Humbled And Embarrassed

Topic 21834 | Page 1

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Michael P.'s Comment
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I’ve been reading posts here for a long while, but this is my first. A quick background: I was a Police Officer / Detective for 16 years and at the age of 40 decided to give truck driving a try after months of deliberating. As with a lot of people, all my coworkers and friends told me I was crazy, but my wife is supportive so here I am.

I started at Prime last November and passed my CDL test with a trifecta in early December. I was having a really tough time adjusting to living with my trainer, but thanks to advice I read on here and my life experiences of dealing with all kinds of people, I’ve been roughing it out and doing my best to learn. My trainer doesn’t allow me to back or park (done each maybe twice) but I’ve had tons of highway miles.

So fast forward to early this week. Less than 2 weeks to go in TNT training, and I had one of the dumbest moments of my adult life. After a long night of driving, I pull into a truck stop, where I would normally just pull into the fuel island and switch drivers. The back row was fairly open so I began circling back there with my trainer awake. I rounded a turn and cleared the trailer parked at the end. I didn’t realize a truck was parked about 5 feet sticking out into the lane and the rear of my trailer hit the front end of the truck.

All I could think about (other than the expletives coming from my trainer; which I understood and deserved at that moment) was reading so many times to watch my wagon. It only took a second of relaxation to ruin a lot of days.

Needless to say, there’s been some sleepless days and nights since. Prime added 10K miles to my training, which I was very understanding of and grateful to still be employed.

I certainly learned the hard way about watching the trailer. A lesson I will never forget. But my confidence is pretty shot and now I’m even more worried about the backing and parking.

I just wanted to share my experience for other newbies, if any are still reading. Always watch that trailer.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

TBH, if your trainer doesn't allow you to back and park, it is partly his fault. He deprived you of experience you should of gained already. He is doing you a huge disservice by not letting you do the backing. What should be going on, is you should be backing with him standing outside the truck to guide you and help make sure you don't hit anything. If I were you, I would bluntly ask him if he is there to train you or collect a paycheck. If just want a check, call Prime and ask to be with a different trainer, so you can gain the necessary valuable experience to help prevent this from happening again.

Just my 2 cents.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

OMG...you mean you are new and had an accident? I dont believe it!

My first month out i hit a fuel pump barrier and knocked an axle off the trailer. Look at me now ;) At least no one had to drive a forklift and chase your tire down the street.

Almost all new drivers hit something, lock themselves out of the truck, and jump the 5th wheel when backing under a trailer.

Welcome to the club. You are now officially a member.

The trick is to brush it off and not let it affect you. Ponder it too much and you will be so distracted you will have another accident. Your trainer is most likely a lease op and ticked about the deductible he has to pay. that is a choice of responsibility he accepting when he became a lease trainer. that is his problem. Yours is watching the trailer.

when you go solo, you can practice in truck stops to back. You eill continue to have highs and lows for a long time. ill see if i can find a couole of my old posts where i felt the same way.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar
Splitter's Comment
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Just from the title you chose for this thread shows you’re well on your way to keep succeeding despite whatever setback comes your way. They don’t call it trial by fire for nothing. As was said earlier, chalk it up to the learning curve & be grateful that it wasn’t more serious. God bless & stay safe & watch your wagon (just for redundancy 😁). Good luck!!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I'd lay 49% of the blame on your trainer. If he doesn't allow backing much, much of it is on him, too. That being said, you have to get back on the horse and try some more. The lesson learned by striking another vehicle should be priceless. Experience only comes from doing, so obviously you need more.good-luck.gif

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