My First Truck Driving Job

by Mark Sinclair
(Roseburg Oregon)

The Mule Train

The Mule Train

My first truck driving job.
Going back in my memories, a few years, I remembered how I first entered into the trucking industry.

First of all, I am a 2nd generation trucker, and my son has taken up the occupation to follow in the family footsteps. However, I did not have the opportunity to learn to drive from my father. Like many truckers these days, I went to a truck driving school.

The school I went to was in San Antonio Texas. Anyone who has ever passed through this part of Texas, knows that the tallest hills around here, aren't really hills! The school, however, was a quality professional CDL training school.

Just after I completed the truck driver training, I ended up moving back to western Oregon, where I did then use my dad as a resource and was able to procure a job driving a "mule train" chip truck, my first truck driving job.

This is where the story gets interesting. My nightly run was from Eugene Oregon to Klamath Falls Oregon, over the Willamette Pass. This pass is a very beautiful drive, but is one of the tallest passes in the state of Oregon.

To add to the drama of a young truck driver's first job, I had the audacity of beginning my new career in the middle of December! The ice and snow were a lot to contend with, and the fact that I hadn't even seen a set of chains during school, didn't help very much. Imagine the first time I actually saw the run away truck ramps!

I have to say that I learned to shift gears and steer in central Texas, but I learned to really "drive a big rig truck" on the Willamette Pass that winter!

S.T.G. Comments: First truck driving job.
Great story, Mark! Driving a cabover truck for your first job too!
There's nothing like being put in a situation that forces you into learning something, to stay alive! Those big hills would be pretty scary for a new driver! Good for you to master the job, early on!

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  • Comments for My First Truck Driving Job

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    In reply
    by: mark

    Unfortunately I only had the one pic of the U&R Express truck, and although I remember the Stalcup rigs I never had occassion to get any shots of them. Sorry. I do have a few shots of Gary Foglio trucks. As cool as those trucks look they were a difficult truck to drive. Thanx everyonne for the nice comments though.

    Thanks for a Great story!
    by: Dale Proctor

    Great story. I grew up in Klamath Falls and know Willamette Pass very well and have lived in the Texas hill country north of San Antonio as well. I remember the Mule trains well. All I can say is you definitely found a place to really learn how to drive a truck with that first job. Bet the first run coming down the pass scared the hell out of you though...... and in December, and during the entire winter months, that run is a tough one. I now live in western PA but miss that pass and Oregon so much.
    Thanks for sharing your story and bringing back some great memories.

    U&R Express
    by: ALLEN

    Mark..... I grew up dreaming of driving one of those U&R twin steer cabovers. Do you have any more photos of the U&R trucks? Do you have any photos of the Stalcup truck and supply chip trucks? Love to see them!

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