Profile For Ted N.

Ted N.'s Info

  • Location:
    Charlotte, NC

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 5 months ago

Ted N.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Appointment times or [by the] log book?

Do you think the tax law applies the same to both part time and full time company drivers?

Posted:  7 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Appointment times or [by the] log book?

Hey guys, I've been sticking with the company and have made a little progress towards driving by the book.

Now, a new issue -

I just found out that I am a 1099 employee, not a W-2! According to the research I just completed, as a company driver who doesn't own the truck or find my own routes they should be paying me as a W-2 employee... does everybody agree?

Considering that independent contractors pay almost twice the taxes that employees do, my 45 cents a mile doesn't sound so good anymore. And the filing every 3 months is a pain as well. Is it time to find a better company, or are these issues not that serious?

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Appointment times or [by the] log book?

First off - thanks for your service.

As Brett elaborated - smaller companies do run "Old School" (aka: Outlaw). For people that came up that way in the biz, and learned (or better yet - WERE TAUGHT) how to "fix logs" - that's one thing. I have friends that run for a small outfit with a dually & 5th wheel trailer (motorcycle transport) that run 3 log books, and have other friends that work for regular trucking companies that also run 2 or 3 logs.

While I understand what Brett is saying - and agree that, you can definitely make more $$ and have more flexibility "cheating" - the fact of the matter is - coupled with good time management, there is still some difficulty with running way over legal driving time - and not being EXHAUSTED. Even truck drivers need sleep.

Now - if your "boss" and dispatcher are willing to sit down and give you a class on "outlaw logging", so at least you can look somewhat kosher (since you're new at this) if your logs are inspected, and the pay is just SO GOOD that you're willing to risk this - go for it. But if (god forbid) you get in an accident and someone is badly injured or dies - they will pick apart your logs with a fine-tooth-comb, and even if you weren't at fault in the accident, if you're caught running falsified logs, it becomes CRIMINAL.

Living in NC, you have many opportunities to sign on with pretty much any carrier. With recent verifiable experience, you should get "checked out" to run solo pretty fast.

So again - unless you're being COMPENSATED in an amount commensurate with the risk you're taking (which might make it worthwhile), I would considering moving on to a carrier that would not require such risks.

Rick

Thanks Rick.

I do value sleep and safety over $, and therefore I am probably the only person at my company that actually agrees with most of the log book rules. I want neither the stress nor time expenditure wasted on running multiple logs. I also can't imagine there are any places in the truck that allow quick access to a hidden log that a thorough inspection won't find.

The compensation is definitely not worth the risk. They pay 45 cents a mile, and then an hourly rate for sitting on duty more than 2 hours. At the same time, when the "safety" guy tried to educate me on cheating logs by telling me to deduct the time I annotate for being loaded and unloaded, I was thinking to myself "wait a minute, I get paid by my logs so if I spend 4 hours at a destination and only write down 30 minutes, I just screwed myself out of 2 hours of hourly pay!".

I am going on another trip tomorrow, so I will try to come in early so that I can sit down with my dispatcher and try to help him find a load that will keep me legal, for that day at least, and also reaffirm my goal to him to drive by the book. I have hinted to them that if I get a load that is outrageously illegal and I am not even close to making the times legally, I will try to reschedule the times but if I can't, I will have to decline out. I know it hurts the company to have a driver decline an accepted load and I hate to do it, but I would hate to hurt my new commercial driving record even more.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Appointment times or [by the] log book?

I'm thinking your boss is expecting you to run as he would have with "loose leaf" logs. basically tricking the system. I and Im sure everyone one else here, would suggest not doing this. It's not worth it.

As for these ridiculous appointment times, Run them the best you can. If you can keep yourself from "starting" your clock, IE if you get dispatched the day before and can make it to the pickup night/day before, then you can milk it and not officially starting your clock. Once you get loaded, you can start your log book from the time you leave the shipper and that should give you your full set of hrs to run and might help you out. There is also the split sleeper bearth. Not sure if that will help you out a lot, but its an option.

The biggest thing is to try and get to pick ups as i said the earliest you can. Using google maps/earth will help you tell if they have any truck parking near by, you can also at times google search the customers name and get a phone number. I use google maps, and can most of the time find a number.

This is a great idea, I will do this whenever given the opportunity.

Sounds like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place :) Thank you for all the input everyone.

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Appointment times or [by the] log book?

If said company is scheduling their loads in such tight time frames and it's forcing you to either be late every time and risking you being fired or run ilegal which risks you're career and lic, I would stay to, as Thunder said, weighing my options.

Depending on you job history, you may want to think about other companies. Personally I'm not risking my cdl or career over a company that wants me to be on time while running unsafe.

Appreciate all the responses! How I got my CDL - I have been in the military (still in the National Guard) for 11 years and some change, and a lot of that time was in the transportation career field so I was trained and licensed on almost everything with wheels, including tractor trailer. When I decided to get a CDL, I only had to take the written test and waived the skills portion as my leadership was able to provide proof that I had at least 2 years tractor trailer driving experience, so many hours, etc - all true of course. Some major differences are: military is exempt from log books, exempt from weigh stations, no getting off the interstate when driving through major cities, and we hardly ever back up to loading docks. Most of our reversing required less precision, and less tight spaces. So a few things I'm getting used to as an OTR driver.

When I heard from a relative about this small company who was hiring and signed up with them, I was not surprised when they handed me the keys to the truck and a JJ Keller Log Book manual (ha!) and sent me on my first run solo. In fact, I have not spent a single minute driving with anyone else. At first I thought this is good, but now I realize there are down-sides to this as well. I would like to know what an experienced guy already working for the company would do when he see's these crazy loads I've been getting with impossible delivery times.

Company info: small, no Qualcomm, not even a stereo in an OTR truck! (had to buy my own head unit), all dispatches by phone/text message, the owner has been an owner/operator/owner of the company for about 10 years, not sure how long he has been expanding, currently has 20-25 owner operators, and I am the only company driver. I am driving the truck that he used to drive before he transitioned to being in the office 95% of the time recently. I think I am the first company driver he has ever had, and one thing that I really like about this company is I completely make my own schedule. I can say I want to work 3 days, or I want to be home in 5 days, and they will make it happen. My military job frequently asks me to help out more than the standard "one weekend a month", and these guys have no problem with that, they never pressure me to work more than I can. The problem is when I am working, I am encouraged to run an outlaw log book and like Rick said, not only do I not want to drive illegally, I would probably fail to trick the system if I tried! I barely understand how to make entries legally haha; and I can tell that the system was designed with outlaws in mind as there are not many ways to cheat the times.

Due to the fact that they are so easy-going about my other job, I can't really switch companies as I'm sure most companies would not allow me so much home time and the freedom to make my own schedule. I guess I will concentrate on driving legally; just getting the feeling that they won't keep me around if I refuse to modify my logs. I guess if I get fired, it wasn't meant to be :(

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Appointment times or [by the] log book?

Hi Ted

What David said is part of it. We really need to know if you are being scheduled too tight or if it just isn`t jiving with your personal schedule. Make sense?

Either way, you are the one who will put his license in jeopardy by breaking the rules (have to put that out here). I have learned that there is a huge gray area when it comes to making the DM/FM happy and making appointments on time. Have you tried calling the shippers or consignees to see if one may let you pick up or deliver early to fix your schedule? Little things like that can make your life a bit easier.

If you can elaborate more we can give a better answer.

Thanks for the replies guys. I am on paper logs.

I wish it was as simple as deciding to sacrifice personal desires but I think this is more of a "reality and legality" issue. To better understand my dilemma, here is the most recent example:

Was scheduled a run with a pick up of 7pm, and delivery on noon the following day with a driving time of 8 hours in between (in ideal conditions). So that gives me 17 hours to start with. 17-8 hours for driving = 9 hours left. 9- 10 hour mandatory break = -1 hour. So I haven't even loaded yet and I am at negative 1 at the time of scheduling, before even picking up! Now lets add on the real world issues - loading = 3 hours in this instance. (At -4 hours). Snow through half of the drive = 1 hour added on to the drive (-5 hours). Sliding axles, and weigh station stops = -1 hour (my axles don't slide without hammering, major pain). Without even going into food/fuel/bathroom stops, I am now 6 hours behind schedule... does that make sense?

Getting to the pick up 30 minutes early, which I did, isn't going to help compensate for 6 hours. I have tried calling... when I do get a phone number, which my company does not always include in the load details text message I get; I encounter wrong numbers, no answer, or an unhelpful answer such as "if you can't make the time, you will need to reschedule to the following day".

I've heard of companies running drivers hard, but I don't think running hard and running outside of available log hours is the same thing... is it?

Posted:  7 years, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Appointment times or [by the] log book?

Apologize in advance if this has been discussed before, and I'm sure it has, but what should a company driver do when a dispatcher constantly schedules appointments that make it impossible to drive by the rules? By constantly I mean every single run! Every day I am forced to decide if I should "modify" a log, or arrive anywhere from 2 hours to 1 day late to an appointment. I am less than 2 months into my first year as a OTR trucker, and I know I should not quit, and finding another position with this little experience will be close to example... I feel lucky enough finding this job. I repeatedly ask the dispatcher and boss to let me drive by the rules, and they are nice enough, and say they will try, but it never happens. I do not make enough money to afford a log book violation ticket, and at the same time do not want to get fired for always being late. Lose-lose? I really want to drive by the book, especially as a new guy. Any advice?

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