Hands-on teaching his favorite part of the work
DES MOINES, Iowa – Paxton Cottrell joined TMC in the second half of June 2015 after driving for six months at another employer and not getting the home time he was looking for. The move was the start of something big.
The flatbed company gave him “everything I was looking for” and he has “loved it here ever since.”
After being a part of the Black and Chrome team for about two years, someone suggested he would be a good trainer. He decided to give it a shot and found it was “fun to teach new drivers how to do things the right way.”
As it turns out, the Texan is as good at it as his encourager suspected he’d be. Cottrell was named TMC’s Trainer of the Month of April 2019.
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 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.
When it comes to his training style, Cottrell takes on an instructional, hands-on approach.
“Everyone learns differently, but I like to be working right alongside my trainees and walking through instruction whenever needed,” he said. “I try not to forget how far I’ve come in the industry and all of the questions I used to have; that’s my motto when training.”
The teaching aspect of training is his favorite part of the job.
“Securement is my favorite thing to teach,” he says. “I also enjoy the camaraderie that drivers share out on the road, along with continuing to meet new people and forming new relationships.”
As for advice for new trainees, the most important thing is to take things slow.
“Flatbed trucking has an on-going learning curve, and you won’t become an expert overnight,” Paxton says. “There are a lot of people out there who have helped me along the way, and still continue to do so. Never be afraid to lean on others and ask for advice, even when you’ve been on the job or a while.”
TMC Transportation is the nation’s largest employee-owned flatbed transportation company, providing expert transportation services and supply-chain management solutions throughout the 48 contiguous states. Founded in 1972, TMC is known for its integrity, innovation, superior safety record and dedication to quality and customer service. The company’s claim-free, on-time delivery record is the best in the business and consistently recognized by its customers.