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RedGator (Nalee)'s Comment
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Figured while I was just sitting around I would pop in and say hey:-) On Friday I dropped off my 4th student (she passed and is now solo) and went to pick up another one but it didnt work out. I was kinda leary about her from the start after I discovered she had been with 3 different companies in 10 months! But decided that hey Id meet her and get the whole story. Turned out she lied to my company. She told them it didnt work out with the other companies because "the big companies didn't work for her" turns out she had been in training for 10 months and never gone solo and the companies let her go. She also told me that I didn't need to tell her what she did wrong cause she already knew! I took her in the yard to have her back up into a straight line back and after 15 min, 20 pull ups and her jackknifing 3 different times and almost taking out the 2 trailers on each side of the empty space 5 times but never making it in the actual space I realized why all these companies let her go. Backing is by far one of the hardest parts of this job but after 10 months and 3 different trainers a straight line should be a piece of cake! Then she wouldnt yield my hand commands and almost ran me over and almost rolled back into another driver so I left her at the yard and picked up a 7 stop LTL trailere headed WEST. 6 stops in MT and 1 in WA. I drop the last stop today and head to OR to pick up. Im hoping I get to hang out with Star tomorrow:)


Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Justin N.'s Comment
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Perhaps your student took it as an insult that you would test her straight line backing after she had ten months of salt under her belt and was doing it on purpose?

Give her a real challenge, find somewhere out in town with a challenging looking driveway with a sign that says "absolutely no trucks!" and have her back into one of those.

I know of a few Walmart TLEs like that which are perfect.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mountain girl's Comment
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Dang. Her issues are not worth your safety. I'm glad you walked away.


-mountain girl

Schism's Comment
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Hey Red...

With only 5 weeks otr myself I am not surprised you found a lemon. There is a ton of drivers out there lacking in key elements that comprise the skill set of a professional driver .

Last Saturday I was in Nashville TN after my 5 weeks team driving , to road and backing test to company standards and get my solo truck .

I had no issues at all ... I've driven a 53' flatbed with a 10'2" spread that has an 8 foot tail past the rear trailer axle . We tested using a 48" spread axle flatbed with no tail.

Anyway....one of the others guys testing had a sad setup..shallow entry between a flat and dry van...multiple pull ups and ultimately hit one of the other trailers . He was OTR team training with 53' trailer and couldn't put the smaller trailer in the hole.

About an hour after testing our paperwork came down...and was handed out. His paperwork showed the numeric negative for things he did wrong on the road and stated that he hit another trailer during the 45 degree backing ...and that he PASSED and was qualified for a solo truck. As far as I know he drove away from Nashville monday with a truck pulling a load .

Scary as the facts are this industry is short a few hundred thousand licensed cdl A drivers and there are companies which are fine taking high csa scores and inadequate drivers.


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.


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.


Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
RedGator (Nalee)'s Comment
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Out of her own mouth Justin she trained with Swift for 6 months and never went solo! Told me right before she was to test out they told her it wasnt going to work. Her excuse as to why she couldnt back was. I told you I couldnt back and that she had only driven a KW once. With 10 months of experience you should be able to drive any truck you are given the keys too. And since when does one train for 6 months with Swift?

RedGator (Nalee)'s Comment
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Dang. Her issues are not worth your safety. I'm glad you walked away.


-mountain girl

My thoughts exactly. I have to trust you with my life out here and if I cant trust you to leave the parking lot its just not going to work.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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You did better with her than I would have. The minute she formed her mouth to tell me not to tell her what she did wrong because she already knew.... Is the very minute she would be looking for another trainer. And even after all that you still gave her the benefit of the doubt and she proceeded to show you she could not back.

Sad to say but not everyone is made to be a truck driver. Can't lie about being able to drive. Your skills speak for themselves.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Perhaps your student took it as an insult that you would test her straight line backing after she had ten months of salt under her belt and was doing it on purpose?

It doesn't matter if she took it as an insult. If the trainer wants you to practice a certain backing then you do it. Remember, the trainer decides the fate of the student.

10 months with 3 different companies is not experience. That's being a student who just keeps trying to get into the industry but doesn't have the driving skills to actually be a successful driver.

The trainer is supposed to observe the student in every way. If the student cannot take advice or professional criticism from the trainer then the student doesn't land the job.

I think you did great Nalee. Sorry you had to get a driver who thinks they know it all. She's an accident waiting to happen and I would be relieved to get her off my truck if I was in your shoes.

SOBER-J's Comment
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Wow, I'm about to start at US Express next week and they were talking to me a little about becoming a trainer in the future. Hope that doesn't happen often for you.

When my first trainer taught us straight line backing we had 1 guy in the passenger seat and 2 sitting in the bunk. Once the truck was rolling backward he got out of the seat, stood up, and turned around to tell us how difficult it was to SLB. Of course he was making it fun because the whole time he talked the truck and trailer kept goin in reverse in a straight line. I say he was talking a good 15 to 20 seconds before he turned and got back in the driver seat. It was hilarious.

I'm Sober-J over

RedGator (Nalee)'s Comment
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I really wanted a better/harder backing spot but the only spot in the whole yard was a straight line. Your right Guy when she told me that I didnt need to tell her what she did wrong I wanted to ask her why she was in my truck? What really got to me too was she had sat at the terminal for 12 hrs and when I got there I told her we had to leave at 5am and she told me no we couldnt leave because she had to go get her medicine from Walmart. When I asked her why she didn't do that ALL DAY. She said she tried but they needed her med bottle and she didnt feel like going back so she decided to go in the am! *Note to the new trainees: When a trainer is on their way to get you be ready to rock and roll as soon as they get there! I was late on my loads because of the 5 1/2 hr delay she caused me. It was just a bad vibe situation. Had she been fresh out of school I would have tried to make it work. Me being the only female trainer Im like it so I try to accommodate but after 10 months I call that a "failure to adjust". This life and job isnt for everyone. Sometimes you gotta realize when to throw in the towel. Sad part is she blames everyone else for why she cant get it and doesnt see her roll. She blamed her 3 other trainers for teaching her 3 different ways! Id call that a benefit not a minus.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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