Profile For Woody

Woody's Info

  • Location:
    Terre Haute, IN

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 9 months ago

Woody's Bio

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Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Health insurance

Insurance was a extremely important in my choice. I work for YRC and have medical dental and vision. All I pay is my $55 union dues.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Drivers Guaranteed Pay for All On-Duty Hours - Transportation Bill

I am on my way out the door, wish I had more time to respond since there are several different topics in this thread.

First to the original topic about being paid for on duty time versus millage. I work for a union company and this is how it already is for us. About the only time I do not get paid for is my pretrip, paperwork, and breaks. Brett is right going to hourly would probably reduce productivity so I get paid CPM. But if I have to wait at the terminal for a load, wait for a truck repair, set on an impassable highway, or spend too much time in a hotel waiting to be dispatched I get paid for my time. At full scale it is around $21 per hour. I log ALL my on duty hours because I am getting paid. That being said since we are on paper logs of course there are drivers who do not log the way I do.

As far as the companies being able to pay more than they do I will say I both agree and disagree with what Brett is saying. Since we normally try to talk about things we have direct experience from I will. The OTR company I started with was known for being able to put extra money on your loads and I had it happen quite often. How often? If you are a good driver that runs and they want to keep you from leaving they will put extra money on every load. Does that mean they are swimming in cash? Not by a long shot. Trucking is a touch competitive field with low margins. But if they have extra money to throw on loads with little to no negotiations then there is extra money there to pay the driver.

There is a horrible trend going on in the business world that is increasing an already out of hand income inequality. Employees are taking pay cuts while the CEO's pay is going up even higher than it ever was. It happened to my wife, who is a nurse. And now it has happened in trucking. During the down turn of 08 the teamsters negotiated a pay cut, or what the company likes to label a "give back". In fact there were a couple of them that ended up totaling 15%. While still working under this 15% pay cut 3 of the top CEO's in one of the companies have received pay INCREASES this year worth a combined 14 MILLION.

Brett I totally get where you are coming from and for the most part agree. But the trends that are going on in our country these days are sickening. The hospital my wife used to work for is now in the process of trying to go union because of everything that has happened in the last few years. This was once the best hospital to work for and one that my wife said she would never leave. That was until greed took over and everything changed. On a side note a nurse in that hospital was recently fired for her efforts to move the union forward. So much for her "right to work".

I do not think all the trucking companies are swimming in money. Not even close. But I do think a great number of them can be paying more than they do. In fact I hear adds all the time about the pay going up.

Guess I had more time than I thought. But one last note to go along with what has happened in trucking at least with my limited knowledge and experience. I worked in the flooring industry for some 15+ years, managing a store the last 5. In all those years I only increased my freight factor one time, and that was around 2010 I believe maybe even a little later. So while everything in our country was going up in cost, my price to get it delivered to my store had seen little to no increase. We have talked before about all the things that we able to make this happen but an essential pay cut for the drivers must be included in those figures.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Safety First

'cause somebody didn't do a tug test.

You have no way of knowing if they did a tug test. I won't go through the entire story but it happened to me. I was still with a trainer and had hooked to a trailer. I tugged it three to four times, had driven a mile or two taking about six turns. Then the trailer dropped.

Now I ALWAYS get under and look.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Make a Rookie feel better?

Yes it gets easier. One day you will just realize that your no longer sweating the things you used to like shifting gears.

And yes I love that part of the country. I work out of Indianapolis and take runs down to Charlotte or other terminals in that neck of the woods. They are my favorite trips, especially if I get to run that area during the day LOL.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Looking for work in Nashville, any suggestions?

I work for YRC and go into Nashville once in a while to one of our Terminals. It is a Union linehaul company with great benefits. You might check them out. I think Old Dominion has a terminal there as well which is another one I would look into.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 3 months ago

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What's per diem all about?

Keep in mind - the TRUCKING COMPANY'S like per diem, because they are not responsible for "matching tax payments" for SSI/FICA. So it costs them less "out of pocket" to give you a portion of your pay this way.

Rick

That is not the only reason the companies like per diem. Some companies, probably most, keep 1 to 3 cpm for doing the per diem. In my humble opinion it is a racket that sucks people in because the checks are higher. I in fact tried to NOT be paid per diem at one company and it was next to impossible to get them to take me off of a program that I said from the start I did not want to use.

To me its a numbers game. I do not remember the exact numbers from my previous employer but here is the basic run down. Lets say I was being paid 30 cpm. On the per diem schedule they would deduct 14cpm to be figured as non taxed (at that time) income. Of that 14 cents I actually was paid 12. So they kept 2 cpm for doing the program. When I questioned them on it I was told it was for fees they had to pay to the government.

There is a reason some companies push and sell their drivers so hard on per diem pay and it is NOT because it benefits the driver.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Forced Dispatch

Yes the higher percentage means drop and hook more often. But sometimes this can bite you in the keister. Just because a load is to be dropped does not always mean there is a trailer there to pick up. Meaning you may be sent on a wild goose chase looking for another trailer. My worst case was spending an entire weekend looking for a trailer then when I finally got one and made it to the shipper the load was already gone. Yes I was paid for the miles but I really didn't make any money. I was amazed how many times the company really didn't know where their trailers were.

Brett mentioned in his book about making notes on where you have found empties in the past, it is a good habit to get into.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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How Do You Get Loaded Or Unloaded Early?

In bad weather I would call and let them know I am shut down just a few miles away and ask if I could deliver early in order to open a slot later in the day for drivers that are delayed by the road conditions. Sometimes people like to help other people but they ALWAYS like to help themselves. Pointing out that getting you out early might help them later in the day is often a good approach.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Forced Dispatch

Drop and hook means you drop one trailer and pick up another one. This way you don't have to set waiting to get loaded or unloaded and gets you moving quicker.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Forced Dispatch

I agree with Red, if I were still OTR I too would want the option. Maybe not so much to actually turn down a load but it gives you negotiating power. When I worked for Knight if they had a load they really wanted to get covered it was pretty easy to get some extra cash thrown on top of the standard pay. With forced dispatch this would not have been an option. While I never turned down a load I did earn some extra cash from time to time.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Best GPS for new drivers

I have the Rand 720 and overall am very happy with the unit. But as with all GPS units you have to watch the routing as sometimes it is just insane. I bought mine from the Rand website as a refurbished unit. A quick search online and I found a 20% off code so the unit shipped was like $210. Hard to beat!

When it arrived they did not ship the cig lighter power cord. I sent them an email that night then called the next morning to find out they had received the email and my cord was already in the mail.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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What would you do?

I work for YRC and doubt that you got anyone in trouble. Doesn't matter how many times drivers check them those darn pig tails between the trailers can find a way to work loose.

To add another level of learning to this thread for new drivers I'll add that he may have known the lights were out. I say this because I've had it happen a couple times but in one case I did not immediately pull over. I was going from Indianapolis to charleston WV traveling on US35. I was on the section that is two lanes and winding road with no shoulder. Now there are a couple of places that I could stop but I decided it was actually more safe to keep going and wait until it was back to split 4 lane. At either of the available places I would have had to come to a very slow speed before pulling off. This on a road where most trucks are doing sixty and no where for them to go if they did not notice me with my lights out.

I HATE driving with no lights on a trailer but in this case there was no way i was going to take the chance of pulling over. Sometimes you have to weigh the risks and do something you normally would not do because it is actually the safer action.

BTW Heavy most drivers would appreciate you going out of your way to try and keep people safe.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Why get an endorsement you don't want?

Ill tell you why, because you dont know when an opportunity may arrise that you needed the endorsements for.

I came out of school with all my endorsements. I drove OTR for 4 months just waiting to ger enough experience to move to linehaul. A friend told me some were taking people straight out of school so i got online and applied immediately. A few weeks later i was making twice the money, had full paid insurance, and was home at least a couple times a week if not more.

I told a friend of mine about it and he now works here too but he had to wait until he got the endorsements. Took him a few months because he had to do it on home time, he was otr. Most linehaul jobs work off seniority and he losrt SEVERAL spots because he couldnt get back to get those endorsements.

And as far as pulling doubles 6 String is right, its no biggie in fact in many case it is easier. Yes you can flip the rear pup much fasrer than a long box but if you do your job its not a problem. You do have to be even more cautious on bad roads but the way i drive in bad weather im safe anyway. As long as you dont try to back up too far its really no big deal.

Not trying to talk you into doubles but you will kick yourself later if you need the endorsement and dont have it.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Truck Driver Drinking while OFF DUTY

I have often heard that in your personal vehicle cdl holders are only allowed .04 but have never seen the actual law written anywhere. Can anyone confirm this?

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Need advice. Start with a new company or just stay put!

Hi Mike, welcome to the boards.

It all depends on what you want. Based on what I would want I would not take that deal. But to me being home every weekend is worth quite a bit. You really just need to break things down. They have 401k but your taking a pay cut to get it. Would you be better off taking the 200 per month you would lose and investing that in a retirement fund on your own? The stock option would probably be the toughest one to figure out if it is worth it or not.

You do not say where you are located. If you are close to a major city you may want to look into LTL running line haul. Companies like Old Dominion, ABF, YRC, Conway. Old Dominion seems to be a great company with good equipment and pay is very good. I work for YRC which is a union company. My CPM pay is currently lower than what I could probably make at OD but I get paid for time on things that other companies do not pay and my biggest advantage is my family insurance is free. My biggest concern where I am is the retirement package. It has taken a pretty big hit over that last few years. Problem is with the things that are going on in the political world I'm not sure how safe retirement is anyplace right now. Thats one reason I mention maybe staying put and investing on your own. I will be getting raises over the next few years that if all goes as planned I will take that money and invest on my own for retirement.

If I had 12 years experience it would be very hard for me to move to another company that would be paying me less.

Just my oppinion.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Wow, didnt see that commin!

If I had read that story on any site other than Trucking Truth I probably would not have believed it!

Best shipper award without question.

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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What if the DOT Officer is mistaken?

Any way to "fight" a mistake on their part?

In this case no, there is not. Even if it where something you wanted to fight you couldn't since he only gave you a warning. A ticket you can fight but unless I was misinformed in school there is nothing you can do about a warning.

Just a little FYI.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 4 months ago

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Possible Blizzard Conditions and Heavy Snow for North East - Winter Storm Juno

Thanks for the heads up 6. I am going out this afternoon I hope they don't send me up there!

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

View Topic:

What is a realistic expectation for first year salary?

Yea .25cpm is kind a low, I started at 28 two years ago and now have .35CPM..

I'm not sure which surprises me more, a new driver at .25 per mile or a driver with 2 yrs experience accepting .35 CPM.

David I know there is a lot to be said for a company with which you are comfortable. But I gotta ask why you are still there knowing other companies would gladly pay more to snag a driver with 2 yrs in the seat? This is a sincere question, they must treating you well.

And Snappy there is no way I would sleep while someone else is driving for .17cpm. I see you are in Indiana too, if you are with in an hour or so of indy you need to get ahold of me. I don't get on here much anymore and often forget to check my email but send me a PM if you want.

Woody

Posted:  3 years, 5 months ago

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Am i out of line here?

I think that did a lot of damage honestly. Build your relationship with your DM with kindness, respect,safety, and favors. Trust me, your DM knows you've been getting terrible loads lately without you telling them. To get the good stuff, you have to work through the bad stuff. Sending a message to your DM asking for more miles or a nice load isn't a bad idea. But how you ask makes all the difference. That message you sent is definitely not the type of message your DM wants to hear. Here's a few messages I send when asking for more miles:

As is usually the case when following a post by Old School or Daniel there isn't much left to add. The only thing I will throw out to go along with this paragraph is that I thanked my dispatcher for EVERY load I was given. In fact I still do even though in my current set up dispatch often times has little to no control over the load I end up with.

Just keep in mind every crappy load is not a crappy load (no pun intended) it is an opportunity to show your DM you are different than most drivers. And believe it or not somewhere there is a driver with no load wishing he had yours

shocked.png

Woody

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