I Think I'm Done

Topic 15312 | Page 2

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Pianoman's Comment
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Come to find out, break down pay doesn't cover body work!! So two weeks, no pay, no truck, no nothing.

Seriously?

Hey PPGER, I agree with Persian about going up the chain of command. Maybe it is company policy, but you'll never know until you start doing some digging.

Honestly, I would've just taken the manual. I mean, you can legally drive it and you have the required skills. Maybe that's horrible advice--I don't know. If someone brought up the company policy issue later on, oops you had no idea. They offered you a truck and you took it. But that's just me. You did the safe thing.

I agree to just stick it out for the rest of the year. You're so close--consider how far you've been, not how far you have to go. And knight is a large company. Isn't there anything else you can do besides otr with them? Any dedicated gigs? Even local? Anything?? That's why I went with Swift--I knew I would get restless, bored, frustrated...you name it. So I went with a company that had lots of options so I could move around to different divisions and accounts without changing companies. I just got on a dedicated account after pulling reefer otr for almost 6 months and it feels totally different. I can't imagine Knight doesn't have options too.

Good luck

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Chiming in to echo Persian Conversion's suggestion. Your DM isn't the end of the road, he's just the start. And since he's been somewhat less than helpful, your next stop should be the Ops Manager for your division or the Terminal Manager, whichever is most accessible from where you are. Face to face is preferable, but if it's not practical a phone conversation is just fine. Just remember to be as tactful and diplomatic as you can. It's fine to let them know you're upset--in fact, it's probably a good thing if you do--but coming completely unglued isn't going to do you any favors. Be assertive, not aggressive. There are lots of times and lots of ways in your rookie year that you'll be tested by your company and/or DM to see just how far you'll allow yourself to be pushed, what you'll allow them to get away with, and how you'll react. This is probably one of those times. You don't want them to get it in their heads that you're a doormat, but you also don't want them to get it in their heads that you're a hothead.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

Knight will not give breakdown pay if you are at your home terminal when your truck is in the shop? Wow, that's nuts. I was considering Knight as well, as I had heard they gave good miles and pay/mile for OTR.

They didn't have any recovery trucks to bring back to the yard? That's what I did when my truck went into the shop for a few days with Stevens. I was told I could get breakdown pay, but I'd rather work than sit on my butt for 5 days+

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I have been restraining myself from commenting on this thread because I don't really understand the dynamics of PPGer's relationship with his dispatcher. For anyone to take this information and then scratch Knight off of your list of companies you're interested in would be very foolish though.

I don't like what's happening to PPGER, but I can assure him and anyone else that my experiences at Knight are completely different from what he has posted. One of the benefits of being around awhile is that you know who to call when something like this arises. Also at Knight it is super easy to walk right in and talk to various levels of management. Their open door policy is legitimate and they take their drivers concerns genuinely.

I agree with those who have said that PPGer needs to make some phone calls and see if he can get something going. If he can't technically be allowed breakdown pay, then he should be able to get layover pay. I personally made a few calls in hopes that I might find a resolution to this, but the folks I spoke with assured me that the dispatcher has the authority to help him financially if he chooses to.

He could have a dispatcher who doesn't really understand how things work or there may just be a misunderstanding of sorts. I have very seldom had to sit for days at Knight, but when I have I was promptly and generously compensated for it.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

I have been restraining myself from commenting on this thread because I don't really understand the dynamics of PPGer's relationship with his dispatcher. For anyone to take this information and then scratch Knight off of your list of companies you're interested in would be very foolish though.

I don't like what's happening to PPGER, but I can assure him and anyone else that my experiences at Knight are completely different from what he has posted. One of the benefits of being around awhile is that you know who to call when something like this arises. Also at Knight it is super easy to walk right in and talk to various levels of management. Their open door policy is legitimate and they take their drivers concerns genuinely.

I agree with those who have said that PPGer needs to make some phone calls and see if he can get something going. If he can't technically be allowed breakdown pay, then he should be able to get layover pay. I personally made a few calls in hopes that I might find a resolution to this, but the folks I spoke with assured me that the dispatcher has the authority to help him financially if he chooses to.

He could have a dispatcher who doesn't really understand how things work or there may just be a misunderstanding of sorts. I have very seldom had to sit for days at Knight, but when I have I was promptly and generously compensated for it.

Thanks for the opposing viewpoint. I hadn't written Knight off my list of go-to companies, and I certainly understand how different dispatchers can do things differently, but I was a bit concerned, as it sounded like a policy statement.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Seppo's Comment
member avatar

I'm pretty much on the same timeline as you. New driver, started with Gordon (now Heartland) last fall, eight months in. Backing finally fell into place after three months in and life on the road has been much easier since. Like you, I'm VERY tired of spending all of my time on the west coast. I sort of figured when I started out I'd only be doing western 11, but I'm basically western 3 - spend a majority of my time in Washington, Oregon, and California. As a matter of fact, I'd kill to have more trips down to Arizona just to switch things up; I've only been to our Phoenix terminal twice now.

I'm also jealous you get to drive an automatic. My first truck was an automatic (because no one else wanted it) and I loved it. After a few months they sold it and put me in a manual, and I absolutely hate it. I can not STAND having to shift.

When I got the new truck I was down for a week and a half while they made some repairs...but I got $75/day layover/breakdown. If you hate being on the road, get off and do something else. I'm at very least going to stick it out for another four months until I'm a year in and ask to switch divisions so I can have some more varied routes. Everything you see on this website tells you to get at least a year with your first company before you switch things up. I'm planning on doing my year and asking for more interesting routes - if they can't give that to me, I'll look in to other options. If you enjoy driving and being on the road, I'd recommend that. If not, get off the road and do something else.

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.

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.

PPGER's Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the delay, but here's an update. I never received layover or breakdown pay -- even after mentioning the situation to the terminal manager. I was down for nine days, July 5th - 13th.

I got a call on the 13th that my truck was finally back from the dealer and I had a nice load to Utah scheduled for the morning of the 14th. Later on that same day, I got a call from the terminal manager telling me that he would now be dispatching me for the "forseeable future." Hmm, I wondered. Turns out, my old DM was no longer with Knight.

Anyway, I show up around 0500 on the 14th to get to the shipper at 0800 for the Utah run. I get to my truck and it will not start. Dead. Not even dash lights. Plus, someone stole the spare tire off the back of it!! So, I call trip breakdown. After being on hold for fifty minutes, they told me to wait until the shop opened at 0700 and tell them and they would jump it. Then I had to call dispatch and let them know that there was no way I was going to make that 0800 delivery -- so lost the Utah run. When I was on the phone with my new DM (the terminal manager), I ask him why my old DM was no longer running me. He told me that my old dispatcher was no longer with the company. I asked him if he knew about my situation being down for over a week and how i was told no breakdown pay, etc. He then just said that he promised that I would get some good miles and make some good money the next few days.

Anyway, the shop finally comes out around 0800, jumps the truck and take it to the shop to see why it was dead. I finally get the truck back around 1000 hours. My new DM/TM comes out and talks with me. He tells me that he is looking for some good loads for me. I ended up with a Yuma-Ontario run, then back to Phoenix, then back to Ontario, then back to Phoenix.

My new DM really seems to be wanting to do better by me that my old DM, who I assume was fired. But there are still the same frustrations. I was supposed to have home time Sunday and Monday, but the consignee would not take load early like I was told by DM so I had to stick with the 2030 delivery time on Sunday night... Didn't get to a door until after 2230 and didn't get unloaded until around 0030. So I didn't get home until about 0130 on Monday. I am scheduled to go back out this morning, but still waiting on a preplan to pop up.

The other job stuff is still pending...

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I never received layover or breakdown pay -- even after mentioning the situation to the terminal manager. I was down for nine days, July 5th - 13th.

You were at home during that period, is that correct?

Listen.....every experienced driver out there has gone through that kind of stuff a million times over. Heck, my truck broke down one time and I sat in a hotel for eight days in Albuquerque. Finally the dealership said they couldn't get the parts needed to fix it so my company put me on a bus to Oklahoma City, gave me a different truck, and sent me back to Albuquerque to move my stuff from the old truck to the new one. I did exactly that and life kept moving forward, no big deal.

I mean, hey, life happens! Just roll with it. You have the entire rest of your life to make all the money you can manage to make out there. Don't go freakin out over a few bad days or one lousy dispatcher or you'll lose your sanity altogether and you'll be changing companies every three months. That stuff is just trucking. People get this idea that trucking companies are run by magicians who can just magically fix all problems or prevent them altogether. It simply doesn't work that way.

And keep in mind that your company isn't making any money when that truck isn't rolling either. They're not any happier about it than you are. But don't go making major career moves and jumping from company to company because of a few minor things. I know right now this whole thing seems like a really big deal but after you get more experience you're going to look back and realize it was just trucking.

Old School has an awesome lesson to teach.....he always says don't be ruled by the "tyranny of the urgent".......in other words, don't go thinking that the situation you're in right now is so serious and so urgent and that you have to make major decisions and major moves right now. That's not the case at all and that's not the way to get anywhere in this industry.

Think about this - your truck was down for a week and you stayed with the company. And what came of it? Something really big - you now have the attention of the terminal manager! If you'll keep working with him and show you're committed to sticking with the company he'll always be an ally you can count on. Those guys don't forget when a driver has done a lot for the company and they're always happy to help out when you need a hand. You patiently waited for the truck to get fixed and he knows that. Now he's going to try to make it up to you. Give him that chance. Be professional about it. Trust me, that kind of professionalism gets rewarded. But if you jump ship now you're just gonna be another rookie at another new company where no one knows you, no one cares, and no one owes you anything. Right now you're in a good position whether you realize it or not. Let it play out and see what happens.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

PPGer, Glad to hear your rolling!

You got some great advice from Brett, with a positive analysis of your position. Best of luck to ya!

Babyhog's Comment
member avatar

Give this trucking company a try (DOT FOODS) they are willing to give me try after being out of the industry for 11years

Well, I've been driving for Knight for eight months now. Like everyone, I've had good days and not so good days, good weeks and not so good weeks. Being away from home has been harder than I expected. I expected to see more of the country, but 80%+ of Knight loads are between Phoenix and SoCal, up and down the 10 and 5 corridors. I told them that I would run all lower 48, but I've rarely gotten out of CA, OR, and WA.

Most of it has been as I expected -- thanks to all the helpful folks on this forum. I have a sense of accomplishment from the job. I expecially like how backing is no longer an issue like it was. I have pulled into some really tight docks the last few weeks and I remember thinking, "Man, I'm glad I wasn't having to do to this a few months ago!"

While I have enjoyed driving, this latest incident is, I'm afraid, the last straw. I cannot decide if I should just say goodbye to trucking or go to another company. Problem is, most other trucking jobs I see advertised want at least a year's experience. And I don't know that things would be different at any other company. I think that the problem of bad information from your DM (who blames it on the market manager or load planner) is the same everywhere (supposed to be drop and hook , but it's a 5 hour live load/unload, etc). Although, other companies with centralized dispatch might be different from Knight which has dispatch out of each terminal. I am debating whether to stay with Knight for a few more months and then look for a job driving local where I'm home most nights or at least every weekend, or whether to just say good bye to trucking.

But anyway, here's what appears to be the last straw with me:

Last Tuesday, July 5th, I dropped my truck off for service. That was supposed to be one day. Supposed to be back on the road Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon my DM tells me that my truck has to go to the dealer and that it should be finished Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. Okay.... What's wrong with it?, I ask. He doesn't know and tells me to call the shop. So I call the shop and after the usual forever on hold time, I get someone on the phone. He tells me that the rear timing cover is leaking. On Thursday, the 7th, I get a text from my DM telling me that my truck is ready and he has set me up with loads for Friday the 8th. Okay, good enough. THEN, shortly thereafter I get a message from him saying that he misread the email from the shop and that my truck will not be back from the dealer until the 13th!! That is nine days!! I ask about breakdown pay. He says that I can't get it because I am at my home terminal. I ask him how he expects me to go without work or a paycheck for over a week?? He says that he understands, but that is the way it is. I ask about a loaner. He says that none are available. I tell him that if I am willing to work and they take my truck out of service and cannot give me a loaner, that I should not be penalized by no pay for nine days. Sorry, is his answer. Then on Friday he tell me that he has found me a loaner... Okay, then I'll go out on Saturday. No wait, he texts back, it's a manual transmission. Can I drive a manual? Yes, I tell him, but Knight's policy is that you have to drive the same transmission that your trainer had and my trainer had an automatic. So, still no truck.

So, here I sit. I have been sitting since last Tuesday, July 5th. I will be sitting until at least Thursday, July 14th. No pay.

Yesterday, I filled out on-line job applications and I have two non-driving job interviews tomorrow. Part of me wants to stick it out four more months at Knight so I can move into another local driving job after I have a year's experience. Part of me wants to quit as soon as I can based on this latest incident with them. The whole thing with them seems so disrespectful of me and my time. If I want more than a couple days off, they tell me that they can't afford to have their truck sit that long and I have to come in and start running loads. But they have no problem with me sitting -- as if I can afford to sit for nine days!

The CPM is good now that I've been there for over six months. But on the other hand, when I think about all of the time that I give them that is uncompensated, it is pretty depressing. I know that trucking is a lifestyle, not just a job, but still. I've had some good paychecks from weeks where I ran a lot of miles. The number looks good until I figure how many hours it took to make it, then it's kind of depressing. Taking a local job paying $11-12 an hour, and being home may be a better option..

Anyway, that's for letting me vent.

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.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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