I'm On The Road With My Trainer Tomorrow

Topic 14411 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Stanley W.'s Comment
member avatar

What are some good questions to ask my mentor ?

What are some things to watch for?

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

For starters ask him or her what they expect from you? And then ask them what you should expect from them...those two questions should be enough to spark a productive conversation. At some point ask how long they have been driving, how ling have they been a mentor and how many students have they trainer? Considering your use of the word "mentor", are you a Swift driver?

Remember up to this point you know enough to pass the CDL. In no particular order, here is a list of things to consider:

- Real time backing situations; how to set up properly and then safely back into either a parking spot (as in truck stop) or dock.

- How to handle yourself at the shippers and receivers; paperwork etc.

- Safe operation under a load

- Safe operation during inclement weather

- Fueling

- Weigh stations, scales, and DOT

- Safely coupling and uncoupling the trailer

- Construction zone driving

- Understanding the relationships with your Driver Manager and Planners (you may not interact directly with the planners)

- Working with and understanding the QUALCOMM or other electronic communication device

- Trip planning and effective clock management

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Driver 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
- Trip planning and effective clock management

That is a huge one.

Ideally you'd like to kinda pretend the trainer isn't with you and see if he'll let you try to plan out everything beforehand. Try to take your best shot at routing, the timing of rest breaks, where and when to fuel, etc. When you get a heavy load and you have to scale it try to figure out which direction and how far to move the tandems. Obviously he's not going to let you go through with the plans unless you hit them dead on. But it's a much better learning experience to pretend it's all on you and have someone correct you after you've thought it through. If he just tells you what to do or does things for you you're not going to learn nearly as much.

And if he asks, "What would you do if I wasn't here?" it's ok to think, "Poop my pants and call my mom!" but don't say that out loud.

smile.gif

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

rocknroll cowboy's Comment
member avatar

Be sure he goes over how to count your truck. then axle weights and bridge laws. it's really easy if it's explain right and it will keep you out of trouble

Boomshaker E.'s Comment
member avatar

Also, ask him/her how do they handle their down time or off time? If you guys are gonna split the driving, then ask how does he or she spend their off time? I had a trainer that left all of the driving to me. Never wanted to drive. Company never said anything about him not logging in either. So when it came time to end my shift and get some rest this MOFO wanted to watch dvd's at night (no head set) and drink his beer. If I had opened my mouth to say something it would have come out wrong. So i bit my tongue the whole time. But to me, how the other person handles their down time is very important. Along, with the other points others have made here. If you don't get your rest your time out on the road will be miserable. Good luck to you.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

It took me about a week to realize this:

You can ask your trainer anything truck related.

Hopefully, the BS level should be low, and your mentor should answer straight, not The Old Trucker telling stories.

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

How to recover when you take a wrong turn. My trainer wouldn't let me make mistakes in navigation and it wasn't until I was solo that I really started learning the Qualcomm. Frankly I would emphasize Qualcomm as much as shifting. It really is that important.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Nathan N.'s Comment
member avatar

- Construction zone driving

I'm pretty sure, there is construction on just about every interstate in America right now, be careful!

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More