Joey Wilson Jr., 27

NAME, AGE: Joey Wilson Jr., 27
HOMETOWN: Louisville, Ky.
LAST JOB: Dump truck driver

WHAT SPARKED INTEREST IN A CDL: Better opportunities
FUN FACT: I live off Monster energy drinks and fast food!

Video: CDL Success at Last for Joey Wilson Jr.

It took three attempts and two examiners over eight days, but CDL or Bust student Joey Wilson Jr. passed his CDL exam Sept. 22 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Usually three’s an unlucky number for me, but it was all right today,” the happy and relieved Wilson said after returning to Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, with the good news.

Close But No Cigar, or CDL, on Wilson’s Second Try

Joey Wilson Jr. got farther than he did the first time, but the 27-year-old former dump truck driver still was unable to pass his commercial driver license re-test opportunity on Sept. 19.

After failing the pre-trip third of the exam on Sept. 15 because of miscommunication with examiner Evan Harrod during the brakes section, Wilson lucked into a re-test Sept. 19 thanks to a cancellation.

Following a quick brush-up with Truck America Training Instructor Bob Cross on Sept. 16, the day after he failed, Wilson returned to the test site for another go-round with Harrod. This time, Wilson made it to the final traffic light before disaster struck.

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: Let's Get On With It, Says Joey Wilson Jr.

After more than three weeks of 10-hour days, Joey Wilson Jr. is anxious for his CDL exam on Thursday and to begin a truck-driving career.

“I guess, trying to get everything over with,” he said when asked what’s on his mind heading into the final week. “It’s been a little bit hectic, frustrating.”

Video: Joey Wilson Jr. Is Bonding With Students, Instructor

Learning how to drive a truck at Truck America Training is a pretty grueling experience. It’s 16 days of near-constant time in the classroom, practicing on the facility’s range or driving a big rig on the roads in and around Shepherdsville, Kentucky.

Video: Things Break Sometimes, Joey Wilson Learns on First Road Trip

Joey Wilson Jr. was excited to get behind the wheel of a big rig on the highway for the first time Aug. 31 as our CDL or Bust class reached Day 8, the halfway point of preparations for their CDL exams Sept. 14 or 15.

Wilson did get on the road, but he also spent an unanticipated hour at a fuel station in Bardstown, Kentucky, 21 miles from Truck America Training’s facility one county over in Shepherdsville.

Video: Joey Wilson Is Doing This for Those Who Came Before Him and One Who Came After

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.

Photo by John Sommers II for Transport Topics