Every Day Is An Adventure

Topic 19710 | Page 1

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Unholychaos's Comment
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Delivered my load this morning to a Dollar Tree DC in Savannah GA at about 0700. No empties so I put in the exception and start the chase. It's now 1130, I've been to 5 different locations, each one either no empties or can't release without an inbound. I've bobtailed 40m all in the Savannah area and wasted a whole 1.5h on my 11h clock for nothing. My 14 is about to catch up to my 11 on top of all this.

Worst part is that my next pickup is just a drop and hook. I don't even need the damn trailer as far as I know, and judging by the satellite view, it looks like a damn drop lot! At least it's a beautiful day...

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

C T.'s Comment
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You could always join the flatbed brotherhood lol

Auggie69's Comment
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Delivered my load this morning to a Dollar Tree DC in Savannah GA at about 0700. No empties so I put in the exception and start the chase. It's now 1130, I've been to 5 different locations, each one either no empties or can't release without an inbound. I've bobtailed 40m all in the Savannah area and wasted a whole 1.5h on my 11h clock for nothing. My 14 is about to catch up to my 11 on top of all this.

Worst part is that my next pickup is just a drop and hook. I don't even need the damn trailer as far as I know, and judging by the satellite view, it looks like a damn drop lot! At least it's a beautiful day...

Can't you just ask your DM if you can bobtail to pick it up?

And how come these trailers don't have GPS attached to them? I know if an Amazon trailer that's been in the same spot for 4 months. I'm going to call them up and ask them if they'll give me a reward if I tell them where it is :)

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

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.

Kammy R.'s Comment
member avatar

I feel your pain! I had this exact day last week in LA. After 4 hours of the wild goose chase, I Bob tailed to nestle and picked up my load. I didn't make it out of California before I ran out of hours...

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I don't understand this. I've heard of this before, but I just don't know why companies don't know where their trailers are and have to send drivers to go hunt for them. What a waste of time. I've never had this problem. Not sure if this is more of an issue with truckload and trailers at customer locations or not.

As a linehaul driver for an LTL , I've never had to go hunt for a trailer at multiple locations and burn up my clock. I'll call central dispatch every now and then if I'm at a larger terminal and nobody is there, and I don't want to hunt in the yard for an empty. Then they can tell me the trailer numbers for empties and I go by that, rather than opening each trailer or looking for trailers that don't have seals. Why do these large carriers have to send drivers from location to location??

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Errol V.'s Comment
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6 string rhythm searches for understanding:

I don't understand this. I've heard of this before, but I just don't know why companies don't know where their trailers are and have to send drivers to go hunt for them. What a waste of time. I've never had this problem. Not sure if this is more of an issue with truckload and trailers at customer locations or not.

Truckload companies will deliver the whole trailer to the receiver, often to drop it in a drop area. Said receiver's own yard dogs will jocky it into a dock and move empties back to the drop area. Yes, trucking companies try to keep a balance of empties & loaded for any given shipper/ receiver.

The trucking company does not keep track of exactly how many empties are at a particular place. So when a shipper runs out of empties, say, seasonally, drivers are sent to the receivers to find the empties.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I guess that's where I'm wondering why they can't have some way of knowing ahead of time if an empty is available or not before a driver is even dispatched to a location where an empty will be needed. I know our dispatch has a running inventory of trailers in 'empty status,' for each location. There aren't any surprises of drivers being dispatched with an empty, only for the driver to have to tell the planners / dispatch that there are no empties available. And to have to go from location to location to find an empty? I can't believe it's that inefficient.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I guess that's where I'm wondering why they can't have some way of knowing ahead of time if an empty is available or not before a driver is even dispatched to a location where an empty will be needed. I know our dispatch has a running inventory of trailers in 'empty status,' for each location. There aren't any surprises of drivers being dispatched with an empty, only for the driver to have to tell the planners / dispatch that there are no empties available. And to have to go from location to location to find an empty? I can't believe it's that inefficient.

I think it's partly the planners' fault. I know we always have Schneider empties at the Target DC I work at, but sometimes we can't release them to drivers if we don't have enough for us. So dispatch might send a driver here for empty #123456 but when they get here we tell them we don't have any. It's not that we don't have any--we just can't release any. If the planners would just call the customer before sending over the driver, it could save alot of time and frustrstion for everyone.

Of course, that's only part of the problem. I know at Swift I've been sent places that didn't have the trailer I was sent for, period. Not empty, not in a dock, nothing. I also got into a fight with a dm from Salt Lake once because she insisted there were like 14 empties at our Denver terminal , and she sent me the trailer numbers over the Qualcomm. A couple of them were there, being used or OSV, but most of them just weren't there at all. Another dispatcher got involved and accused me of lying--then took my preplan away when I lost it with him. Yeah, it was an ordeal. When my dispatcher got in on Monday, he explained to the two dispatchers that those trailers were old trailers Swift had gotten rid of, but were still in the system! Go figure. Oh yeah, good thing I was right too--coulda lost my job yelling at a dispatcher like that..

shocked.png

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

They've had GPS trackers for trailers for like 100 years but I don't have any idea how many companies use them. But a lot of stuff is put into the computers manually by dispatch or load planners. Even customers can sometimes enter trailer numbers. Anyone types a wrong number, or chooses the wrong location for a customer, and things can become a mess.

Plus, experienced drivers know they can't get assigned a load without an empty trailer. They won't even put one on you. I've always said that I kept a list of customers that had empties so anytime I needed one I knew where to look. If I could get away with it I'd show up at the customer, grab the first empty trailer I could find, and go. I wouldn't even tell em. I already knew they'd say, "We need that trailer!" and I'd say, "So do I!" and they'd say, "You can't have it!" and I'd say, "I'm taking it" and they'd tell my ma on me and it would be awful. So I'd just take it and go. Then I'd send a message to dispatch, give them my trailer number, and they'd dispatch me on the next load.

In fact, a couple of times I typed a message into the Qualcomm saying, "Go to [customer name] and grab an empty ASAP. We have to get this next load moved. It's just-in-time auto parts." Well I didn't send it, but I would instead show the guard shack the message and say it was sent to me by dispatch and I didn't have time to mess around arguing, because a late load to an auto factory costs my company $10,000 an hour. So just let shipping know what happened." I'd be outta there before anyone knew what was going on.

Well now you have a conflict in the system. That trailer was showing at the customer, the customer hasn't released it, load planners haven't moved it in the system, but now dispatch is saying I have it on a different run altogether going somewhere else.

So it's easy to see how things get messed up. Some of these drivers will do anything to keep moving freight I'll tell ya.

thank-you-2.gifsmile.gif

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

A lot of customers like to use the trailers for extra storage space. At my company, they start charging the customers a fee after x amount of days if the trls are not mt and ready for us to take out.

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