Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#atozchallenge...D-Driving School...

Early Morning Sunrise in Drumright Oklahoma

How did I end up in Driving School? Well so happens on the way back home from seeing my Cousins Jill and Harriett after my trip to Washington DC, I did a two day layover in New Stanton, PA due to bad weather. When the weather cleared and it was time for me to hit the road again I headed down the road apiece until I came to a Love’s Truck Stop.  As I pulled in to get gas,  I noticed the end metal barrier protecting the pumps had been damaged and angled myself away from it. I fueled up and proceeded to pull forward to make my turn right when all of a sudden I am hearing the most gosh awful noise that sounded like hell put the hurt on someone or something. I put Izzy in park, jumped out and ran around to the back. Oh Lord Almighty, what had I done?
In making the turn I did not give myself enough room to clear the damaged barrier that was laying at least 3 feet out of position.  I thought I had. Had the barrier been in its correct position I would have made the turn with no problems with no damage to my rig. I had caught the seam at the back end of Izzy on the barrier and pulled the whole back cap off on the driver side almost to the top and tore the bottom off the cap! UGH!
I managed to finish my turn and pulled Izzy and Libby around to the back of the truck stop,  went in and bought duct-tape and start the biggest tape job you ever saw. After about an hour of tapping the rear back-up light and turn signal back in place and securing the cap in place, I was back on the road, cursing myself for being so, so stupid! Thank goodness Libby was not damaged in the fray.
After the Repair
Before the Repair
I got Izzy into the repair shop that I had been doing business with for the past 30 years. Klassic Kars of Purcell, OK  Duane Lester has always done wonderful work, this time was no different. I decided not to submit the claim to insurance but to pay for it out of my own pocket instead $1,800.00  In the long run it was cheaper to do so.
 Once home I joined RVing Women, a women’s group of RVers and noticed they were going to have an RV Driving School here in Oklahoma in October about two weeks before their National Convention that I had signed up to go to.  I made the decision to go to the driving school for women only. Taught by several certified Women truck drivers.  The cost was very reasonable for the two day course $265.00 if you were an RVing Women member.

Boondocking on the Parking Lot
There is a truck driving school in Drumright, Oklahoma with a 3 mile driving course, with parking lanes, parallel parking grids and back in parking.  You have 4 hours each day of classwork, and 4 hours each day of driving the course and learning how to handle your rig.
You drive your rig to the school and stay on-site, boondock so to speak, as there are no hook-ups. Friday evening everyone assembles and goes to a wonderful restaurant about a mile down the road and has dinner together. The food is good and reasonable.  Saturday morning class starts at 8am and goes till 5 with an hour for lunch.  Lunch is on your own. Dinner is on your own. A group of us went to the grocery store to pick up dinner supplies.  I think I got some hamburger and salad fixings. Sunday, class again starts early and finished up by 4:30 and a graduation was held for us.

We had quite a diverse group. Some had big 40ft diesel pushers, one had a pull behind trailer, several had Class C’s, 2 or 3 of us had Class A rigs.  Some of the husbands went and played golf while their wives learned to drive the rigs. Some of the ladies had their partners with them, some of the ladies were solo like me. One of the ladies had her cousin with her as they were going to be going on a cross country trip.
Some were learning hand signals to help the driver with backing into a space, or like me you have to use your mirrors and back-up camera and use your judgement as to when you are in.  I like to get out and place a chair where I want the end of my rig to be or where I want my rear tires to be because I’m
not always going to have help (My daughter goes with me on some of my trips). We learned how to pre-check our rigs before taking a trip, all fluids, tire pressure, battery and make sure we run our generators at least one hour a month. We watched films on how to control a rig with a blow out. How to control a rig that drops off the pavement, what not to do. We learned how to drive between cones without knocking them over. It takes patience and skill plus a slow speed.  Backing into my driveway has always been a big bugaboo for me, I was all over the place. Now I am not. I put it in there as smooth as glass. My neighbors are always amazed at my driving prowess.
For those women who are afraid of driving a Class A or big Diesel Pusher, don’t be. The women who took the course with me were reluctant to drive their rigs when they first started the course, when

we finished, they were the ones behind the wheel pulling away with confidence with their husbands or significant others as co-pilots. With each driving session I saw these women’s confidence build and smiles spread across their faces as they realized they could drive their rigs with conviction.
Like I have always said, “Take that bull by the horns and throw it down, you will never know you can’t do something if you don’t try!”


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  1. Great article. All women should be able to drive their rigs!

  2. Good blog. Good advice! In AZ our park had many single women driving a variety of RVs of different sizes.


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