Schneider Whirlpool Dedicated

Topic 20327 | Page 1

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Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

Today, I was assigned to help out with the Whirlpool dedicated account in Amana, IA. I was willing to help out so I took it thinking it'll be something like the Home Depot account I did earlier this year. I was polite and respectful to the guy briefing me about the whole process, so then he told me that my job would be to haul trailers over to the Whirlpool DC about 30m away to North Liberty and bring an empty back. I thought, ok sounds straightforward.

I got my paperwork and followed the hand written directions and got to the DC. I was given 2 dock assignments, 1 to drop the load, 1 to pickup the empty. I find my first dock, open up my doors and take about 20m to back the damn thing in there cause my backing still sucks. After I got the dock, I looked out to my right and see 2 Schneider day cabs sitting there looking at me. I thought, oh s*** they're waiting for me. So I grab my empty and proceed to do my usual routine when picking up a trailer when one of the guys comes up to me and tells me that I have to hurry up. I instantly start getting flustered and just hurried back to Amana to grab another load. While driving back, it dawned on me that I need to hustle a lot more with this account than what I'm used to doing; taking my time is not the name of this game.

I grab my next load and head over. I get checked in over the CB, as I'm supposed to. Got assigned doors 51 and 49. I proceed towards my door, but before I make it, I hear someone else getting assigned door 49 to drop his trailer. Holy s*** I have to drop my trailer and grab the empty out of 49 so he can keep moving. I start getting flustered but luckily my door had a nice gap on the left so I was able to get it in in a timely manner. Either way, I realized I that it's way too fast paced and stressful for my lack of experience. I don't perform well under pressure, and when I was feeling rushed, I felt like if I kept doing these loads, eventually my stress level will be pushed over the edge and I'll rush too much and hit something.

I called up my dispatcher and told him straight up that it's too much for me. He told me he'll make a few phone calls and get me off of it.

I gave it a shot, it's not for me. At least I attempted it.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

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.
Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

We all have limitations in anything we do. Practice, time, and experience will lessen those limitations. Recognizing you were not ready shows objective wisdom. You will find your place and as you improve your options will expand.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Lucky Life's Comment
member avatar

I would say if they where driving Day Cabs that Big Pretty Sleeper you drive really isn't cut out for the run. If your backing still sucks then I say no reason to force that pace on you, appears to be an accident waiting to happen. At least you stepped up and took on the challenge, good for you! Much respect Brother, hold your Head High, not a fail just not the right fit at this time.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Dan R.'s Comment
member avatar

It can be really difficult to admit when you're over your head, but especially in a job like this it's so important. Huge props to you for giving it a shot and being willing to admit it was too much.

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

The north liberty DC is a tight mess. I had to drop a trailer there several days ago.. They had gotten in an astronomical 1600 trucks that day. They only had 2 spots available for me to drop my load and they were horribly tight. I managed to get it in there, despite the crooked ass mess on each side. It was so tight I had to crawl under the adjacent trailer to drop the landing gear.

Last Shadow's Comment
member avatar

Keep rolling brother it ain't no thing but a chicken wing.

The north liberty DC is a tight mess. I had to drop a trailer there several days ago.. They had gotten in an astronomical 1600 trucks that day. They only had 2 spots available for me to drop my load and they were horribly tight. I managed to get it in there, despite the crooked ass mess on each side. It was so tight I had to crawl under the adjacent trailer to drop the landing gear.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Unholychaos wrote:

I grab my next load and head over. I get checked in over the CB, as I'm supposed to. Got assigned doors 51 and 49. I proceed towards my door, but before I make it, I hear someone else getting assigned door 49 to drop his trailer. Holy s*** I have to drop my trailer and grab the empty out of 49 so he can keep moving. I start getting flustered but luckily my door had a nice gap on the left so I was able to get it in in a timely manner. Either way, I realized I that it's way too fast paced and stressful for my lack of experience. I don't perform well under pressure, and when I was feeling rushed, I felt like if I kept doing these loads, eventually my stress level will be pushed over the edge and I'll rush too much and hit something.

I called up my dispatcher and told him straight up that it's too much for me. He told me he'll make a few phone calls and get me off of it.

I gave it a shot, it's not for me. At least I attempted it.

Indeed, you gave it a shot. UHC I commend you for taking a very mature and pragmatic approach to your decision. In all honesty taking a small step back like you did, will actually pay dividends in the long run because you recognized you weren't quite ready for this, checked your ego and made the right decision. You might not totally understand the significance of what you did, but it's a very wise and smart decision that will actually advance your career. I truly believe that...

Knowing your limitations and what is necessary to overcome them, is incredibly important to learning the ropes "so-to-speak". It's great to try something, to challenge your ability, but pressing-on despite what is obvious, can be potentially disastrous and limit success. Great job for quickly recognizing this and taking a decisive approach.

You also wrote this:

While driving back, it dawned on me that I need to hustle a lot more with this account than what I'm used to doing; taking my time is not the name of this game. ...Either way, I realized that it's way too fast paced and stressful for my lack of experience.

A very similar thing went through my mind after my first day on the Walmart account...no idea what I had gotten myself into. After a couple of discussions with the Terminal Manager and a full day of riding with an experienced driver, mentoring me on specific challenges and how to handle them, I chose to continue. Five years later I am still on the account, happy with the job. But what if I sucked it up, took the stoic "manly" approach, kept my mouth shut and did not enable an intervention to take place? At the very least my risk of an issue would have been higher...who knows what else.

UHC makes a great call here. There are many Dedicated accounts that require an elevated level of hustle and demand any driver to be on-their-game,...all the skills need to work like a machine, 100%. UHC accurately assessed the need for "hustle" and made a profound statement that he might not be ready for it. Talk about being "self-aware"... Point being, on the surface many Dedicated assignments appear to offer great benefits to a new driver; regular home time, consistent, higher paychecks, etc. However there is a reason many carriers and driver management like to see some experience and seasoning before assigning a rookie driver to one of these accounts. They can be very demanding and way more unforgiving to a new driver. Most dedicated accounts have something called a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the contracted carrier. Any accident, delay or screw-up effects the SLA negatively and can and usually does decrease overall compensation to the contracted carrier. Worst case, the contract can be terminated. So UHC's decision to remove himself, at least temporarily, actually may benefit Schneider in the short term.

I hope we all can learn something from the path UHC chose here. It's one of the best "success" stories by a rookie I have seen...really good!

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

This is a really great discussion. Lots of "good stuff" in here.

I have seen so many new guys come and go on the dedicated account I serve - it's really incredible. Most of them had no clue what they were getting themselves into. There are some really positive things about working a dedicated account, but it is a big commitment with a lot of challenges.

What G-Town said here...

Most dedicated accounts have something called a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the contracted carrier. Any accident, delay or screw-up effects the SLA negatively and can and usually does decrease overall compensation to the contracted carrier.

... is definitely true in my situation. We are expected to be top performers or we at least better be making progress in that direction pretty quickly.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

everything G-Town wrote

I hope we all can learn something from the path UHC chose here. It's one of the best "success" stories by a rookie I have seen...really good!

Thanks G-Town. I really needed to hear that. If I was more confident with my backing, then I'd have no problem doing it, but if it takes me 20 mins to back when these day cabs were doing it in mere seconds... Hell, I saw one do a 90 into a spot from right up against the other trailers like it was nothing!

I talked to my uncle about it, and he believes that I'm not challenging myself enough when it comes to backing, which is true. If it's late in the day, I'd rather park at a rest area than opt for a truck stop where I'd have to back in between 2 trucks, or I'll start my day early enough that I'd be stopping at a truck stop when there'd be plenty of space to safely maneuver. At the end of the day, I consider myself succeeding every time a maneuver without hitting anything, no matter how long it takes.

I remember being told in training, "Why make it more difficult on yourself?" I live by those words every day. If that means parking in the way back of the lot and having to walk a half mile to go inside the ts over squeezing in between 2 trucks near the front, then so be it. I'm out here to make a living; hitting something due to slow maneuvers would equate to hours out of my day speaking with trainers, claims, and whatnot.

We get messages every week about our drivers getting into slow maneuvering accidents, saying they are having to go through additional training not making any money. I don't want to be one of them. I already have 1 blemish on my record after 2 months of driving. It's been 7 months since then with no issues what so ever. I'd really like to keep it that way.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I have done the opposite, I always challenge myself to do difficult backing. That and scrap yards (Recycling Centers) leave little room for maneuvering. The only way to improve is to challenge yourself.

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