Profile For Bob C.

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    1 year, 2 months ago

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Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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CDL invalid if not put to use after graduating CDL School!?

Yes, G-Town, I was road tested at orientation and assigned to a trainer after being hired. Thought that went without saying...drivers fresh out of school aren't just put in a truck and turned loose solo either. I was not required to go through any 'refresher' at a school before hire. My hiring and training process was no more and no less than what the drivers right out of school were required to do.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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CDL invalid if not put to use after graduating CDL School!?

I suppose anything could make you undesirable or unhirable to SOME companies. So technically I can't call that a lie from the recruiter. But he certainly was misleading you. Your CDL will most certainly not be invalid if you don't sign on a line after 30 days...or 300 for that matter. I for example got my first driving job in 2014 almost 4 years after completing school and getting my license. It took very little effort or persuading. I called up one megacarrier....was in orientation a week later. It wasn't because I'm so charming because I'm really not.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Where to draw the line...and when do I cross it?

Here's where I'd draw it....the chatting on the phone constantly thing. Of all the tendencies you listed...that's the worst one by far IMO. I think it's a joke that one can legally babble your way through an entire shift at the wheel (as both of my trainers would come near to doing when I first started out) as long as one is wearing a dorky headset...as long as you've been a good consumer and paid your dues to the 'tech' industry. I happen to think that having protracted and unnecessary conversations at the wheel is the dangerous distraction...not having one's arm bent. That is to say I think it's our brains that get distracted, not one's elbow or hand.

Not to mention that having to listen to those long, banal, tedious conversations drove me nuts. Rude..check. Dangerous...check. I'd be out of that arrangement pronto based on the phone thing alone.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Have CDL 4 years but no experience

I was in the same position before I started working as a driver...completed school and passed my CDL road test and didn't get much interest from the half dozen or so employers I applied to due to points that hadn't fallen off my license yet. I said to hell with this pretty quick and went back to what I was doing before. Just shy of four years later, I had no points on my license by this point, got the urge to try trucking again...got hired real easy by the first company I called. From what they told me, if I had been out of school five years they wouldn't have hired me...I would have had to go back to school. There were no issues regarding expired medical certification...mine had been expired two years and that didn't affect my license at all (I'm from NY, your state may do things differently). Just had to get it renewed during the hiring, orientation process...just as I would have had to do had it NOT been expired.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Swift offered

I wouldn't worry about chains...I've never put chains on my tires and doubt I ever will. In fact I'm pretty sure the only time I've even seen chains on a tire was 7 years ago in school or training when we were being shown how to put chains on a tire. Backing was a ***** for about the first 2-3 months when I started. You get over it. But if there comes a very difficult back and you're convinced you can't do it, stop trying, find a place to park, and inform the company that other plans will have to be made. Don't keep going till you break something. You'll get no applause for your determination, and even the slightest damage to your vehicle or other property will likely do down as an accident on your record for the next 3 years.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Tools or next to nothing???

I keep a hammer, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pliers and duct tape. Hammer and duct tape are used quite often...the rest very rarely.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Should Drivers Refuse To Work For Companies With Forced Dispatch?

There are a couple of policies or conditions that I would never work under, but...forced dispatch ? I don't even see how it makes sense to object to that as a company driver. Seems an inherent feature of the job in a large fleet. They can't very well put every load up for discussion and a vote. Personally, I never even state displeasure with any individual load. If it becomes a trend...one of a bunch of lame loads that leads to an 1800 mile paycheck after a week of them, then I'll say something. But I'm not going to let anyone hear me complaining about the run I got TODAY....makes it too inviting for someone to assign me an even worse run tomorrow.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Does anyone else prefer being on the road?

When I get home after a couple months in the truck, I'm a bit of a basket case because all my stuff isn't within 4 feet of me in its proper little space or cubbyhole at all times anymore. I'm always looking for things. That could be anywhere. Spread out over vast distances that one must traverse by walking.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Being a trainee at Prime is an awful experience.

Nope, never worked for Swift, so I'll accept that their trainers might do a bit better than I imagined . But I sure wouldn't be sleeping too soundly behind a guy with only 50-odd hours at the wheel, alone up front and expected to take me 4-500 miles. And then I'd probably be something of a liability on my shift at the wheel as well. I know where I was at that point.....50 drive hours, a week 10 days into training...way too much of my attention was still focused on just trying to shift correctly, having little tantrums as I failed to do so, and then dreading the next time I had to shift. I might have been closer to menace than merely a liability. I'm very glad more and more drivers are training and working on automatics now.

It's been a while but I think trainees only ran as a team the last week of training in my first company, and even then didn't do real team type miles...probably 4000 or so. Anyway...no need to get real bogged down in the details...we'll agree to disagree a bit... I just think training is grossly undercompensated, maybe a quarter full on your diagram. And though I get an idealistic twinge now and then I'm generally a fair bit over on the mercenary end of the spectrum.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Being a trainee at Prime is an awful experience.

I gotta say though, Errol...the Swift incentives you're touting there are even skimpier than I'd been offered, heard or surmised. The payoff after 30,000 miles is a bird in the bush...an unhatched chicken. I trained a guy, he upgraded...I don't want to hear that I'll be paid for that 3, 4 months down the line. I should get it on my next check. As for the miles...the trainee is going to be driving most of the miles...it's not like you'll be spending a month teaming, making double miles. Your miles will be roughly the same...you'll just be in the passenger seat, and with a lot more responsibility and stress than you'd have in the driver's seat. So no financial incentive to train there. So that leaves us with, as a here and now cash benefit..........100 bucks a week. Far short of even the 15 percent I was talking about. Hell no, thanks. If that's their offer, I think negativity is a very reasonable response to it.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Being a trainee at Prime is an awful experience.

Errol, I recognize that there are good trainers doing it for the right reasons, competent idealists if you will, and that you very may well be one of them. And those, you, folk deserve a hell of a lot more than a 15 percent tip for their, your, service to your employer and to the industry at large.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Being a trainee at Prime is an awful experience.

Being a trainee anywhere can be an awful experience. Being a trainer anywhere can be an awful experience. I wouldn't train anyone who wasn't family or a friend for much less than double my regular pay, and I tend to question the motives of those who would do it for the paltry incentives I've been offered to do so, or that I've heard other companies offer. At the last major carrier I worked for, my rough estimate was that trainers gained MAYBE 15-20 percent over what they made solo. I don't think companies get too many of their actual brightest and best drivers to take on all that extra responsibility and risk, AND share their tiny cubicle of living space with a pot luck complete stranger, for such little reward. I think it's more likely to attract the guy who barely gets by paycheck to paycheck because his wife is back home spending it all, and who needs the ego boost of being ''the boss'' for a change. And/or, like my trainer years back, likes the idea of getting paid for a few thousand miles a month to watch porn in the sleeper berth.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

US Xpress home daily account in Auburn Indiana (feedback requested)

Hi....I worked at that Walmart DC for 3 and a half months last year. I was an OTR driver for USXpress and was asked to go there to help out temporarily, so I got paid a little differently than the guys who signed up specifically to that account. They worked 5 or 6 days a week for a salary...I worked 100 days straight for miles (paid at my previous OTR rate) plus stop pay of 25 (first stop), 30 (2nd) and 55 (any further stops on the run). Other than that I got the same runs as everyone else..was just another driver. Roughly half the runs went to Metro Detroit for 3 stops and then back to Auburn...a typical day was 10,11 hours from the time I showed up at the DC to pick up my trailer to when I brought it back empty (or, usually, parked at the Loves 10 miles away for the night). Frozen&Dairy runs left DC late afternoon, Meat Produce runs usually left DC roughly between 8 and midnight. The only way you'd ever get stuck in heavy traffic is if you didn't make it past AnnArbor before 7 am on your way back from a Detroit area run...that only happened to me once. One real traffic jam in 3 months. Which of course was a huge plus. The guys assigned to that DC, like you would be, when volume got high they would be grouped into A and B, each group would alternate having to work a Saturday. So you'd have a 5 day work week, a 6 day, a five day, etc. Needless to say you'd get paid for the extra day. I used to kinda laugh at guys who complained about having to work a Saturday every other week but I like long vacations rather than frequent little chunks of 'hometime'. So it comes down to preferences.

As I said, I had a run every day I was there, but they had a policy where if you were available and on call for a day and they didn't dispatch you you'd be paid 160 anyway. Never happened to me, I doubt it happened very often to anyone else. Place was busy. I have since left the company (was with them 3.5 years) so I'm not here to shill for them by any means. But my weekly pay there was more or less exactly what I was told I'd make when I showed up. I averaged about 1450 gross...woulda been 70k + over a year. Again, I worked every day and under a different arrangement..as a temp from OTR basically. Not sure what the exact pay scale is for the actual dedicated drivers there (which was probably 45-50 of the roughly 55 guys there) but if you're being told 65k I see no reason why you wouldn't get it.

U N L E S S . . . . .

they lose the account. Which may have already happened as I type this. I was told about a month ago by a USX employee at Gas City (a safety guy not a driver) that USXpress lost the Gas City WM account (20 miles south of Auburn) and they'll be out of there very soon...I have also heard less reliable information that they have lost other WM accounts as well. So everything I've told you above, accurate as it is, might not mean a damn thing. If I were you I'd really want to make sure that USXpress is even going to still be at the Auburn DC come springtime. How you gonna make sure of something like that....are people going to be straight with you ....beats me.

So, to sum up...if you get there, and IF they keep the account, I'm quite sure you'll get the pay the recruiter promised, give or take a few grand a year. But it's a big if from what I've heard. I might try calling the USX office at the DC direct around 7 pm and asking for a dispatcher named Joe...he was the best of the lot there.

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