Comments By Derrick B.

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  • Derrick B.
  • Joined:
  • 7 years, 7 months ago
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Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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In training, I need advice.

Well that didn't take long. On the way back to Pittston to get off this truck. I drove last night from OH to RI. We were delivering in MA the appointment was for 8PM so we figured probably would unload about then and then get a load the next morning.

I live in RI so I had someone meet me and pick me up at 5am. Was just going to spend as much time at home as I could, possibly the night. Got about 3 hours of sleep then got a message with a preplan and a call from my trainer saying lets roll. Was dissapointed but it is what it is.

I got to the truck and my trainer started right in on me. Last night I had pulled out of a truck stop and started down a hill. Picked up speed and couldn't get it in sixth. He heard the gears grind from the back and said go higher. As he was saying it I found seventh and life went on. Would have found the gear if he didn't say anything, but he took it as if he didn't say something then I would have just struggled forever. And his logic is its such a simple task that i should have just been able to handle it without him saying anything, but since it happened, and I didn't get the gear fast enough, that I'm not picking all this up and I can't do this.

Was literally pounding the steering wheel saying it's simple and I should be picking this up. Ok man. So I said maybe we should go back to the terminal and get me someone else. He agreed so that's where we're going.

Once he calmed down he admitted it might just be him. That he's been bouncing from student to student and maybe he's just burnt out and doesn't have the patience. I'd say so.

I really feel like I've made good improvement, but driving on edge when you know struggling to find a gear or something is going to end up in a talk about how I think too slow is stressful. I hope everything works out with s new trainer, but as long as prime doesn't give up on me, I'm not giving up on myself. Thanks guys I'll let you know the deal.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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In training, I need advice.

Thank you Rainy! I appreciate you painting a better picture of what to expect after TnT, because this has been a rough transition. The sleep part especially is something to look forward to lol. At this point it's hard to imagine what 5 consecutive hours in a non moving truck feels like.

Yesterday my trainer admitted this week is the most miles he's run with Prime yet. You don't say? So my second full week in I help you run like a mad man and happen to make only 2 mistakes towards the end of two separate 10 hour shifts. But it's not for me. Ok guy. Sorry I'm just being bitter lol. Onward I go, thanks eveyone!

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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In training, I need advice.

Wow, Old School, thank you so much for that! I don't want to turn this into a dumping on my trainer type of thing. I know none of them will be perfect, and all things considered I do believe this guy wants me to succeed. It just troubled me how he was ready to throw in the towel after what I assumed were mistakes I should learn from.

In any case I'm certainly not giving up on him over this as long as he's still teaching me because I do believe I have a lot to learn from him as you said. In the exposure aspect at the very least. Thanks again guys, I'll keep you posted.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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In training, I need advice.

Thank you Susan for that well thought out post. I won't let the 13 hours thing be an excuse for me. Can't be anymore anyway since I've got a decent bit more now. I'll focus on improving myself in all aspects like you said not just holding the wheel going down the road. As far as the trainer in the bunk, tonight is the first night the curtains are open after our talk today. After he woke up after the Colorado mountains I was like thanks for the warning about what to expect last night lol. Just got a well learn to expect anything. Which is true I just thought it was funny. No more excuses just forward progression then.

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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In training, I need advice.

Thanks for the replys guys, I appreciate it. I guess I just wanted to know if I was crazy or not because I'm working really hard to improve, and the way this guy was talking to me today he made is sound like what's happened is just unexceptable and he's on the verge of calling our dispatcher and calling it quits on me. Like Jesus man we've put in 13000 miles the past 2 and a half weeks and just the past day and a half I had a few missteps please work with me here. I felt good about going across the country and back twice unscathed but that knocked me down a peg.

Finishing up my 30 here in Iowa talk to you soon!

Posted:  6 years, 10 months ago

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In training, I need advice.

Hey everyone. Running into an issue here while training and looking for advice. I just started two weeks ago with my trainer. Came to prime with my CDL but with probably about 13 hours of drive time under my belt. Just enough to pass the test. I started with my trainer and was really raw at first. Downshifting was a struggle for sure because it was nothing like the truck I was used to. My trainer recognized that I wouldn't be ready for teaming right away and wanted to do solo runs with me at first to coach me up. We drove for 2 days like that. Once from PA to NC, then NC to OH the next. After that they gave us a load to Cali that required us to team. Since then I have been to Cali and back and then out to Oregon again.

So the problem I run into now is I had an issue in Portland on a very tight overpass where I rubbed the tires of the trailer on the curb and last night in Utah going up a hill I missed a gear and came to a stop on the road. I did not get over to the shoulder. By time I missed 7th gear the truck just came to a stop. I recognize this is dangerous and I should have been more aware.

My trainer at this point though says he has lost trust in me and seems to be one more incident away from giving up on me and says he doesn't know if trucking will be for me. It is over just these two instances. Not trying to sugarcoat it or hide anything else I've been doing.

From my point of view I feel like I have come very far in feeling comfortable in the truck given the little time I've been in it. My shifting has improved greatly. I guess I just feel a little thrown to the wolves? Is it fair that I had 2 days of him up front with me and then just boom lets hammer down out west and good luck? If this is just the way it is and I'm being soft let me know, but damn I thought I was doing good for how little experience and training I've actually gotten. Already been over donners pass, the three sisters, cabbage patch, I70 in Colorado over vail pass and all that. the mountains in Mojave in California. All while he has been asleep basically teaching myself how to get it done.

Just had to lay it out there and see what the deal it because it's tough to know if this is exactly what it should be. I know everyone here is very honest and will give it to me straight. I feel like I am improving and want to learn, but I feel like any slip up from here on out with him is going to result in him telling prime I'm not fit and they're going to send me home which sucks. A side note is my trainer doesn't seem to have the best track record from what he's told me. He's had 2 students get off the truck on him, another fail the PSD and 2 pass TNT, but by the end one of them wouldn't talk to him for whatever reason.

I want to make this work.

Derek

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Starting the adventure today.

I know I didn't get back to report every day but it was a good three days! My orientation is all set and I was cleared to go yesterday! My trainer should be here at the terminal around 6 so I'll get to meet him and drive the truck around a bit. He's getting his brakes serviced tomorrow at 10 and then we're taking off.

The longest day of orientation was the first one. Not knowing what to expect I was pretty nervous to get it going, but once I got there and started talking to the guys running the orientarion I settled right in. They're really good guys who are here to help you get a job. The group I was with was pretty small I'd say, it was only 6 of us to start. We only lost one guy along the way due to high blood pressure. It ended up taking 4 hours at the doctors to get everyone's physicals done, but after that everything else was pretty easy.

Day 2 we did the simulator test. The simulator feels nothing at all like a real truck. It's just there to make sure you're observing the road and being safe. It's not judging you on how you're shifting and whatnot. After that I just spent the rest of the day finishing up all the videos on the computer you need to watch which can take a while. There are 45 videos to watch and forms to sign.

Day 3 was just classes. One on the electronics on the truck and the other was with a dispatcher where she explained how everyone's job is connected. If you're not making money then your dispatcher is not making money, so it's in their best interest to keep you moving. The way I see it when you hear people complaining about how their dispatcher sucks, and they're never moving, there must be something wrong on the drivers end. There's no incentive for them to just keep you sitting for no reason. I was the only one cleared yeaterday right at the end of the day so I got that off my mind.

Today we only had a few more classes on the APU on the truck and high value loads. And that's it! Now I'm sitting at the hotel waiting for my trainer. I talked to him on the phone for about 20 minutes and he seems like he'll be a good guy to work with. He's interested in actually teaching me how to do the job and not just sleep in the bunk and throw me to the wolves off the bat. The first week will be just me driving his lime green freightliner with pink lettering lol.

Overall I feel really good about Prime so far. Everyone I've talked to that's worked here has been really friendly and helpful and the orientation process is smooth. I've basically felt like I've been on free vacation, but I know the hardwork is coming, and I'm ready for it.

If you've gotten his far in this way to long post, thank you! I'll be updating as much as I can for anyone that wants to know, but I know I'll be busy and tired in the coming weeks.

Derek

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Starting the adventure today.

Well after a long day on the bus I'm here at the hotel. There's a TGI Fridays attached to the hotel so it's time for some food then fill out the monster paper application then sleeep!

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Starting the adventure today.

Hey guys! I've been lurking around for a while, and figured I'd say hey now that I'm starting on a trucking adventure of my own.

I'm sitting here in Providence RI waiting for the 8:30 bus to Wilkes Barr where I'm going for Prime orientation. I'm pretty nervous now with all the unknown in front of me but still excited for the opportunity.

Has anyone been to the PA terminal for prime? Any idea of what to expect? I'll keep this updated as I go along. Talk to you guys soon!

Derek

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