Need To Find A New Company, Any Suggestions?

Topic 20798 | Page 1

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Jon Devault 's Comment
member avatar

I'm in a bit of a dilemma, I'm currently with Heartland Express and honestly, I hate it. The company is horrible and the miles suck pretty badly. I think in the past month I've gone maybe 3200, and that's a high estimate. Also, I've been fighting for 19 hours of detention pay for over a month.

I need to find a new company, but it has to be a good fit. I have a year and 3 months OTR experience, no accidents, no tickets, no violations. Perfect driving record before I started trucking too. I'm looking in the southeast area, being as I live in southwest Florida, and I'd like to find a company that is based close to me, however, a main terminal in another state is totally fine.

I currently make $0.40 a mile, and I'd like to stay at that, or higher if I can, and more miles is definitely a plus.

I don't particularly care what trucks or transmissions the new company would use, as long as they're well maintained.

Hometime is important, but I don't mind staying out 2-3 weeks at a time.

I've looked at Carroll Fulmer, and they sounded promising, but a starting rate of $0.35 a mile scared me off, even though they "promised" 2700-3200 miles a week.

I would prefer to not do a lease program, but if the pay is right, I would definitely be willing to consider it! My father in law suggested Hirschbach, as he drove for them for a while and talks highly of them, but they aren't currently hiring out of my area.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

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.

OTR:

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.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

3000k miles a week at 36 cpm is a lot more money than 800 miles a week at 40 cpm. Look at the end result not the cpm. Don't get hung up on cpm. The big picture is what matters.

Unfortunately living in Florida will hamstring your options for companies. Florida is the great cul du sac of death for freight. A whole lot of retirees and vacationers buying stuff, but not much on the production side. Unfortunately the farther south you go in Florida the worse it gets.

I know H. O. Wolding does have freight going to Florida and even drivers from there. But I think their hiring area ends between Orlando and Tampa. If you live south of Tampa it would most likely be a no go. If you did live in their hiring area, at 1 year experience, you would make 37 cpm. However their highest mileage bonus is easy to achieve. That is another 4.5 cpm paid quarterly. So all told it would be 41.5 cpm. If you stayed out 2-3 weeks at a time, there would be little excuse to not make the high mileage bonus.

This is another shameless plug for HOW brought to you by that video guy, lol.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Have you tried talking with your DM to get more miles? When you call or message them are you humble and thankful? The first place I would look is with the company you have spent over a year proving yourself with. Like Patrick said, living is South Florida lowers your OTR options. Have you thought of local driving?

You could also try CFI. I don't know how far down into Florida their hiring area goes. We do have frieght in to and out of Florida. The trucks are all 0-3 years old as far as I know. As a driver with experience I'm not sure what your starting CPM would be. However, the equipment is well maintained, you can keep moving. As long as you submit everything you need to there is no problem getting the extra pay, (detention, layover, Northeast pay, hazmat pay, Canada pay and reimbursements). I am very happy with this company and the way they listen and respond to drivers. Yes, that's my shameless plug. CFI website.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

OTR:

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Interesting. 10 months ago you were with Melton recommending them to another member of the forum, now Heartland. Are you sure it's "all" the company causing the lack of miles?

An average of 800 miles per week is perhaps an indication of a bigger problem. What else is going on?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I agree with the sentiment that there's a reason you're not getting the miles you should be getting. Heartland Express has tons of miles available. The question is why aren't you getting more?

This is a topic we talk about quite frequently on this website. There are a lot of people who have spent many years in this industry and never seem to figure out exactly what it takes to get top miles. The same principles apply at any company you work for. If you're having trouble getting miles at one company, you're going to have problems getting miles at all companies. You have to learn to figure out why you're not getting the miles you should be getting and get that problem fixed.

One thing that always catches my attention right away is when somebody mentions getting paid for detention time. Personally I never cared about detention time. In my opinion you get paid to get work done, not to sit around watching television or taking a nap. I always felt like it made me look bad to expect to be paid to do nothing. I fully understand the idea that you're on company time while you're sitting at a customer. I get that. But I just felt like the tiny bit of money you're going to make sitting around isn't worth worrying about, and it just makes you look bad to expect it in the first place. I knew that as a top-tier driver I was going to get all the miles I could handle, so I wasn't worried about getting paid for doing nothing.

After almost 25 years in this industry I've learn to take little clues and indicators and be able to figure out what a driver is like pretty quickly. When someone tells me their company sucks and there are no miles available and they're not getting paid for detention time I immediately think,"This guy really doesn't understand how this industry works. He doesn't understand how to establish a great reputation and work together with dispatch to get top miles."

Now it's entirely possible that your dispatcher is the problem. Not all dispatchers are capable of keeping their top drivers busy. But most of them are. I would guess 90% of the time that a driver is not getting good miles, it's the drivers fault. It might be your performance, it might be your time management, it might be your personality, it might be your work ethic. It's probably a combination of several things. But I can tell you one thing for a fact: Heartland Express has a ton of miles available and you need to figure out why you're not getting more.

If you decide to switch companies you're probably going to have to focus on refrigerated carriers because they're the ones that go to Florida the most often.

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.

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

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you checked ABCO Transportation? Based on Ocala FL, works with R + L (Arlington TN).

They operate three vacation resorts just for their drivers! I'm jealous.

Jon Devault 's Comment
member avatar

As far as what kind of driver I am, I'm a good one. I run hard, show up on time, if not early, and I never complain. For that matter, my current DM and I joke around quite a bit while on the phone. (nothing unprofessional of course, just light banter between coworkers) I've stated before that I worked for Melton, which is true. I left for physical health reasons and given the opportunity, I would love to go back, but I simply can't. The detention pay is for sitting for 19 hours waiting for the load to be "ready" when it was already finished and they just forgot to tell someone it was no longer being shipped, and I was suppose to have been home 2 days before. I fully understand how the industry works, run hard, be on time, don't complain and drive safely. All of which I do. There is a serious lack of communication with heartland, its like even the smallest nugget of info is on a "need to know basis" and nothing gets to the right person in a timely manner. As far as asking for more miles, I've already done that, numerous times, and yet here I am, still getting crap miles. It's actually pretty common among the other drivers here I've talked to, some of whom have been here 10+ years. "it's just the way things are" they tell me. I would rather not jump to another company after being with heartland for such a short time, honestly I dread the thought of being branded as a "job hopper" but something has got to give, and if not heartland, then it'll be me. I've told my DM a few times about how many miles I need. At $0.40 a mile, I need at least 2000 a week just to survive. That will get the bills paid and little else.

And before anyone says "well just reduce the amount of bills you have!" I pay rent, cell phones, car payment, car insurance, home internet and utilities. And yes, the home internet is necessary, my wife has incredibly poor cell service at home so she uses the wifi to be able to text and make phone calls. My bills are already at bare minimum.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is, heartland has not been good to me, or many of their drivers I've talked to, so I have zero hopes of things getting better, in fact it seems they will only get worse as time goes on. Hence, my request for info on other companies which may be a better fit.

I have considered local companies, but most don't pay enough. I was offered a position with my father in laws current company but the pay was about $5 an hour short of what I need. My goal is to get enough experience to get on with loves as one of their fuel truck drivers, I've talked to a couple and they all spoke very highly of their job, and the company. They require 2 years of experience however, and if things keep up the way they're going, I'll have lost my house by then, at the very least.

I think I have replied to everyone's questions and comments, but I may have missed some. If I did, please let me know.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Jon says:

The detention pay is for sitting for 19 hours waiting for the load to be "ready"... blah blah

In your 19 hour wait, did you have yourself as Off Duty or as On Duty Not Driving? At Swift, you must have On Duty while you wait if you're going to get detention pay. Going Off Duty, meaning you have no business with the truck, and then asking to be paid for waiting is considered "double dipping".

As for me, I'd take the time off, and save my real duty time for my 70 hours driving limit.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

First of all what everyone else experiences is not true for you. I'm sure there are people at Heartland who love the company. Those are the people you need to speak with. They are not at a terminal or sitting in a truck stop. They are rolling every day. This is your life to live. I say exhaust all resourses with Heartland before jumping ship. The company is doing something right, I see there trucks everywhere. How long are you staying out before you go home? Many companies will keep a driver within 800 to 1000 miles of their home when it gets close to their home time date. This allows them to get you home on time. If you are going home every two weeks, It's harder for them to get you the longer runs. Does your wife work? Good luck

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar
If you are going home every two weeks, It's harder for them to get you the longer runs.

...coupled with living in Florida? All things being equal, I think location and frequent home-time is the likely culprit of your low mileage.

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