Who is training the trainers?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by trucknguy, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. Flashdrive7

    Flashdrive7 Medium Load Member

    Apr 24, 2015
    West Coast
    I've been a trainer for about seven months at a mid size company. For years I turned down invites to be one simply because I like the solitude of driving solo. I agreed to take it on this time because I feel that I have a professional obligation to pas on what I have learned.

    I don't think of myself as a professor, or even a Super Trucker driver. I do know a few things. I'm running solo and only local work for a couple of weeks because of some difficulty with my license renewal. Yesterday, I followed orders to pick up a load and take it several miles to our terminal where another driver would take it to delivery. The driver finished his time with his OTR trainer a few days ago. It seems like he didn't have a trainer. Just some lazy driver collecting the extra pay. He didn't know how to work the quall com, or how to get fuel not even how to log in his loaded And empty calls. I watched him back his tractor to the trailer and saw how inept he was with driving. I asked him about his driving experience. He said he went to a truck school that got him his CDL in two weeks. The also trained him in day cab with a short trailer (oh no!) After he hooked up I asked him to pull out, drive around the block and back in to a parking space. He couldn't back in. Even with lots of manuver room. He said his trainer only had him back once in two weeks.

    I tried to get hold of someone at our head office to let me go with him on his run but because of a holiday weekend there was no response. I gave him my phone number and told him to call me day or night. He has too. A half dozen times since yesterday afternoon. First business day next week I'm turning in a report on his "trainer" In our outfit, a trainer gets paid for all the miles driven. He doesn't split it with a co driver. Student gets a small weekly salary during that phase. Some guys volunteer for the position so they can take a reclining position and still get paid.
    BeHereNow97 and bentstrider83 Thank this.
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  3. crzyjarmans

    crzyjarmans Road Train Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Short answer, rookies are training the trainer!
  4. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

    Sep 1, 2017
    In my first job. There were two people who had been trainers for a mega. They were both idiots. They both believed in deception and manipulation. Idiots.
    One actually thought you couldn’t know anything unless it was from a trainer. Didn’t realize most of us learned about stab braking when we were 15 years old, learning to drive a car. I had a place I caught the landing gear at. I had a tow truck pull me backward. She proceeded to tell me how she plowed through that same place. Completely destroyed the pipe along the bottom of a pneumatic tanker. She did the same at a railroad track crossing. I hesitated going over that crossing bobtail. Said she had only one speeding ticket. When she had admitted to two speeding tickets on one highway alone.
    I could go on and on.
    God prefers Diesels and Chinatown Thank this.
  5. bentstrider83

    bentstrider83 Road Train Member

    Dec 26, 2011
    Portales, NM
    I'm beginning to think that there's really no set standards for trainers. They just offer up to whomever has the least amount of experience at the time and let them dictate the training as they see fit. Seems even more hopeless in the pilot training circles. Fixed wing/Rotary wing with low hours are usually relegated to training noobs to build up hours. Once they get those 1000 minimal hours or whatever's needed for the better paying job, they're done with that teaching/training chore.
  6. EuropeanTrucker

    EuropeanTrucker Medium Load Member

    Jun 15, 2018
    My brother trained me and he only had 8 weeks of driving which was with my father. Lol
    Chinatown Thanks this.
  7. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Road Train Member

    Jun 26, 2020
    South Texas
    In the oilfield, we would make newer guys train the rookies under supervision. "Training" someone would help cement in the fresh knowledge they themselves had only recently learned. And watching them teach a greenhat would show me just how much they actually understood, along with their attention to detail. If they left details out, or got parts wrong while training a guy, then I knew they had holes in their own knowledge, and I could correct it.

    Not saying this is why the megas do it, though. I'd expect the seasoned hands that actually stay don't want any part of training a new trucker, so they are forced to use whoever will.
  8. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    I was a trainer once and their is a couple problems in my opinion. Their is solo runs and team runs. So they basically forced to run trainers as teams. Unless two guys want to run solo freight sleeping in truck taking longer to get the miles of experience for a new drivers. I don't think most new guys want to spend that much time learning to drive a truck.

    New drivers do need someone sitting in passenger seat to help them. I worked for mega that would run trainers as teams. The new drivers would wake me up lost. It's not just learning to drive a truck, some guys never washed their own clothes before.

    I tried to show new drivers how to trip plan, they would get made because they did not see the value in it. They did not seem to understand their was a schedule we had to keep driving cross country. We had to be ontime for our appointment
    kylefitzy Thanks this.
  9. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    Elkhart, IN
    Maybe if you're in high school or college age range you can get away with that...I know I did when I was 17-18. Anybody in their 30s or older no way, unless you're "enhanced". I usually give it at least 3 days before working the same muscles again and don't pay much attention to what day it is.
    Brettj3876 Thanks this.
  10. JustCallMeDriver

    JustCallMeDriver Light Load Member

    May 5, 2021
    I started at Schneider in 2012.

    They flew me to Portland, OR to meet my trainer because he was apparently the only one available at the time. Almost everyone in my huge Fontana orientation class was waiting for a trainer.

    We drove one load. Longview, WA to Long Beach, CA. Big paper rolls that went on to sail the ocean in containers.

    Deadheaded back to Fontana and they assigned me a solo truck.

    If I wasn't extremely meticulous in planning, and cautious in looking out for everything I possibly could think of, I bet I would have killed somebody my first year. As it was, I made plenty of "learning mistakes."

    I put together this playbook off my own beats, and I try my best every day to be a professional driver. To know the truck, its maintenance and what every part does. To know the roads, know how to plan and navigate through unfamiliar roads without plug and play GPS.

    I'm hard on myself and feel like an impostor most days, but I'm still out here. Still trying to take pride in what I do, and do it safely, efficiently, and with as much awareness as possible.

    But I think when I hit 10 years driving I'm going to go back to school and continue learning to code. Get an engineering degree maybe.
    bentstrider83 and kylefitzy Thank this.
  11. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    I work for company now that did not hire new drivers when I started with them. Now they do and they do run trainer trucks on solo runs. They still can't find enough drivers. They want to expand the their fleet from 89 trucks when I started now at 220 and they had goal of 700 trucks. That's why they started training new drivers. They never seem to address why drivers quite. I was surprised to see they really do run trainer trucks as solo. Everyone says that would be the golden stand. I would even think so but they still looking for new drivers trying to expand the fleet
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