After graduating from trucking school and heading into the “real world” to work as a trucker for a company, you’re probably not at the end of your training. Instead, the company you work for is most likely going to assign you a trainer to help get you started. Once the trainer feels like you’re ready to hit the road, then you’ll be able to get behind the wheel of a big rig on your own. Even seasoned truck drivers may have to go through additional training if they change companies or are being considered for a promotion.
As a trainee, you’re entering into a complex relationship where it is easy to step on toes. You might be worried that your trainer knows less than you do, or you may be hesitant to have someone “tell you what to do” or “boss you around,” but there are a few things that you can do to make the situation better for both you and your trainer.
First, you can realize that the trainer might actually have something to teach you. If you’re fresh out of driving school you might have all the by-the-book answers, but your trainer knows a lot more about actually driving a truck. In addition, your trainer will be able to give you advice about the company you’re working with,such as their rules and regulations.
Newbiedriver.com, a web site for new truck drivers, urges drivers in a trainee-trainer situation not to challenge trainers to “a war of who knows more.” Also, the web site advises new truckers not to forget what they learned in trucking school, as the trainer might suggest, but just add to it.
As a trainee, you might be feeling frightened or apprehensive about driving a truck for the first time outside of driving school, but letting those feelings come out as anger or frustration with your trainer is not the best way to deal with it. If you do that, it will just make your frustration even worse and your adjustment even harder.