"Mountain Running" Training Question...

Topic 27168 | Page 1

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Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

So I have been discussing my training with a couple of people, one an experienced trucker.

While I am learning a lot and have much more to learn, especially in the backing arena, I am again finding vast differences in training styles, skills, personalities, etc.. I have learned much from both trainers. Next week is slated to be my last. A week out with another student and plan is to test to upgrade. I lost one day of driving last week due to holiday/dispatch/trainer mis-communication, etc.. (Lost the day's pay too!). Lost driving last Friday and today due to delays, HOS clocks, trainer's needs to get back, etc.. Was tempted to ask for the time back, maybe on the range backing.

Consensus seems to be (similar to thoughts shared here) that there is only so much they can teach me and I need to get on with it. One added that that may be what Co. expects too. (Go out and make us some money already)... The experience driver added that if we run out East (as we do), I want to run out West (as I do and Entertainment Division does, of course) and even going to Texas (apparently we do a lot of HazMat to TX) I need to get some time in mountains with a trainer. I don't think that is part of the current plan.

Oh... ran a HazMat load (containers with residue) S. of Chicago in AM Rush traffic, went to the Port, and ran 78,000 lb.+ load back out in PM Rush / construction traffic!

So my long-winded question is "Is it reasonable and appropriate to ask when my Mountain OTR training will begin?"

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It never hurts to ask about it. See what they say.

Trucking is something you learn by doing. New drivers don't expect that. They expect their training to last until they're good, solid drivers but that's never the case. The training for truck driving is more like training someone to ride a bike. You put on the training wheels just until they figure out how to keep the bike on two wheels. Then you take the training wheels off and they learn how to become good at it. They'll never become good unless you take those training wheels off and let them learn by doing the real thing.

In trucking, they want you to go solo as soon as possible. That's how you learn. You won't feel like you're ready to go solo. Almost no one ever does. That's why you hear so many people complain that their training was poor. Their training wasn't poor. Their expectations were wrong. They expected to go solo only after they were confident and proficient, but that's not how it's done.

In trucking, you must learn how to operate in circumstances that are uncomfortable. That's the reality of this job. It never becomes easy, though it becomes easier.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Yes it's true: your company wants to get you out on the road driving (safely of course) for them ASAP, as Brett points out. You were on the right track with your thought Go out and make us some money already. And you won't learn even 25% of your trucking life and skills with a trainer. You'll get that on your own when you do go OTR. Search for the phrase "My First Week" here*.

I learned CDL driving in Memphis, TN. No serious mountains within driving distance. In your first hill, just remember the basics. Up hill, you'll need lower gears, flashers on under 40 mph. Believe it or not, same applies going downhill. Low gear/slow speed. Use the engine retarder.

*The Trucking Truth search bar is the blank areas just under the title banner above.

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.

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.

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.

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