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Old 12-27-2008, 09:04 PM
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Default My personal outlook for a "new hire" (long)

OK, since many of you come here and ask about companies.... I want to share my opinons with you, which may or may not help, but will eventually make scense.

#1 Is the company a problem, or are you? If you have driven for more than 4 companies in 2 years, chances are youll never find the right company, because your not taking care of the real problem...YOU. Sometimes you have to give a little, sometimes your gonna do something you dont like, sometimes you might not make it home, etc. Sometimes you have to do your homework before you sign on. If you want a 100% perfect job, go on welfare.

#2 Do not go to work for a company that "runs under the radar"....if you want to run legal. When doing your homework, one of the questions should be, Do you run legal? or Do you run to get the load there? If the company wants you to run 100% legal, dont be upset when they "shut you down" for over 11/14 violations, etc
If the company wants you to "git r done" dont claim "I dont have the hours" because you knew going in, or should have asked, what type of driver they/you are expecting to be.

#3...in connection to #2, If you are gonna play the "log book game"...I dont have the hours game. Keep to your word when your 30 min from home on a Friday night. Dont play the hours game, only when it suits you....then you can refer back to rule #1

#4...dont complain about JB,Schneider,Swift,etc screwing you over....again did you do your homework? You should know by now that you will be out weeks at a time, you will be every which direction, and hometime isnt a necessity, so why think otherwise?

#5...I believe a majority of the Truck owners(not owner/ops) buy a truck because they can not function with ANY company, so they want to be thier "own boss" Because da*nit, no body is gonna tell me what to do, I own the truck...or I want a few days off...etc

This is also why so many trucks get repo'd...because many do not have a clue as to how a business is ran, its just easier to blame someone else.

#6...The term owner operator is mostly used incorrectly. If you are leased to a company, you are a truck owner, they are the operator. If you run under your own Operating Authority with DOT/MCC numbers, you can call yourself an owner/op.

#7...There are those who want to drive truck, enjoy driving, are competitive, etc These guys/gals will always beat the ones who-got into driving because it was something to do-type. Dont get discouraged, when your laughing it up at the truck stop, some of us are waiting in line to deliver, when you work for the same company, its usually the reason Im getting a better load, and your not. Because I try and you like the truck stop(you get the point)

#8...Did I already mention, some people are the problem, not the company. But if yu listen to them, everyone else is out to :moon: them.

#9...If your company runs OTR, and you run OTR, dont get upset if your not home. Get a local job

#10...Try your smartest...no matter what company your with. Those who try to do the job as hard as they can, will loose out to the ones who work as smart as they can. Guys who have done the job for 20-30 years, dont necessarily do it right, sometimes they just do it. Guys that sit in the t/s all evening, then run all night getting 2-3 hrs sleep, may be working harder...however they are so far back in line many times, that they fall behind those who are smarter.

#11...sign on bonus. If I have to pay you $$ just to come to work for me, its because I have no other reasons for you to do so. I am a firm believer that the best companies, have a waiting list, and therefore dont need to play some stupid $$ game.

#12...Educate your self on freight lanes/rates. If you get paid percentage then understand supply and demand(economics 101) when the demand of freight is high(right now) and the supply of trucks is high...ie more trucks than loads...the rates will be low. When the demand of freight by companies is low(plenty of freight) and the supply of trucks is low...the rates will be high.
I hate hearing that companies are scraping here and skimming here, when you have no clue what the rates are to begin with. (yes skimming does happen) If your paid by mile, then dont ask for short loads....youll starve.

#13...Dont ask the top guys what they make. #1 your not a top guy, even if your a smart runner, you wont have the senority that they do. Since drivers change companies like thier cell phone chargers(underwear doesnt get changed by many) The highest senority drivers, usually will get loads, etc that you will not see until you have prooven yourself. Give it time. Best advice...ask a new hire, thats running the same lanes you wish. Websites will tell you "1st year drivers can make $45,000" However those drivers are the ones out all year long. If you want hometime, chances are you wont make what the "website claims" Find company drivers who are running similar lanes, with similar hometime, and ask them.

#14...Percentage pay. Dont be star-eyed because of huge percentages. The percentage is nothing. The dollar$$ amount is everything. The smaller pay checks I made were with companies claiming, "YOU CAN MAKE 32%" The best paychecks I made were with companies paying me 25%.

Why? Because 25% of $1000 is $250. But 32% of a skimmed, or de-rated $750 load only equals $240, but they want you to see the 32%, and how much higher it is over the 25%, not how much lower they have the freight priced.

#15...Have fun, work smart, and keep safe. Remember...if you are constantly looking for a new job...the problem is you...not them. When you correct #1 on the list, you see whether the profession is for you or not. This is a LIFESTYLE, not just a job. If you want a 9-5, work a 9-5.

Thanks.

Last edited by steelhauler; 12-27-2008 at 09:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2008, 09:38 PM
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Good post!

:bigclap::bigclap: :bigthumbsup::bigthumbsup:
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2008, 09:44 PM
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Look, here's the real deal...

You're GONNA get screwed. Doesn't matter which OTR outfit you hire-on to or what they're hauling...you're GONNA get screwed. You won't get paid for all the miles you drive. You won't always get home when you request. You'll donate boatloads of your time for nothing to these motor carriers. You'll be lied to, taken advantage of, treated like a 3rd class citizen, etc. No matter how hard you run, you'll spend time sitting in the truckstop because of short freight or resetting your hours...especially in this economy.

The trick is to find the company/industry that will screw you the least. Union companies are ideal because the union has work rules that limit how much you can get screwed. Followed second are non-union companies operating in industires with a union presence...such as LTL. These companies are scared of you signing the card so they have to treat you good. Mail contractors are generally OK because the post office has prevailing rates and makes the contractor pay you hourly plus they will yank the contractor's run if there's any shenanigans. Private fleets like Wal-Mart, Supervalu, Crown Cork & Seal, etc would be next. Then the specialized carriers such as OD, hauling cars, boats, food service, etc and tankers. This usually takes a higher skill of driver and the companies are less apt to churn-and-burn...plus sometimes the union is involved. Last are the dime-a-dozen OTR van/reefer haulers...here you will be bent over and taken back behind the woodshed. The reason is that you're basically a steering-wheel holder who can easily be replaced and there's no threat of you organizing. So they will treat you/pay you like a chump and if you quit, who cares? They've got another trainee waiting to take your position for less pay and 1 week of vacation AFTER one year.

So most people start at the bottom (OTR van/reefer etc) because due to the low pay and poor treatment, these outfits are ALWAYS hiring. They then try to keep their nose clean and the left door closed and withstand all the BS until they can move up into the better jobs. The ones with mental problems or battered-wives syndrome stay in OTR.

But I'll close all this rambling by saying that the key to be successful in this biz is to have a goal. Just like quitting cigs (another bad habit like OTR) you've gotta have a plan.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangetxguy View Post
Good post!

:bigclap::bigclap: :bigthumbsup::bigthumbsup:
I agree. Stickied.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2008, 10:20 PM
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:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::c lap::clap::clap::clap:

Great post STEELHAULER:clap:

And MIKEHUNT, I'm shocked. You did that whole post without once calling someone a "moron" or insulting OTR drivers.:thumbsup: You get a "That'a boy":clap: for your post.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:51 AM
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EXCELLENT POST! Hat's off to you. I would add a couple of things:

1) It's all Attitude. If you are in a bad mood and want to find something wrong then you can find it on any load that you have. The dispatchers will not appreciate it and you will find the "good" loads becoming few and far between. Be nice to them, as you should be, and they will be nice to you.

2) Run hard and don't turn stuff down. I love to hear drivers in the terminal moaning to each other that they turned down that crappy 50 mile run because it wasnt worth their time and have been sitting for a day and a half waiting for another. True story: I went and picked up a shuttle trailer that was 20 miles from the yard and delivered it to a customer then picked up a 500 mile load going the other way back by the terminal. Stopped for fuel and listened to a driver pissing and moaning about being there for a couple of days as "retribution" because he would not shuttle a trailer because he was an otr driver not a yard jockey. Guess what? I took the short run he turned down and it put me 20 miles closer to the 500 mile run that got me out of there. He's probably still crying in his wheaties.

3) If your working for a company that wants you to run illegal to get the load there or you have to do that to make money and the company looks the other way while you do it, LEAVE. That company is not long for this world and if you get into an accident while doing that you are on your own. I've met guys ( one in particular in the Giant Travel Plaza, now a Pilot, in Gallup, NM) with his suitcase in his hand because he got in an accident not far from there and the company fired him on the spot. The company knew he was running illegal but couldnt run far enough, fast enough from him when the inevitable happened.

4) You can either be an OTR Driver or a local driver home nights and weekends but you are not going to be both. Dont expect it and you wont be disappointed.

5) Be realistic. If a company promises you 3,000 miles a week and isn't running coast to coast that's going to be very tough to do if your running New England all of the time. Like he said above, don't pay any attention to what the top drivers make. Ask what the fleet average is. Talk to actual drivers in the truckstops. I've had good luck talking to drivers from other companies. 1st question to ask the driver is how long you been driving and how long for this company? Throw out the extremes of "This is the best company on the planet" and " this place sucks bitch-session" and ask questions. How many miles do you average a week? Do you run New York? How much? Ever laid over? How much? Do you get home on a regular basis? Do you ask to? What are the average length of your loads? Get paid waiting time? Ever been flat out lied to? Whats the week-end dispatch like? How is the service on the trucks? How much live load and unload and how much drop and hook? Go into grocery warehouses? How about payroll, they ever mess up your check and you can't get it fixed?
Roehl used to mess up my paycheck on a bi-weekly basis but I just called Tasha my payroll person and she took care of it immediately no questions.
Ever talk to your fleet-manager on the phone? Want to and can't get through? Ever blown a tire? If so, how hard was it to get someone on the phone to take care of it? Happened to me last week with JB. Took 5 minutes to get someone on the phone and they found a place 2 miles from me to fix it. Took all of 1/2 hour to get it fixed.

6) Did I mention your attitude?

Last edited by jonp; 12-28-2008 at 12:53 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2008, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double R View Post
:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::c lap::clap::clap::clap:

Great post STEELHAULER:clap:

And MIKEHUNT, I'm shocked. You did that whole post without once calling someone a "moron" or insulting OTR drivers.:thumbsup: You get a "That'a boy":clap: for your post.
Not quite: he did say that only morons or those with battered wife syndrome would stay OTR.
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2008, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jonp View Post
Not quite: he did say that only morons or those with battered wife syndrome would stay OTR.
My mistake. What you expect, I had to work today, a toatal of 5.5 hours. I'm half asleep(we normally don't work saturdays)
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2008, 11:10 AM
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Hence my reason for re-considering my possibly rash decision to leave LS. Quiting a specialized carrier over not being home for Christmas is rash. There are several things leading up to that point but as I have said, being in the specialized field means that 90% of the time things will not go as planned, 2" or 2,000# can mean a complete different driver/trailer/tractor/route and shippers are not always the most reliable with numbers.

I'm still pissed about the way it was all handled and how a 30 year desk driver felt it was necesary to call me son and childish when all I was doing was asking for some answers as to why questions weren't asked when something could have been done instead of waiting till it became a problem. (A lack of planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part.)

Anyway - Great Post Steelhauler
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:45 PM
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Being called "son" or "childish" is not something that I would care to put with from anyone. I am not their son nor am I a child. Using those diminutives is an attempt to "put me in my place" by someone who thinks that they are superior to me. When a dispatcher does something like that I immediately call him/her on it and go right over their head to complain about that behavior.
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