gkicinski's blog

Day 7: Aug. 30, 2016

Day 7 for the CDL or Bust students at Truck America Training school in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, will look and feel a lot like Day 6: Another day of practice on the training school's 20-acre property, focusing on backing maneuvers and shifting. 

For the last hour or so of the day, they also will be working on pre-trip inspections. 

Video: Extra Studying Paid Off for Russell Durgasingh to Get Permit on Second Try

Russell Durgasingh had more than a few anxious moments after he failed to pass his CDL permit test on Day 4 of Transport Topics’ CDL or Bust series.

The 45-year-old former Golden Gloves boxer/mixed martial arts contestant said he rushed through the exam on Day 4 because of nerves and because he hadn’t taken a test that counted since he was in high school nearly three decades ago.

“I didn’t beat myself up too much,” Durgasingh said. “I’ve took a few whuppings over the years and I know how to deal with loss pretty well. I just brushed it off and went and studied.”

Day 6: Aug. 29, 2016

It's Day 6 of the 16-day CDL training program at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, and the first day of Week 2, when the fun begins.

With preliminary classwork behind them and CDL permits secured, our seven CDL or Bust students will be heading outside today to learn backing and shifting, according to instructor Bob Cross. That's an aerial view of the TAT property shown above, as seen on the TAT website

Video: Ryan Strange Likes to Gamble, Just Not With His Future

Ryan Strange’s fourth day as part of our CDL or Bust class was worthy of his last name. Rather than joining his six classmates in taking the written exam to obtain his CDL permit, the 32-year-old bachelor spent much of the day running back and forth between doctors’ offices trying to track down his proper medical form for state officials.

“I was ready to go and get it done with,” Strange said of his CDL test with some frustration. “I had my mind set. And now I got to go back today and do it.”

Day 5, Aug. 26, 2016

Day 5 of the CDL or Bust program brings a second chance for students Russell Durgasingh and Teddy Flener Jr. to pass their permit test so they can join their classmates on the road in a truck next week with an instructor beside them. Ryan Strange also needs to resolve an issue with the results of his physical exam in order to qualify for the permit.

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.

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.

Video: At 48, Wayne Meenach is Ready for a Career Change

For 23 years, Wayne Meenach built seats for Johnson Controls that were installed in Ford Motor Co. vehicles until the Louisville plant closed in July. It turns out losing his job was just the motivation that the 48-year-old Louisville native needed to make a change: signing up for a CDL class in hopes of becoming a truck driver.

Meenach took the next step by passing his CDL permit test Thursday morning, giving him the opportunity to move on to behind-the-wheel practice the next two weeks.