My nightmare with team driving

by Dale Pelnarsch
(Phoenix, az)

My name is Dale. I started out fresh from cdl school teaming up with a friend from school, two numbskulls are better than one when your new and a bit intimidated starting out, at least that's what I thought.

I soon learned that there really was someone that walked the Earth that was dumber than my 7 year old, really that bad.

He would not use the qualcomm. ok, so he wasn't that sure about it and needs to learn the macros, right? That's what I thought, until 1 and a half months later he still didn't use it. I told him that it wasn't fair for me to do all the work and he needs to do it. He didn't care, he would not use it. He would hand me the thing while I was driving and I would have to throw it down telling him that I can't do it while I'm driving and if he cant do it then he should call the DM on his cell.

He would ignore it when he was driving as if it would somehow go away. We would get messages from our driver manager while I actually got to sleep a bit, he would ignore it as he could not read -then I would wake up and realize that we have messages that were not replied to and we were in trouble for ignoring dispatch.

I soon figured out that he could not read or write. It goes beyond that, he could not read mile marker signs- a mm 24.5 would turn into mile 245 in his mind ( even though we were 24 miles into the state)and he would exit the hwy and turn around to go the other way. Once he claimed he saw a sign for Florida while in WY and he got off and was in the process of turning around to go the opposite way as I woke up and told him to keep going straight- of course straight to him could mean left or right..can't tell you how many times I told him to turn right and he kept going straight, or told him to go left and he goes right, ect.

Once he saw a sign that says closed when flashing in WY, you know, the sign that tells you when they close the hwy when it snows hard...he drove 15 min then got off, turned around and started searching for the weigh station that he claimed he passed. He said he was going to turn himself in for passing it.

He could not read HWY signs, kept driving while the fuel gauge went down past E, He didn't realize that if we run out of fuel, we no go..
I had to map out and plan our trips, often while I was supposed to be driving and that would eat up the time we could have been making money, he could not trip plan, he could not even read a map, could not read, period.

He started driving forward while I was cranking down the landing gear, almost dropped the trailer on the ground, I had to scream to get him to stop.

Once he started out driving- I told him -this is easy, just drive to Ohio, stop at Loves truck stop which was a good 8 or 9 hours away and a couple states away.. so he starts hour later he pulls off and heads to a Loves,,I ask what are you doing?? He said he was gonna get fuel at the truck stop...I said you got to be kidding,, ( still a full tank, not even in the state we were supposed to stop at) ..I said we don't stop here--get this,, he said, there's another truck stop? I said well yeah there's more than 1 Loves. omg.

We picked up a load of beer from CA- weighed it at the factory..we left, I told him to find the nearest cat scale and weight it and if we are overweight we need to go back and have them unload some if we cant adjust it to be legal, and I went to bed, tired from staying up to help him when I should be sleeping..

so He drove, he drove, from CA to Arizona, overweight...because he was too lazy to stop to weight it.--or was it that he did't want to pay for cat scale? Maybe he thought he would have me do it when it was my turn to drive,,I don't know..we arrived at the terminal to T-call it,,without a scale ticket that we needed,,.I told him that he was just extremely lucky that the 3 weigh stations were closed that he passed because he was very overweight.- they were pissed but let him drop the trailer anyways and T-call it without a scale ticket.

I offered to teach him to use the qualcomm, he told me no, he didn't want to learn, he just wanted to drive...time to get rid of him..
Bottom line- I got tired of staying up for my shift then staying up most of his shift to map him and make sure he didn't get lost.

Tired of doing all the mapping, all the macros, all the paperwork, everything. Told him to enter the 3 digit street number in the gps for me, he sat staring at it for 20 minutes before I said nevermind Ill do it myself as I drove. Took me 3 seconds to do it with 1 hand as I drove.--

My wife says he probably did drugs. I said, maybe he did drugs in the past and blew his mind,, or maybe he was just retarded,, which is OK, but why did he think he could be a truck driver when he cant understand things my 7 year old daughter can?

---went back to the terminal, told him I was going to go solo, and told him that he should go solo. Told my Dm that I can't work with him. I went solo. He quit, quit without giving notice because he knew he couldn't go solo on his own or even find someone to work with that would carry his weight.

He was mad that he had to quit. He stole my Coleman ice chest and my nice screwdriver, all my comchecks, and who knows what else.

I am solo now, funny thing is I make more and I get to sleep and I enjoy my 10 hours off, and enjoy the quiet.

-----If you want to team drive, make sure you know the person- I will never team drive again. He now has a 4 thous cdl school loan, and a DAC that says he quit without notice..a kid, wife, and no job.

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follow up
by: Dale

well, its all about money, people get paid to pass the new drivers, and the companies do not care, just want their freight delivered.

By the way that guy I teamed with is no longer a trucker, he had an accident and was fired. He claimed that the guy he was teaming with was the one that was driving when they crashed but they were both fired.

Maybe his co-driver was fatigued from having to stay awake to help him do his job instead of getting his sleep he needed.

Anyways, I am driving solo, I can stop and take a ten hr break and sleep, I am gonna stay solo.

Can't read!!!
by: Anonymous

I would have let him go once He did not use the Quallcomm. You were very patient with him.

How he passed Truck Driving School...
by: Steve

He was breathing and had a pulse. That's all it takes at some schools.

Team driving Adventures
by: Hervy

Keep your head up Jeff.

Yeah team driving is definitely an adventure. Not my cup of tea. It's pretty hard to find someone who is compatible. You almost have to ask questions like your about to take a hand in marriage. (If your smart)

His work ethic, driving habits, driving style, regard for safety, attitude, all of these this must be compatible or you will NOT be happy.

Problem is with a lot of companies you don't have that much freedom to choose who you will team with. Some will let you choose though and even let you eventually team with someone who starts when you do, say if you know someone from back home is also becoming a trucker.

That guy sounds like disaster waiting to happening thanks for sharing that story Dale. I think it will help some people see more than just the proposed dollar signs that companies like to waive claiming more money.

It's not always true and if it is true, it's not always worth the money to each driver. Just go into with your eyes open and be prepared for an adventure.

by: Jeff from Texas

People like him get hired no problem but me a stand up guy with a felony that happened in 97 when I was 18 years old I can't get a job when I have changed since then and have a wife now.

I'm just wanting a job to start a decent life. Who knows I may be able to get on as a trucker here in November. Still waiting till it's 7 years from the time I got off probation.

They hire anyone that doesn't have a felony but they pass up decent people with blemishes on their record. Oh you have a felony and drunk driving.

Yeah I was 18 and stupid who wasn't 18 and stupid once now I'm 34 and responsible just trying to get ahead in this life.

Your nightmare team driving
by: Thomas from Iowa

How did he passed all the test, in the classroom and driving the truck?....

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