Training Question

Topic 21013 | Page 2

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Errol V.'s Comment
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Eric seeks understanding:

I don't understand how you are being trained when one is asleep while the other drives. How are you going to correct my mistakes while sleeping and I can't see how you do things while I'm sleeping.

By the time your trainer feels you can handle the driving, you should be able to handle the driving. Rarely any training happens as you drive west on I-80. Yes, for rain/snow, accident ahead, steep hills and stuff you might need some advice, and your trainer should be available for those special situations. Also, once you get your own truck, you'll be all alone, driving for hours at a time. You learn how to handle that.

Once your get just plain driving down, the real training is done at shippers, receivers and truck stops. You know, backing and how to do the paperwork. So your trainer snoozing should be no big deal.

(Flip side: your turn in the bunk after 10 hours driving. What are you learning? Nothing, but you're getting rested for your next shift.)


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Most new drivers are thankful when their trainers go to sleep and leave them alone to drive because they no longer feel the pressure of someone watching over their shoulder every second. Very few people can perform at their best when they're being critiqued. If you need help while you're driving, most trainers will immediately wake up when you call them. If they don't wake up easily under those circumstances then they don't have very good survival instincts!

Let me throw this out there for everyone. Training in this industry is not done the way most people expect. There is very little hand holding or nurturing. You have to be tough to handle this job. You have to be independent, resourceful, and work well under pressure so the training is going to feel more like a trial by fire than it is a nurturing environment.

Not only are they trying to test your nerve and prepare you for the realities out there, but they're also trying to get people trained quickly and efficiently. It's extremely expensive to have two drivers in a truck that's only turning solo miles so they try to get the student up to speed quickly so the student and trainer can run as a team. Soon after that you'll be out on your own running solo.

People are often surprised by the way training is done in this industry and sometimes they take that to mean that the company isn't doing things the right way. If you surf the seedier places on the Web, which is most of them quite honestly, you'll hear things like:

  • This company is nothing but a CDL mill
  • They don't care about their drivers
  • The company is setting you up for failure

All of that is a bunch of baloney. It's nothing more than people getting the pants scared off them when they're put behind the wheel in stressful circumstances. They expected to be coddled and nurtured and eased along at a pace they're comfortable with. Well that's not how it's done. They're going to put you behind the wheel knowing you're nervous and you're in a little over your head to see if you can handle it and to move you along at a faster pace. If you freak out and pee your pants then trucking probably isn't for you. If you can tough it out, keep your nerve, and make it happen then you're the right person for the job.

Daycare centers are for nurturing. Trucking is for real men and real women who have what it takes to handle the responsibility of being in life or death circumstances on a regular basis. You should expect the training to be geared toward the right type of people for this industry.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Iron Emu's Comment
member avatar

My training was 4 weeks, the trainer was awake and watching the entire time I was driving the first two weeks. We did mostly shorter runs during that time, around 600 miles, and mostly in the North East around cities which was out of my comfort zone and I am thankful for the way it was done. Aside from those first two weeks where he was awake for every moment I was driving, he also overwatched load securement the entire time. Only offering advice toward the end on how it could be faster or more efficient with time management. Brett you are right though, toward the end of the time I was thankful to have what was the closest to being by myself I could get. We did have a big conflict of personality but it never got in the way of the mentor/pupil relationship, though that was probably the worst part of being with a trainer. What are the odds you get a trainer that is someone you would actually want to talk to or hang out with, you know? Just gotta stick it out, and maintain your professionalism.


Hours Of Service

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

I don't understand how you are being trained when one is asleep while the other drives. How are you going to correct my mistakes while sleeping and I can't see how you do things while I'm sleeping.

I understand that not all companies do this, running training as a team

Me and my trainer drove as a single "person". So when He drove Haz-Mat (well my endorsement was mailed) I sat shotgun. When I drove standard freight he drove shotgun. At the end of the drivers day we both slept. Honestly though, my trainer barely had to give me much instruction. Mostly just reviewed Haz-mat with me, showed me proper handling procedures, and how the real paperwork looked compared to the book. As I had a background already driving and handling loads he had nothing much to add besides "I gotta get out of your truck, I'm making you more nervous than necessary watching over your shoulder" .

That's how my personal training went, with my own trainer. Everyone's experience level is different, how much past experience they bring, how fast they learn etc.

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