Jeff Kelley Named TMC's Trainer of the Month for February 2019
Jeff has always viewed trucking as a respectable position, as his dad was a truck driver. In fact, when he came to crossroads in his career, his dad encouraged him to pursue a job in the industry. “I used to be a preacher and when the economy went south, congregations were downsized,” Jeff says. “I wanted a new job to support my family and my dad had heard great things about TMC.”
While it wasn’t an easy decision to leave preaching, Jeff feels that he made the right choice. This is just one reason why he wanted to start training. “A lot of drivers are in the same place I was when I started: leaving home and doing something completely new and different,” Jeff says. “I want them to recognize that they made a tough decision, but that is was also the right one.”
When it comes to his training style, the Thomasville, NC, native says he takes a hands-on, laid-back approach. He mentioned that most of his trainees are already good drivers, and they just need to fine-tune their skills.
“I like the relationships I am able to develop with each person,” he says. “The best part of my job is when past trainees call me to tell me about their positive experiences, whether those be on the job or something in their personal life.”
After they leave his truck, Jeff encourages his trainees to come up with goals they would like to accomplish at TMC, and share those with their Fleet Managers. “Establishing positive relationships from the beginning is a great first step to success here, and if Fleet Managers are aware of personal goals, they are able to work better to help drivers reach them.”
At the end of the day, it all goes back to where he started with TMC that keeps Jeff motivated. “I’m thankful for my trainer, Jerry Hinson, for putting me on a good path at TMC when I was totally new to the industry. My Fleet Manager, Glenda Miller, is also awesome and I hope I can meet her in person someday.”
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 2019 Trainer of the Month, Jeff Kelley!