We just celebrated our FIRST YEAR with Conway Truckload. It has been AHHH-MAZING, challenging, extraordinary and much more.
We made the decision to become Big Truck husband/wife team-drivers over the course of a couple of weeks. After that, it was research, research and more research to find out what it takes to get from where we were (nowhere) to getting our CDL permits, going to CDL school and getting hired!
The first conversation about doing this took place at home in San Diego, California, in mid December.
By January 17th we were in CDL school, in Strafford, Missouri, with our CDL permits and D.O.T. Medical Cards in hand.
It took four weeks to get through CDL school.
One week in between school and the Conway Orientation week.
Another six weeks to get through our “finishing” program with Conway Truckload, which entails going out in a Big Truck with a trainer to run 7,500 miles.
Another week to go through our final testing and get our truck assignment.
We were officially hired by Conway on February 27, 2014
However, we didn’t actually get our truck assignment until April 16th. From there…
…we went to work for four weeks before getting to go back home in May for the first time since leaving in January!
Once we made it through CDL school, Conway Orientation week and getting hired, four weeks of training and getting our truck assignment, pulling our first few loads, getting acquainted with the rigors of living on the road (draws a huge breathe!) …we still had a big hill to climb ahead.
We Had to Move!
In October, since we had only been “home” for 11 days all year, we decided it made more sense for us to put everything in storage, including our 1969 Vintage Airstream, which was parked in San Diego for the last 10 years.
And what a big job!
With only a few days to get this done… we wondered if we’d ever get it done in time. You see…
For each week you work with Conway Truckload, you get one day of “home time”. That means you can only take off as many days as you have built up. If you exceed that number of days, you risk losing your truck, which means when you come back, you get a different truck. We didn’t want that to happen, so we knew our move had to fit within a pretty tight time frame.
As it turned out, we did get a day for each week we were in CDL school, each week out on the road training… one day for the week of Orientation, plus our Team-Driving time. All of this totaled up to 15 days of “home-time”.
Since our personal vehicle was in Joplin, Missouri… that meant we had to start our home time in Joplin (the first day of our 15 day schedule) drive our personal truck to San Diego (which took us 36 hours!)… MOVE …then drive back to Joplin, with the Airstream in tow …all in time to go back to work… within 15 days.
Can you say MAJOR UNDERTAKING?
On the day we arrived back in San Diego, I was overwhelmed with a capitol “O”. It took a couple of days just to pull myself up to the challenge.
By the time we got started in earnest, we were up against a herculean effort.
Now… add to all of the above: we had a Honda Civic we needed to sell… pronto… because we were making payments all year on a car that was just sitting, parked, under a car-cover. And to top that off, it was a Lease vehicle.
What are the chances of selling a car you’ve only made 12 payments on, (don’t have the title, and can’t even get the title) and getting out of it with your financial pants somewhere higher than your ankles? Many of our friends thought it could not happen.
However… on the day before we had to leave San Diego, we got a call from our Craigslist post, from a gentlemen looking for a car for his daughter who just turned 16 and was starting college. It took Jai several hours on the phone with Honda Lease and the DMV to figure out how to sell a Leased vehicle. We were able to make the deal and got the Honda SOLD the same day. He got a great deal on a car with 2800 miles on it and we got out from under a monthly payment for a car we were not using and “could-not” sell. 🙂 It was a true Win-Win.
Can you say MIRACLE?
I can and did many, many times. For days after that happened. And still… once in awhile …still do 🙂
Enjoy the highlights of our adventure getting everything moved!
Keep your shiny side up!