Is It Ever Going To Get Better?

Topic 19007 | Page 5

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

AC...the phone is with me and on all the time when I am on-duty or on my 30 minute break. Not unusual for me to get a call from my DM while I am driving; for many valid reasons. I assume you have a good hands-free headset. If not, investing in one can help with staying connected. Swift allows hands-free calls, I am sure you know this, more for the benefit of others.

Brett's original response to "missing the phone call" was spot-on. I think you know that. Your rather snarky reply to him (about not being a super trucker) is what escalated the situation and prompted the heavy-handed response. Implied, maybe your response to Brett is an indication of how you could be responding to your DM when things aren't going your way. Don't really know that and not accusing you of that style of communication, just something to think about and be aware of.

Hope you make that call and good luck with it.

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.
ACO476's Comment
member avatar

Believe it or not, and I'm guessing probably not, I actually have a really good relationship with my DM. And again, it's one of those situations where you can't tell the sentiment of the person typing just through their text on the screen. While I didn't intend to be snarky, I do stand by what I said. You have someone who desperately wants to work harder and who can't seem to figure out how to accomplish that, and who's had a pretty bad run of things for several months, and who is really giving it their all every single day. While my comment could've been worded better, so could Brett's. However, this is his website and he can reply to people however he sees fit.

I apologize if I hurt anybody's feelings. It certainly wasn't meant to be that way. And like I said, I could have worded my response a little bit better. I'll add that to the list of things I need to work on.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Believe it or not, and I'm guessing probably not, I actually have a really good relationship with my DM. And again, it's one of those situations where you can't tell the sentiment of the person typing just through their text on the screen. While I didn't intend to be snarky, I do stand by what I said. You have someone who desperately wants to work harder and who can't seem to figure out how to accomplish that, and who's had a pretty bad run of things for several months, and who is really giving it their all every single day. While my comment could've been worded better, so could Brett's. However, this is his website and he can reply to people however he sees fit.

I apologize if I hurt anybody's feelings. It certainly wasn't meant to be that way. And like I said, I could have worded my response a little bit better. I'll add that to the list of things I need to work on.

I understand. No hurt feelings. Just an observation. Good luck with TM call. Interested to hear the outcome.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

ACO476, let me explain where I'm coming from and my reaction.

First of all, understand that I take my responsibility for helping people make their way in this industry very seriously. I realize that everyone's financial life is on the line here when they're starting out in this career and whether or not things work out for them is going to have a profound impact on their lives in some way.

With my experience I know exactly how to help people work through this sort of thing, and it's quite exciting for me to be able to help people out when they're facing difficulties, even after 10 years of running this website seven days a week. The pride I take in doing this and the enjoyment I get from it never fades.

So in a big way I feel like myself and all of the amazing people we have in our community are like the parents who are trying to help out the kids who are just getting started. And once the kids get going strong they come back as parents to help out with the next generation. I love it. Always have.

So when you came to us yesterday with your concerns, we gave you the perfect strategy for getting your situation resolved, and you almost executed on it perfectly. When you said you had received a phone call from the terminal manager, on the same day even, I was quite honestly shocked. Even I wouldn't have expected that.

I thought you might get a call from the fleet manager or maybe even someone in operations or something, but the terminal manager? Heck, I'm certain in 15 years as a top driver I never got a call from a terminal manager, and in the podcast I just put out today I explain how I had to go through three different people before I was even given the opportunity to speak with the terminal manager when I was facing a major crisis. And I had already been a top performer at that company for almost five years!

So I don't think you realize how cool it is to have someone in that position at a company that size return a personal phone call to a rookie on the very same day! That just doesn't happen. But it did. And when you said you missed the call and didn't call him back I was downright aggravated with you to be honest. I felt like the coach who just sent in the perfect play to get you into the endzone and you were going to make it in untouched until you inexplicably fumbled the ball at the one yard line!

DOH! How could you do that????

confused.gif

I just want you to understand that you're asking for a lot more miles but it isn't going to come easy. You're going to have to hustle hard to turn maybe 2,800 - 3,200 miles a week like the top dogs out there. You have to be aggressive when it comes to seeking out opportunities to get ahead and you're going to have to learn to be a really creative problem solver in order to weave your way around this country on a very tight schedule through an endless series of blockades everywhere you turn.

You're going to have to figure out how to get loads picked up and delivered early sometimes. You're going to have to lobby dispatch for more miles from time to time. You'll have to push the limits of the logbook and really learn how to manage your time efficiently in a big way. This is how the big dogs operate out there.

So it's not just a matter of asking for more miles and everything is great. When they flip that switch and start loading the miles on you, you're going to have to perform if you want to keep those big miles. You're really going to have to step up your game. You're in a competition with the rest of the drivers at your company. There's only so much freight to go around. To this point you've been classified as a "small dog" where they're tossing you the leftover scraps after the big dogs get fed. And as you can see, there aren't a lot of leftovers. Big dogs eat up a lot of the freight. So you have to be sharp, you have to perform, and you have to take advantage of every opportunity if you want your share.

My frustration wasn't only with the fact that you missed that phone call, but I can see that right now you haven't yet grasped how ambitious you'll have to be to step up to the next level. And that's completely normal for new drivers. Very few people have had careers that are this competitive and require this level of ambition. So that's one of the big lessons we teach new drivers - get out there and make things happen.

Don't sit around waiting for handouts. Don't make excuses why you couldn't execute on a game plan. Get out there with fierce determination to get all the miles you can get. The big dogs are aggressively lobbying dispatch for more miles all the time and if the big dogs demand to be fed, they get fed. If you sit back and accept 1,800 miles without complaint, it's likely you'll stay there. No one wants that to happen.

So when the terminal manager made that call and you didn't call him back, he almost certainly felt like, "Oh well. He must not want help that badly." And that's the last guy you want thinking that about you. He can push a button and give you 3,300 miles a week, put you in a specialized division you don't even know exists, assign you a new truck, or anything he wants. You had "the great problem solver" on the line and missed the call.

Yap, that aggravated me. I was disappointed.

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.

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.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I want to see you succeed. I want to see you in here next week saying, "Holy crap! They're running me to death all of a sudden. I can hardly keep up!" That's what I'm hoping for.

So listen, I'm sorry I got a little aggravated but it's for good reason. I care about getting you the help you need so you can start turning some bigger miles and receiving those fat paychecks. I want to see you happy and successful, and I want you to understand what it takes to be one of the big dogs.

You haven't ruined your reputation or hurt anyone's feelings. It's all good. I just feel like the coach who (back in my days of playing football, anyhow) had to slap the running back upside the head for fumbling the darn ball when I just called his number to get him in the endzone!

rofl-3.gif

So that's where that came from.

Let us know how things go. Keep us updated. And no more with the "Swift doesn't care about their employees" thing. If the terminal manager is calling you back the same day then obviously that's not true at all.

Now go get em. And hang on to the ball!

smile.gif

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I love what Brett is saying here. Every rookie wants to be handed the big miles, and are frustrated when they're only doing a couple thousand miles a week.

Most newcomers have no concept of what it's like to be at the top of the food chain. People think the top earners have it made because they are getting the big long hauls handed to them. It is always a competition at the top levels out here. One slip and you may not be getting those loads anymore.

That's what is so amusing to me about the way Ryan keeps throwing around these phrases like this career being filled with sycophants, brown nosers, and pathetic dogs. He proves himself clueless every time he types something.

My dispatcher loves what I do. Not because I pander to him, but because he has confidence that I won't drop the ball. That confidence has been hard won, but I can destroy it with one little slip up.

Anybody that wants to make good money at this has to play their A game everyday. There is no allowance for excuses. Out here you put up or shut up.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi guys. hey I'm new to all these new dot rules. so when I go on the 30 minute break. am I allowed to do anything with the truck?

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Hi guys. hey I'm new to all these new dot rules. so when I go on the 30 minute break. am I allowed to do anything with the truck?

We'll technically no. Any service to the truck must be logged as on duty/not driving. In the real world however, all kinds of things are done while off duty. While not technically legal, it happens all the time.

When the new HOS go into effect, you will then be able to satisfy your 30 minute break while on duty, as long as you are not driving.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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