Things Are Bad, Running Out Of Time

Topic 29905 | Page 3

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Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh I’m not willing to give up at all.

If they try to send me packing, I’m going to fight tooth and nail. I don’t see how I’m giving the impression that I’m quitting. They are the ones who are giving the impression they are done with me.

Steve's Comment
member avatar

When I read the phrase "I'm all head", it made me chuckle, and it also struck a nerve.

Sounds like something I would've said!

I'll try to be brief. I have three thoughts:

1. Use your intelligence and management experience to tell them what they need to hear tomorrow. You've demonstrated that you are a good person and employee. Now you need to convince them that it's a good idea to keep you on long enough to demonstrate that you are proficient at backing.

2. When backing, it may be that you're too focused on single points (the tandems , the rear corner of the trailer, the position of the wheel.) Try to focus on the whole trailer. Stick your head out of the window and look down the entire length. Watch not only how the back responds, but where you need to move the nose. It may be contrary to a lot of good advice, but you're really moving the front of the trailer with your tractor (imagine pushing a shopping cart backwards). So, if you only fixate on the back, you can lose the big picture

3. Assuming you succeed ( I'll assume even if you're not feeling it 😁) Google "obsessive rumination". My head is a great place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there! I'm 56 now, and struggled with overthinking things until very recently.

It ain't over 'til it's over, and even when it is, there's always the next game to play!

-Steve

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Steve!

I had a successful sales management career for 15 years, so I can definitely tell people what they want and need to hear.

I just need to make sure I apply a healthy dose of humility 😂

I will choose my words carefully! At the end of the day, this is an opportunity I am grateful for and hope I still have.

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.

Xnihilo's Comment
member avatar

You are right about everything but one thing...

It isn't a career killer. Even if your time there is indeed done...you can find a way. You say you want this...but willing to just give up? Get yourself up, dust yourself off and get er done...even if somewhere else.

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+1 on this

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Please follow my madness to the end here, I really respect what I have read from you, and hopefully, although out of the box, perhaps this may help

I don't know much about backing a trailer at all, which is good in the sense that my commentary has nothing to do with backing. But I do know a tremendous amount about teaching, learning and biomechanics. In almost all incidences of students failing to learn a task or group of tasks, there is a common reason. That reason is rarely if ever physical limitations and or and lack of abilities.

Abilities are innate qualities we posses: Eye hand coordination, athletic ability, reason, basically anything we can do biomechanically with our body. Do you have the physical abilities to back a trailer in? Yes, you have demonstrated that under supervision, you have done it numerous times in varied conditions.

Skills: Skills are groupings of physical abilities in specific order, learned behaviors (Learning is a sustained change in behavior). Have you aquired the skills to back a trailer? Yes. You have trained and demonstrated the skills to, many times in many conditions.

So that leaves us one more area, the most common area for task failure. Cognitive and emotional response. Fear is a very very powerful motivator, the stress it causes and effects are devastating to our performance including reduced reaction time, gross muscle movement, coordination, timing, direction and perception, and very importantly object relevance.

As a teacher, and you may have to be your own teacher for a moment, part of the learning and teaching cycle, in fact the largest part of it, is assessing the student needs and goals. In other words, what needs does the student have that must be fulfilled in order for a sustained change in behavior to take place. In this case, from the sounds of it, you feel more secure in backing if there is guidance, the guidance isn't telling you anything you don't already have the power to complete and perform, it is merely fulfilling a need, a condition that must be met for learning to grow. There maybe debate on where that need sits, but our base needs are most pressing and usually the culprit. Those needs include, food, shelter, temperature, freedom from the threat of physical safety - backing a trailer in a hole that you can not see, and can not sense the boundaries of certainly qualifies under personal safety instincts.

I would submit to ponder for a moment, that having supervision or guidance abates that danger-all this goes on quite unconsciously, we are unaware of what our minds are doing to us. We continually refresh our list of needs and conditions for learning, often, as you eluded to, it is our own minds that prevent us from learning. The good news is that once we identify what's broken, we can fix it. Sometimes its tricky to identify, but if we slow down and identify what we are feeling at the times we are not reaching the level of performance we want we can find it.

The solution generally is to either eradicate the need to be filled or find a replacement for the guidance (in the case of supervision or guidance needed). Be it a recording, talk to yourself in a different voice, that of your trainer, writing down the tasks (many people are not aware of why they use lists or guide sheets, now you know). It takes some self honesty, which you seem to have, to dig a little bit. Some questions we ask ourselves:

What about this activity scares me, How do I know i have fear (heart rate up? anxious or nervous? fixated thinking?)

If I have fear, what tools can I use to reduce or eliminate it?

When I engage in this activity, what do I feel I need to accomplish it? Why? How else can I accomplish it without satisfying those needs?

Can I take a progression based approach to this activity? (building upon each previous phase of successful actions?)

The power to do this resides within you. If it is too late with this company, I totally have faith that you can and will persevere and find success with another company if needed, but rather than trying to force your way through a barrier, I simply offer a suggestion to find a replacement for fulfilling conditions of learning until you develop a level of automaticity (what most call muscle memory) in regards to the task(s).

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
John H.'s Comment
member avatar

OK, so it takes you a long time to back...I get it.

But until the Titanic moment, you were at least getting it done, just taking a long time. I think that moment got into your head, and you lost all confidence at that point.

I haven't even sat my butt in a rig yet (to drive), so I will not pretend to know how you feel. But just because you struggle with backing, doesn't mean you suck at driving truck...backing is a part (although an important part) of driving you are struggling with. Even if tomorrow is the end of your time with the company, it does not mean you need to throw in the towel completely. You know you can do this. You say you are naturally good at things, things usually come easy to you. But this is a challenge, that you said yourself, that you want...you have to go get it...even if you get knocked down tomorrow.

John, I’ve struggled with my backing from the start, but eventually came to the acceptance that I would continue to struggle with it and would eventually get it.

The general consensus on the site seems to be that everyone is terrible at backing for a very long time, but eventually gets it, and not to worry.

Suddenly, my “titanic” moment occurs, and I struggle with backing quite visibly under everyone’s watchful eye during the final exam week. All of my successful backs seem not to matter, and all the advice on this site about not worrying and taking all the time I need so long as I don’t hit anything, seems to be wrong.

I haven’t hit anything, and get out and look obsessively. I just take too long, then ask for help. And now I’m at risk of not completing the program. I’m not blaming anyone but myself since I’m the one who can’t perform, but I do feel a bit misled as no one ever told me taking too long was unacceptable until now. Neither from Wilson nor from anybody on this site.

John H.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry Eugene, I guess I got some words crossed...I thought you said something about giving up should you be let go tomorrow.

DoctorWho_214's Comment
member avatar

Eugene,

Like yourself, the hardest part of my CDL exam was the backing procedures. And like yourself, I tested for Wilson Logistics as well, up in Missoula, however. Leading up to the exam, I must have watched so many Youtube videos on backing and picked the trainers' brain on how to do it properly. But like andrey mentioned before, situations are different. But the principles are the same. The biggest tip I've gotten while backing was to go slow and don't look at the steering wheel when backing up. Doesn't matter if you may be holding people up at the truck stop, more often than not, drivers can and will relate to when they were in your shoes (at the cost of being free entertainment!!)

I was having the hardest time with backing, especially the alley dock. When we had time, my trainer and I pulled into an open lot to practice backing alley dock. He gave me all the encouragement and all the step by step, book by book instruction to do it. I still couldn't get. Then he got an idea. From the parking spot, he poured water on the driver's side rear tandem trailer tire. Then he told me to pull out regularly as if leaving the spot. Then as I got into a 90 degree angle from the spot, he told me to stop and follow the tire tracks I had made back into the stall. Slowly and steadily, I was able to make it. Long story short, sometimes books and videos are beneficial but you gotta keep doing it and find different ways to learn.

Good luck with the exam!

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.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks DoctorWho, but I passed the CDL exam months ago.

It’s a matter of staying employed at this point.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately, you've gotten into your own head I have the same problem especially when things don't go correctly. You probably are better than you give yourself credit for you just not to get frustrated when it does it go perfect right off the bat.

If they do send you home there are other companies that will give you a second chance, so fo not think your career is over.

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