My First Mentor

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Daniel H.'s Comment
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2-18-14

OK all here it is. On my last day of orientation I left with my Mentor. It started out good for the first 50 miles. He drove over the pass because of the snow and told me that I would be driving after that. Because of the weather he didn't want me to drive to our first destination, then the next. on our 3rd day in the snow he ran out of his 11hr clock as we hit the interstate , which was bare and wet, he changed over to my clock and I was getting excited but he kept driving. Now at this time I should've got off the truck as fast as I could but I wanted so bad for this to work so I kept my mouth shut.

By day 3 I had 3.75hrs of driving then he wanted to take time off with his friend in Vegas. Well I won't get into a day by day list about what happened but to get to the bullet points, in the 11 days I was on his truck the qualcom shows me driving 53hrs of which he drove 16-20 of those. Of the last 10hrs that I did drive he spent 7-8 of them in the sleeper watching movies instead of sitting next to me answering my questions or giving me tips on how to drive as is required for my first 50hrs of driving. He talked and text on his phone while driving (of which I have video) and he refused to use an ashtray, flipping his ash and lit butts out the window (I also have video of this) even through we were in AZ, NM, TX where it's dry as can be. Then he started telling me that my trainers at the academy misinformed me on how to shift and other things and when I told him that I was trained differently than how he wanted me to drive he told me "You can argue with me, but it'll be a very short argument, you can do it as I say or get the hell off my truck." So off I got.

I'm now in a hotel room waiting for another mentor, who will hopefully be a lot better.

Now this is not a slam against Swift in any way. In most any company you will find some people who will not follow the rules and as far as I can tell Swift is going to take care of me and the situation so I have no complaints there and would still recommend Swift to anyone wanting to get into the industry.

The moral of the story is, if you find yourself in a similar situation speak up at the first sign that something isn't going right, that's what your driver leader is there for. If I had done so then I could've saved myself a lot of stress and time.

Remember this is an important part of the base that your career is built upon, DO NOT cheat yourself out of the training experience that you deserve and need to be a safe and professional driver.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Ken C.'s Comment
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Bummer hope they can get you paired up and with another mentor but this time a good one

Daniel H.'s Comment
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It may cost me a few days but I want to make sure where I stand with hours accredited to me before I go out with a new mentor so I know where I stand.

Anchorman's Comment
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Now this is not a slam against Swift in any way. In most any company you will find some people who will not follow the rules and as far as I can tell Swift is going to take care of me and the situation so I have no complaints there and would still recommend Swift to anyone wanting to get into the industry.

You are correct because this same type of thing has happened at my company. There was a woman in my orientation group that had a trainer horror story. She took the same steps as you and had the issue resolved by the company. Some trainers are just in it for the money and added perks.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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Is there anything in place at companies for the student to give feedback to the company about how good/bad the mentor was? I would think they would want some sort of input. How else would they learn if their trainers were effectively training the new hires or not? Mentors have the power to set a student up for success as well as failure.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Is there anything in place at companies for the student to give feedback to the company about how good/bad the mentor was? I would think they would want some sort of input. How else would they learn if their trainers were effectively training the new hires or not? Mentors have the power to set a student up for success as well as failure.

Indeed Steven most companies have a system in place that is supposed to protect the student from being put in bad situations or having poor quality trainers. How effectively companies monitor their students and how seriously they take the complaints will vary from company to company though.

This trainer Daniel was put with in really speaks to how sad people are nowadays. They don't seem to have anything in the way of pride or integrity. It's like people do whatever they'd like to for themselves and screw the rest of the world. They don't take pride in themselves, the work they do, or the way they treat others. They're junk, basically.

Daniel, you're handling this perfectly in my opinion. Getting evidence of the things that driver was doing by shooting video was a brilliant move. And Steven, keep that in mind for when it's your turn to be out there. If you have a trainer that's doing things that are illegal, dangerous, or against company policy you want to do everything in your power to prove your accusations like you would in a court of law. Because it's your word against an experienced trainer for the company. That's a tough battle to win. You have to make sure you have your facts straight and hopefully some sort of evidence to back them up.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

Is there anything in place at companies for the student to give feedback to the company about how good/bad the mentor was?

My company has a survey to fill out about your trainer after training is finished. Your trainer never sees the answers so you can be completly honest. My company will also inspect the trucks of potential trainers and have certain rules they have to follow. My company has certain requirements you must meet in order to become a trainer. As for the trainer horror story I mentioned, that particular person is no longer a trainer.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, I agree with the other guys, you handled this situation in the best way you could have..you don't need to be with that yahoo and he shouldn't be a trainer..imagine if he had gotten in an accident when he was on YOUR clock...this would have ended badly for BOTH of you...and I do mean ENDED...fingers crossed you get a top notch trainer this time..

Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

When I read stories like this one, I am so thankful I had a superb trainer/mentor. Although I have been solo for several months now, we became friends and I still talk to him almost daily. He has 24 yrs experience and has a wealth of knowledge to draw from. I hope things are working out for you with your new trainer.

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

I was a Operations Trainer at my Last Job and it takes a special set of skills that not everybody has. In order to be effective they need to be able deal with multiple types of personality's and no matter how good somebody is at doing their job they still might not be able to teach somebody else how to do because they lack the required people skills themselves or can't communicate in a learning fashion...

I hope I don't get a Jerk as a Trainer when my time comes and Daniel...Keep on Trucking, you did the right thing

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