Joey Wilson Jr. was seemingly born to be a trucker. His grandfather and father drove for years. The latter still drives in the Louisville area.
“I just thought it was the biggest thing ever,” Wilson said, thinking back to his dad’s truck when he wasn’t yet in elementary school.
Wilson himself has a Class B license that he earned to drive a dump truck. But he wanted more, so he chose to pursue his Class A license, which is why he’s part of our CDL or Bust class at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos of students, classroom and training property.
“I’m doing this to make a lot more money and make a career out of [driving],” said the bearded, 27-year-old Wilson, who, as he expected, passed his Class A permit test Thursday morning and can’t wait to start practicing driving big rigs next week. “The company I work for, Skyler, has 18 trucks that work at FedEx’s property and they start off at $50,000 a year with benefits immediately. And all they do is hook up doubles and triples all day and move ’em around.”
Landing one of those local jobs would allow the former firefighter to spend more time with his ailing grandfather and with his 7-year-old son, Trenton.
“My grandfather has cancer and I want to spend whatever time he has left cutting up with him,” Wilson said. “We’re a lot alike. I’ve calmed down a lot. Trenton’s a smart little kid. I’m glad he ain’t got my attitude. He loves reading books and going to the zoo. And he likes riding in Daddy’s trucks.”
If all goes well for Wilson during the remaining 12 days of class and on his CDL exam, Daddy’s trucks will soon be of the much bigger variety.
-By David Elfin, Transport Topics staff reporter. Photo by John Sommers II for TT