Comments By RookieTrucker

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Posted:  9 years, 9 months ago

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Drive for UPS or FedEx?

Here is another thing to think about. This is not something you will learn in a book or see in writing. It's a general feeling trucking industry wide. Almost every driver will give you an answer that is close to this....When asked what are you thoughts on UPS or FedEx and most drivers will say they do not like UPS or FedEx drivers. The companies are just fine. Nothing wrong with them. But the drivers though!

Now I did not say this to get a bunch of people to pile on UPS or Fedex. They are good companies but have very long waiting list to get a job there. The main reason people dislike the drivers for these companies is mainly due to the way they drive in ANY driving condition.

They drive to fast for conditions many times. Snow or ice or both they run full speed when they can. This is just another example of drivers giving companies a bad name.

OK, this I have noticed. It was so obvious, in fact, that I started wondering if there was something special about doubles and triples that gave them enough traction to run full speed when I was slowing down for the weather. Heh. I passed a UPS truck one day and literally said, our loud, "Holy crap! I just passed a UPS truck!" Figured he must have been having mechanical problems.

Posted:  9 years, 9 months ago

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Doubles & Triples (Oh My!)

I agree. It's worth it to get all of your endorsements. I tested for doubles/triples, tankers, and HAZMAT when I got my permit even though I never thought I'd drive any of them. Sure enough, as soon as I go looking to change jobs every place I applied to required all of them.

BTW, does anyone know why companies that require HAZMAT always want a tanker endorsement, too, even if they don't have any tankers in the fleet?

Posted:  9 years, 9 months ago

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Is it true:

Swift doesn't have any policies for giving you easier runs to start. The only way that will happen is if your DL specifically watches what loads you are getting and tries to make it easy on you or a maybe if something comes in that your mentor isn't comfortable with you taking and he/she does it him/her self. DL's rarely plan loads, the planners do. And planners don't know anything about drivers. They basically have a load they need to dispatch and see a list of trucks in the area. I didn't notice anything different between the loads I got in training and the ones I got solo.

Well, except for two things: The very first load I got when I went solo was probably the worst one I got the whole time there. 3 stops, all awful places to back into. And then about 2 months after going solo I had to deliver into those caves in Independence, MO. The instructions specifically said, "DO NOT SEND INEXPERIENCED DRIVERS HERE!!!!!!!!" I was like, "Wow, 2 months solo makes me an experienced driver now, I guess."

Posted:  9 years, 9 months ago

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Drive for UPS or FedEx?

You'll probably need a doubles endorsement and HAZMAT if you want to be considered.

Dave

UPS and FedEx won't even interview you if you don't have those endorsements. Every place I interviewed at that did any kind of LTL or city deliveries required them, but a couple said you had to have HAZMAT within like 60 days of being hired and they both offered to reimburse for it, too.

Posted:  9 years, 9 months ago

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Drive for UPS or FedEx?

Those are jobs that are very very very hard to get. They pay well. They have good benefits. It is really hard to go straight into driving for them. I worked for UPS many years ago in college. Just to get to the little brown truck you had to work the warehouse for a couple of years loading and unloading trucks just to have a chance if a position opened. There is a long list of people waiting from what I have been told.

I'd always heard that those two places have waiting lists to get into, but I think things are changing right now and it seems to be a good time to be a truck driver with a clean record. I recently decided to change companies and I applied to 12 different places. 10 interviewed me and 9 made me offers on the spot. FedEx took 2 days to get back to me with an offer. In talking to terminal managers I kept hearing the same thing: With the new regs they are all having a hard time finding "good" or "qualified" drivers. That's why they were making offers on the spot. The terminal manager at FedEx said he used to have people lined up around the block for every job posting, but now he hardly has enough people getting through the prescreen to even interview. FedEx actually kind of expedited the process for me because I said I was actually supposed to start another job in a couple of weeks, but that I really wanted to drive for FedEx and didn't want to have to start somewhere else and then quit right away, but I couldn't afford to wait around the normal 2 weeks to see if they were going to offer me a job. And, like I said, he had an offer to me in 2 days and I was taking a road test a couple of days after that. He didn't want me going somewhere else.

Not relating this to say there is anything special about me. I still feel like a noob. But it goes to show that if you have a clean record, clean background, and over a year driving experience, even FedEx isn't that hard to get into nowadays. Everyone is talking about a driver shortage. So, to the new drivers, just be safe, take your time, get in a year as a solid employee and the opportunities will be there if you want a change.

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

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Miles, miles...miles?

Yeah, I mentioned the home time to the planners. I misunderstood how it works, based on what my DM told me. So the reason I mentioned it was so they could plan me something close enough that I could still get home within my hours available. Had I been able to deliver that load on time it would have left me in Michigan with no hours to get back on. And my DM (who used to be a planner) has told me several times that planners don't look at home time requests, so if you don't say anything about it, they will just keep running you. The really ironic thing about your take on my conversation with my DM is that I have to confess that I'm not very original. That argument that I used about her not working on her days off is one that I got from an experienced driver on this site over a year ago. And when he used it with his dispatcher to get more home time everyone applauded his cleverness. When I say it, I'm a crybaby.

@Bart I am not against taking advice. I have gotten a lot of great information from this site that I have been able to use. But none of the other advice has been against the company rules or been illegal. These things might be great at other companies, but what I'm trying to impress on people is that they don't work here. And if those tips that will get me all the miles won't work here, then it stands to reason that you can't get the miles here.

The advice is mostly falling into 3 categories:

1) Go off duty whenever you can. This company is very strict in how they interpret the FMCSR rules on on-duty not driving. This company has made it very clear that doing most of these things will get you in trouble on a company audit (because that's how they interpret the regs). And that, in turn will at best put you into the "problem driver" category at the company, or at worst, get you fired. But I will take all of this advice from now on. So, Tip #1: Ignore the company rules. Hope you don't get audited.

2) Never decline loads. So, from now on, if I have to drive a few hours over my 14 or when my 11 or 70 run out to take a load, I will do it. Tip #2: Run illegally whenever a load requires it.

3) If you want to get home time, it means you don't want to make money. Only whiners go home. Tip #3: Never go home, never stop working.

Yeah, I"m kidding about the tips. But it does sound like that's what I'm being told. But I guess I will take tip #1 and hope I don't get fired for it and not able to get a job somewhere else, because it sounds like breaking the on-duty rules at this company is the only way I'm going to be able to make money.

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

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Miles, miles...miles?

Brett, you are misunderstanding or misconstruing a lot of the things I've said.

First of all, I mentioned before that I just started running regional 2 weeks ago. The mileages and everything I've mentioned before are based on over a year of running OTR all over the continental US and being out usually from 3 to 5 weeks. There is a page on the driver's website that tracks your dispatched miles and it floated around 1700 miles for the entire year. On OTR. I also keep track of the mileages in my own log. I also realize that this time of year is slow. My average was lower this time last year. But I also am aware that the last quarter of the year is supposed to be the busiest for freight. And my average dropped to around 1500-1600 miles a week for that time. Apparently you missed the part of the conversation where my DM said they try to get drivers UP TO an average of 1900 miles a week and when she told me that 2500 miles a week was completely unrealistic for a company driver. It doesn't seem to me that it would be unrealistic if drivers here are easily getting 2500 to 3000 miles.

My complaint about the home time on regional was not that I'm trying to get more time off. That's not why I switched to regional. I switched because my DM keeps suggesting it and they have different planners so I thought maybe a change would make a difference. My complaint was that she said "work monday through friday" and "home more." That set an expectation in my mind. But you're right. I should automatically know that in trucking when they say Monday through Friday it means Monday through Saturday. It was stupid of me to think Friday meant Friday.

OK, fine. I'm totally screwing up my logging. But I just pulled this from one of the training documents that Swift has on the driver's Swift University site:

"Example #2: You pull into the dock and give them the paperwork for the load. They tell you to sit in the truck and wait for the light to turn green. When it does you can then pull away. While waiting, you are ON DUTY. The reason for this is because you are not free to pursue your own interests and cannot leave the property."

That's how Swift reads the regulations and that is what Swift expects. It also quotes the FMCSR where it states you have to be on duty while taking care of your paperwork and where it states if you are doing work on behalf of the company you are required to be on duty. And as a side note, if the customer does say that you can leave the property, Swift tells you to get name and number of who released you and try to get it in writing. When they send out the messages talking about what people are getting in trouble for, going off duty at customers is always on the list. Maybe Swift's lawyers are misreading this part of the reg. But I highly doubt that if I get audited and they see me going off duty while at customers that it's going to do me any good to say, "Other drivers do this all the time" or "the guy's at Trucking Truth said you're full of crap." I don't set the rules. The Feds and Swift do. If Swift is misreading the rules, and I'm following them so I don't end up getting fired, are you really saying that's me screwing up? I soaked up a lot of information on this site about tips and tricks to logging and started at Swift all set to use them and get ahead of the other drivers and then over time found out that Swift is strict about not letting you do them. What's going to happen if I start doing all of these things, Swift fires me, and when I go looking for a job at another trucking company they find out that I got fired for "falsifying logs." But fine. I want to make more money, so I'll start going off duty as often as possible and hope I don't get audited.

Yeah, I decline a lot of loads. But I don't think you understand what I mean by that. I said before that if we can't take a load due to hours of service we have to so "No, I cannot accept this plan" and then give them an eta for when you can pick it up and deliver it. (Which sounds like exactly the same thing as Blue Angel said.) If the times you give are within the window, they will send the load plan back to you with those new times. If not, they take the load off of you. If I say I can take a load and can't get it there on time, I risk a service failure. Too many service failures will get you fired. I said I turned down those two loads because I do not have enough time on my 14 to deliver them. In other words, I would have to run illegally to take these loads as they are planned. There was not enough time between the pickup and delivery times to deliver them early, within my 14. This is the only reason I turn down loads. So are you telling me that if they send me a load and I have to run 2 hours over my 14 to deliver it then I am wrong? I thought we were supposed to try to protect our CDLs. And, oh yeah, my Terminal Manager backed me up on declining those loads so I don't have to run illegally. So I guess he doesn't want me to get miles either.

(Cont)

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

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What company's that offer sponsored training recruit in florida?

From what I understand, most companies don't care where you actually request your home time to be. When I request home time the system asks me what zip code I want to get to for it.

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

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Miles, miles...miles?

Oh yeah, my terminal manager sent me another message saying he saw the message I sent to my fleet manager and he wants me to call him Monday so we can sit down with my DM "and look at things to make you (me) more money." Wish me luck with that.

Posted:  10 years, 1 month ago

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Miles, miles...miles?

This is just getting weird today. I've got this load that I could have delivered last night, but I have to sit on it and deliver it at O-dark-30 tomorrow morning. They are still really backed up on Costco loads, so they keep sending me loads that pick up and deliver tomorrow. I keep turning the loads down because the delivery times are after my 14 will be up. Also, the loads won't be ready to pick up in time for me to deliver them early. Costco stores don't care if you get there early. If they had a load that I could get picked up and deliver it early before my clock runs out, I'd take it. But I go round and round with planners about this all the time. They don't take into consideration that you have to start your clock before you deliver your early load. They are apparently getting ****ed at me for turning these loads down. I've gotten messages telling me to update my PTA. My PTA is fine. I'll be available after I deliver this load I'm on. But they don't seem to get that I don't have 14 hours at that point. My DL has called me to find out what the problem with taking these loads is. And apparently the planners are raising a fuss because I just got a message from my Terminal Manager saying he agrees with me about my 14 and doesn't want anyone running illegally. (That message looks like it was sent so there would be a record of it and the planners could see it.) Come on. I keep explaining that I can't take these loads legally and everyone up to my Terminal Manager has to get involved?

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