It sounds like you already decided against it. I don't think anyone here is going to say "You have less than a year experience? You should totally be a trainer".
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Yeah 8 months isn't much seat time, but, it is 8 months, right ? Look at it this way .the company offers you this position which can be construed as a advancement (in your mind) which means you won't quit (hopefully), because you're approaching that 1 yr mark where tons of drivers do quit and move on/up. So now that you're a "trainer" with just 8 months experience, you're walking tall around the terminal. Are you inclined to quit, now ? Heck no, because you're not just a lowly driver, you're a "trainer" ! I say go for the training position if you don't mind dealing with Newbs etc. The next position offered will be dispatcher, then safety manager, then V.P. of operations, then CEO !
Lack of decent training is one of the biggest problems this industry faces. The ATA seeks to compensate for that through electronic gizmos...elogs, speed limiters, stability control, lane departure sensors, cameras, etc., etc., etc... For THEM, it is cheaper to pay for the gadgets rather than pay drivers better and treat drivers better so they stick around longer and attract more experienced hands to do the training. If there were higher standards for trainers and the instruction they provide, the megas would be hurting
When I was with Werner after the required months,I was asked to be a trainer a few times over the QUALCOMM and my dispatcher asked me but I think her boss made her.I commend floorguy for not taking it because he feels he needs more exp.Thats the reason why I declined the offer.More drivers then not take the position and only have 1 thing on their mind,MONEY.
I agree that you should at the very least stay there for a full year. As a solo driver, ask to be sent to more places.This will give you more time hopefully, in mountainous areas. It would help if you can get some fog driving as well, as hurricane, tornado, and maybe even ice. Now I am not saying to continue to drive in those types of situations, but to at the very least be aware of your experience in doing so.
If you become a trainer this early on, how will YOU HANDLE a student driver as well?
If you have been offered a trainers job now, and I know that many companies offer it at as little as 3 months, the offer should still stand when you get in a full year.
If you still like the employer you are at, by that time? Then maybe consider taking that position, or move on. Right now, you will do yourself a better service to stay put, and ask for more areas to hone your skills. Being a trainer is NOT easy, it does take patience, and a somewhat even keel to deal with students. I mean you're still a student now right?
Ever wonder how your trainer put up with you?
8 months solo, good safety record, understand the company policies and procedures, .... what other positive accolades would you put in your "plus column"?
This is a profession that is actually a majority of OJT. One can only learn so much from books, tapes and video. Most of what we do comes from experience and making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. If you are a company that uses vans (dry and/or refer) then you could be a trainer. If you are a flatbed company, I don't think less than 1 year has offered enough in "potential problems" where experience is really a major part of doing the job safely and correctly.
Here is what you need to ask yourself, or those close enough to know and understand your personality:
1. Do you have lots of patience?
2. Can you explain the same thing in at least 10 different ways?
3. Do you think you can be a "teacher"? Not an animal trainer, but a real "TEACHER"!
4. Do you have enough confidence in your own skills, to spot problems that another person will make?
5. Do you have an ego problem? Or can you be humble when "instructing" or "criticizing"?
6. Are you a "Yes man" or do you know when to say NO?
I have always considered this profession in the following manner:
Level 1 Complete truck school basics and get CDL from testing State.
Level 2 Spend sufficient time with supervised training...OJT.
Level 3 Complete training and solo time.
Level 4 Become a trainer...a TEACHER.
Level 5 Burn out of patience and back to Level 3.
Level 6 RIP driver!
Each level offers a certain amount of learning, and it is actually impossible to learn everything about this work. At Level 4 (become a trainer), the student is learning what you know, and you are questioning more and more about what you thought you knew...so in retrospect, you are still a student even though you have a position/title of "trainer". Even after you get into Level 5, you still continue to learn...once you make Level 6, you don't need to worry about it anymore!
In other words...I say at least try it, you might find you enjoy teaching. I did and I lasted 10 years before I made it to Level 5. Level 6 might not be that far off if I keep messing with the wife! Heh heh heh
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