Profile For Roger P.

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    4 years, 2 months ago

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Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

I actually grew up in a town where Sysco is one of the main employers, so yeah, I'm familiar with what they do and not necessarily opposed to doing it... though I dunno if I'll want to be doing it when I'm 60.

I think I can hunt for union gigs while not necessarily closing myself off from non-union gigs. A good way of putting this is that, all other things being equal, I'd prefer a union shop. Of course, all other things are almost never equal. It's one of my considerations, and a pretty major one, but not the only one, especially after reading this thread.

FWIW, my experience of growing up in a union family has a lot to do with this. What the Church was to other families, the union was in mine. That might sound silly to people here, but that's how it was in my family.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

The best opportunity you have for linehaul in LTL is to pick a VERY LARGE hub to work at. Many more opportunities and many more personnel moves. If you pick a small place to work you will literally do NO driving for a very long time and if you are extra-board right now you'll work some and maybe not at all. Not wanting to start until next year will probably be to your advantage.

Create a long term plan and stick to it. No matter union or not. Though I DO agree with the union statements on this thread. I feel YRC is not long for this world. They may come out alright if they get Fed money.

So here's a very rough long-term plan:

1) Get in an OTR training program to learn how to drive. 2) After a year, start looking for jobs in Denver (I'm guessing this is the biggest hub in Colorado. I like Phoenix, but I ain't dying to work a dock in 110 weather). Prioritize union work, but don't limit myself to it. FWIW, Sysco is also a Teamster shop, but I think they mostly do local... which I'm not necessarily opposed to. The whole point of linehaul / LTL for me is that it gets you home a lot.

Is that a decent plan?

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

Do you lose all seniority if you transfer?

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

If you're willing to do p&d, you'll get to days a lot faster. At FedEx P&D has start times ranging from 6 am to 10 am. They usually work 10-12 hour days and FedEx pays overtime after 8 hours a day.

I'm not opposed to P&D, but linehaul sounds way better. Just sit down, drive for a long way, drop your trailer, turn around and come back. Simple. The "boring" aspect of it appeals to me.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

At OD only P&D does since they are out in public with customers, they keep us linehaul drivers locked up, as not to scare the public. As long as what you where is not offensive it should be fine.

Opinions vary, but all my naked lady tattoos are covered by my pants.

With linehaul something to consider is most of the runs depart after 9 pm. So you may have to work night for awhile or even forever if your location doesn't have anything else. But you will get 2 days off a week

The main thing here is that I basically consider any work day a bit of a wash, because I know long hours are part of the deal. Something where I'm doing 4x14 would honestly be ideal for me. I've seen some around, not necessarily line haul, but out there. The main appeal of linehaul for me is that I'm home most of the time, get regular days off and it seems to pay well, in part because the industry is historically unionized.

I'm not looking to do this until August of next year, because I'd like to hit the road with the family for another year, living out of the RV and winding down my business.

OD sounds like a good company based on what has been said here and what I have read / watched other places , so I'm wondering about the relative merits of dock-to-driver programs versus the traditional long haul / OTR training route. I'm not terribly bothered by more active work. I like driving but the whole "sitting on your rear every day for a year" part of the OTR route isn't my favorite thing.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

And oh yeah, to Steve and anyone else. Here is my ranked list of what I want out of the job:

1. Home time. I'm doing this to provide for my family, but I also want to be there for them as much as possible. I'm happy to eat a year on the road as a way to learn how to work safely. After that, I'm looking for something that's gonna have me home as much as possible. I've seen a couple gigs that don't pay that much, but have you driving team three days a week and off for four. More common are four-day work weeks that involve lots of loading and unloading. I'll take a pay cut to have more family time. My family is everything to me. 2. Safety. I want to learn how to drive a truck safely, for myself, for my family and for everyone else out on the road. I want to be trained properly. 3. Trucks. I'm basically going to be living in this thing for a year. I don't want to be sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter and constantly waylaid because the thing is breaking down. 4. Culture. I'm not a gigantic fan of dress codes and uniforms and "corporate" company cultures. I'm covered in tattoos and have hair down to the middle of my chest and a gigantic beard. I'd prefer not to cut my hair. If I have to... whatever, it grows back. 5. Pet policy. I have a pit bull and being able to take her on the road with me would definitely improve my quality of life.

Pay and benefits aren't on here, because they're basically the same AFAIK: The pay sucks and the benefits are decent. After my first year I'd be looking for something that balances pay with home time, hopefully something local / regional. The whole purpose of becoming a trucker is so that my wife can be a stay-at-home mom and I can eventually buy us a halfway decent house in the boondocks around Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Denver, Flagstaff or Phoenix.

As I said, this list is ranked, so home time is the most important and being able to bring my smelly dog on the road is the least important. Happy to hear what you guys have to say.

FWIW, I didn't mean to rattle anyone's cage here and I'm sorry that I did. My manner of speaking comes across about 1,000 times better in person than it does on the Internet.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

Old School: Read those and good stuff. I'm a bit of a prickly pear, but I've done well running my own business because I work hard, am good at what I do and relatively easy to deal with. That's basically all anyone wants.

Wiggle Wagon: What's the best time to apply for jobs?

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

There are only 3 Union LTL carriers. ABF, YRC and UPS Freight.

YRC could close their doors tomorrow and I wouldn't be surprised. They're actually delinquent on the employees healthcare fund and they've made no good faith efforts to pay what they owe. Employees have about 8 weeks of health insurance left.

That sucks, but is good information to have.

ABF seems to be more solid, but they're Union collects dues and goes home. At ABF they can work you on the dock for 8 hours and then send you out on the road. They do it all the time. They have an excessive overtime provision in their contact, but it gets ignored most of the time.

That also sucks, but likewise is good information to have.

UPS Freight hates their Union. At this time when the union is supposed to be backing them, people are getting laid off and losing their benefits with no guarantees of coming back, while UPS is using other carriers to move their freight. And it would be very difficult to support a family on the entry level pay rate and lack of hours from being at the bottom.

And again.

What's the difference between going to HR and going to a shop steward if you have issues? Personally, I've had plenty of issues resolved by HR quick and painlessly. Not just at FedEx, but previous employers as well.

My general experience with HR departments is not positive, but then again, all my jobs have basically been ones where I was a warm body.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

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No idea what I said that was funny, but I'd love to be clued in.

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Roger, you came on here asking for advice with a preconceived idea of what you wanted to hear. You didn't like what you were hearing and your comments tried to slam those of us that don't drive for unions.

I never asked anyone about the relative merits of unions, but people felt the need to chip in with their two cents. I had specific questions about procedures I didn't "slam" anyone. Forgive me for assuming that truck drivers had slightly thicker skin. Above someone talked about why they like OD which isn't union, I thanked him for his perspective and asked more questions.

Tbh, it seems like the non-union guys are the ones grinding an axe here, not me. Me: "I think I'd like to work in a union shop." Non union drivers: "OH MY GAWD NO DONT LIMIT YOURSELF UNION COMPANIES ARE BAD!" Me: "Eh, I dunno about that." Non union drivers: "WHY ARE YOU PERSECUTING ME?"

Seriously, find me where I ask "Hey guys, are union companies good or bad?" I don't. Not once. I mention that I want to work union and ask what the best companies are. This was apparently the cue for people on the forum to air their grievances about IBT while providing me with zero in the way of constructive advice and then get salty when I suggest that I might personally prefer working in a union shop.

Listen, gang, if you're all happy working non-union, by all means, keep it up. I'm not here to convince anyone to start organizing their workplace. Go check out the back and forth between me and Bobcat Bob.

Posted:  4 years, 2 months ago

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Best (?) LTL Carrier for Linehaul

Roger, our focus here is helping people make a good start in their trucking careers. We make every effort to help everyone that shows up here. Unfortunately we can't help all of them. Some of them think they already know more than we do. Others think we're some sort of pimps for "Big Trucking." We get all kinds. But we've found that most people wanting to get into trucking simply do not understand the dynamics that make the job so wonderful for one person while making it so miserable for another. You revealed your ignorance on that substantive knowledge when you said this...

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Forgive me if I want something to protect my job beyond the goodwill of my employer.

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Success at Trucking is more easily grasped by those who've been self employed. Congratulations - you've got a leg up! But only if you do away with that Union mentality you've got. I'll tell you what the "goodwill of your employer" will do for you in trucking. They will let you rise or fall on your own merit. That's actually what they look for. These businesses run best with self motivated people who like to be creative about getting things accomplished.

I just want to be clear that I do NOT think I know more than you or anyone else on this forum about trucking. I will fully admit that all the jobs I had before I went freelance / started my own business were low-paying, low-skilled and not worth what they paid. I am not used to being valued by my employer and generally of the opinion that anyone of my bosses would have sold me for my organs if he thought I might fetch a decent return.

And, as I said above, I come from a union family. My experience with unions is overwhelmingly positive. I believe they provide an additional layer of protection, as well as a means to deal with workplace issues without having to go crying to HR.

I've always excelled at this career. I credit much of that to running my own business prior to this as my second career. I earn twice what many of my peers working the same account make. It's simply because I am consistently capable of accomplishing much more than them. Productivity, efficiency, and maintaining a positive working relationship with your team in dispatch works wonders out here.

Everybody in trucking is measured by their results. Your performance actually determines your treatment and your level of income. Nobody holds your hand in this job and nobody has your back. You are your own advocate, or your own demise. That's how it works. It's a simple formula. If you think you need an advocate then go for a union job, but even there you will find that performance trumps seniority. That's how trucking works.

Successful Drivers Operate Like Business Owners

Totally unrelated to the rest of this, I just want to know what it is you do that causes you to out earn your coworkers so dramatically. As an aside, one of the more attractive things about this to me is that, as a guy who has effectively been "free range" for the last ten years, I chaffe at the notion of being micromanaged. So yeah, I think I will do well because my life for the last ten years has been getting things done for my clients with minimal to nonexistent hand holding.

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