New Job

Topic 19086 | Page 1

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Bud A.'s Comment
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On Monday I'll be headed to orientation for a new job pulling tankers. I'm pretty excited about it for a few reasons.

First, I've been sitting around for four months doing pretty much nothing but the little bit of exercise, diet re-education, etc. that has been required by the doctors. It is the longest period of inactivity I've had since I was five years old. I'm bored.

Second, I'll be learning some new driving skills pulling a smooth-bore tanker (it's all food grade). My understanding is that it can get real serious real quick if you take a corner too fast or slam on the brakes when hauling liquid, so the defensive driving level needs to go to level 17 on a 10-point scale. I figure that will make me a better driver.

Third, I'll get home every week, meaning at least a 34 on the weekend, maybe longer. I might even get home during the week, since I'll be running north and south past home quite a bit.

Fourth, their attitude toward drivers is better than anything I've ever experienced, at least so far. The terminal manager himself drove 75 miles to interview me and has done all the communication for hiring. We hit it off pretty good and I am pretty sure I'm going to enjoy working for him.

Fifth, their compensation package has all kinds of little things I've never seen bundled together in one place that add up to the best package I've ever been offered. It really reinforces the sense that they are very driver-friendly and want to retain their drivers. It includes things like a week of paid vacation after six months, to be used before your first anniversary. Two paid personal days, prorated the first year. Six paid holidays -- and real pay equivalent to working a full day, along with extra pay if you are asked to deliver on a holiday. Excellent benefits at an affordable price. (I've been researching this one a lot more than I used to.) Hourly pay for loading and unloading -- standard in tanker jobs, but their rates are higher than other tanker jobs I've looked at. Additional mileage pay if you take a longer run. Flat rates if they ask you to take short runs. Bonus pay if you work on the weekend. A very healthy sign-on bonus. Annual longevity bonus that goes up on a regular basis as you stay longer. Incentive bonus of 3.5% to 5.5% for hitting certain goals. Referral bonuses. Bonuses for passing inspections. Plus 401k, disability, life, etc. So again, I've seen most of these things offered by other companies, but I've never seen all of them offered by one company.

Sixth, I'll be running the upper midwest and delivering to facilities that by their very nature are not located in densely populated areas. I like staying out of city neighborhoods in a big truck. That didn't always happen with flatbed.

Seventh, if I get bored, I can switch to their other division that hauls liquid hazmat for a change of pace.

It was a difficult choice to make, only because I had some really great offers from other companies. I kind of wish I could clone myself four or five times so I could work them all, because I think I would really enjoy them all.

As I said in another thread, trucking is a great career choice. Getting a year or more of safe driving with no negative reports on your DAC opens up a whole new world of opportunities with better pay, better home time, and lots of choices as to what kind of freight you want to haul. Thanks again to everyone here who helped me make it to this level. It is paying off big-time right now and I couldn't be happier!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

DAC:

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.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Congrats Bud and glad to hear you're getting back in the saddle.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Congratulations Bud! Glad you are finally able to get back in the saddle. Keep us posted on how your transition into tanks goes.

G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations Bud! Best of luck to you!

6 string rhythm's Comment
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Thanks for sharing your find - sounds like an awesome job. Seems like something that you'll enjoy and earn great pay while doing it. Congrats!

Victor C. II's Comment
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Congrats! Hope it's awesome!

Bud A.'s Comment
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Thanks, all! As far as getting back in the saddle, I must admit I'm a little anxious about driving a truck for the first time in over four months, but I'm hoping it's like riding a horse and will just come back.

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.
Chris L.'s Comment
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Congratulations and good luck! How's the equipment there? You going to get a fancy Kenworth?

Bud A.'s Comment
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Congratulations and good luck! How's the equipment there? You going to get a fancy Kenworth?

Thanks, Chris! Nope, it's all Freightliners as far as the eye can see. I have a list of trucks in my head that I would love to drive before I retire, but my favorite truck to drive is the one that pays the bills lol.

Sometimes that's one of the things I daydream about while I'm cruising down the road: what it would be like to drive a tricked-out 379 or a W-900 with three sticks or one of those crazy cabovers with dual steers. One thing about tankers I've noticed is that a lot of companies have Mack Pinnacles in their fleets. That would be cool.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob S.'s Comment
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I just switched to smooth bore tankers a couple months ago. The surge is real but it's usually not bad. It just takes time to get used to being pushed forward and pulled back.

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