How Do You Know Whether It's Time To Change Companies Or Suck It Up?

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Joe H.'s Comment
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whether it's time to change companies or suck it up?

Fatsquatch 's Comment
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That's awfully difficult to answer without a few more details, but here goes.

Have you tried to address your concerns with your FM? If that hasn't worked, have to tried switching to a different FM? Have you spoken with your Ops or Terminal manager(s)? Have you worked your way completely along the chain of command to try to resolve your issues?

If your problems can't be resolved through normal communication channels, there are two possibilities to consider: it's an operational issue that can't be resolved with a major logistical overhaul of the entire company (i.e. running lanes into certain areas, freight availability, etc.) OR it's the driver making unrealistic demands. Either way, it's time to look for a new company...but it might also be a good time for some personal reflection and introspection.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
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whether it's time to change companies or suck it up?

Is this a retorical question, or are you frustrated where you are? If you're frustrated, it'll probably be much the same wherever else you go.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
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That should read "without a major logistical overhaul." This is why I want an Edit button.

Errol V.'s Comment
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That should read "without a major logistical overhaul." This is why I want an Edit button.

Use the Preview button to see what it will look like. Brett has explained there's no Edit button by design.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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All companies have great and bad things about them. The above advice was awesome.

A lot of new drivers have unrealistic expectations: 1) been driving a month but want loads home every weekend. 2). Want all drop and hook. 3) want 50cpm from the start. 4) want a whole week off for home time. 5). Want 10 paid holidays. 6) never wanting tondrive nights. 7) expecting hotel rooms and meals every night paid for

The list goes on.

I also know a driver who constantly asks for more miles but when given loads he doesn't hustle to the shipper immediately. He waits until right before the appt time. Showing up really early even a day early will demonstrate your seriousness about getting miles. When i discussed this with him he replied that he shows up an hour before the appt and is never late. When i explained that was the bare minimum of him doing his job and showing up even six hours early is going an extra mile he realized what I meant and started hustling. Voila! His FM saw he was determined and he went from 2000 miles a week to 2900.

So what is the issue. We might be able to help

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

All companies have great and bad things about them. The above advice was awesome.

A lot of new drivers have unrealistic expectations: 1) been driving a month but want loads home every weekend. 2). Want all drop and hook. 3) want 50cpm from the start. 4) want a whole week off for home time. 5). Want 10 paid holidays. 6) never wanting tondrive nights. 7) expecting hotel rooms and meals every night paid for

The list goes on.

I also know a driver who constantly asks for more miles but when given loads he doesn't hustle to the shipper immediately. He waits until right before the appt time. Showing up really early even a day early will demonstrate your seriousness about getting miles. When i discussed this with him he replied that he shows up an hour before the appt and is never late. When i explained that was the bare minimum of him doing his job and showing up even six hours early is going an extra mile he realized what I meant and started hustling. Voila! His FM saw he was determined and he went from 2000 miles a week to 2900.

So what is the issue. We might be able to help

^^^ this... When I have appointment times it is rare because usually our flatbed is FCFS. However I show up 5-6 hours early and almost everytime there is the guy who is late for his appointment or shows up at the last minute and I get bumped into his slot and I am off to deliver so I can be on my next load.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joe H.'s Comment
member avatar

So what is the issue. We might be able to help

There is no one specific issue. Generally, I'm happy. There are a bunch of little things and a number of recurring issues that pop up every few months and I get tired of having the same conversation over and over again. It's like trying to stop the dog from eating the neighbor's chickens. (And I don't want to do to my TM what I did to to the dog to make it stop. )

I've been presented with a couple of opportunities and one is really intriguing.

I wasn't really looking to get into my situation. I mostly wanted to hear from others what it would take to get them to switch companies and go back to the bottom of the totem pole.

Old School's Comment
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I wasn't really looking to get into my situation. I mostly wanted to hear from others what it would take to get them to switch companies and go back to the bottom of the totem pole.

Joe, I went through this whole process when I switched from Western Express to Knight Transportation. Here is how I went about the whole decision.

My first concern or emphasis was that I didn't want to leave the company that I was at until I had made every effort at succeeding where I was. I wanted to be confident that I had a really good grip on how you make this job work. I was convinced then, and even more so now, that success at trucking is largely due to the approach that the individual takes, and his efforts at reaching those goals that elude so many new drivers. In short, I didn't want to leave without making every effort I could to succeed where I was. Once I was confident that I had the keys to success at trucking down, then I was confident that I could make a good move without killing my earning potential in the whole process.

I practiced little things like moving my appointments up - yes, even if my company requested that I not do this. It is an area where you have got to try and take the initiative at times and see what the results are. I was careful and selective at how I did this, and often times the customer never even knew it was a driver they were speaking with. This gave me results that I couldn't get from my company, and it wasn't because they were unable to accomplish those things, but rather that they had much more pressing issues to deal with that kept them sidelined from my concerns.

I practiced tricks at managing my time more efficiently so that I was available for the best loads. By this I mean I was getting MT'd out early, sometimes as much as several days. I always tried to make it so that I sat out my ten hour break just prior to getting MT, often times I would MT out before even starting my clock so that I was not wasting my valuable time waiting on dispatch. Any trucking company recognizes pretty quickly a driver who knows how to do this stuff. I was always setting myself up so that I would be prepared to be ready for whatever they could come up with.

I learned who to speak with at my company if there was a recurring issue that my DM didn't seem to be able to rectify, and I discovered in the process that many of the problems I was experiencing could be resolved on my own by taking my own initiative.

I liken this career to being self-employed a lot. I believe there is a real liberating factor in that understanding, if you can lay hold of the concept. I would take some chances at times, and it usually worked out well for me. I was always willing to take my own initiative, and then accept the consequences - what I found was that most of the time those efforts would put me ahead of the game while others were moaning and groaning about their situations. Here's a small example: I remember this one dispatched load into the St. Paul, Minnesota area and my regular DM was out for the day. I delivered my load, and then there was nothing - no response from the company. Most drivers would just sit there and wait, and be burning up their precious time, all while getting frustrated with their "stupid company." I knew from past experiences of being dispatched in this area that we would usually get a load out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. So, I just started advancing myself in that direction. Now that got my stand-in dispatcher's notice, and he contacted me in about thirty minutes instead of me waiting two or three hours! He demanded to know what the heck I was doing driving without being dispatched anywhere? I told him my experience was that I would be dispatched to Eau Claire, and so instead of me burning up my clock waiting I was going to be pro-active and get myself on over close to my next shipper. He was flabbergasted and a little impressed that I actually paid enough attention to recognize such a pattern, and than told me that he indeed was working on securing me a load from that customer. By the time he finally got it all together I was pulling into their yard and ready to get loaded!

Okay the other thing I wanted to be sure of before I switched companies was that I had to be certain that the money was considerably better. I wasn't going to make the move for just a penny or two per mile - I figured I could make that up where I was by practicing my own little tricks for success. When I did switch companies I managed to get another eight cents per mile, and I thought that would be worth it, especially now that I knew how to take things into my own hands and make a go of it out here.

All those efforts that I practiced while at Western Express became the foundation for my success at this career. I am confident now that I can succeed at any trucking company out here. Those early days of making heroic efforts at keeping myself at the top of the food chain have paid off with great dividends. Even my current dispatcher has said to me, "I wish you would write a book about how to succeed at this. I guarantee you that I would buy a copy for every new driver that comes to work for me and require them to read it. My life would be so much easier if everyone did things the way you do."

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

So what is the issue. We might be able to help

double-quotes-end.png

I wasn't really looking to get into my situation. I mostly wanted to hear from others what it would take to get them to switch companies and go back to the bottom of the totem pole.

For me it would take a pay cut, minimal miles for long periods, nasty personnel, and not much else could make me leave.

"Little things and recurring issues every three months" doesn't sound like much of a reason to me. You could switch companies and have major things wrong. The grass isn't always greener.

No company is going to be perfect. No FM will be perfect either. You aren't perfect. If they wanted to Vail on you for each time you made a rookie mistake that was "little" or you made mistakes every few months...do you think that would be fair?

I'd be changing FM, divisions or routes before I left my company.

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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