Flat Bed Or Dry Van Or Melton Over DART Or Crete?

Topic 20676 | Page 1

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MIchael C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Truckers, My name is Mike and I am getting ready to retire from the Military. My Military career was split up at one time, just like my trucking career. I first joined the Army in 1988, left in 1995. Then went into trucking. started with a company called Victory Express, they got bought out in 1998. Then went into a factory for about 8 years. in 2007 went back to trucking, Maverick, Knight, and Melton. Left again in 2008 because I was in the National Guard and they offered my a full time (AGR) position that I couldn't pass up. Now 9 years later, I getting ready to retire and going back to trucking. I still have my CDL but I am trying to figure out the best company to drive for. I have narrowed it down to either Melton, (who I worked for before), DART because they have a terminal near Louisville, KY where I live, or Crete Carriers, (no real reason, just heard they have a good reputation). I have to choose a company that has the military apprenticeship program, or I would be throwing away GI BILL free money. Hope everyone has a safe day.

Anyone have any thoughts about these three companies?

Trucker Mike

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.

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

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Michael, welcome aboard!

Hey listen, I'm never short on words, and you have triggered a good many thoughts that I want to share with you. Please bear with me. I genuinely want to help you get back in the driver's seat.

I am trying to figure out the best company to drive for.

You said quite a few things that throw up some red flags as far as the way we try to mentor folks and help them have a good understanding of how to not only start this career, but also to be successful at it.

Almost everyone starts with the same premise that you have, trying to figure out "the best company." There is no "best" company out there. Somehow, through the manipulation of social media and internet review sites, there is now this general consensus, which is considered by most folks looking for a trucking job, that the only solid way to make a good start in this business is to start with "the best company." Fortunately we prove that theory false every day in here. What I mean is that we have really successful truckers in here who have started at just about any of the major carriers in the country. We have several very successful drivers in here who have started with Swift! Imagine that would you? You probably are thinking that I am out of my mind at this point because you probably have believed all that silly nonsense online about Swift. If I have got you pegged, don't even worry about it, I'm only saying these things to try and make my point. Which is, that you are starting off all wrong if you genuinely want to be really successful at this career. We have some very successful drivers who have decided to stay at Swift, and are making some great money there, all while being treated like the true professionals that they are. By the way, I started my very successful Western Express.

Here is what I found troubling in your post. It sounds as if you worked for three different companies, Maverick, Knight, and Melton, during a time period of just about one year. What happened during that time? Please don't tell me that they were treating you badly or you didn't get the respect you deserved, because we have drivers in here at all of those companies, and we know that they are all three great places to work.

Anybody that says they don't even know why they would be interested in Crete for...

no real reason, just heard they have a good reputation

gives it all away that you are taking the total wrong approach to this. We try to teach people that the company you go to work for has nothing to prove to you. All of the major trucking companies are some of the top companies on the continent - they know what they are doing, and they have some of the best of the best keeping them running properly and profitably. This whole business is performance based. That means that each individual driver measures out his own success at this. You will determine whether you do well at Melton, Dart, Swift, Knight, or just about any trucking company you go to work for. We've got a lot of great information here on our site that will help you get this all figured out. Please take the time to take a look at these links...

We are glad you asked your question the way you did. It only helps us see how we can help you. People get all irritated with me for not really answering their question in the way they asked it, but I will usually just go straight for the best answer I know, and I hope that doesn't offend you. If you can bring a strong work ethic, a willingness to get along with others, and an understanding that you hold the key to your success, you will do well at any of the companies that you mentioned. Now you just need to decide if you want to pull a flat-bed, a van, or a reefer.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

in 2007 went back to trucking, Maverick, Knight, and Melton. Left again in 2008

I don't understand. You went back to trucking for a year and in that year worked for Maverick, Knight and Melton?

MIchael C.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School,

thank you for the insight, I know it looks bad the amount of time that I came back into trucking, it was a little over a 1 1/2 years. Maverick was a good company, remember in 2007 APUs were not a common thing on trucks. the problem with maverick was their trucks were set not to idle. I couldn't Idle and about froze to death. Then I went to Knight, I worked for Knight for about 2 months, and about starved with them. I don't know if it was just bad timing but I barely got any miles. I then went to Melton. They were a good company, didn't have any problems with them. Made good money and good miles, and I enjoyed working for them. will continue on the next tread:

Michael, welcome aboard!

Hey listen, I'm never short on words, and you have triggered a good many thoughts that I want to share with you. Please bear with me. I genuinely want to help you get back in the driver's seat.

double-quotes-start.png

I am trying to figure out the best company to drive for.

double-quotes-end.png

You said quite a few things that throw up some red flags as far as the way we try to mentor folks and help them have a good understanding of how to not only start this career, but also to be successful at it.

Almost everyone starts with the same premise that you have, trying to figure out "the best company." There is no "best" company out there. Somehow, through the manipulation of social media and internet review sites, there is now this general consensus, which is considered by most folks looking for a trucking job, that the only solid way to make a good start in this business is to start with "the best company." Fortunately we prove that theory false every day in here. What I mean is that we have really successful truckers in here who have started at just about any of the major carriers in the country. We have several very successful drivers in here who have started with Swift! Imagine that would you? You probably are thinking that I am out of my mind at this point because you probably have believed all that silly nonsense online about Swift. If I have got you pegged, don't even worry about it, I'm only saying these things to try and make my point. Which is, that you are starting off all wrong if you genuinely want to be really successful at this career. We have some very successful drivers who have decided to stay at Swift, and are making some great money there, all while being treated like the true professionals that they are. By the way, I started my very successful Western Express.

Here is what I found troubling in your post. It sounds as if you worked for three different companies, Maverick, Knight, and Melton, during a time period of just about one year. What happened during that time? Please don't tell me that they were treating you badly or you didn't get the respect you deserved, because we have drivers in here at all of those companies, and we know that they are all three great places to work.

Anybody that says they don't even know why they would be interested in Crete for...

double-quotes-start.png

no real reason, just heard they have a good reputation

double-quotes-end.png

gives it all away that you are taking the total wrong approach to this. We try to teach people that the company you go to work for has nothing to prove to you. All of the major trucking companies are some of the top companies on the continent - they know what they are doing, and they have some of the best of the best keeping them running properly and profitably. This whole business is performance based. That means that each individual driver measures out his own success at this. You will determine whether you do well at Melton, Dart, Swift, Knight, or just about any trucking company you go to work for. We've got a lot of great information here on our site that will help you get this all figured out. Please take the time to take a look at these links...

We are glad you asked your question the way you did. It only helps us see how we can help you. People get all irritated with me for not really answering their question in the way they asked it, but I will usually just go straight for the best answer I know, and I hope that doesn't offend you. If you can bring a strong work ethic, a willingness to get along with others, and an understanding that you hold the key to your success, you will do well at any of the companies that you mentioned. Now you just need to decide if you want to pull a flat-bed, a van, or a reefer.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Michael, it sounds as if you liked pulling a flat bed. If you are considered as a possible re-hire by Melton, that is what I would do.

Just a couple of more things to think about... APU's are still not all that common. I do think Melton uses them though. Some of the companies that started using them decided that they were just too costly to maintain. I've never had a truck with an APU. Most of the trucks that are set to not idle also have a way in which you can override the system if you need to. Also just about all of them use a "bunk heater" that provides heat in the summer without idling - it works great too. I always tell people to not use the requirement of an APU as one of the things they are looking for in a company simply because they may decide tomorrow to quit using them.

The thing I talked about when I was speaking of trucking as a performance based business is probably what caught you in a bad spot at Knight, but that is just a guess. Remember whenever you start a new trucking job you are considered as another high risk driver who is probably going to quit sometime in the next six months. We all have got to prove ourselves as dependable, efficient, profitable drivers, and that just takes time. There is no way in two months you are going to be able to do that. We always recommend that you stay with a company for at least one year. It just takes that kind of time to learn their system of doing things, and to get yourself established and recognized as one of the drivers who knows how to get things done out here on the road. I've been employed by Knight in their dedicated flat-bed division for three years now, and earn a very decent pay package as a top producing driver in a specialized fleet.

It really does come down to how effective you are at making things happen in your favor out here. I take a lot of initiative that many other drivers never even think of. I move my appointments, I get to know my customers so that maybe they will be willing to do me favors when needed. I'll sleep on the premises of a customer just so that I can be the first to unload in the morning and many other tried and true strategies for success out here.

My simple advice to you would be to ignore the sources where you are getting the ideas from that make you think that one company has a really good reputation and another has a bad reputation. Think about it... Who is making these determinations? If you think it is drivers, and they should be the ones who know, you are only partially correct. These stories about trucking companies that seem to take on a life of their own, are usually started and continually propagated by rookie drivers who failed at their attempt to break into a mostly misunderstood career. In other words, they don't even know what they are talking about. Yet, tens of thousands of people read their slanderous reports everyday and believe them!

The only reputation that is going to count for anything when it comes to your success out here, is the one that you build for yourself. Don't look to the various trucking companies to make you a success at this. They will provide you with the framework, and the structure, but it will be you who provides the will, the drive, and the understanding of what it takes to make it all come together out here as you live the life of an over the road driver.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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