My First Day With My Mentor And Not Sure If I Need To Do More

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Old School's Comment
member avatar
Here is a question, my trainer said to go around the building, I asked him whether I should go around the motel, so would it still be my fault if he wanted me to go around it?

Victor, this seems to be your common theme. You always want to know who is at fault. You still think that your first trainer didn't train you properly, so it couldn't be your fault that you had three or four backing incidents. You got your current trainer's truck stuck so you went inside the hotel for several hours while he worked on getting it out. After all, you considered it his fault.

Look, we've all been through training - it's tough - we get that. I had a terrible trainer. I totally get your frustration, but you've got to take the approach that realizes how short and inconsequential this time is. Three or four weeks with a trainer doesn't make you a truck driver. You can't properly address all the challenges a professional driver will encounter in that short period of time.

It's only enough training to turn you loose and reasonably expect you to have enough common sense to be extra careful and overly cautious while driving a massive vehicle that might weigh up to 80,000 pounds. You've been through this drill before. You're still making up your own expectations. You're only hurting yourself with your ideas. You've got to change your approach.

Stop trying to determine who is at fault all the time. All that does is make you blame everything on everybody besides yourself. It's terrible form for a truck driver wannabe. It's likely to keep you in that status for good. You should be sick of us using the phrase "personal responsibility" because we keep needing to bring it up with you.

Let me explain how I approached my training. I knew I was in a tight spot. Nobody wanted to hire me. Does that sound familiar? Somebody gave me a shot. I committed myself to learning. Have you ever realized you can actually learn without being taught? It's TRUE. You can also learn a lot from a bad teacher.

I decided it was going to be my fault if I didn't learn enough to be allowed to go solo while with my trainer. Try that approach. Commit to learning. Right now you're committed to being taught. There's a huge distinction there. I'm praying you can see that difference. Take control of your experience. Stop allowing your circumstances to have tyranny over you.

I'm quite sure you are tired of my sermon, so here's the short answer to your question of "would it still be my fault if he wanted me to go around it?"

The answer is... whoever was sitting in the driver's seat bears the blame. That's who is at fault.

Now, here's how you handle this stuff. If the trainer tells you something you don't think is right, then you don't challenge him. You try to engage him. That's the game changer. You ask a simple question like, "Hey, I'm not sure what's behind this hotel. Wouldn't it be better for me to set the brake and go take a look first?" If he still insists, then as you're setting the brake you say, "I'm sorry, I'm not comfortable with that at this point, I'm gonna take a quick look before I get myself into a bad situation." Then you act like a professional - you exercise caution and take extra care to protect your equipment, your job, and your record as a driver.

Keep it simple and non-confrontational. If he gets angry, don't let it bother you. My trainer once said to me, "You are just like all the other stupid white people I've had to train." I think you'll agree that was a little over the line. I just grinned at him and kept on driving. I kept things from being confrontational. This goes back to being disciplined. I never let my trainer know he was getting under my skin. It frustrated him, but it kept us making progress. Try it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Maybe I’m reading this wrong, BUT shouldn’t you let the Trainer tell YOU how it’s gonna go? I think if I were the Trainer and right away you ask me if we can go over expectations, I’m gonna say something like; “yeah, expect me to tell you what to do. Expect me to observe you to determine how much you already know. You’re still interviewing for this job.“

You said; “This is is my account of what I was concerned about. When we got on the truck he had been driving for a while. I ask him how he was and he said he was good kind of quietly. Then I asked if we could go over expectations.“

Hang in there and do your best. And DON’T BE SO QUICK TO CRITICIZE OTHERS. 😳

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Victor...

Gotta be honest with you here...you are not learning from your past mistakes and the advice you have received in this thread is not too much different from past advice. Are we to conclude you are not coachable? Beginning to wonder if maybe trucking isn’t your thing...

Square peg in a round hole? Don’t know fur sure...but...

Although our renewed mantra is to empathize...encourage...etc., you are making that difficult. You are creating most of these problems, blowing them out of proportion, and losing sight that what you are going through right now, your training is also a protracted job interview. You are not there to evaluate your trainer. Drive the truck Victor...that’s all you need to do.

I urge you to study the advice offered in this thread, assimilate the information, commit it to memory and put it into practice immediately. Don’t overthink it, obsess over it or look for every opportunity to pick it apart. Western Express is probably your last chance. Don’t blow it.

Take responsibility for your success. Believe in yourself and get the job done.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Andhe78 I will remember to heed that, cause that's probably some of the probablem. I did not realize I could do that. Today went smoother but he sorta gets impatient if I want to take things slower than he would. Not trying to get into another incident. But today was great compared to Friday.

This talk about driving around buildings reminds me of my recent training in a new driving job as a fuel hauler. It would drive my trainer crazy that I’d jump out and look before driving around an unfamiliar location. He finally told me “I have over twenty years driving into these same stations-if I tell you to drive around behind a station, do it.” So I did, but as soon as I got out on my own, it was right back to hopping out to check stuff if it was unfamiliar. Kind of funny.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Old School your right, I was the one driving and the one to blame. I will take your advice and learn and not be taught. Your right that my fixation on my trainer not teaching me correctly is what is hindering me profoundly and I need to become a truck driver not the wannabe and the wannabe is always looking to be taught. Would that be the general thought.

double-quotes-start.png

Here is a question, my trainer said to go around the building, I asked him whether I should go around the motel, so would it still be my fault if he wanted me to go around it?

double-quotes-end.png

Victor, this seems to be your common theme. You always want to know who is at fault. You still think that your first trainer didn't train you properly, so it couldn't be your fault that you had three or four backing incidents. You got your current trainer's truck stuck so you went inside the hotel for several hours while he worked on getting it out. After all, you considered it his fault.

Look, we've all been through training - it's tough - we get that. I had a terrible trainer. I totally get your frustration, but you've got to take the approach that realizes how short and inconsequential this time is. Three or four weeks with a trainer doesn't make you a truck driver. You can't properly address all the challenges a professional driver will encounter in that short period of time.

It's only enough training to turn you loose and reasonably expect you to have enough common sense to be extra careful and overly cautious while driving a massive vehicle that might weigh up to 80,000 pounds. You've been through this drill before. You're still making up your own expectations. You're only hurting yourself with your ideas. You've got to change your approach.

Stop trying to determine who is at fault all the time. All that does is make you blame everything on everybody besides yourself. It's terrible form for a truck driver wannabe. It's likely to keep you in that status for good. You should be sick of us using the phrase "personal responsibility" because we keep needing to bring it up with you.

Let me explain how I approached my training. I knew I was in a tight spot. Nobody wanted to hire me. Does that sound familiar? Somebody gave me a shot. I committed myself to learning. Have you ever realized you can actually learn without being taught? It's TRUE. You can also learn a lot from a bad teacher.

I decided it was going to be my fault if I didn't learn enough to be allowed to go solo while with my trainer. Try that approach. Commit to learning. Right now you're committed to being taught. There's a huge distinction there. I'm praying you can see that difference. Take control of your experience. Stop allowing your circumstances to have tyranny over you.

I'm quite sure you are tired of my sermon, so here's the short answer to your question of "would it still be my fault if he wanted me to go around it?"

The answer is... whoever was sitting in the driver's seat bears the blame. That's who is at fault.

Now, here's how you handle this stuff. If the trainer tells you something you don't think is right, then you don't challenge him. You try to engage him. That's the game changer. You ask a simple question like, "Hey, I'm not sure what's behind this hotel. Wouldn't it be better for me to set the brake and go take a look first?" If he still insists, then as you're setting the brake you say, "I'm sorry, I'm not comfortable with that at this point, I'm gonna take a quick look before I get myself into a bad situation." Then you act like a professional - you exercise caution and take extra care to protect your equipment, your job, and your record as a driver.

Keep it simple and non-confrontational. If he gets angry, don't let it bother you. My trainer once said to me, "You are just like all the other stupid white people I've had to train." I think you'll agree that was a little over the line. I just grinned at him and kept on driving. I kept things from being confrontational. This goes back to being disciplined. I never let my trainer know he was getting under my skin. It frustrated him, but it kept us making progress. Try it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Okay Steve, I will learn to not be so quick to expect perfection.

Maybe I’m reading this wrong, BUT shouldn’t you let the Trainer tell YOU how it’s gonna go? I think if I were the Trainer and right away you ask me if we can go over expectations, I’m gonna say something like; “yeah, expect me to tell you what to do. Expect me to observe you to determine how much you already know. You’re still interviewing for this job.“

You said; “This is is my account of what I was concerned about. When we got on the truck he had been driving for a while. I ask him how he was and he said he was good kind of quietly. Then I asked if we could go over expectations.“

Hang in there and do your best. And DON’T BE SO QUICK TO CRITICIZE OTHERS. 😳

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

G-Town I think your right that because of my past mistakes I have been defensive feeling like Im going to fail if I am not strict enough to stand up and say something when I sense I am not getting taught properly. The problem is I wanted to be served and not serve the trainer and your right because of that I became uncoachable without realizing it and I do want to be a trucker and your right this is probably the last chance so like you and Old School and many others have said, I need to take responsibility for my own training. Next topic is going to be how I am taking my trucking career into my hands with the Lords help and taking responsibility for what I need to take responsibility for. Period. Promise by the way today went a lot better. Only had one rough spot today but we nailed it.

Victor...

Gotta be honest with you here...you are not learning from your past mistakes and the advice you have received in this thread is not too much different from past advice. Are we to conclude you are not coachable? Beginning to wonder if maybe trucking isn’t your thing...

Square peg in a round hole? Don’t know fur sure...but...

Although our renewed mantra is to empathize...encourage...etc., you are making that difficult. You are creating most of these problems, blowing them out of proportion, and losing sight that what you are going through right now, your training is also a protracted job interview. You are not there to evaluate your trainer. Drive the truck Victor...that’s all you need to do.

I urge you to study the advice offered in this thread, assimilate the information, commit it to memory and put it into practice immediately. Don’t overthink it, obsess over it or look for every opportunity to pick it apart. Western Express is probably your last chance. Don’t blow it.

Take responsibility for your success. Believe in yourself and get the job done.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Today went smoother but he sorta gets impatient if I want to take things slower than he would

That's his problem, not yours. Don't let his impatience concern you. It doesn't matter if he's screaming at you, crying like a baby, or laughing hysterically. Who cares? Let him handle his own feelings. You should stay focused on the things you can control. Focus on being patient, doing things safely, and learning all you can. That's it.

Anytime you're concerned about something, ask yourself:

1) Is this something I can control?

2) Is this helping me become a better driver?

If you can't control it and it isn't helping you become a better driver then don't worry about it. Remain focused on what's important. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

10-4 that Brett and maybe thats what will help me enjoy this time out here more than before. Thats probably what I have been missing the whole time. Maybe thats why my first day was so bad. Too concerned with how he felt. I will heed your advice and I am truly going to do my best to put it into practice. I definitely allowed things to get to me when they should not even have touched me a little bit. I need to learn to have thick skin and a soft heart. Thats the key.smile.gif

double-quotes-start.png

Today went smoother but he sorta gets impatient if I want to take things slower than he would

double-quotes-end.png

That's his problem, not yours. Don't let his impatience concern you. It doesn't matter if he's screaming at you, crying like a baby, or laughing hysterically. Who cares? Let him handle his own feelings. You should stay focused on the things you can control. Focus on being patient, doing things safely, and learning all you can. That's it.

Anytime you're concerned about something, ask yourself:

1) Is this something I can control?

2) Is this helping me become a better driver?

If you can't control it and it isn't helping you become a better driver then don't worry about it. Remain focused on what's important. Don't sweat the small stuff.

This picture is the first time I dropped off and picked up in a trailer yard for a while. Enjoyed the success of getting it in the slot smoothly. Ahhhh.

0626045001574039271.jpg

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Got a question. Is it okay for a mentor to smack a mentee in the back for assuming he wasnt doing what he asked? I am over my over sensitivity and I promise today I did my absolute best and Guess what?! The day so far has gone absolutely great except when the truck hit the brakes automatically he assumed I was and smacked me in the back for it, cause he did not want me to slow down. I was getting close to others so I wanted to back off but the truck decided to do it for me apparently.

Im learning though through your advice to mostly just bear through it and learn not be taught but learn what I can and you would be so proud of me cause I reminded myself that when I was having a pity party inside. 😉😁.

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