New Female Truck Driver Training Question

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kayakngal's Comment
member avatar

I graduated 02/22 and had a job offer by a decent company (still do in a way) but, they are having difficulty finding a female trainer who doesn't smoke. So, I've been told several "start orientation dates" that eventually fall through and now I'm being told a much later date that will put me almost 30 days from my grad date. Not good from what I understand - one shouldn't let 30 days lapse from grad day.

So, I'm now in a pickle because I told several companies I had chosen another company but, I have cold feet and don't want to rely on a company that has proven to be a little wishy washy regarding orientation/training. I need work now. Can anyone recommend a decent company for a woman entering the trucking industry?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Welcome aboard!

Unfortunately female trainers are very hard to come by throughout the industry. Prime has over a year waiting list I've heard for female drivers because of this, though that could have changed recently - I don't know.

Being near the 30 days won't be a problem, especially since you're basically hired on at a company now. If it got closer to 60 days, that would be somewhat concerning. But I'd hate to see you jump ship to a different company over something like this. I'm assuming you chose this company over the others so you'd prefer to stick it out if at all possible.

I think what I might do to push things along a little bit is tell your company in a very kind, respectful manner that you're out of money and bills are coming due and you really have to get out there within a week or so. Let them know you have several offers from other companies that are ready for you now but you'd hate to work for someone else simply because they couldn't get you a trainer quickly enough. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

This situation is an everyday juggling act for companies that train new drivers. There's a shortage of trainers at most companies and so they put all of the students in line and get to them whenever they can. If someone speaks up and says, "Look, I'm simply out of time. I have to get out on the road with you in very short order or I have no choice but to go elsewhere" - suddenly a trainer becomes available!! smile.gif

That's probably your best bet.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, I would contact some of the other companies that gave you offers and find out what their policy is regarding time after graduation. You may have several companies that will say 60-90 days is fine. Then you know how long you can stick it out where you're at. Let the other companies know your situation and that you may have to make a move if your current company doesn't come up with a trainer soon. Then they'll have the heads up and see what they say.

When dealing with office personnel at trucking companies, you have the best chance of getting your way and making things happen if you're very kind and respectful to them at all times, and yet willing and able to draw the line when you have to and tell them "I'm sorry, but this has gone as far as it can go." It can be really tough sometimes, especially when you're frustrated or stressed out. But it's critical to know how to talk to them. And fortunately for you, most drivers do not do a very good job with this. So when you're kind to them you stand out quite a bit and it tends to help you gain favor when you need it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Oh that stuff happens all the time. I guarantee you there's probably 500 students across the country sitting around various hotel rooms and company terminals waiting to hear when they're going to get a trainer. It's actually more unusual to get one right away than it is to have to wait a few days or more.

And since you're new here you haven't heard me say this 1000 times but by tomorrow you will have...the notion of "good companies" and "bad companies" is almost entirely a misnomer. All trucking companies make money the same way - by hauling as much freight as they can as efficiently as possible. When those wheels are turnin and loads are getting picked up and delivered safely and on time, everyone is making money. If you're losing customers, wrecking trucks, or sitting around doing nothing, nobody is making money.

Trucking companies give the most miles, the best freight, and the best treatment to their best drivers. The rest of the drivers can be found crying and complaining about their "lousy company" in truck stops, the unemployment line, or on various forums across the Web (not this one of course).

So whatever company you're going to work for - they're a good company. How do I know? Because they have plenty of freight to make sure their best drivers are bringing home nice paychecks. So the real question you should be asking isn't, "Which companies are good companies?" The real question is, "Are you gonna be the type of top-tier professional driver that's hard working, safe, reliable, and handles yourself like a true professional so you'll earn the good miles and fair treatment you're hoping for?"

And I'd be willing to bet you have it in you. smile.gif

Focus on being an awesome driver, stick around long enough to prove yourself to your company (a minimum of 6 months before anyone notices), develop a good relationship with your dispatcher , and you'll have it made. And if you read through this forum, you'll see tons of people that went out there, kicked butt, and came back here to tell the world that everything I just told you is 100% dead on.

Attitude, safety, and reliability truly are everything in trucking, and knowing that gives you a huge advantage because there are waaaaaay too many drivers that have really lousy attitudes and don't get the job done day in and day out consistently. So it gives anyone with the right attitude and work ethic a chance to shine.

Don't worry about finding a good company. The companies that hire students have all been around for decades - they know exactly what they're doing. You've gotta get out there and focus on learning your craft and earning that great reputation. Then you'll be happy with whatever company you're with, and they'll be happy with you.

smile.gifgood-luck.gif

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

kayakngal's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Yes Guy I see that happening eventually. And thanks for the support - I took a breather and a few things developed in the last few hours. My original choice of companies called me and gave me a definitive starting date with a non smoking woman - literally as I was leaving to drug test for another company.

Divine intervention?? Hmmm, I'll take what I'm given. So, I have a start date and driving there soon. Very happy and excited. It's been a whirlwind day. And, yes everyone is nice and very open here. Love it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Welcome aboard!

Unfortunately female trainers are very hard to come by throughout the industry. Prime has over a year waiting list I've heard for female drivers because of this, though that could have changed recently - I don't know.

Being near the 30 days won't be a problem, especially since you're basically hired on at a company now. If it got closer to 60 days, that would be somewhat concerning. But I'd hate to see you jump ship to a different company over something like this. I'm assuming you chose this company over the others so you'd prefer to stick it out if at all possible.

I think what I might do to push things along a little bit is tell your company in a very kind, respectful manner that you're out of money and bills are coming due and you really have to get out there within a week or so. Let them know you have several offers from other companies that are ready for you now but you'd hate to work for someone else simply because they couldn't get you a trainer quickly enough. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

This situation is an everyday juggling act for companies that train new drivers. There's a shortage of trainers at most companies and so they put all of the students in line and get to them whenever they can. If someone speaks up and says, "Look, I'm simply out of time. I have to get out on the road with you in very short order or I have no choice but to go elsewhere" - suddenly a trainer becomes available!! smile.gif

That's probably your best bet.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, I would contact some of the other companies that gave you offers and find out what their policy is regarding time after graduation. You may have several companies that will say 60-90 days is fine. Then you know how long you can stick it out where you're at. Let the other companies know your situation and that you may have to make a move if your current company doesn't come up with a trainer soon. Then they'll have the heads up and see what they say.

When dealing with office personnel at trucking companies, you have the best chance of getting your way and making things happen if you're very kind and respectful to them at all times, and yet willing and able to draw the line when you have to and tell them "I'm sorry, but this has gone as far as it can go." It can be really tough sometimes, especially when you're frustrated or stressed out. But it's critical to know how to talk to them. And fortunately for you, most drivers do not do a very good job with this. So when you're kind to them you stand out quite a bit and it tends to help you gain favor when you need it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
kayakngal's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Brett - I'm always professional and polite when dealing with others so, that's not an issue. The bottom line is, I need to start making an income to pay my bills and at this point I don't care who my trainer is, as long as they don't smoke in the cab. I've read some forums and one guy got his training with one company and, jumped to another when the money wasn't coming in so, I'm thinking that's what I could do if I start with a company that proves to be undesirable for long term. Get my training and bail - I mean if it's a good company then of course I'd stay with them.

Anyone else have a similar situation? I realize I'm a minority regarding gender but, surely this situation has happened with a male trucker as well? Stories would be reassuring because right now I feel all alone - well, I am so it's justified. :)

kayakngal's Comment
member avatar

Oh, and thanks for the welcome and having this forum! thank-you-2.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Oh that stuff happens all the time. I guarantee you there's probably 500 students across the country sitting around various hotel rooms and company terminals waiting to hear when they're going to get a trainer. It's actually more unusual to get one right away than it is to have to wait a few days or more.

And since you're new here you haven't heard me say this 1000 times but by tomorrow you will have...the notion of "good companies" and "bad companies" is almost entirely a misnomer. All trucking companies make money the same way - by hauling as much freight as they can as efficiently as possible. When those wheels are turnin and loads are getting picked up and delivered safely and on time, everyone is making money. If you're losing customers, wrecking trucks, or sitting around doing nothing, nobody is making money.

Trucking companies give the most miles, the best freight, and the best treatment to their best drivers. The rest of the drivers can be found crying and complaining about their "lousy company" in truck stops, the unemployment line, or on various forums across the Web (not this one of course).

So whatever company you're going to work for - they're a good company. How do I know? Because they have plenty of freight to make sure their best drivers are bringing home nice paychecks. So the real question you should be asking isn't, "Which companies are good companies?" The real question is, "Are you gonna be the type of top-tier professional driver that's hard working, safe, reliable, and handles yourself like a true professional so you'll earn the good miles and fair treatment you're hoping for?"

And I'd be willing to bet you have it in you. smile.gif

Focus on being an awesome driver, stick around long enough to prove yourself to your company (a minimum of 6 months before anyone notices), develop a good relationship with your dispatcher , and you'll have it made. And if you read through this forum, you'll see tons of people that went out there, kicked butt, and came back here to tell the world that everything I just told you is 100% dead on.

Attitude, safety, and reliability truly are everything in trucking, and knowing that gives you a huge advantage because there are waaaaaay too many drivers that have really lousy attitudes and don't get the job done day in and day out consistently. So it gives anyone with the right attitude and work ethic a chance to shine.

Don't worry about finding a good company. The companies that hire students have all been around for decades - they know exactly what they're doing. You've gotta get out there and focus on learning your craft and earning that great reputation. Then you'll be happy with whatever company you're with, and they'll be happy with you.

smile.gifgood-luck.gif

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Mo C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello, Everyone 2nd time in forum, Man wow! Thanks Brett that's some really great advice on don't worry to much about finding a good company. This can be a little stressful with all the company bashers on you tube and other places. Looking to start school in a few weeks when I find one that excites and gets me motivated (pumped). I've checked out a few couple so far but for various reasons didn't seem would be a good fit. (Thanks again for choosing the right school info).

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd continue to be patient and wait it out. Study all you can you can never know too much. At Central it's very hard to get a female trainer as well. It's just an obstacle to overcome. You're company isn't forgetting about you, they need all the drivers they can get. By waiting patiently and professionally you will make a good name for yourself to your company. Trust me, they'll find a way to reward you eventually for the patience. Just don't ever complain, if you do then do it carefully and professionally. For me, I get a load 50-300 miles and I thank my dispatcher for it even though its a trash load. Then I get "rewarded" a 1-2k mile load for doing the load no one wanted to do and doing it without an attitude. Just going with the flow and trusting them is your best bet I think.

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.
kayakngal's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies - it's basically that I'm getting anxiety because they can't give me a definite date regarding when a female trainer will become available. I've done research and some companies will allow 90 days some 30 days between grad day and hiring. So, if I wait more then 30 days I'm eliminating potential employers. I don't care who you are - after you've invested in training - that's scary! It feels like a gamble and I'm not a gambler by any means.

This experience does not reflect on the company because I truly believe they're doing what's in their power ... I haven't complained to them however, I have politely voiced my concern. After all I did invest a lot of money to put this into action and since I'm solo I'm also the bread earner hence, no bread = hungry bill collectors. So, just to clarify I'm not being impatient, disrespectful (I have better sense) or expecting too much from a company. I should mention that this company pursued me daily until I agreed to come aboard - then they have no slot for me. Ugh...anxiety kicks in.

I intend on being a good driver and taking whatever work is offered me - that's the dues a new driver will pay for awhile I'm sure. Unless I'm just ridiculously lucky and get high miles right away. Anyway, I'm talking with a few more companies now and will start to weigh my needs accordingly. I appreciate the feedback though!

Ryan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello and welcome to the forum! best of luck to ya i hope you get on with that compnay thats right for ya! keep us updated!

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Well, could you start with a male trainer that doesn't smoke, with the understanding that when a female non-smoking trainer becomes available, you can switch ???? That way you could have the benefit of 2 trainers, and 2 trainers knowledge....Kind of a good deal....

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