On The Fence About Staying, Maybe Not For Me?

Topic 20665 | Page 1

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Buttercup's Comment
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So while I like the driving itself, and don't mind traveling, I'm really feeling disenchanted with this whole TNT thing.

I feel like I'm just a body in the seat sometimes with my trainer, and I don't feel like I'm actually learning anything. Mostly, I just get sent to 'do' stuff I don't know how to do and then get embarrassed because receivers, etc are asking questions I should, but don't know the answers to. I don't feel like my trainer is doing any sort of job of training me. For example, for pad time before my test, I asked other trainers for help because I couldnt 'get it' with his technique. I spent till midnight with one, and then 7-11 the next morning with a different one.

For my road test, we took a pad truck out a few laps (because our truck is automatic) then the night before took it out one more time with a trailer. I had maybe 2 hours of shifting practice between psd and the few days at the pad.

I am confused about the logs (am I REALLY supposed to take my 32 minute break waiting in line at the receiver, fueling, while stuck in traffic?) is it really necessary to forbid bathroom stops because 'it waste's time?' During my shift it's not uncommon to have to wait 6-7 hours to use the restroom, and if I happen to miss the trainers break to use it, I'm looking at 12+ hours.

I guess I just feel like the general attitude is 'figure it out'. I feel like I'm set up for failure a lot because I don't know the answers to the questions I didn't know I was supposed to ask.

If I'm just being whiny, it is what it is and my expectations were not aligned with where they should have been. At this point though, I give it another week, maybe? I feel awful that I put so much on the line for this and it really just isn't working out.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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At this point though, I give it another week, maybe? I feel awful that I put so much on the line for this and it really just isn't working out.

What do you mean it isn't working out? You're out there doing it. It is working out.

You've come this far so it's clear that you're capable of doing this. You certainly shouldn't quit now!

Those of us who have done this know exactly what you're going through and I'm telling you that you'd be crazy for quitting. Why would you work so long and so hard for something and get this close to reaching the good part and then quit? That's like running a marathon but quitting 3 miles from the finish line.

Maybe someday you'll decide trucking isn't for you, and that would be perfectly fine. But this is not that day. You have to find it within yourself to push through these tough times and make it through. You have to run solo for a few months at least and then see how you feel. Tons of people have said that the training phase was in fact the toughest time of their entire career. You don't have control of the truck, or the decision making process, or any alone time in your own space. Once you get through this and go out on your own, everything will change.

Where is Rainy at? We need her in on this. She had a gruelling time during training and she could certainly help.

To give something everything you've got but still come up short because you're simply not capable of doing it is still something to be proud of. But that's not the situation you're in. You're talking about quitting on yourself because it's hard, even though you have already proven you can do this. That would be a real shame. You really owe yourself more than that. You don't have to drive a truck the rest of your life, or even the rest of this year. But you can't quit now.

I have the word "Courage" tattooed across the top of my back because it takes a ton of courage to build a great life for yourself. Trucking is almost certainly not the culmination of your life, but it can be a powerful stepping stone to bigger and better things and it can be an amazing experience that helps shape your character and your perspective on life.

Hang in there and keep doing this one day at a time. Surely you can get through one more day? And tomorrow you'll be able to get through one more day again.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Buttercup, I completely agree with Brett. You will be doing yourself a huge favor by sticking it out.

I have complete empathy with you. I had a terrible trainer myself. There were several times I either wanted to burst into tears, or either slit his throat open! It was hard to determine which was the stronger desire.

It sounds like you ended up with a lease operator judging by your comments about wasting time to go to the bathroom. If you can hang in there I say that's best. If not, you can request a different trainer. Sometimes just being with a different trainer can make a world of difference.

We can certainly help you with understanding your logs, or you can work on it by following this link...

Learn The Logbook Rules (HOS)

Keep checking in with us and we will give you help, support, and encouragement. Trust me, we all went through the same roller coaster of emotions that you are experiencing. We understand.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

When you are solo you will be able to stop when you want as long as you can make your delivery on time. You can't judge Trucking on the training part. My trainer was terrible! If I was forced to team drive with him for anything past the training time I would have refused. But solo driving is a whole different experience that I really enjoy.

You have to experience the solo driving part to truly judge if you like Trucking.

Dan R.'s Comment
member avatar

The best part of training is that it ends. I'll echo what the others have said in saying that training is usually the absolute worst experience in this career you will have. Shoving two strangers into a space smaller than some jail cells and hoping they get along for weeks at a time is asking a lot, getting a trainer to do a good job training can sometimes be asking a lot(especially if they're O/O as I agree it appears yours is). A lot of companies are pushing trainer recruitment, as they desperately need more, but unfortunately that gets more than just the special folks that can see things they've done a thousand times and realize they need to actually explain it, and instead gets a large number of people that look at it as just a pay bump.

If you're paying attention to what they're doing, you're going to pick things up whether you feel like you are or not. The vast majority of the learning happens right before, during, or right after the truck stops(customers, fuel, logging, etc), so be sure to pay attention during those times as most anyone can take a truck down a freeway without problems, picking up some of the truck-specific nuances along the way on their own.

But like I said, just keep in mind it does end. You almost certainly have picked up more than you feel like you have. You can do this, and the reward at the end is well worth the hell of training.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris M's Comment
member avatar

Man that reply from Brett gets you pumped up!

I could reiterate what has already been said, because it's all true. The training will end, and you will be more proud of yourself for sticking it out than you ever realized you would be. When you get handed the keys to your first solo truck, the feeling of accomplishment is almost overwhelming.

Everyone thinks about quitting during training. It is almost always more intense, more stressful, and more frustrating than anyone anticipated. But you will get through it. Just remember, when you are behind the wheel, you control that truck. Your trainer is not going to reach over and yank the wheel out of your hands while you're rolling down the road. So stick to your plan, and learn every lesson you can even when you're not being taught. You can make it!

Jm's Comment
member avatar

Let the trainer know that you will literally **** your pants in their truck and that urine is going on the floor and possibly the seat. Let them know you are not kidding either. I had a trainer try to ignore my need to use the restroom. I looked him dead in the eye and told him I was going to pee right where I was sitting if I didn't get a bathroom stop. We didn't have that issue again. Mind you, we had been on the road for 6 hours and he wanted me to hold it for another 1.5 hours after I had already told him I needed to go 2 hours prior. I would have went through with it too if he had pushed me that far. You can get urinary tract infections from holding urine too long. You can permanently scar your kidneys if that urinary tract infection makes its way up to The kidneys and then you wake up with 104 degree temperature on deaths door requiring a doctor visit and strong antibiotics. Ahem, not that I would know anything about that...

As for trainers, good luck!

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

Technically you're on duty if being loaded, stuck in traffic etc...Do people log their breaks during this time? Absolutely they do. If I'm driving and nature calls, the truck stops and I'm going. Tell him/her it's either in the seat or in the toilet. Anytime they stop though try to make it a point to empty the bladder. Things that you have questions about ask if he doesn't want to or won't explain them ask other drivers or trainers. Post on here and ask but don't feel embarrassed because at some point every driver was at the point you are now. Don't let one bad experience take this away from you. You're really closer than you think and will soon reap the benefits of your accomplishment. Hang in there.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If you need to go, stop and have a bathroom break. If your trainer has an issue with normal stops every few hours, you need another trainer.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

You have had some great advice. My $0.02. First communicate with your trainer. When you are driving, it's your butt, your life and your license in control. Once you feel the urge comming start looking for a rest stop to pull in quick to. Pull in, go off duty, take your keys and run in. When you're done, back in the truck and roll. Total time 10 to 15 minutes. Your choice. If you have to pull into a truck stop. Just pull through the fuel island and up to the yellow line. About 20 minutes from the time you pull off the interstate until you get back on. When at a shipper or receiver, go on duty loading for 15 minutes, then off duty. If it makes sence to take your 30 minute break there, so be it. In traffic, be careful about going off duty. If someone hits you while you are not moving and you're off duty at that time, guess what. When times are tuff remeber this training thing is only temporary, then it's 100% in your hands. You should have a little note book with all your load info written in. On the inside cover write, your truck number, trucks plate number and DOT number. Take that in with you every time you go into a shipper/receiver. That will have all the info you need. Your job right now is to figure it all out for yourself while you have someone there to answer your questions.

Please don't quit now. You have come to far. The rewards are wonderful. We are all here to help. Good luck.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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