Failure

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Stephanie K.'s Comment
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I am glad that you posted that clarification. Sometimes I read from a trainer their view of a trainees mistake and I wonder why they react with such an attitude of "just don't do that!!". I guess it just bothered me when I read the threads about the guy that was excited about his new GPS. I understand what you are saying about some mistakes being not acceptable. But when it comes to understanding why we have to do certain things instead of just doing them, I feel that once we get out there and we are alone we need to have that understanding. My experience s were based in backing and understanding the GPS. It took many hours of backing by myself with the help of many amazing truckers to understand how the truck reacts to my movements because the trainers I had just told me how to do it instead of helping me understand why it works that way. I also was never told how the Qualcomm and GPS differ. It took time for me to understand how to use them together and when to not pay attention to the GPS. I just feel that when a student is ignorant to certain things and starts to make a bad decision regarding making a turn down a road that leads nowhere a trainer shouldn't get on this site and boast about how he or she threatened to throw him off the truck because of that. Maybe I read it wrong or was a bit too sensitive to the situation. I apologize if I took it the wrong way. I just know how it feels to be new and excited about this career and feeling crushed by my inability to understand what and why a trainer is telling me to do something.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Regroup and refocus. Today is a new day. Stay positive, make great things happen for yourself.

Excellent summary of Brett's advice. I've always learned from my mistakes, but I heartily agree with the way Brett broke it down. Some mistakes are unacceptable and it's important we realize what those are, and take the necessary precautions to avoid them.

I didn't even realize you are still in training. Look, that's the most frustrating time you'll ever have in this career. I honestly think my trainer could have won a trophy for the worst trainer ever! Here's what I did. I swallowed my pride, kept my objections to myself and learned what I could from him. He belittled me constantly, griped about everything I did, and even told me one time, "You are just like all the other stupid white people I have to train!" He was terribly frustrating. I stayed humble and ignored him most of the time. I knew I was there to learn, and I learned what I could and just let all the rest of the garbage go.

Being able to let go of your frustration without allowing it to fester into a poor attitude is critically important in this career. That can also be considered a failure that we learn from. Make sure you've got the right perspective on your failures and what they are.

The reason I quoted Brett's summary is because I start each day with a similar line of thought. My driver manager refers to me as his "number one overall draft pick." That's a huge compliment in a very competitive environment like trucking. I start each day thinking "If I'm going to continue being considered the best of the best I'm going to take this day on and get out here and make something positive happen." If you're surrounded by people like what you've described to us then that ought to be an easy goal for you. Hang in there Stephanie, make it happen!

Driver Manager:

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

The post you are referring to was written by Chuck in the frozen lake thread.

The important take-away in his reply is effective trip planning and not to rely entirely on the GPS. Taken out of context it appears to be somewhat arbitrary. Yes. However if you reread the entire response it might make more sense. What the student was taught leading up to that point, was seemingly forgotten, as if it never happened.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Stephanie, it appears you are already solo, so forgive my confusion. I think something you read here caused some concern for you and it's understandable. We don't always communicate in the most effective ways, and there are a lot of different personalities in here. One thing we don't allow is for trainers to 'bash their students." You're going to see posts from trainers that are frustrated though. Training is tough, really tough. God bless those who do it, I think they are exceptional people to do what they do.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
It took many hours of backing by myself with the help of many amazing truckers to understand how the truck reacts to my movements because the trainers I had just told me how to do it instead of helping me understand why it works that way.......I just know how it feels to be new and excited about this career and feeling crushed by my inability to understand what and why a trainer is telling me to do something.

I've been a lifelong student. I love to learn new things, take on big challenges, and experience new things in life. I've learned everything from computer programming and calculus to driving trucks and working on Harleys. These days I'm training for mountain climbing. I train 6 days a week at the same level as a professional athlete does under a professional fitness coach and I climb with professional guides.

I'm a total newbie in the climbing world. I've only been doing it for 9 months. In other areas I'm the veteran with 25 years of experience. So I know the perspective of a master and I know the perspective of a total greenhorn.

Learning a skill like rock climbing or throwing a baseball is similar to learning truck driving in one important way - it's mostly about learning the techniques and doesn't require a lot of knowledge. You learn the techniques by practicing them a lot by yourself, not by reading 1,000 page textbooks or sitting in classrooms for years at a time.

You'll also find that there isn't a whole lot that anyone else can do for you other than to explain a few simple techniques, point out any obvious flaws in your technique, and leave you alone to figure it out for yourself. Your mind and body have to learn how it all works. Your eyes have to learn how to judge distances, speeds, and angles and your body has to learn how to make the proper movements necessary to accomplish the task. It simply requires a lot of repetition. The brain will form new neural pathways and your body will evolve to make the correct movements.

When I'm trying to figure out how climb something difficult it rarely does any good for someone to keep yelling things like, "Move your left hand to that little knob, now move your right foot into that crack, now grab that hold with your right hand," etc. Once in a while they'll give me a tip to help me find the next move or they'll point out a flaw in my technique. But most of the time they just hold the safety rope and watch silently as my mind tries to figure out the moves and my body tries to make them. The more figuring I do and the more moving I do the better I become. It just takes a lot of time and repetition.

Trucking is the same way. People can give you some backing tips once in a while like, "don't turn the wheel so much" or "give the trailer more time to react before you make the next move" but that's about all they can do. You just simply have to keep practicing it so your mind can learn to recognize the problem and figure out how to solve it and your body can figure out how to make the correct movements required to make it happen.

You will spend 1 hour of practice for every minute of instruction you receive in technique-based tasks like climbing and trucking. They'll throw a few instructions your way and then you'll spend an hour or two trying to figure out how to do that one little thing they just told you to do.

I believe students tend to become convinced they have poor trainers because they expect the trainer to be able to teach them how to do this stuff. They don't realize the nature of learning these techniques. You basically have to teach yourself.

Now to be clear, there are a lot of trainers with lousy personalities for teaching. No question about it. But in the end that doesn't matter very much. It will certainly affect how much fun you're having (or not having) trying to learn these skills, but in the end you're teaching yourself most of the time anyhow. You don't need the trainer for very much.

That's why I always teach people to focus on making themselves better. That's how you're going to get better - by analyzing what you're doing, figuring out what works and doesn't work, and improving the next time - over and over again. If I thought the trainer was important I would tell people to focus on making sure you have the best trainer possible. That might be the case for something that's heavily knowledge-based like mathematics, philosophy, or science. But when it comes to throwing a baseball, climbing a mountain, or driving a truck you mostly need a lot of repetition and focused, deliberate practice.

And because your are so self-reliant it's extremely important to keep a clear, calm mind and a positive attitude. If you let yourself get flustered and frustrated you're not going to be able to learn properly which is going to lead to more frustration, more bad results, and a downward spiral.

Stay positive, focus hard whenever you're practicing, and be patient with yourself. You'll figure it out. It just takes time and repetition.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Stephanie,

I also like to understand what I'm learning rather than being told just to do it. But I also realize that often you can't have that conversation about the why until after you've done it. I heard a comedian say one time that "turning into a skid, is like leaning into a left hook." It sounds counter intuitive, but it works. From what I've read on this forum, the trainers "complaining about their trainees" involves the trainee's lack of coach ability. The trainee insisting on using the GPS when trainer knows from experience that following the GPS will put you in bad situations. For example, see the picture below:

GPS took me here. But that was just one part of my failure here. The second was GOAL related. I should have gotten off the bike to see how deep the water was but I didn't. I'm a smart guy and the smart guy in me would have done that. But I didn't and the bike ended up as you see in the picture. I not only learned not to follow the GPS (I could have easily turned around), but I also learned EXACTLY where my air intake is located on my bike.

0326418001551190718.jpg

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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