On The Home Stretch Of Deciding...

Topic 22051 | Page 3

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Jody B.'s Comment
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Brett, I’ll try to clarify. I have no problem with heat. I’ve carried concrete, dug holes, and everything in between since the age of 14. I compare my physical health to what I used to do. For instance I played all sports, competitive weight lifting, etc. So by comparing my physical health today with that 10 years ago, I’m not in the same shape. I have a lot of wear and tear.

My next statement will probably be taken out of context, but is fact. Flatbed trucking doesn’t compare physically to what I’ve already been doing. My doctor informed me that it would be best to find a different line of work now instead of when I have to. The way I compare the two is my Dad drove flatbed and brother currently does so I know the physical demands it entails. Yes I despise the cold! The reason of my post being all over the place is to gather information. I may would rather work a more physical job as a flatbed driver for an honest company than a less physical job with higher pay for a less trustworthy group. Can’t agree with a happy driver being happy anywhere. He worked for Schneider for his first six months and hated it too the point of questioning his career decision. Since his change to Melton he loves it..

The purpose of comparing companies is to find that little extra. I spoke with one person at a company that could not talk because he was getting off early to go purchase a recreational vehicle. My side of the conversation started and ended with Hello my name is and I would like to ask about your trucking school. Now is this a deal breaker? No, but not my first go to either.

The answers and information I’ve received have been extremely helpful. One truckers opinion differentiated from another’s and I like different opinions. I just try to take it all in and make the best calculated decision possible. All trucking candidates are not the same and feel this holds true for trucking companies. My dad hated working for others and did best with his 5 trucks. He passed away 7 years back so not able to bend his ear. I ramble, that’s what I do, so hope it’s tolerated, whomever I choose will not have to question my work ethic or honesty, that I guarantee!

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Jody I have followed along your thread quietly, mainly because you have been given the same advice already I would have given you. I too live in GA. Not sure exactly where you are but I get the impression northern Ga. Your comment about health hits home with me. I have always been in great physical shape my whole life. The older I get the more life changes in this area. I have worked hard my entire life, either by circumstance or choice. However I will be 58 yrs young in a few months. Several years ago I had to face the reality I can’t do things the same way today that I did 10 yrs ago. Or even last week sometimes.

My advice is look at what you want and desire to do, and look down the road a few years. Ask yourself do I think I can still do it then. With young children I get the sense your still pretty young in comparrison to me. I started out driving at 53 and in no way wanted to drag heavy tarps at all, much less in the heat or bitter cold. So I started with dry van. Since I have pulled boxs, both dry and refer, tankers, and now flatbed. I went flatbed with a private fleet, no tarping ever.

Everyone is different. This industry has so many options it is crazy. Think about what is important to you then I’m sure you will find a carrier that will suit those needs.

Best of luck to you in your search

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jody B.'s Comment
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Thank you PJ and yea the situation sounds similar. I guess that answer is what I’m looking for. The idea that one company would require tarping and maybe one wouldn’t.

Just bending the ears of those on here in the know brother. I’ve heard those that have said they would never pull tankers and because of roll over and others that say reefers are too much trouble... Looking back I maybe should have been a little more specific as Brett pointed out. Two of my Dad’s friends drive for Landstar and swear by it, but I’ve read on here that it would be an unlikely success for most to consider owner/operator ventures.

I don’t feel any are right or wrong, some of us are square pegs and some round per say... Thanks again for the comments. Yes I’m in N GA now, moved up from South Ga (Dodge) about 2 years ago.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The purpose of comparing companies is to find that little extra. I spoke with one person at a company that could not talk because he was getting off early to go purchase a recreational vehicle. My side of the conversation started and ended with Hello my name is and I would like to ask about your trucking school. Now is this a deal breaker? No, but not my first go to either.

Ok, so you've already touched on numerous criteria that should never be used for choosing a company, like how close a terminal is, and now you've found your way to an old favorite of mine, "the recruiter didn't treat me like I'm important" thing which is yet another terrible criteria for choosing a company. It's so common to see this I've even written an article about it, which can be found in our series of articles on how to choose the right truck driving job. You can find it here:

The Biggest Mistake New Drivers Make When Speaking With Recruiters

Can’t agree with a happy driver being happy anywhere. He worked for Schneider for his first six months and hated it to the point of questioning his career decision. Since his change to Melton he loves it..

Well you don't have to agree with it but that doesn't mean it isn't true, because it is. For this to happen with your brother is also a very common occurrence. We tell people all the time to stick with your first company for one full year no matter what. The reason we say this is because early in your career you have no Earthly idea what you're doing. You're going to screw up countless times, mismanage your clock, blame your company for things that are "just trucking" no matter where you work, and when things don't go your way you have no idea who to turn to in order to get it straightened out. The learning curve is steep and most people question their decision to enter trucking those first few months.

About the 6 month mark is when you begin to figure things out. You understand how to work your logbook , you know how to avoid the heaviest of city traffic most of the time, you've learned how to communicate with dispatch, and you've learned how to get loads picked up and delivered early. You're not quite a Top Tier Driver at this point no matter how good you are, but some people are getting there by this point. You can read Old School's article on what it takes to be a top tier driver to see what I'm talking about.

So your brother changed companies about the time he finally started figuring things out, and lo and behold things started working out better for him. What a surprise. It happens all the time. Schneider, I believe, is the 2nd largest freight carrier in North America. Do you think they got there by being a terrible company to work for, or do you think maybe your brother didn't quite give himself a chance to learn his trade and prove himself while he was there? He's your brother so naturally you think it's the company, but it wasn't. Schneider is a fantastic company to work for once you know what you're doing and you've earned the trust of your dispatcher.

We enjoy answering questions here but it would really, really help if you would actually read through the materials we already have on the site and then ask us more questions. You're hitting on a long list of common misconceptions that we've addressed in numerous places across the site. You'll understand this whole process a lot better if you would read through this stuff:

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.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I forgot to mention - because you're not sure what type of freight you want to pull I would suggest looking for a company that has multiple options like Prime, Swift, Schneider, Roehl, and others. Start out with dry van or refrigerated, do that for a year, and then decide if you want to try something else. Going with a company that has multiple options is a great way to go. It's a huge advantage being able to stay within the same company but switch to divisions hauling different types of freight or divisions that are dedicated to certain regions of the country or certain customers.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Jody B.'s Comment
member avatar

No, the recruiter didn’t know me, so the idea I took it personal or the red carpet was laid out has nothing to do with the situation. I understand that trucking is a different business, but is still a business. I owned my own business for 20 years and was successful, but will not ever try and entertain the though that there isn’t much more to learn. A recruiter is a recruiter in my book. To have the idea that any company should fall short when dealing with a potential hire, new client, or even a random phone call is just not good business sense. Does a person throw a dollar bill away because he or she has two fives? That dollar may turn an extremely profitable investment. I understand your point of prove yourself and certainly agree, but a person who is representing any company as the first contact should be personable and thorough at the least. This is not because I deserve it but their employer should expect to be represented in a professional manner. I’m willing to give you the total benefit of the doubt when it comes to trucking, but will have to refer back to my experiences when it comes to management whether trucking or cake baking. I only pointed out my brothers situation as an example. Probably as you say, this is very unusual, but as unusual as it is it happened. I have no reason to fault Schneider and I call a spade a spade brother or no brother. They just didn’t fit what he was hoping for as best I can tell. I have read through articles on this site and they have been very informative. I agree I probably should have read more before asking questions that I could have found out answers on my own, but sometimes you want a different perspective. Not that the articles are not well written and well thought out, but because there are apples and oranges. I do agree with staying on to honor any contract unless there is some major reason not to. I’m sure if I started trucking today in 10 years I would still have questions. My purpose for starting this post was to gain all the info possible good and bad. I enjoy the conversations whether agree or disagree. I also feel this site is very informative and hope to continue learning as I go from many of the sites followers. Probably should have made the post title, Asking Questions instead of what it is.lol Everyone has an informed opinion. I’m sure there are those that read this and think this guy knows nothing and others who will say maybe he knows a little more than he is giving credit for. I’ll leave that to readers and thanks again for the responses! JB

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jody B.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, Old School, or anyone else who would like to reply. Why do some say if you live in Midwest or the Northeast that you will make more money? Any truth to that? I know it doesn’t go along with the previous discussion, but didn’t want to litter up the board with a new topic that I’m sure you all have probably answered one time or another.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I don't know if you'll make more money living in those regions necessarily, but you'll have more opportunities with different companies. Almost all companies hire out of the Midwest, and most companies hire out of the Northeast, although not the extreme Northeast like Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

A company can hire drivers from anywhere within their strongest freight lanes because that means they can get them home easily enough. Most freight lanes go through the Midwest and into the Northeast or Southeast.

I guess in the end more opportunities can equate to making better money. I think having a larger number of opportunities is the biggest thing you'll notice though.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jody B.'s Comment
member avatar

Interesting. Before I was told different by you guys I was thinking terminals was important but I see your point now. Learning a little more everyday!

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Jody explains:

The purpose of comparing companies is to find that little extra.

Jody you will never find "that little extra" from your company tesearch because that needs to come from you. You, not them. The "individual" is the element, the extra ingredient intrinsic to success and happiness in this business. Don't expect this intangible to come from any company, especially in the beginning.

Part of your research needs to include and consider the great advice you have received thus far. Forget about a brief and shallow exchange with a recruiter, irrelevant and meaningless. You'll never know if you love this or hate it until you commit to a company and accept the reality that your success is totally your responsibility, not theirs.

And the little extra you are seeking, over time will reveal itself as you become a consistent, reliable, top performing driver.

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