Seeking Advice About Backing

Topic 23736 | Page 3

Page 3 of 3 Previous Page Go To Page:
Mik D.'s Comment
member avatar

My trainer had me do all the backing and was outside the truck directing me just in case......my first two days of training I had every weather condition under my belt, snow, night, day, ice, etc..., I80 was shutdown and had to reroute through mountains while my trainer was in the passenger seat playing on his phone, after the third day my trainer took naps, and we also became a team until my hours required training were done and went to California.....he watched me like a hawk the first couple of days and told me I was good to go....

Jamie's Comment
member avatar
Schneider is one of them, that only keep you with a trainer for a couple of weeks after getting your CDL before putting you solo.

Basically this, your first week is only paper work, videos and some yard/driving around town a few times. Then you'll be with a trainer engineer for 5-7 days OTR(my time was split between me and another student) before starting week 3 which is basically all class room work and testing out in your skills you learned.

Over all I got more backing in during school then my time in training with Schneider. But as you and many others have said, if you understand the concept on what to do then you're ready to get out there.

There was only so much my trainer could teach me, he was a great guy but didn't do good explaining when it came to backing. I actually felt better when I got my own truck and got out on the road, I've gotten nervous on some backing but I've came a long ways when you're out there by yourself.

As it was said many times over, you'll get better the more you do it. We spend so much time driving with very little backing.

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.

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.

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

I agree with every word of Brett's below.

The thing I found most frustrating about trying to learn during those critical first few months are all the turkeys out here that scoff at the new drivers, ridicule them, pressure them, and have no patience with them. I'd guess that issue is a large contributor to accidents and early exits from the business.

When I was a trainer, I even had a couple of jerks make fun of a student one time when I had set up some cones at the back of large, nearly empty lot in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.

New drivers: try to ignore those jerks and whatever you do don't let them pressure you into rushing or failing to GOAL.

Everyone: let's all be nice out here.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

A little wisdom from a green rookie. The only way to get the hang of backing is to do it. I can count with one hand (maybe the other too) the number of times my trainer backed up in two months. Lost count of the times I've bumped the dock while my trainer was asleep and didn't even wake him up (okay may have hit the dock a little hard a time or two and woke him up but who's counting) . It was nice to have the piece of mind that he was back there if I got in trouble. I'm on my solo week now and had one heck of a time hitting the hole at my first receiver. It was pretty tight and took about 10 minutes to get it in but I did it! Really windy in Wyoming today so I stopped back in to a spot at a truck stop today and I looked like a pro!

Morale of this is get out there and do it! At this point your trainer is way more of a hindrance and a crutch then a help.

Nancy O.'s Comment
member avatar

I had the same problem with Prime. I decided to upgrade and team drive through the winter with an experienced drived so i can learn what my TNT trainer never taught me

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.

Mike D.'s Comment
member avatar

Not digging the sound of this. I am sure it will work out for ya. I don't think I would be very accommodating to that type of behavior from a fellow human being. I will be there this wkend to start my training.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I don't think I would be very accommodating to that type of behavior from a fellow human being.

Mike, have you heard the expression, "No one will treat you with more care and gentle kindness than a truck driver"

No?

Well don't worry, that's because those words have never been spoken.

Trucking has a lot of good people, but also an awful lot of people with bad manners and poor people skills. If you're only going to tolerate people who meet your people skills criteria you'll likely be on a bus home in a few days.

The key is to learn how to get along with anyone. If you react the wrong way to people then you're playing right into their hands. The overwhelming majority of people who act like jerks are looking for a reaction from people. Doesn't that make sense? They're not too bright so they tend to be like cavemen and they enjoy confrontation, or at least it's the only interaction they know how to deal with. If they didn't want confrontation, they wouldn't act like jerks in the first place.

So if you react poorly to that kind of person you're going to get even more of it.

You can't imagine how many people's careers ended long before they even made it to solo status because they were intolerant of poor personalities or anything that was done differently than they expected. They went into trucking with strict expectations and standards and expected everyone to live up to those expectations and standards. Now that would be fine if you were actually the boss, but when you're not the boss and you act like the boss you get a ticket on the "not the boss" bus back home.

So go into it expecting there to be some tough personalities, and do your best to get along with everyone. Many of these companies will purposely try to push your buttons a little to see if you're the type that flies off the handle over every little thing. As you might imagine, that's not high on the list of traits for top tier professional truck drivers. If you can't take a little bit of button pushing, you're going to freak out on the highway where other drivers will test your patience continuously.

So be mellow. As my Grandma used to say, "Kill em with kindness." When I was a little kid I understood that we were supposed to be nice to people, but as I got older I began to understand just how powerful that can be.

Dm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Right on Brett. Wise words indeed! :-)

Jeremy's Comment
member avatar

Ive found in trucking that its full of type A personalities i think you have to be to be honest and were saving up our niceness to be kind courteous and polite to shippers and receivers well some of us there's plenty that can't even do that. Grow a thick skin and get yourself to solo and learn how to be a type a personality and youll do just fine

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.

PlanB's Comment
member avatar

If you have a basic understanding of how to manipulate the trailer, it's time to cut the cord.

After I completed my TnT phase at Prime my trainer offered to have me stay on his truck. He knew I still needed to work on my backing, and we were just getting into winter. It worked in his favor to have a driver he can trust on his truck for the slower winter months. It also worked in my favor since I still sucked at backing and had no winter experience.

After a while he needed to take some time off the road to handle some stuff at home, and wanted to fit in a vacation. So he left me to run his truck solo for a few weeks. I still sucked at backing, but he basically said I'll figure it out.

Now normally whenever I was approaching a situation where I knew I would have to backup, my anxiety would go through the roof. Heart rate doubled and would start sweating. I knew how to backup, but I always brain locked while I was doing it. My brain was my own enemy.

I absolutely hated having my trainer there watching. It drove my anxiety up even higher knowing that he was watching my every mistake.

Now that I was alone on his truck the first time I approached a backing situation I just paused a moment and thought, "It's just me and you now, and I've gotta get your big @$$ in that little hole. Let's get it done."

Not having my trainer there for some reason helped me remain calm. I also realized that I have no one to fall back on if I can't get it done. I need to stay focused and get this done, because my trainer isn't there to jump in and save me.

That was the moment when it really clicked for me. Don't rush. The other trucks can wait. If I messed up, it doesn't matter, just reset and do it again. If I messed up again, reset again, they can wait.

The most important thing is to never let yourself feel rushed. When you feel rushed you make mistakes. Mistakes that create bigger problems.

If you get yourself into a problem, STOP! Take a moment to think about what you need to do to fix the problem, and then SLOWLY put your plan into action. Do not ever make a rushed decision.

I've gotten myself into a few sticky situations, and seen other drivers do the same thing to themselves. In every situation if I or they had stopped and taken a few moments to think their situation through, we wouldn't have gotten ourselves into those situations.

I facepalmed myself a few times I struggled to alley dock into a tight spot, then after I was done I realised there was plenty of room and I could have turned it into an easy straight line back.

Always stop and take time to evaluate your entire situation. You'll get done faster.

Cut that cord, get out there and have some fun.

But most importantly...

Do not rush!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Page 3 of 3 Previous 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