Matthew Neal Named February 2016 Trainer of the Month
Training new drivers, especially in flatbed/open-deck, takes a dedicated, professional, and safe driver trainer. Matthew Neal embodies this. Less than a year into his journey with TMC, Matthew joined TMC’s driver trainer program.
According to Matthew, training drivers takes time. He advises trainers not to push their trainees too much as they need time to adjust. “Trainees are new to the environment. Be patient with them and try to follow their pace,” he says. “Let them have a feel of the truck and take a week to observe them to see what they need to work on.”
Matthew has a more hands-on training method, but is flexible depending on his new driver. “If my trainee performs better through explanation, then I will cater to their preference,” he says.
Over the last year, Matthew’s retention rate is at 82%. He believes his secret to success is his easygoing personality. He also remains as a support system for his current and former trainees as they continue to develop their driving skills on the road.
“As a new driver, don’t be too hard on yourself. It will make learning more difficult and you won’t enjoy it,” Matthew suggests to drivers in training. “It’s best to stay calm and take in the moment, rather than rushing to complete lessons.”
“Matt gets along with just about anyone and feels his success is due to showing guys how to work smarter,” says Jeff Wisgerhof, VP of Driver Training.
“I stay connected with my guys and talk to them about two to three times a week,” says Matthew. When drivers run into problems, they often turn to Matthew for advice. “I do my best to help them and offer my honest opinion.”
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 2016 Trainer of the Month, Matthew Neal!