What’s Wayne Meenach’s backup plan if he doesn’t pass the CDL exam this Thursday that will be administered by Kentucky State Police?
He has no backup plan. “My plan is to pass it the first time,” says Meenach, 48, of Hillview, Kentucky.
Speaking on his lunch break on Day 15, just 2½ days before his group of four students takes the test, Meenach said he’s nervous but also feels well-prepared. “We just gotta focus, slow down, make sure you cross your ‘T’s and dot your ‘I’s through the process, don’t get too far ahead of yourself,” he said.
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Meenach is taking a methodical approach to his preparation.
“The first thing you gotta get through is your four-point and your in-cab,” he said. “I’m focusing on all of it, but you gotta get past that to go to the next step. You do that, and then you do your pre-trip, and then you do your maneuvers, and then you do your driving. So you gotta get through Step 1 to get to Step 2. So I’m making sure I have all that down just the way they want it.”
Meenach said being detail-oriented is critical topassing the exam.
“The challenge is to do everything in a certain order,” he said. “The four-point has to be done exactly in a certain order in a certain way. If you don’t do it that way, you don’t get to go on to Step 2.”
Presuming he does pass, Meenach is ready to shop around and find a trucking job that is the best possible fit.
“I’m gonna take some time and hear what everybody has to say,” he said. “I’m going to play the field and see what works out best for me and my family.”
In making that decision, he said, home time and benefits will be factors that are as important as pay.
“I’m not the young pup anymore, so I have to be focused on that aspect as well as the hourly wage or whatever many cents per mile they pay,” he said.
— By Gary Kicinski, Transport Topics Digital Media Editor. Photo by John Sommers II for TT.