Why All The Hate...?

Topic 20979 | Page 2

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Pianoman's Comment
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I actually keep trying to figure this out lol. Literally every time I mention to another driver at my own company that I used to work for Swift, I get teased about it. Every time. Then I explain how I actually enjoyed working there. I usually get some sort of response like, "Well everyone's gotta start somewhere" or "That's great you have such a positive attitude." Most drivers change their tune a little when they realize I'm not eager to bash my former company, but they still don't have much positive to say. I have uncovered a few reasons though.

1) Sometimes it's personal. One driver at my company doesn't like JBS at all. Turns out a company he used to work for lost a bid to JB Hunt for the contract run he was on. JBH offered him a job but he refused. He still calls them names I can't repeat here. Other drivers had bad experiences at major carriers and found better success at smaller carriers. I'm not gonna lie--I actually wasn't a huge fan of otr over at Swift, but I stuck around long enough to find out how much I enjoyed dedicated. It was actually very similar to what I'm doing now, but alot of drivers don't want to be flexible like that.

2) Sometimes it's the little stuff. I kid you not, one of the number one things I hear from other drivers at my company is that they wouldn't ever want to drive somewhere that governs their trucks to 62.

3) The megas have tons of inexperienced drivers. Inexperienced drivers make companies look bad, no two ways about it. I shudder to think of some of the stupid stuff and even downright dangerous stuff I did at Swift before I figured out how to do better--stuff that made Swift look bad, even though I was the one making the mistakes.

4) It's fun to jump on the bandwagon with everyone else, isn't it? We've even made up derogatory acronyms for all the major carriers. It's fun, everyone does it. Right?

5) Their starting pay isn't usually great. Case in point, the main reason I left Swift was to make more money. Actually I think it's weird that people bash Prime as much as they do because brand new Prime drivers straight outta school make higher mileage pay than alot of smaller companies requiring years of experience. It's totally doable for a first year driver at Prime to make 70k--granted they have to work hard for it, but it's still an achievable goal for most. They also have some great perks.

6) Everything Brett said about safety. I don't know if I agree with the part about today's drivers being more professional, but all the extra stuff we have to deal with and adhere to is just too much for some drivers.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

One of the things I feel is missed by most people is the fact that everyone has a much more difficult time of things early on in their career and they often attribute that to the company they started with.

New drivers all struggle terribly. They have no idea what they're doing. Rookies make so many mistakes all the time with routing, time management, and directions. They don't know how to communicate with dispatch, they don't know how to get loaded or unloaded earlier, and a million other things. The list is a mile long.

So for most of that first year they'll struggle all the time, hanging on by a thread. Finally after a while they learn so much more about the industry, how to handle that rig, and how to manage their life on the road that things become much easier and they enjoy it more. They get a couple of raises along the way, they qualify for better freight, and they turn more miles so the paychecks get bigger. They also tend to figure out what type of trucking might suit them best.

It's right about this time that they leave for another company and they wind up looking back on their time at the original carrier as this long, brutal struggle. Now that they're so much better at their job and they know how the industry works everything seems much easier.

Over the years I've worked for carriers from 11 trucks to 6,000 trucks and I personally can't think of a single advantage to life at a small carrier. After many years on the road when I had my choice of going anywhere I wanted to go and I had tried everything I went to US Xpress and stayed there for the remaining 6 years of my OTR career. I had absolutely no desire to go back to some mom-n-pop operation knowing all of the perks and opportunities the larger carriers have and I was able to take advantage of all of them - beautiful equipment, a variety of divisions, specialized freight, great pay, national accounts for everything you need out there - it was spectacular.

Personally I feel the large carriers are the Cadillacs of the industry. They have so much more to offer than the mom-n-pop companies. I mean, to make an analogy, sure it's cute to walk into that tiny old neighborhood hardware store at the corner and talk to Old Jack the owner again. Good ol' family run place. I'm sure he'll have that pack of light bulbs and those nuts and bolts you need. But seriously, when you have a big project to do you're going to Home Depot or Lowe's, are you not? I am. They have it all. Everything you could ever want from A to Z.

I honestly have no idea why people are always saying they want to go work for a small carrier. I think it's the placebo effect. You hear 1,000 times that the large carriers are a good "starter company" but then you want to move on to a "better small carrier" and a lot of people believe it after a while. I have no idea what is supposed to be better about it, but everyone repeats that mantra. Always have.

I did a podcast on this subject:

Episode 9: Are Major Carriers Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Garth M.'s Comment
member avatar

As a rookie I find the E log my company uses to be very confusing and slow. I wish company orientation spent more time teaching the procedures but after meeting the people responisible I have decided to relax and learn as I go. Luckily for me a couple of my dispatchers actually drove for a while so when they've seen I have been putting in 16hr days the piling on slows down. I am responsible for most of the time waisting that goes on and I know that preplanning is the key to getting better, I have called several customers ahead for directions into their location and thats a habit I need to aquire. My situation is every morning when I find out the trailer I'll be pulling is to set up the air suspension and run it over the scales hoping that it passes and the system is working proerly, oh for designated trailers, unfortunatly things don't go that smoothly and I have to start my day about an hour before I log in and then sometimes its still not early enough. These past two weeks I've put in my 70hrs in 5 days and although its possible its not sustainable and when I'm tired the mistakes realy start happening. For me its all about the money, I should be able to easily make more at this than at my previous job as a carpenter even if I have to work twice the hours so I keep trying to apply what ai learn here to my situation but its hard to when getting enough sleep interferes with doing my job. I have lost all shame when it comes to backing my trailer and I don't count pullups anymore but then there is the correllation with how tired I am once again. Allmost all of the drivers I meet are very helpful and usually have a few good words of advice which says alot about the quality of people in this industry. I guess I've said too much but up north here I haven't experienced negativity that is reffered to in this post and just watching most other drivers working to do their best I wouldn't want to fall into the judgment trap, lifes too short.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

I may not have the experience many many others do, but I will say for the starter company that I work for, I found my forever home, I love this company, they've treated me very well and I hope I'm doing the same for them, people give me hell for working here at Werner, they call me Wiener and always have that look on their face oh look here's a new guy as I do my stuff, g.o.a.l and such, but inignore them, I absolutely love my job and what I do. I see a sunset in one state and a sunrise in another or vice versa, I get paid to see the country and have fun doing it, I love to drive and this job let's me get paid for what I enjoy doing, at the end of the day I just ignore the negativity and keep on truckin, (get it? Keep on truckin?.. No? Maybe? I'll see myself out.)

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