My Trainer Just Snapped

Topic 11067 | Page 1

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Muleskinner 6's Comment
member avatar

OK so what do I do?

My trainer has been driving for about ten years and training for half of that. He is really easy going and is a great trainer.

Problem is he usually stays on the road for three months at a time and never asks for time off. Since he lives near where we usually haul from he occasionally stops by the house for a night to do a reset maybe once every other month.

He asked his DM a month ago to be home this weekend because his brother is returning home from Iraq. Since last week his DM has been sending us further and further away from his house and can't tell what her plan is on getting him home on time.

So today he said he isn't moving and he refuses to answer his phone when she calls because she wants to send him to south Texas instead of towards his house. I know it is kind of childish but I understand his point point too. She said instead of having him home Thursday she might get him home Saturday or Sunday. But he wants to meet his brother when he steps off the plane. He said it is very important to him to be there.

But what do I do? His DM is calling me wanting us to head to Laredo. What do I do? Just leave him here and take the truck? Do I ask to get off the truck? She wants me to be the middle man and I'm not comfortable telling a grown man to put his big boy pants on and suck it up. I have 23 hours of drive time before I finish training. I can finish training in two and a half days but now I am going to be delayed.

He is a great trainer and very patient. He was nominated for trainer of the year last year. I feel bad for him but I Ned to do what I have to.

Advice?

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.
Muleskinner 6's Comment
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Best Answer!

Ok to finish the saga his DM kept arguing with him this morning about there was no freight moving east on I-10 or 20 heading yo the Carolina's. I pointed out three other company trucks we could see from our truck that had to be heading somewhere.

So then the produce manager called me directly and wanted to know what was going on between my trainer and I. I could tell he was agitated and this conversation wasn't going to end well. So being a smart ass that I am I told him nothing we are getting along pretty good, why did he say something different. Well he demanded to know why we weren't moving so I told him to call my trainer because hat was between them and to leave me out of it. Well I then handed my trainer my phone. Then I started regretting doing that because I had visions of my phone going out the window and bouncing down the asphalt.

My trainer handed me the phone and calmly said he wants to talk to you. The first phrase out of the managers mouth was somewhere in the neighborhood of threatening my job.

So as professionally as I could I made sure he knew I didn't work for him and not to threaten my job and I hung up.

My trainer told me to go eat something because he was going to Walmart to buy a huge suitcase yo pack his things.

I called me student counselor and explained everything to her and she was furious that they wanted me to drive the truck with or without my trainers permission.

Needless to say one of the other trucks in the parking lot had a load that was going to S. Carolina and we exchanged loads with that driver.

So crisis adverted and I am currently sitting in S. Carolina getting unloaded and we will be to his house in plenty of time to see his brother get off the plane in the morning.

Might be worn out but the end result is completely worth it.

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
Great Answer!

Excellent!

Yeah these power struggles happen from time to time. A great driver knows his worth and can't allow the company to walk all over him. At the same time a company knows its worth and can't allow their drivers to call all of the shots. Sometimes you get a standoff like this. I've been in them myself.

One time I had an awesome dispatcher that I had been with for a few years. He always took excellent care of me and I always did an excellent job. Then one day out of the blue I get a message saying that my dispatcher had too many drivers on his board and they arbitrarily moved a bunch of us to another board. I was livid. There was no way anyone could possibly do a better job than the guy I had worked with for years. So I told my company, "Look, you have a long list of guys on his board that have only been there a short time. Move them. You don't move me. I've been on this board for years and I won't move to another board as long as my dispatcher is still with the company. So find someone else to move. I'm not moving this truck until I'm back on his board."

Well it took a couple of hours and several phone calls with various managers but they finally realized I was the wrong guy to do this to and I wasn't going to compromise. So they moved me back to my original board and things resumed normally.

That's life in trucking. It's a highly competitive and highly dynamic environment where everyone is always jockeying for a better position. These power struggles happen from time to time.

Dispatcher:

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.
Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

Tricky situation. I would tell the DM that you are not done with training and therefore it is between the DM and the trainer.

Phil

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

This is just my opinion,

I don't see how you have the authority to take over the truck from your Trainer. The problem is between him and the company, not you. Your concern should be what they intend to do with you if this guy doesn't move. Let him fight his battle and let the DM fight their end.

As a veteran, I hope your Trainer gets to meet his brother. I cannot tell you how tough it is to return home and watch others be greeted while you aren't.

Good luck with the remainder of your training and your solo act.

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.
Muleskinner 6's Comment
member avatar

Evrtytime they talk it turns into a screaming match then she calls me ordering me to get the load to the destination. I'm not even going to start the truck because it is his truck that he is leasing. I know legally it still belongs to the company not him.

Muleskinner 6's Comment
member avatar

This is just my opinion,

I don't see how you have the authority to take over the truck from your Trainer. The problem is between him and the company, not you. Your concern should be what they intend to do with you if this guy doesn't move. Let him fight his battle and let the DM fight their end.

As a veteran, I hope your Trainer gets to meet his brother. I cannot tell you how tough it is to return home and watch others be greeted while you aren't.

Good luck with the remainder of your training and your solo act.

As a veteran I totally understand too and I also understand the companies side too.

I'm not worried about him or the load. I just care about what happens to me. Right now he isn't talking at all. He is just sitting in the drivers seat with a "thousand yard stare"

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

'Skinner 6 is looking out for #1:

I'm not worried about him or the load. I just care about what happens to me.

You are a trainee until you get to the terminal and take the test or do whatever paperwork will get you upgraded. Trainees can't drive alone. Do what you can to stay out of this argument.

It's sad your trainer might be missing seeing his brother. He needs to talk to the fleet manager. There's 20 other drivers that could take the assignment. Your trainer is willing to lose the business (as an O/O, too!) to see his bro. I personally stand on his side.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Muleskinner 6,

I wouldn't move the truck and I wouldn't get in the middle of it. If she calls you again, I would either not answer, or I would take the call and explain that it's not your truck so you can't move it without his permission.

Do you have your CDL? I can't quite figure out why she would ask you to leave him there if you're a permit holder. But honestly, I can't figure out why she would ask you to leave him there if he's the lessee. That would be theft either way I think.

I totally understand your trainer's position. From what you've said, the guy's out for long periods, makes one request to get home at a certain time to meet his brother at a critical moment in his life, and his dispatcher doesn't honor that.

Have you suggested to him to go directly to her boss to get some relief from this situation? If he's a good driver and a good trainer, it's definitely time for him to escalate this to the next layer of management. That's what I would do if I were in his shoes, and the sooner, the better.

It sounds like there might be some history there that you're not privy to, but regardless, it sounds like the dispatcher is not acting professionally. He might be in the wrong too, don't know all the details, but for her to put you in the middle as a trainee is just weak management in my opinion.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

And I wouldn't worry about completing your training. However this shakes out, I don't think the company will penalize you for a fight between your trainer and his dispatcher. You might not get done as quick as you'd hoped to, but soon enough you'll be done with this phase, even if it costs you a week. Not a big deal in the vast scheme of things.

Dispatcher:

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 agree with everyone above - stay out of it and don't touch the truck. You're Switzerland......you're neutral as h*ll.....if you have to, pretend you don't speak English if they're trying to get you in the middle of it.

"No hablo Ingles"

Whatever happens, happens. As long as you don't get involved there's nothing anyone is going to say to you. These kind of power plays happen from time to time. Let it play out and learn all you can from it. Your answer to everything is, "I'm new here. I don't know nuthin. I'm gonna go read a book."

Bird 's Comment
member avatar

Sit there and do the thousand yard stare with him just keep quiet and let them work it out. Regardless of the outcome nothing will be put on you. Don't worry about the dispatcher like Bud said the dispatcher is absolutely not acting professional to try and put some sort of unfair pressure on you to get it done. Your still in training until you take the final road test and get assigned that truck you are in your trainers truck.

Dispatcher:

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.
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