When researching for a flatbed trucking career a common question is, “What will my training be like?” This is a tough question to answer because of the different perceptions and experiences of a variety of students. Many companies have different guidelines when it comes to training. Requirements are met differently from company to company and may be fulfilled faster by some students than others. Some drivers will take as much as a month or two longer than other students to fulfill all the guidelines and requirements to become solo.
Each student reacts differently to the written testing versus the hands-on simulator testing. These both need passing grades before an official CDL instructor can be assigned to the student. Then it becomes a necessity to complete 30,000 team miles before graduation to solo. This requirement can differ company to company.
Another factor that affects the ability to learn by experience is, unfortunately, the driving habits of the trainer. Many trainers have different levels of experience, especially with the weather, familiarity with different locations and the importance they put on each of the fundamental steps. Once going solo, it is important to know what to do on any given day depending on what you might experience.
Training for Flatbed Shipping Careers
What do you do if you have a blowout, run over a deer, experience bad winter weather conditions, heavy snow, and winds?
How to get through congested city traffic?
Where and how do you get the most favorable necessary repair?
Will you be able to manage high percentage grades?
Can you back that trailer into different docking situations even if it requires the blind side?
Its well worth taking a little longer when training to gather as much practical knowledge as you can so you are armed with a battery of solutions just in case these scenarios are presented to you when you are driving solo.
Every load is different and the experience in securing them is one of the most serious safety concerns along with the maintenance of the company’s equipment. Time management is such a factor so that you can stay on schedule no matter what issue you experience that day.
Training for a career in flatbed shipping can take a different amount of time for each student depending on their attitude, the ability of the trainer to present a full curriculum of possibilities and the driver’s communication skills.
In summary, it all comes down to the driver’s overall performance. All these student experiences are different and the way they are handled is determined by the driver. The driver needs to be professional, conscientious, flexible, and communicate problems well; then and only then will he be rewarded. Trucking is all about the driver and just how they perform and handle themselves in managing such an important role.