I Hate My Company.

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Cleft_Asunder's Comment
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So im with my second company now at 8 months experience, plus 6 months experience with my first. Its a "mom and pop" type gig but im really regretting it.

I signed up because they leave me alone and let me do 72mph. They gave me a "newer" 13 spd volvo with 237k miles on it. During the first week the truck had some issue so it went to volvo, and normally a driver should wait for his truck to be repaired since he has all his stuff in there, but NOPE he wanted me to do a "favor" and get into a similar volvo to run loads until my truck was repaired. I was very annoyed and thought to myself, "this guy just wants me to get into his truck and make him profits." Get in the truck and go. Boy was i right.

So a week later i was eager to get my original volvo back since i didnt like the second one as much because it had serious engine issues. Even though he told me i would get it back, i find out some lady is driving it. The lady eventually damages the truck and so im stuck with the second volvo.

So as time goes on, i persisted in telling him that the check engine light is on and that it has multiple issues such as hard starting, but it became obvious that maintenance is a low priority. The truck fails to start one day and had to be towed due to fuel injectors. I was in a motel twidling my thumbs for a week. I was annoyed and ****ed because im very mechanical, and preventitive maintenance is a big cost saver, and a joy to exercise. And i realize im working for a company that thinks they are saving money because they avoided balancing the tires. And then i realized, "hey wait a second, why the ____ don't i have an inverter in here? If i owned a company, i would pay out of my own pocket for one, and even a tv and sattelite dish. Why wouldnt i want to make drivers happy?"

Now I should mention that i do a lot of work on repairs, making sure the truck isnt falling apart. 8 months pass and the truck finally gets fed up with the second engine issue and cant start. I was telling them for 8 months that they should get it fixed. What do they do instead? They dont repair it and take it back to lease. Okay, maybe that makes sense, but it was a nice truck, ans it was MY truck because i was comfortable.

So --get this-- they throw me in a 10 spd prostar eagle that they just bought, and im thinking, "wtf is going on here? I dont want this truck, i want my volvo." I notice the truck is lacking power and has a check engine light on, no surprise there, so i check the air filter which was heavily clogged, and removed it. Thats how much im respected that they throw me in a truck that isnt even checked for basic things?

Any way, i asked for another volvo, and they gave me one. I'm currently driving a truck with 800,000 miles on it, and there are like 10 things wrong with it, one being that it's ghetto, and another that the cruise control doesnt work. In fact, when i took off for a load today, the hood flew forward on the highway as i braked since the latch was not installed correctly.

Any way, there are lots of other things, but i want to ask you guys for advice because i really want to get 1.5 years in, but that means staying with the company another 4 months, and i am really hating my job right now because my truck is old and ghetto, and i dont respect my boss. I think he is greedy and selfish and i don't believe he is fit to run a company.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Cleft, you are a heck of a character. I have to admit I didn't recall the Jake Brake situation Old School referred to so I looked through your comment history. Man, you make some amazing statements. Here's only a few highlights:

That brings up another point. Many new drivers are eager to prove themselves like i was. A good instructor should shatter that mentality by telling the student to avoid difficult and unnecessary situations so their cdl stays clean.

The obvious problem here is that you never get good at something if you don't challenge yourself. In order to accomplish something that was at one time impossible for you unless you actually have to do that thing at some point. There is no way to "keep trucking easy" and yet teach someone how to do it in the real world. Once you pull out on that highway you have no idea what will happen. And besides, most of the worst accidents I've witnessed over the years were on beautiful sunny days out in the country in very light traffic. So there is no truly safe place or safe set of circumstances out there. Being a successful driver is all about time and risk management.

The way these larger companies operate is that they filter out "bad" drivers. No accidents? You're a "good" driver! Hooray for you. It doesnt matter if you do 55mph down 6% grades every day, as long as you dont damage equipment, you're golden. Instead of building genuinly good drivers by letting them make the minor mistakes, they keep a taly; 3 "preventable" accidents and strike, you're out. You bad driver you. Meanwhile high horse joe (who sucks at driving) is accident free mainly due luck and he gets all the praise, while you (a potentialy good driver eager to learn) is going to be filtered out.

Very interesting insight into your oddball thinking right here. "High Horse Joe" is a terrible driver even though he has no accidents. And yet a rookie with two accidents who thinks that playing bumper cars with an 80,000 pound rig should be considered a normal part of the learning curve is a "genuinely good driver".

That's a true disconnect with reality right there I'm afraid. You considered yourself a genuinely good driver because you don't consider minor accidents to be a reflection upon the quality of your driving skills.

This field is too unfriendly to new drivers. Experienced drivers are judged by the same standards as rookies. There should be a 6 month window (at least) for rookies to be allowed to make minor mistakes with no jeopardy to their jobs.

Again, same theme. Nothing wrong with bouncing a truck off a few obstacles once in a while like in a video game, right? Sure, no problem.....

And now my favorite:

Yes its difficult being a good driver especially if you like to experiment and take minor risks like i do to see the outcome. I learn the best when i actually make the mistake, but there is barely any room for it in this industry because it can put you in an accident. I wish someone would have told me how serious they take minor accidents because i wouldnt have attempted the things i have and used more caution. Thats what im really bitter about.

You're bitter because the trucking industry takes accidents seriously? I'm gonna let that one stand on its own.

So you have an interesting history of confused thinking, bordering on delusional. But you don't stop there. You're also an expert on doing things you've never done. When you were in training you were an expert on how drivers should be trained and what metrics should be used to separate a "genuinely good driver" like yourself with a few wrecks from a lousy driver with no wrecks. Now that you've been a driver for a short time you're an expert on running a company:

i am really hating my job right now because my truck is old and ghetto, and i dont respect my boss. I think he is greedy and selfish and i don't believe he is fit to run a company.

You know what the problem is? You simply know more than everyone else in the world. Why are you a driver instead of a driver trainer? In fact, why are you an employee at all instead of a company owner?

Things are not going to change at that company. It's not because your boss is greedy and unfit, it's because most trucking companies are run on shoestring budgets and they simply can't afford to keep things in perfect shape all the time. They don't have the big finances behind them to make smooth transitions through difficult situations like expensive breakdowns. They can't just snap their fingers and helicopter in a brand new truck so you can keep on rolling. They have to work with extremely tight finances.

The same thing you're experiencing now is pretty much par for the course with smaller companies. They are often times more difficult places to work than the larger companies because they don't have the fancy new equipment or all of the nice perks the large companies have like nationwide accounts for lumper services, towing, tires, and repairs. They have no pull with customers because they don't handle large amounts of freight. They don't have an army of people in the offices at the ready to handle anything that might come up. It's a whole different world.

If you intend to leave the place you're at then make sure you have a job lined up before you quit. Or even better, buy a truck and run your own company any way you see fit.

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.

Dm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I work for a big company and enjoy having nice equipment. My brother drives for a small company (something like a dozen trucks) and finds stuff going bad on his old million-mile Mack pretty frequently. When he does, he takes it to their shop and the owner or his mechanic fix it - maybe not to factory specs, but it works.

He doesn't complain about it, and he is very safety conscious. He actually does a more thorough pre-trip than any other driver I've seen out on the road, myself included, and he does it every single day.

Sometimes I think he has the life. I'm out four or five weeks at a time. He's home every night (but just to shower and sleep, really) and home every weekend. His truck is ungoverned. He doesn't ever hear a word about fuel economy. If he gets stuck out at some farm, the farmer or his wife gets a tractor and pulls him out and no one at the company thinks anything of it. If he forgets to dodge the chicken coop and gets an overweight ticket, the owner shrugs and pays it. They have a big Christmas party every year and everyone from the company goes to the local restaurant and has a nice time. Everyone there knows him, and he knows everyone, like a big family.

Sometimes he thinks I have the life with a two-year old Pete and getting to see the country "like a real trucker."

He started at this company and has been there a couple of years now. I've been at my company for a year and a half. My brother will probably stay there till he retires. I'm thinking of looking for something that gets me home more often. We both have options now, though, because we both made up our minds to stay put for at least a year.

Cleft, you may not realize it, but you tend to report everything as if not one bit of it is your personal responsibility. It's always about what everyone else is doing or not doing. It may make you feel good, but it's not realistic, and it puts people off because they know better. They've been there, done that. If you need to vent, ok, but don't expect anyone to take you too seriously with that approach.

If you're going to stay where you're at, just accept the fact that not everything on your truck is going to be perfect. It's an expensive machine to maintain and operate. No need to call it "ghetto." Call it an older truck and let it go at that. It's the tool that company has given you so you can make a living.

Do your pre-trips more thoroughly so you don't have to wonder if the hood is going to fly open if you stop hard. (And try to drive in a way where you won't have to stop hard.) if something is seriously unsafe, offer the company some solutions so you can roll safely. See if you can use all this energy to figure out ways to help the company make more money so they can upgrade their equipment.

Then in four months, if you're still unhappy, start looking around. Maybe you'll have to work a little harder where you're at to be safe, but it will make the cake job with newer equipment seem that much sweeter if you end up leaving.

's Comment
member avatar

You're kidding...right? Just trolling to get a rise out of the forum?

Cleft_Asunder's Comment
member avatar

You're kidding...right? Just trolling to get a rise out of the forum?

No, 100 percent true, and thats not even the worst of it.

Cleft_Asunder's Comment
member avatar

And btw, if you're thinking that im getting worse and worse trucks because my miles are slacking or because im not a good driver, you're wrong. I would get 3600 miles sometimes, and 2500 minimum. This is just not what you do to keep drivers.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I was very annoyed and thought to myself, "this guy just wants me to get into his truck and make him profits." Get in the truck and go. Boy was i right.

Cleft, have you ever stopped to think about some of the thoughts you come up with? I mean, do you not realize that if you are making profits for someone then you are also earning good money for yourself? I mean just a few sentences later you are complaining that you are sitting in a hotel room not making money. So which one is it that you "hate" - working, or not working? I just can't tell anymore.

I'd like to help you, but in the past any time we have tried to give you advice you always had to show us that you were the smartest man in the room. I'll never forget us trying to help you understand how to properly use the Jake Brake. You had all these questions, and each time we would give you advice you would rebut our advice by quoting the Jacobs manual back to us, which made me wonder why you were asking us since you already seemed to have the entire manual memorized, yet you couldn't float gears because you were driving around with your Jakes on all the time.

Now you can't sleep in the bed you've made yourself and you are wanting to know what we think? Okay, I'll give it one shot - You should run as fast as you can from this job and become an owner/operator. That's right, you certainly have shown us with this post that you know all the things that these folks are doing wrong, and you never seem to be happy at all unless you are the one calling the shots. I think that is your solution - Go For It!

One more thing, and this is really for those of you who are following along with this discussion. Cleft demonstrates clearly with this post the reasons why we encourage you guys to get on with the national companies. You will get good equipment, good miles, and they will take care of things for you. Cleft tried that route and quit, now he's about to quit this alternative method. His options are getting slim.

Float Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Cleft, you are a heck of a character. I have to admit I didn't recall the Jake Brake situation Old School referred to so I looked through your comment history. Man, you make some amazing statements. Here's only a few highlights:

That brings up another point. Many new drivers are eager to prove themselves like i was. A good instructor should shatter that mentality by telling the student to avoid difficult and unnecessary situations so their cdl stays clean.

The obvious problem here is that you never get good at something if you don't challenge yourself. In order to accomplish something that was at one time impossible for you unless you actually have to do that thing at some point. There is no way to "keep trucking easy" and yet teach someone how to do it in the real world. Once you pull out on that highway you have no idea what will happen. And besides, most of the worst accidents I've witnessed over the years were on beautiful sunny days out in the country in very light traffic. So there is no truly safe place or safe set of circumstances out there. Being a successful driver is all about time and risk management.

The way these larger companies operate is that they filter out "bad" drivers. No accidents? You're a "good" driver! Hooray for you. It doesnt matter if you do 55mph down 6% grades every day, as long as you dont damage equipment, you're golden. Instead of building genuinly good drivers by letting them make the minor mistakes, they keep a taly; 3 "preventable" accidents and strike, you're out. You bad driver you. Meanwhile high horse joe (who sucks at driving) is accident free mainly due luck and he gets all the praise, while you (a potentialy good driver eager to learn) is going to be filtered out.

Very interesting insight into your oddball thinking right here. "High Horse Joe" is a terrible driver even though he has no accidents. And yet a rookie with two accidents who thinks that playing bumper cars with an 80,000 pound rig should be considered a normal part of the learning curve is a "genuinely good driver".

That's a true disconnect with reality right there I'm afraid. You considered yourself a genuinely good driver because you don't consider minor accidents to be a reflection upon the quality of your driving skills.

This field is too unfriendly to new drivers. Experienced drivers are judged by the same standards as rookies. There should be a 6 month window (at least) for rookies to be allowed to make minor mistakes with no jeopardy to their jobs.

Again, same theme. Nothing wrong with bouncing a truck off a few obstacles once in a while like in a video game, right? Sure, no problem.....

And now my favorite:

Yes its difficult being a good driver especially if you like to experiment and take minor risks like i do to see the outcome. I learn the best when i actually make the mistake, but there is barely any room for it in this industry because it can put you in an accident. I wish someone would have told me how serious they take minor accidents because i wouldnt have attempted the things i have and used more caution. Thats what im really bitter about.

You're bitter because the trucking industry takes accidents seriously? I'm gonna let that one stand on its own.

So you have an interesting history of confused thinking, bordering on delusional. But you don't stop there. You're also an expert on doing things you've never done. When you were in training you were an expert on how drivers should be trained and what metrics should be used to separate a "genuinely good driver" like yourself with a few wrecks from a lousy driver with no wrecks. Now that you've been a driver for a short time you're an expert on running a company:

i am really hating my job right now because my truck is old and ghetto, and i dont respect my boss. I think he is greedy and selfish and i don't believe he is fit to run a company.

You know what the problem is? You simply know more than everyone else in the world. Why are you a driver instead of a driver trainer? In fact, why are you an employee at all instead of a company owner?

Things are not going to change at that company. It's not because your boss is greedy and unfit, it's because most trucking companies are run on shoestring budgets and they simply can't afford to keep things in perfect shape all the time. They don't have the big finances behind them to make smooth transitions through difficult situations like expensive breakdowns. They can't just snap their fingers and helicopter in a brand new truck so you can keep on rolling. They have to work with extremely tight finances.

The same thing you're experiencing now is pretty much par for the course with smaller companies. They are often times more difficult places to work than the larger companies because they don't have the fancy new equipment or all of the nice perks the large companies have like nationwide accounts for lumper services, towing, tires, and repairs. They have no pull with customers because they don't handle large amounts of freight. They don't have an army of people in the offices at the ready to handle anything that might come up. It's a whole different world.

If you intend to leave the place you're at then make sure you have a job lined up before you quit. Or even better, buy a truck and run your own company any way you see fit.

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.

Dm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Cleft_Asunder's Comment
member avatar

Cleft, you are a heck of a character.

Man i don't even know how to reply to you other than to say that you are a master at character assassination. "Digging in the past?" Thats something i specifically try not to do since its pety. For example, im a "bumper buster" because you know that i was in two minor accidents, so that rules out any future potential that i can call myself a truck driver.

Somehow you missed the entire reality and tone of my post, unlike old school, who did understand without taking my side.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Whatever.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I remember this character well. Top 3 discussions we've ever had in my opinion. I completely agree with Brett. Most of the time it's the driver's fault but they never seem to realize it.

As far as advice, I can't give any because you know a lot more than me.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Without jumping all over the other stuff on this discussion - sounds like working for a small mom-n-pop, can be a nightmare.

With 14 months of experience, you should be able to move into another company - or back into the company you left the first time (assuming you left on good terms).

As OS comments - an ample demonstration of why the grass is not always greener.

Get back onboard with a national/large carrier - keep your head down and put a year in - not because you're under obligation to, but to start developing some stable employment history.

While it's understandable in the first few years, to do a little "shopping around" for a company that is a "best fit" for you. The best companies do want to see someone that shows they can stick things through.

These companies STILL have a 2-3 year OTR experience requirement for hire, higher pay and better equipment - because they want folks that have demonstrated a commitment to sticking around and getting the job done.

Rick

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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