Archived Don't ever do *group* equipment training!

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Receiving/Reverse Logistics
Dec 20, 2012
I've been really happy this forum exists because of all the useful information and guidance I've gotten here - I haven't had this opportunity yet, but here's a good story I'm able to share. I guess not good in any sense for me, but at least entertaining if you happen to work at Spot and know something about Logistics.

Why GROUP "Power Equipment Certification" Does Not Work:

So I recently was moved to Reverse Logistics from the backroom, and since I'm still the only BR team trainer I told my leadership I'm interested in doing everything I can to help the BR, train the new TMs, and be a power equipment trainer for the whole store. Our backroom team currently consists of three veterans and a bunch of newbies.

The new ETL Logistics tells me today: "So at 9am I'm sending the team down to get certified."

"Er...the whole team is getting certified?"

"Yes, everyone is coming down and you need to get them certified on everything you can."

OK...this sounds awkward but maybe it'll be quick and easy. I start to sort out the training guides she printed out for me, I'm stapling and stacking and then, seven people arrive. I've never seen seven TMs in the backroom, how the hell did they all get here? And yes, three of them have been here for YEARS and helped trained me, so they're just pissed that they got sent to me to be re-certified.

Within 30 seconds of everyone arriving the joking around started, it got loud and ugly fast. One guy was saying something like, "Hey, make sure I get that from you-" to another team member, and making a motion like he was smoking, so I'm pretty sure he was trying to buy weed. I thought I was friendly with these guys, so I did a "Hey guys, hey guys!" and finally managed to get most of them to walk over towards the equipment.

I asked "So hey, who all here has never used the Wave?" One person hadn't been on, everyone else had but most of them just weren't certified. He got on, and I tried to tell him how to drive and what the buttons did, but he was mostly distracted by the six other people laughing their asses off and having a great time. He crashed into a few things, broke a few hundred dollars worth of merchandise, dinged up the Wave. I asked him to get off and told him he'll get a feel for it later.

Now, on to the Crown/Stacker! "So, who hasn't used the Crown before?" I have one volunteer, everyone else is distracted with texting or taking a call on their cell phone, also by now since we have a giant crowd we've attracted more - the guy who does bulk is hanging out with us, the guy who bales our cardboard is here. One person apparently hasn't used the stacker, even though almost none are certified. So I drag him over to it and try to explain the buttons and how they work, that he'll have to take a pallet of paper towels down and put it back up. He hears about half of what I say because by now the larger crowd of "trainees" is super loud and having a great time gossiping and joking around.

So my one and only trainee jams the "backwards" button and rams into a tub, ruins some merchandise. I say "Hey, slow down, there's a-" he rams into something else and breaks more "Hey there's also a-" he just hit another vehicle and broke more. So whatever, moving on I tell him to elevate the forks to bring the pallet down, he does. He can't get the forks in, one of them manages to get stuck ABOVE the pallet and the other BELOW - Fuuuuck, I've never seen that, I didn't know you could do that! Like a dozen people are looking on and talking now. "Back out...lower it...slooooow, not so fast, go slow, line it up with the pallet..."

He finally gets the pallet off the steel, but he got the lower wheels of the stacker caught in a blue pallet. So wherever we wheel this thing we're dragging a blue pallet on the front wheels of the stacker. So I'm surrounded by piles of merchandise that we've damaged during this training session, have a full stack of paper towels on the forks of the stacker halfway up in the air, and a pallet of merchandise stuck on the lower wheels that I have to spend five minutes getting unstuck while the team hangs out and has a great time.

Yah. So I'm sure there was a little laughter directed my way. This sucked. I'll have to have a word with my ETL, this is not the way to get certifications done, and honestly my faced turned bright red during this thing - I'm not one to get embarassed easily, but this got thrown on me to do and it turned into a circus, was pretty awful. Hope someone gets a kick out of this story.


That sucks... Lol. Power equipment isn't safe to do group sessions on, since you really need to focus one on one to make sure they understand how to operate safely. Luckily I never had this thrown on me with Cart Pusher Certification!! :/


Jack of All Trades
Nov 16, 2013
Yeah that sounds insane and unsafe. I will admit I did get a good laugh from the mental imagery though.


Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Jun 10, 2011
Just glad to hear no one got hurt.
I hope you didn't sign off on any of their paper work.
Careful on how you explain how bad an idea this is or they'll just assume it's an 'opportunity' for you to improve your training skills.
Oct 1, 2012
They did that at our store for the lift and power jacks. I saw 5 people huddled around the log etl and I'm pretty sure he didn't even fill out the paperwork correctly or just didn't care, he just did it to get the STL off his back. Most of their names never appeared on the equipment trained list in the BR.
Sep 30, 2012
I'm glad i never had to train more than one person on equipment, that alone can be hard enough. Training a clumsy person on the stacker is like watching a train wreck. :wacko:
Nov 15, 2013
At least people are getting "trained" at your store. Very limited time to actually train people at my store but have managed to give them the basics and make sure that safety is the most important part of using any equipment.
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