Video: Ryan Strange's Philosophy: Keep Calm, Carry On

The opportunity to take a practice run on the CDL test course has allowed the seemingly always laid-back Ryan Strange to achieve new levels of mellow.

 “It wasn’t bad as I thought it was going to be,” the 32-year-old Strange said of the course during his lunch break at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. “There are a couple [places] where you have to make sure you don’t clip the curb, and there’s a couple lights. The first time, I ran it. I was probably about 15 feet from [the light], and it turned yellow on me and I had no choice but to keep going. That’s an automatic fail. Hopefully, you time out it right [during the test].”

Despite that incident, Strange said he feels pretty good about passing the exam Sept. 15 in Louisville.

PHOTO GALLERY: Photos from Week 3

“I’m not as nervous as I was [before driving the test course],” Strange said. “[After] running that course a couple of times, I feel like I should be all right. By now, you should have everything down. When you’re not holding that [pre-trip inspection] paper reading it word for word, you realize how much you really do know. You know more than you think you do. Monday and Tuesday [at TAT] will just be fine-tuning everything.”

Like classmate Teddy Flener Jr. said earlier today, Strange wants to be the first tested on exam day rather than wait around and let the nerves get to him.

“It doesn’t help sitting around thinking about it, stressing out a little bit,” Strange said. “Just try and stay calm and when it’s your time to go, go … do what you do.”

As for Flener, Anna Basham and Russell Durgasingh testing on Sept. 14, the CDL or Bust class has become so close over the past three weeks that Strange said, ‘I’ll be anxious to get the call or text [to learn whether they passed].”

— By David Elfin, Transport Topics staff reporter. Photo of (left to right) Strange, Flener and Wayne Meenach by John Sommers II for TT