2 Truck Driving Job Offers From TransAm And May Trucking?

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Tanker Man's Comment
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You may know alot more about the industry than I do at this point but that doesn't make you a trucking God or right about everything or everyone.

At no point in time has Brett ever claimed to be a "trucking god" during this conversation man. He is simply trying to pass along his knowledge of the industry he has obtained over the duration of his career. He wants drivers to be successful, simply put. One thing I have learned about Brett is he doesn't sugar coat anything, he gets right to the point and says the cold hard truth whether you like it or not.

Now, please understand I am not trying to disrespect you or your family that has been in the business for a very respectable amount of time. But, trucking has changed and times have changed as a whole and you should know this coming from a family of truckers. It is always recommended that you stay with your first company at least one year. I myself am a new driver and plan on staying with my current company for quite sometime. But let's say I was put in your shoes and i am going to TransAm with May offering me a job. I would be extremely grateful of the opportunity that May has offered me, which you say that you are. However, I would still stay committed to TransAm as they have given me a shot to go drive for them.

So therefore, I would be fully dedicated to TransAm for at least 1 year from the time they hire me since they are investing time and money into me to help kickstart my career. Again, you have indicated that this is your plan, which is good. The thing that is really bothering people is the fact you are just waiting for that one time that TransAm slips up. What happens if they slip up and you jump ship before your year and you go to May? Is that saying May will be any better? Things can go wrong at May as well to put you in the same situation.

Basically what I am saying is, don't jump around from job to job when your stepping into the industry, it looks really bad as a new driver job hopping within your first year my friend. I am not going to tell you what to do as some people have to learn the hard way, and I am not saying that is you because I do not know you and can't say that. However, I can tell you what I would do is stick it out with TransAm for your first year as a new driver, no matter how hard it might be and get the experience. Go there with a positive attitude and ready to run hard and prove your self.

Again, I am sorry if I bounced around a bit in this post, as I am not trying to disrespect you or judge you, I just like everyone else, want every new driver to succeed in this industry. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. I am sure you are aware of this but, drivers come and go all the time in the industry. So having the "just one slip up by TransAm and ill be making a call attitude" really isn't the best way to approach this as TransAm is giving you shot, but by your wording, your also giving them a "shot". I am not going to beat on it forever because it has already been done earlier here. Good luck to you.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

I haven't said anything up to this point but I'm going to step in here. I'm the TransAm driver Brett was referring to earlier.

I just want to say first that I don't agree with your attitude. Not judging, I just don't agree. I wanted to walk away ALL THE TIME when I first started out. Search for Transam and you will find my orientation and training threads.

I know for a fact that you HAVE NOT read them or done your research. Because if you had you would know that you are dead wrong.

TransAms training is 3 days of orientation, 3 days on the driving range, and 11 days (give or take a few days) with a trainer. I only did 7 days, 11 is standard and you can request more time.

So no, they can't immediately turn around and send you home! Hometime is NEVER guaranteed, ever. Although, with the exception of one time which was a series of unfortunate events, I have always been home on time, usually early.

Speaking for the company I work for, go somewhere else. You haven't even been to orientation and you are already starting down the road of bad mouthing. You aren't quite there yet, but you are well on the way. One "wrong move" and trust me, they will come, and you will have nothing but bad to say about TransAm.

Sorry for coming across as a B$$$$ but it's coming from experience.

a20fan4ever2's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Tanker Man for the input. It is greatly appreciated. I plan on going in and doing whatever it takes to be successful. I understand that it's not gonna be easy. I don't mind taking constructive criticism from people but when I feel I'm being judged and talked down too just because I'm "new" to the industry then that's when I get defensive. I understand there are plenty of people here that have great advice and I will listen to all of it. Coming from a family of truck drivers has taught me a lot of what I need to know to become successful and it's also taught me what not to do. I don't want people thinking I'm gonna bounce from company to company just because I made one simple statement. In my lifetime I've always put in at least 2 yrs at every company I've worked for. It was simply meant to mean that if I'm not happy then I know I have the option to go elsewhere and the door is already opened to do so.

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Are these the only companies you applied to? You should have more options.

a20fan4ever2's Comment
member avatar

I just want to say first that I don't agree with your attitude. Not judging, I just don't agree. I wanted to walk away ALL THE TIME when I first started out. Search for Transam and you will find my orientation and training threads.

I know for a fact that you HAVE NOT read them or done your research. Because if you had you would know that you are dead wrong.

TransAms training is 3 days of orientation, 3 days on the driving range, and 11 days (give or take a few days) with a trainer. I only did 7 days, 11 is standard and you can request more time.

So no, they can't immediately turn around and send you home! Hometime is NEVER guaranteed, ever. Although, with the exception of one time which was a series of unfortunate events, I have always been home on time, usually early.

Speaking for the company I work for, go somewhere else. You haven't even been to orientation and you are already starting down the road of bad mouthing. You aren't quite there yet, but you are well on the way. One "wrong move" and trust me, they will come, and you will have nothing but bad to say about TransAm.

Chickie,

I don't see how you say I'm already bad mouthing the company. I haven't said anything negative at all about them.

As far as Orientation and training, I guess I was lied too by the recruiter. I was told 5 days orientation and 4 weeks training. So please don't get upset with me if that's what I was told. I asked about hometime after my "4 weeks training" and was told that it depended on if a run was coming my way and I might be able to stop by my place gor a moment and grab a few things. Give me a few and I'll figure a way to copy the email I received stating just that and post it here!

a20fan4ever2's Comment
member avatar

Are these the only companies you applied to? You should have more options.

CT, I have applied to many different companies and even went to Western Express for orientation just to find out the recruiter lied and got sent home due to speeding tickets I got in 2014. Because of those tickets I've been turned down by a few companies

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Actually quite a few companies are that way during the training period. Your hometime during training will be really unpredictable. You might get a trainer with a dedicated run that goes near where you live and you'll get home once in a while or you might be gone for two months at first. It's really impossible to say. Trucking companies often assign freight at the last moment because new freight is always coming in, drivers are breaking down or running out of hours, storms are hitting and shutting things down - everything is very fluid. So it's hard to commit to a home time for you when you haven't even gotten to orientation. They're assigning freight right now for tomorrow pickup. You're wondering when you'll get home like 5 weeks after you begin. They couldn't begin to imagine what is going to happen between now and then.

I know a lot of people used to say that they went a long time without getting home when they first started with Prime. Sometimes new students would be gone two or even three months during that initial training phase. I haven't been hearing that lately though so I don't know what's common there right now.

But trucking is really dynamic. You have to go with the flow and conditions are rarely ideal. Drivers are dealing with traffic, weather, road conditions, schedule changes, breakdowns, DOT checks, personal chores, eating, showering, fueling, and a hundred more. The company has to deal with hundreds or thousands of office workers, giant sales teams landing freight, complicated software running their infrastructure, economic slowdowns, holiday spikes, trucks getting wrecked, lawsuits all the time, and a hundred more.

As a driver you really have to learn to go with the flow and take the bad with the good. Over time things balance out. But sometimes you have to deal with a few lousy runs in a row or a truck that breaks down more than the average truck. You might be gone longer than you want to once or twice or a change in dispatchers might cost you some miles for a few weeks. You might not like your trainer at all. That kinda stuff happens to everyone.

The biggest red flag that makes me think you'll be gone in a month no matter where you work is that you said you'll, "give Trans Am a shot to make me happy". See, that's not how trucking works at all. As a driver you have to take responsibility for your own success and happiness out there. In the beginning you should be humble, listen closely, and focus on learning your trade. As you get better over the first few months you'll make fewer mistakes, you'll stop missing appointment times, you'll learn to run your logbook more efficiently, you'll stop backing into things, you'll learn to pick up and deliver loads ahead of schedule, and a million other little tricks the top pros know that allows them to consistently turn 3,000+ miles a week safely and reliably. When you get to that level of performance and you've been with a company for a year or so, that is when they're going to make sure you're very happy.

See, a lot of new people that come into this industry don't make it a month, many drivers are far from ever performing at a high level, and even experienced veterans often change companies once or twice a year. So until you demonstrate to a company that you're an awesome driver and you're going to stick around for a while they're not going to give you their best freight, their top miles, their best equipment, and the special favors the top drivers get. They're saving all of their best stuff for their proven, established top tier drivers. Those drivers take care of their most important customers and produce the best profits for the company. Those are the drivers that get access to divisions the rest of the fleet doesn't even know exists. The gravy jobs and all the goodies go to the top performers over time. Simple as that.

So when you say you'll "give Trans Am a shot to make me happy" I already know by default you're going to hate your experience and quit your job in no time because you don't understand that you're brand new to the company and you're brand new to driving. They're giving you a tryout to see how successful and committed you'll be. If you look at industry data, the odds are that you'll be gone within three months. You'll either quit the industry or go to another company because you think you're being treated poorly, when in fact they're waiting to see what you're made of and whether or not you're in it for the long haul with them.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Basically you can divide drivers into one of two categories:

1) The drivers that prove themselves to be one of the best and most committed and then expect to be treated that way

2) Drivers who expect the company to treat them like kings without having to actually earn that treatment

The first type are your top tier drivers that get the fancy new trucks, they drive in high paying dedicated fleets, they get special favors all the time, and they're making killer money. The second type never have nearly the level of happiness or success the first group has.

Do you know there are drivers for Swift that never touch freight, get home on weekends, and can make in the neighborhood of $70,000 a year? But see, they're in a special division. We have a driver hauling flatbed in a dedicated division who is also making in upwards of $70,000 in a beautiful rig.

And you also have a ton of drivers at both companies that are miserable and hate their jobs and can't get half the miles the top drivers are getting.

The happiness and success you find in this industry will depend on how well you prove yourself to your company and how long you stick around. The better you are and the longer you stay the more perks, more pay, and more favors will come your way. The biggest problem this industry faces is turnover. If you prove you'll stick around and you'll do a great job then you're solving the two biggest problems any company faces - finding great drivers and preventing turnover. Doing that puts your value in the upper 5% - 10% of their drivers and they're going to treat you that way. You're going to put up with a lot of baloney to get to that point but once you're there you're golden.

a20fan4ever2's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I just want to say first that I don't agree with your attitude. Not judging, I just don't agree. I wanted to walk away ALL THE TIME when I first started out. Search for Transam and you will find my orientation and training threads.

I know for a fact that you HAVE NOT read them or done your research. Because if you had you would know that you are dead wrong.

TransAms training is 3 days of orientation, 3 days on the driving range, and 11 days (give or take a few days) with a trainer. I only did 7 days, 11 is standard and you can request more time.

So no, they can't immediately turn around and send you home! Hometime is NEVER guaranteed, ever. Although, with the exception of one time which was a series of unfortunate events, I have always been home on time, usually early.

Speaking for the company I work for, go somewhere else. You haven't even been to orientation and you are already starting down the road of bad mouthing. You aren't quite there yet, but you are well on the way. One "wrong move" and trust me, they will come, and you will have nothing but bad to say about TransAm.

double-quotes-end.png

Chickie,

I don't see how you say I'm already bad mouthing the company. I haven't said anything negative at all about them.

As far as Orientation and training, I guess I was lied too by the recruiter. I was told 5 days orientation and 4 weeks training. So please don't get upset with me if that's what I was told. I asked about hometime after my "4 weeks training" and was told that it depended on if a run was coming my way and I might be able to stop by my place gor a moment and grab a few things. Give me a few and I'll figure a way to copy the email I received stating just that and post it here!

Chickie, Here's the email I received from Trans Am:

Once you get assigned your truck you can talk with your dispatcher to see if they have any loads available to get you by your house to get more stuff in your truck really quick but we can’t promise that we would be able to do that. For you to take home time we do need an 8 day notice and there has to be prior approval for it.

I understand the prior approval, that's fine. I can deal with that. Just the way they put it didn't seem right to me.

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.
JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

And some times crap happens and you won't make it home when your supposed to anyway. There have been many times where I was late getting home because there weren't loads going there or I would run out of hours or something like that. My first week after training I was supposed to get a load gping home. Guess what I was almost a week late because there wasn't any freight going there. Or the more experienced drivers for it. That didn't bother me I just went with the flow and it all worked out. The tone of your post makes it sound like you would jump ship over something like that. I stuck it out and I grossed something like 50k my rookie year. I also pay an exorbitant amount for child support and I have no problem bringing in 500 a week paychecks.

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