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Living with an over the road trainer questions

Topic 17723 | Page 1

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Captain Cake's Comment
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Hey everyone, ive been a long time reader of the articles and forums of this site but never got around to posting anything. Anyway its good too be on. So i just got my class a cdl eleven days ago and am waiting to be sent out for over the road training for fifteen days. Now,im apprehensiveabout living with a total stranger for two weeks and really dont know what to expect. Are there any universal 'ground rules' that must be followed? What if theres a major personality clash and there's no way that that we could work let alone live together? What if they ask me to do something dangerous? Sorry if it just seems like im overthinking things,i tend to do that quite a bit. Any advice is much appreciated, thanks everyone :)

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Fifteen days is a very short period of time. If at all possible meet with your trainer ahead of time and ask what their expectations are, and establish what you want from the training. Remember you are their guest, their truck, their rules.

With that said, if you think you are being asked to perform something dangerous, question it. You must be your own advocate when in training. Ask,...don't be shy. Most of the time if you listen, operate with safety in mind, and do your best, you should be okay.

Good luck.

Nancy F.'s Comment
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Can I ask what company you're with?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

G-Town's response was excellent.

The only point I'd like to add is that there's a fine line between doing something that's dangerous versus doing something that has an acceptable level of risk but takes you outside your comfort zone. When it comes to trucking there's no way to become good at handling a truck in extremely difficult conditions without _actually_ handling the truck in extremely difficult conditions. If you could read it in a book and then execute on it perfectly that would be awesome. But of course that isn't going to happen.

So expect to be put in circumstances that take you quite a ways outside of your comfort zone. At the same time keep in mind your trainer is in the truck with you and doesn't want to wreck any more than you do. He is also under a ton of stress because he has to put his life in the hands of a rookie, taking away the control he normally has over situations. So it's a lot of stress for everyone.

Before you head out, we have an awesome series of articles called "The Trainer's Viewpoint" which were written by a former trainer. They'll help you understand what trainers are thinking and they'll help you understand how to deal with the different personality types you'll face:

The Trainer's Viewpoint Series: Preparing New Drivers For Life On The Road

Captain Cake's Comment
member avatar

Certainly, i went through Roehl Transports get your cdl program. The training was top notch and the instructors are very friendly and professional.

Can I ask what company you're with?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Captain Cake's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the links. Reading them definitely gave me a better idea of what to expect. And i expect to be out of my comfort zone quite a bit while in training (and possibly throughout the course of my career, depending on the situation) it seems like that's the best way to improve.

G-Town's response was excellent.

The only point I'd like to add is that there's a fine line between doing something that's dangerous versus doing something that has an acceptable level of risk but takes you outside your comfort zone. When it comes to trucking there's no way to become good at handling a truck in extremely difficult conditions without _actually_ handling the truck in extremely difficult conditions. If you could read it in a book and then execute on it perfectly that would be awesome. But of course that isn't going to happen.

So expect to be put in circumstances that take you quite a ways outside of your comfort zone. At the same time keep in mind your trainer is in the truck with you and doesn't want to wreck any more than you do. He is also under a ton of stress because he has to put his life in the hands of a rookie, taking away the control he normally has over situations. So it's a lot of stress for everyone.

Before you head out, we have an awesome series of articles called "The Trainer's Viewpoint" which were written by a former trainer. They'll help you understand what trainers are thinking and they'll help you understand how to deal with the different personality types you'll face:

The Trainer's Viewpoint Series: Preparing New Drivers For Life On The Road

Ithel's Comment
member avatar

I'd love to hear updates, if you're so inclined.

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