Running Dedicated Is Where It's At!

Topic 15561 | Page 1

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Pianoman's Comment
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I've been on the Miller Coors dedicated fleet at Swift for a few weeks now so I figured it's about time to post an update.

Not really sure where to start. Running dedicated on this fleet is totally different than reefer otr. First, I don't pull any more reefers. When I'm not hauling stuff for MillerCoors, I'm hauling otr dry loads. Second, I'm doing mostly drop and hook , whereas reefer was mostly live load/unload. As I got more experience in reefer, I found myself doing more drop and hook, although the majority of my loads were still live load/unload. When I do have live loads on this account, they don't tend to take very long, which is nice.

The primary difference is in the way I'm being run. With reefer otr, I would often end up sitting either during a load or in between loads for a few hours or so. I didn't mind it at all as long as I was keeping my 70 nearly depleted all the time. It was easiest to run recaps. On MillerCoors, every load is tight and I'm typically supposed to pick up another load as soon as I'm done with the previous one. And I'm typically preplanned days in advance without even having to ask. It's like being treated like a prince after months of being treated like a peasant haha. Not really, but you get the idea.

And the miles are plenty. I typically struggled to get more than 2500 miles any given week as a reefer driver. It's not that the miles weren't there--it was just alot harder to keep myself available for them. Last week I knocked out 3300 miles in 6 days; I could have done it in 5.5 but I had to sit half a night waiting for trailer repairs. This week is going a tad slower, but I'm still looking really good on miles.

Pretty much all the appointments are in the morning, unless I'm doing an otr load, so I have started driving the same schedule every day. It's so nice to have a routine, at least most of the time! I get up around 0300 and drive til 1500.

It just feels great to be part of a more cohesive team. Otr was great, but this is so much better for me.

My biggest difficulty is getting used to running so hard. I prefer running hard and doing a 34 at the end of the week, but my body is still accustomed to running recaps. I've gotten so tired over the last few weeks I'm considering requesting home time somewhere nice and just relaxing in a hotel for a few days. I'm so worked up from all the running I can't even sleep at home. I just need some time completely off.

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.

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.

Linden R.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been on the Miller Coors dedicated fleet at Swift for a few weeks now so I figured it's about time to post an update.

Not really sure where to start. Running dedicated on this fleet is totally different than reefer otr. First, I don't pull any more reefers. When I'm not hauling stuff for MillerCoors, I'm hauling otr dry loads. Second, I'm doing mostly drop and hook , whereas reefer was mostly live load/unload. As I got more experience in reefer, I found myself doing more drop and hook, although the majority of my loads were still live load/unload. When I do have live loads on this account, they don't tend to take very long, which is nice.

The primary difference is in the way I'm being run. With reefer otr, I would often end up sitting either during a load or in between loads for a few hours or so. I didn't mind it at all as long as I was keeping my 70 nearly depleted all the time. It was easiest to run recaps. On MillerCoors, every load is tight and I'm typically supposed to pick up another load as soon as I'm done with the previous one. And I'm typically preplanned days in advance without even having to ask. It's like being treated like a prince after months of being treated like a peasant haha. Not really, but you get the idea.

And the miles are plenty. I typically struggled to get more than 2500 miles any given week as a reefer driver. It's not that the miles weren't there--it was just alot harder to keep myself available for them. Last week I knocked out 3300 miles in 6 days; I could have done it in 5.5 but I had to sit half a night waiting for trailer repairs. This week is going a tad slower, but I'm still looking really good on miles.

Pretty much all the appointments are in the morning, unless I'm doing an otr load, so I have started driving the same schedule every day. It's so nice to have a routine, at least most of the time! I get up around 0300 and drive til 1500.

It just feels great to be part of a more cohesive team. Otr was great, but this is so much better for me.

My biggest difficulty is getting used to running so hard. I prefer running hard and doing a 34 at the end of the week, but my body is still accustomed to running recaps. I've gotten so tired over the last few weeks I'm considering requesting home time somewhere nice and just relaxing in a hotel for a few days. I'm so worked up from all the running I can't even sleep at home. I just need some time completely off.

Sounds good to me... Thirsty? Pull over and jump in the back! rofl-3.gif

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.

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.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Haha that would be one way to go out with a bang!!

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been running a dedicated account for Georgia Pacific, regional to SE USA. Paul's description can almost work for me, but I have a regular weekend at home. Ok, officially it's a 34 hours break (= 1-1/2 days) but if I get my work done I can make it home Friday night.

I usually run up to 2500 miles in a week. 38cpm for all miles, but no extra stuff like detention. But like Paul, I can run my butt off, and I'm mostly planned half a week ahead. And home every weekend.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

More proof that there's something for everyone. I love my OTR , lots of people are enjoying their flatbed.

Keep it up guys!

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Great post Paul. Happy for you, sounds like you found your niche'.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

There was a time when Coors Beer was brewed, shipped, and stored cold. Never was at room temperature, let alone back of a big box down the highway in July temperature!

Your trivia for the day.

smile.gif

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

There was a time when Coors Beer was brewed, shipped, and stored cold. Never was at room temperature, let alone back of a big box down the highway in July temperature!

Your trivia for the day.

smile.gif

Colorado Cool Ade to Colorado Warm Ade? Say it ain't so...

Paul correct me if I am wrong but aren't the Swiftie Miller/Coors wagons insulated? If so, as long as the doors remain closed they will maintain a cool temperature for many days.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

(I'm not Paul, who does this every day.)

G-TOWN'S Town asks:

Paul correct me if I am wrong but aren't the Swiftie Miller/Coors wagons insulated? If so, as long as the doors remain closed they will maintain a cool temperature for many days.

I've done a few M/Cs. One in the Spring from Dallas to Corpus Christi. Regular box van, and the Corpus Cristi receiver has an open-air dock. Plus I got there too late on a Friday so I had to wait till Monday for delivery. (Got some layover $ plus a 34 for that.)

No refrigeration. When I put in the load locks, the beer was at room temperature.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

One of the beauties of trucking is that there is indeed the perfect type of job out there for everyone. In fact, there are probably many perfect jobs for everyone.

For instance, Daniel B touts OTR as "giving up your entire life" and "working like you have 12 kids to support". For me it was exactly the opposite. Running OTR was the most fun and adventurous life imaginable. Not only was every day completely different but you were able to see the entire country and still get time here and there to run around in Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, and all kinds of cool places. I would be doing my normal thing and suddenly realize I had enough free time to hit an NFL game, NCAA football game, NASCAR or NHRA race, concerts, festivals, and all kinds of fun stuff.

Some people like 6 String, who is running LTL , absolutely love doing the same exact thing day in and day out so they can be home as often as possible. When I had jobs like that I wanted to gouge my eyes out! I was so bored all the time that it turned trucking from the great OTR adventure to the monotonous local grind. I hated it. To me, you might as well work in a factory if you're just going to do the same thing in the same place all the time.

So once again, as we always say, stick with your first company for a full year to learn your trade and learn how this industry works. Then you've established yourself as an experienced driver while learning about all of the different opportunities this career offers. At that point you can make an informed decision as to the type of job you feel is right for you. Maybe the job you have at your current company is perfect or maybe you'd like to switch to a different division within your company. Maybe you'd like to try hauling a completely different type of freight running different regions of the country with a new carrier. After a solid year of experience you'll know what you'd like to do next and at that point the opportunities will be there.

  • 6 String feels like he has the perfect job running LTL and getting home regularly.
  • Daniel B feels like he has the perfect job hauling gasoline tankers and getting home regularly.
  • Old School feels like he has the perfect job pulling flatbed and getting home every so often.
  • G-Town, Errol, and Paul feel like they have the perfect job in different dedicated dry van divisions with Swift.
  • One of my favorite jobs was pulling a food grade tanker OTR and never getting home (I've never been married, no kids, and lived in the truck)

There's something out there for everyone. Just put in your time, learn your trade, learn how this industry works, and you'll find it.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
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