Trainer Issue

Topic 17395 | Page 1

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Donnie M.'s Comment
member avatar

I have been on the road with my trainer for a week now It has been a learning curve for sure. Been able to run anywhere from 350 to 600 in a day so far. Tensions have been up and down to this point. He is all about running which is good, but I feel he puts me in some bad situations at times to try to save a minute or two. However today running I 80 the roads were iced over really bad. Seen multiple cars in the ditch's and 2 semis on there sides. The highway patrol at one point was driving down the center lane On both sides with lights on at a slow rate of speed trying to slow things down.At our fuel stop, I told him I wasn't really comfortable and needed to proceed at my pace. His response was, welcome to trucking and kept insisting me to run 60 and 65 mph. After some heated discussion and a complete stand still on the interstate due to a pick up flipped over, he backed off but is still pretty ****ed at me for standing my ground. I am considering asking for a different trainer, but not sure if they all have the same mentality. The more miles I turn the more they make.

Interstate:

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

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

They are not all like that. And when you drive, YOU decide what is safe for you. If you need to stop then pull into a truck stop and message dispatch "I need to shut down due to icy conditions. With my lack of experience I do not feel safe".

At that point there is NOTHING the trainer can do or say. Dispatch should in no way encourage you to continue. If the trainer has hours and wants to continue...that is on him. Never do something you don't feel safe doing.

On the flip side...there are tight spots and places you need to go where it is best to be with a trainer for guidance....that's the point of training. If you can handle those things in training then once you are on your own things will be less stressful.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

No, not all trainers are like that. Safety is my primary concern, I wouldn't let my student drive that fast, if at all, in those conditions let alone encourage it.

Chances are, depending on how bad the conditions really are we would have shut down.

I like making money, but I like being alive and in one piece even more.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It's such a tough call for a student to make because you're regularly going to be thrust into situations you're not comfortable with and working through them is how you learn. When you're new to trucking you're almost always going to feel like you're at the edge of your abilities when it comes to backing in tough spots, tight maneuvers, city traffic, navigation, and slick roads. Was it unsafe to drive the speeds he was insisting that you go? I don't know. It sounds like it may indeed have been too dangerous according to your descriptions but would a ten year veteran driver from a heavy snow region of the country agree? I don't know. It's impossible for us to say. So I don't want to condemn your trainer because we weren't there. And don't forget, your trainer is in the truck with you. For him to recommend you do something super dangerous is obviously putting his own life at risk also. So you're in it together.

What I would recommend though is that you trust your instincts. If he says you're capable of driving through the conditions then drive as slowly as you need to in order to feel like you're at a safe speed for the conditions. If you seriously don't think there is a safe speed for the conditions and there's no way you should be driving at all then refuse to drive. Trust me, no trainer wants to be standing in the safety manager's office explaining why he thought it was ok to force a student driver to do something after refusing because he clearly felt it was too dangerous. That's the worst case scenario for the trainer.

So there's a fine line here. His job is to teach you how to handle a rig. Ultimately you have to get out of your comfort zone and do these things at some point to ever become proficient at them. But in dangerous circumstances it's also important to trust your instincts. So both of you are trying to decide at the same time whether or not you're capable of handling any given set of circumstances. It's a tough call.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

It's good that you stand your ground when it comes to safety. There's a fine line between a trainer pushing you to gain the confidence you need to operate under adverse conditions safely, versus pushing you to be unsafe solely to keep the wheels turning. Running at 60-65 in iced conditions isn't really all that safe - conversely, if the conditions are that bad - you can end up in a ditch at 35 mph too (but probably do less damage at that speed - but a ditch is a ditch regardless).

Regardless of whether he's angry for you standing your ground - see how it goes, before making a decision to try and switch trainers. Keep notes of dates/times/incidents - so that you can evaluate whether you're just being overly sensitive - or if there are truly conflicts with your trainer that can't be resolved by "standing your ground".

If it turns into a case of "irreconcilable differences", continue to act and operate like a professional. Contact your DM in private, via email or phone - explain your predicament and detail from the notes you've made, and request to be reassigned at the company's earliest possible convenience.

ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL.

Rick

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.
Donnie M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys for your honest replies. I , discussed the situation with safety last night basically to have record of this. I told my trainer that it might be best if I got on another truck. We contacted dispatch and discussed my concerns in a professional matter with neither he or I trying to throw the other under the bus. After our conversation with dispatch, we had a good heart to heart on each other's point of view. He asked me to stay with him and finish out the training in his truck, stating that he really feels I am a very safe driver and am ready for my solo gig at this point, but have to show more hours in the system. He said he would back off and let me drive to my comfort zone in these weather conditions. I also showed my respect in thanking him for all he has taught me thus far. Today is a new day and we will see where it goes from here.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Excellent!

Donnie, you handled it perfectly. Hang in there, training is just tough no matter how you slice it. I'm really pleased to see this result because my initial response would have been so much like Brett's yould have thought we were cloned!

Sounds to me you've got a decent trainer, maybe just a little eager for a dollar. He's under pressure also, just a different kind than yours.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

I am so glad my short time with my trainer went so well. I hate to say it, but if anybody wanted me off the truck it was my trainer. I only sleep 5-6 hours. He is a 7-8 hour guy. I was literally close to bouncing off the walls by the time he woke up everyday. I will reiterate, I am fully aware patience is not one of my virtues. LoL. I spent my mornings being as productive as I could and tried to stay out of the truck. But pretrip only takes so long and you can only do so many laps around the area you are parked.

I just had an epiphany. Maybe that is why he pushed so hard to say I am done and to do my final testing. LoL.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Donnie, I agree, that result is the best.

FWIW, when I was training, one of my students stopped at Sherman Summit on I-80 in Wyoming because it was snowing a little up by the summit. It was about 2:00 a.m. and I was out of hours so we parked for a few hours until I could finish my 10 hour break and drive down the hill to Rawlins and beyond.

I'll admit that I was mildly annoyed since there wasn't that much snow and I thought he could handle it. But I tried my best not to show it, since I always told students they are the captain of the ship. And really, why would I want to take the chance of having him slide off the road after he told me he didn't feel comfortable driving in those conditions?

My point is that sometimes your trainer may have more confidence in your abilities than you do, but you still need to feel that you can stop if it's really making you feel unsafe.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jodi 's Comment
member avatar

Were you on 80 in Nebraska by chance. Sounds exactly like what I had to deal with yesterday and it was for sure not good roads to be over about 45 mph. My thoughts are do what you are comfortable with. At the end of the day what's the trainer going to do go tell his boss you were being to carefull. I doubt anybody above him will get upset

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