Mentor Problems

Topic 19420 | Page 1

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Jm's Comment
member avatar

I hope third time is a charm because I have gone through two mentors now and for very legitimate reasons had to remove myself from their trucks. One issue that keeps popping up is that both mentors wanted me to exceed the specified speed limit of 62MPH that is in black and white writing within the company's Handbook. I can't get into detail about other reasons because I am pretty sure it is against company policy to divulge. I am frustrated because I am an easy person to get along with and I have had absolutely no issue with roommates in college, professors, coworkers, labmates, classmates, bosses, spouse, etc. However, I, for one reason or another, am getting assigned to really disagreeable and controlling people. This in no way reflects on the company with which I am working. The company has handled the issues with care and I have not felt disrespected in any way outside of these two mentors.

On a positive note, my actual driving experience has been wonderful. I really enjoy driving across the countryside and through the mountains. I have gotten excellent marks in my ability to carry out duties as a truck driver. I just hope *crossing my fingers* that the next mentor can keep their personal lives to themselves. The last thing I need to deal with is someone sitting in the passenger side running their mouths for my entire shift. It's not like I can just get up and leave the room. When I ask them(as in both mentors on separate occasions) to be quiet politely, they lash out and mope. I do understand that trucking can be lonely, but these two mentors get a fresh student after they are done with the last one. There really is no excuse for the lack of self-control on their part. It seems to me that these particular mentors have lost sight of their place in the company and their role as a mentor. I would much prefer no to be distracted by someone chewing away at my ear, especially while I am driving. Furthermore, boundaries are incredibly important considering the close proximity to coworkers for extended periods of time. I am pretty sure that I am not the only person who has felt that the excessive talking by some mentors is incredibly distracting.

If anyone has some good suggestions how to reinforce boundaries with mentors, I would greatly appreciate your suggestions.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I think the obvious suggestion would be to speak frankly with the next mentor before you even get in the truck. Let them know exactly what happened with the first two mentors and ask them if you sound like someone they would like to train. I wouldn't even get in the truck unless you both understand each other's expectations.

How much longer do you have left in training?

murderspolywog's Comment
member avatar

One of the thinks I would do is have a list of rules and expectations for my students. I would always ask them to come up with a list of rules and expectations as well for me and them. I have one question on the speed limit of 62 are these guys lease opes with high speed limits?

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

If you are getting close to the end of your training, try to just roll with the punches with this last mentor for pretty much everything but safety issues. Switching mentors only prolongs training, which is already a difficult part of trucking. The sooner you get through training, the sooner you can get in your own truck and have all the silence you can handle.

Jm's Comment
member avatar

I think the obvious suggestion would be to speak frankly with the next mentor before you even get in the truck. Let them know exactly what happened with the first two mentors and ask them if you sound like someone they would like to train. I wouldn't even get in the truck unless you both understand each other's expectations.

How much longer do you have left in training?

I have 100 hours left. I know that I am ready to drive team. I'll be sure to discuss my concerns with the next mentor before getting on the truck. I do have a list of my expectations that are within reason such as "do not ask me to compromise my safety", "do not wake me up during my sleeper berth time", and "don't make false corrections to my logs". I'll just add "do not distract me with excessive talking while I am driving".

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I don't know about the "don't wake me during sleeper berth time" thing. You're in training. If your trainer comes upon a situation that you need to be a part of, like dealing with a customer or getting repairs done or something, you have to be present and ready to learn. There's no such thing as a "do not disturb" sign in trucking.

See, this is the difference between having a regular job like at a warehouse, versus a lifestyle job like trucking, and it's something we try to help people understand. You're not working a 9 to 5 job. You don't get to punch out at the end of a shift and forget about your job until the next shift. You're always responsible for that truck, you're always responsible for the freight you're carrying, and for communicating with dispatch, and all kinds of stuff. You don't get to punch out and check out. Your responsibilities never end, regardless of what your logbook says you're doing.

So I would drop that request, but the others are reasonable.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not trying to be a jerk. But I seriously get the impression that you have been more of a problem than your past 2 trainers. You sound so anti-social that it would be difficult to coach you.

By the way, chatting while either one of you drive really passes the time. You need to learn how to listen, take advice, and multitask when you're driving and not give these sudden "quit talking to me" temper tantrums.

I like you, but I would jump over fences and swim across lakes before I would train a student of your type.

Jm's Comment
member avatar

If you are getting close to the end of your training, try to just roll with the punches with this last mentor for pretty much everything but safety issues. Switching mentors only prolongs training, which is already a difficult part of trucking. The sooner you get through training, the sooner you can get in your own truck and have all the silence you can handle.

The reasons for removing myself from both trucks were actually pretty serious to the point that the issues we're escalated to HR at the behest of my Driver Leader. They involved safety. I do understand how sucking it up and getting through the training is necessary. However, these were situations where "sucking it up" would get me fired and/or possibly worse.

I do enjoy conversing, but I have no qualms with solitude. From what I understand from a psychological standpoint is that some people use excessive talking to monopolize another person's time and space. It's the equivalent of a dog peeing on everything or someone trying to take up as much space as possible. When I say excessive, I mean for my every waking hour. I do not mean someone talking for a straight hour. I can't even enjoy silence in a bathroom stall because I am a man and mentors we're both males who also had to take bathroom breaks...trying to conversations with me while I am in my stall. It's ridiculous

Jm's Comment
member avatar

I'm not trying to be a jerk. But I seriously get the impression that you have been more of a problem than your past 2 trainers. You sound so anti-social that it would be difficult to coach you.

By the way, chatting while either one of you drive really passes the time. You need to learn how to listen, take advice, and multitask when you're driving and not give these sudden "quit talking to me" temper tantrums.

I like you, but I would jump over fences and swim across lakes before I would train a student of your type.

No, I'm definitely anti-socia. I have a social life regardless of the trucking lifestyle. I could see where you would make that assumption. No, I am not the problem and my driver leader, HR, and I would not agree with you on that point. Again, I am not a liberty to explain the situations.

Jm's Comment
member avatar

I don't know about the "don't wake me during sleeper berth time" thing. You're in training. If your trainer comes upon a situation that you need to be a part of, like dealing with a customer or getting repairs done or something, you have to be present and ready to learn. There's no such thing as a "do not disturb" sign in trucking.

See, this is the difference between having a regular job like at a warehouse, versus a lifestyle job like trucking, and it's something we try to help people understand. You're not working a 9 to 5 job. You don't get to punch out at the end of a shift and forget about your job until the next shift. You're always responsible for that truck, you're always responsible for the freight you're carrying, and for communicating with dispatch, and all kinds of stuff. You don't get to punch out and check out. Your responsibilities never end, regardless of what your logbook says you're doing.

So I would drop that request, but the others are reasonable.

Well, I guess I'll have to hang up my boots then. I am one of those people who can't go back to sleep when awoken. I only sleep 6 hours. I'll let my Driver Leader know. Thanks and it has been nice being apart of the forums.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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