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  #21  
Old 06-17-2008, 11:39 AM
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Default On the topic of demands...

TF,
I read, then re-read, your sobering, honest post. It had the ring of truth to it. I'm in the rather unenviable position of having to, once again, find employment--after slamming into a "personal limit" wall. I've moved to Nebraska (personal reasons), and am presently looking there.
There were comments posted about how, in any business, an employee is to "sell" him/herself as an asset to the company. I understand and agree with that. It's common sense. I didn't go in with a list of "demands", because I was genuinely grateful for being given a start in the industry.
What I've learned, however, is that there are some real concerns that new drivers need to address with prospective companies before they hire on. It IS a nightmare to be slammed into day/night driving because no one in the office realizes that the human body wasn't built for round-the-clock operation. I'm sure someone will call me a "crybaby", but that's not it at all. Not everyone gets used to the opti-idle.
I'm looking at a local job, where I'm home on the weekend, but that's not even the draw. It's that I would have a SCHEDULE. One that a body could become accustomed to.
This first year has been tough. I feel for the new drivers who are entering at this time. You've given them good counsel, and those with a true desire to make this a career will listen...I hope. I'll be keeping this thread in mind as I go to "market my skills" to my new company!
Jewels

P.S., I would, at this time, like to make a demand for that masseuse, if you ever get a competitive price for one!
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  #22  
Old 06-18-2008, 02:10 AM
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Good luck with whatever you decide to do, JewelsnTools. This industry offers opportunities, but is very demanding. Those who succeed will put forth the extra effort. Those who fail will do so of their own volition. We are constantly seeking quality drivers. There are many drivers today, but few "professionals." If you go into this with a positive attitude and demonstrate your capabilities you will be rewarded. You won't need to make demands. Most companies will work with employees to meet their needs. Notice I didn't say "demands?" If you have problems with a dispatcher or driver manager try to talk it out with them first. If that doesn't work, then you can always go up the ladder until you find someone who can help. You can also request a new dispatcher or driver manager with many companies. Sometimes people simply have personality clashes. Most problems can be worked out with good, honest communication. That is true with most industries or jobs.
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  #23  
Old 06-25-2008, 09:34 PM
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Your on the mark once again Twilight Flyer. I have a about seven months experience over the last three years among four different companies. I left each, with the exeption of one company that I won't mention here, due to family issues with teenagers at home. Got out of the truck at the end of last September and no one wants to look at my applications either because of the job hopping or lack of "recent" experience. I have had too many jobs in too little time. Doesn't seem to matter that I have a spotless driving record. I made my own bed, now I have to lay in it. The industry is changing.
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  #24  
Old 06-26-2008, 12:16 PM
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I had an interesting conversation with an unemployed driver yesterday. The man was 61 years old and told me that he had many years of driving experience and with a wide variety of equipment which included over-sized and overdimensional loads. OK. Fair enough. So far, so good. This guy called due to a listing I had with the state unemployment office.

We now get into more detail about the position. He asks where we run. I tell him that we go where we can get the best rates. He states that he saw on the job posting that we run 48 states but he wanted to find out for sure. I told him that we don't do the left coast much due to the lower rates, but would if the price was right. He told me that he didn't want to go to California. He asked if we ran the Northeast. I told him that we did as long as we could get the better rates. He said that he didn't like running the Northeast. I told him that we are currently running the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast. He asked if we ran Chicago. I tell him that we do. He said that he has a difficult time getting around Chicago and that he didn't like running there. He also said that he prefers to not go any further west than Oklahoma. I tell him that we are probably not a good match for him and that he might be better off with a larger carrier who had more regional freight. He thanks me and we hang up.

There were a few more details in the conversation, but this is the gist of it. The guy hasn't been able to find a job for at least 2 weeks, yet he had a list of places where he didn't or would not want to go. This guy will probably find it difficult to find a good job no matter where he goes. I had a guy who worked for me once who decided after being with me for several months that he only wanted to run between 2 states. He didn't like cold or snow. His income dropped about $300/week and he wound up quiting because he wasn't making enough money. He went from earning about $1,000+/week to about $700. His income dropped because he was unwilling to do what was necessary to earn more money. He wanted to run from Texas to Louisiana shortly after Katrina.

There are certain areas of the country where I prefer running. I don't always get to run those areas because of the availibility of good paying freight, so I run where I can make the most money and there is a reasonable availability of freight. This is a business. Some simply don't seem to understand this fact. Those who are thinking about coming into this business should understand that we sometimes need to go to places where we would prefer not going. We do this because that is where we can make the most money for our business. After all, this is a business. We do what we must to turn a profit. Business, like life is about compromises. We make compromises to accomplish our goals.
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  #25  
Old 06-26-2008, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Business, like life is about compromises. We make compromises to accomplish our goals.
Man, did THAT nail it! Nicely stated, G-Man.
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  #26  
Old 06-26-2008, 03:08 PM
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Twilight, I know you are a recruiter, but I'm not sure about GMan. I am not placing requirements on any company. I'm too far out for that. Sure, there is a lot of things I don't want to do, but I am not in a position to make those requests. I compromised for my family, and I knew the consequences. The down turned industry and rising fuel make the cost of training a new employee too expensive for companies to take that chance on someone with a history of job hopping. Why spend several thousand dollars on someone who has a history of only staying a few months at a company? That's only good business sense and I'm surprised the industry has taken that long to put it in practice. Trucking companies may have had the cash to do that in the past, but obviously, not now. Sometimes it feels like I'm digging a twenty foot hole in solid rock, then having to chisel a set of steps in the side of the hole to work my way out.
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  #27  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Flyer
Quote:
Business, like life is about compromises. We make compromises to accomplish our goals.
Man, did THAT nail it! Nicely stated, G-Man.


Thanks, Twilight Flyer. 8)


Jimbo56, I am not a recruiter. I have my own trucking company so I suppose that I do recruiting, but I also do other things. Frankly, I am not doing much recruiting right now. Right now I am doing more driving.

I am a little more rigid in what I look for than many of the larger carriers. Part of that is due to my insurance company. They have very specific minimum requirements that they will accept. I have not had them disqualify a driver for having too many jobs, but I will. I don't hire anyone who has had more than 3 jobs within the last 2 years. I understand that things can happen, but I look for some stability when I hire drivers. At this point, I am not actively looking for drivers, but would hire someone if they came along with the right requirements. One of the most important factors I look for is honesty. I can't tell you how many drivers I have spoken with who have either lied on their application or to me over the telephone. I believe that they think that a small carrier will not check them out. Well, this one does! Most people are willing to over look some things if the applicant is honest and forthright. I have had as many as 91 people working for me. I really don't want to have that many any more.

You have your work cut out for you with the job hopping. I know it isn't what you want to hear, but I am glad some of the larger carriers are raising the bar on new applicants. It is very expensive to recruit and hire new drivers. It is much less expensive to retain current drivers. I don't think most applicants have any idea of how expensive it can be for the carrier. I have to pull an MVR on any new applicant. If the MVR looks good then we go to the application. I can't speak for other carriers, but if I see too many jobs then I don't consider that driver. Having a high turnover can negatively impact my insurance rates. If you really want to get back into this business then you need to keep knocking on doors. If you knock on enough of them someone will give you another chance. I don't recall your mentioning what you currently do for a living, but showing some job stability in another field could have a positive impact when you start applying for driving jobs. For instance, if you have been with your current employer for a couple of years or longer, it would show more stability.
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  #28  
Old 06-26-2008, 06:28 PM
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Nice job Batboy!
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  #29  
Old 06-26-2008, 08:01 PM
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Thanks for the honest and frank analysis Gman. You have a way with words. Essentially, you are telling me to look elsewhere and my past employment history is one of the problems with this industry. I certainly hope not and I'm not ready to give up just yet. Not only that, you were polite and never used a single four letter word, although many reading this post could have responded quite differently. In my defense, I would like to explain a few things. My problems with the trucking industry were not caused by my dispatcher, company, my ability to maneuver in tight spaces nor back into a tight dock. I never abandoned a vehicle or did anything that wasn't requested of me. My issues were caused by growing teenagers that had failed to mature at the rate that either myself and society had established. One is now doing quite well in the US Army and the other has gainful employment in Florida. My issues are resolved and now it is a matter of getting back on the horse, which is proving quite difficult.
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  #30  
Old 06-26-2008, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Flyer
Quote:
Business, like life is about compromises. We make compromises to accomplish our goals.
Man, did THAT nail it! Nicely stated, G-Man.
I actually think that "compromise" is not the right word. Compromising infers that both sides will give and take. I disagree with that. The industry, as a whole, doesn't really do that. Sure, it changes, but that change has nothing to do with it compromising.

I think "adapt" fits better. Business is about adapting. The faster you can do it, and the sooner you can predict that you will need to, the better off you will likely be. Those who are whining the loudest about strikes and rates and fuel costs are the ones who failed to adapt to the changing environment.
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