Friday, August 1, 2014

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

I lost my job a couple of years ago, and since then I continually look for a job which pays well, that is not a horrendous drive that I am paying more in fuel and vehicle upkeep to get to work and back than I am making.  The only job that I seemed to be able to find was working for a company where we traveled from store to store doing inventory.  I did this job years ago and it paid really well at the time.  Now, not so much and with the price of gas going up it was just not making sense financially to continue with that career.

At the end of May I was contacted by a company that inquired if I would ever consider a career driving.  I have considered for many years learning to drive a semi truck.  I love to travel, and see new things, I kind of have a wanderer's spirit, and adored going with the ex when we were married because he was an over the road driver, and I saw many states even if it was mainly interstate.  I said sure I love to drive, and they asked me to fill out a couple of applications.  Within a few minutes of submitting the applications I received a call from a recruiter.  They were looking for school bus drivers for the area where I live so would I be willing to train?  In order to train I would have to obtain a CDL permit, and a few endorsements.  The state test and the endorsements are for mainly big trucks but there is a short section on a chauffeur's license, school bus, and air brakes.  Oh my goodness just taking the test I had questions on tanker trucks, air pressure, stopping distances, haz mat placards, you name it, it was on the tests.  I passed all the tests and received my permit.  Took it proudly to the office, was then interviewed, and sent for a physical for a DOT (Department of Transportation) physical card, a criminal background check, a driving background check, and a drug test. 

At the beginning of July I began training to drive the bus.  The hardest part is the safety walk around called the pre trip inspection (which incidentally is basically the same for a big truck, only more!)  Lately I have been doing a lot of driving learning the school district, the roads, railroad crossings, some of the stops based upon the previous year. 

My daughters accused me of driving a bus like this. 

School Bus Drifting

I really don't drive this way.  But I am a fan of The Top Gear boys!

I finished my training, with all the required hours and took my skills and road test Thursday.   I had the toughest tester, the bus I learned on was out for repairs so I had a totally different bus, and I passed!  I now have a chauffeur's license, I can drive a vehicle with air brakes, school buses or trucks over 26,000 lbs as long as there is no trailer.  

I am kind of excited to start a new career.  


Missy Shay said...

Congratulations on your new job! I go for a second interview for a job next week, this one is with the school board for a part time teaching position. That have not even called any of my references!

Rebecca in AK said...

First congratulations! It sounds like you just flew through the testing and training and everything! I know you didn't, I know you studied and practiced driving a lot! I think the kids would love it if you drove the bus like the video!!

StitchinByTheLake said...

You can now add courageous to your resume - if you're willing to drive a school bus you are one brave lady. :) blessings, marlene

sewyouquilt2 said...

congrats on the new job! my Mom used to drive school bus many years ago. she loved it. but I agree with Marlene. you are ONE BRAVE LADY. LOL

QuiltSue said...

I had no idea of all the skills and knowledge you need to drive a school bus. Many congratulations on passing everything.

Lesley said...

Congratulations! Those kids will be lucky to have you as their driver!

Vickie said...

I drove a school bus from 1987 -1994, the longest route, the worst bus, rain or shine, sick or well. Regulations sound like they have changed a lot. Your the first school face kids will see in the morning, smile, even when you want to throw them off and kick um in the seat of the pants!!