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Ada/Canyon County (Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area) Idaho Truckers Only: Rate Your Local Companies

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Jonathan Bailey's Comment
member avatar

What are your favorite local private-sector companies or government agencies to drive for?

Which ones give the drivers a high level of quality of life? I want to examine corporate culture.

"Quality of life" variously means:

1. the company is highly safety and OSHA conscious 2. more home time for drivers 3. good social life for drivers 4. non-smoking environment for health-conscious drivers 5. job is conducive to good healthy lifestyle: healthy wholesome low-fat meals, no coffee or caffeine, proper amount of sleep and exercise to stay in trim shape

Yes, a new-wave trucking company for yuppie/nerd/geek types maybe. I have an associates degree in computer information science but IT is a tough field to get into for a newbie.

I am an army veteran with near 7 years experience as a fleet medium diesel truck mechanic and have much military driving experience of class-5 vehicles including tractor-trailers with air brakes and wrecker truck operation for field recovery. See those recovery guys on The Weather Channel's "Highway Thru Hell" series for details.

All too often I hear on the media about the stereotypical unhealthy and depressing life of career truckers.

A job should benefit a human life and serve society and not degrade a worker's health. Military life was tough for me but it promotes good health too.

I am willing to seriously consider career trucking but don't want to incur cancer or heart disease from it. I am non-smoking and health conscious.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

"Quality of life" variously means:

1. the company is highly safety and OSHA conscious 2. more home time for drivers 3. good social life for drivers 4. non-smoking environment for health-conscious drivers 5. job is conducive to good healthy lifestyle: healthy wholesome low-fat meals, no coffee or caffeine, proper amount of sleep and exercise to stay in trim shape

Jonathan, you will be the one who has control over all of those concerns, yes even home time. My company neither determines, or has control over, any of the things you mention. They never dictate what I should eat, how to conduct my social life, how much I should sleep, or even how much home time I should take.

They have a job that needs doing, and I get that done. They love a person who understands that principle, and let them determine all those periferal concerns you have.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jonathan Bailey's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

"Quality of life" variously means:

1. the company is highly safety and OSHA conscious 2. more home time for drivers 3. good social life for drivers 4. non-smoking environment for health-conscious drivers 5. job is conducive to good healthy lifestyle: healthy wholesome low-fat meals, no coffee or caffeine, proper amount of sleep and exercise to stay in trim shape

double-quotes-end.png

Jonathan, you will be the one who has control over all of those concerns, yes even home time. My company neither determines, or has control over, any of the things you mention. They never dictate what I should eat, how to conduct my social life, how much I should sleep, or even how much home time I should take.

They have a job that needs doing, and I get that done. They love a person who understands that principle, and let them determine all those periferal concerns you have.

Ok, they do have a job that needs doing but will they still accommodate a health-conscious employee? In other words, they don't STAND IN THE WAY of "quality of life"? For instance, they won't put a smoker in the cab of a non-smoking driver against his will, will they not? The company will strictly abide by the driver log and federal regulations? They will strictly follow OSHA rules? A company that offers a greater amount of home time will likely be a short-haul or regional operator: in other words, no sleeper cabs in the fleet. If a driver wants a healthy meal, the food will have to "BE AVAILABLE" for him on the job. If they work you too much overtime against your will, the ability to get the proper amount of quality sleep will be in question.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Well...... where to start....

Okie dokie, here goes.

1). ALL major carriers are big on safety. That simple. You can't grow a company if you are constantly paying fines and repairing crashes vehicles.

2) standard is 1 day home for every week out. There are some companies that will work with you more on home time than others. But this isn't the military and you are not salaried. If you are sitting on your butt at home you are just going broke.

3) You can be as sociable as you want as long as you make sure the freight is where it has to be on time and safe.

4) most companies will try their best to pair up rookies with a trainer of the same tobacco preferences. Once you are solo it is your house. You can choose to have it non smoking in your truck. However, you may have to wipe down the walls and febreeze the seats. There is a good chance whoever had the truck before you was a smoker.

5). No one is going to dictate your diet. If you don't drink coffee and soda; stock up all the water you can carry. You want healthy meals, make sure to pony out the money for a crockpot, lunchbox oven, and a 12v skillet. Don't forget the thermoelectric cooler. Remember you have 10hrs to eat, sleep, exercise, and conduct personal hygiene. Divide that time up however you want.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
A company that offers a greater amount of home time will likely be a short-haul or regional operator: in other words, no sleeper cabs in the fleet. If a driver wants a healthy meal, the food will have to "BE AVAILABLE" for him on the job. If they work you too much overtime against your will, the ability to get the proper amount of quality sleep will be in question.

Very few trucking companies allow their greenhorn rookies to dictate their demands.

It's very irritating that I had to set down my fresh avocado half, drizzled in fresh lime juice, to respond to this. I am curious where you have gained all this superficial knowledge of our industry. Surely you know that you can't trust about 89% of what you read on the Internet.

I drove twelve hundred miles in the last two days, and will do another six hundred tomorrow. All of that in a "sleeper cab." During those three days I will have had three different break periods of ten hours each to sleep in. It is my responsibility to get the proper rest, not the company's.

I've had good fresh food available to me "on the job," because I took the initiative to keep it available in my truck. Let's see, how many Wal-Mart stores did I drive by today? Darn, I've lost track, but it only required a quick thirty minute break to stop at one of them to replenish my "healthy" grocery supplies for the following week.

We may be able to help you make a successful start at this career, but it's going to be an uphill battle. You have already poisoned yourself at the altar of "bogus research results." If you promise to hang around with us, and quit using your Google search bar as your moral compass then we might be able to re-program your grey matter in a direction that is helpful. My guess is that you found us a little too late.sorry.gif

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jonathan Bailey's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

A company that offers a greater amount of home time will likely be a short-haul or regional operator: in other words, no sleeper cabs in the fleet. If a driver wants a healthy meal, the food will have to "BE AVAILABLE" for him on the job. If they work you too much overtime against your will, the ability to get the proper amount of quality sleep will be in question.

double-quotes-end.png

Very few trucking companies allow their greenhorn rookies to dictate their demands.

It's very irritating that I had to set down my fresh avocado half, drizzled in fresh lime juice, to respond to this. I am curious where you have gained all this superficial knowledge of our industry. Surely you know that you can't trust about 89% of what you read on the Internet.

I drove twelve hundred miles in the last two days, and will do another six hundred tomorrow. All of that in a "sleeper cab." During those three days I will have had three different break periods of ten hours each to sleep in. It is my responsibility to get the proper rest, not the company's.

I've had good fresh food available to me "on the job," because I took the initiative to keep it available in my truck. Let's see, how many Wal-Mart stores did I drive by today? Darn, I've lost track, but it only required a quick thirty minute break to stop at one of them to replenish my "healthy" grocery supplies for the following week.

We may be able to help you make a successful start at this career, but it's going to be an uphill battle. You have already poisoned yourself at the altar of "bogus research results." If you promise to hang around with us, and quit using your Google search bar as your moral compass then we might be able to re-program your grey matter in a direction that is helpful. My guess is that you found us a little too late.sorry.gif

Too late for what?

I have not been getting input from Google but radio and television.

First of all, I was hoping from input especially from local Idaho truckers. I live in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, this state;'s capital city.

Where have I been getting these ideas about American trucking? From a local Boise, ID radio commercial from a local trucking outfit stating that their drivers get plenty of "home time" and that they "have not one sleeper in their fleet". I did not catch their name but I am going to write their name down next time I hear them on my radio station, KBOI, 670 AM, Boise, ID that I listen too everyday. I get some of my ideas from listening to the radio.

I would like a 40-hour work week. Union-scale or better pay/benefits. Certainly, long haul trucking is NOT my bag at my age. I have to think short haul or regional. An associates degree on my resume should be worth something to a hiring company too. As a disabled American, I will be able to work with my state's voc/rehab department for job assistance. They may or may not support my getting in the trucking field. I will have to consult with them.

Some companies may give veterans preference for hiring too. A vet-friendly firm is "more the merrier" for me.

Is trucking right for me? Depends upon the company, the specific position, and its "corporate culture". That is what it all boils down to.

I am a man in my 50's. No spring chicken. I need my beauty sleep every night at my age. I am on disability right now but expect to be able to get back on the work force within one year's time. Those dry vans might be my best bet.

What is your company's CORPORATE CULTURE? This is the 21st century. I hope even the American trucking trade has caught up with the more enlightened modern era.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jonathan Bailey's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

A company that offers a greater amount of home time will likely be a short-haul or regional operator: in other words, no sleeper cabs in the fleet. If a driver wants a healthy meal, the food will have to "BE AVAILABLE" for him on the job. If they work you too much overtime against your will, the ability to get the proper amount of quality sleep will be in question.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Very few trucking companies allow their greenhorn rookies to dictate their demands.

It's very irritating that I had to set down my fresh avocado half, drizzled in fresh lime juice, to respond to this. I am curious where you have gained all this superficial knowledge of our industry. Surely you know that you can't trust about 89% of what you read on the Internet.

I drove twelve hundred miles in the last two days, and will do another six hundred tomorrow. All of that in a "sleeper cab." During those three days I will have had three different break periods of ten hours each to sleep in. It is my responsibility to get the proper rest, not the company's.

I've had good fresh food available to me "on the job," because I took the initiative to keep it available in my truck. Let's see, how many Wal-Mart stores did I drive by today? Darn, I've lost track, but it only required a quick thirty minute break to stop at one of them to replenish my "healthy" grocery supplies for the following week.

We may be able to help you make a successful start at this career, but it's going to be an uphill battle. You have already poisoned yourself at the altar of "bogus research results." If you promise to hang around with us, and quit using your Google search bar as your moral compass then we might be able to re-program your grey matter in a direction that is helpful. My guess is that you found us a little too late.sorry.gif

Too late for what?

I have not been getting input from Google but radio and television.

First of all, I was hoping from input especially from local Idaho truckers. I live in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, this state;'s capital city.

Where have I been getting these ideas about American trucking? From a local Boise, ID radio commercial from a local trucking outfit stating that their drivers get plenty of "home time" and that they "have not one sleeper in their fleet". I did not catch their name but I am going to write their name down next time I hear them on my radio station, KBOI, 670 AM, Boise, ID that I listen too everyday. I get some of my ideas from listening to the radio.

I would like a 40-hour work week. Union-scale or better pay/benefits. Certainly, long haul trucking is NOT my bag at my age. I have to think short haul or regional. An associates degree on my resume should be worth something to a hiring company too. As a disabled American, I will be able to work with my state's voc/rehab department for job assistance. They may or may not support my getting in the trucking field. I will have to consult with them.

Some companies may give veterans preference for hiring too. A vet-friendly firm is "more the merrier" for me.

Is trucking right for me? Depends upon the company, the specific position, and its "corporate culture". That is what it all boils down to.

I am a man in my 50's. No spring chicken. I need my beauty sleep every night at my age. I am on disability right now but expect to be able to get back on the work force within one year's time. Those dry vans might be my best bet.

What is your company's CORPORATE CULTURE? This is the 21st century. I hope even the American trucking trade has caught up with the more enlightened modern era.

"Very few trucking companies allow their greenhorn rookies to dictate their demands."

Then perhaps, it is those special few companies that I must seek. I won't dictate anything to a company. I have to know the company's policy and practices. It will either work for me or won't.

Are you a SLAVE of your company?

My lifestyle will be reflected in how many hours a week they will work me for, basically, and the days and times I will be scheduled for duty. The longer hours they work me, the less TIME I will have to provide myself a quality life style. It all boils down to TIME MANAGEMENT.

The company can say I have to do this and that as a condition for hire but I can take or leave the job being offered.

Do any companies hire by CONTRACT their drivers?

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Too late for what?

My thinking was along the lines of helping you understand the truth about trucking jobs. Thanks for responding because it helps me understand just where you are coming from in your search for a trucking career.

Let's go over a few things...

What is your company's CORPORATE CULTURE? This is the 21st century. I hope even the American trucking trade has caught up with the more enlightened modern era.

Trucking is a blue collar job, and one in which a person can earn a decent living, but... it is a demanding career usually involving very long hours. Corporate culture may be a concern of yours, but it has little effect on the drivers. The "enlightened" drivers understand that this job is not a walk down "easy street," but a job that is completely performance based. Therefore, the ones who get the most done are the ones who get the biggest rewards.

I would like a 40-hour work week. Union-scale or better pay/benefits. Certainly, long haul trucking is NOT my bag at my age. I have to think short haul or regional. An associates degree on my resume should be worth something to a hiring company too. As a disabled American, I will be able to work with my state's voc/rehab department for job assistance. They may or may not support my getting in the trucking field. I will have to consult with them.

First off, I don't know any truck drivers who are only working a 40 hour week. Your search seems to be for a local driving position that puts you in your own bed each night, pays a good hourly wage, and gives you a nice benefits package at the same time. Those kinds of driving jobs are available, but, not only are they rare, but they are usually reserved for drivers with years of experience, and are willing to do a lot of physical labor (loading and unloading of the truck). Why is that? Because they require drivers who understand that this is a performance based business. They need drivers who know how to "git er done" safely and efficiently while being under pressure in all kinds of difficult situations. Drivers in those types of jobs need to be able to maneuver a 70+ foot long articulating behemoth in tight traffic and multiple difficult backing scenarios with people honking. screaming, and shooting the finger at them because they have inconvenienced them by blocking the road. There's not a degree in this world that can prepare you for that. Those jobs generally require some level of professional driving experience, which is why we try to help people understand the most generally accepted path into this career is to start off as an Over The Road driver. I am highly educated with several decades of professional executive level experience - not one bit of that meant anything to any company in my search for driving career as my second career.

Is trucking right for me? Depends upon the company, the specific position, and its "corporate culture". That is what it all boils down to.

You see, this is what I am getting at. You are completely missing the point when it comes to what it takes to be successful at this career. Whether this career is right for you or not will not depend one bit on the company - it is going to depend on you and your approach to this career. I watch people fail at this on a daily basis, and the most common complaint they have is based on the fact that they were not at the right company. Doesn't even seem to cross their mind that they may be on their fifth company in one year, somehow they have not found that "golden nugget" that they are certain is out there waiting for them to show up and absorb all it's greatness.

I congratulate you for moving from being on disability to the workforce, and thank you for your military service! Those two things say a lot about your character, but I am not certain this career is going to be the best fit for you. Stay involved here in this forum, and listen to some of the podcasts that Brett has been producing lately. You can certainly be helped in your search by educating yourself on the career.

Also you may want to follow this thread on on local driving jobs and post some questions in there. Your inquiries will be seen by folks who do local jobs, and have more experience than I do on that sort of thing.

I wish you the best my friend, but I am not sure you are taking the best approach to getting into this. Look, I understand your concerns, I myself am nearing my sixties, and still work 70 plus hours a week. I love the challenges that this career offers, and I make some great money at this. For me this job is one grand adventure, and as long as it has that appeal to me, then I am all in. If I wanted a forty hour work week with all kinds of perks to go along with it, I would not be an American truck driver, I'd be looking elsewhere for that type of "corporate culture."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Bailey, I currently work locally yankin' tankers. Theres a few tanker jobs that work their drivers 4 days at 10 hours per day with some overtime during the busy summer months.

However, you need a minimum of 1 year Class A experience PLUS 2 years minimum tanker experience.

Heck, Ive been trucking for close to 5 years now and I don't even qualify!

These types of jobs are usually found in big cities where there is a greater demand. I doubt youll find something like that in ID that pays well. And if an opportunity like that exists, theres always someone more qualified that will get it over you it seems.

My point is youre asking a whole lot out of a company as a greenhorn. You're coming in with the wrong mindset and that will lead you astray. No one cares that you have a degree. My brother has a masters degree but he drives like a maniac. That masters degree wont help him in a storm in Wyoming. The companies just dont care about that.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jonathan Bailey replied to Old School:

Then perhaps, it is those special few companies that I must seek. I won't dictate anything to a company. I have to know the company's policy and practices. It will either work for me or won't.

Are you a SLAVE of your company?

My lifestyle will be reflected in how many hours a week they will work me for, basically, and the days and times I will be scheduled for duty. The longer hours they work me, the less TIME I will have to provide myself a quality life style. It all boils down to TIME MANAGEMENT.

The company can say I have to do this and that as a condition for hire but I can take or leave the job being offered.

Jonathan,...I think you answered your own basic question with; "take it or leave it". You are expecting way too much and have yet to understand this job is a "lifestyle". In one of your first posts I suggested reading Brett's book Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving and Truck Driver's Career Guide. Have you done that yet? Brett's book does a great job of level setting folks who are researching and investigating this as a career.

The company you have continued to describe isn't modern, idealistic or even enlightened; it's Utopian.

In the beginning a rookie, novice driver can only offer their effort, dedication and positive attitude to their employer. That's it...you will need to prove yourself otherwise, and that will take time to learn how to be safe efficient. Rookie drivers are faced with and must overcome many difficult challenges. Most companies that hire inexperienced drivers expect long hours (within legal HOS guidelines), a variable sleep schedule and limited home time. There are many employment options offering greater flexibility once you have gotten through your first year. You have received some really great answers here, especially from Old School. Instead of debating and "shooting the messengers", try to understand all of the replies, how you can then adjust and compromise your expectations. Maybe you can't...that's up to you. However please don't ask a stupid and insulting question about being a "slave" to our companies. It's ridiculous... Old School is well compensated for his effort and performance. That holds true for all of the experienced top-performing drivers on this forum.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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