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BECOMING A MAGNUM DRIVER TRAINER

Ever thought about becoming a Driver Trainer? We sat down with our Driver Safety Trainer Sean Randall to show you what comes with the job.
Our Driver Safety Trainer, Sean Randall, has over 25 years of experience in the trucking industry, including two years as an OTR driver with Magnum. Before working in the office as a driver/safety trainer, Sean was a driver trainer for more than a year.

What is a Driver Trainer?

Think of a Driver Trainer as more of a Driver Mentor – someone who trains someone else how to get their CDL.

Then, you have the “Finishing Trainer”, who shows them the ropes of the job – i.e. how to live in the truck, manage log books, how to do the pick-ups, where and how to park, on top of everything I missed.

What are a Driver Trainer’s responsibilities?

The Driver Trainer’s responsibilities are 1) to listen, and 2) to train. They show the Trainee the pro’s and con’s of being a truck driver. A Driver Trainer is responsible for the truck, trailer, product and student.

Ultimately, it’s like captaining a ship. The apprentice does most of the work while being overseen, yet the captain makes sure everything is done correctly and effectively.

driver trainer

Who can be a Driver Trainer?

Anyone with over two years of driving experience in a commercial motor vehicle, combined with the right mindset and desire to teach and pass their knowledge on to others can be a Driver Trainer!

How long are Trainee’s in the truck?

Trainee’s can be in the truck anywhere from two to four weeks, based on desire to learn and willingness to take the time to properly pay attention. Could be less, could be more. Usually, Trainer’s have anywhere from three to six Trainee’s in their truck per year.
Driver Trainer Sean

What’s the best part about being a Driver Trainer?

The best part of being a Driver Trainer is you get to see more of the countryside, because you’re not behind the wheel. You’re paying attention to what they are doing, but you don’t have to pay constant attention to the steering wheel so you actually get to see much more than you usually would.

It really is an experience and you have to have an open mind. You learn a lot about culture – something I learned very quickly is that every state is different in its own way. It’s an incredibly unique experience to be able to see that first-hand. Actually, the first student I ever had, had never seen -35 F. Be ready to account for a little weather shock also!

Can you tell me a little bit about your experience as a Driver Trainer?

I’ve had good students, and I’ve had bad students.

The best students are the trainee’s who listen, are open to learning and have been here for quite a while. There’s a lot to learn behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, and being adaptable and eager to learn helps immensely with the process!

On the other hand, some trainee’s can think they know it all when it comes to trucking and are not willing to learn new things. Trucking definitely isn’t as easy as one might think!

What are the benefits of being a Driver Trainer?

The benefits of being a Driver Trainer most definitely outweigh the con’s. You earn more, you get better miles, and you get to drive some of our newest equipment.

Three questions I would encourage someone to ask themselves before becoming a trainer are:

1. Do I have problem-solving skills?

2. Am I self-sufficient?

3. Do I have the desire and patience to teach someone something new?

Any last thoughts?

As I trained on-and-off for 20 years, I learned that as an individual, you are always changing. Everyone is different, everyone has a different mentality and you never know what you’re going to get.

Some people thrive as a Trainer, and some people try and realize it’s not for them. Being a Driver Trainer is a lot harder than one may think, but if you have a strong desire to share your knowledge with others to help them grow, I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s good experience, you grow as a person, and you are able to pass your knowledge on to the younger drivers in the industry. You are one of the reason’s the industry is able to continue growing, and I think that’s something to be very proud of.

Lastly, for all drivers out there, please take care of your health – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Get out of your truck and walk around for a bit. Give your loved ones a call while on the road. Magnum allows pets in the truck, so get a pet! Do what it takes to take care of yourself out there.

“You need to have a passion to want to train and teach new drivers this industry. It’s not for everyone. It takes a special person to do it, but if they have the passion to do it – that’s a special thing.”

– Sean Randall, Driver Safety Trainer

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