Profile For William J.

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    2 years, 5 months ago

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Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

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No loads for you….

William I’d like to suggest taking a hard look at how you interact with your driver management, especially as you move forward with perhaps a different employer.

There is an old saying, somewhat Biblical in nature that states:

“You reap what you sow” If you are interacting with your management and dispatch the way you have come across here... it’s no wonder they are not attempting to work with you.

My approach to trucking has always been, and always will be to treat others the way you want to be treated. With respect and a professional attitude. Especially with individuals who are responsible for managing driver operations and evaluating performance. They can either enable your success or hinder it.

I can recall countless times when this professional approach has been rewarded with a choice run or additional money for doing something extra.

I’m offering this advice from experience (9 years in trucking and 60+ years of life) because I’ve seen what can happen to drivers who project a negative/hostile attitude. Typically they are met with indifference and at times completely ignored. No, I’m not suggesting to kiss management’s ass... just consider adding a little finesse and basic kindness to smooth your obvious hard and sharp edges. Understand you are one of many drivers they are working with. Set yourself apart in a positive way... not a negative one.

The results might surprise you. Maybe not with the current employer (nameless?), but certainly looking to your future.

Hope you think about this, turn the focus on you.

Good luck.

This is certainly noble and sound advice and not anything that I’m going to dispute or argue about. Because you’re spot on and correct. But I don’t think we’re quite comparing apples to apples in our analogy here. When you approach dispatch for something like say detention pay. This is a very 2+2 = 4 situation. It’s not an evolving situation, it’s not a debatable situation, it’s not open to some kind of analogy. The company policy is if you sit at a shipper or receiver with an appointment time for more than two hours you are put on detention pay. So if I sit at a shipper or receiver waiting to Get loaded or unloaded more than two hours past my appointment time I’m to start getting paid, correct? Last time I sat for six hours which basically was the entire afternoon. I put in for my four hours eligible detention pay. It was ignored. So I pick up my phone and I called. I get to listen to the huffy and heavy size on the other end about “OK I’ll tell so-and-so and will get it in for you”. Another day goes by, the PO for the approval of detention pay never comes through. I send Another message. No response. Another half a day goes by and I’m growing frustrated. I’m getting irritated. I pick up the phone. I remind them again on the phone. Yes at this point I kind of have a sarcastic tone. Who wouldn’t? This is not a mistake at this point this is intentional. The dispatcher I get this time tells me so and so will send that right over to you within the next half hour. By this time I’m done for the day. I take my 10 hour break and go to sleep for the night getting up the next morning and still it’s not there. I called again. This time Im mad. I ask you once again, who wouldn’t be? I’m literally being ripped off by dispatch. A few minutes later the approval finally comes through for my four hours of pay.

I don’t feel like I need to be ultra nice at this point. When dealing with things like this. You’re probably correct I might get further licking their boot in a situation like this. Maybe cracking a joke or two. Trying to buddy up and be their friend. But when someone looks at me square in the face four times and tries to rip me off? I’m just not gonna be able to go there. I’m going to call them out on it. The way I see it is I’m doing my job. They need to do their’s.

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

No loads for you….

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Or option 4... Ask them to look for a load that delivers fairly close to your home so that you can get to the house easier and be ready to roll Monday morning. As Turtle said, no they don't have to pay you for the weekend to sit away from home.

Laura

OK but do you see my logic behind my original question, I drive back-and-forth to the yard. It’s five hours each way. So I’ve got 10 hours vested if I go home. Not to mention it’s about $200 round-trip in my truck plus gas. So let’s say I have them dispatch me from close to my home which I can do. I show up at the yard on a Saturday morning per the way they assigned me my loads. Say it’s 10 AM. I have eight hours left to drive on my clock. 35 hours left for the week. I go into the office and they tell me they don’t have a load. At that point in my opinion they have two choices. Send me a dispatch to go home in their truck, or pay me to sit on their yard. Otherwise I’m literally a prisoner stuck at that yard with no transportation, no way to make money, and I’m at their disposal. I don’t know where you all come from but where I come from that is not fair. Lol that’s like slavery type stuff.

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Call me ignorant, but I am wondering how it is that you are running hard and remaining with half of your 70 on Saturday? If you start on Monday and run hard until Friday night/Saturday morning, I don't see how you still have 35 hours remaining. That's only working 7 hours each day, which means that might only be driving 5-1/2 hours each day. I might not know a lot of things, but I don't think any of the regular experienced drivers would call that running hard. Sounds pretty soft to me.

I have a real problem with you talking about this being like slavery. No dude. You chose to work for a company where the terminal is 5 hours from your house. No one but you chose this place of employment for YOU. Don't like it? Find another place to work.

Some of the responses here are things that probably were taken out of context. No I don’t go into the office screaming and yelling I can just be a bit sarcastic. And the comment about slavery was definitely a sarcastic comment as I know I’m not literally a slave. Point being, they have no loads and I can’t leave so I sit for free.

My uncle who was a lifelong trucker told me, “ no truck driver in the history of truck driving has ever been fired for wanting more miles.“ sorry if it runs the wrong way, but this trucker likes to drive.

The other part of your response was under the assumption that I work for a Monday through Friday company. You don’t know what day of the week I started. I’ve been with this company for one year and four months. I average 552 miles per day. Every day overall average since I started. I have run countless loads that didn’t formulate out to what a dispatcher should assign and have run them all on time. I.e., I had to get very creative in how I managed my time for a day or two to get the load on time. Sitting in the driver seat waiting for the clock to roll over, skipping a 30 minute break driving eight hours straight without stopping and stuff like that to arrive within 15 minutes of the appointment time. I do all it all the time, every time abd never complain. Do I ever get a “good job” in response? Nope! I do it because that’s how I’m wired to work.

I’ve come to the realization that the company I work for is not highly ethical or a good company. They’re just not. 90% of their drivers have less than a year experience most of them are brand new. Most of them are X cons. Most of them smash into and back into stuff all the time. They won’t pay things like detention, layover unless you literally beg and make a “legal case”

Yes, I picked this company, that’s my fault. Should have researched better. The reviews are out there on them. That’s my fault. I’m going to try and work with this company one more time, staying way ahead on planning, bugging then we’ll in advance to keep my wheels turning…if that doesn’t happen? There’s a billion other company that will take me and I’ll leave!

For those of you that gave me some advice about how to communicate with dispatch and so forth thank you very much. great advise!

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

No loads for you….

Hi William, Do you pick up, and deliver your load on time? I ask this because what your describing is generally how companies get rid of their bad drivers, they starve them out.

If you're doing everything right then it's a dispatcher problem and you should try getting a new dispatcher from the your company.

Never had a late load yet. Now I’ve “caught a few” as in bad dispatched and called out dispatch…If they’re trying to starve me out I assure you it’s not because of work performance. I know everybody toots their own horn, but I worked my butt off. I always have an any job I’ve ever done. Employee of the year, quarter, every place I’ve worked. But one thing I’ve learned in trucking is to stand up for myself and often I might overdo that. When I know I’m being done wrong I will speak my mind. And I Often have done it with dispatch with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and somewhat of an attitude. I can’t help myself sometimes but to make a sarcastic comment. But what do you do as a man when someone’s looking you in the face and you know they’re just totally BSing you? Do you just take it and put your tail between your legs or do you call them out on it? I choose to call them out on it. And yes I’ll fully admit that probably gets me less brownie points at the company I work for.

Example, last week I had five hours of detention. If I put in for it sometimes they approve it right away and sometimes they act like they didn’t see it or pass the buck to someone else. I was sick of it so I didn’t let up. Including several phone calls. I had to ask six times but they finally sent me through the approval. I spent the entire day sitting at the shipper. When I could’ve been driving. Pay me. And yes I had an attitude about the fourth time I had to ask. So no they probably don’t really like me because I called out their BS.

The guy that originally trained me years ago told me if you don’t stand up for yourself in trucking you will get stepped on. Perhaps I take it a bit too far.

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

No loads for you….

William, I love the answers you are getting here.

I'll throw in my two cents...

One of the biggest things that helped me in my trucking career was to make a big effort at learning how the trucking business works, and more in particular, how my specific company works. One of the first things I figured out was that weekends are terrible times to get loads. Once I knew that I had to figure out how to handle it so I could have a load on the weekend. Here was my solution, and it has always worked well for me. I empty out just as early as I can on Friday morning and I make sure my dispatcher knows that is how it is going to happen. I want him to know that my PTA (projected time of availability) will be 0700 Friday morning. That way he can hook me up with a nice long load for the weekend. He always comes through, but he comes through because I have communicated with him early enough for him to take care of it, and I always make sure that I do exactly what I tell him I am going to do.

It sounds like this has been an ongoing problem for you. So you know already what is going to happen if you show up on Saturday morning. Why keep repeating this self-defeating behavior? Make some changes to how you do things. Run a little harder so you can be MT on Friday morning instead of showing up Saturday expecting them to have a load for you. It is not going to happen. You are the captain of your ship. That means you run that ship in such a way that makes sense and is efficient. A big part of your efficiency is understanding how to do things with your truck so that they mesh with the way the company distributes loads.

You have to be the student and the teacher in this situation. You learn how things work, and then you take the steps to put yourself into the flow of work from your company. Trying to demand they pay you for sitting around will get you no results. You will frustrate yourself and anger the people who could be helping you be successful. You have got to put yourself into the right mindset, and put yourself into the right place at the right time. That's part of becoming a professional driver.

I wish you the best with this situation. Try to figure out how you can reconcile it yourself. There is definitely a way to make this work better for you.

Really good stuff! I guess for the driver who enjoys unexpected time off this type of scenario of slipping through the cracks would be great. Lol what I will do in the future is contact dispatch when I know this scenario might come up, and be like, “hey you got me lined out to be back at the yard Saturday morning, I have (XYZ hours) can we get me assigned a next load”

Something like this might work. Part of the problem with this is the first to trucking companies I’ve worked for this kind of stuff didn’t happen. So I’m kind of subconsciously comparing I think. They would have a load ready for me at the yard. Lol it would usually hit my QUALCOMM a day or so before I even got back to the yard.

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

No loads for you….

Or option 4... Ask them to look for a load that delivers fairly close to your home so that you can get to the house easier and be ready to roll Monday morning. As Turtle said, no they don't have to pay you for the weekend to sit away from home.

Laura

OK but do you see my logic behind my original question, I drive back-and-forth to the yard. It’s five hours each way. So I’ve got 10 hours vested if I go home. Not to mention it’s about $200 round-trip in my truck plus gas. So let’s say I have them dispatch me from close to my home which I can do. I show up at the yard on a Saturday morning per the way they assigned me my loads. Say it’s 10 AM. I have eight hours left to drive on my clock. 35 hours left for the week. I go into the office and they tell me they don’t have a load. At that point in my opinion they have two choices. Send me a dispatch to go home in their truck, or pay me to sit on their yard. Otherwise I’m literally a prisoner stuck at that yard with no transportation, no way to make money, and I’m at their disposal. I don’t know where you all come from but where I come from that is not fair. Lol that’s like slavery type stuff.

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

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New driver. Incident on first load. Now fired.

That’s pretty harsh original poster, most companies will give you a rookie mistake as long as it’s not something severe. Squishing a little tree in a parking lot would not be considered severe in my opinion. Unless you’re leaving something out. No I was fortunate enough not to have a rookie mistake, but I did make some bonehead things happen my first few weeks, (driving where a truck has no business driving, turning down a frontage road that had a dead end in the middle of the night thinking I was going on the freeway) silly things like that. My company just laughed about it.

Honestly what you need to do is find an empty parking lot with some cones and over a couple of weeks back that truck in every which way you can possibly imagine. You’ll get the feel for it. And remember something else. Never have too much pride to get out and look. Never. At the end of the day if you don’t smash into anything you keep driving. Who cares what anyone else thinks. Your job is to keep that truck / trailer from touching anything.

The first year I was OTR I got out and looked all the time. If I was not 1000% sure about the cab door I came for a quick peek. Now I only have to do it maybe once a month or so. But I’ll still do it. I don’t know what’s back there I look.

Posted:  9 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

No loads for you….

I’m curious how some of you might handle this situation. It’s happened to me numerous times that the company I work for. I work OTR. I drive hard. I drive every load they give me. I’ll get back to the yard on a Saturday morning or afternoon with plenty of hours still drive for the day. And for the week for that matter. I go in to dispatch and tell them I’m ready for a new load. They tell me they don’t have anything until Monday morning. They tell me I’m welcome to go home. The only problem is home is five hours each way for me. Aren’t they obligated to pay me to sit there from Saturday morning until Monday morning? They tell me if I go home I should be back Monday morning. Which is ridiculous for a 10 hour round-trip drive. I tell them no, if I go home I’m going home for a minimum of four days. Your choice. Find me a load or pay me to sit here or I go home for four days. Was I fair with these options? How would you handle this?

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Fired for this?

Well he lost his quarterly safety bonus and was given a warning he had to sign. Happens again, he’s toast. He’s got 390,000 incident ticket free miles and three years.

I’m not going to argue with any responses here. They are spot on. I’ll just say I learned long ago in trucking, a lot of drivers...”do as I say, not as I do” the real issue is not the GPS / being on his phone. A lot of us use truckers path and other apps to assist. The issue IS DISTRACTED DRIVING. Of any kind. And I could rattle off a list of 100 plus things many drivers do that momentarily distract from driving. That said, I told him to learn from it. He said it really rattled his cage and he has removed his from from the holder. Said it will stay in the bunk from now on while driving. Funny he said his dispatcher calls him all the time while he’s driving, so he said he will now have to wait hours until I can phone him back.

Posted:  2 years, 3 months ago

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Fired for this?

Not me, but a buddy who drives....3 year driver, no accidents, no tickets, no incidents, no late loads, no writes up etc.

Driving on “backwoods road” GPS went out and he was trying to fix it. GPS is on his phone. Phone is in holder, not in his hand. He comes around corner, car is stopped in middle of road, collision warning goes off, he slams on breaks. It was a sort of close but he stopped plenty in time. He is worried that hard break, camera showing he is messing with phone, even though it’s in holder combined with hard break might get him fired. ?

I told him they’ll likely give him a write up and stern warning due to clean history, but not be fired... maybe suspended a week...He asked me if I ever touch my phone in the holder. I said yea, most drivers do. Even my trainers back in the day did it to change music etc while driving. But I told him I’ve also never almost smacked into something while doing it. Big difference.

Anyhow, got me thinking about what constitutes “hands free device” I mean we have to press buttons and mess with the QUALCOMM while driving, there’s the radio, there’s turning your lights on and off and different switches, if you’re not holding the phone in your hand is it still a hands-free device? And most every truck or you pass has their phone sitting in a holder on the dash. Don’t tell me none of you touch it. LOL.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Brothers company won’t pay promised bonus..

During regular, normal times which is 99.9% of tracking history I would agree with you. But this is unprecedented. Nobody’s job is secure anywhere! 35% unemployment coming. Trucking companies are getting hundreds of applicants right now as we speak for any open position. And it’s only gonna get worse. They own is drivers for the near term future. The days of picking thousands of jobs are done for now. We are still in the very beginning phase of this mess. Wait until the realization that 50% of restaurants and 60% of bars will never reopened. And that’s just one industry.

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Everyone knows in trucking if they want to fire you, there’s a way.

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Really?

That is exactly the kind of warped and myopic thinking we advise against. Swift hasn't fired me in 7 years...and "we all know" how bad they are. Right?

My advice to your brother...suggest he become a member of this forum and fend for himself;... firsthand.

No company will "fire" a top performer. Period.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Brothers company won’t pay promised bonus..

They approached him to tell him they couldn’t fulfill the bonus. Not the other way around. He did receive other sign on bonus. $2200 paid out over the first six months in increments. The $6000 was a lump sum bonus to be paid at 1 year. I don’t know why he chose this company over others. They are likely looking at laying off drivers soon, as are many companies.

I’m surprised they didn’t just fire him actually. Everyone knows in trucking if they want to fire you, there’s a way.

Is this a sign-on bonus? If so, he should have some documentation of the agreement. This whole scenario sounds really suspicious. What I'm saying is that something is amiss in the details.

He should have been receiving payments at certain points of progress. This sounds like some small independent outfit. Is that so? He may just be out of luck if it's not a well established national carrier.

I find it very difficult to reconcile the following quotes...

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My brother has driven hard and good for this company. 142,000 miles, no tickets, no fender benders nothing.

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He’s worried if he presses the issue, due to the situation out there, they’ll just fire him.

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There's no way a reputable trucking company will fire a guy like that for standing up and expecting them to keep their word from a written contract.

You say the year is up in two weeks. Why is your brother all bent out of shape at this point? He hasn't even completed his part of the bargain and he's worried about the other party. Something sounds very suspicious here to me.

Can you provide more details?

If this brother of yours is as good as you make him sound, and the company is in that bad of shape, your brother will have no problem landing another job at a stable trucking operation. He would probably be better off.

This statement caught me off guard...

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Now the company is not on the verge of bankruptcy or anything like that.

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How would you know that? They must be very close to closing the doors if they can't keep a contract with their productive employees. I don't understand how you would know things really aren't that bad.

This argument you suggest makes no sense to me...

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Now here’s the thing that I told him to tell the office people denying him his $6000 bonus. When he first came out of school he had dozens of companies offering him anywhere from $.45-$.47 a mile to start. This particular company started him at $.40 per mile for the first year.

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At .47/mile your brother would have made $9,940 more dollars turning 142,000 miles. Why did he choose the lower paying job to begin with? See, that tells me there's something else going on here. There's something missing from the story.

Help us out!

I've not seen too many rookie drivers turn 142,000 dispatched miles during their first year. Your brother is a Beast! - he shouldn't have any problems getting a better company to take him on.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Brothers company won’t pay promised bonus..

Now I get it, every company is struggling and soon, you’ll be doing better than most just to have a job. I talked my down and out brother to going into trucking a year ago. He completed school and went to a new company that trained him and offered him a big bonus after he finished a year.

That year is up in two weeks. Well the company just called him in and said due to the financial crisis and things changing they wouldn’t be able to pay him his bonus. Now the company is not on the verge of bankruptcy or anything like that. They just said things have changed etc. My brother has driven hard and good for this company. 142,000 miles, no tickets, no fender benders nothing.

Now here’s the thing that I told him to tell the office people denying him his $6000 bonus. When he first came out of school he had dozens of companies offering him anywhere from $.45-$.47 a mile to start. This particular company started him at $.40 per mile for the first year. With the promise of a big bonus. I told him to tell them that and that essentially because of the lower pay than what he could’ve got he already earned that bonus. It’s already his. Because he worked for an entire year at a lower rate. It all comes out the same in the end. I also told him when it comes to bonuses there is no free money. Trucking companies just finagle the numbers throughout the year to make it come out the same as it would have. So I said basically, in a sense, they’re stealing it from you. You already earned that money.

Any thoughts on how he might approach this? Or is it just tough luck? He does like his job overall, but he’s kinda mad. He worked hard to do everything perfect, only taking half the amount of days off he was eligible for, never turning down a load and running hard. They also haven’t said anything about his raise he’s supposed to get to .44 cents.

He’s worried if he presses the issue, due to the situation out there, they’ll just fire him.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Dispatch assigns me impossible load!

In my opinion you did what you needed to do. You informed all parties this load could not be legally done. I am assuming you are forced dispatch. I would just run it the best I could safely and legally and the rest is on them. You did your part.

Best answer yet! And what I plan to do. But I HATE being late for anything! Just irks me. Even when it’s out of my control. Other drivers have told me when it hits the system as being “late” the dispatchers will just note the load with something blaming the driver, “over slept” didn’t properly trip plan” etc.

I two years into driving and the biggest issue I have overall with OTR, driving is how EVERYTHING is the drivers fault.

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Dispatch assigns me impossible load!

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loads at 0800 tonight and delivers at 0600 tomorrow

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Can you be a little more specific/accurate with your times, so we can better understand your dispatch? 0800 is morning.

My mistake. That’s 8pm tonight, delivers 6pm tomorrow. Same tine zone

Posted:  2 years, 5 months ago

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Dispatch assigns me impossible load!

I’ve been driving for about two years and I’ve encountered the occasional load that’s very tight and sometimes impossible of my dispatcher usually takes it off.

Given a load that loads at 0800 tonight and delivers at 0600 tomorrow. Figure best case scenario 1 hr loading time, deduct 30 minute break and 10 mandatory break that leaves 10.5 hours drive time. The route is 706 miles about 240 of which are back slower roads. Plus I’m governed at 65 mph. I.e., long story made short, I need about 90 minutes more of clock time to get this there on time.

I messaged my dispatcher and they told me to contact the broker. I contact the broker and they said they’ll call me back after I explain and they never did. I contact dispatch again and they just ignore me. Now what this company will do is just put the blame on the driver for being late. It’s a mandatory on time load. There’s like a $500 penalty if it’s late. I feel like the broker set this load up to be late on purpose so they can get out of paying a good portion of it.

Now I’m sitting here locked in to run this load which I do want the miles and I do run all the way to the end of my clock pretty much every day. The issue is it’s just not enough freaking time without a time machine to deliver this on time everyone is just ignoring me.

Now I know times are rough and they’re getting rougher for everyone and I don’t like to be a complainer but I’m not one of these drivers that just sits there and lets everybody pass the blame and buck on to me. If I see something wrong I freaking stand up for myself. You’re not gonna dump some impossible load on me so you can blame me for it being late.

How do I handle this? Just run it, be two hours late and save the Qualcomm messages?

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