Not Sure I Was Made For Trucking

Topic 19113 | Page 1

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Dan R's Comment
member avatar

First week of prime student driving. From the first day my instructor has seemed irritated by my mistakes. The general attitude is that I should have known. He is also irritated by any questions that I ask; either I should have known or the question is not relevant. When I make a mistake he sometimes freaks out, which causes more mistakes and then more freak outs. He keeps saying things like “if you make it to tnt “. The result is that I don't ask questions. I have found myself in “keep trainer happy” mode. When studying the pretrip, I watch videos on it so I can see where the parts are. I don't think he is self aware. He would probably be surprised by this description of my training. I CAN get through this and it will be in the rear view mirror. However I do get a bit down and question my capabilities. I focus on shifting in low gears correctly but then I'm getting screamed at “watch the load”. When I get behind the seat I'm so nervous before I have turned the key. It makes me nervous going down Hills faster than 60. He goes 70 and wants me to also. I'm working on shifting in low gears. I'm also focusing on trailer awareness. I layed in bed this morning wondering if this was all a big mistake. Do these things get more comfortable? Or is it weird to have these problems and I'm just not trucking material? thanks to miss miyoshi for sharing your journey, it's been very helpful for me.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dan, Yes it all gets more comfortable over time.

There is a lot I could go into here, but the biggest red flag of all, is your claim that your trainer is forcing you to drive 70 downhill. You need to execute within the limits of your skill and experience. For the record, I have almost 5 years experience and will not descend a hill above 65, especially if under a load.

He should not discourage questions, or chasten you for asking them. The time to have these discussions with him is now and not when either of you are driving. Try to work it out...don't wait.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Dan, Yes it all gets more comfortable over time.

There is a lot I could go into here, but the biggest red flag of all, is your claim that your trainer is forcing you to drive 70 downhill. You need to execute within the limits of your skill and experience. For the record, I have almost 5 years experience and will not descend a hill above 65, especially if under a load.

He should not discourage questions, or chasten you for asking them. The time to have these discussions with him is now and not when either of you are driving. Try to work it out...don't wait.

I am with G-Town, you really need to discuss these things with your instructor. He needs to allow you to drive at a COMFORTABLE speed for you while going down a hill. I just finished going down the hills of P.A. and I personally took it at 55-60 mph. I am under a 75,381 lb. load/total weight, there is no way on earth that I am going 70 mph down a hill. That is shear craziness doing that. Like I said you really should discuss this with your instructor.

good-luck-2.gif

Renae S. (Angel)'s Comment
member avatar

I have never experienced "boot-camp training." I do know that trainers without the ability to maintain control of their own emotions and expecting expert behavior or knowledge from a student aren't worthy of the position.

Ask him if this is his usual method of training and what he is expecting you to get from it. If he can explain what he's doing and willing to hear your concerns, great. Otherwise, go over his head. He is not helping you become a driver if you are afraid of tripping his buttons instead of learning the skills you need.

Dan R's Comment
member avatar

Really appreciate the responses, I needed to hear that it would get easier. There really is no talking about it, I pulled him aside the other morning to apologize for a mistake I had made. I said "hey man about last night I'm really sorry " he turned and walked away before I could say more. He's not a "talk it through" kinda guy. He says if something goes wrong or there is yelling just have to get past it tomorrow is a fresh day. So.... I asked him how fast my truck would go, and he said about 63 or so. I replied "yeah the thing is I have a lot to learn, shifting in low gears, watching my mirrors and the trailer. It all makes me tense and I'm not going to worry about driving faster than I will be able to drive in my truck."

Things are still more tense than they need to be but much better. I really don't think he is intentionally making it stressful it's just his way. A week to go before I go test for cdl. I need to decide if I continue training with him after that.

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.
Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm going to come at this from a different angle. While I'm not says no your trainer is right I'm just going to talk about the specifics. I have been through Prime PSD , and I'm currently in TNT phase. I would say that you should have been held in orientation longer if you were having issues shifting. I'm guessing you came through Springfield such a huge class they didn't have enough time to work with you as the individual. I felt the pain your going through the first day I was training in the pad truck. I did PSD in an Auto but took the test in a manual. I was so frustrated with everything being true at me. With that said it's highly important to be able to do all of those things at the same time. Repetition will help with learning it, but shifting in my opinion is something you should have knowledge of before going in PSD. Not saying you have to be great st it, but you should not be learning to shift while also learning to drive.

Keep at it. You are your own worst enemy here. If you continue to have a positive attitude you will make it through. At the end of the day when it comes to your trainer if you feel you have to make him/her happy, are being asked to be unsafe, or are not really learning anything. Call your Fleet Manager and let this person know. Between the bathroom breaks, fuel stops, evening stops, or day time stops depending on when you run. There is time to get away and make this call. It's not telling on him/her it's making your experience better. As a training program they should be trying to make you see the awesomeness of this job, while training you to do it safely and efficiently. And effectively.

Fleet 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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

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.

Diver Driver's Comment
member avatar

I came to Prime with my license already in hand, but I'm agreeing with everyone else. Being fussed at because you don't do 70 down a hill is asinine ! Your trainer should be teaching you to drive slow. Anyone can mash the pedal to the floor. Plus, as a new driver you don't need to be flying down the interstate.

Shifting: EVERYONE gets frustrated with this. I'd say its only second to learning to back. Especially considering everyone has the new automatics, and you get limited practice with the manual. Not like before the autos, when everything you did was in a manual.

Just keep your chin up and remember "this too shall pass." It's only temporary, and will be over before you know it.

Interstate:

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

Blake W.'s Comment
member avatar

Agree with DiverDriver. It's just temporary. You're gonna be fine. Just do what you have to do. In a few months time, you'll look back and be confident than ever. Good luck man.

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