Going Out OTR Soon

Topic 24609 | Page 1

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DrumMum's Comment
member avatar

Hey, all.

I haven't been around lately. I am at orientation now. Just waiting in motel room for the company to call and get all the paperwork stuff ready. And then I guess they set me up with a trainer on the road. Just waiting for the drug screen and work history, then they'll call.

I am going with Western Express. A few companies wouldn't take me because I need more experience in backing. I even just paid for yet another course on backing. And it really helped me!!

So far, everyone here at Western has been super nice. All people in the office, instructors are really nice. My recruiter was really nice, she kept in contact with me regularly. I can not say that about the other recruiters i've spoken to.

Just wanted to touch base again. A little nervous about being on the road with a stranger/trainer. But if they can teach me, I'm in!!!

Thanks!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

DrumMum, Congratulations!

Allow me to help you set some proper expectations. Your trainer is going to be more interested in you getting things done than they are in actually taking the time to give you hands on instruction. They are going to want to sleep while you drive and drive while you sleep. That doesn't sound like a very educational environment does it?

Almost every new driver thinks they are going to be having all this stuff spoon fed to them, while most of the trainers are just wanting you to drive the truck and turn some miles. There's something to be said for this approach. For one thing most good truck drivers are very independent self starters. They like to get things done, and they don't waste a lot of time about it. By putting you right into the thick of things, they figure if you've got the right temperament, you'll adjust and make things happen. They figure you'll learn by doing. They want to expose you to the realities of tough schedules, and demanding circumstances.

Do you think you can handle that type of training? My guess is that it will be very much close to what I'm sharing with you. I'm not trying to disturb you or frighten you into turning back. I want you to succeed, but I've watched so many people give up after just a few weeks with their trainer solely because they had completely opposite ideas of how it would be done.

You're going to be delivering actual loads with actual scheduled delivery appointments. There will be pressure on you to get it done. Your trainer will want to be getting as much done as the two of you possibly can. The company knows you are going to be under pressure. They would like to see how you handle it. If you can hold up and be productive, it bodes well for your future career. If you bust into tears wanting to go home they will be glad they found out early on how the pressure affects you.

There are reasons for this brutal training period. Being a rookie truck driver can and will be brutal. You need to get a grasp on what it's like. Oh, it gets better, but those first few months are critically important and you've got to muscle through them as best you can if you really want to make a go of this.

Here's two resources I highly recommend for any new driver just getting started with a trainer. The first one is an article you should read. The second is a podcast you should listen to.

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

The Boot Camp Approach To Truck Driver Training

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Allow me to help you set some proper expectations. Your trainer is going to be more interested in you getting things done than they are in actually taking the time to give you hands on instruction. They are going to want to sleep while you drive and drive while you sleep. That doesn't sound like a very educational environment does it?

Almost every new driver thinks they are going to be having all this stuff spoon fed to them, while most of the trainers are just wanting you to drive the truck and turn some miles. There's something to be said for this approach. For one thing most good truck drivers are very independent self starters. They like to get things done, and they don't waste a lot of time about it. By putting you right into the thick of things, they figure if you've got the right temperament, you'll adjust and make things happen. They figure you'll learn by doing. They want to expose you to the realities of tough schedules, and demanding circumstances.

Do you think you can handle that type of training? My guess is that it will be very much close to what I'm sharing with you. I'm not trying to disturb you or frighten you into turning back. I want you to succeed, but I've watched so many people give up after just a few weeks with their trainer solely because they had completely opposite ideas of how it would be done.

You're going to be delivering actual loads with actual scheduled delivery appointments. There will be pressure on you to get it done. Your trainer will want to be getting as much done as the two of you possibly can. The company knows you are going to be under pressure. They would like to see how you handle it. If you can hold up and be productive, it bodes well for your future career. If you bust into tears wanting to go home they will be glad they found out early on how the pressure affects you.

There are reasons for this brutal training period. Being a rookie truck driver can and will be brutal. You need to get a grasp on what it's like. Oh, it gets better, but those first few months are critically important and you've got to muscle through them as best you can if you really want to make a go of this.

Here's two resources I highly recommend for any new driver just getting started with a trainer. The first one is an article you should read. The second is a podcast you should listen to.

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

The Boot Camp Approach To Truck Driver Training

Hi, Old School.

I was hoping to hear from you!! That's kind of what I thought it would be like! I am used to driving bigger trucks, but no real experience with trailers. All I'm worried about is being able to get that sucker parked in the dock! If a trainer can get me to do that, I'll be happy!!!

I appreciate your insight! I figured it will be like boot camp. I will go back and reread the articles you referenced.

Thanks, again.

Christi

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I give my trainees a few tips the first couple days and practice in truck stops, and after that they have to do all the docks and parking themselves. Im not GOALing or spotting for them because i wont be there when they go solo. They need to learn to do it now.

Sounds mean, but most effective. Try to get your trainer to let you do all of the backing. practice is the key and good luck

Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Rainy, I bet you couldn't be mean if you tried. Just a very effective trainer. When I was driving for Conway Southern Express as a driver/trainer I too would take every future prospect to a truck stop or warehouse setting to practice backing, go over all paperwork and procedures and I even bought them lunch their first day out. Then like you it was all on them to learn and proceed because there are no baby sitters.

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