In a previous post https://carter-express.com/choose-your-truck-driving-career-path-at-carter/, we talked about the different career paths drivers can take here at Carter, including becoming a driver trainer. As a driver trainer, you not only have the opportunity to increase your income, but you also get to help shape a future generation of drivers on the road. We think this is one of the greatest privileges and we’re so proud to have some incredible driver trainers on our team.
Trainees are in our training program for a total of five weeks: they spend one week at the driving range, two weeks with a local trainer, and two weeks with an OTR trainer. This means our trainees will spend a 2-week period on the road with a trainer learning safe driving habits, backing skills, how to complete paperwork correctly, about electronic logs, the ins and outs of making on time deliveries, and how to live safely on the road.
Many trainers do this job for the additional income. Our local trainers earn an extra $30 per trainee while OTR trainers earn an extra $50. They’re also able to receive student driver bonuses for every trainee that stays at Carter for a year. This is a $1700 bonus that’s paid out in increments at one month, six months and a year, and split between the local and OTR trainers at $850 apiece.
MORE THAN ADDITIONAL INCOME
Other drivers, like Aaron Kane, become a trainer for more than just the money. Aaron spent eight months as a driver trainer with us and although he’s not currently a Carter driver, he can’t say enough about working with us both as a driver and as a trainer.
“I know most guys do it for the money, but I do not,” says Aaron. “For me, it’s all about helping someone understand exactly what it means to be a driver out here. At the beginning, I was thrown into a lot of things that were unknown and I had to learn in the moment. Now, I can teach other drivers about what to expect from the start.”
Being a driver trainer isn’t for everyone, Aaron admits. Trainers must have a lot of patience and be willing to work with drivers of all abilities. Aaron, who followed his grandfather, father and stepfather into trucking, says he experienced several different kinds of trainers when he was new to trucking. He had one that didn’t seem to care much about the job, another who was only training for the money, a third trainer who was harsh and wanted everything to be his way, and the last one who was fantastic.
“I wanted to base myself off him and train people the right way of doing it – firm, but fair,” he adds. “Being a trainer isn’t easy. You have to make sure you’re willing to put up with everyone coming through – good drivers and bad ones – and deal with them all. Trainers need to have a higher tolerance level because you can’t just go off on someone. If you think you can handle it, then go for it. It’s worth it to help people hone their craft.”
As we chatted with Aaron for this post, he passed an accident on the road involving two trucks. Aaron said that a least one of the truckers didn’t make it and that it was a very heartbreaking moment.
“This is exactly why I do what I do – to prevent things like this from happening,” he explains. “I always say that the day you think you know everything about being behind the wheel of this truck is the day you need to hand in your keys and give it up. This is what I was taught by my grandfather and what I’ve passed on to my trainees. You never stop learning in this job.”
BECOMING A DRIVER TRAINER
To become a driver trainer at Carter, you’ll need to have a minimum of one year driving experience and at least one year with us at Carter, good driving skills, good rapport with your dispatcher, and ensure your logs are correct and in order.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a driver trainer at Carter, take the first step by connecting with us today.