Profile For Banks

Banks's Info

  • Location:
    North East, PA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 11 months ago

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Posted:  3 days, 5 hours ago

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Hit and run rant

With Ground is it usually 1 contractor that operates each terminal that then hires drivers or is it like 100 different O/O contractors?

No 1 contractor runs a terminal because it would give them too much leverage. If a contractor wants multiple lanes, they'll usually get spread out to other terminals.

Posted:  3 days, 6 hours ago

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Hit and run rant

FB post says it was FedEx, so I'll chime in here. It was not the LTL carrier.

I can tell you for certain it was not FedEx freight or FedEx Express. FedEx owned vehicles have cameras that will alert FedEx of any impact or emergency braking. Also, we slip seat. Guaranteed, somebody would've noticed some damage.

You're looking at FedEx ground or custom critical, which use independent contractors. As a result, FedEx does not know the conditions of the tractors and they aren't aware of any motor vehicle accidents until it shows up on the driver record. Without trailer numbers or a license plate there is no way for FedEx to track it due to the volume of trucks going back and forth on major highways.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

Ask before you leave your center if they can assign you empties to bring back

They can assign me specific empties? I forgot know that.

They actually wanted me to pull trailers from the doors to see if they were empty.

I wouldn't do that either.

When you get to a center you've never been to and everyone has gone home, just drop the trailers where convenient and enter ZZ into the handheld for their location.

I didn't know that either. I would just do my best to guess what line it was.

If you do get a run on a Saturday morning that is not a meet or a hot, call Central and ask if you can run it Sunday if you'd like. 

For voluntary weekend runs they ask when do I plan on taking it. I try to start the run before Sunday so that it goes on my next check and I don't have to wait 2 weeks for it.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

Have you guys been busy??

We are extremely busy, they even called and asked me to work Sunday so I did so I can help them out some.

It's been fluctuating a lot so I can't really say. One day we'll all get sent out and the dock workers will get OT and the next the dock workers get kicked out early and drivers work the dock to get their hours.

Same with weekend work. Some weekends I'll get called in and others I won't.

I'm not completely familiar with all the lanes we run, but from what I hear this fluctuation is normal for a hub like mine while an area like Chicago or Atlanta is always busy.

Posted:  3 weeks ago

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Delivering to Grocery Stores

That's awesome Rob and happy birthday to the little one. I'm glad you're loving your job and making great money while you're at it.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Owner operator

When you buy a truck, you're buying a business. When people buy/start a business it's for one of these reasons:

1) they plan on selling it later for a profit.

2) the business can make bunches of money you wouldn't make otherwise

3) you can live a life that being an employee won't allow for

Buying a truck doesn't provide anything being a company driver wouldn't provide. You'll never sell the truck for money.

There's a small possibility you can make more money, but you forego other benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation time etc. One breakdown has the potential to put you out of business.

The lifestyle is exactly the same. Being a company driver gives you the opportunity to run different lanes and haul different types of freight.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Couple Questions: How is your holiday season going so far?

I wish I would have pursued this career when I was 21. My parents wanted me to go to college and be a white collar kind of guy. That's not in my nature.

I was miserable in college and truth be told, I resented them for a little while for not loosening the reigns a little.

I have no regrets because my life turned out pretty good, but that was after lots of misery.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

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Couple Questions: How is your holiday season going so far?

I'm not OTR like most drivers but I had 3 days off for Christmas and will have 2 off for New Years. All drivers had to be home by 5 pm Christmas Eve as the entire company shut down until 5 am on the 26th so all dispatchers and drivers could be home for the holidays.

I get 12 PTO ( will get 5 more after 5 yeaes with company) days to use when ever we want it can be for sick days vacation or when the weather is too bad to run so we can get paid, personally I save my for when I want to take off.

Luckily it is unseasonably warm here so no snow and yes our trucks warn us when the temperature gets to about 34 or so. But you shouldn't rely on the truck to keep you safe.

It definitely can I made 90k this year in my second full year, last year I made 75k. All with a GED and no college which has unfortunately made a few former friends upset because they are making less money and have to pay off their student debts.

Same here across the board. Except I'm on track to make 60k and Its my first year.

Posted:  1 month ago

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CDL License Questions Along With Other Things

Why would you leave Texas for Oregon? That boggles my mind honestly.

I have the same question because my mind it's also boggled.

Posted:  1 month ago

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My Roehl training adventure

I was dreading the afternoon as it was going to be all backing after lunch.

I know that feeling. I remember taking my lunch break and watching videos on backing trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. The videos didn't help, but it gave me new stuff to try.

After a great Monday, Tuesday was a very bad no good terrible *&$# day. I need to take the evening to clear my head. 

This happened to me all the time, don't sweat it. It's very common and after reading a bunch of diaries and general threads I've learned that everybody has bad days. They only thing that matters is that you get back in the drivers seat and keep trying and improving. On a positive note, it should all get better from here.

Training on manuals was a bonus for me but not a deciding factor. It's almost certain that I will be issued an automatic when I get my own truck.

I haven't driven a manual since training and I slip seat. I'd rather drive an auto shifter anyway, less stuff to worry about. I will say that it was easier for me to back a manual than an auto because it's easier to control the speed using the clutch, rather than using the accelerator and brakes on an auto.

You're doing great Bill, don't be so hard on yourself. I had days where I honestly felt like crying from the frustration, but I pushed forward and made it through. I'm confident you'll do the same.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

Thank you Banks, Just figured I would ask cause the Philly Fedex and UPS centers are only 20 mins from me. I’ll keep a look out for it but I cant wait around too long for it to pop up. After I get my permit in January I’ll apply for it if its there. If not, off to one of the big carriers I will go

That's understandable. I'm looking forward to following your journey.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

Congratulations!! Sounds like your moving right up the ladder! I’m sure your review go well. Quick question for you. How did you get into the Fedex driver program. I’m probably just going to do the company training but I’m still exploring all the different avenues into trucking and didn't see anything about that program on the Fedex site in the career section. Is it something they only offer to current employees?

No, I got hired off of the street. The position I was hired for was driver apprentice. They don't hire all of the time, it's as needed. For example my hub has a need for 80 city drivers, once they have those 80 city drivers they stop hiring.

I applied for the position shortly after my ride along with G-Town and they were set to hire me, but when my driving record came back they said to wait another year. That year turned into 18 months because at the year mark, they weren't hiring. I checked everyday for the position to post and when it was finally there, I applied.

If you decide to go through FedEx, have your permit before applying. Chances are they won't reply if you don't at least have your permit. They will hire you with general knowledge, air brakes and combination, but they will require you to get your tanker, hazmat and doubles triples endorsement before you start the program.

Check regularly because it comes down as quickly as it goes up. Current employees get first dibs, so the spots open to the public are kind of first come first serve. Get your permit and have it handy so you can apply as soon as the position opens up. Good luck, Dave.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

They are starting to trust you, or they are getting desperate lol

My first few times having 12+ hour days where difficult they do get easier once you've done a few of them.

If you can get on days at some point or at least like my 1:45 AM start it makes a huge difference with how tired I am. With my 9:30 PM start I was extremely tired no matter how much time I slept, funny how staring a few hours later can make such a big difference.

I think it's a bit of both, honestly. We shut down for 2 days because of the weather and highway restrictions so I can see the desperation. The volunteer work has no set schedule. I can come in and do it at any time as long as it's there by Sunday night, but in order for me to get paid on Friday it has to be started before Sunday. My normal start time is 2AM dock work and I get sent out from there. In order to get paid for the run ASAP, I start at 11 pm Saturday night so it throws off my sleep pattern a little bit. Because of the holiday week, all of the senior drivers signed up for the voluntary runs so I'm expecting to sit this weekend out.

Speaking about seniority, I got my first taste of being in a seniority position this week. I was called in to road dispatch because they had a run to Albany. I let another driver with an earlier start time take it since I would have more hours when other runs Pop up. I spoke to a more experienced driver and he said going to Albany in snowy weather sucks and its better that I didn't take it due to me not being experienced in the snow. He said his general rule of thumb is if it's snowing avoid going north.

Shortly after the driver that was going to Albany walked in and said he couldn't take it because he was out of hours. When they offered it to me, I passed. Later in the night multiple runs popped up and they called us all into dispatch. They said we're all going out so they asked who has the most seniority. That would be me and I got to choose the run I wanted. My options were South New Jersey, Elizabeth, NJ, Newark, NJ or Syracuse. I didn't want to deal with the traffic going east and I took the advice of the experienced driver and avoided going north. I had a smooth 130 mile trip to South New Jersey and a smooth drive back.

My driver review is coming up soon. All new drivers have to be reviewed a few months after hire to make sure they're safe and efficient. If they're having issues they will undergo more training. I hope mine goes well.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Question about application reply time

I forgot to mention to take note of any questions your wife may have. She's a vital part in all of this so there may be some information she wants that you may be able to get on your ride along.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Question about application reply time

I have had lots of questions pop into my head over last few weeks, most stuck, some faded away. I should start writing em down.

I would definitely recommend doing that. You'll get caught up in the moment and forget to ask some questions and then you'll remember them on the drive home.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

Really aggravating having to open trailers and hope they are empty.l, I've walked our entire Chicago yard looking for 2 of the 3 empties that are supposedly there but never found them so they also had me bobtail.

Sometimes you have to guess where to park things and hope for the best.

Sounds like you are getting the hang of it though!

Especially when the temperature is in the single digits lol.

During the week, I have people I can call but I don't want to bother anybody on their day off, especially at night.

It was a long week and I'm not used to running like this so it did take a little bit of a toll on me. A lot of 12 hour work days followed by life at home.

I was a little flattered that they think enough of me to offer me something they deem more challenging. It shows their confidence in me and it tells me I'm doing something right.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Question about application reply time

You're in for a treat Dave, enjoy it and take it all in. On my ride along, I asked G-Town if I could drive and he said no. Doesn't hurt to ask lol.

I went in thinking I want to do this and came out knowing that I want to do this. I'm excited to hear about your perspective and how it all goes.

Before going, I recommend thinking about questions you may have. The feedback you get on this site is always spot on, but nothing beats getting to ask a question in person and being able to ask some follow up questions.

Have fun out there and keep us posted.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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CPM vs % of load

There's not enough information there to answer that question. TMC is a flatbed company that offers the same pay model and many people are happy to earn percentage pay there, but they're a huge company and they stay busy.

Nobody can say for sure if that local job is busy year round. What's the percentage? What does an average driver make? What does a top tier driver make? If it's local, how many loads can you run in a day? There's just a lot more questions that have to be asked because, like anything else, there are pros and cons.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

I woke up on Saturday morning my phone ringing and the screen saying "work". I answer and the voice on the other end says "hey, sorry to bother you. I know you didn't volunteer for this weekend but we're backed up because of the snow storm. Can you take a trailer to Providence, drop it, grab an empty trailer take it to Elizabeth New Jersey, pick up a loaded trailer there and bring it here? " I wanted to say no because I've been running all week and I was exhausted, but I said "no problem". I asked what time do I get there and they said whenever you Want, we don't have a set schedule it just has to be there by Sunday night. Fair enough.

About an hour later my phone rings again and it's work. Change of plans Elizabeth, NJ got scrapped. Just go to Providence and come back. My rings again an hour later. "would you be willing to take a set to Northborogh, MA so we can give the single to somebody with less experience? Same deal, whenever you want, they just have to be there by Sunday night". I agree and ask them to leave me directions to avoid that whole New Haven debacle I went through on Thanksgiving.

I went in Saturday night because I didn't want to deal with Connecticut traffic. It took me about 45 minutes to find my trailers, hook-up and pretrip. It was about a 5 hour drive to Northborogh. The bad part about this is that I'm going to a center I've never been to before and there's nobody there to give me any direction. I don't know where to drop my trailers or where to find the empties that I need to bring back. I have to wing it. I drop the trailers in some random spots and put random info in the handheld because I don't know where I dropped them. Some hubs have signs where the trailers are parked so you know what line you're dropping in, this one didn't.

I start looking for empties and I can't find any. I'm opening and closing every trailer that doesn't have a seal and they all have freight in them. I called Central dispatch to tell them I can't find any empty trailers to take back. They read off a bunch of trailer numbers and tell me to look for 2 of those. I looked and couldn't find them. I called back and told them those trailers are nowhere to be found and they amend my assignment to have me bobtail back.

Bobtailing back felt weird. It feels like I'm driving a small vehicle. I left Massachusetts with 6 hours of drive time on my clock. I've gotten a lot better at managing drive time. I made it back to domicile with a little over an hour left.

The entire trip was 560 miles and it all took a little over 12 hours.

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Central Transport?

A lot of the LTL companies do hire new drivers and train them, but it's based on need. I don't know if central is one of them.

Old Dominion, FedEx freight, SAIA, Estes and A Duie Pyle do, but it's based on need.

Bobcat Bob started his career at old Dominion and he has no regrets. He's loving it.

I got my CDL through FedEx Freight's driver apprentice program and I'm loving every minute of it. At FedEx freight you would be required to go through the driver apprentice program if you have less than a year of experience.

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