What I Heard...

Topic 13388 | Page 1

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G-Town's Comment
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"What I heard" is a frequently used phrase on this forum justifying an action, process, or event. When I hear this regarding employment and interaction with a recruiter, I literally cringe. No matter what was spoken; promised, claimed, stated, or refuted by the recruiter, in the end there will almost always be a legal document specifying the legal terms of your employment that you are required to sign. It's typical that said recruiter will not volunteer the existence or availability of this agreement or contract. They want to get you off the phone and signed up with the least amount of resistance so they can move on to their next call. It's a numbers game...make them do their job and be your own advocate.

Ask for a copy of any agreement or contract in advance of any official or formal orientation or on-boarding process. Thoroughly understand it before you are required to sign it. If "it's" not in writing, "it" never happened. Protect yourself from surprises...read any and all documents to reduce the amount of hearsay you believe as fact.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

"What I heard" is a frequently used phrase on this forum justifying an action, process, or event. When I hear this regarding employment and interaction with a recruiter, I literally cringe. No matter what was spoken; promised, claimed, stated, or refuted by the recruiter, in the end there will almost always be a legal document specifying the legal terms of your employment that you are required to sign. It's typical that said recruiter will not volunteer the existence or availability of this agreement or contract. They want to get you off the phone and signed up with the least amount of resistance so they can move on to their next call. It's a numbers game...make them do their job and be your own advocate.

Ask for a copy of any agreement or contract in advance of any official or formal orientation or on-boarding process. Thoroughly understand it before you are required to sign it. If "it's" not in writing, "it" never happened. Protect yourself from surprises...read any and all documents to reduce the amount of hearsay you believe as fact.

Thanks G-town. A good reminder to read to fine print!

By the way, glad to see Brett made you a moderator. You were super helpful to me while I was going through training!

Dutch's Comment
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G-Town, great advice in the chess game that is trucking. Not all companies are set up to take advantage of the driver, but certain employees can always be of that persuasion no matter where a driver works.

G-Town's Comment
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G-Town, great advice in the chess game that is trucking. Not all companies are set up to take advantage of the driver, but certain employees can always be of that persuasion no matter where a driver works.

Thanks, the latest Lobos casualty has me a bit jacked. I agree with you, most companies are setup to be above-board and forthright. Recruiters though are a different breed and many will march to the beat of their own drum. I believe there are really good ones and a few bad ones. Forewarned is forearmed.

Safe travels!

G-Town's Comment
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Paul W wrote:

By the way, glad to see Brett made you a moderator. You were super helpful to me while I was going through training!

Thank you Paul. Happy to help...continued success to you.

Safe travels.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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And might I add that recruiters may not even be the most egregious spreaders of misinformation. Drivers are just as bad! You won't believe how many 'expert opinions' you'll get from drivers on things they really know almost nothing about. Like get on the CB and ask people what they think of any major company. You'll get a long list of detailed responses from drivers about why the company is so horrible and how they're in cahoots with the government and how they're buying up every company in the nation and on and on and on. Of course these drivers haven't spent one moment of their lives in a meeting room with management or the Government, nor have they ever viewed a single document regarding any of their theories, nor have they ever worked for the company in question. But something 'little' like not having any actual facts or experience with the matter isn't going to stop them from spreading silly rumors or giving you 'information' that is flat out wrong.

What you also have with drivers is the 'rumor chain'. One guy heard something, he tells another guy who then tells a third guy about what he heard......and on and on it goes. And of course with each iteration the truth gets a little more obscured and the story or conspiracy theory gets more embellished.

As G-Town pointed out, the one thing you can count on is the written word. If you don't have it in writing then consider it to be a rumor or a marketing tactic, not a fact or a promise you can count on.

Pianoman's Comment
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What you also have with drivers is the 'rumor chain'. One guy heard something, he tells another guy who then tells a third guy about what he heard......and on and on it goes. And of course with each iteration the truth gets a little more obscured and the story or conspiracy theory gets more embellished.

What I find amazing is alot of people are more willing to stick their head in the sand and continue listening to the rumors and their own excuses than listen to the advice of someone who is trying to help them.

Case in point, yesterday I finished a delivery and stopped at the SLC terminal for a few minutes to scan in my paperwork before going to pick up my next load right away in Pleasant View. When I got back to my truck I started talking to the student driver in the truck next to me. He told me he had been out with his trainer for 130 hours now. Immediately he started complaining about one thing after another. First his temporary license had expired, now they're just sitting and dispatch put their PTA for a couple days away, so on and so forth. Thr way he described everything, clearly *nothing* was his fault... I haven't been out here very long, but by applying the principles and tips I've learned on this site, I'm now running 3000-3500 miles a week. (This week I'm at about 3300 and I still have 350 miles to go before it's over, and that's in a Swift truck!). So I started sharing some of the advice I'd been given, as well as some tricks of my own I've learned at Swift. I told him to PLAN AHEAD, call dispatch a million times if you have to (just be nice), call the planners when you need a new load (not the dispatchers), and be patient cause sometime you're just gonna have to sit. Instead of listening, he just starts arguing with me!

So I turned on my engine and went my merry little way. If Mr. Student wants to be a jack***, I hope he at least enjoys the ride.

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.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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Paul wrote:

I told him to PLAN AHEAD, call dispatch a million times if you have to (just be nice), call the planners when you need a new load (not the dispatchers), and be patient cause sometime you're just gonna have to sit. Instead of listening, he just starts arguing with me!

He has a great future a head of him and will quickly become one of the "Precious Darlings" his DM would rather avoid than work with...he will sit more often because of his attitude. Don't be that driver! DMs and planners definitely show favoritism...it's not discussed, usually denied, but it's a fact they favor the drivers who give them the least amount of flack, help them solve problems (example below) and get the job done without complaining or whining.

Great example: late one night my last stop was a back haul from Ocean Spray in Kutztown PA off of I-78. Most of my backhauls for Walmart are drop-and hook, or as I like to call them "show and go". Usually I am in and out of Ocean Spray in 30 minutes. I proceeded to the shipping office to check in. They informed me that my assigned load was not ready and it would need to be a live load cause they ran out of WM empties, wait time approximately 2 hours. I had 90 minutes on my 14, plenty of time to get back to the DC with the load but not enough time to wait for 2 hours to be loaded. Although I am paid by the stop, in the case of a backhaul, to get paid you "gotta' be under it and not return empty. So I let the shipping clerk know I was short on hours, and asked what other options were available? She said there were 3 other Walmart loads ready, destined for my DC but they were not dispatched to me. I asked her for the trailer numbers and P/U numbers on those 3 loads, I wrote it down and called my DM. Explained the issue, gave him the information, and told him they are willing to let me take one of the other three loads. He then got on the phone with WM dispatch and they figured out the best load for me to take. I then went back to the shipping office, gave the clerk the new p/u number, she proceeded to give me the door# to dock the empty to and then the trailer number and space where the load was parked. That required a grand total of ten extra minutes...and I was happily on my way with a 18 pallets of Cranberry Juice!

Here is the point; I could have returned empty and there would have been no questions asked. However recognizing a problem I took the initiative to ask one question and work out a solution with the shipping clerk. Instead of "just" presenting a problem to my DM, I also offered a good solution, saving him extra work and keeping the WM supply chain moving efficiently. Not only did I get my stop pay for returning to the DC with the load, but to my surprise I found an extra $25 in my pay that week and a note of thanks from the terminal manager for going the extra mile (no pun intended). Never asked for the extras and didn't expect it. So...that's how you "work" at making money and also becoming a favorite.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I appreciate the stories! Thanks for taking the time, it gives me a good picture of the sorts of things I should be doing when I finally get out there.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

"What I heard" - is almost as funny as folks that start out with:

"I have a friend"...

Just sayin'.

Rick

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