Profile For SVTDriver97

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    Company Driver In Training

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    11 years ago

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Posted:  9 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My time at Dart...(The BBQ Sauce Complaint)

Maybe you guys took my post incorrectly, and you're right, I will come back and defend that I don't have an entitlement mentality. That would be the generation or two after mine actually.

The way I look at it here...I am very appreciative that Dart even took the time to fly me down there. I'm amazed actually because from what I heard from a few of the other guys down there, they had to spend up to 2 days on a Greyhound to get there, and that ain't no picnic. Then here I come, and I get to FLY down there. It's VERY nice that they did that actually. I had it easy from the start. I'm not denying that, nor did I complain about it. Merely mentioning that my flight was canceled, which is still a PITA because my ride had to come back to the airport, then I had to find another ride to the airport the next day. Again...a little bit of an inconvenience, but not the worst it could ever be, and just because I didn't mention it in my original posts...doesn't mean i'm not appreciative of it either.

When I wrote my posts, I wanted to get it all out before I forgot anything, and looking back I can see how you guys could take it the wrong way. It can be taken as whiny, but please don't.

I fail to see how I came out thinking that I "know everything there is to know about trucking", or had any other kind of entitlement attitude? You must realize that I've spent the last several years in a white collar job. My last blue collar job was over 10 years ago, so I wasn't expecting to stay at the Hilton when I got to Dallas, I also wasn't expecting to be stepping on pubes in my room either, so I hope you can see what i'm trying to say here. I would rather sleep in a dirty bunk in a truck than be stepping on someone else's pubes in my room personally.

The folks at Dart didn't realize my attitude and didn't "get me outta there" as soon as they could, because I kept my trap shut and listened to what was going on. I didn't have any kind of attitude. I was a sponge, and didn't say a peep to any of the managers or directors while I was there. Trust me, I asked plenty of questions to my recruiter before I got down there. I never even knew there was this PCT test, because my recruiter never mentioned it. Nothing. Nada. Zip, Zilch. I asked about the physical and what was all involved, and all she told me was that there was a pee test, blood pressure test and that's it. All she did was give me instructions on what to do when I get to town. Not sure if posting what is said in the email is the correct thing to do in this case, then again....I simply wanted to tell everyone what happened on my very first experience with a major carrier, and if you want to go ahead and add my story to wall of morons or whatever, go ahead, it couldn't bother me any less. I really don't care what you have to say here either, and it's not a matter of me being scared to defend myself Old School. People will have their opinions about me throughout life and there's nothing I can do about it. I can't change your opinion about me as you read this either. I have however spent enough time on the ol' internets here to know not to get into some sort of childish pathetic insult match with someone I don't know on the internet. I thought this forum was supposed to help support drivers, both new and old?? Just because I come out here complaining about not being paid for my training due to some BS corporate technicality, or wasting 4 days of my life when I could've been actually driving for another company...all of a sudden I write the dumbest post in history?? Sorry, but your take on all of this is way off in left field here. I do appreciate your diatribe on me ending on a high note at least, but in the end I really don't care what you have to say either.

I didn't rifle off any complaints while I was down there, but the majority of the rest of my class did. I went into this whole thing humble and meek, and i'll do it again for the next job.

I mentioned the 23 second flub on a log because that's what the Safety Director told us. She crawled up and down this driver that made that mistake. I'm not sure how he could've....maybe his finger slipped? I don't know. But the fact is that she had to bring it up. Knowing me and my sausage fingers, I could see something like that happening to me at least once as well. I take my performance on jobs very seriously, and doing something like that and then being, as she put it, "reamed for it", it would upset me. But that's in the past.

"The cab driver didn't live up to your expectations?" Ya know Brett, you're right, i'm wrong to think texting while driving during an ice storm is a bad thing. What a moron I am.

I had the wrong idea about this site, so I won't be posting here again. I already belong to one forum as it is, and it's hard enough to find time to keep up with both. Especially when I come out here telling everyone what my experience was like and get nothing but flak from it, so you guys can keep it.

Keep on truckin'!!

Posted:  9 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My time at Dart...(The BBQ Sauce Complaint)

Also, to add the final cherry on the cake.........

I asked my recruiter when I would be paid for my training time. She said that since I didn't "fully complete" the physical portion of the training, I would not be paid for my time. read that right, I would NOT be paid for the 4 days I spent trying to get hired with these guys. All because my back scrapped, i'm a failure. I passed everything else just fine and dandy, but because my back hit, that's job for me.

They told us we would be paid a whopping $7.25/hr, or $60/day, so I SHOULD be getting paid $240, but apparently not.

I am filing a dispute with the Texas Workforce Commission to make sure not only myself, but also my buddy, and anyone else who may get burned by these guys.

The training is laughable, the recruiters LIE, and LIE lower than snakes. The meals are NOT what they say they will be. If you saw the state of the carpet in my hotel room, you wouldn't even want to wear boots on it, it was so disgusting. My outlet next to my bed was missing the cover, so while trying to plug in your phone charger, you could easily electrocute yourself. Multiple bulbs were burnt out, and the toilet constantly ran in my room.

Take this as gospel and first hand of what working for Dart can be like. They monitor your logs religiously, and will definitely chew you out and ream you a new one if you so happen to accidentally mark your pre-trip as 23 seconds long. Or other log events that raise any red flags. Now don't get me wrong here...I know that watching what us truckers are doing can be important to making sure you don't go through any problems with DOT. Ok...I get that. But I also know that sometimes mistakes can happen, and from what I could tell from their safety director, she will be up your ass constantly if you just so happen to mess up.

Speaking as a recent grad, we're bound to make mistakes, and I personally take some of this stuff to heart, so I can tell that Dart and I would not have gotten along very well in the long run. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and there's a reason I was not meant to be with them. All I have to do is simply trust in him and move on down the road to the next opportunity that presents itself.

Posted:  9 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My time at Dart...(The BBQ Sauce Complaint)

So after I told her that I had failed this PCT test, she left. Few minutes later, they call me and my buddy into their office where the nurse was there. Then they proceeded to say that because we didn't pass the test, they would now be sending us home. My buddy FLIPPED out on the lady, and eventually had to throw his hands up and walk out before it got too ugly.

Now, keep in mind here guys, that this was for their ADU program. I think it stands for Advanced Dart University. Which covers the local programs like the MN Short-haul and other Short-haul positions across the country. Also take note that the word "University" is in there...i'll get to that part in a second. Keeping in mind that we're part of this program...we're not part of the leasing/owner operator program they have as well. The owner operators/leasers don't have to take the physical.

Yes you read that right....they do NOT have to take any physical whatsoever!!!

They have their own insurance, their own truck....all that, and they still don't have to take the physical test. You could be 500 lbs, barely able to turn the wheel around your gut, with bacon grease dripping down your many chins, all while being an inch away from a fatal heart attack while driving a 80,000 lb moving death machine with their name on both your truck AND the trailer, and they're fine with that. But oh no...the second I can't "duck walk" under a trailer, i'm grossly unqualified to work for them. They said, "the owner operators/leasers work for Dart Co, which is different part of the company". Well gee whiz skippy, regardless if they work for a different part of Dart...doesn't mean that they don't have YOUR COMPANY'S NAME ON THE SIDE OF THEIR TRUCK AND TRAILER, NOW DOES IT?!?!?!?! If they cause an accident, no one is going to know OR care if they work for a different part of Dart, they're going to see that name on there and put 2 and 2 together. Am I right?!?

I tried to reason with them and TRIED to work some common sense out of them, but because it's a 'corporate policy', there was "nothing they could do for me". I brought up the fact that just because my back scraped the 2nd time, didn't mean I couldn't do the job I was being hired for. Which is true. I'm not a trucker yet, and i'm still a newb here, but if i'm going to be doing my pre/post trip inspection on my trailer, i'm going to get down on my hands and knees to make sure I can have my balance, and be able to properly examine the brakes, hoses, air bags, etc....without trying to steady myself while being crouched. Maybe i'm the weirdo here, but that's how I would do it personally. I wouldn't care if the ground is wet or dirty, this is trucking and you can't keep a clean appearance 100% of the time.

So, while I was trying to reason with them, my recruiter steps in behind these people i'm arguing with, with a folded piece of paper. It's my travel arrangements. She had them printed up and made before I was even done saying "but but but" to them. Ok? Whatever happened to, "i'm not sure, you'll have to talk to safety on that one" crap?!? I guess you sure DO know what's going to happen, especially since while i'm being told i'm not qualified for the job, you have my travel arrangements already printed up....

So anyway, I grab my stuff, and long story short, make it back to the hotel and eventually fly home.

Now I want to bring up this ADU thing. They mentioned that it was some sort of "Dart university" program that we were involved in. Here's what I think is going on here...[edited out by Brett Aquila as speculation. We're not going to spread conspiracy theories here. Present facts and we'll reconsider]

Posted:  9 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My time at Dart...(The BBQ Sauce Complaint)

I had called my recruiter that night at about 9:45 to tell her that I didn't have a room and needed to know what to do from there. She called me back at 5:15 the next morning. I told her what the front desk guy said and then she started in on the blame game..."the Clarion hotel sells our rooms to other people, so they shouldn't have done that". (i'll hint more on this later about how she likes to play the blame game)

After my first night there, the ice had pretty much slowed everything to a crawl down there. Buses were running way behind, cops were busy with everyone else, it was like the apocalypse down there. Being from MN, a little ice never scared me, but whatever. We were about 45 minutes late by the time the shuttle delivered us to the facility. Get in, fill out our paperwork and go over basic paperwork that would normally be expected. Now is the time where I want to mention that my recruiter mentioned that while at their facility, we would be "fed like kings". I'd really like to see what kingdom she's thinking about, because that would be a very depressing kingdom!! I got roasted chicken, a slice of Texas toast, and some nasty BBQ sauce. After we were fed, we finished off the day with a basic physical and drug test in this tiny little shack they built at their facility. I passed everything with flying colors no problem. We sat around and waited for the shuttle to show up that night, and it was about 2 hours after we called by the time they would show up. I had left on foot because the hotel was probably 3-5 miles away from the facility, and figured i'd get some exercise in. I met the shuttle 3/4 of the way, and figured i'd ride with back to Dart to pick up the rest of my class.

Day 2 rolls around, this time we leave close to on time, get to Dart, and now it's mainly safety videos and procedures. Afterwards, we were told we had to take the PCT (Physical Competency Test)...which I had no idea I had to take. My recruiter did not tell me I had to take this test. I didn't think much of it. It consists of carrying a milk crate with two 25 pound weights in it back and fourth 6 times to simulate walking the length of a tractor and trailer, and they measure your heart rate, then you simulate climbing in and out of the truck, climbing up and down on what would be the trailer, pushing and pulling and finally the "duck walk". This was all done on something they built that you can clearly tell they spent a LOT of money on rofl-3.gif :

simulated cab at trucking school for the DOT physical

The nurse who was administering this test did not fill me in on what was expected of me, and keep in mind that we only had 2 attempts. I had passed everything up to this point just fine. My first time, I duck walked underneath, lost my balance and had to put my hand down to regain balance. "That's a fail, get out and do it again" she said. The 2nd time went perfectly, except my back scraped the bar, which then she said, "you failed, i'm sorry, send in the next person".

Now, I was a little confused by all of this, just because my back scraped, I failed? Even those I completed it perfectly fine otherwise? Ok so now what?

Well, I went back inside, had my "lunch of kings"...this time it was slices of turkey, Texas toast again and the same nasty BBQ sauce. Sitting around, waiting, waiting and waiting. I had a buddy of mine in there as well, and his back scraped as well. He asked what I thought was going to happen, to which I replied, "I bet they'll now send us home, because of some stupid ass BS corporate insurance mumbo jumbo". Some lady came walking in looking for someone, and I asked if she knew my recruiter, she said she did, and I asked if she would send her in. She came walking in a bit later, and I asked her what all this meant, she replied, "I'm not sure, that's not my department, you'll have to talk to safety on that"...(more blame game crap here...) I then mentioned that she did not send me anything about this in my paperwork or emails from earlier. She replied she did, and I enforced that she did not. Then she continued to get a little snippy with me and assured me that she did. I still have all the emails saved that she sent to me, and it is NOT on there.

Next post....

Posted:  9 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

My time at Dart...(The BBQ Sauce Complaint)

Hello everybody! First time poster here....I want to tell you about my time at Dart and to spread the word about what happened...

I am a recent graduate of a trucking school in the Twin Cities and decided I would go out and try to find my first trucking job. I was getting offers left and right, but eventually decided on Dart because of the MN Short-haul they had going at the time. I would be out for 2-3 days, and home for 2-3 days. With 2 kids and a gf, it seemed like the perfect fit.

I graduated in early January, I won't say from what school because from what I last heard through the grapevine...Dart apparently owns part of it, so I don't want to step on any toes there necessarily.

So I was casually looking around for the right fit for me and my family around early February. My recruiter had talked to me and assured me that training would be at their main HQ in Eagan MN. So I put in my 2 weeks at my last job, and was planning on my last day as February 13th. Friday the 13th roles around, it's my last day, and then all of a sudden, my recruiter calls me up and cancels the training at Eagan!!! I was not happy, and I did everything I could from calling her everything under the sun for doing that. She said that they didn't have enough trainers up here, so they had to cancel it. I realized that it probably wasn't her fault, so I didn't go off on her, but still...that should've been sign #1 to run, but I figured i'd stick with it. She then said that we would have to reschedule it and she wasn't sure when that was going to be. She said she would know by next week. Keep in mind that I just put in my 2 weeks, and I was training my replacement at the time, so luckily my manager let me stay an extra week and I was able to make it work.

Next week roles around, and she says that they will be having training at their Dallas facility. She was about to throw me on a Greyhound, but I put a stop to that real quick and said to make sure I fly down. So she booked me a flight down. Flash forward to Sunday when I was supposed to fly down, and all of a sudden my flight is canceled from Houston to Dallas!! So when I call her up and tell her the news...she says, "well, we may have to reschedule your training for another time then". Since I was standing at the gate in the airport, I had to keep my voice down, but it was very hard to because I was so red ass ****ed off at this point. I said, "you do realize I just quit my job for you and this company right?!?". She said she realized it, but she can't help the weather. No, really...I figured you had that magical power?!?

So, after making calls, and trying everything I could to make sure I get down there in time, the lady at the gate was able to get me a flight directly down to Dallas the next day. So I took that.

I get to Dallas, and they're just getting out of some major ice storm they had, which basically shut the whole place down. Once I arrived, I was supposed to call my taxi driver that they use for all their drivers that fly in from out of state. I had told him earlier on what time I would be there, and he was still an hour and a half later than when he was supposed to be there originally. She was telling me how clean he kept his cab, and how what a nice guy he was. She was right about him being nice, but that guy did NOT keep his cab clean, AND he has no concept of throttle control, braking control, or turn signals. Oh...and let's not forget that he was texting while driving in the middle of icy roads and streets. I was all setup to stay at the Clarion hotel, (which he regarded as being a "very nice place"). I don't know if i'm used to nicer places or what, but the Clarion hotel in Lancaster TX is a nasty, nasty place to be. I arrive at the front desk and before I can tell him my name and my reservation number, he's already telling me that they have no more rooms available for the night. I said, "i'm with Dart, i'm supposed to have a room available". He replied, "that's the problem with Dart...they book rooms without even knowing if we have any available". After reasoning with the guy that I was tired and needed a room like I was supposed to have, he finally found me a DBL Queen room, so I took it and crashed.

I'm running out of space on this post so i'll make another one...

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