Not Looking Good For Me....

Topic 19709 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

I have fir the most part tried to be positive through this whole training experience. However these last few days I'm riding an all time low. My TNT phase is almost over as far as miles are concerned. My trainers attitude has been better. All things considering I should be elated to start this new adventure. However I have yet to figure out or impress my trainer enough with my backing maneuvers. I'm starting to think my training will continue, and financially I don't think I can continue if that's the case. I am spread pretty thin and bringing home just $1600 a month is not something I can do for very much longer.

The backing problems I have all start with the set up. If I get a good set up which is rare, I usually guide it too far to the blindside. To date this has been ok since all my backs have been empty on my blindside.

I honestly just don't know if I will get this. My trainer has done all he can do. But my brain does not get what he is saying. I have yet to hit anything, and I do eventually make it into the hole, but like I said I'm either not straight, not centered, not aimed right, there is always something I have done wrong. I just can't get it right.

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

It often takes a good 6 months solo to get comfortable with backing, and then there are some days that ya couldn't hit the side of a barn. What I tend to find is that the more room I have, the more all over the place I am. When I was new I asked a very experienced driver about that, he told me it was common, because you don't have the reference of the other trailers and because you have so much room, you tend to be not as precise. Where I tend to shine is the crazy tight spots lol, however a few mins ago.. 3 open docks with me going right in the middle-- I could have rivaled the "short bus" post yesterday.

Calm down, go slow, take your time, goal, don't hit anything.. you'll be fine. Some trainer's are not to be impressed so don't worry about it.

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hang in there. You basically just described most people's training experience. You're in one of the toughest phases of becoming a driver. It will get easier and the money will come. When I was training, I had similar experiences, had a baby on the way as well. Talk about pressure. Most people tend to improve when they don't have an audience or trainer telling them when to turn, how to cut it etc. It's a tall order to finish training but it's definitely doable.

Redleg 69's Comment
member avatar

Eric hang in there like everything you will get better with practice and more practice . SOON you will be a MASTER of backing into any dock . One thing you can do is talk with your trainer and on say some downtime maybe he can help you practice in an empty lot with markers for dock etc.. If you show him you really want to get that down that should impress him that you want to take the extra initiative.

I remember when I was first training way back in the day I tended to overthink it when I was backing and I was frustrated like you and once I quit doing that I got SOOOO much better . So when ya do back just relax and don't overthink it and you will do great.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I have yet to figure out or impress my trainer enough with my backing maneuvers.

Eric, very few trainers are impressed with their trainees. There are no natural born truck driving protégés. We all have to work at it for a good long time. You have barely scratched the surface my friend. You are as green as they come at this point. You haven't damaged anything yet, so you are doing quite well actually.

Backing accidents are one of the most common problematic incidents rookies have. Therefore you should realize that backing is a skill that is a long time in coming. Personally, it took me a good two years to begin to feel confident that I could back a trailer into just where I needed it to be. There are still days that I end up laughing at myself.

Stop stressing yourself over what is clearly a difficult part of this to lay hold of as a rookie. Backing is something no one is any good at when they go test out for their CDL. This job is a long term commitment. Remember you've only just begun the adventure.

Never let yourself be embarrassed to G.O.A.L, or feel pressured to not G.O.A.L. Knowing exactly where that blindside rear corner of that trailer is will definitely save you from having to make that dreaded call to the Safety Director.

Hang in there. We all understand the frustrations, but also know you're going to get past them. You've just got to keep persevering at this point.

IT WILL GET BETTER!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

What they said, plus, I've never heard of anyone not finishing TNT because they couldn't back. No one is good at backing at the end of TNT unless they came into it with a CDL and prior experience.

Which means something scarier, actually. Pretty soon you're going to be in your own truck, and your check is going to depend on how many miles you safely run each week. But that's a good kind of scary, at least for me.

Also, you're going to be backing into docks and at truck stops and rest areas by yourself, with no trainer there to complain. It's going to be totally up to you to figure out a good setup, remember to GOAL, and get the truck in there without hitting anything.

Remember that last part -- it's the only part that really counts. There is no extra pay for getting the truck backed into a spot quicker or smoother or without GOALing. There is a big penalty for hitting things. Do what you need to do to make sure you don't hit anything. And be extra careful when you're tired.

Finally, and hopefully as a little encouragement, I just realized yesterday that I finally have no fear of backing at all (other than the healthy fear that makes me GOAL when I can't see something). I finally know that I can get the trailer into any spot as long as there's room for it.

That took 2 1/2 years to accomplish. I didn't get as much practice as many people here, since I was a flatbedder for most of that time, and it helps a lot that I now pull a short trailer (42' roughly) with tandems instead of spread axles, but unless you're doing something crazy like bumping docks six or seven times a day, it's going to take quite a while. You just don't get that much practice backing as compared to cruising down the interstate.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Interstate:

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

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.

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all. You all have been a lot of help for me so far. I'm just having one of those days.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Everyone has been in the EXACT place you are. At the end of my training, I hadn't successfully backed into a spot without my trainers help; I honestly got extremely depressed and had serious doubts that I could handle this job. But 6mo later, I still suck at backing!! But I learned that no one cares how long you take, as long as you don't hit their truck. It doesn't have to be straight as a needle, but as long as it's in between the lines or the dock plate goes down, consider it a win.

Dan67's Comment
member avatar

Backing will become more natural once you start doing it on your own without a trainer watching you. I'm in my second month solo on a dedicated home depot account. 90% drop and hook and I swear 70% of my backs are blind side 90s. Like others have said take your time, get out and look..

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.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

Backing will become more natural once you start doing it on your own without a trainer watching you. I'm in my second month solo on a dedicated home depot account. 90% drop and hook and I swear 70% of my backs are blind side 90s. Like others have said take your time, get out and look..

How's navigating the maze of random crap home depot stores have scattered across their lot?

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.

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More