Driver Trainers: Driving TMC Forward

by Stacey Sickmiller on Thursday, October 27, 2016 in Awards & Recognition

TMC is known for its top notch, thorough flatbed training program. Our program is recognized as one of the best and is one of the few on-the-job truck driver training programs in the country approved by the Department of Labor as a certified Heavy Truck Driver Apprenticeship program. Upon completing orientation, drivers will head out for several weeks of over-the-road training with one of our certified driver trainers where they will receive hands-on experience of the flatbed industry.

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.

Trainer of the Month: June 2016
Michael Keune

With 4.5 years of driver training experience and over 30 driver trainees under his belt, Michael Keune has been named Trainer of the Month for June 2016.

Michael credits his own trainer, Richard Cook, for teaching him how to put it all together. “I know the basics due to my experience as a lumber yard driver before, but Richard helped me pick it up, especially on loads, tarps and time management,” he says.

“Michael has proven to be a reliable and thorough trainer with an easy personality and attitude to work with,” says Training Coordinator, Jeff Geist.

Throughout his days as a driver trainer, Michael has always taken on challenges thrown at him with a positive attitude. “Some days are harder than others, but once you lose patience and get to the point of raising your voice, the battle is over,” he said.

As a kid, Michael rode with his dad, who was also a truck driver. When it was Michael’s turn to choose a company to work with, both he and his dad undoubtedly chose TMC. “TMC took very good care of their trucks and that’s how we liked it,” says Michael.

Trainer of the Month: July 2016
Juston Whitehouse

TMC’s Trainer of the Month for July 2016, Juston Whitehouse, has been with the company over six years and started training new drivers under TMC’s driver training program nearly two years ago.

Before he decided to give it a go, Juston thought he would not like the idea of sharing space with another driver, but turned out to be more enjoyable than he thought. “I enjoy sharing my experiences with my trainees and it is a good way to get to know more drivers as well,” says Juston.

As a driver trainer, Juston avoids putting stress on his trainees. “All you need is a little patience as we all know it is stressful enough being a new driver, so go easy on them,” he explains.

Juston’s training style is to make sure his trainees progress throughout the weeks as he keeps a watchful eye on them. “I start off slow and by the end of the five weeks, I let them do it for themselves as I support them,” Juston shares.

“Juston builds a good relationship with his trainees so they feel comfortable with driving and doing the job. He helps them understand the expectations of the job and what needs to be done to be successful,” says Training Coordinator Manager, Jeff Geist.

Once out in their own trucks, Juston keeps in contact with all of his former trainees. “We all offer advice and help whenever needed or just to have a chat,” says him. “We always need someone out there.”

When asked about his journey with TMC, Juston says, “it has been great and I get along with everyone. Plus, having ESOP helps catch lots of attention and makes everyone feel more part of the family.”