Truck generic, Queensland,
Truck generic, Queensland, Big Rigs

Apprenticeships idea perfect to train driver

I SAW something interesting in September 21 issue.

The apprenticeship idea is a good one as there are lots of idiots out there doing stupid sh*t that they should never do, like tailgating and dropping trailers because they have never learned a good way.

I drive road trains and it is amazing the number of trucks that sit right up your arse and the flick out and expect to leap past you.

Basic roadcraft failure 101 here. Having worked for a national company (Uncle Lindsay), I heartily agree there's some college clowns running the show.

They don't know and they don't want to know... it's just management to them, widgets or transport, just a different computer program.

I don't want my kids anywhere near trucks and I won't recommend it to anyone.

I have seen a training company that does on the job mentoring which would probably avoid half of the mistakes new drivers make.

A full blown apprenticeship would probably only work in one job.

Maybe more of a mentor-ship with someone being a buddy driver for the first week and then maybe once a week just to check up on progress and any bad habits while still available via phone etc to answer any questions that crop up.

A component of that should be attitude and roadcraft to avoid the idiot mentality some seem to get listening to the "lunchtime legends" who "train" some of the new guys. Things like checking wheels and lights and doing something about it. The trainers attitude is critical. Not just experienced but professional in the true sense.

My experience with Uncle Lindsay was good in the training and I was fortunate to have a buddy who had previous road train experience so I learned a lot of good practice right at the start.

Then I had management that was a boys club and treated drivers like a consumable. The turnstile nearly melted.

When I started, I was going to retire there but after two-and-a-half years, I couldn't get out quick enough. The job was great and the money was great, but I still left, never to return.

I am sick to death of the interstate mentality where they just drive from one tailgate to the next whining on the UHF because you are two kilometres under the speed limit and that attitude stays with them their whole career.

Judging by the number of exploding pin hashtags on Facebook there are a lot of drivers who are in too much of a hurry to check such a critical item or even hookup without wiping all the grease off on the skidplate.

On the subject of automatics, my wife could drive a Volvo/Scania but I would not let her loose on the road.

Any idiot can drive one and frequently do. Such a low skill level is fraught with the main ones being energy management descending hills and overhead clearances.

Clueless management put anyone with a licence in a truck and think the problem is solved.

If something happens, add another camera. Will the industry change for the better? I am not holding my breath with over management and over regulation making the dole more attractive.

Try explaining truck drivers conditions and hours vs pay to normal people anywhere and you get a reality check.

We will always be second class, methinks.

If I could do something else that earns the same money, I would go.

Roger Pearson
 

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