Profile For Mark C.

Mark C.'s Info

  • Location:
    FL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years, 6 months ago

Mark C.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

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Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Bad experience or am I the problem?

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did 732 miles in 10 hrs 40 mins

Laura

Does your truck have a governor?

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Andrey,

Yes I do...75 mph on the pedal. If this was my truck (as an OO), I'd still drive this fast...I've always driven fast in good weather. Plus, the wide open spaces out west allow for higher speeds.

Laura

Jealous. I'm governed at 64, 62 on the pedal. Still managed 681 miles on my best day, but had 7 minutes left on my clock. should have been 14 but lost 7 with construction and the weigh station. Blessed with an 8 hr bladder.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

OS, I never learned as much as a student as I have as a teacher.

Like you, I often feel compelled to share...

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

Thanks OS for the reply. I hold no grudge and I've come to learn it's just your writing style. I confess a kneejerk feeling when a reply casts me as someone who failed to consider answers for myself.

"The answer is more complicated than you realize."

Could perhaps be better written

"The answer is more complicated than many realize."

It's said we don't remember words or events apart from the feelings they evoke. I reckon it would be better if your worthy advice were remembered as uplifting. I truly believe you intend it that way.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Bad experience or am I the problem?

What is your question again? I lost track after reading that novel.

Like school on Christmas...

Is couth not a requirement for moderator?

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

Most were grossing, maybe, an extra $200/month.

Thanks for that, and yes, there are challenges when going from business owner to employee.

I'm at PAM, there's a $5k (per driver) sign on bonus that equates to $400/month by itself. PAM isn't very competitive for solo drivers, they are pushing the biggest incentives towards teaming.

I'm afraid I'll expand into every corner of the cab if I don't get my teammate soon, then I'll have no room for him.embarrassed.gif

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

You yourself felt "stranded" and stuck at a company drop yard with no accommodations.

Perhaps I was unclear. I was stranded. I was given a truck and keys, my mentor left, I was then told that something was missing and I couldn't be assigned to the truck until Monday. I had not a single coin in my pockets. I had a truck to sleep in, but couldn't drive it to the store as it was unassigned.

I don't hold grudges, but this is a formative experience as it pertains to expectations. I am a positive person, and I'm positive that the only person who is concerned about my career, in this company and probably industry, is me. That's not unique to trucking.

As for being productive, my first 6 day stretch was 3407 miles. My best day since was 681 miles. I've been on time or early on every load. I ran in the top 20% for fuel economy and never deviated from the fuel solutions. I'll do my part.

OS, most of what you say is applicable to any industry. I've taught the same class you're giving in times past. It's valuable to say, I just wish you'd say it without presuming I'm completely ignorant. I know there's a broader audience, so don't stop teaching it.... just sayin'

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

Yes, it is really difficult to get someone on the phone, especially on the weekends. They can communicate more effectively and quickly through emails.

I was asked to take a load 20 miles down the road since I was going to reset at the yard. I had a few hours left so I was glad to help. There was some missing information in the ticket and I needed to speak with someone to get the correct information, I had 3 hours on my 14 when this started, I had only two when I got answers. In the end, I hit the yard with a single minute on my clock. That hour mattered and the email produced no answers quickly.

Perhaps I was expecting too much, perhaps I shouldn't have agreed to be helpful, or perhaps this is all just normal. Again, understanding what's normal helps me decide these things. I can't imagine getting an HOS violation in my first month is good for my reputation, but I could be wrong there too.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

So it's normal... ok. Thanks for the replies.

You can show me all the math you like. You can never convince me that the money is better to be part of a team.

OS, I'm hoping that's true once my rookie year is up. Until then it's a 40% increase for me. Also, I'm told teams are dispatched on longer runs which equates to more miles as well. Once I've paid these rookie dues I'll be looking for a better balance of home time and income, probably dedicated or local.

I'm not inclined to trust others to value my interests. When I got my MBA I was taught the 'proper' way to think about labor, it's really dehumanizing. Knowing the industry norms will help me know when to push for myself and when to let things slide. Like I said, just managing expectations.

And yes, I really can understand how complicated it is. I also know there are people like the girl in the guard shack the other day who let me sit there with her feet up playing on her phone, until I left my cab and knocked on her window. There are times when it helps everyone to give a push.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

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Serious question on OTR trainers ....

Even not so great trainers can be good people.... My trainer was a good guy, I still call him, though mostly to ask him questions he didn't answer while training, but we text often enough.

My training was only two weeks, that made it easier too. I think he had one shower in those two weeks, did all the 'paperwork' himself, gave a play-by-play every time I backed, and got grumpy if I disagreed with him. But he was a very good driver and I respected that. I understood him and earned his respect in return. I didn't run and complain that he smelled bad or talked too much. And no matter what he said, I didn't hit every bump on I-10.

I would train very differently than I was trained, but there are far more disgruntled (and bad) students out there than there are bad trainers. A good student will learn from even a poor trainer.

Posted:  3 years, 2 months ago

View Topic:

What is the norm when communicating with drivers?

So I've completed my entire two weeks of training, and have been cruising Texas to the Carolinas for a few weeks. I signed on to be a team driver, but driving solo until they find a teammate from my area. I've benefitted from my solo time, learning that it's not a good idea to try parking after 6pm, and never drive until 10pm unless you want to stop on an on-ramp. I've learned that 14 hr clock stops for nothing. I finally get to back up without a play-by-play, and that ally-dock is different with a 53'. If the money were as good, I'd stay solo.

Where I'm struggling is with a lack of communication, particularly with the weekend crew. I "upgraded" on a friday afternoon. That meant I was left stranded at a drop yard for the entire weekend with only the vending machines in the driver's lounge (and no cash). If I hadn't had my own resources (a cab to Walmart) it would have been a very unpleasant (and hungry) weekend. Not much for first impressions.

I have moved on, it's just a backdrop.

Last week another driver from near my home upgraded looking to drive team. We were introduced and we've agreed to work together. It seems no two planners/DM's know what the others are doing. My planner sent me from Laredo to Dallas (to t-call my load to TN) to wait for him, his planner sent him (from TN on his 34) to AZ. Of course it seemed to us that had I simply taken my load directly to TN I could have reached him as his 34 ended, but what do we know?

It's impossible to see the big picture from the driver's seat. I want to trust the planners to be doing their best by both the company and the drivers, but it's getting tough as I'm far outside the loop, and the loop looks disorganized from out here.

My question comes down to no communication. Is that normal? It has taken up to 45 minutes to even get someone to pick up the phone to put me on hold, particularly on the weekend. Is it usually this hard to speak with someone? With the huge push for teams, is it normal to make connecting a team such a feat? Maybe it is normal, but when no connection is made, and no explanation is given, I'm left to question the commitment to me as a driver. I don't expect love notes and flowers, but being let in on the plan, and keeping to the plan, would be nice.

Again, not asking for a solution. Just want to know if this is industry standard.

For those who can't abide posts that are critical of employers, please don't reply. I'm just trying to manage my expectations; much easier to stay positive that way.

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