Seeking Advice About Backing

Topic 23736 | Page 1

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Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Motivated by the recent threads with the worse and troubles of backing for novices, I seek the advice and suggestions of the more experienced. (Which in my particular case? Woukd be any and all!)

I'm currently on Home Time, after having been out OTR with my former PRIME Inc PSD and TNT. (I'll explain why "Former" shortly) for approximately 2 months.

Durning that time, I completed my 30,000 TNT training requirement.

However, after discussion with my trainer and FM , taking into consideration I've no experience driving in Wintery weather, and am totally a lame duck with backing, etc?

I opted to stay on the truck. In so doing, I don't/didn't go back to Springfield to upgrade. So technically I'm still classified as a TNT student drawing the guaranteed TNT pay of .14 cpm OR a minimum of $700 a week whichever is greater.

Plus an additional $300 "Delay Bonus" per week.

My "Trainer" mumbled something about an additional out of pocket bonus, but when all was said and done, there was more said than done. That's not an issue with me at this point.

I WASN'T allowed to do ANY BACKING durning PSD phase, as "The Shippers and Receivers" didn't like it, and wouldn't allow it. PSD was about 10 or 11 days.

Like MANY, I White Knuckled it through the final testing phase to earn my CDL's

I've actually attempted to back about 10 times, actually doing so about five, with about the results expected from a novice.

The OTHER five times I was forced out of the Driver's seat and told to get tja #$% out or over.

This combined with some other impatience, verbal abuse to finally erupted into my letting him know I wasn't putting up with it anymore. (He blew up on me, because I was refueling, and the satelitte pump wasn't working. His preplan was off because of a traffic jam, Atlanta traffic, and he had JUST climbed out of the berth)

He's SINCE has calmed down, some what.

He's NO issues with my driving mostly at night a long the interstate , refueling, through large cities (Dallas / Fort Worth, San Antonio, San Francisco etc) nor into truck stops.

He's major issues with my attempting to back.

No practice. No improvement. Apparently I'm supposed to pick up on any and EVERYTHING the first time?

I'm not going to go into my assessment of him as a trainer or anything else.

As I see it my options are as follows (Should anyone have or see others, I'm open to any suggestions

#1 Stay on with my "trainer" through the end of February or first of March. learn what I can, gain and build experience. Hope for the best, make the best of it I can.

#2 Contact Prime and arrange to upgrade and go solo

#3 Contact Prime and request additional training and another trainer?

#4. Contact Prime, up grade and request to be assigned to a team, preferably with an experienced driver. But that could be who ever?

Thanks in advance

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.

Shipper:

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Interstate:

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

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Is there an option 5? Return to Prime and spend several days on the practice pad backing.

That is how I would play it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, I agree with G-Town. Just practice a little on the pad for a few days if they'll let you, then get out there solo and figure the rest out.

No one in the history of trucking has ever been good at backing when they went solo. Backing is something you learn with a ton of repetition. There is no "secret" to it or much of anything that can be taught. You watch how a certain maneuver is done, you talk it over for a few minutes, then you spend the next 6 months trying to do it yourself until you become pretty good at it.

It's kind of like throwing a baseball. You just throw it 1,000 times and by then you'll be pretty good at it. There isn't much anyone can do for you.

We've watched tons and tons of drivers either quit driving altogether or nearly put themselves in an asylum because they were terrible at backing in the beginning. Unfortunately that's just how it is for everyone. It would be incredibly expensive to just have people sit in a yard practicing all day, every day for months until they were good at it. So you go out there on the road and practice every chance you get. When you get in a tough spot, it's probably just going to take you a while and it'll be pretty embarrassing. Oh well! That's just how it goes.

Just get back there and get a little practice on the pad. Then tell em you'll go solo and figure the rest out.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks G Town and Brett

I agree with your reasoning. There are just certain things in Life we've all just have to take a leap of faith and jump into.

Others can tell you about it, you can read about it, watch YouTube vide8s galore. But there's nothing that's going to foot the bill like becoming 100 % involved and engaged.

Having a lease operator yelling, cussing and fussing at me doesnt help matters. Then he's telling me stuff about other drivers wanting to fight, getting mad, cutting tire, getting ran off the lot by yard dogs and being fined by Wal-Mart for taking longer than 15 minutes.

None of which filters through my B.S filter.

To be honest I'm having a hard time seeing what I've got to benefit by continuing to team with this guy, although I clearly see where and how he benefits. (We're averaging 6k miles a week.)

I'm going to sleep on it, make me decision tomorrow.

Again Thanks

Big T's Comment
member avatar

You got 10 backings in 30,000 miles in good conditions?

Do you think it will be better in winter conditions with this driver?

As Brett points out no one can teach you to back. I give my students tools to use in their banking maneuvers, but until they own the situation and put them to use it isn't much good.

If you only got 10 backs in 30k miles I don't see how more time with this driver will help. Some food for thought.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Dan S. welcome to Prime & sorry for your experience with your trainer. I was trained by Rainy, a moderator on here. We went to truck stop & she helped me figure out the basics of how to back. It was a completely empty lot of a truck stop & everything was easy cause there was no obstructions, no truckers wanting me to hurry, etc.

After that, I had to back by myself at every shipper & receiver. She never got out to guide me or even spot me on the blindside. I had to GOAL every time I wasn’t sure & I still do. Just had to GOAL 4X to drop my empty at this shipper.

I’m saying all this to say that you should absolutely go back to Sprimo, ask for backing practice for about a week if you can afford it & get your truck & get out here to learn on your own.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT lease!! I’m guessing you had a lease op for trainer & that would explain why it went as it did.

Shipper:

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.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Just read your last response. Yes. All that bull crap he spewed is all wrong. There are no timers, no fines for backing times, driving at night doesn’t help you, not flipping your driving times according to load appt times doesn’t help you, I could go on & on.

I’d go back & report him ASAP! How many other rookies bailed due to his horrible attitude & lack of training etiquette.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

I cant tell you what you should do but, if it were me I'd go solo. You will learn on your own and probably faster with only yourself to rely upon.

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Big T, Splinter, JB,

Thanks for the responses, advice and suggestions.

I can back, and have the basics abd and fundamentals more or less down

Don't back if you dont have to

Drivers side is preferred to blind side

Set up Is 99%

Don't over compensate

Less is more

GOAL, GOAL AND GOAL SOME MORE.

I just dont do so we'll under pressure from a "trainer" who hasn't any patience, tells me to "Get the #$^^ out half the time, (I should mention, another Prime driver witnessed one of these episodes at a SAM'S in California. Called Safety. The result was he was told he couldn't do THAT, and I was considered a "Co-driver" even though I've yet to upgrade and still drawing TNT training pay + $300 A week "Delay Pay")

Yes he's a lease operator. And that plays a lot into it from his side. I doubt I have little to learn or gain by continuing with him?

I'm thinking my best course of action is to go back to Springfield and speak with the powers that be, and go from there.

Again thanks for taking the time to respond

Be Safe

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.

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

If you can back and have the fundamentals down, it's time to leave the nest. Having a teacher can only take a person so far before they have to finish putting the puzzle together, and some people don't make good teammates for doing that.

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