driving company where I could drive part time until, or even alongside, working at the college. I met with that company and began driving local/regional the following week. I must tell you though, transitioning from my 186,000 miles as a long-haul OTR (over-the-road) driver to being regional/local was exceptionally challenging for me! I’m pretty sure only a driver who make this transition can appreciate the challenges associated with it, and I really cannot summarize it. It wasn’t only the style of driving, but the type of hauls this company does in combination with the equipment and needs of their customers. That’s not a complaint, it’s just the factors that all contributed to the month and a half I needed to assimilate and tweak my schedule. I think after two months though, I have found a decent approach in this style of driving for this company. I had to tweak things weekly to get here, though. They were fabulously understanding and worked with me each week as I kept making small changes to find a groove. I am so blessed that the first two companies I’ve worked for in this industry were so outstanding! I trust that the third will be as well!

I met with Bill (the Blue Ridge Community College Range Director) last week to discuss the opening and see if it would be a good fit on both sides, and we concluded, YES! The school has two types of CDL-A programs – a 5-week course M-F, and then a 12-week Weekend course. I will begin my new phase of trucking by teaching the weekend course starting sometime in September with my first group of students.

Mentally preparing for my new phase of trucking, and other stuffs! HaHa.

Be Blessed Y’all!



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