Last week, I started my actual driver training in the truck with Ed. He's teaching me to drive.
Oh, the joy.
So far, these are the training issues I've had "issues" with:
1. When he speaks, it's so slowly, I want to drive a dagger into my skull. Usually, he'll start his "instructions" just as I put my foot on the clutch, getting ready to go. Now, if you have ever driven a truck or anything with a heavy clutch, you will know how difficult it is to engage it and keep it engaged for a long period of time. Usually, my thigh is trembling by the time he gets to "...ok. (pause) now you're going to (pause) put the truck into (pause) second gear...." Ahhhhhh!!!
2. He speaks softly. Not soft like a girl, but soft like a southerner; low and direct. The problem with this? I can't hear him. Why? Because there is a 470 horsepower diesel engine under my ass that vibrates the truck constantly and becomes a white noise machine, drowning out any sound that does not rise above its power. I have instructed him, if during training he doesn't speak louder, I will not answer him. If I don't hear the question fully and completely, I am just not answering. Period.
3. He tends to give directions such "turn over there," or "go that way" or "make sure your trailer is backing up in that direction..." with hand motions, instead of directional instructions like "go right. back the trailer to the left. turn at the end of this street." Um, hello? I can't LOOK at your hands! I have to look at the road, the tachometer, the speedometer and every other damned ometer on this thing. How can I possibly follow your hands AND watch what I'm doing?? Stop it.
4. If I hear him say, one more time, "Oh, it's easy. Just blah, blah, blah...." I'm going to blow a gasket. It's easy because you've been doing it for ten years; I've been doing it for ten minutes. It's not "easy" for me yet.
5. Using words like torque, engine speed, rpm's, power take-off, trans-axle and clutch brake are lost on me. Completely. Stop using them.
On the good side: He's patient, safe and knows what he's doing. He is meticulous in his approach to driving defensively, load securement, and truck operation. I know that all aspects of operating this vehicle safely, first and foremost, will be covered by him. And because of that, I will be a good driver.
I think the only thing he has not accounted for would be his own safety.