Becoming a trainer was not something on Matthew Nadeau's long-term "to do" list. However, he's spent eight of his 10 years with Des Moines, Iowa-based TMC Transportation training other drivers and has been successful in the process.
Known for his professionalism and excellent representation of TMC Transportation’s training standards, Nadeau was named the company's trainer of the year for 2021.
“It’s definitely an honor to be named," said Nadeau. "You know, it’s a big deal and it makes me feel like I am being recognized and like I am doing the right thing."
And doing the right thing, he is. Nadeau is on his way to surpass training nearly 90 other TMC drivers while maintaining a stellar reputation as a solid and safe leader, according to the company.
“Matt has taken on 88 training assignments to date and gives every person his all," Nadeau’s Fleet Manager Taylor Yates said. “He understands what it takes to succeed at TMC and does his best to instill these habits in his trainees so they can be successful on their own. He is a pleasure to work with, extremely patient, and possesses a strong work ethic.”
Nadeau said adjusting to the driver's lifestyle can be difficult. He said many of his trainees come from a variety of career backgrounds, but he does his best to provide them all with structure and a bit of peace of mind.
“If this is a job they (trainees) want to do, I do everything in my power to help them along,” he said.
As a trainer, Nadeau believes leading with patience is the key to his success. He says every trainee comes in with a different mindset, so he tries to convey patience and lets them know they can leave training successfully if they put their mind to it. But he says his responsibility as a trainer doesn’t end when drivers land their own set of keys.
“I want to set them on the right path from the beginning," he said. "Let them know you are here for them and you have their back if they need it. I tell all my guys, even when you are on your own and you’re just not sure about something, whether they call me, training, or safety, somebody is always here to help them. They are never truly on their own."
That sentiment applies to his personal life, as well. Nadeau said he maintains friendships with some trainees out on the road and at home. He recalls when a hurricane once caused a former trainee to lose power, Nadeau invited the driver and his daughter to stay with his family at his Florida home.
His willingness to always help out is also recognized by Jeff Geist, training coordinator manager at TMC.
“Matt is patient and always willing to help out in any way he can. He has a strong work ethic and focuses on training drivers for success and safety. Matt has definitely earned this award over the course of the last eight years of training,” Geist said.
TMC Transportation is the nation’s largest employee-owned open deck transportation company.