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Mentoring Now - Boring

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Driver's Comment
member avatar

I am finding mentoring boring.

I decided to mentor and completed the 1.5 day course. I wanted to see how it was driving teams, etc., as an OTR company driver. After the training, I was assigned my first student. He is a foreigner and has a low English level. He explained to me that he took the DMV general knowledge test 9 times and pre-trip test 3 times before passing them at a cost of around 450 dollars.

He is a natural at driving, but I do have an automatic so it is easier than manual. He is careful with turns and he video tapes with his cell phone different lessons. He does everything I tell him and wants to learn and we get along well. It is hard, because basic words like, "hill", "hammer", are not in his vocabulary. Also, concepts like time zones, weigh stations are new to him. My day consists of talking slowly and repeating everything 2-3 times. However, he is figuring it out.

I just calculated his hours behind the wheel and he has completed 100hrs of the 200hr program.

The problem, is that I am finding mentoring extremely boring.

The first week, I sat on the passenger side, until the student completed 50hrs. I figured things would be slow. When, he past the 50hrs, we got our first team trip for 1200 miles, which was great and both drove 600 miles for the 24hr period.

Since then, the trips have been around 800 miles with high percentage live unloads. I find myself filling the gap and setting him up for the drives. I may spend a couple hrs picking up the load and driving 100 miles, then handing the truck to him to complete the remainder 600 miles. I checked my 8 day log and have driven 23hrs. I feel like I spend most the days/nights in the sleeper being bounced around.

I never thought I would miss driving. I am assigned longer trips, but not that fantastic. I am going to start declining live unloads, because that seems to be the bottleneck.

Maybe if I was not OTR and had a dedicated route , there would be enough miles for us both. There are a lot of lease operators at my company that have students to help with payments.

I feel like I sit around a lot watching him drive. I have sooo much free time now. The financial advantage has increased only slightly. Even if I had an experienced co-driver, I would still be making more money as a solo driver with these loads.

I was thinking we would be driving much more. It's nice to have someone to talk with, but when he leaves would probably get a jerk as a next student. I think this will be my last student.

Is this the life of a mentor?

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Just like trainees get the crap-shoot of trainers - the same goes in reverse.

Trainers, aside from the financial incentive, have to have a love for "passing on" the skills necessary to be successful.

if you have a passion for driving - then you might (should) have a passion for teaching. If it's all about making your lease payment - then your heart isn't in the right place.

I love teaching things that I'm passionate about - photography, gunsmithing, motorcycle customizing. The gunsmithing stuff especially. Love teaching people how to build their own firearms. Not only am I passing on a dying skill (since there's a million ready-made models on the shelf you can just buy), but I tell guys I teach that I fully expect them to pass on this knowledge to the next guy. Someone took the time to teach me - so I owe it to the next guy to teach them.

Give it a few more guys - and if you still find it sucks that much - then you just don't have a passion for it.

No shame in that.

Rick

Driver's Comment
member avatar

You have good points. I wanted to mentor to see what it was like and I felt that someone spent the time training me, so wanted to pass it along. Besides the English hurdle, I've enjoy my time with the student and sorry to see him leave. It'has been nice talking with him and learning about his country. Solo driving can get lonely.

The lack of driving and spending so much time in the sleeper birth is a lot. I get motion sickness when not driving, which does not help. I am getting headaches and have to keep the side windows open for fresh air.

I am glad I tried it out and will keep in contact with the student, but plan on hanging up my hat as a mentor after he leaves.

Thanks for your input.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Matt 's Comment
member avatar

I have a question as I will probably be with a trainer in the future also. And this question isnt directed towards the money but does the student only get paid the miles he drives? Would you be able to explain to him hey your doing a great job but im getting board over here I would like to drive a bit more.? Also what kind of miles would you expect from a team is six hundred each in a 24hr period low? On another note if you don't really care for the team driving and still want to teach maybe you can find another way. I mean I look at everyone's answers to my questions on this site they all teach me something.

Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

From what i understand.

The student gets paid a flat salary. I got paid $450/wk.

Trainer gets his miles +the students miles *his pay per mile.

I think when i ran with my trainer we were getting 5-6k miles per week.

Driver's Comment
member avatar

I have a question as I will probably be with a trainer in the future also. And this question isnt directed towards the money but does the student only get paid the miles he drives? Would you be able to explain to him hey your doing a great job but im getting board over here I would like to drive a bit more.? Also what kind of miles would you expect from a team is six hundred each in a 24hr period low?

Good questions. So, with my company the student does not get paid per mile, rather approximately 9.00 per hour driving and I believe 8.00 on duty. He needs to drive a minimum of at least 40hrs per week for the 200hr program. He is averaging 45hrs per week, so is on schedule. After, the program, I receive a few cents for every mile he drives for six months once upgraded to his own truck.

I have him start driving between 12-6pm, which gives him both day and night driving. Since we are being assigned a high number of scheduled live unloads, I can adjust our times, so that he gets the most driving. I have been told that the owner operators receive better trips than company drivers, but not sure if that is true.

When he completes a 34hr reset, I'll go back into the logs and pad him with as much on duty hours to increase his earnings.

The 600 miles each in 24hr was great, that was our one good trip. The rest of the miles that I have driven have been a few hours a day or not all.

I keep a close eye on things when he arrives at shipper/consignee, fueling, etc. But on the open road, he does not need any supervision now. So, I spend most the time just using my computer, watching youtube, etc. It is pretty relaxing for me, actually.

You will like training, because you will meet people and have contacts. You can get some bad apple students, but I think that is rare.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like your first student??? I'd discuss with your DM...but honestly, you might want to give it a bit more time before deciding it's not for you.

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.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I trained two students. I had the same feelings you expressed after the first one. It was just . . . boring. And occasionally scary. And I hated team driving since the truck never stopped. And the money wasn't worth the extra stress.

I was going to quit after the first one, but then a guy I used to work with decided he wanted to drive, so I agreed to train him, since I knew we would get along. But after he got his license he quit driving and went back to his old job because a couple members of his family had health issues.

Rick has a point about passing it on, but not everyone is cut out to be a trainer, even if they have the skills to do it. My old trainer loves training and is still doing it. He really enjoys everything about it, and has trained a lot of people in the last three years. He's really good at it. Last year he was even one of the 15 trainers invited to the big appreciation dinner Prime has every year. I'm happy to let the folks that enjoy training do it.

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