Profile For Family Man

Family Man's Info

  • Location:
    Fort Worth, TX

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 6 months ago

Family Man's Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  4 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Stevens Transport. Anyone have experience with them?

I realize that this site is a positive site, and I am not interested in making a company appear worse than they really are. However, I must inform others of some important facts about this company, and let them come to their own conclusions.

On the basis of my uncle's recommendation of Stevens' training program, I chose to check into what the company had to offer. I attended 3 weeks of training, and had a mostly positive experience. What I found was that most people could pass the 3 weeks of initial training as long as they made an honest effort. (A few were disqualified for failing the drug test or the required physical, and some simply chose not to move forward.)

At the conclusion of 3 weeks, I was paired with a trainer who would coach me as I drove across the nation over the road. My trainer was a lease operator, and he was very protective of his truck. Understandable. I drove to the best of my ability, as my trainer made efforts to strengthen my weaknesses.

Unfortunately, my trainer spent a lot of time and energy yelling at me like a boot camp instructor. He would needle me about trivial matters, such as what I ate, or how high I chose to position the driver's seat when I was behind the wheel.

Finally, a week and a half into this second phase of training, we reached a breaking point when I missed a turn in a small town. Before driving past the turn, I was unsure, and I asked his advice about whether the turn looked right. GPS said I was in position for a turn, but it looked like a neighborhood street. He said, "I don't know, you tell me." As I drove forward, he pointed down the street and said, "See, that WAS your turn." And then, "Sucks to be relying on GPS, doesn't it?" I said, "Sucks to have a trainer who won't help you." At that moment, he told me I would be getting sent back home 800 miles away.

I pulled into a grocery store parking lot to try to turn around, and he told me to stop the truck. About 30 mintues later, I was standing with all of my bags off-loaded in 20 degree temperatures. Fortunately, the people who worked in the grocery store helped me get to a hotel about 2 miles away.

This happened on a Friday evening, and my designated Counselor was not set to return to company headquarters until Monday. In the meantime, the company fronted me $200 to take care of myself in this emergency, which was nice. Still, I was left to wonder what to do.

I chose to stay one night in the small town, take a taxi the next day to a bigger city, rent a hotel room there for a day, rent a car the next morning and drive on back home (which is in the same region as the company's headquarters.)

I drove for 13 hours to get home, and returned the car near my home at 10:00 in the morning. Then, I spoke with my designated Counselor.

She asked me what had happened, and I explained as above. She then asked me where I was, and I told her. Next, she said, "Why did you not report the company's headquarters at 8:00 in the morning?" I explained that I had needed to return the car, and that I was unsure of what my family's plans were for using our own personal vehicle. She informed me that since I had not been at either a safe haven or the company's headquarters at 8:00 in the morning, I was considered to have deserted the job. I said, I had made all of my decisions in an effort to survive after being thrown off the truck. Unbelievably, she told me that "just because you chose to get off the truck" doesn't mean you shouldn't be in designated place at a designated time. Why in the world would I have voluntarily decided to throw myself off a truck at the edge of a grocery store parking lot?

On paper, I owe the company thousands of dollars for the training I received. My driving record will also be adversely affected by not returning to complete my training. Still, if this is as much understanding as I get after being dumped in the middle of nowhere, I see no reason to struggle to move forward with this company. Obviously, my situation is only one particular situation. I see many things that the company is doing right, such as maintaining state-of-the-art equipment and striving to hold fast to safety standards. However, if something like this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI

I thought a lot today about what you said: "don't be in a hurry to get out of the other motorist's way." My trainer expresses it this way: "Hold your speed/Hold your lane."

In my mind, I liken my vehicle to a train. Other motorists ought to pay heed and accelerate or decelerate accordingly. In reality, many do.

I hope your classes continue going well!

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI

Hi, David. I'm glad your day went well. You sound like you've got a winning attitude.

Here is a link to a video that I have found helpful over pre-trip inspections:

http://youtu.be/EfW615ZnELE

I had a great instructor who went into a great deal of detail during a mock pre-trip inspection, and the instructor in the video breaks down things in a similar way.

I hope you are getting the rest you need. This program is moving fast isn't it. Hang in there and keep having fun!

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

The path to your own truck isn't easy.

I need all the help I can get. I prefer to get it from a trusted source, whose instructive posts I have followed for the last couple of months, rather than a guy who wants me to buy into some sort of warped conspiracy theory that seems designed to do nothing more than to create a false sense of comfort.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

The path to your own truck isn't easy.

XCELERATION RULES, it may not be perfectly clear, but Daniel B.'s style of instruction involves a lot of restraint. His "kind" might seem to be imposing his personality with little interest in finding out what makes people like you are me worth knowing. But what he is really doing is striving to safeguard the interests of the motoring public (including you and me). Case in point: "I wanted him to know how to fix errors. I taught him the correct way many times, but I also messed it up on purpose sometimes." Daniel B. is actually going out of his way to present these additional complex scenarios. I believe he should be applauded for that. I would rather be taught by someone like him than someone who didn't make waves, or worse who gave me free reign to steer clear of as many challenges as possible.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

The path to your own truck isn't easy.

Daniel B., I envy people who possess a hands-on learning/teaching style and who make lightning quick decisions. Sometimes, when you're a newbie learning how to maneuver in less-than-ideal conditions, you feel like a naive office worker who's trying to learn the steps to a line dance. I have appreciated reading your posts over the last couple of months, and even if people like me might not be the easiest to train, we benefit a great deal from the challenges you are courageous enough to present to us.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Week Two With Celadon, Laredo Texas February 2015

Some days aren't, and I'm sure that we have a few more of those to face as we pursue our goals. But let's not forget the many good days that likely await us.

Do you care to share more? I hope you wake up to a nice day tomorrow.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI

Hi, David. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Your enthusiasm is infectious.

It sounds like the hardest part of the initial training is already behind you. You've already gotten so much done in a single day. If you continue to focus on safety, driving on the freeway is not so very much different than practicing on the yard.

Continue to kep us updated about your progress.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

A Stick of Gum

As rookie truckers, we're all in it together. And sometimes "it" can be a rewarding place to be.

What I am learning is that trucking is not simply about gaining knowledge and skills, or even proving oneself through performance, but it is also about building meaningful professional relationships. I guess this is one reason each of us is motivated to be here at TruckingTruth's forum. It's a good thing that we're making a mutual effort to tackle this vital social component. I think the effort will serve us well on the road.

Posted:  4 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

A Stick of Gum

This morning, I passed the road test to receive my Class A CDL. Yesterday morning, I had failed the test on a technicality, so I did a retake today. I felt a little nervous and concerned this morning, and most of all embarrassed that I had failed the day before. The senior instructor of the truck driving school I have been attending met me this morning at DPS at the appointed time (about 2 hours before I actually took the road test). He is a man of few words, but when he does talk he is usually either angry, uncompromising, or ready to belittle any student is still in need of serious improvement (me). In short, he comes across as crabby. However, this morning, I could tell he was willing to give me a few vital pointers. He still spoke with characteristic crabbiness, but he did so with the aim of providing support. Shortly before the test was about to commence, he asked me if I'd like a stick of gum. I realized that what he was offering was communion, if that makes any sense. He was lowering his guard to supply support. As I drove, I was by no means perfect. I made about 4 obvious mistakes, but that didn't matter. I wasn't phased. I kept chewing the gum. Hard, each moment as I attempted to correct an error. All of the errors got corrected. When I returned to the testing center, and was informed that I had passed, I told my instructor. He gave smile as I described one of the errors I had made. Then, he patted me the shoulder and said, "Good job." As I walked away and nobody was looking, I felt my eyes tearing up. Not just because for what I had accomplished but for the support I had received. A tiny stick of gum made all the difference.

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