On a sunny day in Tempe, Arizona, a small group of professional truck drivers gathers around two instructors. Ron Fyffe, S1G Driver Services Manager, and Mike Hubler, the training group’s Lead Mentor, are about to take them through their paces to see how they shape up as S1G drivers.
“We try to keep the groups small,” Fyffe said, “around five to a group, in order to give everyone a lot of personal attention.” Each of the drivers has already gone through telephone interviews and background checks. Typically, he said, Hubler will work with one group and Fyffe another, with the groups divided according to experience.
A typical week of driver training includes:
- Orientation sessions
- Driver qualification, including all necessary documents plus extras such as TSA clearances so drivers can deliver loads directly onto airport runways
- Indoctrination into S1G driver policies
- Loading and unloading exercises
- Other activities designed to show the skills and experience levels of each driver
Fyffe stressed that some drivers won’t pass the training with flying colors. For those who don’t, there are two options. “If we say we’re not going to put someone in a truck at this time they’re free to leave and look for something elsewhere,” Fyffe said. “But for the others, if we’ve determined that they might work out for us but just need a little extra time, we’ll put them on the road with a mentor for a few weeks, see how it works out, and then bring them back.”
The attractions to the type of specialized training required by S1G are numerous but one of the most important is year-round work. Drivers are trained in mobile exhibit as well as vehicle hauling so that when an assignment is completed they can move to another. “That means they have dependable, year-round work along with all our other benefits like 401K plans and health insurance,” Fyffe said.
Training sessions are held several times a year at S1G’s facilities in Tempe, a Phoenix suburb.