Comments By Drew D.

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  • Drew D.
  • Joined:
  • 2 years, 10 months ago
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  • 140

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Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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Day cab in winter shutdown

Hey guys,

Couple of questions regarding a potential lane that my company wants to offer me as I have been on the fence regarding this new possible position.

So I'm currently running in town keg delivery in Boise and really enjoying it. Feel healthy, lost several pounds, overall loving life despite all the elbow grease.

My company offered me an additional dollar per hour plus per diem to run a dedicated lane from Boise, ID to Tacoma, WA twice a week. This would be in a daycab and, of course, winter just kicked off.

Now normally, I would have probably said no outright if this were any other lane going to say Wyoming, but since I have close family out that way that I don't see a lot, it has me considering it.

Now having run Eastern Oregon and Snoqualmie pass, I am fully aware of the potential for chaos. I am also under the impression Oregon drastically reduced it's road maintenance budget because.. Well... Its Oregon and have to spend money on other useless programs we won't talk about..

All that said, I have until Monday to make a decision.

So how screwed are you if you get held up/shut down in a Daycab?

How does layover/shutdown typically work on an hourly basis?

Would you personally consider back and forth trips through that area for slightly more scratch?

Yes, I would be expected to throw iron.

Yes, the company does pay for hotels.

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

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Keeping tractor secure in bad areas

Preventive measures.

If you don't want to roll the dice and carry a firearm, then personal convey to a safe location if you are deadzoned in a ghetto area. I would have argued with any safety manager any day of the week on that. No load is worth putting my life at risk especially if my 2nd amendment rights are hamstrung by both company policy and liberal states that go after law abiding citizens before criminals.

All that said, I've never had an issue because I've always managed to make safety my top priority. I would rather do a 10 hour reset 100 miles away than sit in a crack den parking lot with significant risk.

As far as the load goes, padlock and pray. If someone robs the load, it isn't your problem. Make the necessary phone calls, file the reports through the proper channels, and go from there. Let the company deal with it.

Posted:  7 months, 3 weeks ago

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Need Advice

My buddy who worked with me at both my OTR companies had nothing but bad things to say about his experience with Schinider. That said, I don't have any personal experience with them. But like my crazy uncle used to say: If it doesn't get your southern blood pumping then you probably shouldn't "F" it. OTR was a boat I wish I caught before I became a father of 3 and a homeowner. If I could go back in time, I would live out of my truck for a few years and hoard a ton of money. I got tired very quickly of "chasing the dragon" for the pay I needed to justify being away from home with the various issues that arise on the road. Personally, I thought trucking was the easiest job ive ever had from an operational standpoint. But, in the end, I decided to go local beer delivery and was the best decision I could have made. Now I sling kegs all day on a bar route in Boise and meet some really fun business owners. I lost 30 pounds since I started and feel great. Get paid hourly. And home every night. Plus its 4 days a week and still manage overtime. Between the overtime, not spending as much on the road, and factoring time spent at job, I save significantly more plus I'm getting in really good shape and I get to have a life. If you want to do some part time local work with your CDL, you shouldn't have too much trouble. But like other have said, put in the two weeks. Its the professional thing to do. I just had to sign a form with my current company that allows for them to contact my previous companies to verify my driving and employment status. You don't want to give them a reason to torpedo you later. Your CDL is worth only as much as the good will, performance, and time equity you put on it. Just my thoughts. They aren't going to put your feet in concrete shoes over quitting properly. They probably receive at least a dozen notices a week. They aren't going to zero in on yours.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Need Help

Indeed profile and put in that you already have your CDL [and I'm assuming medical card] and you will get offers.

Also, like someone said above, Schneider is always hiring.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Biggest stressors in trucking?

More annoyances than stressors for me. I've never once found trucking stressful, but I also dealt with distracted drivers trying to kill me multiple times a day while towing cars and/or changing tires on the freeways of Seattle. So I always found trucking to be a more controlled environment in comparison as far as the situations I've been in personally.

But here is my list:

1: Extended layovers with no trip plan in sight.

2: Getting held up at multiple docks in one day with very little in the way of drive time thus not getting paid well.

3. Companies deliberately abusing policies to avoid paying you the extras like layover and breakdown which devalues your overall time out.

4.RV drivers and people who pull a $100,000 camper with a $1,100 beater they bought at an auction.

5.Wyoming

6.People who expect reefer haulers to find "alternative" parking when parking is already extremely limited.

7.Other truckers who have a holier-than-thou attitude about trivial things. Example: People who shove cameras in the faces of those who pull forward from fuel pumps who run inside for a quick restroom break or complain about people strategically taking 30s at fuel pumps. (Yes, you can do this without holding up the pumps with proper time management).

8.Swapping trailers with someone who stole the load locks and left enough broken wood and dirt in the back to build a greenhouse after you properly maintained yours.

Thats really all I can think of at the moment. Just basic run of the mill gripes you get at any job. What makes trucking somewhat unique is the losing of money through things that may be completely out of your control.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Ramp parkers

So if someone has a delivery at 11pm, and they get off the door with bills in hand by say 1am. They are also located somewhat near a major city. Every truck stop in the area along with rest stops are filled and backed out onto the freeway, where does the driver park? I'm just curious because unless you get to choose your own pickup and drop off time, we all have had to "rough it" in less than desirable locations. Granted, I never had to use the ramp, but came close a few times.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dreamed of trucking for years

I think I explained in great detail what "happened" to me. Maybe I just got unlucky? Who knows. All I know is that I did my job and did it well. This isn't a ****ing contest. I am just explaining my situation so others can be on the look out if something were to occur. I never said that every last trucking company on the face of the Earth operates in said manner.

I’ve gotta throw my lot in with Davy here. Granted, I’ve only driven for two companies. One was mega and one is small. Both companies were like butter to work with on home time and parking.

That being said, I’m out several months at a time, not needing to be routed home every weekend. And I don’t live anywhere near a terminal for either company, especially currently. That has never been an issue.

My satisfaction is due to the fact that there is a symbiotic process going on. The company gets plenty of advance notice and a several day window. They have never failed to get me home within our agreed upon time frame. I don’t know what happened to Drew that was so troublesome, but I think my sort of experience is more common in the industry.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dreamed of trucking for years

I must have mentioned several times in multiple responses that my experience was my experience and anecdotal. I also mentioned that I never worked for Swift so I couldn't say but to ignore moronic internet personalities that tend to stereotype every driver associated with those mega companies like Swift. That said, I am merely sharing my experiences and how two companies in my state decided [probably due to freight, fuel, and other variables] to walk back on agreed upon conditions of employment. These aren't things that are unique to me. These are circumstances that do exist even if they haven't happened or affected you. Also, in my original post, I never said local was "better" only that it was better for me. I specifically made mention that I wasn't painting OTR with a broad brush. Im sorry if my two cents contradict yours, but as I mentioned on another post, I'm not one to leave jobs. I would still be happily working Emergency roadside with AAA if I hadn't moved to a different state. Long haul trucking wasn't for me. That said, local IS for me because I actually enjoy the physical and hourly part of it. But that is neither here nor there. You guys can dog pile me all day on this, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. And if I'm not allowed to share my experiences, maybe turn this into a blog instead of an open forum.

My experiences directly counter ypurs Drew. I work for Knight, which merged with Swift, it doesn't get much more "mega" carrier than that.

My terminal manager always has taken care of me, they have delivered on every promise made, I recieve quite often more layover and detention pay than I request. They bend over backwards to get me home on time. They communicate well on it. I'm flexible on some dates, hard on others. They always work with me.

I'm one of the top earners at my terminal and I still manage to take considerable time off, my last vacation was two weeks off to Europe.

There's an underlying narrative that local is "better" than OTR or regional in your replies. It's much more accurate to say that it's better for your circumstances. OTR may well suit others better.

I worked hard physical labor for 30 plus years and had to be up at the butt Crack of dawn. I hated it. I personally love being on the road, seeing sunsets and sunrises, working nights, days, driving whatever shift I want.

I love the art of negotiation in pay, it's very much like running my own business still. The opportunity to generate more money is always present when paid by the mile, bonus and ancillary pay. It's not necessarily so by the hour.

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Looking for career advice

I had a great time OTR when it was just doing the job. I didn't have issues running the miles or parking. I always woke up around 230 / 3am so I could comfortably park the next day etc. But yeah, truckers are treated like overall garbage compared to even the retail sector. And its a chicken and egg argument you will see a lot. Did truckers become less professional which lead to trucking conditions getting worse? Or did trucking conditions get worse hence the influx of your average "steering wheel holder" that you see dumping waste on the pavement at truck stops? That said, it was a great little experiment and I'm glad I got my 1+ year needed to land a better gig.

I appreciate the input! I personally always felt like a second-class citizen when I OTR. Whether it be luke-warm/cold showers, being charged an arm and a leg for healthy food options at truck stops, or just the general "**** you" behavior of the majority of other motorists around me while driving, not to mention how some trucking companies treat us!

Sure did enjoy that office with a view though!

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If you aren't afraid of alittle elbow grease, try looking at local companies as many don't bother with DAC. If your MVR is clean, you will likely find something. I had two very minor incidents in trucking that went on my DAC report despite the company telling me they wouldn't be added due to the minor nature and the zero dollar cost. When I quit said company, they sandbagged me on the report. Mind you, when I worked for AAA, I reported every single little thing. Even near misses because I believe integrity is important. That said, the trucking industry discourages honesty due to the predatory nature of these reports. Even my old trainer warned me not to say anything about minor stuff unless it was "undeniable" which I should have listened, but I digress...

In my personal opinion [mind you, everyone is different] local is the way to go anyway. I did my year of OTR and I won't be going back for a myriad of reasons. Not the least of which is the hook, line, and sinker approach these companies employ when they roll out the red carpet for you. Things like "we treat our drivers like family" and "generous home time" oh and "resets at home" with "detention pay" that ends up being after 4 hours. Sound familiar? I just find the industry as a whole to be a huge scam setup to screw the driver. I make more money now than I ever did OTR through overtime and I feel infinitely healthier. OTR was a cool experience in and of itself, but the jig is up and im glad that I get home every night. Really stop to consider it. I know people on here will likely label me a heretic, but I wouldn't change a thing about what I do now.

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Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dreamed of trucking for years

My experiences are anecdotal, sure, but having been with two mid sized carriers, I grew tired of the lip service. Besides, I was just cautioning based on my experiences. Sure maybe there are carriers out there that follow through on their word, but from my experience, I wasn't willing to flip a coin on if there was a load going to near my house or not. And doing a hard 34 with a 9 hour round trip in my personal vehicle wasn't something I agreed on. I understand there are people here that have been doing this longer than I've been alive and thats cool. I just got incredibly burnt out on the dragon chase. Deliberately not getting paid to do things that were clearly work related like fixing poorly maintained equipment and literally being told by weekend dispatch that I needed to do it after my 10 hours but before going on duty so they don't have to pay me breakdown pay etc. I'm sure there are people that are cool with unpaid layovers due to weather and fixing garbage equipment among other things that don't pay, but if I am doing anything work related (or living at work) I expect to be fairly compensated. That didn't happen. I'll take my overtime and leave my work at work from now on. But regardless, yeah, I do advise to be careful about the terminal location because the lip service is very real. And if a company uses the god awful phase of "we treat our drivers like family" run for the hills and don't look back.

Drew there's many members that live absolutely no where near their terminal and have zero issues getting home frequently. In fact many drivers try to stay as far away from the terminals as they can. The unfortunate circumstances that have rubbed you the wrong way at your previous company do not exist everywhere. Freight is not a perfect science and things can, and do go wrong that affect getting home on time. You can't fault a carrier for not wanting to burn fuel running you 200 miles out of route to get you home. I may not agree with aspects of the industry as a whole but what I view as a big deal may be a minor inconvenience or even a benefit to the next person.

You've developed this thinking that local is the only way to go in this industry. I'm glad you've found something that fits what you're looking for. With a young family at home I've also found something that has the hours and pay I desire. Personally I hate being labeled a trucker. It's nothing against my fellow drivers I'm simply a man wanting to make a living to support my family. After I hit the time clock the only thing I do or think about involving trucking is pop into this forum. Not everybody has the same circumstances. I personally know a couple guys that intentionally take jobs or loads that will keep them out overnight. They tell me they are madly in love with their wife but if they had to see each other every day it'd cause them to get a divorce. After a couple days together they're at each other throats and they're ready to hit the road again. I don't understand it but it works for them.

The beer gig you have has its pros/cons just like every other job out there. You're physically unloading in the elements risking injury. In my area they're only paying those guys about 60k a year. That type of work isn't worth if for that low pay in my opinion when there's less physical jobs out there paying higher. I got my start in food service and after seeing the toll it's taken on the older guys I knew I needed something less physical. In my area, the beer guys are all younger and in relatively good shape.

Thats what makes this industry so great. There's so many different things that require a CDL you're going to find exactly what it is you desire if you keep your license clean. Unfortunately there's some people that don't have the local work available in their area that pays what they feel they're worth. I commute 45 minutes in good weather and no traffic one way. That all eats away at my 10 hour break. Fortunately I have enough seniority now I'm working 9 to 10 hours a day usually but if I put in a 14 my break is now really an 8 hour break I need to shower, eat, spend time with my kids and wife, and somehow hope I have enough to sleep to be ready to do it again. If I wanted a job closer there are plenty hiring but only in the $20/hr range. My wife just finished schooling so once she gets her career started we may be able to financially swing it. I'm actually considering getting on with the state DOT but it pays about $15/hr less than I average now but benefits are much better and I'd shave off 35 miles one way and have a set schedule 7a to 3p m-f except on call for snow removal in winter.

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