Profile For Matt M.

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    6 years, 1 month ago

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Posted:  5 months ago

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EFS Fuel Cards Glitch

Prime's went down and were back up around 0600. I'd just pay for fuel and get reimbursed. Would suck for the company losing their discount though.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

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Team Drivers

Probably easiest on folks to run in the same twelve hour period all the time, so their body is accustomed to being awake at the same hours every day. That's not how my wife and I ran though.

Generally she would run during the day and I would be the vampire, but we would get off kilter all the time.

If we ever got loads that had time to do rolling resets we would do that (I drive a full shift, take a ten hour break, I drive another full shift, now my wife has been in the sleeper berth for 34 hours).

Also if we were slow for whatever reason, our sleep schedules would start to synchronize and it would turn in to whoever was less tired would drive.

Also managing hours so that you keep your hours somewhat even. You may run loads that require more day or night driving for a few days, you don't want one driver with ten hours and the other with forty hours on their seventy hour clocks.

It's chaotic, and one of the main reasons teaming is much harder on people than solo driving. I don't sleep well on a moving truck, and I've been teaming for several years. There are times where I'd be driving and have only slept maybe four hours in the last two or three days. My wife sleeps better when the truck is moving, so she's always well rested at least, lol.

But any team wanting top miles is going to have to do some of those things where they get off their "set" hours, outside of a dedicated route.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Is anyone driving trucks to Alaska and back?

Fairchild and Lynden are two that I know of that run Alaska. If given a chance I would probably run up there once just to do it but not something I would want to deal with on the reg.

Four different hours of service to mess with (maybe elds simplify all that), and some pretty treacherous weather up that way.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Freightliner M2 106 Air

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Air dryer on my cascadia. It's near the passenger side steer. I have two tanks, one behind the cab and one under the cab. If I flip down the def cap cover or battery cover there's cords I can pull to drain that one.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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What would you do? (Icy roads)

That's a tough situation, if I saw somewhere safe to chain up I would (a regular interstate shoulder would not be safe enough) so I could limp off at the first exit. Would try to make it to the exit very carefully if I was in that situation. Ice is tricky though, if you go too slow you are going to be stuck in short order.

If you have a cb and see a salt shaker, holler at em and they'll help you get off. Most of them run radios.

Posted:  5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Prime TNT Question

I think it might be freight. Due to the ways the holidays fell, the wife and I ran wild Christmas week and New Year's week and we got several (rolling) 34s in.

Between the blizzards in Nebraska and West Virginia I'm glad to be back on our dedicated route.

We averaged just under 4k miles per week which is no bueno for an experienced team. We did have to stop through Springfield to route home back to our normal route, but other than that I drove through the bad weather and there was nothing else to slow us down. They did give us some equalization pay to make it a bit more palatable.

Posted:  6 months ago

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High-hooking a trailer

You can feel the fifth wheel hitting the trailer apron when backing under a trailer. If you don't feel it, you better get out and look as is mentioned above.

Not a bad idea to just look everytime, I have seen someone punch their fifth wheel through the front of a trailer that was too low. Personally, I just watch my tires going under when I back under a trailer. If I have any misgivings I'll pop the brakes and take a look.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Sometimes u do know!

I wouldn't trust a t/a tech to air up a tire. Watch them any time they are working on your truck.

There are some good ones out there, but there is a lot of terrible ones.

Gary is a great road advisor btw, I wish he was still mine lol.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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What status should we use in stopped traffic?

Technically, on duty.

If it is dead stopped, I turn off the truck and go in the sleeper berth, and log it as sleeper. Keep the curtains open so you can see when it starts moving again.

If you want to be a legal eagle, log on duty and if you run out of hours you are okay to drive to the nearest location to shut down for your break, just be sure to notate on your logs why.

Same thing if you are broke down on the side of the road.

"On duty time means all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work. On duty time shall include: (1) All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier; (2) All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any commercial motor vehicle at any time; (3) All driving time as defined in the term driving time; (4) All time, other than driving time, in or upon any commercial motor vehicle except time spent resting in a sleeper berth; (5) All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded; (6) All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled commercial motor vehicle; (7) All time spent providing a breath sample or urine specimen, including travel time to and from the collection site, in order to comply with the random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, or follow-up testing required by part 382 of this subchapter when directed by a motor carrier; (8) Performing any other work in the capacity, employ, or service of a motor carrier; and (9) Performing any compensated work for a person who is not a motor carrier.'

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Internet on the road.

That OTR Mobile isn't a terrible price for the many companies that offer that service. They have old zte mobley sims or corporate accounts that only pay $20/mo for unlimited.

Everything you pay per month over that is straight profit to them. Surprised at&t hasn't killed those plans yet.

Might still be possible to get an old zte mobley off eBay or whatever and get it activated through at&t, then swap the SIM to a newer device that works better. Think it activated through some car service department as these were intended for vehicles.

Still by far the cheapest and best plan for internet on the road assuming at&t doesn't cancel it.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Being A Company Driver

Sounds about right to me Rob. Linehaulers seem to make around $100k a year. General freight that's going to be a pretty tall order for a solo driver.

And I'm happy running low mileage and having more home time. I'm not interested in trading that for more money.

When we used to turn coast to coast runs running otr we would be turning 6500 and even 7000 mile weeks back to back sometimes for weeks on end. It is exhausting. Start running into "when was the last time I took a shower?" situations too.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

I was thinking the threshold for $5,000 was going to be around 5,800 miles per week, and I was off a tiny bit. Tall order but that could probably be maintained year round.

We've run 6,000+ mile weeks for sustained periods back when we were OTR, but yes I freely admit that is pretty much out of reach for a year straight outside of a dedicated run.

A determined OTR team here could approach $250k a year though, we run very soft for a team at 4300 miles per week. It's not an outrageous number.

And you are absolutely right, it would require some luck. We had a bunch of downtime this August with AC issues with our truck putting us in Freightliner shops three different times, just as an example.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

Old School, here is the actual calculation. Looking at it, even running the full year we would come up short (6,000 miles a week 52 weeks in a row is not realistic), but could get pretty dang close to $250k. I get paid $50 a week in extra stop pay, and $50 a week in hazmat most weeks, but running otr those would not be reliable, and I have excluded them from the calculation.

6,000 Mile Week
Base Rate $0.25 x 6000 = $1500
Wellness Bonus $0.005 x 6000 = $30
Service Bonus $0.01 x 2000 = $20
Safety Bonus $0.01 x 2000 = $20
Team Bonus $0.125 x 1000 + $0.15 x 2000 = $425
Fuel Bonus (low estimate) = $125
Travel Allowance $0.05 x 6000 = $300

Total pay per driver $2,420
Total for team $4,840

$4,840 x 52 weeks $251,680

Two people that hate life driving 312,000 miles in one year = priceless

I'm going to sleep, but if you bunch of skeptics don't believe this is how Prime teams get paid I'll be happy to post paychecks.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

Found that post, here is the pertinent part:

Breakdown of my weekly pay: - Base rate of $0.25 for all miles truck moves - additional stop beyond 01/90 $10 ea - wellness bonus $0.005 all miles (for my sick pay being capped at 48 hours) - service bonus $0.01 for all miles over 4k (on time delivery for preceding 12 weeks I think) - safety bonus $0.01 for all miles over 4k (same as service just not hitting stuff) - team bonus $0.25 to the truck for miles over 3k, $0.30 for miles over 4k. This gets split between drivers. - fuel bonus was $92.00 but this varies (a little, around that every week) - hazmat pays $50.00 per trip, did not have this bonus this week - travel allowance is $0.05 for all miles

I must be tired, I forgot about the graduated team bonus that happened this year. It's 25 cpm to the truck for miles over 3k, and 30 cpm to the truck for miles over 4k. So base rate is really 50 cpm for first 3k, 75 cpm for 3 to 4k, and 80 cpm for over 4k. Split between drivers and that does not include the 5 cpm per diem each driver received.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

Old School, my wife and I earned 150k last year on our dedicated route, running 4300 miles a week. That includes per diem, and is obviously before taxes and insurance, etc...

We work about 40 hours a week, and are off about twice as many days as the average otr truck driver.

I have absolutely no desire to stay out all year and forego hometime, but with Prime's bonus structure and maintaining high 5k mileage weeks it could absolutely be done. There is more to life than driving though.

Essentially the truck earns 50 cpm for the first 3,000 miles of the week, then 70 cpm for miles over 3,000. There is also considerable bonus pays regarding fuel, safety, on time delivery, etc... I broke down a team paycheck for Errol not too long ago when he was asking how teaming at Prime was for a friend.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

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I just felt like the earnings at Prime Inc in a lease as opposed to company truck had been misrepresented according to my personal experience.

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Based on your personal experience as a lease driver?

Based on my personal experience as a company driver at Prime and what I have seen myself regarding lease. There is, as I stated earlier, a team that runs the exact same route as us on different days of the week that runs lease.

I know for a fact that they make more than we do. I have seen it with my own two eyes.

If no one has shown you a tax return then what you are presenting is conjecture.

I still agree with most of your assessments on leasing, but there is an opportunity to earn more leasing at this company. It requires being efficient, and is more work than being a company driver, but it does exist. It is not enough to get me to switch.

I also think we might out earn them this year, due to a jack-knife accident they had earlier in the year. I will not pretend to know the costs involved between the deductible, increased premiums, downtime, and loaner truck.

My wife jack-knifed our truck last year (same place they did), and Prime had us drop the trailer at a repair shop, and load into Springfield, we lost about two days of revenue swapping trucks, and were right back at it.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

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Comparing top dog company drivers to lousy lease drivers is a bit disingenuous.

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Matt...I just have to comment on this remark...

There are a few "experienced" lease drivers who pop in and out of this forum. They basically state the same set of facts; they are making a little bit more than if they were a company driver.

I agree, they make a little bit more than company drivers (given all else equal, and not falling victim to the risk). Have I misrepresented that?

I understand salarying yourself as a driver as an owner-op as well. But if you want to treat a lease at Prime as baby's first lease (glorified company driver) I think it's fair to include the net income of the truck to the gross salary of the company driver. It would get pretty convoluted doing it any other way.

I do not condone leasing. I do not condone leasing. I do not condone leasing.

I agree with most of the points people make in this thread about leasing a truck. I just felt like the earnings at Prime Inc in a lease as opposed to company truck had been misrepresented according to my personal experience.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

Matt, when someone makes a statement like this...

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The husband said they were clearing $5000/week after all expenses.

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They are saying they are making over 250,000 dollars per year as a team. So, for clarification, are you and your wife doing that? Do you seriously believe that lease operator is doing that?

You told us about one great week you had...

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Few weeks back we netted 7k miles in a week and made over 6 grand between us. Hard to maintain that mileage, but even 6k miles a week is gonna be 5 grand.

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That's great, and it's fun to talk about those big numbers when we have a really strong week like that. Are you prepared to tell us you and your wife are "netting" 250,000 dollars per year?

I don't think so, but we'd love to hear it if it's the truth.

No we are not netting 250k a year. A company team here will make around 5 grand on a 6,000 mile week though, and that is fairly sustainable while you stay out if you are worth your salt. A lease team can certainly pull those numbers too. Do I think that particular husband/wife couple were making 250k a year? Probably not, but it doesn't take cherry picked weeks for those numbers, either.

We run on a dedicated account, we are home a couple days a week, and we don't run hard due to the way the freight is scheduled. So we are working around 40 hours a week each (4300 miles), and we make around 3400 a week.

Running otr, staying out the whole year, I bet we could hit 250k.

As for the rest of it, I'm not going to try to defend leasing. It's not for me, and I certainly don't think it's for anyone new to trucking. I completely understand y'all's take on it and why it is heavily dissuaded here. I just think sometimes people get a little crazy with the actual numbers. Comparing top dog company drivers to lousy lease drivers is a bit disingenuous.

Is it worth the risk? I don't think so. I know the line rates on our load though and it is a bit more money. And that is an apples to apples comparison.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

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Prime PSD take 2, December 20th. What to bring? What to expect?

Good luck!

Not sure if you have prepped or already taken written tests for the CDL permit, but I was glad to have done that before heading to orientation. I just ran through the high road training on this site and aced the written tests once I got to Springfield.

It's a busy week, and lots of folks were having trouble studying for that while trying to get everything else completed.

Hope your experience on the dirty dog is better than mine was.

Posted:  6 months, 4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Being A Company Driver

It’s rather simple business! I drive a company truck, this truck has to make money so prime can pay the payment. This lease driver said e/she would pay payment on the one they drive. Who do u think Prime is gonna give that load to?

I get this line of thinking, and it's probably true at some places, but Prime is not one of them.

I ran on a lease truck during training, and have some friends here that run successful leases.

Lease trucks tend to run the higher rate freight in my experience and run less miles than company trucks. They also tend to stay out longer to not get eaten up by fixed costs.

Prime wants their lease trucks successful just as they want their company trucks successful. They make money off of both.

Please do not take these last two posts as endorsements for leasing a truck. I am a company driver, and plan to stay a company driver. If you are inexperienced, you have no business leasing a truck.

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