At first I thought, why do we have such a long training period? Other companies have a driver out on the open roads in weeks, why do we train for months? I laugh now at that thought and it makes me all the more proud to see our trucks out there and to be a part of such a great team.
When you start out with us, it is like going through a masters degree program in trucking vs just getting a GED with the companies that do not have proper training. We do not send our drivers out to sink or swim, we ensure they have all the necessary tools and information to be successful.
You have options to start with a company and be in your own truck in weeks, as sweet as this might sound, it is pretty much a set up for disaster. In the first 6 months, like with a motorcycle, you are at your highest risk of an incident. The longer you have a second set of eyes on the look out for you the better off you will be.
Not just to keep an eye out for you, but to also vouch for you if there is a mishap, it is just nice to know someone has your back.
Even for experienced drivers, starting with a new company is a lot to learn and can be overwhelming. It is extra nice to have all the time in the world to get you the info and ensure you understand it.
Companies that send you out on your own in a matter of weeks are the kind of companies that do not care. If you fail, they can replace you in just a few weeks. Yes, we would love to have you out in a truck in weeks, we would love to have an extra set of wheels turning, but it is just not fair to the driver. It does not set you up to have the solid foundation that will help you succeed and feel comfortable out there.
Once a driver goes through our training, they will be at the experience (and pay level) of drivers with 2 years. This is a lot to learn in a few months, and would take 2 years if you were out on your own learning it.
The easy part is getting the truck/trailer down the road. You will have that in days, it is all the other tricks to this trade that you will not know about until you get out on the road. I promise once you see how much is behind this trucking gig, you will appreciate the opportunity to have more than a few thousand miles to learn it.
In an attempt to let people know what it is like for over the road drivers, I am heading out with Jim Palmer Trucking driver Allie Knight.