Put Your Phone Down And Help!

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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As for laughing at new drivers and thinking it is funny? Just proves there are ass$&*^'s everywhere.

See, I disagree with this in a way and here's why. Where I'm from in the sports and blue collar world guys poke fun at each other all the time. That's what they do. They give each other a hard time with a good natured ribbing. If you can't take a little fun poked at you and you get all bent out of shape then you've just made everyone's day. Nothing is funnier than seeing someone come unglued over absolutely nothing.

I wrote an article about this very subject here:

The Backing Range At Trucking Driving School - It's Like Clown Soup For The Soul

You need to learn to laugh at yourself a little bit. You need to be able to take a joke. When you're new to something and you're a clumsy knucklehead then just embrace it and accept it. Someday you'll be great and you can tease the rookies a little bit. It's all in good fun.

Obviously no one should allow anyone to hit anything. And yes I firmly believe that truck drivers should support each other and look out for each other. I always enjoyed the brotherhood of trucking. It's a small family that shares a unique lifestyle and challenges. Only 1% of Americans are truckers and no one else can truly understand what truckers go through. At the same time we can laugh at each other a little bit and take things lightly.

Now believe me, I've spent plenty of time on both sides of this situation and I'm on the knucklehead side of this as we speak. I've mentioned that I'm new to the alpine climbing scene and I'm working with some of the best climbers and coaches known to mankind. They are either super elite climbers, athletes, or coaches. Some of them are a mix of all of them. When I say super elite I mean olympic athletes, world champions, and world record holders.

My fitness coach is also a climber who almost made the olympic swim team in 1972 and has climbed and partnered with some of the most legendary climbers in history since the 70's. His business partner is Steve House, a living legend of alpine climbing known all over the world.

Me? I'm a total knucklehead with a grand total of 7 weeks of training. Trust me, I'm training hard 7 days a week and I'm working as hard as I can to get better, and I will get much better. But for now, I'm a clumsy fool. They know it and I know it. There's no debating it and there's nothing I can do about it that makes any sense other than to laugh at myself and keep putting in the work to get better. In fact, I'm smart about it and I'm proactive. I make jokes about myself all the time before they even get the chance to. Some of the jokes I come up with are legendary. I hope I can think of them someday when I get to point them at a new batch of rookies.

So if people are having a bit of a laugh because you're a clumsy knucklehead you shouldn't get your panties in a bunch over it. Laugh with them about it. Have some fun with it. They get it. They were there once too.

People will get all worked up about it and say, "What a bunch of jerks. They don't seem to remember what it was like when they were new."

Oh yes they do! Why do you think they're laughing so hard at you? They're super relieved it's not them anymore looking like such a clumsy fool!!!!


Obviously safety always comes first and we have to look out for each other. At the same time, we're all adults. Let's not act like little babies and run crying to our mom because someone laughed at you. I mean, hey, stop driving so funny if you don't like it!!! Be able to laugh at yourself. Enjoy the learning process. Let the veterans get a bit of a laugh. It's all just part of life.

millionmiler24 (CRST Amba's Comment
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I've never wanted help. Though if someone has offered it I just go with it and give them a thankful nod.

And I've been on both sides of the "helping" discussion. When I was with my first company I literally got in this woman's truck and put it In the door for her. Now hind sight being 20/20 I wouldn't do that again. However at the time my warehouse guy's begged me to do it because she had been trying for damn near an hour and they wanted to get a move on wwith unloading. And she directly asked me if I would because she just couldn't figure it out. Stupid move on my part because had something happened I would've been screwed. Now fast forward to this last year when I was doing jockey work. I sat and watched countless drivers back Into our docks. Many many time blocking driveways. And so many of those times they've asked if I could either assist or put the trailer in the door for them. My only answer now is nope. Two reasons. One my company has a policy against such things. And two, when I think back to that woman I helped before, what did she learn by me doing that? Nothing. New drivers need to learn. I'll make sure they don't screw up my equipment next to them, but helping I just won't do anymore.

But your spot on about the ones recording it to post on YouTube if something happens. It's ignorant and childish.

Hey Brett, can we get a "Like" button on here for this response? I agree here 100%.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dave Reid's Comment
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A couple of months ago, I was working with a student learning to back in a customer's drop yard. There was plenty of room and the place wasn't busy, plus I had provided extensive help to the guy already, so this time I tried to restrain myself from helping and let the guy figure it out. Along comes a yard shuttle driver who stops not far from my student. I thought maybe we were in his way, so I walked over and asked him. His reply was somewhat startling...he said, "no, I'm just enjoying the show". So, he was there to ridicule the student learning to back. I couldn't really say anything to the jerk so I just walked away and returned to watching to make sure my student didn't hit anything.

Jeremey, to your point - those clowns that heckle, record, or feel entertained by newbies at truck stops etc. are just jerks and nothing is going to change them. When I see a new driver trying to back, I handle it as G-Town described.

Yeah, I dont want your help.

Sorry if I sound like a tool for putting it that way, but...

First, if I hit something, I'm still responsible. Much better for me to get out and look and possibly take 20 minutes to park.

Actually, I had a line of trucks cursing me all over the radio just a few days ago in Indiana for taking so long and holding up like five trucks trying to get by.

Bump 'em! I had to get it done right. Sorry about the wait, but I prefer being growled at (or even laughed at) for taking so long rather than for hitting something.

Second, I currently cannot back worth crap! My trainer has a habit of constantly directing my backing. And while it's in good-nature and he still thinks he's helping me (no matter how many times I explain it) the net result is that I am now better than ever at following directions and hand signals. But I still suck at backing.

Now, if I'm gonna hit something, hell yes, by all means, stop me! But the help part... Someday I'll figure it out.

And as for the laughing, well, at least I can provide some entertainment for a few minutes.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

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