Profile For Nooga Joe

Nooga Joe's Info

  • Location:
    Chattanooga, TN

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 9 months ago

Nooga Joe's Bio

Driver Mentor at McElroy Trucklines

Page 1 of 1

Posted:  2 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

McElroy Truck Lines

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I have saw a lot of reviews from their drivers complaining that they can’t get any miles 300 bucks a week. I figured it was mostly people that just suck at their job and aren’t trusted by their dispatcher.

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This is one of the biggest hindrances to people considering entering the trucking industry. First off, very few people understand the concepts of performance based pay. Secondly, we don't understand how to read the prevalent and terrible reviews. Drivers tell on themselves all over the internet. Professionals who are accustomed to success in this field see through all this B.S.

Trucking companies make money by moving freight. It is imperative that their drivers are making money if they are going to be profitable. This notion that says these greedy tycoons are suppressing their drivers wages by keeping them from turning good miles is preposterous! Trucking is a tough business. It's volatility and cyclical nature are well documented. It's got lots of ups and downs, but to be honest with you the driver seldom feels the effects of these violent forces.

The volatility in trucking is, for the most part, economic factors that affect the accounting end, or the profitability of the business. Even if the demand for freight falls off somewhat the driver can still remain busy. You can bet that's when those who have a stellar performance record are counted on for moving the freight.

For the driver, there's a simplicity to success at trucking. Just do a great job without being a pain in the butt to anyone. It's really that simple and straightforward. Rookies and seasoned vets can each of them do this. You don't have to have years of experience to be a Top Tier Driver. You can prove yourself worthy right from the start.

All trucking companies need efficient drivers to succeed. Most newcomers don't realize the operating ratios in trucking are dismal. It's a constant struggle for them to be at 97%. That is not a strong business model, especially for a small operation which cannot benefit from the economy of scale. An operating ratio indicates the difference between revenues and expenses. A 97% operating ratio means that your expenses take up 97% of your revenues. For a simpler explanation that means you make .03 (three cents) on the dollar.

Understanding the troubles that trucking companies are faced with will help us to understand the nature of the performance based equation we're faced with. Top performers are highly valued. They are counted on. When you see drivers whining and singing the blues about their trucking jobs you are seeing the guys and gals who, most likely, will never figure out how all this works.

The professionals who are managing these trucking operations are more than willing to let those drivers continue in their ignorance and transient habits. Those drivers move around like parasites from one host to the next. They count on their host to provide for them. They never do well because they never give the effort required to thrive. They are the reason for the so called "driver shortage." We've got plenty of folks out here with CDL's calling themselves drivers. What we are short on is people who can stay at a driving job and prove themselves productive, safe, and efficient. The shortage is for high performing professionals.

I probably veered all over the place trying to make my point, but here's the bottom line...

You can't trust online reviews of trucking companies!

If you're allowing these reviews to formulate a basis for your decision on where to start your career you're making the classic "rookie mistake." Please don't fall for it. The reviews tell you nothing about the company, and everything about the individual writing the review.

Well said

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

McElroy Truck Lines

Hahahahah. That is funny! 😂😂

Do you like the trucks?

You said you get a lot of the minimum mile load pay. How many miles did they have you running per week before the winter slowdown?

I wasn’t a fan of the International that I had at first simply because of the fact that it was a ‘17 so it still had the Navistar MaxxFarce engine...it was gutless and had constant DPF system problems. A 300lb 80 year old woman passed me on a hill once...and I was empty! Lol The Freightliner that I have now is ugly as hell but the DD15 is a BEAST.

Miles vary, simply because sometimes you get Lowe’s loads and most of those are around 300 miles but there is a minimum pay for the load so you get paid for more than that...then sometimes you’ll have loads that are 900+. I usually average in the 2000-2200 mile range but have had 28-2900 mile weeks (last week was a 2500 mile week.) Early on I picked up a load that went 90 miles for delivery the next morning that paid $250...plus my tarp pay! I haven’t had any others with that high of a CPM but I’d be happy if I did! Lol

Also, we are regional and they try keep you within a 500 mile radius of home but sometimes they get behind in other areas so you’ll get to go somewhere new for a week...my favorite week I’ve had so far was picking up paper in Oxford, AL on Friday to deliver to Waukegan, IL Monday morning...drop and hooked and went to Baraboo, WI to Menards and then back to Waukegan...drop and hook to Green Bay, WI and straight back to Waukegan...d&h to Shoals, IN to take to Nashville, TN...dropped that, picked up in Cumberland City, TN and pulled the load home...about 2950 miles for the week so I wasn’t complaining!

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

McElroy Truck Lines

Thanks again Joe. I’m sure most flatbed companies are the same. Pay, etc. As long as it’s one of the home weekly companies I’m good with it. That’s the only reason I wouldn’t try Melton or western express unless that was the only thing on the table. Home time. Do you got any tips as far as things to be successful there? Anything you had to learn the hard way? Lol

A good attitude and hard work go a long way. When you first start it’s tough...then you go out solo for the first time and it gets REAL tough. But as the days/weeks/months go by, it gets easier and easier. After 3/4 months you start to realize that it’s the easiest job you’ve ever had.

You’re gonna make mistakes, learn from them and don’t repeat them.

And the hardest thing about trucking is NOT leaving home, being away from family, being alone etc. Seriously. It’s not. What is, you ask? PUTTING THE STUPID FITTED SHEET ON THE MATTRESS IN A FREIGHTLINER. 🤣

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

McElroy Truck Lines

Awesome post. Confirms everything I read and heard. Sounds like a great company. They were high on my list but my recruiter was very hard to get in touch with. Once I got the job with TMC she was calling everyday lol. When I see their trucks they always look very nice. Love the bright red!

Haha that’s usually the way it goes...did you talk to Anita? She’s awesome

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

McElroy Truck Lines

I am pretty heavily tattooed. Do they tend to have a problem with that? I know they want you to wear a nice shirt which is no problem for me. Do they have you hauling a variety of stuff or mostly hardware store loads?

What area are you out of? I am in eastern Alabama. Smiths station , between Opelika and Phenix city.

As long as you don’t have offensive tattoos visible I don’t see them having a problem with it, although I don’t know the official policy. I have, however, seen many other drivers with visible tattoos.

We haul a variety of things...slab steel, coils, Sheetrock, Wood, etc. Sometimes I’ll do a week that’ll be 3-4 Lowe’s loads (our biggest company...we are their biggest flatbed carrier) and then sometimes I’ll go weeks without one. As a matter of fact, I’m currently in the parking lot of the Lowe’s in Douglasville, Georgia. Speaking of Lowe’s, one of the nice thing Lowe’s does for us as their largest carrier is allowing to park overnight at all but a handful of stores, whether we have a Lowe’s Load or not. My weekend parking spot is at one of the stores.

I’m out of Chattanooga, Tn

Posted:  2 years, 9 months ago

View Topic:

McElroy Truck Lines

I have a question for anyone currently working there. I am starting cdl school next month with the Troops into transportation program out of fort Benning and will be living close to Phenix city Alabama. I would like to try my hat at flatbed and would prefer to stay regional .

How is the flatbed freight going with McElroy these days? How often do you end up setting and waiting on loads? (Flatbed freight in general, doesn’t have to be McElroy). I’m not concerned about their cpm but are they providing for your needs?

How is the equipment? I’m not concerned too much about automatic vs manual but are there apus? If not what is the idling policy?

How was your trainer? Experienced? helpful? Do they allow trainers with less than 2 yrs experience? (I will be a straight up rookie , would prefer to not be trained by another rookie).

I truly hope this doesn’t sound like a laundry list, these are just some of the questions that matter to me , and I understand that individual experiences may vary. Thanks in advance guys! I have been creeping this site for awhile and now that my retirement is here it’s time for me to die diligence!

This time of year freight is always slow with flatbed. I see a lot of empty flatbeds sitting around, not only from McElroy (who I drive for) but many other companies also. Until today I haven’t had to sit and wait for a load in about 2 months, although I do know other drivers who have to wait often. But if you bust ass, they aren’t going to leave you sitting...the drivers that do usually end up having the best luck with loads. My pay and miles have been excellent And I have not made the quoted CPM once due to load minimums, tarp pay, etc. I usually average 60-65 CPM (bit this WILL vary.) As far as the equipment...we have 2017-2020 International and 2015-2017 Freightliner trucks. The Freightshakers are currently in the process of being phased out. ‘17-‘18 trucks are almost all 10-speed and all ‘19-20 trucks are auto with the exception of the trainer trucks. All Freightliners are 10-speed. They do an excellent job of taking care of and maintaining the trucks. Anytime I’ve had a problem I’ve been sent to a terminal as soon as possible (depending on the severity of the problem.) There are no APU’s but trucks are clean idle certified and we are allowed to idle anytime we are in the truck. Yes, we do have trainers with less than 2 years experience, but they aren’t just drivers who have applied for it...trainers, fleet managers or other management have to basically nominate you as a trainer, so we don’t end up with just anyone training people. As with any company you’ll have great trainers, good trainers, and bad trainers. From what I’ve seen, the bad ones aren’t with the company long. My trainer had 15 years experience, 14 of it with McElroy. He was, and still is, awesome. Even after you are on your own you are encouraged to keep in contact with your trainer weekly...if mine doesn’t hear from me for a couple of days he’ll call me (and I’ve been solo since early April.) Overall, the company has been fair, respectful, and has treated me like a person and not a number. Every promise made to me by the recruiter has been delivered and then some. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask!

Joe

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Maverick Transportation

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As long as you show up on time and don't do anything stupid it shouldn't be a problem. It is an uncomfortable experience nit knowing what to expect and not being guaranteed anything but you can do it.

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Thanks! I’m assuming that the maroon Freightliner in your pic is a Maverick Truck? If so how do you like the company? It sounds awesome and I haven’t seen but a few things bad about them

Ha! Kinda forgot you already covered that part!

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Maverick Transportation

As long as you show up on time and don't do anything stupid it shouldn't be a problem. It is an uncomfortable experience nit knowing what to expect and not being guaranteed anything but you can do it.

Thanks! I’m assuming that the maroon Freightliner in your pic is a Maverick Truck? If so how do you like the company? It sounds awesome and I haven’t seen but a few things bad about them

Posted:  3 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Maverick Transportation

I’m pretty sure I can handle the agility test, I just worry about something stupid happening and disqualifying me. Thanks for the responses, guys!

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Maverick Transportation

Do we have any Maverick drivers here? Their recruiter came to our school a couple of weeks ago and I really like the company. I applied for the refrigerated division and was given an invitation to orientation pending my getting my CDL. However there is one thing that worries me and that is the line "if we hire you." How strenuous is the agility test? I really wanna drive for Maverick but I can't quit my current job without having a guarantee that I'm gonna be employed so I'm a little worried! I've also got a pre-hire from McElroy Trucking but Maverick is my first choice.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Starting school on Monday

So I haven't had time to update since I started (I'm working full time and going to school 5 days a week.) Getting to be pretty descent at my pre trip but I hate paper logs lol...we are keeping up with our activities with them. We've been doing a bunch of backing and I'm good at straight line and not to shabby at offset but we ran out of time before I got to try alley docking on Tuesday night. I got my learners yesterday but we had torrential rain all evening so we spent the whole night in the classroom. Finally got out on the road tonight, though, and drove around downtown Chattanooga for about 45 minutes. I made what I'm pretty sure had to have been AT LEAST 10000 gear changes haha! I only missed a few upshifts but downshifts SUCKED at first. Started getting the hang of it by the end, and now I can't wait to do it all again tomorrow!

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Starting school on Monday

Hey Joe, I lived just outside of Chattanooga in Hixson eons ago from 6th to 8th grade. Very fond memories there.

Study hard, check your pre-conceived notions at the door, and prepare to go "all in" once you commit to this. You'll be fine. Check out this article by G-Town, it's a perfect read for what you're about to do.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask any questions.

Ego becomes downfall of CDL students.

Chatt State’s commercial driving school is actually in Hixson! Thanks to this fine site (I’ve actually been reading it for months...I’m more of a reader than a poster lol) most of my preconceived notions of the business have been answered and corrected. Thanks for the link to the G-Town article.

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Starting school on Monday

Joe, don't worry you will do fine. It's never too late to live a dream. I'm 63 and can't wait to get started. I've already started by studying the High Road program here, and reading Brett's book. I like Chattanooga, went to Tennessee Temple University there years ago, the only thing I didn't like was the humidity. I was raised in the dry climate of Arizona. Best of luck to you as you get started.

Yeah the humidity here is horrible...when are you planning on going to school?

Posted:  3 years, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Starting school on Monday

So, I live in Chattanooga, TN and signed up for to go to CDL classes at Chattanooga State. Originally I was told that The January and March classes were full so I was put on the roster for May. I got a call a couple of hours ago that they had a spot opening up but I’d have to start This Monday! I had to run my ass off but I got everything done! It’s kinda surreal because this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid but, you know, life happens! Now here I am, 41yo and about to start living out a dream! I’m super excited but a little nervous at the same time. Has anybody here been to Chatt State? Any words of wisdom? Thanks for reading my rambling!

Joe

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