One Of Those Days, Or: Why I Love Driving For Interstate

Topic 12726 | Page 1

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Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Did I say one of those days? More like The Mother of Those Days. We begin our tale by delivering to the Walmart DC in Grandview, WA. My next load was a preloaded trailer out of Washington Beef in Top*****h, about 30 minutes away. I parked for the night at a little truck stop about 9 miles from the shipper , set my alarm for 5 am, and went to bed. This is where this becomes That Kind of Day.

For no good reason, I woke up at 1:30 am, and could not for the life of me get back to sleep. First my legs would start twitching and spazzing out, then my nose kept playing the only one working nostril game, and then the random itchies started up. It wasn't until well after 3 that I got back to sleep.

When my alarm went off I got up, whined a lot, went inside to use the bathroom and get my morning coffee, then did my pre-trip and boogied over to pick up my load. The printer in the guard shack was having fits, so it took an extra half hour to get my bills, but I wasn't too worried about it since I was just taking the trailer over to our drop yard in Pasco. All in all, I was in and out of the place by 7 am, and the trailer wasn't due in Pasco until noon.

Meanwhile, my FM sends me another load to follow up, but it's not scheduled to pick up until 1530, and it's only 5 miles from the yard. It's also the only thing available that will keep me close enough for my upcoming hometime on Monday.

So I head over to the yard, which is a gravel/dirt lot. And it's been raining. So it's really more of a mud pit at this point. And not that thin, runny mud either, but that super thick cake frosting mud.

I bet you can see where this is going by now.

As I'm unhooking from my trailer, I step in what I think is just another puddle. As it turns out, it's a storm drain that's missing its cover. My left leg goes hip deep in cold muddy water, and the rest of me goes SPLORTCH into the cake frosting. No serious harm done, except to my ego since there was two other Interstate drivers there to watch me flail in the muck. The problem was, although I have clean shirts and socks and underpants, I have no actual clean pants with me.

Long story short, I got to spend all of yesterday soaking wet and covered with mud from the waist down (in front, anyway). I even had to go into a customer looking like that. Most unpleasant.

But why the subtitle about loving Interstate? It's such a silly little thing, really, but given the circumstances it's kind of a huge deal. I dropped that load at our terminal in Wilsonville, OR and picked up another load that delivers in Seattle tomorrow. Which means I get to spend the night at the main terminal in Tacoma. Where we have not only shower facilities, but also free laundry facilities. Again, it's a silly little thing, but not having to pay $2 to wash and another $2 to dry a pair of pants just so I don't look like a hobo means everything in the world when you look like a hobo.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

IDC is the best, just left the Terminal this morning. I like that they don't care if you come up and bug them when you've got nothing to do. I go up and bug the O/O girls all the time and just BS about random stuff.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Jetguy's Comment
member avatar

Great story! Thanks, hobo.

Jetguy's Comment
member avatar

IDC is the best, just left the Terminal this morning. I like that they don't care if you come up and bug them when you've got nothing to do. I go up and bug the O/O girls all the time and just BS about random stuff.

IDC. Looks like Interstate Distributor Co. Right?

Sounds like the office ladies got great attitudes and like their jobs.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

Yup! Everyone is pretty friendly and they encourage drivers to interact with them vs versa. If you even want, you can sit down with your dispatcher for a day to better understand what they do. I've thought about it but I'm no longer a company driver, I can only imagine some of the crazy calls they get from drivers.

double-quotes-start.png

IDC is the best, just left the Terminal this morning. I like that they don't care if you come up and bug them when you've got nothing to do. I go up and bug the O/O girls all the time and just BS about random stuff.

double-quotes-end.png

IDC. Looks like Interstate Distributor Co. Right?

Sounds like the office ladies got great attitudes and like their jobs.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Yep, in the 19 months I've been with them, Interstate (or IDC, or INTD, depending on whose acronym you want to use) have been outstanding. The office personnel I've dealt with have always been friendly, helpful, and actually cheerful. It's like they actually enjoy their jobs and helping drivers. Even the shop guys are cool. There's a genuine atmosphere of driver appreciation, over and above the usual "we appreciate what you do" lip service.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Lee S.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep, in the 19 months I've been with them, Interstate (or IDC, or INTD, depending on whose acronym you want to use) have been outstanding. The office personnel I've dealt with have always been friendly, helpful, and actually cheerful. It's like they actually enjoy their jobs and helping drivers. Even the shop guys are cool. There's a genuine atmosphere of driver appreciation, over and above the usual "we appreciate what you do" lip service.

Looking to get my CDL soon and Interstate was one of the companies i was looking at. I know on their website they state they want 3 months experience, is that a hard and fast rule or do they make exceptions?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Looking to get my CDL soon and Interstate was one of the companies i was looking at. I know on their website they state they want 3 months experience, is that a hard and fast rule or do they make exceptions?

Assume the worst: they tell you to come back after you get some solo road time in.

Learning to drive a big rig takes time and miles of experience. Interstate is saying they don't want to take the time for a newbie. Don't get upset, some companies want to see five years experience before they will talk to you.

Another point: for your driving career resume: job hopping is frowned upon. Our recommendation is to stick with your first company for at least a year before switching.

You certainly can have your reasons for signing on with Interstate. A phone call and a question for an Interstate recruiter will answer that.

You might also want to take a look around:

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Lee S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I have done a lot of reading over the past months on this site, watched countless videos, so i kinda have some idea of what to do. This site has been incredibly helpful! I am going to go the High Road pages here in a bit. I went ahead and got my DOT physical the other day as i wasn't sure I'd make it through, and if i didn't i needed to give myself time to make other plans for employment. Got through it ok though. So now i am working on getting a grant through WIOA to go to CDL school, which i think i prefer vs company training. Anyhoo, i didn't mean to hijack the thread. I will probably start my own thread here once i get into CDL School

double-quotes-start.png

Looking to get my CDL soon and Interstate was one of the companies i was looking at. I know on their website they state they want 3 months experience, is that a hard and fast rule or do they make exceptions?

double-quotes-end.png

Assume the worst: they tell you to come back after you get some solo road time in.

Learning to drive a big rig takes time and miles of experience. Interstate is saying they don't want to take the time for a newbie. Don't get upset, some companies want to see five years experience before they will talk to you.

Another point: for your driving career resume: job hopping is frowned upon. Our recommendation is to stick with your first company for at least a year before switching.

You certainly can have your reasons for signing on with Interstate. A phone call and a question for an Interstate recruiter will answer that.

You might also want to take a look around:

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

WIOA:

WIOA - Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (aka WIA)

Formerly known as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the WIOA was established in 1998 to prepare youth, adults and dislocated workers for entry and reentry into the workforce. WIOA training funds are designed to serve laid-off individuals, older youth and adults who are in need of training to enter or reenter the labor market. A lot of truck drivers get funding for their CDL training through WIOA.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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