It's Official. I'm A Prime Driver In Training

Topic 19695 | Page 1

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Penny's Comment
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I made it through orientation week and my trainer (the most AWESOME trainer ever, I might add) will be here to pick me up today.

I'm a little nervous. i struggled through school. I suck at pretty much everything. But I'm hoping after a couple months I'll be a lot more confident and a lot less nervous.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Best of luck to ya and keep us updated on how things are going!

Listen, one thing for you to keep in mind is that in the beginning you really only have one major goal - don't hit anything. That's it. Now the overwhelming majority of rookie mishaps are little dingers that happen in parking lots. Rookies tend to take things slow and easy on the highway, keeping plenty of distance in front of them.

It's when they get in parking lots that they get nervous and feel rushed. That's when you'll have things close by on all sides of you, you have to swing extra wide because you're moving so slow, and you'll have cars and trucks and obstacles coming from every direction it seems. To make it worse, you know you're terrible at backing right now, and no one wants to feel embarrassed or look like a clumsy knucklehead in front of their peers.

So rookies tend to get flustered, try to rush things, or focus too hard on one mirror and forget about the rest of the areas around them.

When you're in parking lots, take it really, really slowly. Get out and look every time you're backing, I don't care if it's a straight back and you're certain you're clear of everything. At some point you're going to get out and look, thinking you're wasting your time, and you're going to realize you would've backed into something that you were sure wasn't there. It happens to everyone.

So creep around at a snail's pace, keep your head on a swivel, and ignore any thoughts about wanting to rush or stay out of people's way or not looking silly. You're brand new. You look silly. We all did. That's why we enjoy it so much when it someone else's turn! We remember very well how it felt. You have to put that out of your mind and focus on what's going on around your truck.

Don't hit anything. That's it. You'll learn a lot in a short amount of time, and within a few weeks you'll slowly start seeing yourself improve. It's going to take 6 - 12 months before you really begin to feel confident with your backing, so prepare yourself to go extra slow and feel extra silly for quite a long time. Victory means you don't put a scratch on anything. There are no penalties for pull-ups. There is no time limit on getting parked safely.

Enjoy yourself as much as possible too! We'll be here to help with any questions you have, and we expect you to have some for us.

Good luck!

G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations! I echo Brett's advice, stay focused, think before you act and don't rush. You are in good hands.

Safe travels!!!

Old School's Comment
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I'm a little nervous. i struggled through school. I suck at pretty much everything.

Another trucker is born!

Hey Penny! Guess what? Everyone of us started out just like you - we were all terrible at this!

This takes time and determination, Prime is going to give you "time" to work on it. There is no one who can give you the determination though.

Here's my tip for you: Stay focused and never give in to those nagging doubts in your head. I know you will be plagued by them much of the time. You may well say, "Old School, you don't know me, how do you know that?" I know it because each of us had the same doubts and fears.

Determination will have to come from within yourself.

Each rookie driver thinks the biggest challenges are going to be learning to shift gears smoothly, and figuring out how to back this darn beast into what seems like a little tiny hole! Then they are blind-sided by the mental and emotional challenges. Concentrate on overcoming those challenges that are going on upstairs in your head, and the rest of it will fall into place.

Keep us posted, we want to share in your pains and your gains. We are here to help, or just to let you vent if need be.



Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tastebuds's Comment
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Penny's Comment
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Brett, Old School, G Town, you all have been so very encouraging during all this.

I did struggle. I wasn't entirely sure I could get this far. I know I have a very long way to go to be anywhere close to good.

I will take your advice and go slow and easy on the backing and heaven help me I DO NOT want to hit anything. . Gotta remember those wide turns, too, I know.

My shifting is atrocious, but I should have plenty of practice. I'm hoping that eventually SOME of this will begin to feel natural.

I haven't been in a truck in a month as I had to give notice at my old job, took a week to get things settled and visit s couple friends, and then this week of orientation.

I do trust my trainer. i feel very very fortunate to have one I feel comfortable with.

Thank you again so very much for all the encouragement. You guys (and gals) are the best!!


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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