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Podcast 10: Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey everyone, we have another new episode of our podcast "The Road Home" and it's titled:

Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

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Terminal Rats are miserable drivers who tend to hang around in groups at trucking terminals and truck stops complaining the day away. The problem is that their conspiracy theories and embellished tales of mistreatment and abuse are poisoning the minds of incoming drivers. It's causing new drivers to take the wrong approach and have the wrong attitude toward their new career, derailing their chances of success and happiness in the industry. Let's see if we can understand this vicious cycle and break it before it derails your career.

Enjoy!

Terminal Rats Are Derailing Trucking Careers

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
6 string rhythm's Comment
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4 or so years ago I stumbled on this forum and continue to be grateful for the same message.

Gladhand's Comment
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Working the fuel desk at a truckstop for 3 years made me aware of these types. The only ones that encouraged me to get my CDL were the ones that are the top tier drivers that put in work and don't make excuses. So glad I didn't listen to the miserable people or I would still be miserable at that truckstop thinking I would never leave my hometown.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
G-Town's Comment
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This is really good stuff Brett. Proven Rat Repellent,..."THE TRUTH".

I've picked-off many conversations going off the rails at my DC's driver lounge. I interject every time with; "Where did you hear that?" Like a sputtering prop-plane running out of fuel,...the "cheerleader" for the topic is quickly disarmed.

I have ba**s when it comes to refuting BS,...imagine that? If you are so inclined and have experience contrary to the dribble they are spreading, call these types on their malarkey, they typically retreat and you are left with at least one or two drivers (many times newbies) with more of an open mind and an improved BS detector.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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In a performance based career, if a driver focuses on THEIR success, and does their best to succeed for themselves, they will do well, and the company will in turn, do well. My brother in-law drives for Southern Refrigerated. Most of you know my past dislike for them. But he has disproven my prior theories. While he complains about his dispatcher , he admits he gets good miles, and is always pre-planned 2 or 3 loads in advance. They work well together, just don't get along. He has been with them, just over a year. He was an o/o with CRST Malone, prior. His truck got wrecked while parked in a Pilot, and he decided it wasn't worth the cost to fix it. He is much happier now, but has developed a gut, lol. He chose SRT, because because they promised him 3000 miles a week, and good hometime. He averages 3100 to date. He made up his mind to "drive for his own success," despite the fact that the rats told him he made a mistake going there, and continue to. He just looks at them and laughs. I might be going on a ride along with him, soon, so I will get to experience the company that I once bashed. Time to eat some humble pie.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dan K.'s Comment
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Brett, Extremely well said and eloquent. It is true in many industries. The proverbial "attitude" is indeed everything. Do everything as a "new guy" to stay gung ho! Thank you.

Ryan R.'s Comment
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I think you've oversimplified things. You tie success to performance, but I'm sure there are plenty of skilled truckers that, at one point, worked hard, that are now complaining at the terminals. You imply that the complainers can't possibly be productive workers, which also isn't true. I'm a huge complainer everywhere I've worked, but I've always become the most productive worker. That doesn't stop me from quitting when I can't tolerate it anymore, but being a "yes" man just enables exploitation...

and big business WILL exploit you. So yeah, you'll definitely be more likely to be successful as a sycophant, but that makes you a pathetic dog.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Bolt's Comment
member avatar

I think you've oversimplified things. You tie success to performance, but I'm sure there are plenty of skilled truckers that, at one point, worked hard, that are now complaining at the terminals. You imply that the complainers can't possibly be productive workers, which also isn't true. I'm a huge complainer everywhere I've worked, but I've always become the most productive worker. That doesn't stop me from quitting when I can't tolerate it anymore, but being a "yes" man just enables exploitation...

and big business WILL exploit you. So yeah, you'll definitely be more likely to be successful as a sycophant, but that makes you a pathetic dog.

What's the point in complaining other than making you sound like a spoiled 2 year old. There are constant complainers where iWork now and while they may be good solid hands I try ti,put them,in **** jobs just because they complain. I'm not a yes man, but I also don't complain either.

My question though is, when,i get to school if I see a student getting sucked into the terminal rat mode of thinking can he or she be pulled back from the dark side before its too late?

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Ryan R.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I think you've oversimplified things. You tie success to performance, but I'm sure there are plenty of skilled truckers that, at one point, worked hard, that are now complaining at the terminals. You imply that the complainers can't possibly be productive workers, which also isn't true. I'm a huge complainer everywhere I've worked, but I've always become the most productive worker. That doesn't stop me from quitting when I can't tolerate it anymore, but being a "yes" man just enables exploitation...

and big business WILL exploit you. So yeah, you'll definitely be more likely to be successful as a sycophant, but that makes you a pathetic dog.

double-quotes-end.png

What's the point in complaining other than making you sound like a spoiled 2 year old. There are constant complainers where iWork now and while they may be good solid hands I try ti,put them,in **** jobs just because they complain. I'm not a yes man, but I also don't complain either.

My question though is, when,i get to school if I see a student getting sucked into the terminal rat mode of thinking can he or she be pulled back from the dark side before its too late?

A shared consensus of something being wrong, combined with acting on it in some pragmatic manner, is a means of positive change. Further, it helps to get it off your chest. People that just put up with anything and don't open their mouths enable the greatest evils in this world. They might be better off because of it, but they're a part of the problem.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Fire Marshal Bill's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Brett! Much neede info on TT.

I tend to run into the "You work for a racist company." rats.

I have never experienced that since I've been driving. Being a 6 foot tall former powerlifter probably keeps alot of that BS at bay for me. I'm sure it exits somewhere but not with any company I've been with.

Many of those "rats" are lazy and don't take responsibility for their own actions.

I always tell new drivers to listen to the person who is putting money in your pocket before someone who isnt. And then find out what works for them and work with the company before going off the handle.

My company and I work together through continuous communication so that we get the job done. Some things I won't do and some places I won't go and we've all sat down and found a solution that benefits everyone.

Ask questions, voice your concerns and work with you dispatch.

Simple.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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