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The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations

Archive: January 2008 Instructor of the Month

Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. Names Wayne Ewing as Bumper To Bumper Instructor of the Month for January, 2008



Wayne Ewing

The year 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of Bumper To Bumper, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations, the truck book that Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. first published in 1988, now in its fourth edition. To mark that anniversary, we want to recognize the people who use that book on a daily basis: the instructors of the finest truck driving programs around.


Our Instructor of the Month for January 2008, Wayne Ewing, has taught for United Truck Driving School in California since 2000. He had gone to United Truck Driving School for a refresher after not having driven for several years. He liked the school so much that he accepted an offer to stay on as an instructor. Prior to that he drove for two years for McMahon's Furniture and then three years for Superior Aluminum.
 Wayne Ewing

What do you enjoy about being a truck driving instructor?

I really enjoy helping people who are trying to better themselves. The students who leave here with a commercial license are able to find good paying jobs and the self-respect that goes along with making a decent living. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to be a part of that.


Describe your biggest challenge educating entry level drivers.


Overcoming their nerves. Any decent instructor can teach a student what they need to do -- getting them to believe in themselves enough to do it and to be able to perform at the DMV is a completely different skill set.

What tools do you find the most useful to assist you in educating?

The students really benefit from good written resources, seeing the information in black and white. They learn so much in such a short period of time that they may not hang on to all the information right now but they'll know where to find it. Bumper to Bumper is a great tool for them to take with them when they leave here.


How do keep your skills sharp?

I read to stay current with changes in the industry and I practice what I preach. It's easy to get sloppy when you've done something for a long time. I always remind myself that someone is watching what I do. The students learn a lot from what they see their instructor do and I'm mindful of that.


What advice do you like to give your students to be successful in the trucking industry?

I remind them to make safety a priority and to respect other drivers on the road.