Bad Mentor

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TFIWS Student's Comment
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I am a student driver in training with a mentor. I decline to name the company but will drop a hint. We have a terminal in Memphis, Phoenix, Richmond and many other places. Hint number 2 we can except loads via an app on our smart phones. I wish mentors didn’t have as much say so in the terms of denying loads when they have a student.

My complaints:

Being on a dedicated line, the mentor gets to arrive at his home terminal several times a week. Here is a typical week:

Monday: Ohh hey look a next load message. Where is my mentor? Oh yeah hes at home while im in the truck since Saturday afternoon. Because he set his PTA to Monday morning. Sure wish I can accept that load, sure hope he accepts the load I need to feed my kids. You have a new message. YAAAYYY he took it! Thank God. Okay, 15:00 is the time for pickup. Clean the truck take a shower drink water from the fountain and wait. 14:45, 14:50, 14:55 text message from mentor “Hey do a Macro1 please Im coming.” 14:57 Macro 1 15:00, 15:10 there you are. “I have to use the restroom hold on a minute” says the mentor. 15:30 there he is there he is I get excited like a puppy left in the heat waiting at the store. We head over to the warehouse and pick up the load. Should we get fuel from the fuel island first? Nooo no no.

The load needs to be delivered at 01:00 Tuesday morning. Nice its 10 hours from now and only 400 miles easily done. I say hey the terminal is about 3 miles away and the suggested trip plan says to get fuel from the terminal before we leave. No no don’t worry about it. 75 miles down the road he asks for a new fuel location. We get to the fuel location and he says fuel it up ill be back. Ok. So I fuel it up and I wait. And wait and wait and wait and wait. The guy behind me says hey can you pull your truck up? So I pull the truck up. And I wait 45 minutes later the same guy. Hey man can you move your truck. So I move the truck to a safe place slowly. I wait. he yell at me for moving the truck?

Headed to the destination I think we will still make it in time if we just drive straight through. Mentor calls someone and talks to them for a couple hours. Hangs up the phone. “Hey there is a TA up here at exit ## pull over so I can get something to drink. Ok. We pull over, “park in the fuel island”. You sure you want me to park in the fuel island someones going to ask me to move the truck and you don’t want me to move the truck without you here. “Just park in the fuel island. If anyone asks you to move the truck just tell them to wait or go around. Its not a big deal.” So I pull forward through it. He gets upset. I refuse to back up after asking if we are getting fuel or def if we are not I don’t want to block people.

I wait. And wait and wait. Someone comes and asks me to move my truck I explain to them that I am a student and am not allowed to move the truck they get very confrontational which I completely understand. Because I don’t want to get in trouble and hit someone back for swinging at me I decide to move the truck.

I wait the mentor comes back all upset I explained to him the situation the guy swung at me I ducked grabbed his arm told him to calm down I will move the truck but it may cost me my job please don’t try and take food from my kids because I am being courteous to others.

Long story short we ended up being late and sending a macro 22 for the load we should have been early for.

Tuesday we have a load going back to the dedicated warehouse. We have to pick it up by 12:00 and its 200 miles out. So he drives out so I can get my 10 hours break we drive to the warehouse we get there in record time. We pick the load up early its just a drop and hook NICE! We have to have it back by 2300 we should be able to do that easy with no problems. He goes to sleep I start a driving. I see a Truck Stop in the horizon after driving for about 5 hours not to mention the time driving to the pick up. I say man I need to get something to eat. Hes still sleeping so I pull over park in a safe place with all the other trucks call his name bang on the wall call his phone he doesn’t reply. I go in get me something to eat bring it back to the truck munch it down right when my 30 minutes is up I change to pre trip check to make sure no one pulled anything lose jump back in a roll. He swings the curtain open. What are you doing? “You don’t just pull into a truck stop without asking me!” hes livid hes really angry and I don’t know why. Im not wasting time im making good time I don’t know what the problem is but maybe he has his reasons. He gets all mad and says come on lets get moving man we don’t have all day.

He goes back to sleep and I drive back to the warehouse I try to wake him up but he does not wake up. I go check in I drop the trailer where it needs to go and everything is fine and dandy. I get back to the terminal and he pops out happy as can be. “Hey we made it”

Its Tuesday Night about 22:50 at 10:00 in the morning we should have ample amount of rest to take a load and have enough hours to drive. “No no change the PTA to Thursday Morning.

You know today is Tuesday right? “Yes tomorrow is Wednesday” we need to reset.

I have more than 50 hours left. “Change it to 1000 on Thursday” alright “Ill see you on Thursday, have a good Wednesday”

He goes home. I stay in the truck. And we do it again on Thursday


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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Jay R. R2-Detour 's Comment
member avatar

Yeesh,.I feel for you. I had a good mentor (except he didn't own an atlas) but his goal was to drive as many miles a day as we legally could. I asked a couple times the first week "You mind if I pull in here?" His answer was simply "You're the captain of this ship, you need to stop go ahead" He did spend one day at home so I was put in a hotel, but we rolled out precisely when he said we would. It may suck, but try not to sweat it. You'll be on your own soon. It'll be worth it.

Greenhorn Trucker's Comment
member avatar

I would document everything and if possible record it with you cellphone for proof, if things get really bad call the DM or the next person in the change. Explain to them you feel you are not receiving proper training from your current trainer and request a new one, if it is almost over just tough it out a bit longer but report this "trainer" as soon as possible.


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.
Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

Ha I love reading stories about bad trainers. it makes me feel better about my own trainer.

At the time I thought mine was pretty bad but nothing compared to what other folks like you have gone through. Mine just had this bad habit of assuming I was always running a red light while he was looking down at his phone or something. One time when the green arrow came up for a left turn at the intersection I started pulling through and he jumped out from his seat and started screaming so loud that I just parked the truck right there in the middle of the left hand turn blocking all directions of traffic.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

TFIWS Student, Welcome to our forum!

I recommend you just stick it out and get this time over with as quickly as possible. I myself had a crazy trainer, so I understand what you are going through. I tell people all the time, that the main thing that time with the trainer is for is to get you prepared for understanding how things work at your chosen employer, how you get messages from your dispatcher , how you handle the paper work, etc. Don't sweat it too badly if you don't get a top notch trainer. Here's what is going to happen whether you get a really good trainer or not. After your three of four weeks with the trainer you are still not going to feel prepared to be solo, but they are going to assign you a truck and give you a set of keys and your very first solo load. From that point on, for about the next year, you are going to be entering the steepest learning curve of your career. Take it slow and easy and don't hit anything. You will learn lessons that will not be forgotten during that time, and you will probably learn them the hard way - that's okay, because you will remember them better that way.

I wouldn't even bother with trying to record events or even get some video of your trainer, unless you think he is seriously a threat to the public safety. It almost always ends up badly for the student who tries to report that he has a bad trainer. You are the new kid on the block, the trainer has years with the company, and a record to stand on. The company will 98% of the time take the trainers side of the story over the students, don't waste your time and cost yourself a job and possibly a career just trying to take out a trainer who didn't do things the way you thought they should. After going through my crazy experiences with my trainer, I found out the company knew exactly what he was like, but they figured if the student had a tough enough skin to put up with him and survive it, then they felt you would probably be able to handle the stress and the problems of the job!


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.


Hours Of Service

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

Thank you for listening guys i just needed to anonymously vent. ive been holding it in for a couple weeks and it felt good to release. im not going to tell on him someone will teach him a lesson sooner or later and hell likely learn to be respectful to others. it was healthy to vent.

Eckoh's Comment
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Just get a new mentor... call Safety and tell them you are not learning anything and they will get you a new one..

So many people think you HAVE to stay with your first one, you don't.

Lawrence H.'s Comment
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It doesn't sound like he needs to work at all. You will be able to change that when you pass and get your own truck, because the fact is the tires have to roll for you and the company to make money.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Wow. Just wow. I am big on personal responsibility. Make him take some of it. Not much you can do a out the down time. Better to let it run its course like Old School said. But the issues like parking in the fuel islands... That makes me a bit mad. It's disrespectful of other people. Next time he tells you to park in a fuel Island and not move the truck just hop in the sleeper berth and pull the curtain closed so no one can see you. The driver behind you or the truck stop staff will track him down. That way you don't get into a fight with another driver.

Here is a good reason why to avoid fighting other drivers. The local police's attitude is this.... One person starts the fight.... It takes two people to fight..... Both goes to jail and let the judge figure out who is guilty. Not worth the trouble.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Christopher J.'s Comment
member avatar

I would of knocked the guy out, He is not a mentor, He is a waste of your time. Sorry I am ****ed for you soon as you get to terminal or someone you can talk to about this prick do so ask for another trainer show them this thread.


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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