An Observation...

Topic 15913 | Page 2

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Errol V.'s Comment
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In the same vein, I have been accused of being a Swift "fanboy". Actually, following Trucking Truth's unwritten rule, I speak from experiences that I have had. Guess what? I've only driven semis for Swift, so I can't speak about what happens at other companies.

Opinions and advice are my own. But actual fact things come from Swift. Like asking Old School about Western Express - he's been there and can talk about that, but O.S. doesn't drive for them any more.


Operating While Intoxicated

Farmerbob1's Comment
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Stevens Transport here, though I have been starting to look around at other companies. Stevens is a good company to learn at, and I love that I get quite a few 2000+ mile runs, but there is definitely a large pay per mile discrepancy for drivers with experience.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I have been accused of being a Swift "fanboy"

Yeah, well you know how it is. People who can't figure out how to find the same level of happiness and success you've found become bitter about it. For them it's easier to criticize you than it is to look in the mirror and figure out how to get better at what they do and that vicious cycle never ends for them.

I've had plenty of people call me a "company guy" because I say that people who know how to be successful can be successful at any company they choose to work for. Again, a lot of people just don't get how to make your way in this industry so when things don't go as they expect them to they figure it's the company's fault. When I won't blame the company for their troubles they figure I'm also part of the problem. Somehow with those people they never see the problem when they look in the mirror.

but there is definitely a large pay per mile discrepancy for drivers with experience.

That's very true. Different companies have different philosophies on how to pay people and who to recruit. Many companies are finding better luck recruiting new drivers and training them their way while avoiding the headaches that come with paying more money for experienced drivers. The natural tendency is to assume a company would want to pay more for drivers with more experience but it's not as simple as that.

New drivers take time to train and you don't often know if they'll succeed or not until they've been out on the road for a little while. But they often have better attitudes, they're more willing to be flexible, they're eager to prove themselves, and they're easier to get along with.

Experienced drivers often come with a whole different set of baggage. They often feel like they've put in their time in the industry doing the dirty work so they expect higher wages, fancier equipment, and preferential treatment. They don't want to run the Northeast, they don't want short runs, they want more home time - sometimes the headaches never end.

Put in your time with Stevens and fulfill that contract. Then decide if they're the company you want to stick with or if it's time to try something else. You can certainly find a higher rate per mile at other companies but you're giving up a lot by starting over again somewhere else. At Stevens you've proven yourself, you know how the company operates, and you've built up a lot of goodwill so they'll give you better treatment and some special favors now.

If you leave and start over somewhere else you're nobody to them until you prove otherwise. It won't matter that you have experience already. In fact that may cause the company more problems than you're worth. That will depend on your attitude and work ethic which they won't be able to gauge until you've proven it.

So they'll take a wait and see approach to you. If you go in there thinking they'll roll out the red carpet because you have experience you're going to be terribly disappointed with the results you get. You'll have to start again at the bottom, get to know a new dispatcher all over again, take the lousier runs at first to see if you're reliable or not with appointment times, and basically get the rookie treatment all over again until you earn a higher standing with the company.

That's one of the big misconceptions people have about this industry. They think you get your training at a "starter company" and then move on to a "better company" where you'll make more money and get treated better. That's not how it works at all. If you want the best treatment, the best equipment, the most miles, some extra home time, and some special favors thrown in along the way you have to put in quite a bit of time with your company to earn that. That stuff won't be handed to you because you have experience somewhere else. Being new to a company means you start over and work your way up from the bottom. That is a very hard lesson for a lot of drivers that leave their first company thinking they hold all the cards now.

In fact, just yesterday I was speaking with the owner's son at Wil-Trans and he said their second highest source of hiring is actually re-hires - drivers who leave the company thinking they'll have it made somewhere else because now they have experience. When they realize that was a false notion they come back to the place they know well and have already earned the special perks and fantastic treatment they thought they would get somewhere else simply because they have experience now.

So it's not about how much driving experience you have. It's about how much experience you have with the company you're with. That's the key concept that it takes most drivers a few years to figure out. That's why we teach people to stick with that first company for a minimum of one year. At that point you'll have the perks, the big miles, and the special favors the top tier drivers get and life will be good. You have to earn that first and that takes time.


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, 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.


Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Driving While Intoxicated


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.


Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Chiefmac's Comment
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I was with Crete through my training, now I drive for a couple of private groups. It doesn't much matter what company is represented as the fact that you will not get more accurate info from a wide range of professionals anywhere else.

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