John Sumner Named TMC's Trainer of the Month for February 2020
John entered the trucking industry searching for a change of scenery. He decided to leave his job managing a golf store to get behind the wheel of a big rig and see the open road. “TMC always represented themselves as the best of the best and I knew I wanted to affiliate myself with that culture from the beginning,” he says. John added that the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and the physical work of flatbed driving appealed to him as well.
With his background in management, John always had training in the back of his mind. “I consider myself a ‘people person,’ and success in our company comes from laying a good foundation for new drivers when they start,” he says. “I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of my job in the past so I was able to carry it over easily.”
When it comes to training, the North Carolina native says his approach is laid-back and hands on. “I like to get out there and help them tarp and strap, and I try to make everything a learning experience,” he says. “We take things in stride, and it’s my job to make sure they know not only how we do things, but why.”
John adds that trainers need to be open to trying different training styles. “One way of learning doesn’t work for everyone so anyone who trains needs to be able to adapt and find the best ways for their trainees to find success.”
Finally, John’s favorite part of training is the camaraderie it brings. “I love when past trainees call me and tell me they are seeing success.” He also credits his own success to TMC as a whole. “Without the great training and guidelines TMC has in place, we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs to the best of our ability. They always have my back and I can call so many different people to lean on if I ever need support.”
Driver trainers are vital to the TMC training department, and each month a trainer is chosen who demonstrates the outstanding qualities TMC looks for in a trainer. The Trainer of the Month recipient is chosen based on their safety record and the safety performance of their trainees, the number of drivers trained and the retention percentage of those drivers. Congratulations to our February 2020 Trainer of the Month, John Sumner!