Dealing With Some Crazy Personalities During Training

  • Blogs By Author

  • Blogs By Tag

I've been really happy with my fortune so far but the first day I met my finisher, I got a little concerned. This guy was definitely a hot-shot and, when I told the other students about our first conversation they were actually laughing their heads off. They liked him, just like me, when they had first seen him but the crap he was saying was a red-flag that there was going to be some problems on the road. The first thing he told me was "Forget everything you learned at your school. "

"Ok, no problem" I thought, I hadn't learned that much to begin with. Then he started to say a lot of other things that were obvious exaggerations and I knew that I was probably going to have to keep my mouth shut or call the company for another finisher.

"I average about 65 miles per hour when I drive." he said to me as I started scratching my head and trying to figure out how that was even humanly possible. The trucks were governed at 65 so, either he was doing a hell of a lot of downhill driving or the two of us had a different definition of the term "average." Then he showed me a photo of a rollover that he had been in and told me a story of a previous student who had tried to jump from his truck because he was driving 55 miles per hour into a blinding snowstorm.

Pushing The Limit

9-hauler.jpg I honestly got along with this guy pretty well on the first couple days. He said his philosophy was to "push it to the limit" so I was comparing him to a Vincent Van Gogh or a Michelangelo type. Many of the greats have been known to have madness to their Art. After he showed me some photos of his wife's naked body and we began to pull out of the parking lot, he said he was going to break my fingers if I did "That" again. Don't ask me what "That" was. It had something to do with my shifting but, before I could figure it out, he was yelling at me to "Turn the wheel to the right!"

It was raining that first day. I was trying to take things slow and he was trying to go fast. He grabbed the wheel right at the start and yanked it to the right to show me that he was actually the driver of this rig. Get out of trucking right now, folks, if you don't think you can put up with this kind of shit. A lot of people would have gotten out of the truck right there and asked for a new finisher but they would likely discover that this is par for the course. Instead, I started to show an attitude of "no concern" but you also have to be careful of this. "No concern" will piss off your finisher just as quickly as "Too much concern." Of all the things I heard that day, "Relax! Get moving! Get on that guy's ass! Slow the fuck down!" were only a few of the select phrases. I started to settle in after about 300 miles and just act calm. This seemed the only way to get through the first 7,500 miles alive.

My Trainer Had Some Great Qualities Too (Thank God!)

Don't get me wrong. My finisher also showed a lot of good qualities. He told me that I basically wouldn't be paying for anything during the three weeks we were together. This had already seemed to be mostly true. He also showed me a photo of himself several months back and how he had lost over 50 pounds in the past few months. He helped me with a lot of things that his job didn't require and, probably my favorite thing was his philosophy of "Not complaining." I really admired this part of his character. We were hearing complaints from other truckers everywhere we went. My finisher would always be quiet during these times and wait to mention it to me later. Then he would say "Did you hear all the complaints from those guys? They are creating their own problems by having a bad attitude." He also didn't drink alcohol and he loved to help out anytime he could. I had to say that my finisher really had a lot of heart.

Ego tends to function a lot like the blind spot in a trucker's rear view mirror. It looks enormous to the cars around it but the trucker can't really see it. Yes,….every trucker knows it's there but it's an abstract awareness. The perception only comes from a tiny little convex shape on the passenger side door. I tried to keep my eyes on my own ego those first few days, as well as in my rear view mirror. I knew the dangers of forgetting my blind spot and forgetting my own ego at the same time. All in all, I felt pretty positive about my finisher. I only needed to keep my mouth shut and not to ask too many questions. Then we would start to develop a working relationship and get through the tough weather.

Related Articles:

CDL Training Week Two - Finding Out Which Of Us Will Make It Through

This informative article follows a student truck driver as they complete their second week of training. They share what they have learned, including advice on down shifting, parallel parking, and alley docking. They also offer insight into the experience of being a student driver, as well as tips for job-seekers.

My First Load Driving a Big Truck

Trucker Mike shares his experience as a first time truck driver. He navigates through unfamiliar cities and builds confidence while handling high winds. Read his story to learn more.

Observations From a Rookie Truck Driver

As a rookie truck driver, TruckerMike shares his observations of the trucking industry, from funny stories heard on the CB to the unexpected twists and turns of the Ozarks. He encourages new drivers to take each change in stride, adapt to changes and enjoy the sights of the country.

Truck Driver Training Adventures in the Smokey Mountains!

Trucker Mike shares his story of an exciting trucking adventure while driving through the Smokey Mountains. He missed a turn and had to climb a huge hill with a full trailer. He had to shift quickly and eventually made it to the top. He also shares tips on how to float the gears.

My Best Trip in a Big Truck Yet!

Truck driver TruckerMike recounts his best trip yet, which included dealing with congested traffic, tackling the Rocky Mountains, and stopping for a meal at the Big Texan in Amarillo, TX. He experienced beautiful views and faced a few dangers along the way.

Why Join Trucking Truth?

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training