Tyson Foods Orientation

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Bravo Zulu's Comment
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I arrived at around 11:30 AM at the designated motel in Springdale, Arkansas. Tyson will pay for a Greyhound ticket or reimburse you the cost of the ticket if you make other arrangements. They allow, but discourage you, from bringing your personal vehicle.

The motel is single occupancy, so that is nice. It is not fancy. It is a motel. There is a Walmart across the street and an Aldi next door.

Tyson pays for breakfast and lunch. You have to fend for yourself for dinner. The breakfast is at a restaurant that adjoins the motel. It opens at 6AM. The bus that carries you to orientation leaves promptly at 6:45AM.

Orientation runs from 7AM-5PM, and is 4 days long. You are given 400 dollars at the end of orientation.

You are told to bring clothes for 7 days, along with a list of other normal stuff. They advise to bring a canceled check if you want direct deposit. They also require work boots (steel toe not required). They advise to bring tennis shoes for off duty time. I am assuming I need to wear boots tomorrow so that's what I'm doing.

I will continue to update info as it becomes available. It starts tomorrow. I hope it goes well!

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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Day 1- we started class with 14 students. 2 noobies (that's me) and 12 experienced drivers.

We each took a road test which consisted of 6 right turns, a couple of lights, 3 railroad crossings. One of the crossings had a stop sign. The backing test consisted of putting the truck back where it was previously parked. That could be an offset or straight back depending where you start, lol.

We had our DOT physical. Lost one driver due to sugar levels and another driver just sort of disappeared. We are down to 12 drivers for day 2.

A couple of things. Tyson now has a policy of no phones, including headsets, when behind the wheel. Therefore, no phones are allowed in class. You get 1 warning. 2nd time, you get a bus ticket. They say if you can't stay off the phone in class, you won't when you drive a truck. Might as well not waste anyone's time.

Also, they only require 3 yrs employment history on application. When you arrive, you will be expected to provide 10 years history.

Ok, leaving breakfast to take van for day 2. Wish me luck!

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.

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.

Bryn J.'s Comment
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Best of luck, but I don't think you will need it.

Bryn

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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Ok, finished day 4 today. Basically they run people from every department associated with transportation through to give a speach and ask questions. In between the speakers, there is online training. There is nothing difficult about the orientation, however they move fast in order to get everything in. That has been the case on days 2-4 at noon.

The afternoon today we had our picture taken, set up our com data cards, were issued our 2 uniform shirts, etc... below are some things I found interesting that may or may not be similar to other companies.

Tyson has 115,000 employees which enables it to offer some things smaller companies just do not have the ability to offer. They employee many chaplains that are available for yourself and dependants in times of need. They have on site nurses at many of their locations that can help you with minor ailments. Tyson offers a 401k match. Their match is different depending on what percentage you put in, but if you put in 5% it comes out to a 100% match on the 1st 4%. They also offer a stock purchase plan.

Tyson OTR drivers are currently averaging 2700 miles/wk, but it is actually more. They calculate average miles based on total trucks, including out of service trucks. Most drivers are getting at least 2900. Tyson encourages utilization of 8/2 split sleeper and you will be driving at night over 50% of the time. You are not allowed to be off duty on customer's property. You must either be on duty or in sleeper. You are required to perform pre-trip and post trip. They will write you up if you are not logging these.

Dress code - Tyson requires you to wear uniform shirt on customer's property, but it is optional while driving. No open toed shoes allowed on duty.

Pay for trainees- Tyson's website advises 400/wk for 8 weeks, however the pay is a lityle better than that. They pay 400/wk for the 1st 4 weeks, then 500/wk for 2 weeks, then 600/wk for final 2 weeks.

They lease all of their trucks and currently operate about 1000 trucks. They currently have 424 Kenworth T680s that are either 2016 or 2017. They have a few 2013 trucks left. The rest are 2014 or 2015. This is a mixed fleet. They just purchased 10 Volvos just to compare to the Kenworths. They advised that they do this a lot. They still have a few thermo king temp control units but they are trashing them as they break. They have transitioned almost completely to Carrier units. They have a few electric APUs but they say they are junk and have decided to use diesel apus. If the temperature drops below 15-20 degrees outside they require you to idle your truck while sleeping to help prevent things from freezing up.

My trainer picks me up at 8AM tomorrow morning and we are heading out! Wish me luck.

If anyone has any questions let me know and I will try to get the answer for you.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

ChickieMonster's Comment
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Wait you are going to be required to lease after you complete your training?!?

Did they disclose this BEFORE orientation?

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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I think you may have posted on the wrong thread chickie?

Wait you are going to be required to lease after you complete your training?!?

Did they disclose this BEFORE orientation?

ChickieMonster's Comment
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They lease all of their trucks and currently operate about 1000 trucks. They currently have 424 Kenworth T680s that are either 2016 or 2017. They have a few 2013 trucks left. The rest are 2014 or 2015.

This is from your above post.

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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Ahh, I see the confusion. Tyson does not purchase their trucks. They lease them. Tyson does not do lease purchase. I'm paid .41 cpm.

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They lease all of their trucks and currently operate about 1000 trucks. They currently have 424 Kenworth T680s that are either 2016 or 2017. They have a few 2013 trucks left. The rest are 2014 or 2015.

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This is from your above post.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ahh, I see the confusion. Tyson does not purchase their trucks. They lease them. Tyson does not do lease purchase. I'm paid .41 cpm.

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They lease all of their trucks and currently operate about 1000 trucks. They currently have 424 Kenworth T680s that are either 2016 or 2017. They have a few 2013 trucks left. The rest are 2014 or 2015.

double-quotes-end.png

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This is from your above post.

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Fairly common for medium sozed fleets, especially private ones like Tyson. Probably under a preventive maintrnamce contract as well.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Yes they have a strict maintenance program. If its broke it gets fixed. Simple as that. Been with them a year and I have very little to complain about.

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