Today we got schooled.
Well, not really. We just took a class that we're required to take every two years. It's called C.A.B.S, which means Continued Awareness of Business and Safety. We watch safety movies, take quizzes and get updated on any new changes that we may not know about. Ed and I also had to take a test for our HazMat re-certification and sign our new contracts. It's a four hour class and we get paid $250 each to take it.
The classes supposedly improve the safety numbers of the company as a whole. When you're out on the road doing your thing, there's a chance you can become complacent and forget the safe skills you've learned. By refreshing the ways to continue being safe on the road through taking the class, the company maintains its safety rating which means we spend virtually no time going through scales. Can't beat that. And the instructor was great, very energetic and very knowledgeable. He made the time fly!
Once the morning portion of the class is over, we break for lunch. Hot lunch, free of charge, and always delicious. Today we were in the Georgia orientation center - a place we've never been to before since we usually take our classes in Dallas - and they served some awesome barbecue. Ed was happy.
The afternoon portion of the class, where attendance isn't mandatory, is the business half of the class. We didn't stay for that part of the class since we've taken it before. It's very good and provides a lot of great information. I do think it's a valuable class for someone going from a company driver to a BCO (Business Capacity Owner - the name they give us owner-operators), and most definitely a class someone who's been at a company which calls you an owner-operator, but treats you like an employee should take.
The business class is very helpful in providing information for people who think they understand how making money in trucking works, but really don't. Being on your own for the first time is challenging. It's scary. And some people give up before they really learn how to use the tools at their disposal to help them make a profit.
It takes time to learn how to use the load board to your advantage, to know how much it's actually costing you per mile to operate your truck, to know when to sit and wait for a better paying load (sometimes it's days!), and to learn how to manage your money for times when the freight is slow, or a repair depletes your savings. Use the tools provided to you, have some patience, and you'll eventually get the hang of it. And don't be surprised if it takes months to do.
So, we passed all our tests, got our new HazMat cards, and signed a new contract. And we got free food. And if we're still here tomorrow, I'm looking forward to some southern pulled pork for lunch.
Then we can get back to work. All safe and stuff.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo
2012: Honing Her Skills For The Nursing Home
2011: Fire Up The Grill
2010: The Voice Of Tucson Speaks
2009: Crossing Over To The White Side
2008: Eddie Voyager Of The Seas Friday
2007: Indiscriminate Discrimination
2006: Dancing Queen
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!