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Video: Teddy Flener Jr. Shakes Rust, Earns His CDL

It was a long couple of weeks between CDL exams for CDL or Bust student Teddy Flener Jr. Having been tripped up during the pre-trip portion of the test Sept. 14, Flener had to wait until Sept. 29 before he could take the exam again.

During his 15 days away from trucks, the 25-year-old former high school quarterback worked for a buddy’s lawn care company, hung out with his girlfriend and their 1-year-old son and studied his pre-trip sporadically.

Video: CDL Success at Last for Wilson, But Basham Needs Another Shot

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.

Test Day 2: Four More Students Take Their Turn

The first day of CDL exams for Transport Topics’ CDL or Bust students didn’t go nearly as well as hoped.

First, Teddy Flener Jr., the 25-year-old baby of the class, kept the engine running too long during the pre-trip portion of the test, causing him to fail before he even had a chance to move the truck on the course adjacent to the State Fairgrounds in Louisville, Kentucky.

Test Day 1: Teddy Flener Jr.

CDL or Bust classmates Anna Basham and Russell Durgasingh were quietly confident while waiting for examiner Evan Harrod to arrive at the CDL test site in Louisville, Kentucky, this morning, but Teddy Flener Jr.’s nerves were on high alert.

While Basham was proudly wearing her new CDL or Bust T-shirt under her blue denim long-sleeve and big University of Louisville fan Durgasingh was talking about the 10th-ranked Cardinals’ home game on Saturday against perennial powerhouse Florida State, Flener still was studying his pre-trip inspection.

Test Day 1: Russell Durgasingh

Maybe it’s his nature. Maybe it comes from his days as a fighter in the ring. Or maybe he learned his lesson after failing his CDL permit test Aug. 25.

Whatever the reason, Russell Durgasingh didn’t get cocky after passing the pre-trip portion of his CDL exam today in Louisville, Kentucky, and not just because examiner Evan Harrod only asked him do Part A, skipping everything behind the air lines.

“I’ve always had an issue with anxiety, so I’d rather jump in the deep end and start swimming,” Durgasingh said when asked why he volunteered to test first.

Test Day 1: Anna Basham

Anna Basham was rolling this morning. Her son, James, and his wife had relinquished their bed, allowing her to move off the sleep sofa and get some zzzs in advance of her CDL exam.

When it was her turn to be tested, Basham not only overcame the burden of having to perform the entire pre-trip inspection — unlike CDL or Bust classmate Russell Durgansingh — she did so perfectly. She even remembered the gasket around the doors of the trailer that she had forgotten to mention before examiner Evan Harrod could finish totaling her score.

Day 16: Sept. 13, 2016

At 28, Shawn Dillon has seen more of life than most people twice his age. A native of Williamsburg in the southeast corner of Kentucky near its borders with North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, Dillon had driven in all 48 continental states, served in the Army in Iraq and fathered three children before he began teaching at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, in June.

Dillon drove Humvees in the Army from 200 to 2011 and came home from Iraq without a scratch other than a knee injury that he suffered when diving into a ditch during a firefight.

Last Chance to Cram for Exam

Wednesday is test day for three of the CDL or Bust students: Anna Basham, Russell Durgasingh and Teddy Flener Jr. Jason Horton, Wayne Meenach, Ryan Strange and Joey Wilson Jr. take their tests on Thursday.

So this morning at Truck America Training in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, was all about reviewing everything the students learned over their past 15 days of training, heading out to the range to go over their pre-trip inspections one more time. They were joined on the range by students who started a class two weeks after theirs.