Profile For Eugene K.

Eugene K.'s Info

  • Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    Eugene K. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    7 months ago

Eugene K.'s Bio

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Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

You’re also right that I shouldn’t get a CB, because while out on the road with my trainers I heard some of the most appallingly racist language I’ve ever heard thrown around casually as jokes. I know better than to repeat it here.

If that’s the kind of talk that’s considered appropriate workplace language, that’s another strike against the professionalism argument. What passes for normal chatter in trucking would end up in litigation where I come from.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Quite frankly Bird, you’re way off base here. You know nothing of my background and experience and are basing an opinion off one comment, which in itself was the height of unprofessionalism. Maybe I’m not as rough and tumble as a bunch of truck drivers, but I come from a luxury retail background where that blue collar “tell it like it is” mentality is considered low class. I delivered an appropriately low class response.

For the record, I was personally held up by the leadership in the training program as a model of professionalism for the other students to emulate, almost to the point of embarrassment. For three months I received nothing but praise and accolades for my work ethic and professionalism, and responded with blushing and humility for the recognition. Professionalism has nothing to do with this week: it’s simply that my backing was that poor. I was a nationwide leader in my industry that I voluntarily left to give this a try, and I didn’t get that way by being unprofessional. I didn’t handle multi-million dollar accounts by being unprofessional. It looks as if I have to return to this industry now, so if you want to learn something about professionalism I’ll be glad to invite you to my office to teach you.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

That’s the plan! And I’m pretty confident that will be the end result. Whatever extra time I’ve given I will make sure isn’t wasted.

Anyways that’s enough for tonight all! Will update you tomorrow. Best case scenario is I’m out there practicing my backing by afternoon and getting better at it.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

I go excruciatingly slow while I’m backing, which is why it takes me anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour lately before I realize I can’t do it.

It’s really not that hard: set up at an angle. Hard right to put a sharp angle on it, straighten out to slow it down, hard left to put a soft angle on it. Soft right and soft left to accordingly adjust the angle less sharply. Tractor pushes the trailer in like a shopping cart. Don’t watch the back of the trailer; watch the tandems. When the tires start to creep, that’s when you adjust the steering wheel. Look out the window if you need to. Pull up and adjust as needed.

I’ve watched every video and been shown every pointer there is. I’ve been shown how to set up for a 45 degree back, SEVEN different ways. I’ve been taught a formula, and told there is no formula. I have executed the world’s most impossible backs on a one-shot, and yet failed to get it in with six empty spaces in a row and all the room in the world to pull up.

To be honest, it’s a coin toss whether I will successfully back. It’s just a “let’s see if he does it.” Apparently these odds are not acceptable to Wilson logistics.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

All this may be true, but I don’t want to be sent home. I want to stay and work for THIS company. I am going to make the case that I deserve another chance and that I have what it takes to succeed.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Thanks DoctorWho, but I passed the CDL exam months ago.

It’s a matter of staying employed at this point.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Thanks Steve!

I had a successful sales management career for 15 years, so I can definitely tell people what they want and need to hear.

I just need to make sure I apply a healthy dose of humility 😂

I will choose my words carefully! At the end of the day, this is an opportunity I am grateful for and hope I still have.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Oh I’m not willing to give up at all.

If they try to send me packing, I’m going to fight tooth and nail. I don’t see how I’m giving the impression that I’m quitting. They are the ones who are giving the impression they are done with me.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

John, I’ve struggled with my backing from the start, but eventually came to the acceptance that I would continue to struggle with it and would eventually get it.

The general consensus on the site seems to be that everyone is terrible at backing for a very long time, but eventually gets it, and not to worry.

Suddenly, my “titanic” moment occurs, and I struggle with backing quite visibly under everyone’s watchful eye during the final exam week. All of my successful backs seem not to matter, and all the advice on this site about not worrying and taking all the time I need so long as I don’t hit anything, seems to be wrong.

I haven’t hit anything, and get out and look obsessively. I just take too long, then ask for help. And now I’m at risk of not completing the program. I’m not blaming anyone but myself since I’m the one who can’t perform, but I do feel a bit misled as no one ever told me taking too long was unacceptable until now. Neither from Wilson nor from anybody on this site.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Thanks Xnihilo. The problem is that the calls for help have been made and can’t be undone. The conversations that have been had cannot be unspoken.

Had I simply kept my mouth shut and not made a call to ask for help (imagine that, a student asking for help...), I probably would have eventually gotten it in there, whether it took me another hour or not. The problem—and these are their words, not mine—is that 1 hour to back isn’t acceptable. 45 minutes to back is not acceptable. Hell, 30 minutes to back isn’t acceptable, if I’m at a vendor like Wal-Mart or Costco (their words, and major customers of ours). I don’t have unlimited time to figure it out, and time has run out. This is the “final exam,” as they repeated ad nauseam today.

I’ll repeat myself: calling to ask for help may have been a career-killing mistake. If I’m given another chance, it’s one I won’t make again. We will find out tomorrow.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

That is possible. Another cause may be that there is a 5-7 second delay before a turn in the steering wheel results in a visible change at the tandems or back of the trailer. Usually by then it’s too late to correct.

At this point my head is just fried beyond all comprehension. I’m sure that there are people out there worse than me at backing with this level of practice and this much investment from their company, but I just can’t see how.

I can say beyond all shadow of a doubt that I’ve never been worse at anything in my life. Not to toot my own horn, or sound arrogant because that is not my intent, but pretty much everything I’ve ever attempted in life I’ve been good at very quickly. Academics, athletics, stressful jobs, you name it, I’ve been preternaturally gifted. Now I’ve found something that I’m genuinely terrible at, don’t seem to be making any measurable improvement at, and am growing quite tired of the daily feeling of failure.

I want this, but the universe may be sending me a signal this isn’t for me. Maybe I should go back to something I’m good at.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Thanks andrey! Unfortunately I’m already well aware of this point.

Hard right = go left quickly Straight = go left a bit slower Hard left = go left slowest of all

The problem is I wind up way in the wrong place even knowing this, and then don’t know how to correct. I don’t know how to pull up in the right direction, making it even worse. I may start off fine but in a matter of seconds, I’m right on top of the trailer all the way to my sight side. Then I’m suddenly jackknifed in the dirt in the other direction, or on top of the other trailer, or facing the opposite way after pulling up than I intend, or left with too little room to straighten out.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Thanks PJ. That is precisely what they have been telling me from the start back in December, and what many on this forum have been telling me who have been following along in my journey.

It’s what’s been mentioned to me several times this week, from just about everyone at the program. I’ve heard it said different ways: “whatever is wrong with your nerves, you need to figure it out and fix it.” “Get out of your head!” “Stop overthinking it!”

And I get all this, intellectually. But that’s the problem. I’m ALL head. I’m always up there. And my concern from both their verbal and (mostly) nonverbal communication today stems from the finality of these pronouncements. Several times they have thrown up their hands and shook their heads, breaking eye contact and saying “we all don’t know what else we can do at this point.” That sounds like people who have given up. I know this because my job in the past has required me to give up on people.

I KNOW I can do this job. Now I’m just worried they are convinced I don’t have the nerves for it.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Do I sound like someone in the mood for such an unhelpful, rude as hell comment like that? What in the world is that supposed to accomplish?

As I said in my post, “what I regret the most is calling to ask for help.” I had no idea that would suddenly flag me on leadership’s radar as someone unable to perform, especially when the words right out of the safety director’s mouth were “until today, I have never heard the words ‘Eugene can’t back’ out of anyone’s mouth.” This is after multiple evaluations.

Clearly, calling to ask for help is a mistake. If for whatever reason I survive this meeting tomorrow, I will never do it again.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Thanks for the encouragement, *******.

I realize that now but it’s too late.

Go **** yourself you piece of ****.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Things Are Bad, Running Out of Time

Well, I just spent 30 minutes typing this post up and accidentally deleted it by hitting the wrong button. Trying again:

Suffice it to say that everything that could go wrong with backing at my solo week at Wilson logistics, has gone wrong. After finishing team training, I arrived back in Springfield over the weekend to run shuttles of product from the Kraft plant to their distribution center. On the very first load, I almost rolled an empty trailer over into a ditch, even after having gotten out and looked four times. I was sent home for the day, and reevaluated by an examiner Monday morning. He looked me square in the face and said “what the hell happened yesterday? All of these backs were fine.” I was sent back to Kraft under instructor supervision for the rest of the day without incident. Same for the first half of yesterday (Tuesday). Then, on the last load of the day, I spend over an hour attempting to 45 degree back, and simply cannot execute. Over 20 circle-arounds and resets. More than 50 or 60 pull-ups. I eventually call a trainer to come help me out and put it in the hole.

This morning, I cannot for the life of me back an empty trailer in to the drop yard. 45 minutes pass by. I circle around repeatedly and try everything I can to no avail, so I call dispatch and ask for a yard dog to help me out. At this point the manager calls me in and says “so it looks like you’re struggling with your backing. At this point, how can we help?” I said honestly I don’t know, because I feel like I have been shown a lot with months of practice and still, half the time I get it and half the time I can’t do it at all. He asks me “so how do you know the times you get it aren’t just luck?” My response is that honestly, I don’t, and maybe it is.

Graciously, he drives me over to the drop yard and gives me free reign to use an empty trailer to back anywhere I need, as long as I need. Perfect! Super nice guy, super busy, takes time out of his schedule for this when he didn’t have to. Then I get to it and ..... after two hours, successfully complete only two backs. Absolutely nothing is correct despite “knowing” exactly what to do: setup, trailer control, pull-ups, angles, watching the tandems, nothing is going my way. I’m all over the yard, going in the dirt, jackknifing, setting up wrong, coming in too close or too far, not able to correct without starting over. So I reach out the training center to see if anyone is free for one on one coaching, and that’s when things take a turn.

Apparently the call is escalated and I’m placed on speaker with the safety director and two program directors. The first question out of the safety directors mouth is “Eugene, tell me straight. Is this for you?” I’m so taken aback I can barely respond. Yes, this is for me! I’ve poured my heart and soul into this for over six months and can do every part of the job just great except for backing. He tells me Eugene you have been a star student from day 1 but I have to tell you, we have serious concerns about your inability to back on your own no matter how good you are at driving, trip planning, or any other aspect of the job. This is your solo week, your final exam, and you have only demonstrated you can back under supervision. The second we let you drive by yourself, you do a few loads and then get stuck and call us for help. That won’t work out on the road, and neither will taking 1-2 hours to figure it out at a receiver or at a truck stop at 2 in the morning when it’s raining. Phrases keep coming up like “serious concerns. Final exam. You should be able to do this no problem by now.” It is made abundantly clear that they don’t feel comfortable giving me my own truck to go solo, and I know this because they said “if someone can’t demonstrate they can back by themselves during their solo week, we don’t have the confidence to send them out. We don’t know what else we can do.” At this point, what little confidence I have left essentially shatters.

They send out the senior examiner to work with me on the drop yard for about two hours and nothing goes right. I’m panicked about being sent home, and mess up anywhere from 10-12 backs in a row. When we finish, he says don’t report to Kraft tomorrow, take the shuttle to the training center in the morning so we all can talk.

A few things here: I was in senior management, and senior training management, for years in the fitness industry. I’ve fired many employees and let many trainees go from programs. And my signaling in the time leading up to when I have no other choice but to separate someone, was identical to what I heard and experienced today. This isn’t pessimism, it’s realism borne out of experience. I cannot perform a fundamental requirement of the job to their satisfaction on their timetable. Now I don’t know how this meeting is going to go, but it’s likely either going to be “we are sending you home now” or “fix it today or we are sending you home tomorrow.”

We will see how things go, but to call a spade a spade, this isn’t good. It’s put up or shut up. My only option is to beg for more time to prove I can do this, or else I will wash out of becoming a trucker before I ever set foot in my own truck. What a cruel twist of fate. I dedicate every waking moment of my life to this for the better part of a year, excel in 95% of the training program, and may be sent home because I can’t back. What I regret most at this point is calling to ask for help. It is what it is.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Ever Seen “Titanic”? Yeah, Don’t Do That With your Trailer

Thanks Anne, but I think you all think I am more down on myself at this than I am.

I’m try to adopt a stoic attitude of valor and acceptance in life. Have a job, don’t have a job, succeed at trucking, don’t succeed at trucking, live, die, that’s fate. All I can do is what’s in front of me today and improve the best that I can . If I can do a back today, great. If I can’t do a back tomorrow, great. If a job promotes me tomorrow or fires me tomorrow, it is what it is. I will bounce back fine in life no matter what.

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Covid 19 Vaccine Unavailabe to Drivers

I received the first dose of my Bill Gates microchip today at Prime. Looking forward to full genetic mutation and joining the ranks of the bionic.

No serious side effects yet, other than this pesky nostalgia for Microsoft products. Did I mention Windows 95 is the greatest operating system of all time?

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Ever Seen “Titanic”? Yeah, Don’t Do That With your Trailer

Suffice it to say this week is not going well.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting and waiting at the distribution center for a trainer to come down here from the center to help me back this load in so I can call it a day. It’s 5:10 now and I’ve been trying since 3:45. More than 25 resets / circling around, about 75+ pull-ups, five different empty spots. Can’t do it. I’m gonna do great out on the road.

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

Ever Seen “Titanic”? Yeah, Don’t Do That With your Trailer

First things first, what follows was not a crash. There was no injury, no damage to anything, and the load was delivered on time. But let it serve as a cautionary tale!

Sunday morning was the first day of my solo week, the final proving ground before I finish training at Wilson and pick up the keys to my Pete on Friday. It’s myself and one other guy from my original training class, and they have us running Kraft products from their plant here in Springfield MO to their distribution center down in the caves, a few miles across town. We have in-house trainers with us for Day 1 to show us the ropes of hauling Kraft loads (paperwork, where to put the empties, etc.)

I drop my first load in the yard above the caves with no problem. Hook up to an empty and haul it back with no problem. Then, in order to access the drop yard, I have to set up for an extremely long, slightly curved back over some railroad tracks and a gravel lot, before lining up alongside a ditch to stack the trailer in front of the rest. For whatever reason, I’d been fairly nervous and jittery the whole morning, largely because I’d simply grown comfortable with my trainer for two months and this was the final testing week. As I’m setting up for my back, I get out and look several times, then for whatever reason fail to notice that I’m angling straight for the ditch.

Suddenly, I feel the cab jerk left suddenly and violently. I instantly stop and get out to look, and sure enough the empty trailer’s tires and sticking up in the air about three feet, hovering precipitously over the ditch. I virtually panic and manage to pull the tractor out, straighten it out, back it in, and uncouple the trailer.

Suffice it to say Wilson Logistics frowns upon inverted trailers. I didn’t get in any trouble at all, but they did want to reevaluate my backing yesterday morning. Certainly fair enough! And, wouldn’t you believe it, I execute four very smooth backing maneuvers out on their trailer yard with no issues. The examiner looks at me stonefaced and says.... “so what the hell happened yesterday? You know what to do.”

NERVES, folks. Don’t let them get the better of you. My career survives another day and all is going well, but remember this:

There’s a fine line between nervous that makes you more careful, and nervous that causes you to lose confidence. Stay on the safe side of the line!

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