My Pneumatic Tanker Job

Topic 22254 | Page 7

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Amish country's Comment
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Congrats! I agree, it is fun stuff. After about a month or 2 on your own you won't even think about it anymore and will be familiar with where you're headed. Then sit back and watch the money grow as you get faster and can take on more jobs.

Training going good?

Brent R.'s Comment
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Yes training is great I have an excellent trainer that leaves nothing uncovered and does it by the book, he has gone out of his way to show me a lot, he will let dispatch know he is training and ask if they will send us to new places I haven’t been to get loaded so I can learn their procedures, I should be off training and on my own around January 4, so far so good.

Amish country's Comment
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This month finishes the first 9 months of my trucking career and very fast 2018. The only regret I have with this career change is that I didnt do it earlier. Once I get my w2 I will post my final gross number from April-december.

2019 is already looking promising. I'll have 4 months to add to what I did this year and get a week of PTO with my 1 year mark. They announced that they were able to negotiate higher rates that should run out to a 10% increase which means we indirectly get a pay raise by getting paid % of load. Also have some new contracts. All starting with the new year.

I am very grateful for the opportunity I've been given and it has made life significantly easier while being able to go home every night. Have been able to lay the start of a good financial base that has allowed us to plan 2 family vacations and seriously consider homeownership.

Going to keep my head down and working hard to make 2019 everything I want it to be.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Congrats, AC. I've followed your diary since day 1. Your journey has been truly inspiring. Here's to a safe and prosperous New Year!

Han Solo Cup (aka, Pablo)'s Comment
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Ditto... I've followed your journey since day 1 and you're an inspiration. Congrats on the indirect pay raise!

Amish country's Comment
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So final pay figures for 2018. From April through December with 1 month of training (paid at $750 a week) I was able to gross $40k. Not to bad for my first 8-9 months of driving. There should be no reason that I dont crush that number this next year since I won't have the lower training pay and know what I'm doing and more efficient with unloading and routes.

I have been extremely happy with my first company and as long as they'll have me and keep me moving I do not plan on leaving. I am home every night, making a good paycheck and generally left alone to do my job. For years I've been saying its "going to be my year" and never seemed to come around. I made changes this past year and ready to MAKE this my year.

Other then that I dont really have any updates. Same truck and everything and mostly the same customers every week. Winter hasnt been terrible here so far. If it gets to bad on the roads where I dont think I can safely deliver my dispatcher just moves it to the next day without any hassle. I essentially lose a load on the week and some money but getting home at night is always more important.

Thanks for following along and hope this continues to help someone.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joe R.'s Comment
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Amish Country, I know this is an older post, but I just finished it in its entirety. This is the field I'll be beginning in next week driving pneumatic tanker hauling flour. What an extensive entry you documented along the way. I'm very happy for you that you have been so successful up until this point and that you enjoy what you're doing. I too am the same way, with a wife and four little ones at home, I much prefer local cause it allows me to see them each day even if it is only for a few hours. I enjoyed reading your experiences along the way and hope to successful like yourself right out of the gate. Thanks again for taking the time to share all of this. - Joe

Amish country's Comment
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My first year solo is complete incident free with my first company. Guess that makes me "experienced" now? According to my GPS recorded miles I've driven about 105k miles in my first solo year working 5-6 days a week.

I've definitely gotten more efficient with every aspect of the job. Backing is second nature now and comes without having to think about how I'm going to get it done. It comes with practice and backing multiple times a day into unconventional spots that are usually unpaved with little maneuver room. I use 2 lane backroads about 80% of the time compared to highways for the shortest route and to avoid traffic. PA 234, 41 and 272 are what I use majority of the time to get here I'm going.

Unloading the product and customer interaction is probably where I've improved the most. It is what I have the most control over when it comes to my time. On average the most time I spend at a customer is 1.5 hours total which includes weigh in, paperwork, unloading, weigh out. Most of the time I'm in and out in 1-1.25 hours now and spending around 30-45 minutes loading which used to take a lot more time.

The benefit of sticking with your first company. You know all the regular stops and are familiar with where to go and how to back it in. Who needs a weigh in and where you can just get right to work. Your DM knows your preferred schedule and start times and what you can accomplish. For example. My DM called me Friday about mondays loads and started the conversation with "I wanted to see what you thought about these 3 loads together. It's only 210 miles for the day but it's a lot of time for the other stuff. Think it can be done?" After walking through it and planning the time out with him and the areas that could cause an issue he finished with "you wont have those problems, you're a professional". Makes you feel good to have some validation about the work you're getting done. I can also guarantee that he wouldn't have asked anyone else in my yard about getting 3 loads done in a day. I get that opportunity from consistantly taking more work and getting it done on a daily basis. My pay reflects it as well.

I wasnt sure how this was going to play out when I started but said I'd give it my all and see if I wanted to continue after a year. Now I ask myself why I didnt start this years ago! It fits my personality and who I am perfectly and I cant see myself doing anything else. If you said I would do this until I retire I wouldn't be upset about that at all. It's already given me financial options I didnt have before and the ability to plan in the future.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
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dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

Great job! Seems like just yesterday you got started

PackRat's Comment
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That year passed in a flash! Great job!

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