First Bump in the Road: Not Everyone Gets Their Permits

Our CDL or Bust class hit its first bump in the road on Day 4 when students Russell Durgasingh and Teddy Flener Jr. didn’t score high enough to pass the tests to receive their permits that would allow them to get behind the wheel next week.

Anna Basham, Wayne Meenach and Joey Wilson Jr. passed, joining Jason Horton, who already had a Class A permit.

Ryan Strange had an issue with his physical that didn’t seem likely to be resolved until Day 5, when Durgasingh and Flener would retake the test in hopes of being able to join their classmates when practice sessions behind the wheel begin Monday. (Update: All three passed their test Friday.)

PHOTO GALLERY: Photos of students, classroom and training property. 

Before racing to the permit testing office, the class heard from Jet Express president and American Trucking Associations First Vice Chairman Kevin Burch, who gave them some blunt advice as they prepared to join his industry.

“Don’t be quick to go to a company, and then after about three or four months, you’re saying, ‘Well, I’m not sure’ … Go in and talk to the safety people, personnel department,” Burch said. “If you can’t work it out, give ’em two weeks’ notice and go somewhere else. Life’s too short to be in a job you don’t like. … You guys are going to be leaving here soon with a professional CDL, you’ve got the advantage now to go where you want to go and do what you want to do.”

“I was surprised that the president of this company was shooting everybody straight,” student Joey Wilson Jr. said. “We thought he was going to come in and be a recruiter.”

Added classmate Wayne Meenach, “I thought he had a lot of good information. [He told us to] find a job that’s a good fit for you and your family. You don’t have to rush into the first job [offer] you get. He was telling you how it is. I like that.”

- By David Elfin, Transport Topics staff reporter. Photo of Joey Wilson Jr. and video by John Sommers II for Transport Topics