Bad Trainers

Topic 14895 | Page 1

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Jukebox (Trent)'s Comment
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I recently posted something about not being able to get Mile's or good loads. today I got to the root of my problem. I have been starting out a day behind every week. Being new to this and expecting my trainer to be a standup guy and give me accurate information I hadn't questioned much of what he told me until things didn't add up when I got out on my own. So today I wastalked to by a dm about starting out late every week. I was told by my trainer we weren't supposed to head out until Sunday every week and that I should aim for hitting deliveries EARLY like 7 am early. Well every driver but me has been starting on Saturday and they hit deliveries about 8-9 am while I hit mine btween 6-7 am. And I was wondering why I can't get miles lol. He also taught me the worst way possible to roll up tarps and how to place your load on the trailer. For my fellow newbs don't trust your trainers because not all trainers are good and some may just set you up for failure.

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.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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I concur. Every trainer thinks they are the best and not one is going to say "I cut corners and don't listen to anybody... I do my own thing." Just like no guy is going to tell a woman "I'm a lying drunk who will cheat on you and beat you".

My recommendation to everyone is to ask their disptacher what is expected from the beginning. My first trainer told me that going solo I should only plan to be somewhere an hour ahead. He made no provisions for traffic or construction.

Yesterday it took me 8 hours to drive 300 miles :( gggrrr. But I planned ahead and parked near the customer 10 hours early... even with the bad traffic. Had I listen to the first guy I'd be late.

C T.'s Comment
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Well for me so far, I've run my truck almost exactly how my trainer taught me and I've done well. I'm slowly starting to figure out my own way but he did a great job.

G-Town's Comment
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Trent wrote:

For my fellow newbs don't trust your trainers because not all trainers are good and some may just set you up for failure.

A blanket statement like this is somewhat misleading. I am not in agreement with going into the student/trainer relationship with an expectation like Trent mentioned. Although I believe trust is earned, at some point you must begin to trust your trainer on some level. If you can't, you should ask for another one. I agree not all trainers are good, but I believe the inverse of that is far more prevalent. Each student needs to be their own advocate and make decisions based on their level of current knowledge, basic instincts, and a sense of "right and wrong". Set a boundary for tolerance on safety, hygiene, and communication. If a trainer is repeatedly telling you to do something that you know is wrong or illegal, don't do it. If it's a chronic situation (especially early in the process), ask for a change.

As Rainy suggested, determine what is expected from your DM , driver development manager, whoever your primary company contact is during the road training phase. If your memory is poor, write it down in a place you can reference it in the future. If you look through the forum I believe overall there are more good experiences than bad. Since it's purely subjective, putting a percentage on "good vs. not so good" is guess work.

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.
Parrothead66's Comment
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Seeing as most trainers get bonuses when their trainees reach certain levels (miles or months) I think it would be kind of self destructive if they only wanted you to fail. Maybe your trainer wasn't good, I don't know but I do know to tell everyone not to trust their trainer is setting them up at a disadvantage from the start.

Chris L.'s Comment
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My trainer was horrible, he had less driving experience than me and didn't know how to secure many loads we were given (flatbed). Chain smoker and had several bottles of urine in the truck. Would have screaming matches with his wife on the phone then throw his phone at the windshield. He never did pre and post trips, made fun of me for doing them. In 3.5 weeks on his truck he never once opened the hood of the truck. I only stuck it out cause I didn't want to delay my time to go solo. I asked other drivers how to secure loads when I first went solo.

I had a year experience with refeigerated food service delivery, he had got his license through Prime and started tnt training after 6 months. My training experience was terrible, and I waited till I had proved myself with my DM before I said anything (months later). By this time he had already quit and had abandoned his truck.

The only thing I learned from this guy was what not to do. I would suggest not sticking it out with a bad trainer, but I was determined to get to my own truck quick as possible. We were getting team miles and I had peace and quiet as I drove the night shift so I just got it over with.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14ยข per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

My biggest criticism is that there is no set curriculum or criteria for training. Each student is given completely different skills and information by the trainers. Example.. I saw posted in here that "prime policy is to not use cruise control or jakes during the rain". Really? Cause I had three trainers.... two had me set 65 on cruise in everything but ice and one said "if you can handle it go for it". The only place I ever saw in writing about those types of situations is in the fuel book which I didn't get until I went solo. And... remember the conversation about SOP and company handbooks? Nope never got one. Prime did not even give us copies of the contracts we signed. I had to go to the office and demand it. They acted like no one ever asked for one before.

Some trainers only let their students drive at night and where they want. One trainer told me "if he wants to learn to drive in the snow they ain't doing it in my truck. I gotta pay those damages". So those with good trainers are put in various situations such as city traffic... snow.. rain.. fog... night...day.... while others are just racking up the miles for the trainer.

I've said it before... my trainer did not give me enough backing practice. But my friend did ALL the backing so by the time he went solo he could get into really tight places.

This is totally unfair to students when they go solo. I cried and punched the steering wheel on several occasions out of frustration. Even paid yard dogs and for paid parking cause I just could not back into a space.... money I didn't have cause I was paying prime back for load locks.. chains.. etc.

And someone will state I should have demanded more backing time.. but I was lied to by my trainer and told I would have 2 more months with her to work on it. I even made arrangements for my cat to stay with a friend during that time.

Not all trainers are bad..and I have met some great ones that are always a phone call away... day or overnight. But some suck. Lol

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

OK, I got my password sorted again. So I decided to log back in and reply once again. Been lurking for about a year now.

I just had to reply into this thread and say that not all trainers are bad. I think I had one of the very best trainers this world has to offer.

Chris was a very aggressive driver when he drove but was the best trainer for teaching I had ever met or imagined. I've been solo for about 14 months now and upon reflection, I cannot think of one thing he told me that I would consider wrong. He was very understanding of what a student was going through and what the student was currently thinking. It's almost like he could read my mind. For instance, when I was first going down this one mountain pass on a two lane road at night, I said "I know it's 55 MPH speed limit, but I'm gonna take it a bit slower because I've never been down this road before and with so many blind curves, I don't know what around the next bend." He said, "You get an extra 10 points for that, I was waiting for you to say something like that. Being safe is the first priority."

He would also explain EVERYTHING 'just in case' I didn't know it already. It almost got annoying at times. Like explaining the short dotted lines on the road that means that lane is about to run out or is going to be an exit only lane, or how to know if you are on the interstate or a business route about to go through town. Stuff I already knew. I had only been driving cars for almost 40 years. I knew how to read a map and how to get around. But he went over everything just to make sure I knew it. And I never said a word to stop him either. I thought at the time it was him just following some criteria and was required of him to go over it.

A couple of times he made me plan the entire route using the road atlas and turned off the GPS and I drove those without any help from him or the GPS. That was a bit scary the first time. Yet I remember making trips in the car across country before there was GPS. But doing it in a truck, is a bit more scary because you are so afraid you will go down a road you should not be on or meet an overpass you cannot get under.

I did have a leg up on backing though and my trainer didn't have to give much advice on backing. As I had worked for a boat manufacturer and backed many a big boats in the water and into tight spaces in various places. Backing a simi trailer was not much a challenge other than 'can only see one side at a time' unless you're straight backing.

But now I've been out here on the road for since April of last year and 2 days ago Ozark put me into a brand new truck. Had all of 90 miles on the odometer when I got it. Plastic on the seats and floorboard. The smell of new car (or truck). The new ones are automatics though. I still miss my standard transmission though. I still try to press the clutch when coming to a stop. I still reach for the stick when starting out for the day. The standard gave finer control and finesse of the vehicle. I'm still learning the new machine though and maybe in a few weeks I'll have it down pat and know what the truck wants to do so that I can apply that for greater finesse. I have yet to pass over a single mountain with it. So if you auto drivers can give me any insight, I'm looking.

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.

Interstate:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jukebox (Trent)'s Comment
member avatar

Well whether I am being politically correct or not, not all trainers are good. My trainer slept majority of the time, wouldn't let me so any backing, never did pre-trips, taught me bad ways to tarp & handle tarps, wrong way to center loads, and lied about company policy and when start time was. It's a small company with a short training window so turning to someone for help wasn't really an option. I ran out west with my trainer for three weeks with my trainer before I was cut loose. There may be some good trainers out there but my warning to other newbs I think needs to be said. Just be aware and talk to other drivers, other trainers, other trainee's etc. Not saying to not trust your trainer but if you have a bad one and can't get another one then look for other ways to inform yourself.

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.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

I only had 7 days with a trainer and never bumped a dock once. I only did two backing maneuvers the whole time. We did zero trip planning and ran team the whole time. BUT she did give me lots of little tips and tricks that have been helping me out here. But I can't say I had a bad experience because I did learn a lot about handling this beast! I am doing fine solo, still struggling with trip planning a little bit but I've only ever went over my hours once (today) but it was because I was forced to leave the reciever after waiting nearly 9 hours.

Kenneth- I love my auto! Before you go over a mountain, figure out how to manually up or downshift. Look at your owners manual for help. I have a little trigger on my gear selector that I can use to up or downshift. It will help because very occasionally you will be stuck in the wrong gear. But this doesn't happen often. I've only had it happen once to me. Most times I just set the jakes, pick the speed I want to go down in and stab brake if the jakes aren't quite cutting it. The only time I wish I had a manual is during backing so I could just let it idle back instead of having to use the accelerator. That's a little tricky sometimes but you just have to figure it out as you go because every truck is different. Good luck!

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