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Terminated after 3rd week of OTR Training

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EnTee T.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh and I don't have anything against the company or the Mentor... just very dissapointed with how things were handled...

I've learned a whole lot during my tenure with them, which will help me progress with the new company.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I know you have it your heart to do flatbed, however, maybe starting in dry van will be better for you. There are several companies that have both in their fleet. Perhaps starting in 1 then switching after you gain more experience. 2 companies that come to mind are Western Express and R E West. They are both based in TN. Western is based in Nashville and R E West in Ashland City.

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.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
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.

Did you go to a private school - or did you get your CDL from this flatbed company? The reason I ask this is - are you obligated to them FINANCIALLY for your CDL, or did you pay to get it elsewhere?

Sounds like your primary difficulties, were that of backing a spread-axle trailer. EVERYONE finds backing to be the most difficult task, that takes the most time/experience to master - and as others have elaborated - spread-axles are the most difficult of all (versus regular old tandems).

I would start applying - and start applying NOW.

You are (as previously mentioned) going to have to use these folks as a reference. And really - since you didn't run anything over, or damage equipment (you didn't right?), you could probably be (somewhat) honest and say that you quit because they couldn't get a mentor to complete your additional training, AND that you were "falling short" on backing a spread axle and require MORE TRAINING.

You also want to get apps out and get onboard with someone QUICKLY - because if you are a RECENT GRADUATE of CDL school (again, I'm assuming private) and you only had 3 weeks OTR with the last company - you are still considered a RECENT GRADUATE, and you don't want to let the grass grow under your feet.

I'm not seeing that you'll have an issue getting a hire - unless of course - you WENT WITH THIS COMPANY BECAUSE YOU HAD PREVIOUS ISSUES WITH CRIMINAL BACKGROUND OR LICENSE ISSUES.

It sounds like this was a SMALLER COMPANY - as they didn't have the mentors or time to give you with a spread-axle on the TRAINING PAD, so you could work it a few days and get your skills up to snuff.

You still haven't mentioned WHO they were. And out of curiosity - why did you CHOOSE THEM over one of the other larger companies that have more training opportunities or could have moved you "laterally" into another division (Dry/Reefer) rather than just cut you loose?

I'm gonna take an educated guess - based on your posting history (about your pre-hires) and say you went with Boyd - as the other choices in your pre-hires were large enough they should have been able to deal with your training shortcomings rather than cutting you loose.

START APPLYING EVERYWHERE that takes recent grads and has flatbed (if you have your heart set on that).

KEEP US POSTED on how things progress for you.

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.

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".

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Paul F. The "sofa king"'s Comment
member avatar

I have a question.

I'm waiting to begin training with prime, and my first inclination is to start with flatbed out of the gate because I'd like the additional CPM. Additionally, and Maybe I'm fooling myself but it seems that backing is the most difficult skill to master for a rookie, and what I believe to be true (although I may be wrong, and please educate me if that is so) the most difficult pard of backing is doing it very much blind. I also believe a flatbed will allow me to see what is behind me better (again, educate me if I'm wrong). I feel if I can see better, I'll be far more comfortable backing. I'm a skilled driver in a car and I'm not disillusioned that an 18 wheel combination CMV is an entirely different thing than a car but I feel comfortable with my understanding of the " geometry/angles" of how the parts interact while backing, and the lack of being able to see behind me Is, in my mind, the biggest challenge. I drive a standard car, so there should not be a steep learning curve regarding double clutching.

I appreciate any input.

Goodbye for now.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OldRookie's Comment
member avatar

I drive a standard car, so there should not be a steep learning curve regarding double clutching.

🍎s to 🍊s

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Paul, backing is indeed the most difficult skill to master. It can take up to six months of solo running before some drivers approach proficiency. Your knowledge of geometry although a "nice-to-have" skill, won't help much when you are learning. Hand and eye coordination is what matters most and learning how the trailer eventually responds to your steering input. The teal trick is in the setup, making the actual back much simpler.

Backing a flatbed will not enable better visibility. The sleeper can blocks your rear vision. Your sight line needs to be on the wheels and back edge of your trailer from your window/mirror.

Shifting is almost as difficult as backing. Nothing like shifting a car. Try NOT to apply your knowledge shifting a car/light truck to shifting a heavy truck transmission.

Practice and repetition is the only way to learn these skills.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I have a question.

I'm waiting to begin training with prime, and my first inclination is to start with flatbed out of the gate because I'd like the additional CPM.

Keep in mind that Prime charges for equipment. Flatbed equipment costs around $3500, which ends up being about $86/week for almost a year. Yes, they'll buy it back if you leave, but I haven't talked to anyone who got more than 30 cents on the dollar when turning it in. Most other companies do not charge you for equipment unless it goes missing when it's time to reconcile accounts.

Reefer costs about $130 for an Abloy lock. Much more doable.

Additionally, and Maybe I'm fooling myself but it seems that backing is the most difficult skill to master for a rookie, and what I believe to be true (although I may be wrong, and please educate me if that is so) the most difficult pard of backing is doing it very much blind. I also believe a flatbed will allow me to see what is behind me better (again, educate me if I'm wrong). I feel if I can see better, I'll be far more comfortable backing. I'm a skilled driver in a car and I'm not disillusioned that an 18 wheel combination CMV is an entirely different thing than a car but I feel comfortable with my understanding of the " geometry/angles" of how the parts interact while backing, and the lack of being able to see behind me Is, in my mind, the biggest challenge. I drive a standard car, so there should not be a steep learning curve regarding double clutching.

I appreciate any input.

Goodbye for now.

Backing a flatbed is different than other trailers. Spread axles turn slower and follow a different arc than tandems. Yeah, you can see, but it's definitely easier to back with tandems. (Another thing to like about tankers. And they're short.)

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".

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I'm waiting to begin training with prime, and my first inclination is to start with flatbed out of the gate because I'd like the additional CPM.

Have you considered "why" flat-bed pays a little more? Your first inclination should be to get yourself established as a safe productive driver. That is a tall order in itself. You could easily switch over to flat bed at anytime. Once you get more comfortable with the basics of this totally new lifestyle, you will find it much easier to decide on what type of trailer and/or freight you wantvto specialize in.

Take a look at my avatar. Flat-bedders get involved in their work. Bad weather is no excuse for not being able to get it done for us. When a guy calls himself "The Sofa King" and then says he wants to start out with flat-bed, because they get a few cents more per mile, I just want to make sure you understand that they earn that penny or two by the sweat of their brow. It's not a gift because they are somehow special. When you are spending hours folding up frozen tarps in 28" of snow or in the pouring rain, you may start thinking those dry van drivers are making more money with those simple drop and hook stops they do.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Don R.'s Comment
member avatar

I am a recent graduate and I recall at the six months of schooling I had, I drove a dry van trailer and a flatbed. I will admit the flat bed was easier because it was not loaded with products and can see down lower with more open sight lines whereas the dry van I have to focus more on the mirrors & sight line the rear as needed, I have seen flat bedder's on the road fully loaded with products which then to me is like a dry van trailer. So we still need to use mirrors and practice the art of backing regardless. Since it has been a while since I graduated, Schneider requires me to go to a 3 day refresher course at a trucking school then I go to their location for 18 days training & orientation, after that I will know what steps are required of me. These are good guys on this site here and no matter how much I learn in any job there is something new to learn everyday. Good luck, be safe! PS: Reminder, yes an empty flat bed can see behind, but not when it is A Big fully loaded tarp-ed flat bed

I have a question.

I'm waiting to begin training with prime, and my first inclination is to start with flatbed out of the gate because I'd like the additional CPM. Additionally, and Maybe I'm fooling myself but it seems that backing is the most difficult skill to master for a rookie, and what I believe to be true (although I may be wrong, and please educate me if that is so) the most difficult pard of backing is doing it very much blind. I also believe a flatbed will allow me to see what is behind me better (again, educate me if I'm wrong). I feel if I can see better, I'll be far more comfortable backing. I'm a skilled driver in a car and I'm not disillusioned that an 18 wheel combination CMV is an entirely different thing than a car but I feel comfortable with my understanding of the " geometry/angles" of how the parts interact while backing, and the lack of being able to see behind me Is, in my mind, the biggest challenge. I drive a standard car, so there should not be a steep learning curve regarding double clutching.

I appreciate any input.

Goodbye for now.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

When a guy calls himself "The Sofa King" and then says he wants to start out with flat-bed, because they get a few cents more per mile, I just want to make sure you understand that they earn that penny or two by the sweat of their brow.

Somehow, I think he chose that name for what it sounds like when you say it quickly and not because he likes to sit on the sofa.

That doesn't invalidate any of your points though, I'll happily stick with my dry vans lol.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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