Newbies - Tips From the Trainer


   
Q

How come I have a license to operate a commercial motor vehicle and the insurance companies are dictating who can drive if you have over 2 yrs.(verifiable) experience??? Who is getting paid off to railroad new drivers to companies that will take advantage of them?

   
A

Paid off? I think you need to be a lot more realistic in your assessment of just who does what in the industry. Right now there are few companies that take the risks of hiring new drivers or even unproven drivers. The insurance companies do a lot of research and they are the ones who have to make the big payouts when things go wrong. One way to limit the risk is to have drivers who have been through 140 - 250 hours of certified training that can be proven against a set standard that has been set by the trucking industry, itself. If you really want to be mad at someone, direct your anger at the smaller companies who won’t hire new or unproven people at all. If you want to be mad at someone, blame the lawyers who see every truck accident, regardless of fault, as a jackpot for them. And, of course, there are the people who go out and tear up equipment and personal property or who kill innocent motorists. There is a lot of blame to be spread around.

Without experience from other carriers and/or certified training programs, there is no way that anyone can have a chance in a court of law after an accident. The liability for experienced drivers and certified students is high enough. No one knows what you have learned and from whom. Without certification from a school that the company has worked with, no one really knows what you can or cannot do. You cannot deduce that from a 15-minute road test. I have personally trained more than one student with a CDL that could not drive at all! They couldn’t control the truck, they didn’t see well out of the truck, and they lacked even the slightest grasp of what they needed to do while in a truck. In perfect conditions they could not get going forward through the gears in a secure area away from traffic, let alone do it in reverse at night in bad weather in a real world situation. Without proof of experience or certified training, there are just not many people who will hire, and those who would, would frankly be less than desirable to work for - the worst of the worst.

As for taking advantage of people, that is kind of a double-edged sword. The fact is that the success of new drivers when compared to the attrition rate, logistics, attracting, training, and paying of new drivers are abysmal. The costs of doing this for these carriers are unbelievable! The vast majority of people getting into tucking will not be there next year. This is primarily due to the lifestyle changes and overall poor quality of life of the OTR trucking world versus normal every day jobs. The weeks gone on the road, the poor pay to work ratio, the expenses of being on the road, the frustration of the time schedules, and the emotional demands are universal to the world of OTR trucking; therefore, the carriers that hire people out of schools pay to transport them to the terminals, pay them while they train, and end up with a handful of drivers at the end of the training period. The success rate for trained, experienced drivers is anywhere from 130% - 160% annually. What do you think the success rate would be for people who have never done this before and who have never been schooled in the ups-and-downs of life on the road?

   

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