New Guy Questions

Topic 28367 | Page 2

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Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately this isn't unheard of or uncommon at all. Heck didn't Moe just get hired on with a company that out gave him a road test? Not a knock against him. Happens all the time around here in Chicago. Driver gets hired right out of school. Goes out for a day or 2 with a driver. Pulling containers by himself the next week. Don't walk from this company, run. Get on with paid cdl training. That will always be the best bet.

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.
Mike C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Bird and your post goes' to my concerns.

In school we used mostly std shift trucks except for the on the road whereas we used automatic trucks. We had no coupling/uncoupling training at all. We were required to point to and identify the components, ie Skid plate, King Pin, etc, but did not actually couple or uncouple.

Yesterday we were taught coupling and uncoupling using automatic trucks. Switches on the dash that I had no prior training with nor knowledge of. Lowering the truck, airbag deflation, etc. All brand new to me and when it was my turn I stumbled some For certain given some time and practice I'll get it but I'm not so sure that by Monday that'll happen at least to my comfort level.

This company is a pretty big company and up to about a year ago (as I understand it) they did have an OTR trainer. As I understand it that ended about a year ago. I've been concerned about this since I first learned of it maybe a month or so ago during my CDL schooling. Now that I'm kinda/sorta beginning my real life trucking employment I'm learning that there's alot more to driving a truck than just driving the truck. There's alot to learn and the learning has everything to do with safety and personal earnings. Much-much more than is taught at a school.

I can clearly see and understand the need for a trainer, some on the job, real instruction in the real trucking world.

I'm learning on the fly. Hindsight it's said is always 20/20 It might be that this company might not be the right choice for me. It might not satisfy my needs to be a safe and successful operator. That is not intended to be in any way critical of my sorta employer. What works for them and other drivers is all well and good but I not so sure it's the program for me.

Therefore I just dont see the need to name a company because as I do understand it, it's not exclusive to this employer. It's my inability to grasp it in a week or so that's the problem, not the trucking company per se. I have no wish to appear that I'm critical of a company by name as has been asked of me resulting in my being accused of "Playing Games" which I do find offensive.

It does' come as a surprise that some of the input I've recieved seemed surprised that the system exists at all?

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.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

I'm not exactly sure what "advice" you need Mike. You want to be a safe professional driver and you don't feel this outfit will give you the results. This company isn't for you then. Move on and quit wasting your time or theirs.

People are surprised to hear about outfits like this because in a heavy regulated industry and one that has seen rising insurance costs their path doesn't make sense.

The liability or personal injury lawyers will have a field day in court if you were to get into an accident and they found out you really didn't get any training.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I'm not exactly sure what "advice" you need Mike. You want to be a safe professional driver and you don't feel this outfit will give you the results. This company isn't for you then. Move on and quit wasting your time or theirs.

I completely agree with Big T. Move on. You are not starting this career in the proper manner. You need to start at a major player who provides rookie drivers with a minimum of one month with a trainer.

Don't take offense at my remarks about "playing games." We all are willing to name the company we work for. The fact that you don't feel comfortable with that should be a huge red flag to you. I highly recommend you move on. Start somewhere else.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Mike I have read through your posts a couple times now to understand you and the situation better. Per your own description of your learning style I agree with Big T and old school. This is not the company for you. I highly recommend also you go with a company that will put you with a trainer for the time needed for you to get a handle on how they do things.

I stand by my first observation that liability is extremly high at your current company. I understand this being a long time dream and would hate to see it fail because someone thrust you out there without a good amount of support.

I would notify the school of the lack of training. They may not be aware of it. It may help someone in the future.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Personally I would thank them for the opportunity and walk away. No company should put a new driver on the road with no additional training, I would be worried about any legal liability this would set me up for. I have a feeling you won't be legally insured as the cost of insurance on a new driver is astronomical especially with no training program.

Bird One and myself both live in the Chicago area and unfortunately this not uncommon in our area.

Don't take offense at my remarks about "playing games." We all are willing to name the company we work for. The fact that you don't feel comfortable with that should be a huge red flag to you.

Not everyone here named the company they work for, I was hesitant the first few times I came here. Heck a well respected moderator did not name his new company when he changed companies a little while ago.

Personally, I do not see not wanting to name your company online as a red flag for the most part especially after hearing about places finding your online posts and firing people for them.

The sad reality is there are companies that operate like this we have seen them in the Chicago area infact they are locally famous.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Mike - I respect your decision not to name your employer, I'm a firm believer that ALL bridges are necessary to maintain, if only for our personal ability to say we never intentionally burned one (or unless HQ tells us to give it a splash to mess with Ivan or the ChiCom). I started this after a different career as well, and was well into my 50's. I had a stale CDL , meaning I was a year out of school before I started with my first outfit. I went for a week long refresher, but like your experience the actual wheel time was brief. Backing was always the worst part for me - for the first 10 months or so I always put my hat on before starting to back. It kept the sweat out of my eyes...

rofl-2.gif

In any event, whatever decision you make will be yours to make. You will, as soon as you take that wheel in your hands (with or without a trainer), become the defacto "pilot". You've had the responsibility before, so you know that of which I speak. YOU command the vehicle, and you take on the burden of responsibility for it. I don't envy you in making this decision. I am earnest when I say "Good Luck, Driver".

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.
Mike C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks every one for your input.

Let me say that I stand by not mentioning the name of my (maybe) employer. I'm new to all this and as a FNG I dont wish to venture into unchartered water with something I have zero knowledge. I've done my own vigilance and although I dont agree with them I really dont care to appear to be throwing a stone.

I spoke to my maybe employer today about my concerns. We had a very open and candid discussion which leaves the final decision to me.

I'm wrestling some with it but leaning to looking elsewhere.

I wish to say THANK YOU for your input to all. I asked for advice and welcomed it from you guys

l

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

I'll be the first to admit that I've never heard of a company turning a driver loose without a "finishing trainer" of some sort.

That to me just sounds like an awful learning experience. And I side with everyone else, say thanks but no thanks. Aside from the safety aspect. I felt like I learned much more on the road than on the skidpad or school driving area.

And you gotta ask yourself. If the norm is to spend a month give or take with an OTR trainer... Why are these guys not doing that?

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.

Dm:

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.

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.

Mike C.'s Comment
member avatar

Cwc

I'm clueless as to what is or is not the norm or sometimes and seldom, or never, or often.

Cwc I just dont know thus I asked.

Now, my previous and longtime profession I began in 1964....actually might have been 1963 They threw me out of the Army from the Naval Hospital in South Philly and told me that they had no need for damaged goods and to hit the road, and off I went.

After a good many years I learned some stuff here and there and was pretty well versed on the subject of the employment I ended up with.

During the beginning of the downturn, something around 2007 or so, it was decided our company needed a "volunteer" to be the mouth of the south for our brands Had to be someone willing to go on the forums with his actual name, not a Nome De Plume, and take the heat. Someone had to be that stupid and it was decided that I was the guy who was/is that stupid. As it turned out I was speaking for four very well known brand names, all the time, all over the world. It was to say the very least a Baptism Of Fire having to do with forums. The brands I was speaking for are very well known and I learned a whole lot about alot of good and bad stuff having to do with forums. Thus, I did not wish to come off in a bad way commenting on a company by name on a subject that I have zero, none, not a bit of understanding. I've had some real up close and personal experiance with forums and felt that if I have no knowledge of a subject, then I dont wish to be what I've experianced as a guy with zero knowledge that pontificates on a subject that he has zero knowledge of.

Thus my Maybe, kinda/sorta, employ remains un named for the reasons I try to explain from my personal experiances and with a little bit of a sense of humor.

I have no personal knowledge of any wrong doing to anyone or I wouldn't have shown up there on day one which was last Monday.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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