What Is Your Time Out With A Trainer Like?

Topic 6480 | Page 1

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Linda M.'s Comment
member avatar

I am asking this as I have a son that decided to make a career move and went got his CDL with privately. He got hired on with a flatbed company and is out on the road with his trainer.. He texts when he can and some of the things he says his trainer has him doing seems excessive. The trainer has told him numerous times that his wife lost her job and he needs to keep the truck moving and rack up as many miles as he can. He even got upset at my son a few times because he was going the speed limit and he was telling him to go faster and get "some miles in" I think he is kinda having my son team drive with him to rack up more miles and they are doing 18 hours some days.. is this normal? I don't want him to hate truck driving because of a trainer that is pushing him too much.. He said driving 10 hours on his first and second day was scary which I am sure is normal but when you are being told you are going to slow??? I just wanted to hear how other trainers did things? I have been reading here for months with him, he too comes here to read but I know he doesn't have time now.. you have lots of great info..

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.
C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

He might have to weather the storm. One of the seasoned members here, Old School, had a...less than desirable training experience. Read about it here: Trainer's Test. But he stuck it through and ended up garnering a lot of respect because of it.

However, tell him not to break the law at his trainer's insistence. If he is going the speed limit, he is not going "too slow". In the end, it is his CDL , driving record, and job on the line, not his trainer's. If he were to get pulled over, the resulting ticket will not be excused because his trainer told him to go faster. In fact, the trainer's story would likely change to "I never told him that, I've already reprimanded him about speeding". At best, a speeding ticket as a trainee will see him losing his job and make it very hard to get another. At worst, excessive speed could cause an accident that injures or kills him or others on the road.

There might be some here who disagree with me, but I would never put my CDL on the line at someone else's behest, trainer or not. They are your mentor and you have to respect and listen to their advice, but the law and safety come first. If I were your son, I would continue doing as I had been and stay at the speed limit.

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.
Snappy's Comment
member avatar

Also, working in excess of 14 hours a day, from start to finish, is a violation of DOT laws. I'm not aware of any exception for flatbedders, though it is a bit more physically demanding than other fields.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Also, working in excess of 14 hours a day, from start to finish, is a violation of DOT laws.

Okay, for starters, this is a common misconception, or misunderstanding of the 14 hour rule. You can legally work for more than 14 hours in a day. What you can't do is drive the truck after that 14 hour window has passed. You can still do load securement, or tarpping, paperwork, transferring freight from one truck to another, or whatever it is you are needing to do.

Now as for the original posters concerns, it is not uncommon to team drive with your trainer. My trainer and I team drove from the very beginning. I didn't think it was the best way to train someone, but that's the way it was. As far as safety is concerned, I obeyed the law when training. My trainer could scream and yell if he wanted to, but I didn't speed. I'm gonna say something that may seem harsh Linda, but trust me, as a parent I understand your feelings intensely. You are just going to have to let your son go through this experience and not interfere with it. He is getting introduced to trucking, and that introduction is not always pretty. Training is sometimes a rough milestone in this career, but sometimes going through something really tough can produce good results in us. Trucking is not easy no matter how you slice it, and this is as good a time as any for him to get a taste of the level of commitment it takes to see this through.

He may surprise you with what a fine young hard working man he is turning out to be. You can remind him, and you can tell him that this is a personal tip from me, that no matter how difficult that training experience is, it is merely a stepping stone to get to that next level - the time when they turn you loose to go solo in your own truck. When that is done the real education begins, and he may very well be wishing he had that crazy trainer back in the jump seat with him at times.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

Linda M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it. Yesterday was an 18 hour day so I guess they are team driving. He is only supposed to be in training for 3 weeks. That does not seem long enough to me to learn all you need to know.. I know that he is tired and I don't think prepared to run everyday for so long and no breaks at all. He was a Marine for 5 years so I know he can handle it.. He just wants to get thru the training and get solo. I hope it all works out.. He wants to do OTR for about a year and then move back out west. He loved it there when he was living there while on active duty.. He would like to get a regional route out that way.. Thanks again.. ps, he didn't say whether or not the trainer was still pushing him to drive faster,, so hopefully when the trainer saw that he wasn't going to do that he gave up..

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

PR aka Road Hog's Comment
member avatar

Hi Linda, Another thing to consider is that part of the trainer / instructors job is too push you, to evaluate what kind of decisions he makes in various situations. The hours can certainly be long on the road, and I can tell that more than once I would get stuck at a shipper / receiver that would take so long to load / unload me that it completely disrupted my sleep cycle. So part of it is getting used to those hours.

The second part is, that if 'they' are drying 18 hours a day, then they probably are driving 'team', each driving a 9 hour shift, with a 30 min lunch in there and even a fuel stop, both of which easily add an hour to your day.

My instructor would often, intentionally, try to push my buttons to see how I would react. I'm sure you know, just driving a car can get you riled up with people cutting you off, or slowing you down, or not letting you out. If your son is one to start talking to himself and 'cussin out the other drivers, he may not be a good candidate for trucking. Especially considering he's driving a vehicle thats close to 70' long with tractor and trailer, and can easily weigh 70-80,000 lbs. You don't want a hot head in that situation.

The point is, all the 'chatter' is about evaluating him. Is he willing to drive faster just because his instructor say to? What about when he is out on his own? Also, the amount of miles you run, directly relates to your paycheck, and its a common way to think when driving. Can I hit 3,000 miles this week? Or is it going to be more like 1,700? at .35-.40 cpm , thats about a $500 a week difference. And if you want to hit 3,000 miles a week, your gonna tap out your clock where you won't be able to drive.

Worst case scenario, he has to put with his instructor for 4-6 weeks, and then a trainer for 3-4 months before getting out on his own. It's small potatoes compared to learning how to drive a rig. I'm sure he will be fine.

Happy Holidays !!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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