by Pride Transport | Aug 23, 2023
Many people mistakenly believe there is no way to advance their careers in the trucking industry. In reality, there are many pathways for career advancement. If you have been a driver for at least two years, enjoy working with others, have good patience, and can boast a fantastic safety record on the road, then you may want to look into becoming a truck driver trainer.
Why become a truck driver trainer?
Well, the one thing that everyone who drives a truck has in common is the need for excellent training. Becoming a trainer puts you in the position to guide new drivers on all the skills you’ve learned over time and to help them work through mistakes that would be potentially dangerous (or even fatal) on the job.
At Pride Transport, we offer opportunities for professional growth, giving our drivers a chance to become trainers and mentors of the next generation of truck drivers. If that sounds exciting to you, great! This is a career path we’re happy to discuss further. Here’s what you should know if you want to take advantage of this opportunity.
The Importance of Truck Driver Training
Truck driving training is essential for anyone who wants to work in the industry. It keeps them safe by teaching them skills and safety techniques. It provides information on industry-wide regulations, as well.
Driver education starts with teaching new students about the job. Students will learn:
- Safety tips and requirements
- How to drive large vehicles safely
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations
After driver education, driver training teaches students how to go about daily responsibilities at the company where they’ll be working.
It’s important not to confuse these two different pillars of education since they are different. Jumping ahead to training could confuse students without the right educational background, so starting with education is the key to success in any training program.
After learning the basics on paper, trainers or mentors show students how to drive a vehicle safely. They spend time behind the wheel learning to maneuver and work with a large truck. Students learn with hands-on training, so they get real-world experience before going out on the roads themselves.
Truck driver trainers and mentors are essential personnel who help this process go smoothly. As a truck driver trainer, you will need to have at least two years of experience with your CDL and a clean driving record. You may also need to pass a qualifying exam to work with students.
Once in the role, you’ll be in the position to shape your students’ experiences, helping them learn the skills and knowledge needed to stay safe on the roads and to get their work done right.
Becoming a CDL instructor or mentor has several benefits for you to explore, as well. Some include:
- Job satisfaction, knowing you’re preparing students to be as safe and successful as possible once they get their CDLs and start working on their own with your company
- Professional growth opportunities as you gain more experience in the classroom and begin to expand your knowledge and services
- Competitive wages based on experience
- More time off—students often get time off during holidays, too, so you’ll have breaks as well.
Of course, there are other personal benefits, too, like the feeling of a job well done when a student graduates from training and the great connections you make with others as their mentor.
Your Responsibilities as a Truck Driver Trainer
If you’re interested in becoming a truck driver trainer, you need to become familiar with what you have to teach your students. Some of the most important information to become knowledgeable about includes:
- Safety protocols
- Industry best practices
- Recent updates to best practices
Trainers are also responsible for teaching students to drive using the correct driving techniques. For that reason, trainers should have as much real-world driving experience as possible before stepping into the classroom. Experience in different kinds of trucks and commercial vehicles can be helpful for this role.
Before choosing this role, remember that you need to be sure it’s right for you. As a trainer, you need to maintain positive, effective communication with your students. You have to build mentorship skills and be prepared to listen to students, give feedback, and handle interactions with people from all backgrounds. You also have to have your own history of excellence as a driver. You should feel strongly about staying safe on the road and encouraging others to do the same as well.
Trainers are responsible for fostering a positive, supportive learning environment. You need to be comfortable working with other people and supporting them as they learn to drive, get familiar with rules and regulations, and get to know the company they’ll be working for (hopefully in your case, it’s Pride Transport). It is a big responsibility to train or mentor others, especially because you’ll be representing your company. You have to remember to take your time when training, to be reasonable and understanding, and to be the guide that new drivers need to learn everything they can before they head out on the roads themselves.
If you’re interested in training others, you may want to consider joining ongoing mentorship opportunities at Pride Transport. One such opportunity is the Women in Trucking Mentorship Program, which pairs mentors with new and current, experienced drivers. There are two mentorship programs, the LeadHERTrucking mentorship and the Engage Mentor Match. The first is for new drivers, while the second is for professional drivers already working in the industry.
If you’re a woman working in the industry, this could be the right approach to becoming a mentor or trainer. Remember, though, these are just two examples of mentorship opportunities; speaking with your colleagues and team can help you find the right program to get involved in. For men, there are many opportunities to step up as a trainer. At Pride, we offer a driver training program that could be your first look into what it’s like to work with students interested in getting into this fascinating and necessary field.
Take Your Career to the Next Level With Pride
It’s a significant responsibility to train others, but if you’re looking for the next step on the career ladder, becoming a driver trainer can be the right path for you to develop your career and personal skills. Learn more about mentorships, truck driving, and apply now at Pride Transport.