Regarding Old Post, Follow Up To-NEED ADVISE!!!!! Made To Drive While Sick And Dangerous Conditions.

Topic 10265 | Page 2

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Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Don't take this as a negative comment, I'm just describing another student we had while I was in school. We had a student who couldn't get a handle on downshifting either (her backing was also not so hot), 3 different instructors tried to work with her on it but to no avail, plus it was an accelerated course. Their final bit of advice was for her to enroll in a driving school with more 1 on 1 time with only 1 instructor to see if maybe her issues could get sorted out. It wasn't her first attempt in driving schools and it might just be that trucking wasn't going to be the thing for her.

All issues aside of trainer problems, you admit that you're shifting is bad and that there were multiple incidents that could have ended badly. I know you say you want this, but have you thought that maybe it's just not going to work? Again, not trying to be too critical but if in say a few weeks of driving, you haven't improved on shifting and safely being able to control that vehicle, you might need to start looking at a different career path.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I think Robert had a very thoughtful reply and I would agree with his sentiments.

There were two other issues after my first trainer and I refused to go OTR until they gave me the needed help. But they just kept putting me with trainer after trainer and not addressing the issue

I guess when you say they're not addressing the issue you must mean they're not taking you aside at the terminal and giving you more one on one instruction off-road? Because sending you out on the road with a trainer is how training is done.

Robert is right though - it sounds like you would have to attend a private school to get more off-road training. Just keep in mind that training people costs money no matter who is doing it and someone has to pay for that. A Company-Sponsored Training Program is only going to spend so much time and money on you before they decide they'll never get their investment back and terminate your training. A Private School is only going to train you based upon how much money you've paid them. Once you've gotten your money's worth your training is over.

At this point you've been through their normal training program, you've been on the road with three different trainers, and you're still not to the point that you feel comfortable getting out on the highway. I'm afraid that's a sign that you may not be cut out for this. Because don't forget, it's not just about learning how to backup and steer and shift. It's about having the nerve to handle stressful and difficult situations day in and day out. We're all afraid of hurting someone. All drivers are in life or death situations all the time. That's why we approach the job with safety as the priority. But at some point you have to have the nerve to handle the stress and the confidence to get out there and do it.

So I'm not really sure what advice to give you at this point other than to take a hard look at the situation and ask yourself if you're really cut out for this. The company obviously feels you're ready to go on the road and learn the rest but you don't feel comfortable out there. The only way to feel comfortable out there is to get out there and do it. I don't think any amount of time driving around a parking lot is going to make you comfortable out on the road. If you don't have the confidence that you can do it and you don't have the nerve to push through the stressful situations then you might consider another career path.

Let me be clear about something though. I'm not saying you should get out there and do it no matter how you feel. You obviously don't feel like you can do it at this point and therein lies the problem. You should be confident enough at this point to be out there learning the rest on the road. The fact that you're not is what tells us you may be in the wrong career. I'm sure you understand that's not an insult in any way. It's just an observation.

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.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Gladiator 76's Comment
member avatar

Ms. Tomboy,

Driving isn't for everyone. It sounds like you've had an opportunity to train with 3 different trainers. You still aren't comfortable, so perhaps it's time to move on? On a previous post Bud A. made a post of a student killing himself and his trainer while driving on Donners Pass. It could be a disaster if you somehow got out on the road without having the necessary skills to operate that truck safely. Whatever you do....stay safe!

Sun King's Comment
member avatar

Hi Ms. Tomboy,

I too have recently gone through company sponsored training. I have recently gone through 4 weeks of company training and I am still lacking on 45 degree backing for various reasons. What I have learned is some people pick up these skills very quickly. Others, like me, it takes time and practice to get it down.

Regarding company trainers, the draw for them is extra pay. Some truly enjoy teaching, others could care less and patience is not a requirement. If the truck isn't rolling extra miles than what they can do themselves the benefit isn't there for them.

If you feel trucking is truly the job for you, a private/public truck driving school may be the way to go. Bring up your concerns, see if they can fill the need and go from there.

I agree with Brett that feeling comfortable in the truck and being confident has got to be there to have a safe and long career. For me, When I get that first week alone on the road the learning curve will be steep and I lack experience. As long as I am confident in my skills and comfortable I can operate the truck in a safe manner I know I can make a go of it.

Good luck Ms. Tomboy, I wish you the best.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

This is whole story Jyst sounds so bizarre to me. I mean what company is this? It's kind of hard to help with the down shifting situation. What exactly is the problem? I knew of a guy who could downshift ok but had hard trying to figure out when to start downshifting when coming up to a off ramp always started to early. But in his mind he couldn't downshift. As long as you understand The concept of it and are matching the gears right don't beat yourself up if you are grinding gears. Like Brett said the only way to learn is by going out with your trainer and training. I did my training through a private school. How did I learn how to downshift? Certainly not in the yard. Interestingly my instructor had my floating first and then shortly after added the double clutch and I picked it up in 20 minutes.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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