Team Trainer Thoughts

Topic 31749 | Page 1

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Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Although I was a team trainer for 4.5 years, I began doing CDL instruction after my mother passed. This allowed me to be home daily. This week I went back to team training for a short period.

There is such a huge difference between training a student with an awesome attitude who respects me and the truck and understands the need for flexibility, than having to deal with someone who thinks they know everything or just doesn't care. Every student wants a great trainer but every great trainer wants a great student.

As a trainer. It is an amazing feeling to have someone who wants to soak up knowledge like a sponge versus someone who wants to dictate how they think trucking and training should be. Since covid I have seen many students complain that their trainer makes them do all the work or driving. They should be doing all the work so they know how. They complained about loads or routes getting changed or about long drive shifts. Welcome to trucking, things happen and change

Tips for all of the new students ... Ask questions, clean up after yourself but respect your trainer's property and truck. Observe as much as possible and understand that there are many ways to do things. If you think you can do it better on your own truck. Then do that. Don't try to lecture your trainer when you haven't done any of this on your own yet

When all else fails. Remember training is a short period, you will soon be in control ... Then you may be missing that trainer's help.

Be safe all and Happy Easter

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Kearsey, my thoughts on training. I have never been a trainer and probably never will be. But I have the highest respect for trainers and I had a wonderful, one to start my career. I have always been a teacher, I love teaching. In the trucking world it’s a different dynamic. My hat is off to those who do it. You are my heroes.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Kearsey, my thoughts on training. I have never been a trainer and probably never will be. But I have the highest respect for trainers and I had a wonderful, one to start my career. I have always been a teacher, I love teaching. In the trucking world it’s a different dynamic. My hat is off to those who do it. You are my heroes.

Awesome to hear you had a great experience. People often forget that trainers are not actually educators. Although I did in fact take teaching and psychology courses in college. Most of us have no background whatsoever in teaching. A week long class does not a teacher make. Many students forget that. Because of that, some students may have unrealistic expectations of what to expect from a trainer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Happy Easter to you & yours as well, Kearsey ET AL!

Excellent topic; let's try to get Dennis and Mt. Matt up in here! In G'towns thread about his new gig, he taught me MORE than Tom did, when I had my CDLP, flying around (no, not really but ??) in a Pete hauling a tank.

I totally believe in a 'train the trainer' type of program; I'm hoping this topic pulls up, in leaps and bounds!

Thanks, m'lady.

Happy Easter! (and to your Trainee and the Obi also!)

~ Anne ~

ps: We NEED more of you, around & UP IN HERE! :)

double-quotes-start.png

Kearsey, my thoughts on training. I have never been a trainer and probably never will be. But I have the highest respect for trainers and I had a wonderful, one to start my career. I have always been a teacher, I love teaching. In the trucking world it’s a different dynamic. My hat is off to those who do it. You are my heroes.

double-quotes-end.png

Awesome to hear you had a great experience. People often forget that trainers are not actually educators. Although I did in fact take teaching and psychology courses in college. Most of us have no background whatsoever in teaching. A week long class does not a teacher make. Many students forget that. Because of that, some students may have unrealistic expectations of what to expect from a trainer.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Yes, definitely interesting to hear from the other side of the training equation!

I found training to be challenging... especially since I was on my trainer's truck for a total of 74 days. But I tried always to be respectful, clean, and a good learner. I adopted a "means-to-an-end" mentality. When my trainer didn't know the answer to many of my questions, I simply learned from him what I could. When I found certain personal habits of his challenging, I focused on the fact that he was an experienced trucker who was patient when teaching me backing, so that went a long way. I did what I could to give him his space and take my own. I never challenged how he wanted to run the truck, realizing it's *his* truck, and he has the experience.

Now that I've been solo for a month, I'm continuing to learn a lot. Training was just the beginning. I'm glad to have gotten through it... I marvel that my trainer willingly takes people into his truck, as I am deeply loving and valuing my space, solitude, and privacy. It makes me respect and appreciate what he gives up to train others. We still keep in touch... I feel oddly bonded to him, like we've been through a war or something, lol.

And yes, flexibility is everything... Trucking is helping me be Zen about things...

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

I will echo everything that Mountain Matt shared and a few other thoughts.

This is day 57 for me on my Trainers truck for Prime Inc’s PSD and TNT training phases combined. It has been 38 days now in TNT without a break. At least another week to go to reach the 30k minimum team miles to even start the upgrade process to my own truck.

I do use the time when I’m driving my shift and my trainer is sleeping to imagine how it will be on my own solo truck. He doesn’t mind me listening to music while I drive.

Fortunately I get along with my trainer, Robert. He has been a trainer with Prime for over 12 years. He genuinely seems to care about “developing better drivers” as he tells me he doesn’t do it just for the extra money (he is a lease/operator). He is a very laid back person, not getting upset about mistakes, etc.

Robert has shared with me a few stories about other students that caused him a lot of grief. He always points out that he isn’t talking about me.

One guy in particular was about my age (66). He tried to run Robert’s truck, even on Robert’s driving shift. This guy insisted on having at least 2 hours off of the truck everyday to eat sit down meals, shower, etc. this really upset Robert. The guy had no respect for Robert as the trainer and “boss”, or that he was a guest in Robert’s home on wheels.

Robert let it slip that from his experience guys my age tend to be “A-holes” (reference above story). I let that soak for about 5 seconds and replied “Well Robert, I’ve known a lot of people younger than me who were “A-holes”, too”. Respect has to be earned both ways. Robert did ask me during our interview if him being younger would be a problem for me. I said no (I had younger bosses in my prior career).

Anyway, I have shared a lot of thoughts about this Trainer - Student experience in my training diaries, if anyone is interested.

Before embarking on this training adventure I prepared myself by reading everything I could find on TruckingTruth.com. I don’t think all students do that.

Two blogs in particular stuck out for me that helped me to have the right mindset for success as a CDL student and new driver in training.

One is by Kearsey (aka Rainy) and the other is by G-Town.

https://www.truckingtruth.com/trucking_blogs/Article-3902/how-to-survive-cdl-training-on-the-road

https://www.truckingtruth.com/trucking_blogs/Article-3893/ego-becomes-downfall-of-cdl-students

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Matthew P.'s Comment
member avatar

You trainers think you know it all. :-)

Great topic. Good thoughts. I concur.

Now, off the fold and roll up to Lumber tarps. Right at this moment I miss the hell out of my trainer.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

I’m sure that I will miss my trainer in my early days solo.

Especially when I make a wrong turn passing through some small town onto a “no through trucks” street and then trying to figure out how to get turned around. This happened at ~03:00 Saturday morning. A local man driving by me (parked thinking this out) stopped to offer directions up the street to the high school with large parking lot where I turned around. Robert woke up about the time I was trying to get into the parking lot. He gave me directions on how to turnaround, etc. He went back to sleep once I was back on route.

No yelling or cursing or calling me a “dumb SOB” like I’ve read about some trainers doing. I suspect that the trainers who act like that toward their trainees were treated that way by their trainers. What goes around comes around.

Some of you say to “toughen up”, this is trucking. I worked 38 years in the oil fields where it is “tough talking”, too.

It doesn’t need to be. I try to follow the golden rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated”.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

I was blessed at Prime with a good Trainer. I was later blessed with mostly good students, both PSD and TNT. A positive attitude goes a long way with me when I'm training a student. I also understand that students beat themselves up sometimes about mistakes that seem to loom large from the new driver's perspective. A good pep talk and a reminder that mistakes are often made by even the most experienced drivers helps to set them at ease. How a driver handles mistakes and communicates with his/her FM about their mistakes is just as important as learning from those mistakes.

Thanks for sharing, Kearsey!

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Excellent points RealDiehl. Robert knows that I’m already beating myself up on the inside after a rookie mistake. He wisely gives me a pep talk instead of a criticizing lecture. I have observed him making mistakes, which he readily admits, and he is a very experienced driver. I also learn from those observations.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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