I Have Had It

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Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I have to start out by stating my admiration for your perseverance to this point CM.

We've watched you ride the roller coaster of "Murphy's Law" here, and you've stuck it out thus far.

In all honesty though - I'm in agreement with the rest of the old-timers. I don't think anything that's happened thus far, has anything to do with Trans trying to "do you in" intentionally. Just a chain of circumstances that nobody's fault. Even with the recovery truck - it just happens sometimes. "Feces Occurs".

Sadly - you have gone through a string of bad luck, that rivals pretty much anyone we've seen here. Unlike others though - it appears none of it was directly attributable to your own actions/attitude - and also - not really attributable to your company.

You've made your frustration and angst plain - and we're happy to hear you rant. Better us HERE - than your DM or higher up, where words spoken in anger and frustration cannot be taken back.

I'm with the rest of the old-timers here - in suggesting you continue your streak of perseverance in the face of multiple obstacles - and stick with we're you're at. Personally - had you not had a non-employee-passenger with you, I would have stuck with Teddy, let the company put me up in a hotel and taken the breakdown pay - at least for a few days until an ETA was established for the repair (which I suggested on your original post about the accident, was going to take a few days due to parts availability). Or had the company rent you a vehicle, so you could have gotten your stuff out of Teddy and go for the recovery truck (or back home). Now you're going to have to chase Teddy (whatever your decide to do) to retrieve your belongings.

Keep your cool Get your stuff from Teddy (and/or get Teddy back), and get back to rolling miles.

Best of luck whatever you decide - and obviously keep us posted.

Rick

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.
ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

As soon as we get done with stuff at home there are putting us on yet another bus to go straight back to Teddy. Which is a relief.

I took everything of value out like my laptop but I realized yesterday that I left all my work stuff like my trailer lock and EFS checks in him.

I'm going to stick this out. At the very least until 3 months is up. I know this isn't the ideal but I'll make that decision later. Right now all my focus is on my husband's health.

I appreciate everyone's support and honesty. This is exactly what I was looking for and is the main reason I posted this here instead of going off at dispatch. I've managed to keep my cool while on the phone with the million and one people I've had to talk to lately.

I love my job. We shared a cab with another truck driver to the hotel last night and I 100 percent agree with a statement he made. "Truck driving gets in your blood and if it's meant to be you'll never do anything else."

I love my job and what I get to do every day, but sometimes the people behind the desk and in the office just really drive me bonkers. Only one person I've talked to in all this mess has taken a second to listen. It seems like everyone else cuts me off as soon as I try to explain anything. I realize that dispatch and night dispatch especially have a lot of drivers to deal with, but being rude and interrupting me every time I go to say something is uncalled for. I've worked in call centers and I know its aggravating dealing with people all day, but a little bit of friendliness and being patient goes a heck of a long way. Ok rant over now.

This is something I don't get. I was on the phone with night dispatch for nearly an hour last night with all of this. When I called my regular DM she had no idea what was going on. What the heck? Why is there no communication?

Anyways, right now we are getting a good breakfast and extending our hotel stay another night then going back to bed for a little while.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Chickie is perplexed:

This is something I don't get. I was on the phone with night dispatch for nearly an hour last night with all of this. When I called my regular DM she had no idea what was going on. What the heck? Why is there no communication?

Have you had the opportunity to sit and observe a dispatch office? I'll guess, "probably not..." It can be very, very chaotic, totally in the moment, and crisis management/firefighting 101 in action. There is limited communication because their goals are purely tactical; move the freight, get it delivered and find the next one. You are a cog in a very large gear and right now you are unfortunately, through no fault of your own, temporarily off their grid. I think you might be taking a lot of this way too personal. Just my "take" on it.

I am not going to beat the drum anymore than necessary because with everything you are simultaneously juggling, I have never been in your shoes. However I think you know the right thing to do. All things considered the balancing act you are managing right now between the challenges of being a new driver, the extreme situation you are experiencing with "The Ted", and your devotion for your husband,... well it's extraordinary. Faced with the same set of circumstances I would have had a meltdown too. You needed to vent...its cool, and like Rick pointed out, better to do it here than with management. The TT tuff-love is far better than a pink slip. We all want you to succeed. One thing to keep in mind...T/A just awarded you with an honor given to only a select few, I think you said, "top 20". They know who you are for a very good reason. You should be proud of this accomplishment and also appreciative of T/A officially recognizing it. Get three more weeks of spotless driving and you have some additional money in your pocket, but more important establish yourself as a safe driver. If you leave,...all of the time you have invested in T/A; getting to know their operation, your DM and of course the "safe" award, evaporates like it never happened. Poof, gone. With a new company you will be starting out on the bottom rung and will need to redouble your efforts just to get back to where you are at this point with T/A. Sorry but I really think you will be throwing away your initial sweat-equity and start a whole new stressful churn with an uncertain outcome. Stay positive like you have throughout all of your trials...you'll get through it.

Good luck...!!!

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

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Well I just wanted to give a quick update.

We are on the bus headed home. A good friend of ours who lives near Spingfield MO (who is a pastor and we had asked him to pray for us) has offered to pick us up at the bus station and drive nearly an hour to take us home. This is an incredible blessing because I had no clue how we were going to get from Springfield to home.

I've definately cooled off from the other day and so has my husband. We were able to get the pharmacy at home to transfer one of his prescriptions over to the Walmart in Ardmore. It's not the medicine he needs but it's a temporary stopgap until we can get to the doctor. He's not feeling great but he's not in the hospital so that's good.

As I mentioned before, I have started putting applications in, just kind of putting out some feelers to see what's available to me at this point. Maverick called but the only thing they had 48 states was flatbed. Part of my reason for wanting to leave is feeling very restricted by TA and the regions that they run. Yes, I knew this when I hired on with them but I didn't expect it to be SO constricting. I feel like there is so much out there I am missing and there is a greater possibility for some better miles maybe.

Yesterday when we were finishing up our dinner, Prime called. I had a nice chat with the recruiter and kind of laid out what I was looking for. Obviously, I want to give TA notice. It's the responsible thing to do.

He told me that I would have to go back out with a trainer for 40k miles. Ok, it's not ideal but I'm ok with that. I feel like I got zero training where I am so more training wouldn't be a bad thing. Plus I can get used to shifting again and get some mountain driving training. I would be going to the reefer division as that's what I'm already doing.

They are running my work history now (I was terminated from a job last year, which is was given the opportunity to explain and I did so honestly and taking responsibility for my errors) and then he is supposed to call me back.

I also explained my bumper rub incident. He said that if I get past the work history part that he will run it past safety but he didn't see it being much of a problem due to how minor it was and that I didn't have any coaching resulting.

I also finished an app for Knight's reefer division but I haven't heard anything back.

All of this is just exploring options at this point. Am I still upset? Yes, but it's more because I'm watching my husband in pain and knowing that there was stuff I could have done differently. Am I still mad? No, because I realize that stuff happens. Trucks get hit, dispatch has a crazy job and are doing the best they can (at least I hope) and not everything works the way we want.

Right now all I care about is getting hubby to the doctor and then getting back to Teddy.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

IF you decide to go somewhere else (and I mean IF), I recommend going with a LARGE company like Swift or Prime...lots of others too. I'm not saying larger companies are better than the small, but if my truck was not drivable here at Swift, I wouldn't (most likely) have to go through quite the fiasco you have gone through just to get a new truck (or get yours fixed) and get home. They don't have terminals in every state, but with over 30 terminals you're never very far from one. Also, with so many more trucks, they told us right off the bat in orientation that, unless you're really attached to "your" truck, it's easier to just swap trucks and keep rolling. Also, there are more options--more divisions, more customers, more dedicated accounts, more freight delivering to more areas.

BUT if you do decide to "jump ship," you will immediately lose money by missing a paycheck or two and dealing with guaranteed lowish paychecks during training. You will lose money again when you upgrade to solo status at whatever company you go with, since you'll most likely end up sitting for a day or two before you can take your test, get your truck, get any necessary repairs done to it (hopefully not the case), and get on the road. Your husband will not be coming with you during training, again. And if you do go with Prime and go through their training process, you'll be in training for quite a while.

THEN you'll have to get used to a whole new system, being a brand new employee again, and working with a new DM who doesn't know you. Also, don't expect any of the special treatment you've received at TA--at least, not until you've established yourself a little. And just know that if you want to keep your resume looking good, you won't be leaving said company for at least a year.

If you go with a company about the size and scope of TA again, expect more of the same.

Not really trying to steer you either way, even though it may seem like it. You are obviously thinking about the positives of switching companies, which is fine--I'm just trying to balance your viewpoint a little.

Ok, maybe I am hoping you'll stay with TA for at least 6 months, for your own sake. I have wanted to quit on Swift and move somewhere else multiple times since starting here, but the main reason I haven't is that I don't want to owe them $4000. But now that I've been here almost six months and a solo driver for over four months, I'm finally starting to settle in a little bit and figure it out here.

I don't know what's better for you. I'm not in your situation, I haven't talked to the people you've talked to, and I haven't been through the things you've been to. I also don't have a disabled spouse I'm trying to take care of, and who rides with me in the truck. Who knows? Maybe another carrier would give you a little more what you're looking for. It's not impossible.

Just remember, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

I'll congratulate you either way--just here to support.

Sorry for any typos, I'm in a rush..

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.

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

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Paul I very much appreciate the support.

I believe that's what's been a hindrance in this situation. Transam is a smaller company so there simply weren't any trucks available. And they don't have the resources to deal with a situation like this.

I absolutely agree with you about sticking with a second company for a year or more. I had every intention of stick with TA for a year, but it seems like it's just not the fit fit for our situation.

The training period is something that my husband and I have talked about and believe we can make it work. To be honest, what the recruiter quoted me for training pay is still more than I was making at my previous job and will be more than enough to cover our bills. Not saying another separation will be easy, but it is what it is.

We haven't decided anything for sure yet. We have a few hurdles to get over before we make a decision.

I'm not worried about learning a new company. I still haven't figured out everything here and my DM barely knows me now. Well, she probably knows me now that I'm being a problem child! I'm still in the proving myself process and am more than prepared to knuckle down and double my efforts. Y'all have seen that I'm no stranger to hard work and doing everything it takes to do the job and go above and beyond.

I love what I do. If you would have told me a year ago that I'd be driving trucks and LOVING it, I would have laughed at you! But now I can't imagine doing anything else! So I'll do whatever it takes to keep chasing that dream, even if it means finding a company that fits our circumstances a little better.

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.
Chris K.'s Comment
member avatar

Being in restaurant business I'm the first to say jump, but from my experience 10 years ago in trucking I would stick it out for awhile. I jumped ship quick from Stevens because of emergency and was turned down by several companies. I was on my way to JB Hunt who had horrible rep at the time and found a small company Cooke out of Mt. airy nc. Good company but put me right into team driving first day and off I went. I would get Teddy back and run. If its absolutely horrible before next hometime, well I would def consider changing. I know others would not agree but sometimes enough is enough. At least stay long enough so you can jump right into a truck and not have to retrain. Swift sounds pretty good though. Ok coffe kickin in and I'm rambling 😝

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

I'm not going anywhere in a hurry. I've submitting applications just to find out what my options are, similar to what I did in school getting tons of pre-hires and then comparing them.

I would rather not have to train again, BUT! If I go to a company that is primarily manual transmissions like Prime, I would like some time to polish my shifting with a trainer. Also, I've never done any really serious mountain driving like Donner's Pass or Cabbage Or Wolf Creek Pass due to TA's freight lanes. So I would like some time to adjust to that as well. So it's not necessarily a bad thing.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Another thing to consider is that going to a larger company won't necessarily guarantee going all over the US. I'm with Swift, the largest carrier in the country, and it's taken me over four months just to get to the southeastern part of the country. I haven't seen any of the Eastern states except, NY, NJ, and GA. Only been to Cali twice. I spend most of my time, it seems, on one part or another of I80, doing alot of the sort of runs you have been doing at TA.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Agreed. It's nice to know that the possibility is there.

What's with all these I-80 runs anyways? Is it just the time of year or is it just a super high volume freight lane?

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