Ask For New Trainer, Or Suck It Up?

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Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I see this come up often, and the advice is usually tough it out, it's only a few weeks. I'll say what I think I should do at the end, and see how far off base I am. I made my weekly check in with Training on Thursday, and said everything was fine, mainly because my training officer said she was putting me with this guy because he is a great trainer and very safe driver.

In the real world, he screams and rants at every car in front of him, constantly throwing both hands up in the air, calling people morons, etc. To his credit, he never cuts anyone off or follows excessively close, though sometimes the system in the truck is constantly beeping, for the most part, he backs off. He has dialed phone numbers and read texts while driving.

My biggest issue is that he doesn't really attempt to teach me anything, rather has me drive and then screams profanities and rants about what I do wrong. He seems to expect me to know how to do stuff even though I told him from the start the only thing I have done is parallel park and offset back on a practice pad.

For instance, and these are just some of what I remembered Friday, when I started taking notes:

Our first load had the wrong address, so he is in a foul mood, then he tries to back in and is at an angle to the dock by 6 to 8 inches. One side touching, the other side is not. He tries over and over, but keeps backing at the same angle. I try to tell him the building is at an angle to the parking lot, but he ignores me. Finally gets it within 3 inches, and blames my directions. Then proceeds to walk around the parking lot ****ed, mumbling to himself. I honestly think from his initial position, I could have pulled to the right, backed up and popped it right against the dock.

Second load, wrong address again.

These first two days, he has me drive for about 30 minutes each day, to help with his HOS , saying the roads are slippery, though those two days, the roads were dry for the most part. But I'm OK with that. But then, I'm driving through some small town, realize I'm doing 30 in a 25, and start braking. He tells me I'm speeding, and I say, yes, I just noticed and I'm slowing down. Right then, I see a mom and kids on the sidewalk, so I slow to 20 and, foot on brake, edge left as far as I can. He is screaming profanities, you have to slow down, theres little kids, etc. I calmly said, I see the kids, I am at 20, foot on brake, moving left, what else would you have me do?

The next, I have to pull into a gas station to switch drivers. It has a few spots for trucks. The entrance has a short right lane for cars, so I am afraid to swing right, as I am afraid the cars behind me will get in that lane and I will hit them. I take up a foot of that lane, go as wide as I can, and as soon as I am past the curb go wide, and my tandems clear by a few inches. He screams about that for a while, said don't worry about cars, that lane isn't wide enough for them, etc., even though it was a full car width.

Stopped for fuel, I asked if he was fueling both tanks, he says yes, so I attempt to show initiative by removing the cap, and putting the nozzle. He screams for over an hour that I made him miss the DEF prompt, even though afterward I find out you have to lift the handle on the pump to turn it on, which I didn't do, but even so, it isn't something worth screaming about for an hour. He brought it up again the next day.

Storm stuck us in Erie. He needed me to drive. I had gotten permission to park at Walmart on Peach street, which is two right turns from I90 off ramp. He wanted me to drive through city streets to go the the HarborCreek Walmart, because it is closer to his friends house. I refused, saying at Peach Street, it is easier to get in, and I am within walking distance of numerous places to eat. The other had Subway, and Bob Evans. Turns out, he wanted to go to a strip club with his buddy. Earlier in the day, he had me check on reserved spots at the Harborcreek TA. There were two left, but he refused to let me reserve one. The next day, their app and website had 27 reserved spots open, he said there were none open because Trucker's Path said it was full. He seems to need me to never be right about anything.

Friday, he slides the tandems, and asks me to check the pins. I check driver's side, locked, then tell him passenger side isn't, he needs to back up a bit. After one unsuccessful attempt, he starts screaming that we'll fix it at the guard shack, we can't tie up the dock, etc. Then he says the tandems didn't slide. I said, maybe, but I'm pretty sure I saw the trailer moving, and the wheels not moving, but he could be right. We get to the guard shack, and he says the tandems are locked now, maybe the ground was uneven, and admits the tandems did slide.

He had me drive to and from a load Friday. Yells the entire time, I am not shifting fast enough, though no one else has ever had a problem with my shifting, other than occasionally grinding a gear or missing a gear, not even the trainer at orientation. Meanwhile he jams the shifter in every gear like he is speed shifting, every gear grinds a bit as it goes in because he is slamming the shifter in. I half expect the shifter to snap off he is slamming it so hard.

Once I selected reverse instead of second by mistake, moved less than 6 inches before slamming on the brakes. He screamed for 10 minutes I could have killed someone, etc.

Continued...

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

He sounds like a moron...mainly because of this:

He reads texts and dials his cell phone while driving

...we must be hands free. I could care less what kind of a teacher he is, his careless behavior and ignorance of the law is dangerous.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I get to the dock, and while backing in, screams what the f**k are you doing, because I wanted to pull up. A second later, has me pull up.

Coming back, he tells me to follow the GPS, then screams at me because I start to turn where it says.

I tell him he has a leak, he asks how I know, I say because it is dripping on me, and I can see it. I show him, and he says that isn't a leak, that is frozen snow and water on top.

He blasts the stereo, then tries to tell me stuff. When I say I can't hear him, he turns it down slightly.

I figure I can tough it out, but my issue is whether or not to say something to the training officer, so that my concerns are on record. I'm afraid if I don't, she won't believe me over him.

My plan is to give him another week. If he continues acting the same, to let him know the screaming isn't going to fly, and if he still continues, to ask for a new trainer. I can put up with criticism, but I feel I deserve at least a modicum of respect. Swearing and screaming isn't teaching. Tell me how to do something before you expect me to do it, and if I do it wrong, then criticize me. But don't ask me to do something I have never done, with no explanation or direction, then scream at me like I am a child or idiot.

So, all that having been said, advice, anyone?

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

He sounds like a moron...mainly because of this:

double-quotes-start.png

He reads texts and dials his cell phone while driving

double-quotes-end.png

...we must be hands free. I could care less what kind of a teacher he is, his careless behavior and ignorance of the law is dangerous.

He has only done that a couple of times, to be fair. Siri kept getting the wrong number

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Grumpy there are three things I have zero tolerance for:

- Texting, emailing, browsing (including reading content or texts) while driving

- Dialing or using a cell phone while driving (not hands free)

- Drinking while on-duty (yes, it happens)

Next time he reads a text, ask him what the company policy on texting is. Ask him what the law is.

The best way to teach and lead is by example; he is setting a very poor example for his student. You’ve been around, and know right from wrong; if it were me I’d speak candidly with the direct supervisor about him. Let them make the decision for you. At least you have it on record that there are issues with your trainer.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Grumpy there are three things I have zero tolerance for:

- Texting, emailing, browsing (including reading content or texts) while driving

- Dialing or using a cell phone while driving (not hands free)

- Drinking while on-duty (yes, it happens)

Next time he reads a text, ask him what the company policy on texting is. Ask him what the law is.

The best way to teach and lead is by example; he is setting a very poor example for his student. You’ve been around, and know right from wrong; if it were me I’d speak candidly with the direct supervisor about him. Let them make the decision for you. At least you have it on record that there are issues with your trainer.

That was exactly my thought. Get my concerns on record, and give him a chance to change after I speak with him.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Grumpy there are three things I have zero tolerance for:

- Texting, emailing, browsing (including reading content or texts) while driving

- Dialing or using a cell phone while driving (not hands free)

- Drinking while on-duty (yes, it happens)

Next time he reads a text, ask him what the company policy on texting is. Ask him what the law is.

The best way to teach and lead is by example; he is setting a very poor example for his student. You’ve been around, and know right from wrong; if it were me I’d speak candidly with the direct supervisor about him. Let them make the decision for you. At least you have it on record that there are issues with your trainer.

double-quotes-end.png

That was exactly my thought. Get my concerns on record, and give him a chance to change after I speak with him.

I agree with your plan. You have extensive “life” experience, time to exercise some of it. Right?

Sincerely wish you luck...!

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Grumpy there are three things I have zero tolerance for:

- Texting, emailing, browsing (including reading content or texts) while driving

- Dialing or using a cell phone while driving (not hands free)

- Drinking while on-duty (yes, it happens)

Next time he reads a text, ask him what the company policy on texting is. Ask him what the law is.

The best way to teach and lead is by example; he is setting a very poor example for his student. You’ve been around, and know right from wrong; if it were me I’d speak candidly with the direct supervisor about him. Let them make the decision for you. At least you have it on record that there are issues with your trainer.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

That was exactly my thought. Get my concerns on record, and give him a chance to change after I speak with him.

double-quotes-end.png

I agree with your plan. You have extensive “life” experience, time to exercise some of it. Right?

Sincerely wish you luck...!

Thanks, I think I will need it.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

The reading texts etc. Is an instant "get the hell off the truck" scenario for me.

Some may say tough it out, but it appears to me, that you are nothing more than bonus to his paycheck. I would not even give it another week, contact your training leader, and request a new trainer asap. You need to be diving a lot more than it appears you are, as well.

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.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

The reading texts etc. Is an instant "get the hell off the truck" scenario for me.

Some may say tough it out, but it appears to me, that you are nothing more than bonus to his paycheck. I would not even give it another week, contact your training leader, and request a new trainer asap. You need to be diving a lot more than it appears you are, as well.

Thanks, unless someone has a compelling reason not to, I have an email set to send monday, with a followup phone call. He is off Monday.

He did only read one or two texts, and dialed one phone call manually, to be fair, I don't want to make it seem he does that repeatedly. And yes, I have only driven maybe 2 to 3 hours the past week. He blamed the weather, and I didn't push it, because some of those days, I was glad I wasn't driving to be honest.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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