Schneider - Orientation, looking better
by, 10.17.2011 at 09.42 PM (1694 Views)
Today is the third day of Schneider orientation and my first day in a Schneider truck. I got a boost in my confidence today.
First off when I met my driver trainer, or TE for "Training Engineer" (love political correctness), I learned he has the same name as my roomie in drive school. How odd. He's a big ol' guy named Jason. He told us that we'll learn he is "Kind of a BIG deal."
Jason is a good guy, very friendly and easy going. But I have to back up to yesterday on one thing: they pointed out gear/speeds to us. When I was in the McElroy truck, one thing that kept shaking me is not being able to remember what speed per gear. They told us yesterday that our speeds in multiples of 5, add the two numbers and that's our gear. So 15 mph, 1+5=6; 6th gear. 25 mph, 2+5=7, 7th gear. Had I known that before I wouldn't have been lost so quick and easy.
In school our trainers were excitable, slapping the dash and cussing & yelling; panicking us and getting us all flustered. At McElroy, Jay was calm and tried to work us through some stuff. But Mark, on the road, rarely said a word. He was nice; but he just watched me fumble and at times he would grab the stick and help me find & grind my way in. But he wanted me to float my gears. When I asked him what exactly my problem is, he replied, "I can only tell ya so many times. From there it's just up to you to get it. By now folks are usually doing better than you."
Schneider says "Double Clutch." I can do this. I was still understandably sloppy, but I got it done. Soon Jason was having me skip gears and "Bump & Run." Then he started mocking me. He was fake weeping and searching for a tissue while telling me how beautiful my shifting was. Then he pinned his trainer tag on my sleeve.
While stopped at a sign we faced an incline. He said "You won't be able to skip gears on a hill, so just take em one at a time."
My bad, I didn't even think about it. Started off in 2nd and skipped to 4th. He said, "Well, I stand corrected. The new guy has to prove you CAN skip gears on a hill."
The other guy training with me today is new to trucking, but has a couple months experience already. He is coming from C. R. England. He said he was having trouble getting paid. He had a little trouble adjusting to a Schneider truck.
Jason also told me something else interesting. Yesterday I spoke briefly with a trainer about the trouble I know I was having and what McElroy told me that I should already know how to drive, basically. (See previous posts.) He told me, "In a way, McElroy's right. You SHOULD already have an idea how to drive and we polish you up."
Today Jason told me, "At school, all they do is teach you how to get your CDL. We teach you how to drive a truck." *sigh* Aiight. Guess I'm in the right place.
A new big account Schneider has scored is "Schlumberger" (Slumber-Shay.) It's an oil field position. If I understand correct, it's salary depending on experience (a rookie will get about $800/week), 7 days on, 2 days off, on-call 24/7, and home nearly every night. Schneider is so new to this they don't know how to train people. So veterans switching over are having to go through some basic orientation, then specialized training. Afterwards, they'll be going to train at the oil fields, driving Schlumberger's trucks. So basically Schneider is just providing drivers. Ok.
Well, I got homework to get to. Working on learning the Qualcomm system. E- ya later.
Today someone who is here training to be a TE told me that they are regional and have been with Schneider for a lil over a year and this weekend is the first weekend they have not been home. They said it IS possible, but I have to be firm and hold my ground with the fleet manager (DBL) or they will run me every second I'll give them.
So, maybe there is hope for me getting home regularly.