North, South, East or West?
GG—If I have no sense of direction, would I make a
good trucker? Once I know how to get somewhere, I can get there, no problem. It’s just that the learning curve for me is a little harder because I have a real problem with directions. Not that I can’t follow directions, I just can’t seem to figure out if I’m going north, south, east or west!
My boyfriend knows this about me, and I think he’s got patience enough to train me. Do they test you on how well you can read a map? Do they make you find your own routes? Are most companies patient with newbies?
Candace E., Oklahoma
Candace, if a good sense of direction were a critical job requirement,
many of us would be in a different line of work, including me. On one of my first trips, I took our truck 200 miles off course, and I nearly struck a cow trying to get my trailer headed in the right direction.
No one will assess your sense of direction, and carriers have preferred routes for you to take, based on the location of their fuel stops. You should be able to read a map and chart your route, however.
I had a couple of very good co-drivers who knew of my challenge with directions, so we meticulously mapped out each delivery. I also did a lot of the night driving early on to keep the frustration with heavy traffic and directions to a minimum. Eventually my map reading skills improved, and I can now keep up with the best of them!
Consider training with someone other than your boyfriend. Strangers will have more patience than someone you know. Think about a parent teaching a child to drive a car—you get the picture.
Enjoy the ride!
You can e-mail Golden Girl at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your letter to Over the Road Magazine, P.O. Box 549, Roswell, GA 30077-0549.