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Posts Tagged ‘TRUCK DRIVER TRAINING’

You hear a lot of talk about the shortage of truck drivers.  Well, in this blogger’s opinion there is a severe shortage.  There are plenty of folks driving trucks but not so many “real” truckers out there.  However there are quite a few of those “steering wheel holders”.  These are folks who just do it for the money until they can find something better to do.  They are not real educated on the trucking lifestyle and hate their jobs.  They are miserable and don’t care or respect any of the old traditions that truckers have built up over the years.  They disrespect the public, throw trash all over the truck stops, speed and tailgate, think they are entitled to everything, speed through truck stops and kill others truckers  and are a disgrace to the rest of us out here doing what we love to do.

     There used to be an honor to driving a truck.  We used to be the “Knights of the Road”.  It was a profession rooted in heritage, pride and brotherhood.  We had respect from the motoring public and they used to look up to us in somewhat of an “awe”.  Truck stops used to honor us too.  They appreciated it when we chose their establishment to stop at and spend our hard-earned dollars there.   Now that we have this “new breed” of drivers they are getting tired of the vandalism, un-gratefulness and disrespect they are having to deal with.    Our once “proud profession” has been infiltrated by some folks with very questionable character.

The difference between Truckers and Steering Wheel Holders:

A steering wheel holder speeds through truck stops, only caring about himself and has total disregard for his fellow drivers, thinking the quicker he gets back on the road the more money he will make.  Some of them will even run their jake brakes or blow their air horn when we are trying to get our rest.   A Trucker will go slowly through the truck stops, keeping a keen eye out because he  knows  that his fellow drivers may be tired from driving all day and may not be paying attention. 

Steering wheel holders get mad and argue with shippers and receivers when they arrive early or late for their appointments, still wanting the service they should have gotten if they had been there on time.  Truck drivers arrive on time for their appointments and understand when there is a glitch in the suppliers schedule and work around it.

Steering wheel holders tailgate and speed, not caring about the dangers they put others in or the image they portray to the public.  Truck drivers know how long it takes to bring that truck to a halt.  They are in it for the long haul and respect the public by staying back from their bumpers.

Steering wheel holders will call road service for something as simple as a marker light being out.  Truckers will repair the discrepancy if they can and put forth an effort to keep the company from having to call out a road service.

Steering wheel holders have the attitude that “It’s not my truck or trailer or fuel”. Truckers take responsibility for their assigned equipment and treat it like their own.  They know if the company makes money they will too. 

Steering wheel holders will not stop to help or offer to help anyone on the road or in a truck stop.  They are blind to the plights of others and could care less.  Truckers will stop to help someone else or at least call on the CB to ensure that the other driver is ok.  They will also help a driver back into a tight spot while steering wheel holders will only blow their horn if they get too close to their truck.

Steering wheel holders park on the fuel island to get stuff to eat and use the bathroom and sometimes a shower  without even pulling forward first and get in the way of everyone else, thinking the world revolves around them.  Truck drivers realize the importance of getting in and out of the way of others and are respectful of other drivers time.

Steering wheel holders seldom do a pre-trip inspection.  They get up in the morning and just take off without checking the equipment out.  Truck drivers make sure their lights, tires and fluid levels are ok and check the overall integrity of their truck and trailer. 

Maybe one day these guys will come around and see that they need to change their ways and share the love of the road with the rest of us.  Until then, the headaches will continue…

Stay safe and prosper,

Jim

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We hear so many drivers mutter on a daily basis about wanting improvement in attitude, morale, company support and skill level. Many of those same drivers who speak of wanting positive change are also the ones who are quick to judge and criticize. Now what exactly does this accomplish?

Imagine what would happen if we could bottle the criticism for a bit and instead, replace it with guidance. Would that be so difficult? Don’t you think that everyone involved would benefit?

Caring for others is a part of human nature. Unfortunately criticizing, mocking and berating others seems to have also become a part of human nature. Which trait do YOU think is more productive at achieving positive goals?

With the large number of new drivers of all age groups entering the trucking industry these days, it stands to reason that there is a lack of education, guidance and understanding. Many of these “newbies” could really use a helping hand and probably some advise.

Just think of how much better things could be if more of us took a positive stand. Helping someone out instead of making fun of them.

Last week, I witnessed a very young, driver trainer screaming profanity at his much older student driver in public. This went on long enough for many people to witness and hear. Pointing at him and calling him names like one of these drill sergeants you see in the movies. The student just took it, but what else was he supposed to do?   What did I do?   Well, I used my social media resources. I contacted the company with details by phone, email and Facebook to make sure something was done about it.

We  hear about these situations often. These are the up and coming drivers that we are sharing the road with. Think for a moment about the kid who’s getting bullied every day and what we all to often hear is the result. The kid getting bullied can take no more and becomes violent against his aggressor. Is this how we want our new drivers molded, to be aggressive and lacking in professionalism. I don’t!

So when it comes to “raising the bar”. It’s pretty simple. Each one of us can take little steps. With more of us doing this, it can make a big impact. Crack a smile now and then!  Ask someone how they are doing and listen when they tell you. Get out and help another driver back up. When you hear someone complain, listen and offer a positive solution.

If more of us at least try to take positive steps to the goal of raising the bar, we will eventually begin to see it happen!

Something to think about!

Jan

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Those of us who drive remember what it was like to be the new guy don’t we? Everyone giving us a hard time about everything including our lack of knowledge because we were not given the information we needed.

Remember what YOU were told when you made that first inquiry?

We had to do the “learn as we go” thing. Getting teased about the company we worked for and being told we didn’t fit in or didn’t belong. Well it’s not gotten better out here, it’s gotten worse. Most of these “newbies”  or “rookies” are fed such crap by some recruiters, they have no idea what they are doing when they step into the ring. 

And yes, some of the new drivers out there do seem like they might be graduates of Bobby Boofay’s 24 Hour Truck Driving School. That is NOT their fault!  The lack of training on policies and procedures seems to almost be deliberate at times just so they can laugh and point.

 HAVE patience with these people. Help them learn the ropes. Guide them in the right direction. We ARE sharing the road after all! We can only benefit from helping and guiding others. Besides, we will all feel so much safer knowing we did the right thing. Smile and say ” if you need any advise or help, give me a call” and give them your number. I remember several that did that for us and having a comforting voice on the other end of the phone guiding me through what I thought was a crisis & turned out to be something quite simple sure was nice! It was great to know that there were people out there that I could count on for support.

Constant ridicule never helped anyone.

A hand shake and a smile can go a long way!

Remember YOU were there once too!!

Jan McCarter

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