I started working a dedicated route for a mega carrier. It's a touch freight position, with heavy labor.
My second week of training, I left and called the company to ask for a new mentor. When they asked why I told them it was for not allowing me to get adequate sleep when I was fatigued, using my DOT clock for his driving, and for going into "Break" or "Sleeper Berth" while i was unloading freight for up to 8 hours a day.
heres a a list of things that crossed the line for me.
-Driving on my logs, claiming it was for my own benefit ($10 an hour), but most likely doing it so he could pick up more loads, and make .62c a mile all the way. The first thing he did was memorize my driver code and passcode, and would use mine on the Qualcom without telling me.
-Not going into "on duty" mode when we were loading and unloading. He would put me on "break" or "Sleeper Berth" while we were doing up to 8 hours of tough manual labor throughout the day. At the end of the day, I was working 18 hour days, so fatigued I felt delirious. If we were running a team of experienced drivers, I'd be down for a little rule breaking, but during training I'm paid hourly, so I was essentially working for free, and being run into the ground.
-He would forbid me from using the seatbelt on the top bunk for some reason, and wanted me to sleep there while truck was moving, with him violating speeding laws and driving very roughly.
-He would leave the AC on full blast constantly, this would have been ok, but before we left he actually told me to only bring a sheet because it's hot in the truck. I never got good sleep and was shivvering because i only had a thin blanket. If i tried to talk to him or adjust it, he would get pissed off. I noticed that he slept with a thick blanket. On nights when I was to my breaking point, he would offer to turn it down a bit, but not other nights.
-He wouldnt leave the ladder down on the top bunk, and morning/night he sleeps at least 12 hours. I would get up after 7.5 or 8 hours of sleeping, and he would accuse me of having sleep a sleep disorder for getting up earlier, and getting up to pee in the night.
-never in two weeks did a single pre trip. "Pre trip" to him was just a 15 minute timer we had to wait through before we could hit the road. It was a pretty new truck, but I was there to learn. He told me in beginning most drivers just inspect the truck once a week, but he didn't.
-was reluctant to let me practice backing. Didn't go over any of the material I was supposed to learn or take any time for instruction, just had me running constantly, and I covered most of the long distance and he would do the in between runs to different stores, and only let me do backing twice on the job out of maybe 10 times, and I had to demand it. He would sleep in the back while I was driving, and not supervising. When he did work on backing with me, he would do it in an aggressive way, standing too close to the truck, yelling and being unclear.
-We were always late to the drop offs because he wouldnt get up until 12pm. I would be ready to roll at 7 or 8, and have to sit there in the front seat. After we arrived late, he would lie to the company about them not being willing to receive us, so he could get paid hourly throughout the night.
The killer was the last night i was in his truck. We got back to DC, where my car was parked, but he needed to go back to the main yard for some reason. After maxing out my hours, he wanted me to drive two hours in my personal vehicle there so we could start rolling (this was 1am after maxing out my drive time). I had to demand a sleep break, and he wasnt happy about it. For some reason, this guy can randomly shut himself down and sleep 12 hours at different times, but some days doesnt sleep at all for 36 hours. I started to suspect maybe hes taking some kind of drug or medication to do this.
I'm feeling kind of nervous, the company said they would assign me a new mentor, but I worry he knows the guy. Hes been there a while, and is one of the top earning drivers (supposedly, and now I know why; hes using the trainees as slave labor)
If I were to walk out on the job, would it damage my career, and would another company still take me if I explained what happened?
Walked out on mentor
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Drivers market…document that you didn’t damage anything and that you did communicate to them that you were leaving.. me personally I’d stay away from megas… Lastly don’t allow several lines to get crossed before you speak up…
Ok, yeah From day 1 he was breaking like most of the laws about the quallcom. First thing he did was memorize my driver code and social, i should have spoken up from the getgo, but i was taking it all in.
Shouldn't you be more worried about the risk of driving over a soccer mom and her soccer team?
Shouldn't you share this concern with everyone, starting with your mentor?
Ask for a virtual safety meeting with a safety manager and a linehaul manager together.
You can use Skype, Google Meets or any other messenger type of software available to you and the company.
Now, not in 2-3 days.
A lot of good advice was given on that thread for another trainee, just like you.
I'm looking up the link now.
Balls to the wall and getting sick
I used to go for a few days without shutting down back when it was loose leaf and flatbedding.
The boss would tell everyone he didn’t buy those trucks for you to sleep in.
So you’d leave out Sunday with a load you picked up Friday, drive 600 +/- Unload Monday morning, show your logs that you got there Saturday got a break/restart, Then back up boom til you couldn’t anymore.
Then show a “FLY IN.” he had a personal plane and would show flying in to recover a truck and back to work on fresh hours.
Ah, the good old days.
you can argue all you want but sleep deprivation leads to motor impairment similar to being intoxicated.
I’m not a robot or a dog. I expect to be paid fairly and to have at minimum a half ### decent work environment.
The times have changed.
Used to all companies expected that of you, some still do, give you a 10 hour break, run you 150-200 mile swap out trailers, do another 10 while waiting for it to be loaded and drive all night,
“You just had a 10, why didn’t you sleep?
You must’ve been playing video games.”
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