gkicinski's blog

That's a Wrap: Anna Basham Passes Road Test

Anna Basham, the last member of our CDL or Bust class from Truck America Training without a CDL, earned hers this morning on her fourth try at the State Fairgrounds in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I’m really proud that I made the accomplishment that I’ve done,” said the emotional Basham, who only had to attempt the on-road portion today after passing the pre-trip on her first try and the maneuvers on her third Sept. 28. “For a 51-year-old woman, this was a big game changer. I was starting to wonder if I was going to be able to do it.”

Test Day 2: Celebrate Good Times

After learning that CDL or Bust classmates Anna Basham and Teddy Flener Jr. had failed their CDL exams yesterday, Jason Horton studied a little harder and a little longer last night.

Horton was still so nervous about taking his exam this morning that he arrived at the test site in Louisville, Kentucky, at 6:30 a.m., an hour ahead of schedule. Then, during the maneuvers third of the exam, Horton started to offset park the truck before examiner Evan Harrod apologized and had him perform the straight backing first as is supposed to happen.

Test Day 2: Wilson Stopped Short

Joey Wilson Jr. woke up this morning expecting it to be one of the best days of his life. It didn’t turn out that way, however, in a case of he-said versus he-said with the first man having the authority over the second.

Wilson, one of the seven CDL or Bust students and one of four to take his CDL exam today in Louisville, Kentucky, hadn’t even finished going through his pre-trip brake inspection when examiner Evan Harrod, a retired state trooper, told him that he had failed.

Video: Positive Outlook Aids Russell Durgasingh

After failing to pass the written CDL permit test on his first try Aug. 25, Russell Durgasingh could have been depressed. But that’s not his style.

He passed the next day and remains upbeat with his CDL road test looming Sept. 14. Durgasingh also isn't stressing about memorizing the 130-point pre-trip inspection as much as some of his six CDL or Bust classmates who spent much of Labor Day weekend studying.

Day 13: Sept. 8, 2016

Truck America Training sits on a 20-acre tract of land running roughly parallel to Interstate 65 on the east. On the west side lies a Shepherdsville, Kentucky, neighborhood, and the locals have apparently become used to the sight of big rigs rumbling to and fro carrying students and instructors out to highways for training practice. 

Video: Anna Basham Shifts Focus from Preschoolers to Pre-Trip

After spending last Friday night with her 3-year-old grandson, Jesse, and the next day with him and four more of her seven grandchildren, CDL or Bust student Anna Basham got back to work on the final two days of the holiday weekend.

“Sometimes you wonder…” the former school bus driver said when asked how she had the energy to study her pre-trip inspections all day Sunday and Monday after spending all that time with a quintet ranging in age from 9 months to 3 years.

Day 11: Sept. 6, 2016

Day 11 is normally a Monday for students taking a commercial driver license training class at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. For our CDL or Bust class, it falls on a Tuesday thanks to the three-day Labor Day weekend. 

That means four days of practice on the range and on the road this week, leaving Days 15 and 16 for next week, leading up to CDL exams conducted by Kentucky state troopers on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. Sometime soon the students will head over to the Kentucky State Fairgrounds to practice on the course on which they will actually be tested.

Video: Instructors are More Than Just Teachers, Says Teddy Flener Jr.

Although they’ve known their driving instructors for less than 10 days, the seven students in Transport Topics’ CDL or Bust class have forged some bonds with them.

It’s much more a case of Professor McGonigle and Harry Potter than Sgt. Foley and Zack Mayo from “An Officer and a Gentleman.” The trainers at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, are more about praise than putdowns.