Use Of "Home Time" For Appointments, Etc

Topic 15369 | Page 1

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Chris (the chick)'s Comment
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My understanding from looking through these forums and having read reviews of other drivers on GlassDoor about their home times (I was looking through Prime, Inc's) -- I've come to the understanding that if I request home time in advance for, let's say, June 28th 2019 -- I can't expect to actually be home on June 28th, 2019 as requested. Right?

Personally, I'd rather use my "home time" to travel and make stops across the country (pre-planned, of course, sightsee-y crap) so I'm not actually going HOME, per se, but.....

If I did make medical appointments and whatever, in that I actually do request "home time" to, well, actually BE home for -- how do you guys swing this so that your own medical/mandatory appointments (such as DOT physicals, a court hearing, or something!) aren't missed?

I'd hate to request HOME "home time" solely for an appointment to completely miss it, when the request, well, revolved around the appointment.

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.

Crawdaddy's Comment
member avatar

My understanding from looking through these forums and having read reviews of other drivers on GlassDoor about their home times (I was looking through Prime, Inc's) -- I've come to the understanding that if I request home time in advance for, let's say, June 28th 2019 -- I can't expect to actually be home on June 28th, 2019 as requested. Right?

Personally, I'd rather use my "home time" to travel and make stops across the country (pre-planned, of course, sightsee-y crap) so I'm not actually going HOME, per se, but.....

If I did make medical appointments and whatever, in that I actually do request "home time" to, well, actually BE home for -- how do you guys swing this so that your own medical/mandatory appointments (such as DOT physicals, a court hearing, or something!) aren't missed?

I'd hate to request HOME "home time" solely for an appointment to completely miss it, when the request, well, revolved around the appointment.

That's what I was just thinking about. I will be retiring from the military soon and I will have to attend mandatory medical appointments that will be schedule that I will have to make at a set time or I could lose my retirement check if I do not make them.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

When I needed "hometime" for my daughter's appointments, I simply requested to get home the day before the appointment and let them know when I was ready to be dispatched out,

At my company, at least, on your requsted home date they'll get you home but no guarantees as to what time that day, so that's why I request mine for 1 day prior to the actual appointment. I let them know I need to be at home a minimum of 2 weeks in advance and remind them the week beforehand. They've never let me down and always got me home in time.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Agree with Sue D. However, at Schneider they'll put an important date in as "guaranteed time at home." I've done this a few times and had no problem being on time. In one case (Son's wedding) they got me into the area three days early and had me do short haul stuff. They paid me well for it and I didn't miss anything.

You can also use this to visit family or friends in other parts of the country.

Good luck.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

This is one of the many areas where your relationship with your dispatcher is so important. Communication is key for important home time appointments. I recently had some surgery and consequently there have been follow up visits to multiple doctors. I try to group my appointments so they are on consecutive days or even on the same day. Then I put in my request a full month in advance for two days before my first appointment. When two weeks out I'll visit with my dispatcher, reminding him of the critical dates. At one week out I'll send him a message on the Qualcomm and give him a call. If the dates are critical allow yourself a little cushion. By using the method above I've never missed a critical appointment.

Most of the complaints you'll find on glass door or typical trucking forums are from rookies who don't yet understand how important it is for them to cultivate a good relationship with their driver managers. My dispatcher will just about do anything for me. I've been home for four days now, he called yesterday, the day I was planning on going back on the road, and offered me to stay home for the weekend if I'd like to. I was still above everybody on his board for dispatched miles in this quarter, so he was willing to let me take a little more time if I wanted.

Chris, once you've gotten the hang of how this stuff works, and your being productive, you'll find that you simply can't understand all these negative reviews and comments about trucking companies. A really good productive driver gets special treatment. The sad thing is that few ever figure out that secret. People have told me they are quitting my employer (Knight) because they have their favorite drivers and give them special treatment! Duuuhhhh! What's so hard to understand about that? All trucking companies operate this way. It is all performance based - from top management right on down to the drivers, everyone's bonus pay is based on top performing drivers. Every consideration is given to those folks, including critical home time.

Get out there and be really good at this and all these little concerns will disappear.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Old School. Thank you for that info. I have read all(well most) of your posts carefully over the past year. I too was a Business Owner for the better part of 30 years. I spome on the Phone with my DM for about 25 minutes yesterday afternoon while waiting on a live unload. I've only been Solo for a little over 2 weeks, and have not had a face to face with her yet. She told me "WOW, You did 2250 miles your first week, and everything on time, that's Great. I wish all of my drivers could manage their clock that well!" I replied ," Its my job to move freight and make us both look good, if I have the available hours I will take any load offer you send me. I want to be one of the guys at the top of your list." She laughed and said"Keep doing what you are doing and you'll be there in no time". I then asked for permission to do a 34 at the Salt Lake Terminal. She said, " Just put your PTA in the Qualcomm and have a nice weekend". I sure wish I had my Staples "Easy Button" with me! TT has put me miles ahead of many other drivers. Learning clock management is the key to success in this business. I know over time I'll get much more proficient at it.smile.gifthank-you.gif

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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

When we have to be home for hubby's dr appointments or to fill his prescriptions (he has to fill them in MO to have Medicaid pay for them) I request to be home the day before hand. With one major exception (which was more like a series of unfortunate events), we have always been home on time, usually early.

I always know when we leave hometime when the next time will be when we need to be back. We only go home once per month, so as soon as I leave home I put in my next request

And because we live in a low freight area, they are generally good about sending me home empty so that I can use the bobtail to run errands. I also had a discussion with my DM about not having an available vehicle to use, so they are pretty accommodating.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Prime has a doctor's office right in the terminal... I even got my pap smear done there and a mammogram down the street. This way hometime is not bogged down by doctors and there is no way to miss it as I can always get routed through the terminal and get something out.

This month I'm taking home time 24th to 28th. My FM put it in for 23rd. But... I'm coming back to prime Aug 10th for doctor and putting truck in shop at the same time.

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.

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.
Chris (the chick)'s Comment
member avatar

ChickieMonster -- Thanks, you just reminded me that I had thoughts about my own car and bobtailing.

Rainy D. - I have appointments that can only be done by my own physicians, not elsewhere -- hence the question. That's interesting - I did not know Prime had that inclusion, though! More things for me to ask the companies...

Old School -- I figured as much, that reviews were from rookies, whiners, and whatnot. My friend, who drove a year for US Xpress, told me his trick as the brand new rookie to cooperation was he'd arrive at his area of destination first thing, didn't matter how early he'd be for the posted time, so they'd know they can trust him with the due loads and productivity. Then he did whatever he wanted with his free time. I plan to do the same -- get trust by proving I do my job first, accident-free, and early . He didn't have an issue with his home time requests (and he was the one who suggested I used home time requests to "sight-see" additionally, as he had done with his own desire to travel the country). However, the issue with Prime -- not to throw them under the bus, but because it's really the only one I've actually looked into with interest so far (it's hard to find a company with a pet policy allowing 3 cats to begin with, and additionally Prime has emphasis on health!) -- was that all of the reviews listed Prime's home time policy as a con, with at least half mentioning to not trust on getting the requested home time dates. This seemed regardless of experience and stay with the company. So yeah, I'll admit that has me a bit "hmm"ing about Prime at the moment, in particular. lol Prime's policy is 24-hours after 2 weeks, by the way (apparently).

I suppose I'm also a bit confused about home time policies and getting paid, in general -- If you took additional time outside of the policy (ex: 24 hrs after 2 weeks), doesn't that mean you've lost money on loads you could have picked up? And, side question, what do you guys do if you're ill or injured and cannot drive for the day?! I'm guessing it isn't like a regular business: one can't call in and say "I'm taking a sick day," right?! lol

Man, sometimes it sucks to have an analytical brain... it creates more questions. lmao

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

If it helps... I have taken 3 hometime with this FM and one schedule this week.

The first was feb and very icy in midwest. I asked for Feb 25th to 29th. I got home 26th.

Then April 15th... he got me home 14th. May 18th I was near home and asked and he let me go that day. June 7th I got home 4am so I could vote. July 23rd is my request date and I'll be 500 miles away on Jul 18th.

MY FM gets me home on time. We have a great relationship.. I run hard when I need to and he tries hard for me. I can't speak for others. My trainers FM got her home when she wanted but being an owner she accepted or denied loads

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.
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