Long story short, I went to a company sponsored school, got my CDL and was very excited about driving. After orientation, I sat for almost two months waiting for a trainer which frustrated me.
I finally get a trainer and now I’m full blown discouraged! He is awful. He talks to me as if I’m stupid. He doesn’t show me how to do anything, after two days I realized that I was supposed to watch him and just figure it out. If I don’t understand, he responds with “you don’t have any common sense” or if I ask a question he feels like I should know he taps him temple and rolls his eyes saying “duh.”
I don’t want to have to wait months for another trainer but I’m not learning ANYTHING. He tells me how to back in not teach me and in order to keep peace I don’t ask him anything because I’m close to going off on him.
We went down a 7% grade mountain, when I stopped to check brakes he told me to keep going he knows his breaks are good. I wanted to learn how to properly check my breaks. I’m asking him how to go down the mountain, proper gear, speed etc. He tells me that this is an automatic. I’m not guaranteed to get an automatic truck, that’s not my question!
I’m so frustrated and upset. I really wanted to do trucking but I now I just feel like giving up. I am deep in the hole from 3 months between the school/waiting for trainer, stressed over going out by myself (I have two weeks of training left), and from another classmate it seems that many trainers are in it for the miles not the training so I might have the same luck even if I get another trainer.
Does it get better? Are there trainers who are actually helpful and teach? Any companies that you can recommend that have quality OTR training?
I HATE Training. Need Advice
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If you were taught how to pretrip, you then should already know how to check the brakes, I realize most or alot of trainers are horrible, its kind what the industry has made, you too can be a trainer within the next 6 months, and that is most of the problem.
Cannot teach what you do not know.
it is usually 30 days, suck it up, make him feel like a trucking god (he actually sounds pretty ignorant) and get through the time until you are on your own. Also, do some serious self-analysis and make sure it is him and not you - not everyone is right for this job.
Everything that I was told would be taught to me with my trainer he tells me I should’ve learned in school. We don’t do trip planning, he says you just get fuel when you see you need fuel and when I see I have 2 hours or less left on my clock I need to be looking for somewhere to break “it’s not that hard” (said it in a belittling way). In school we were told how important trip planning is so just driving while trying to find a truck stop (he only uses one company, he’s lease operator) is frustrating when I’m trying to figure out everything else on my own. Am I relying too much on him to teach me this stuff? He is one of those super truckers, he searches for fuel stops on his phone while driving and smoking a cigarette while going 72 mph. He tells me I’m driving like a female because I’m not tailgating or because I’m doing the speed limit.
It does make me doubt myself though. Is this the standard?
Also I need help backing! He just tells me how to turn my wheel and when. I ask him to let me do it on my own to get a feel for how the trailer moves, he says we don’t have time for that. He then drew a picture of how to 45 and said “that should help you.” It’s literally a stick figure tractor and trailer with arrows. Any good YouTube videos is appreciated.Lepton1 Thanks this.
I'm sorry it's going like this for you but I think the best thing you can do now is stroke his ego like @flightconn said and just try to get thru it. You don't learn #### with that kind of training anyways from the way I see it so just watch and try to learn trip planning from what you can with the info he will give up. Just start counting days and remember it's only x days until you get a truck and don't have to deal with this super trucker ever again. Don't doubt yourself, you suck at backing and you will for a while because we all did. Just remember when you get out on your own to goal like ten times per back to stay safe.
Hang in there bud, it sounds like you want to do things the right way and you can and will when you get your own truck.Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
Reason for edit: Autocorrect is my worst enema.
You are not being trained the way you describe your trainer. You also seem to be a spare wheel with the company you are with. Change companies. Most companies view you as a cost item and will put you into the truck on your own as soon you get the training.
What is this training? For me school teaches just enough to not crash or kill anyone on driving test for CDL. Your real learning begins when dispatcher gives you a load somewhere and tells you are running late already. I had very little to no training in my time. Out of school a month or two later in my first truck and then ride with a company trainer who taught me everything I needed to run a bulk tanker. And her training was only two weeks, but intense and immersive enough that when it was time for me to run a bulk tanker here in Arkansas I did not need a refresher 20+ years later. And the plant got their product in 40 minutes.
You are going to have to think about the things you don't yet know and will learn, and at the same time consider what you have gotten yourself into. Training in this industry is a varied story book, some good, some bad and there is the ugly which I do not wish on any student.
The other part is to go into your Company's DM and tell him or her that you are not being taught anything new by trainer and you want your own truck and trailer to run solo for better or worse. You will get a answer that will define your future or not with this company.
Anyone who rolls eyes at you for asking a good question is no longer a trainer. A real trainer will patiently answer the question then go over it with you on the next downgrade wherever it's at. Usually companies give trainers (On a salary anyway) loads that have a little time built in so your trainer can take you places to well.. train.
You are going to find hills much steeper than 7% and with the coming of winter (Already?) your time to learn how is slipping fast before you do it on the land of ice and snow. And that truck is going to sort of turn on you bad when you are on the stuff in winter.
From what you wrote, you are well on your way to leaving this industry in less than a year if you stayed with it that long. Why? You have not been trained yet. Thats why I asked about a basic question about checking truck after you run a mountain... that's backwards. You check it prior to coming down. Many places provide a area for you to pull into and check your rig walking around etc. I was afraid of mountains, but my teachers made me a mountain god, no longer afraid of it but it made me into a monster of sorts. IF a mountain be cookies I would have my fill of it a long time.
The second issue you bring up.. Oh it's a automatic you don't need to do anything. This is really dangerous assumption. Some automatic transmissions do not have a manual mode for mountain work or docking etc and others require satellites in space to tell them to down shift and so on. Still more have been overengineered and cannot function on a bit of snow showers or rain.
You will want to have a manual transmission tractor trailer. It is a very immersive form of driving and really good when you know how to do it correctly. It's not that hard. (Thankfully) but saying its just a auto dismisses alot of knowledge about it and ultimately tells me that trainer does not care anymore about shifting. Hes got a automatic now. No need for that shifting.
I tend to get upset when 100 years worth of trucking know how is distilled by Mr Eyeroll to "Just a automatic" blah. That is really dangerous thinking.
A trainer never says "We don't have time for that" The company usually builds in time for a student to take their time to learn things by practicing on the road. There will be a future where it's important to run across the USA to arrive by Appt time later. But right now you are learning. Your trainer should be training you taking the time to do it just like in driving school.
Anything else would tell me to repeat myself. Im not going to do that. You are in a poor situation and it is a disservice to you and to your company who probably will not have you as a driver. (Or a good driver for that matter...) and you might be choosing to do something else in life./
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