NAME, AGE: Joey Wilson Jr., 27
HOMETOWN: Louisville, Ky.
LAST JOB: Dump truck driver
MARITAL STATUS/CHILDREN: Single, one child
WHAT SPARKED INTEREST IN A CDL: Better opportunities
FUN FACT: I live off Monster energy drinks and fast food!
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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