Trainer Blues

Topic 7254 | Page 1

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RedGator's Comment
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So as yall all know Ive been a trainer at my company for awhile. As of late I have had quite a few girl come into the truck. Yesterday I had to make a tough decision and it has been sitting heavy with me. I had to tell my company that After 4 weeks with me and 2 weeks local before me that I didnt feel like my student was ready to be by herself. They gave her the bootsorry.gif . I asked them to test her out to see what they thought but they didnt think it was necessary. The 3 local trainers she had before me evidently felt the same way. Hard part was she actually got much better under my teaching but when it came to surviving out here on her own I just didn't feel like she was ready. Do you know how hard it is to tell someone that they just arent cut out for this? Its a horrible feeling. Those out here know that when we all first come out here we have a "car mentality" but that quickly fades off and you focus on the bigger picture you need to drive a truck. She however never got past the car mentality phase. She could sit in the drivers seat and drive her 9/10 hrs staring straight ahead. Mirror usage was minimal at best. Pulling through a space at a service plaza in PA she almost took out the last 8ft of a new trailer because she wasnt paying attention to her mirrors. Or a few days before when we were pulling into the TA in London, OH x70 mm79 and she just dead stopped in the middle of the road at the truck entrance because she couldnt find a gear. I could go on and on but those kind of mistakes usually happen in the first 2 weeks of training. By week 4 out here all of my trainees have been able to manage the truck with minimal issues and minimal questions. She was glued to my hip because she was afraid to be by herself. Life out here is new and alittle scary at first but you quickly become used to the hustle and bustle of the trucker life. Some folks adapt while others dont. Hardest part was having to explain this stuff to her and her not get it. My company gave me the option of taking a car and leaving until they had her on a bus but Im just not that way. I stayed and tried to explain how i felt. I encouraged her to get more training. Possibly a team company and told her if she ever needed anything to please call. I didnt enjoy thid in the least and hope i never have to go through it again. I tried my best even gave her extra time on the truck but it didn't work. I just had to share. Maybe get some words of encouragemen.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

RG, you and I have talked and I know you did your best. That being said, there are jobs not everyone is meant to do. Sometimes it's because they don't have the aptitude, sometimes because they just don't like the work. Individuals that are educators hate to see their students not be able to grasp information despite the educators best efforts because they care....most wouldn't take it upon themselves to teach if they didn't. Keep your chin up girl and think of all the new drivers you have been able to help in the past and all the ones you will help in the future. Today is a new day with new roads to explore, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

So as yall all know Ive been a trainer at my company for awhile. As of late I have had quite a few girl come into the truck. Yesterday I had to make a tough decision and it has been sitting heavy with me. I had to tell my company that After 4 weeks with me and 2 weeks local before me that I didnt feel like my student was ready to be by herself. They gave her the boot

Red, You did the right thing. As you know not everyone is cut out for truck driving. In all likelihood you saved somebody's life down the road as this lady couldn't hack it. After that many trainers, it is pretty clear she couldn't make it.

Its hard not to beat yourself up when you affect so!some else's life. During the recent economic woes I went into depression for several months when a company I was one of the officers in had to close its doors and lots of people were out of work. I blamed myself. But here you clearly did the right thing and a potential real hazard to life and equipment was avoided.

You should be congratulated and you did exactly what the company asked you to do. Do your best to train a new person but if they can't hack it..notify safety.

Good work! Tracy

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Sorry to hear about what has to be a tough decision but you definitely made the right one. To jump on the bandwagon of responses, you did the right thing and definitely could have saved the life of someone else on the road. There will always be more people who need a good trainer and you'll be there to help them along their journey, so don't feel too bad about the one that got away.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Red, I'm really proud of ya! You definitely did the right thing.

Before truck driving I was always self employed. The thing I disliked the most about my business was letting people go. I really enjoyed teaching people and seeing them learn to enjoy their job and making a good living while under my roof as it were. But man I felt terrible every time I had to fire someone. I second guessed myself all the time... Did I not train them well enough? What did I do wrong? How can I improve this situation with the next person? On and on... I just hated to see someone have to leave.

Training has it's rewards, and it's disappointments. As painful or uncomfortable as it is you just have to move on and realize that you actually did that person a favor - they would obviously be miserable, and most likely unsafe, it sounds to me, if they were put out there on their own. Your company trusts you greatly Red, that's why they are letting you make these tough decisions, and why they accept your good judgement.

Keep up the great job - there's plenty more fine lady truck drivers waiting to be put behind the wheel of one of those fine WEL trucks, and they need you to help them get to that point.

You did the right thing. It was tough, but it was right, and that is what is important.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks ya'll:-) I really appreciate the support. In the end I know that I made the right call even if It didnt feel good. Unfortunately with my job these things happen and hopefully its a long while before i have another like this.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Something to ask yourself in this situation, is how would you feel if you knew she wasnt ready, and wasnt safe yet you allowed her to proceed. How would you feel if she was out on her own and injured herself, others, or even worse killed somebody. Theres obviously going to be learning that happens when she would be out on her own, but if she isn't able to execute what you're explaining to do then there's a problem, especially if different trainers had no luck either. I understand you're unsure if you did the right thing, but the number one priority out there is safety not just for yourself, but the public around you. I give ya credit for being honest about it, and not just taking the easy way out of letting her slide through

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

RG, you definitely did the right thing. Here's another thing to consider: you didn't dodge responsibility and "pass the bad penny" on for someone else to deal with. I'm not saying the three trainers she had before you did - you said they expressed their concerns too - but a lot of people in your position would've been tempted to just pass her on and let someone else deal with it.

The job I had before this required me to fire people, or approve the separation for someone else to do, fairly frequently. Very often they were folks that hadn't been performing for months or even years, but no previous manager would term them - instead, they'd move them to another department. Many others were people who never should've been passed out of training. (I ended up firing a few of those managers, too. Couldn't fire the trainers, not my department, but their boss heard about it from me.)

After sitting in meetings where I was the one telling someone that they no longer had a job on an average of once a week, I got pretty jaded. It's refreshing to see how much you cared about this. I never enjoyed it, but after a while, you get tired of cleaning up messes that others should've handled long before and you get a bit callous. I don't think that will happen to you, your posts indicate you're an awesome trainer with the right stuff.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Logan T.'s Comment
member avatar

Red was this the same student I met when we had lunch in Indy?

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

No Logan, I got one after her and a new one now.

Red was this the same student I met when we had lunch in Indy?

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