Team Training Anxiety - Can I "Teach Myself" To Fall Asleep In A Moving Truck?

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Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone, and happy holidays!

In less than a week, I'll be picking up my rental car to head for beautiful Springfield, MO, and start my new adventure in company-sponsored training at Wilson Logistics. I feel as confident and prepared as ever, and 100% of the credit goes to the support and information I've received from this site.

In fact, in my last conversations with my recruiter and processor just a few days ago, they said "we speak to a LOT of new recruits here, and you've been two steps ahead of us on everything we've asked you for during the application and backgrounding process. Your preparation speaks very well for how you'll perform as a driver with us." I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, because the truth is, were it not for this site, I WOULD NOT have heard these kind words! Full credit goes where it's due. If you're new to this site, immerse yourself in all of the resources available. I cannot emphasize this enough.

That said--and I know I've shared this anxiety and concern on this forum before--the biggest thing giving me butterflies in my stomach is the team training portion, specifically, the ability to sleep while the truck is in motion. I've been a light sleeper my whole life, so I feel well prepared to adapt to life and sleep on the road once I'm solo. Ear plugs, white noise, melatonin, herbal tea, sleep masks, trying to avoid bright light when coming off night driving, avoiding large meals before sleep, regular exercise, meditation, the whole nine yards.

Packrat or OldSchool, I remember that one of you gave this plain and simple honest truth: I simply won't know how I'll sleep in a moving truck, or how I'll adapt, until it happens. But with a squawking Qualcomm , shaking bed, trainer on the cell phone or blasting the radio, etc., even with earplugs and a sleep mask and a white noise machine, I'm not sure how much they will help. I've often joked that a mouse farting in another room is enough to wake me up at night!

It's been said on this forum that "eventually," I'll get so tired that my body will eventually crash into sleep no matter how disturbing the conditions are. But my concern is that if I "eventually" get tired enough to fall asleep in a moving truck, I'll get tired enough to fall asleep behind the wheel. I'm aware this probably sounds alarmist. I just really, really, really want this career and this lifestyle, and have a burning desire to put my nose to the grindstone, suit up and show up with a positive attitude, and allow my work ethic, preparation, dedication, willingness to remain teachable and ask for help, and ability to work well with others, carry me to success: slowly, and WITH HUMILITY, as I learn my way as a trainee and rookie driver. It would just be a real shame if I gave 110% in all of these areas and washed out because of a genetic limitation to falling asleep under less than ideal conditions.

Many of you have said that you "learned how to sleep in any conditions" while you were in the Army, Air Force, or when you were in training or rookie drivers. Can you give specific instructions as to HOW you learned how to sleep in any conditions? Are there any advance steps I can take to prepare myself?

Thanks so much for your help!

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

My trainee just said "you will sleep when you are so exhausted you just pass out"

shocked.png

This was pretty much true for me too. I cant sleep in the beginning of a new student.

Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Kearsey!

I’m noticing a trend here: I get the exact same response every time.

Perhaps this is proof I’m overthinking it and I should stop worrying about it lol

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone, and happy holidays!

In less than a week, I'll be picking up my rental car to head for beautiful Springfield, MO, and start my new adventure in company-sponsored training at Wilson Logistics. I feel as confident and prepared as ever, and 100% of the credit goes to the support and information I've received from this site.

In fact, in my last conversations with my recruiter and processor just a few days ago, they said "we speak to a LOT of new recruits here, and you've been two steps ahead of us on everything we've asked you for during the application and backgrounding process. Your preparation speaks very well for how you'll perform as a driver with us." I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, because the truth is, were it not for this site, I WOULD NOT have heard these kind words! Full credit goes where it's due. If you're new to this site, immerse yourself in all of the resources available. I cannot emphasize this enough.

That said--and I know I've shared this anxiety and concern on this forum before--the biggest thing giving me butterflies in my stomach is the team training portion, specifically, the ability to sleep while the truck is in motion. I've been a light sleeper my whole life, so I feel well prepared to adapt to life and sleep on the road once I'm solo. Ear plugs, white noise, melatonin, herbal tea, sleep masks, trying to avoid bright light when coming off night driving, avoiding large meals before sleep, regular exercise, meditation, the whole nine yards.

Packrat or OldSchool, I remember that one of you gave this plain and simple honest truth: I simply won't know how I'll sleep in a moving truck, or how I'll adapt, until it happens. But with a squawking Qualcomm , shaking bed, trainer on the cell phone or blasting the radio, etc., even with earplugs and a sleep mask and a white noise machine, I'm not sure how much they will help. I've often joked that a mouse farting in another room is enough to wake me up at night!

It's been said on this forum that "eventually," I'll get so tired that my body will eventually crash into sleep no matter how disturbing the conditions are. But my concern is that if I "eventually" get tired enough to fall asleep in a moving truck, I'll get tired enough to fall asleep behind the wheel. I'm aware this probably sounds alarmist. I just really, really, really want this career and this lifestyle, and have a burning desire to put my nose to the grindstone, suit up and show up with a positive attitude, and allow my work ethic, preparation, dedication, willingness to remain teachable and ask for help, and ability to work well with others, carry me to success: slowly, and WITH HUMILITY, as I learn my way as a trainee and rookie driver. It would just be a real shame if I gave 110% in all of these areas and washed out because of a genetic limitation to falling asleep under less than ideal conditions.

Many of you have said that you "learned how to sleep in any conditions" while you were in the Army, Air Force, or when you were in training or rookie drivers. Can you give specific instructions as to HOW you learned how to sleep in any conditions? Are there any advance steps I can take to prepare myself?

Thanks so much for your help!

In the Army for 15 years I never learned how to sleep in adverse conditions. I'd have friends fall asleep in the back of a bouncing truck or in an aircraft bouncing all over the place flying at 500ft over the desert, but I never could.

I just adapted to working with a few hours sleep.

Very tough in a truck. But pulling over and getting 15 minutes or so really does work. For me at least.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

J.D.'s Comment
member avatar

Good thoughts and attitude, Dude! Your concerns seem to dovetail with mine. Did you see my recent/current teaming thread? Am about to update it which'll bump it back up top for now, in hopes of keeping it alive and maybe succeeding in my quest to find a co-driver. So I'd of course love to have your input on all that.

A couple clarifying questions for ya, Eugene-- --Where do you actually live (I like that your "home state" is "preparing for school"...maybe by accident, but it seems to reflect a real state of mind for you, as it sure was for me and probably most others.

--This teaming option you have such understandably mixed feelings about, which I mostly share as you can see in my thread, is it just that, an option you're considering, or is your chosen company making that mandatory? Sounds like the latter.?

--If you're actually gonna do it, i'm naturally wondering if our teaming together would be a possibility to explore, cuz you're the only one I've come across as even a long-shot replacement for my buddy (who was planning on jumping ship and joining me, but is now is looking at his girlfriend getting her CDL and going OTR with him)........

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Once you make it through the team training period the sleep issue shall persist. There will be reefer units, APU units, air horns, back up beepers, doors slamming, repairs being made beside you, radios on, jake brakes on unmuffled trucks, trucks with 8 inch straight pipes idling or driving by, daylight shining through the curtains, stress and anxiety as well as other various disturbances at truckstops and rest areas. You just have to do the best you can. Good luck and just be confident that you can overcome the issues at least with time.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

J.D.'s Comment
member avatar

Mikey, it's not clear what you mean by "make it through the team training period", since my understanding of Eugene's worry is about long-term team driving...or did I get that wrong?..Oh, ok, yup, I missed his word "portion" (of the team training). That sounds like it tweaks the whole topic I was replying to, since apparently he was mostly talking about relatively short-term sleep issues which would go away when he goes solo.

Regardless, good to note that most of what Mikey brings up is about trying to sleep despite "various disturbances at truck stops and rest areas"... Which puts more stuff in the "plus column", the "Pros" in favor of teaming. These major distracting factors wouldn't be as present on the road itself, and that's what, well over 90% of the hours the team is in the truck? Seems to me that once you get used to it (for those of us who can), that usual monotonous hum and gentle motion would have more of a lulling effect than a disturbing one. Sort of an ultimate "brown noise" or white noise, and like "cradle rocking" for those who can acclimate well to that.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Regardless, good to note that most of what Mikey brings up is about trying to sleep despite "various disturbances at truck stops and rest areas"... Which puts more stuff in the "plus column", the "Pros" in favor of teaming. These major distracting factors wouldn't be as present on the road itself, and that's what, well over 90% of the hours the team is in the truck? Seems to me that once you get used to it (for those of us who can), that usual monotonous hum and gentle motion would have more of a lulling effect than a disturbing one. Sort of an ultimate "brown noise" or white noise, and like "cradle rocking" for those who can acclimate well to that.

rofl-1.gif rofl-2.gif rofl-3.gif rofl-1.gif rofl-2.gif rofl-3.gif

Omg... You have me laughing so hard. If you really think there is less noise while driving than while parked... You need to do a ride along with someone to understand what you are talking about.

People blow horns constantly..including air horns, screeching brakes and loud unmuffled jakes flying by. When the co-driver stops for their 30 min brake or fuel the force of the exit ramp or stop wakes you. The air brakes wake you. The music at the truck stop fuel lane blasts. Drivers yell at each other to move out of the fuel lanes. Team mate takes a downgrade too fast. You feel it.

Until you get out here all you have is speculation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Cobalt Cyborg's Comment
member avatar

Some very effective techniques are available to learn to fall asleep when it's needed. Focused breathing, mindful breathing, counting the breaths, I have used these methods as a driver new to pulling (NOISY) reefers, and they WORK.

Good luck.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Eugene,

Apparently, there is some confusion about if you are asking about team training or teaming in general.

As far as team training, my experience is that it just sucks. I found it difficult to "sleep when you got time" so as Auggie says, you just learn how to function on little or no sleep. I also agree with Auggie to the extent that a 15 to 40 minute nap did wonders for me. I have not had an issue with sleeping since I've gone solo. As Packrat can attest to, my APU is pretty loud, so, if I can sleep with that running, I can sleep with reefers next to me.

Good luck and strive to survive the training period. It gets better after that.

Rob.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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