Trans Am Orientation

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metalhead's Comment
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I go to Trans Am orientation next week,can anyone tell me what to expect?

Old School's Comment
member avatar
can anyone tell me what to expect?

Metalhead, the single one biggest thing that trips people up when trying to get started in this career is their expectations.

I can't tell you how many times people have quit their trucking jobs, or gone home before they even finished their orientation and training period because things did not happen the way they expected them to. This job is so unique to itself, and involves such a commitment to a unique lifestyle that is contrary to the way that most people live, that it is like a startling slap in the face for many when they first try their hand at it.

The best advice that I can give you, knowing that you've already tried this and blamed your failure on the company you chose, is to expect it to be hard - incredibly hard. Expect to miss home, expect to make very little money at first, expect your trainer to treat you like a dummy, expect about half of what you thought the recruiter told you to be false, heck, you might as well expect the barbecue sauce they serve you with one of the free lunches at orientation to be nasty tasting - we actually had a guy go on a rant in here about that one time!

Expect that you are going to feel like you are being mistreated, that's right because you may very well feel that way. I went through my entire training period going through what most people would consider as untenable mistreatment. The folks at corporate told me afterwards that they knew I was going to be tough enough to handle the job because they very seldom had people make it all the way through the training with this guy! They knew what it was like to endure this nut job, and they still had him training people!

A big part of the training at many trucking companies is designed to test you and see what type of personality you have. If you are the type of person who can't problem solve and keep moving forward in a stressful situation, or manage to get along on a daily basis with really disagreeable people, you may not make it in this job, and they would like to qualify whether those qualities are in you or not, right up front. The training is front loaded with stress because they want to know if you bail at the first signs of trouble, or if you have got the testicular fortitude to face down a dragon and slay him when it is necessary. They will usually give you enough rope to hang yourself, or incriminate yourself by your own reactions, which is why you see so many people on trucking forums slamming companies for the way they were treated - they went in there with false expectations, then they jumped ship and cried foul because nothing was like they thought it should be.

Now, let me counter all of that with the fact that I love this job, and I excel at it every week with measurable quantifiable results, and some really nice paychecks. I'm not saying in any way that you are going to have to be miserable in this job, but what I am saying is that 99% of what most people expect it to be like when they first get started is totally bogus and based on false assumptions. If you want to enjoy success at this career be prepared for a tough time of it for that first year. It literally takes that long to get a feel for how to manage all the many things that can take their toll on you while out there on the road. This job is a problem solvers wet dream. You have got to be on top of your game every day because it's just that type of environment. If you love a challenge then you can do well out here. If challenges tend to make you leery and your mental endurance tends to shut down when taxed, then I say beware the trucking career.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Christina H.'s Comment
member avatar

I love your realism Old School!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Seriously, take everything Old School said to heart. Anyone getting ready to start training should read what Old School said over and over until it's drilled into your brain. The reality is that this industry is incredibly difficult to get started in. The money for schooling and the length of time it takes is really very modest. But the toll it takes on your nerves and your life as you've known it can be huge. It's exhausting, it's stressful, and you're overloaded with information continuously. You often feel like you're hanging on by a thread because of the workload, and you'll often feel like you've chosen the wrong company or the wrong industry altogether because things are so different than you expected.

Go in with an open mind. Do anything they ask of you (assuming it's safe and legal of course) and do it with a smile. Work hard, listen and learn, and stay positive. If you'll keep moving forward one day at a time and keep a great attitude and work ethic it will work out great in the end.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Seriously, take everything Old School said to heart. Anyone getting ready to start training should read what Old School said over and over until it's drilled into your brain. The reality is that this industry is incredibly difficult to get started in. The money for schooling and the length of time it takes is really very modest. But the toll it takes on your nerves and your life as you've known it can be huge. It's exhausting, it's stressful, and you're overloaded with information continuously. You often feel like you're hanging on by a thread because of the workload, and you'll often feel like you've chosen the wrong company or the wrong industry altogether because things are so different than you expected.

Go in with an open mind. Do anything they ask of you (assuming it's safe and legal of course) and do it with a smile. Work hard, listen and learn, and stay positive. If you'll keep moving forward one day at a time and keep a great attitude and work ethic it will work out great in the end.

And frankly Brett, I think Old School's gem above should be clipped and posted in the area of "So you think You Want to Be A Truck Driver" maybe as a PDF addendum or as an addition to a FAQ page.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Or, "Pearls of Wisdom" from Experienced Drivers...

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Can someone pass the bar-b-que sauce lol That 1 wont be forgotten anytime soon rofl-1.gif

metalhead's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

can anyone tell me what to expect?

double-quotes-end.png

Metalhead, the single one biggest thing that trips people up when trying to get started in this career is their expectations.

first off thank you Old school for your advice and feed back.First off I finished my phase 1 training and then I was "let go" without any kind of explanation.I ran 8 thousand miles in 2 weeks and my trainer and I got along great.I did everything I was supposed to do only to get called into the office in Murry Kentucky to be told I can't work there.Yes I am bitter and the first thing I did was go online and blast the company.That was childish of me but I acted out of anger and disbelief. I am still baffled but I am just gonna move on and try again.

I can't tell you how many times people have quit their trucking jobs, or gone home before they even finished their orientation and training period because things did not happen the way they expected them to. This job is so unique to itself, and involves such a commitment to a unique lifestyle that is contrary to the way that most people live, that it is like a startling slap in the face for many when they first try their hand at it.

The best advice that I can give you, knowing that you've already tried this and blamed your failure on the company you chose, is to expect it to be hard - incredibly hard. Expect to miss home, expect to make very little money at first, expect your trainer to treat you like a dummy, expect about half of what you thought the recruiter told you to be false, heck, you might as well expect the barbecue sauce they serve you with one of the free lunches at orientation to be nasty tasting - we actually had a guy go on a rant in here about that one time!

Expect that you are going to feel like you are being mistreated, that's right because you may very well feel that way. I went through my entire training period going through what most people would consider as untenable mistreatment. The folks at corporate told me afterwards that they knew I was going to be tough enough to handle the job because they very seldom had people make it all the way through the training with this guy! They knew what it was like to endure this nut job, and they still had him training people!

A big part of the training at many trucking companies is designed to test you and see what type of personality you have. If you are the type of person who can't problem solve and keep moving forward in a stressful situation, or manage to get along on a daily basis with really disagreeable people, you may not make it in this job, and they would like to qualify whether those qualities are in you or not, right up front. The training is front loaded with stress because they want to know if you bail at the first signs of trouble, or if you have got the testicular fortitude to face down a dragon and slay him when it is necessary. They will usually give you enough rope to hang yourself, or incriminate yourself by your own reactions, which is why you see so many people on trucking forums slamming companies for the way they were treated - they went in there with false expectations, then they jumped ship and cried foul because nothing was like they thought it should be.

Now, let me counter all of that with the fact that I love this job, and I excel at it every week with measurable quantifiable results, and some really nice paychecks. I'm not saying in any way that you are going to have to be miserable in this job, but what I am saying is that 99% of what most people expect it to be like when they first get started is totally bogus and based on false assumptions. If you want to enjoy success at this career be prepared for a tough time of it for that first year. It literally takes that long to get a feel for how to manage all the many things that can take their toll on you while out there on the road. This job is a problem solvers wet dream. You have got to be on top of your game every day because it's just that type of environment. If you love a challenge then you can do well out here. If challenges tend to make you leery and your mental endurance tends to shut down when taxed, then I say beware the trucking career.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

metalhead's Comment
member avatar

Seriously, take everything Old School said to heart. Anyone getting ready to start training should read what Old School said over and over until it's drilled into your brain. The reality is that this industry is incredibly difficult to get started in. The money for schooling and the length of time it takes is really very modest. But the toll it takes on your nerves and your life as you've known it can be huge. It's exhausting, it's stressful, and you're overloaded with information continuously. You often feel like you're hanging on by a thread because of the workload, and you'll often feel like you've chosen the wrong company or the wrong industry altogether because things are so different than you expected.

Go in with an open mind. Do anything they ask of you (assuming it's safe and legal of course) and do it with a smile. Work hard, listen and learn, and stay positive. If you'll keep moving forward one day at a time and keep a great attitude and work ethic it will work out great in the end.

I am definitely going to stay positive, move on and try again.I just felt kinda used by the company.I gave them a couple great weeks of work just to be let go without explanation .supposedly with Kentucky right to work act they can just let you go without any kind of explanation or reason.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

That seems really odd that they would just let you go without any type of explanation, especially considering the fact that you did so well during the time you were there and got along so well with your trainer. It doesn't seem to be in their best interest to fire someone who shows the potential to be a valuable asset. Is there perhaps any other information you can provide which might give us some more insight as to why they would make such a foolish decision? Maybe something in your past which they discovered in a background check? Or maybe some incident that happened which you thought was minor and have therefore neglected to share so far? I'm really just baffled that they would do this for no reason.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.
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