TruckingTruth logo

Terminated after 3rd week of OTR Training

Topic 17756 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
EnTee T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi all,

Here's the thread that contains a bit of background...

Threatened By Trainer

As expected, the Mentor/Safety didn't approve me to continue with my training as I just received a call from a Safety Manager.

Last week, my Mentor advised me to "quit" rather than waiting to be terminated. I told him I wouldn't quit unless terminated. So here I am.

The Safety Manager said he'll put on the letter that I quit because no alternate Mentor has been available to finish my training (because I was told on Friday that I'd be with a new trainer next week).

I'd like to give trucking another shot... and still want to do flatbed.

How should I approach the next company? Would they see this as a negative?

Thanks in advance. This is quite a bummer and embarrassment.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Do you have your CDL yet? Or are you still driving on a CLP? If it's the CLP and you don't have your CDL-A yet - what state is it from (your home state) and how much longer until it expires?

That would be a large determining factor in advising your next move.

Please remind us which skills you were having issues improving on?

Is it as important to get into flatbed RIGHT AWAY - as it is to just get your CDL and get OTR?

Many folks do flatbed right out of the gate - folks that are having a difficult time mastering the "basic skills" of operating a tractor trailer, might be "better served", by taking the additional learning curve of load securement, tarping, etc. - out of the equation and JUST FOCUSING ON THE DRIVING (dry van, reefer).

DON'T TAKE THIS AS AN INSULT. It's difficult to determine from my comfy desk - whether you just needed more training (and perhaps a better trainer), or whether there were other factors (personality/etc.) involved. If you really are having issues getting the basic skills down, then moving into flatbed later on down the road might be a better idea (and opens up more possibilities for training companies).

You are likely going to have to list the guys that terminated you (ok - that you QUIT - since that's how they offered to write it up), because IT WAS a driving job. Hopefully they stick to their word and say that you quit because they couldn't match you with a trainer in a reasonable period of time.

MORE DETAILS PLEASE

Rick

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.

OTR:

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Not to pry, but which company did you come from so maybe we have an idea which company to point you towards.

Make sure you get copies of your "termination" paperwork. To make sure they actually put quit not fired and he said he would. That and so you know which story to stick with.

If it does say quit, I would just tell future employers that their was a personality conflict with your trainer and there were no trainers available and wouldn't be any in the near future. That after speaking with safety it was decided that it would be better for you to try your hand at a different company.

EnTee T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi RIck,

I've had my CDL for about a month now.

I just find flatbed more challenging.

The Mentor said my trailer awareness hasn't progressed (which it has). But I know my backing is lousy (the school didn't teach it properly, just their ways so we could pass the state test). My securement/tarpment has gotten much better. I wish I had asked for a new Mentor but it's probably too late now. The Mentor said he'd give me another chance in the final week.

Thanks.

Hi Patrick,

I'd like to keep the name of the company anonymous for now.

So I should wait to get the letter before applying to other companies?

Thanks.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

EnTee, you can certainly keep that company to yourself. But the people here aren't interested in trashing any company. A member with more experience with your company may be able to give you some pointers.

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

I started flatbed right after school and it can be very overwhelming. As others have said, we need to know this mystery company to help you better. Also where you're from and how important home time is. I could give you some suggestions as to who to try. Also, backing a spread axle is much different from tandems. Don't feel bad if the backing isn't great immediately, I'm close to a year and am still trying to get better.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I have respect for any drivers who can proficiently back a spread axle trailer. I love watching these drivers back their trailers. Serious skill because if they cut in too sharp, they'll drag the tires right off the rims.

Mr M's Comment
member avatar

Sometimes you just have to humble yourself to get through things. who cares if someone threatened you making waves won't help you. I know it's not right and I'm sorry you went through it but those times won't last forever.

Also the trainer is probably a good reflection of the company. Knight has a flat bed division and from what i hear they have top notch trainers ams treat their drivers like gold

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

The Safety Manager said he'll put on the letter that I quit because no alternate Mentor has been available to finish my training (because I was told on Friday that I'd be with a new trainer next week).

How should I approach the next company? Would they see this as a negative?

Thanks in advance. This is quite a bummer and embarrassment.

It's a good thing that they'll report it as voluntary. As suggested above, you can tell prospective companies that you left because a mentor wasn't available for you to complete training.

I would leave out discussion of the trainer that you had unless you are asked directly. Tell the truth if you are asked. I think "personality conflict" would cover it and be understandable. I'm trying to think of a better way to say it. I'll post again if I think of a better phrase before someone else provides one.

And as stated earlier, backing a spread axle trailer is a little more difficult since they don't move in the nice arc you expect. It's still an arc, but it's slower than backing tandems -- or as I think of it now, tandems swing around weirdly fast.

Now please don't be upset when I say this, but I'd be really surprised if backing is what your trainer was really concerned about. I'd be less surprised if his concern was that you weren't paying enough attention to your surroundings, or that you weren't getting the securement down quickly enough in his opinion, or something else besides backing. And I'll also say that, having trained flatbed, it's not hard to imagine a scenario where learning to drive a big truck and learning securement at the same time is just a little too much to do all at once. There's no shame there. I have had my days where it was a little overwhelming.

Now that the company's decision has been made, and if he hasn't already spelled it out for you, I'd consider calling your trainer and saying something like, "Hey, it's over, I'm no longer with the company. I still want to drive a truck, and I really want your honest feedback. What was your single biggest concern about me doing that with this company?"

If you decide to ask him, and if he responds, don't argue with him or defend yourself, and don't judge yourself, just give him the chance to boil it down for you. It could be very valuable feedback for helping you determine how to proceed. On the other hand, he might be a jerk and it could be something that you decide to ignore. Either way, it's worth asking for that feedback, since he has a unique perspective on it as an experienced driver who has observed you closely for some time.

Please let me tell a story. (Boredom alert!) In my last management job before I started driving, I had a client who was known to be a real jerk. He once insulted me unnecessarily and unfairly in such a way that I stewed about it for a couple of days, inventing numerous responses that would have surely gotten me fired had I said them out loud to him.

This jerk had a saying that stuck with me, though. "All feedback is good feedback." I think it's true to some extent. I may not like the feedback, and I may not like the way it's delivered, but it is good feedback.

For example, the feedback he gave me when he insulted me was to question my command of the English language. It was good feedback.

He is from another country and English is not his first language. In fact, he speaks it with a noticeable accent. He questioned my understanding of English when I asked him to clarify a short, ambiguous sentence he had written in an email. I needed to know because the intent of the sentence could be read two different ways, and each way meant taking radically different action from the other possible meaning.

Now, I didn't ask him in order to insult his command of English, though I'm sure he took it that way. I asked him because both meanings could make sense and I honestly couldn't figure out which meaning he was trying to communicate with those seven words.

So, while his insult was ridiculous, it was good feedback, though not the way he intended it. The real feedback had nothing to do with my understanding of English. It had to do with my understanding of his insecurity about his abilities in English, and his leadership insecurities generally.

After I calmed down, I completely changed my approach with him and actually got him to help me do my job, though sometimes without him knowing he was helping me. Yes, i manipulated him. I was a manager after all. Part of the job.

Unfortunately, he later insulted my boss and a couple of his subordinates, which resulted in his reassignment to another position (and another city) within his company. I had to figure out how to manipulate an entirely new person to get things done for my people.

All this to say, what your trainer has to say now may still be valuable, even if you hate the guy. Don't get me wrong, there's a chance that it won't be useful, but if it is, it could be very valuable.

I understand that it's a bummer, but there's no need to be embarrassed. This is a tough business to break into, and you're not the first person this has happened to. I have no doubt that tens of thousands of people who didn't finish training at their first trucking job are out there driving trucks today. Apply to some other companies, learn what you can from this experience, and press on. It will be ok.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EnTee T.'s Comment
member avatar

First... thanks Errol, CT, Sue, Mr. M, and Bud A for your input and suggestions.

I'm from KY. I wouldn't mind being OTR a couple of weeks at a time.

The Mentor and I had a couple of discussions about my progression during the training. He said his main concern was my trailer awareness. Yes, I had a couple of close calls. First he wasn't going to release me for the final week's training but he ended up allowing it. But all that changed when the morning came. The Mentor's manager said he'd call me with more details about the decision as he didn't have the information available.

With the backing, I went back to the CDL "school" to seek for some additional help. They tried to help as much as they could but they couldn't do much without a spread axle trailer.

I've been researching on other flatbed companies and I'll start applying today and tomorrow... carefully. I'll incorporate all of you suggestion while I talk to the recruiters.

Thank you.

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.

OTR:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel

Need help? We have instructions for sharing photos from photo sharing sites



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com/images/header.jpg
Submit
Cancel

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More