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Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. Publishers
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The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations

Mike Byrnes & Assoc. , Inc. Names Patricia Welsh as Bumper To Bumper Instructor of the Month for April, 2008

 

 

Patricia Welsh

The year 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of Bumper To Bumper, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations, the textbook 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 April 2008, Patricia Welsh>, teaches at Hamrick Truck Driver Training, Medina, Ohio. She's been teaching since 2001 but has been in the industry since 1988 when she started out as a school bus driver and eventually upgraded to a class A license. She has completed four levels in the Mike Byrnes Instructor Development and Certification Program offered by the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, has completed managers' training and is also certified to teach the National Safety Council-sponsored defensive driving course "Coaching the Professional Driver." In her spare time she likes to read mysteries, paint landscapes, garden and play with her grandchildren.
 Patricia Welsh

What's your proudest accomplishment?

I'm proud of every one of my students that makes it through our program. Actually, I'm proud of the ones that don't, too. It takes courage to admit to yourself that truck driving isn't for you.

 

What do you enjoy about being a truck driving school educator?

 

I like teaching something that people can actually use in real life to improve their situation...I like teaching things that prepare students for the real world. 

 

Describe your biggest challenge educating entry level drivers.

The first is finding a way to teach hands-on learners knowledge-based curriculum. Most students who come to truck driving school are tactile learners. They learn best by doing, so classroom teaching can be a challenge. Another challenge is to get students to understand that they need to be professionals. It's only when we start thinking as professionals that we do the job the way it should be done: safely, economically and respectfully.

 
 

How do you keep your skills sharp?

I read a lot: trucking magazines, periodicals and textbooks. Also, every few months I perform the maneuvers the students are learning. I also practice what I preach; a great deal of what I talk about in class can apply to any vehicle, including your personal vehicle.