I lost some time at driving school this week due to bad weather. The lot is on a very slight slope, so the least bit of ice puts a real crimp in moving the rigs around. Sometimes, a guy is kept busy just throwing sand under the tires. I guess you could call that real-life experience. Other time has been lost due to the fact that we have about three classes stepping on one another’s toes waiting their turn to drive. They tried to do things in a more “organized” manner Friday, and I ended up not getting a turn at all! I assume that I’ll go first tomorrow. They’ve wisely postponed the start of the next class by a couple weeks in order to work the backlog of students out the door. Of course, that makes it bad for them, too, since they’re missing out on income for those two weeks.
I spent Friday parked by the area where they practice doing the “alley dock” maneuver. I’d done it pretty well two days earlier, then I got a different truck the next day and couldn’t get it at all. I think there was something just a little too different about the truck to use the same references as to when to make my turns. I don’t know if it was the mirrors, the wheel-base, or the setting of the fifth wheel, or even the radius of the steering. All I know is that I did EXACTLY the same things that worked the day before and nothing came out the same. I think the problem is that the instructors give us reference points to try to get us in the ballpark, but ultimately, it has to be done by eye and by “feel.”
It’s been snowing here all day, but we probably have less than two inches of new snow, so far. Still, that was enough that my wife didn’t want to go to town to get out of the house today, since the state hasn’t yet put any salt on our road. We really haven’t had much accumulation this year; but it keeps coming a little at a time and keeping the roads slick. As a result, the highways department and the cities are running low on salt, and what extra they have ordered is stuck on barges frozen to docks along the Ohio River. At this point, they only salt the hills on our road and merely grade the more level areas. Since there’s not much depth, though, the grading doesn’t do much good.
Class is supposed to start at 7AM tomorrow, but experience tells me that they won’t be able to get the yard in shape until about nine. I may just show up then. They don’t seem to mind. © 2014