Problems With My Trainer

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Joe Rayz's Comment
member avatar

Hi guys, long time no talk to... I have some questions about training that I wanted to get answered by some of the vets on here. I feel like my trainer is intentionally holding back from my full potential as a driver because of the benefits of having me as a team driver. ( I run hard!) in the beginning of my training which was in August he was telling me I would be with him until January sometime. I wasn't happy about that considering training minimum is 40k team miles. I eventually told him around week 5 close to 20k that I wanted to be done by 40 and I needed his help to get there cause I can drive a box truck And be home every night and make more than I am now in training. He said ok and said we would have to work on somethings to get me ready. Mind you I hardly touch the Qualcomm cause he does it before I can touch it and sometimes when I try to jump in he says I'm moving too slow and takes it from me. My main issue has been the backing mainly cause I'm never put in position to do it.

We both took time off and came back out a week ago and I thought we were still on the same page about trying to get me ready for my upgrade. He let me back in once this week and mind you I was rusty but because of that he goes back to his whole thing about me not being ready and rushing my training and that maybe around Christmas he would let me handle a load all by myself... which I feel like should have been doing weeks ago. I now have 10k left before I upgrade and am not sure what to do. I don't feel like my backing is where it needs to because I haven't worked on it but everything else is passable.

Kinda not sure if I should finish my ten k with him them jump on another truck... stay through the holidays or demand that he get me ready in 2-3 weeks so I can upgrade.

Guys aside from this I put up with a lot of BS from him but I do it with a smile cause I'm a student and I'm not even gonna get into it on here cause that's not fair. I say that though so you guys will hopefully understand that I'm not some crying complaining type of guy who just wants things my way. I just want my opportunity to make money like he is and I am in a tough financial situation that's not getting better unless I have more income and soon.

Thanks any questions or advice would be great.

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.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Hi guys, long time no talk to... I have some questions about training that I wanted to get answered by some of the vets on here. I feel like my trainer is intentionally holding back from my full potential as a driver because of the benefits of having me as a team driver. ( I run hard!) in the beginning of my training which was in August he was telling me I would be with him until January sometime. I wasn't happy about that considering training minimum is 40k team miles. I eventually told him around week 5 close to 20k that I wanted to be done by 40 and I needed his help to get there cause I can drive a box truck And be home every night and make more than I am now in training. He said ok and said we would have to work on somethings to get me ready. Mind you I hardly touch the Qualcomm cause he does it before I can touch it and sometimes when I try to jump in he says I'm moving too slow and takes it from me. My main issue has been the backing mainly cause I'm never put in position to do it.

We both took time off and came back out a week ago and I thought we were still on the same page about trying to get me ready for my upgrade. He let me back in once this week and mind you I was rusty but because of that he goes back to his whole thing about me not being ready and rushing my training and that maybe around Christmas he would let me handle a load all by myself... which I feel like should have been doing weeks ago. I now have 10k left before I upgrade and am not sure what to do. I don't feel like my backing is where it needs to because I haven't worked on it but everything else is passable.

Kinda not sure if I should finish my ten k with him them jump on another truck... stay through the holidays or demand that he get me ready in 2-3 weeks so I can upgrade.

Guys aside from this I put up with a lot of BS from him but I do it with a smile cause I'm a student and I'm not even gonna get into it on here cause that's not fair. I say that though so you guys will hopefully understand that I'm not some crying complaining type of guy who just wants things my way. I just want my opportunity to make money like he is and I am in a tough financial situation that's not getting better unless I have more income and soon.

Thanks any questions or advice would be great.

Hi ;)

Training is hard and can be miserable or rewarding depending on the players. So I'll tell you this.... You are NOT going to feel comfortable with the backing for awhile....most say it takes six months for it to "click". I still have my " you want me to put it in THERE?" Moments. Lol

Training is like boot camp... Get through it. My trainer never let me back either. When I got back to upgrade I asked for extra time on the backing pad with a different instructor. They gave me a few hours. Once on my own I practiced on every break at truck stops.

When you hit your 40k miles and the trainer doesn't want to let you go, be sure to notify your FM or DM of your desire to upgrade.

Good luck and congrats... You are almost there :)

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.

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.

Fm:

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.
Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree. When i was done with training i had backed into a dock door once and in a parking space once after 6 weeks And we never stopped at a truck stop at night.

And that's because we were running dedicated teams and basically everything was drop and hook.

It also took me around 6months to be comfortable. Don't worry and get through training and you'll be fine. :)

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Joe, it really does take quite a long time to get reasonably decent at backing. And it's quite common for trainers to give students very little help or experience with backing because they know it isn't going to do much good in the amount of time you have. It's also risky, because new drivers tend to back into things a lot. It's also time consuming and you're impeding other trucks regularly because it takes new drivers so long to get backed in.

So unfortunately it's going to be on you to hone your backing skills once you go solo.

You said:

I can drive a box truck And be home every night and make more than I am now in training.

The problem with local jobs is that there is usually a lot of tight backing, tight parking lots, and heavy traffic. When you're new to driving a rig you don't have the skills to handle a job like that right off the bat. About six months of solo OTR experience and you should be decent enough to handle it. But you really don't want to take local work right away if you can help it. I understand a lot of people want to be home as often as possible for all sorts of reasons, but you want to think long term and look at the big picture. If you go to a challenging local job right off the bat and get in a couple of small dingers they're probably not going to keep you around. Then you've quit your first company right off the bat and gotten fired from your second one in short order. How many companies do you think are going to be excited about being your 3rd try in a few months? Not a whole lot.

So you might be better off staying where you're at for a little while. Get through training, go solo for a while, and maybe in the spring look into getting something local. I must say, we always recommend that a driver stick with their first company for a full year because it really does take that long to get decent at handling your rig, get to know how this industry works, and prove yourself to be an awesome worker.

We've had quite a few drivers do what you're talking about doing. They get on with an OTR company and quit right away for what they feel is a better opportunity. For some it has worked out well, for others it really was a catastrophe. They either weren't ready to handle the tougher job yet or it wasn't all they thought it was gonna be.

So think it over before you make any moves.

From the little bit you've told us I think your trainer seems about par for the course. They're not going to dedicate themselves to training you as hard as you might have expected, which is common amongst students. Trainers have to try to make all the money they can make. It's a lot more than just a 'rolling classroom' type of situation for them. They've gotta keep those wheels turning while they're teaching you so everything's a compromise.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I guess I got extremely lucky because both of my TNT trainers insisted yhat I do all the backing if I was awake. Now that I am out on my own though and have to be my own spotter, it's tougher. I think everyone struggles. There are some days I can put this truck just about anywhere and other days where I couldn't back up to the broad side of a barn if my life depended on it. To give a prime example, I left a truck stop the other night and headed to a rest area after three attempts to back into a group of FOUR open spots. I am not sure what my issue was, but the rest area was practically empty and had wide, pull through spaces...so things worked out. Just take things slow and get out and look as often as you have to when you are on your own.

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 14¢ 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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Kat, i have found, for me anyway, that sometimes, the more room i have, the more trouble i seem to have with backing.

I was talking about that with a friend who works is safety at my company and she told me that its probably because i dont have the "reference" of other trailers beside me. Ill end up all crazy crooked or taking up 2 spots lol. Im getting better at fixing that mess though.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Kat I did the same thing at a flying j my first couple weeks out. I just couldn't get in if I didn't have straight back room.

My advice to all newbies is tondrive at night for awhile and get into truck stops when empty during day. Practice on your break when you won't hit anything. And don't lose courage. Its easy to get frustrated and then hit some thing

Kat's Comment
member avatar

I try not to let it bother me when I can't get it together. LOL I just laugh, shake my head, wave to those watching and probably making fun of me, and I move on to a place where I CAN park it.

rofl-2.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I try not to let it bother me when I can't get it together. LOL I just laugh, shake my head, wave to those watching and probably making fun of me, and I move on to a place where I CAN park it.

rofl-2.gif

Not me. I blow my horn and scream at that guys flying around me. Relieves frustration hahha

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I bought a set a little orange cones from the WalMart sports department to set out when there is nothing to use as a reference point. I also got a rubber sink mat (like you use for doing dishes) that I cut into strips to lay down if there was no yellow line to guide me into a spot. I used those things A LOT when I first started, and they sure helped. I still pull 'em out occasionally!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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