What Is The Toughest Single Skill To Master As A Student Semi Driver?

Topic 24144 | Page 3

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Steve wrote:

Geez Louise! Have a sense of humor. You seem to imply that patience cannot be improved upon. If that’s true...well, I’d bet some dispatchers would disagree. I know I’m more patient today than I was a few years ago. But you’re the expert, right?

My sense of humor is just fine, no intention of insulting anyone. I should know better than to post a reply when I’m tired. Sorry about that...

And no I am not an expert on this (why the Snarky attitude Steve?), only basing my point in what I have observed for my almost 60 years of dealing with people from every walk of life imaginable and raising 3 children, 2 of who have ADD.

Patience is an inherent quality; a capacity of varying degrees you either have, or you don’t. I never said it cannot be improved upon, but the reality is you can only “work-on” the response, reducing the emotional aspect of dealing with waiting and coping with the result. The underlying capacity of acceptance, or lack there-of, never really changes, it always there.

Not trying to change anyone’s mind or opinion on this; but I strongly believe a very impatient person will have an incredibly difficult time with many aspects of trucking. All we need to-do is look at some of the foolish things drivers do when they quickly become impatient. Think about it...as a society we are incredibly impatient and have evolved to expecting quick results, quick fixes, quick turnaround without investing any quality time to positively affect an outcome. It’s chronic.

Learning how-to back requires gobs of patience and is perhaps one of the more humbling aspects of this process. Can an impatient person learn it? Yes, I believe they can as long as they mask and manage the tendency to respond emotionally. Coping with this tendency doesn’t really change the underlying trait.

Suffice it today, patience is vital to success, safety, professional relationships and honing the hard skills required to perform this job. I think we can all agree with that.

Where it gets gray? Can very impatient people learn to be a productive truck driver? We can debate that all day, but I believe all of us who have made it to “experienced driver”, are likely blessed with an above average amount of patience.

Peace.

Dispatcher:

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Very interesting discussion and I would guess different skills are the most difficult for different people. For me personally, I was going to say learning to shift properly and choosing the right gear/right RPM for the right situation has been harder than backing, which I'm pretty good at. Then, after some thought, I realized that the entire learning process starting from scratch and going through company training has been my biggest challenge so far. Ask me in a month and I might say something different because there is so much I haven't experienced yet. I have 4 more days with my trainer before I get my own truck, unless I screw up royally. That will make 8 weeks of training from the time I started studying for my CDL permit. This has been the hardest 8 weeks I've ever experienced. There is SO much to learn about the entire process: Shifting, backing, truck operation and maintenance, pre trip, post trip, electronic logs , company policy, fueling, trip planning, time management, proper turns, highway driving, city driving, etc. and etc. Now I expect this whole process is like a truck going up a steep grade. It's hard until it crests the hill and starts going downhill, then it gets easier. I'm still going uphill and will be for some time. But I better understand that I need to learn 10, 20, 30 or 40 new things everyday and then continue to refine my skills every day. This process has been the hardest for me and if I ever think I know everything, I should be taken off the road.

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.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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