Nicole Anglin

OTR Driving Runs In the Family

Nicole Anglin and her truck

Last week Nicole Anglin successfully completed all the requirements and testing for Skyline’s professional CDL training program. After securing her CDL, she was assigned a truck, handed a set of keys and set out for her first solo flight. We talked with her as she was readying her truck before departure.

“I’ve done a lot of different things in my life – EMT, volunteer firefighter, computer tech, even landscaping, but driving is definitely at the top of my list,” says Nicole.

What motivated you to drive?
“My dad has been a truck driver for a long time and he’s been driving for Skyline for five years. It’s good money, a good job and a stable career move, especially with the shortage in the industry.”

Tell us about your experience going through Skyline’s CDL training program.
“It was a great, straight-forward program. I really appreciated the one-on-one time with my instructor. After we got our CDL, the trainers spent time teaching us everything else we needed to know to get out there safely on our own. It’s a finishing school, what they call their ‘grad program’.”

What was the hardest part about the training program?Nicole Anglin and her truck ready to head out
“The hardest part is maneuvering the trailer and getting a feel for how you want to move it, especially in limited spaces. But that’s the great thing, we work out in the yard until we’re comfortable and we also practice at a few other locations before we get out on the road.”

Your over the road trainer was your father. How was that experience?
It was challenging but he is definitely a good teacher. He explains things very well and doesn’t get frustrated very often. He’s one of the most patient people I know.”

How did your dad react when you told him you were pursuing a career in transportation?
“He’s proud of me and had wanted to get me into driving for a few years. As a kid, I went with my dad as he drove across the country. We went everywhere and it’s something I always enjoyed.”

Aside from time in the seat, what else did you take away from Skyline’s training program?
“As an over the road (OTR) driver, one of the most important things is time management. If you can’t manage your time correctly, your Hours of Service (HOS) runs out which means your drive time runs out and you’re stuck at a rest stop instead of getting home on time. If you don’t leave out when you’re supposed to, you won’t get the miles in you’re supposed to. If you extend your break time, you’re not helping yourself at all. Those are all things you learn with your OTR trainer. They show us how to follow HOS rules, electronic logs and driving status.”

NIcole Anglin completed the CDL training program in AugustWhat was your favorite part of this experience?
Today, getting my truck. It’s definitely a very good feeling and I am proud. I’m excited about future opportunities too. As a female driver, once I gain more experience, I could become an OTR trainer for female students, but I’m really happy about my truck today. I’m personalizing it now, the AC works, I’ve brought in all my bedding, microwave and a fridge, getting all my devices set up. I’m really happy.”

Would you recommend Skyline’s CDL program to others?
“Yes, it’s a great program with honest and caring people. They care about you as a person and not just a number. They provide excellent training with lots of drive time and are great people to work with.”

What’s your advice to the new group of trainees coming into our program?
“Remember to keep your calm and realize you’re learning something new. You will learn through practice and repetition. Listen to your trainers, they’ll help you out.”

What do you wish the general public knew about the transportation industry?
“That everything in the store is delivered by truck. Without the trucking industry, stores would be empty.”

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