Prime Inc Flatbed Or Reefer

Topic 20339 | Page 3

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Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I might take care of it, and you may take care of it, but in a company of thousands of employees I'm sure a large percentage of employees may not care as much. Things get "lost" far too conveniently. Eons ago, a close friend of mine drove for Werner, and let's just say I never had a shortage of extra Werner straps and ratchets in my shed. Things "fell" off his truck all the time. He's only one of thousands of drivers.

As a former business owner, my employees always provided their own tools. Granted, I'm only talking costs in the hundreds vs thousands, but the point remains. I wasn't willing to continue laying out my money to cover their neglect.

Many many other businesses require employees to provide for and maintain their own tools.

I only paid roughly $2700 for my stuff, not $3500, but I totally see your point. However, the cost and payment structure was well disclosed long prior to me signing up. This was no surprise. Maybe other companies don't follow this policy, but I didn't sign up with another company. I signed with Prime.

That's why I'm ok with it.

As a side note: I recently slashed one of my tarps as a result of not putting proper protection in place. A steel coil put about a 6ft slice in it. Prime replaced that tarp for me at no charge, a $200+ value. This may not be the norm, but it's worth mentioning.

I agree that we should take care of the equipment, but I don't know of another flatbed company that requires you to supply tarps, straps, chains, binders, edge protectors, a winch bar, and everything else you need to have in order to do your job.

Another company I worked for after Prime provided all the equipment. We swapped straps and tarps constantly, so there was an incentive to keep the tarps in good shape, since you never knew when you would get that tarp back. If a tarp was damaged, it was as simple as turning it in at a yard or terminal and letting them know it had cuts or dings. Same with straps -- give them the old straps with cuts in them and they gave you new straps to replace them.

They kept track of everything, so I'm sure if a particular driver was replacing straps or tarps constantly, there would be some kind of discussion to be had. If stuff just went missing, I'm sure that discussion would include paying them back for whatever was missing. They did not just blindly hand out equipment.

I went to work with Prime knowing up front what the costs were, too. What I didn't know was that no other company makes you supply your own equipment, unless you are an owner/operator. Not one. And yes, they told me they would buy it back, but the reality is that the payback is more like 20-25% of what you paid out. I don't know anyone who got more than $800 back for the initial $3500 laid out. So, even if you get mostly used equipment and pay $2700 for it, you'll still get less than a third of that back. And wear and tear does not account for a two-thirds loss on most of that equipment. It's overvalued when you're buying it, and undervalued when you give it back.

So much for keeping quiet about it. I just think people looking to start out as a flatbedder should know that there are places other than Prime to start your career, places where you will not be required to pay for your equipment. System Transport, Melton, TMC, Maverick, Western Express, and Central Oregon Trucking Company come to mind as examples. I'm not saying Prime is bad, I'm saying there are other options for people who are brand new to trucking that are definitely worth looking at if you want to start out as a flatbedder.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I'll just agree to disagree. In my research, having to pay for my own tools wasn't a deciding factor in which company I chose. Perhaps it was for others, and that's fine.

Other companies may not make you do it, but other training companies don't pay as well as Prime, both in training and after solo either. At least I haven't found any that do. I do quite well here.

To each his own, gentlemen. It's all good.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
C T.'s Comment
member avatar

This thread got interesting quick. I'm with maverick as u guys know and we don't have any policies like that. Despite all this, never ran into a disgruntled prime flatbedder. I hear the money and miles are there. It's just a shady practice I think.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I understand there are those bad truckers who make a side-profit by selling the equipment. Those are the guys that caused this.

But there's a more fair way to go about this. The flatbed "start-up" kit should be provided to you from the company for free, but if you lose anything or damage anything through your own negligence than you pay for the replacement. This will stop people from selling the equipment and at the same time make the driver take care of the equipment because the replacement will be on him.

But Prime's current policy is just plain wrong.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Slim Pickens 's Comment
member avatar

Wow! Tons to think about. I was thinking about flatbed division because the exercise would be nice and the experience I feel would be useful down the road if I wanted something more local down the road. Through some of the research I've been doing the biggest benefit Is faster load/unload times. Not sure if they get as many miles or see as much of the country at prime as reefer.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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