In Training, I Need Advice.

Topic 20148 | Page 3

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Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

My first TnT trainer called me driving miss Daisy for doing 35 mph in snow around the I65 / I 80 interchange. Screw her, she still has a truck cause I didn't total it and I still have a job.

No one from safety is EVER going to call you with "we saw you were driving too slow and this job is not for you" lol

At least the guy admitted its him. But you are a good portion through and haven't hit anything. Haven't had any critical events or tickets??? GREAT JOB!

You want an evaluation? Many TnT students do all of the above. Even have to have miles added to their training because of it. Worst case scenario...even if you were horrible...you would get an addition 5,000 miles which sounds like eternity but is an extra week. People who have accidents usually get between 10k-20k added depending on the severity of the damage.

It costs a lot of.money for the background checks, doctors, drug tests etc to just throw away a driver cause one trainer, who has bounced students in the past, got impatient.

You are doing great! Keep it up.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Derrick B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Brett, I appreciate the kind words. I did leave the last guy with a handshake and a thank you, even though he told my dispatcher in front of me that it's his opinion I shouldn't be a driver.

I was able to talk to the dispatcher alone and told him what happened wasn't fair, and he said he didn't disagree. So there's that.

Trying to wash all that from my brain and get going again. I'm already paired with another trainer. He was supposed to be here a couple hours ago so I'll be out any minute now I would imagine.

Thanks again for the help through this transition. The whole thing blew up over something so small that it seems rediculous to think about, but it is what it is.

I'll let you guys know how it goes! Hopefully the first thing he says isn't well that guy was right, you are bad at this lol. I doubt it. Until next time!

Dispatcher:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

My first TnT trainer called me driving miss Daisy for doing 35 mph in snow around the I65 / I 80 interchange. Screw her, she still has a truck cause I didn't total it and I still have a job.

That's funny! Driving Miss Daisy. But you're obviously 100% right, all that matters is that you didn't hit anything.

Best of luck Derrick. Just take it slow, keep your cool, and stay focused on safety. You have the rest of your life to make all the money you want to make doing this. Just be really patient and careful while you're learning. You'll get good soon enough.

And it was great that you handled yourself the way you did, especially with that trainer saying that about you. Don't let it bother you in the least. No one knows what the heck they're doing in the beginning. I'm sure you'll pick up on everything just as well as the next person.

Definitely keep us informed. We'd love to know how this works out for ya.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I tell my trainees, road construction can be really bouncy, rough, tight, and scary for a brand new inexperienced driver. In road construction, drive at or below the speed limit, of course, but if you're nervous, drive 35 if that makes you feel better, because after All, it's YOUR license on the line if you have an accident in that road construction. If anyone behind you gets ****y about it, EFF them. They'll get over it and would be a whole lot madder if you had an accident and blocked / shut down the road.

Just try to relax and stay in your comfort zone. After your out of the construction, you can resume your speed.

Shifting: everyone is gonna grind or scratch a gear there too, it gets better the more road time you get. And when you go solo, you'll probably end up in an autoshift.

It's hard to drive when you're super stressed and training IS stressful. Just do your best to try to relax and this will be over soon enough.

Hang in there because it will eventually get easier. You're gaining valuable experience and learning how to handle the unexpected.. that's a real gift in this industry.

Good luck.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I tell my trainees, road construction can be really bouncy, rough, tight, and scary for a brand new inexperienced driver. In road construction, drive at or below the speed limit, of course, but if you're nervous, drive 35 if that makes you feel better, because after All, it's YOUR license on the line if you have an accident in that road construction. If anyone behind you gets ****y about it, EFF them. They'll get over it and would be a whole lot madder if you had an accident and blocked / shut down the road.

Just try to relax and stay in your comfort zone. After your out of the construction, you can resume your speed.

Shifting: everyone is gonna grind or scratch a gear there too, it gets better the more road time you get. And when you go solo, you'll probably end up in an autoshift.

It's hard to drive when you're super stressed and training IS stressful. Just do your best to try to relax and this will be over soon enough.

Hang in there because it will eventually get easier. You're gaining valuable experience and learning how to handle the unexpected.. that's a real gift in this industry.

Good luck.

thats right F em! lol

I've said.this.before.but it funny..I hated my one trainer. while driving through construction in a 55mph zone with jersey barriers on both sides of a single shifting lane...a guy behind me yelled on the CB "hey prime, you can do 55 here!" I yelled back "hey a...hole I can do 45 here too, so keep talking since you are stuck behind me and see how that works out for you". the trainer got upset saying the guy would "come after me". I said so what "he'll come for you..its your truck.and I hate you. ill pay him to beat your ass". lol he thought I was kidding and laughed. I wasnt lol

Derrick B.'s Comment
member avatar

So far so good with the new guy. Just started out and went down the road from the truck stop about 20 miles to our first receiver. I had to back into a dock that went inside a building. Did it with just a few correcting pull-ups, and my trainer said I did it like a seasoned pro. Not even the trainee he trained through PSD could have done it like that. Which is cool. He says he sees no issues with my shifting and he's not sure what the other guys problem is. Even though I stalled the truck in seventh thinking I was in 2nd, he took it in stride. It happens.

This should be a whole new experience because I'm going to run completely different from the last guy. I was running strictly at night before and it really was killing me. Was just having trouble adjusting to sleeping during the day while in a moving truck. The job was getting done but it was rough. I drove across the country twice but all I can tell you is it looks like blackness. I'm sure running at night will be preferable because it's certainly easier with no traffic, but as for now I'd like to get these miles out of the way while I'm not also constantly fighting sleep.

Almost done unloading now, on to the next one! Thanks again everyone.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

That's fantastic news! Really glad to hear things are off to a good start with this trainer. From what you're telling us, it sounds like a far cry from "I don't think this guy should be a driver" doesn't it?

Hey Patrick, if you see this, remember I was saying that drivers should be moved from trainer to trainer more often? This is one of the main reasons why. One trainer says this guy shouldn't be a driver, another says he's doing great. One guy makes his student do all of the night driving, this guy is letting him drive during the day and get some backing practice at the docks, which a lot of trainers won't do.

I'm sure Derrick learned some great information from his first trainer, even though the experience was a nightmare, but now he's going to learn a whole new way of doing things from another trainer and have a lot more enjoyable experience at the same time.

Not to mention, it also sounds like the last trainer, by his own admission, may have needed a break from training for a while. It sounds like he might have been a little burned out by it. So he's going to get a break from a while, and might need a "permanent break" from training if this has been a repeating pattern with him.

So this move has been a win for everyone.

But the scariest part about sticking a student with one trainer was the whole "I don't think this guy should be a driver" thing. I mean, these are people's entire careers at stake here. We're talking about changing the entire course of someone's life by the way they're handled during training. This industry loses many hundreds, if not thousands of brand new drivers every year because of the hardships they're put through during training.

I say rotate students from truck to truck as often as possible, maybe even a couple of times a week. Go with one trainer for a few days, get with a new one for a week or so, then a third for a few days, etc. Then you'll really find out who the best trainers are, you'll find out the real scoop about which students are good and which aren't cut out for this, and you'll relieve the stress of sticking two people in a tiny cage for months at a time until they're ready to cut each other's throats like wild dogs.

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I'd never be willing to rotate trainees a couple times a week. Here's why:.

I have a detailed list of things I'm expected to cover and or encounter with each trainee. It's an evaluation sheet I have to fill out, have the trainee sign, and submit it weekly.

I want to get to know my trainees, that they're choosing this career with realistic expectations. We aren't a mega carriers with hundreds attending orientation each week. We need to make sure we aren't wasting money and time (both ours and the trainees) attempting to train someone who isn't a good fit, doesn't have a great work ethic, etc. It takes more than a few days to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, much less ensuring they can 45, 90, and blindside as my company requires.

Our training is only 30 days and should a personality issue arise, it's an easy fix with no hard feelings on either side (both trainee and trainer) to put them in another truck. Should a trainee not pass testing out, they are placed with another trainer for an additional week or two. If they are motivated, and have a great work ethic, they're always given an additional chance, because you're right.. we have to give them every opportunity to succeed.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

Glad to see things are starting to look back up again. Prime is truly a good company and they will go out of their way to make things work and to save a situation as long as they see you are really trying and doing your part which you do seem to be. Just remember we all make mistakes especially in training. I am at almost 10 months now and did the same thing today lol. I was at a red light and didn't realize i was still in 7th gear and thought I was in second and stalled my truck at a red light with tons of traffic behind me. Needless to say I felt like a real jackwagon but it goes to show that mistakes will happen to anyone. Keep your head up and keep pushing on. You're going to do just fine.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I'd never be willing to rotate trainees a couple times a week. Here's why:.

I have a detailed list of things I'm expected to cover and or encounter with each trainee. It's an evaluation sheet I have to fill out, have the trainee sign, and submit it weekly.

I want to get to know my trainees, that they're choosing this career with realistic expectations. We aren't a mega carriers with hundreds attending orientation each week. We need to make sure we aren't wasting money and time (both ours and the trainees) attempting to train someone who isn't a good fit, doesn't have a great work ethic, etc. It takes more than a few days to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, much less ensuring they can 45, 90, and blindside as my company requires.

Our training is only 30 days and should a personality issue arise, it's an easy fix with no hard feelings on either side (both trainee and trainer) to put them in another truck. Should a trainee not pass testing out, they are placed with another trainer for an additional week or two. If they are motivated, and have a great work ethic, they're always given an additional chance, because you're right.. we have to give them every opportunity to succeed.

Susan, any good trainer like yourself would feel that way. "My students don't have to be moved out of my truck. I treat them well and teach them well. I want all the time I can get to work with them on so I know they've learned everything I want to teach them." I know you feel that way.

But good trainers aren't the problem we're trying to fix here.

Ask Rainy about her experience in training. That was fun for her.

Ask Old School about his seemingly interminable nightmare. And his company even knew what his trainer was like and they let him train anyhow.

These type of stories are far too common in this industry. You don't even have to leave our tiny group of moderators to find these nightmare scenarios. Imagine how that projects out across the entire industry!

The major problem we're facing is when you have a student assigned to a single trainer, they are isolated from the offices. There's no way for anyone to know what's going on inside that truck. It becomes the trainer's word against the student, and the student is now in an incredibly vulnerable position. They're new to the company, they're new to this career, and now they're faced with some lunatic of a Jekyll And Hyde trainer who is sweet as apple pie to everyone in the offices, but as soon as they have that student isolated in their truck they try to make them to break laws, drive when they're exhausted, drive without any supervision, and verbally assault them on a daily basis.

You've listened to Channel 19, you've been in the truck stops, you've been in the terminals. You know the type of people this industry tends to attract. There are a lot of scary people that shouldn't be isolated and given dictatorial power without any supervision over brand new students, or even dogs (which I cherish) for that matter.

But it goes beyond that. There's a million ways to move a load from point A to point B and there's a million different driving styles. Students should have the benefit of learning different tips, tricks, and techniques from a variety of drivers.

There's also a million ways to teach, and everyone learns differently. Even the best drivers will not always be the most effective teachers with every type of student. You might handle your rig a certain way and teach a certain way and it works beautifully for a lot of people. But some people, for whatever reason, don't learn well that way or don't like your style or whatever. They would benefit greatly from a variety of teaching and driving styles.

Finally, when you have a variety of students with one trainer you get a variety of unrelated opinions on that trainer. Same goes with the opposite scenario. A variety of trainers will get to evaluate each student. Now you'll really get a much better idea of who the best students and trainers are, and where you really have a serious problem.

You have to remember that the most dangerous people are the ones who are best at hiding the fact that they're dangerous people. We need to make sure that the wrong people don't wind up in a position to ruin someone's career right out of the gate.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

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