Looking For A Smaller Outfit

Topic 20097 | Page 1

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Haze Gray 's Comment
member avatar

Hey guys and gals! I am fast approaching my first full year OTR and was wondering if any of you have any advise regarding a company change. I have been working for a mid size carrier for the last six months after starting with the big orange. I am not unhappy here, but their CSA is horrible (I never get a bypass). I was inspected last week (level 2) and passed no problem because I am thorough. But the inspector told me my company had a 99 out of 100! I'm always loaded heavy (which isn't that big of a deal), but they run a lot of loads that I wouldn't say is ideal (I'm only about 5% drop and hook too). I get along fine with my FM and we joke around a lot, but I just feel like I could make more money with less worries at a smaller carrier. Any suggestions? I'm open and won't get offended easily so fire away! I appreciate any advice.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I suggest you look the other way - larger company. Part of the draw for the mom-pop sized outfits is the family, "first name" feeling. Now the bad part: resources.

Smaller fleets don't have all the resources of the nationals to keep their rolling stock in 100% DOT shape. Already in your mid-size company you're pulled in to all the chicken coops. This is often based on that CSA. Smaller companies also don't have the backup in training and driver support.

(Excuse me while I out a piece of wood here.) In the over two years I've driven for Swift, I've seldom been red lighted into a weigh station and not yet had any inspection. (Knock on wood) The tractor and trailers are in fine shape, or I can get any problem fixed in a short wait.

Also, a big company will have all the miles you can eat. Maybe you should think about the bigs to solve your problems. I have no experience with Schneider, but hanging around this forum you'll hear about the other national companies.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

I'd recommend CalArk since you have a year of experience. We're a mid sized carrier but have an excellent CSA score. I rarely get pulled into a scale and the only time I've been inspected was 2 site random in Texas. Our trucks and trailers are kept in excellent shape partially because we own our own repair company with shops in Little Rock, Garland and Laredo TX.

It does depend on where you live though. West coast is a no go simply because we don't have much freight out that way.

We're considered a short haul carrier which means you have the option to go home once a week for a reset. I only go home once per month so I have leave way and can take plenty of time off. I'm just getting back on the road after 6 days off.

Everyone from top to bottom in the company is good as gold. While we have over 300 trucks on the company side, it definitely has a family feel and atmosphere. People know you by name and every door is always open, from the head of safety to the director of operations.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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