One Foot Out Of The Door

Topic 22790 | Page 1

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Villain's Comment
member avatar

I don't know if what I'm about to describe is just the normal stuff that goes on in most small companies & I just need to get over it. But things have gotten to the point that telling myself over and over again to just make it through 1 year at this company isn't working. It was only my 1st or 2nd week solo. I was coming from Yakima, WA to Carlisle, PA. My boss calls & tells me that the appt time has been moved from 5am Sun to 5am Sat. Means that I have to drive about 1100 miles in one sitting. What's worse is that while I'm driving, he texts me a trip sheet for a pickup at 11am Saturday. Thank God that when I got to the destination the original appt time was the correct time. This hasn't been the only time that I've driven over 1000 miles in one sitting. I'm at the Goodyear Tire Center. My boss calls me over to show me a steer tire that was finally being replaced. Tells me that it was ready to blow out at any moment & that it was important that I do a daily PTI, implying that I wasn't doing them (I PTI daily, perform a walk around & thump test every time I stop, & inspect every post shift) . I reminded him that I had informed him 3 times that most of my tires where bad, the 1st time being the morning after he dropped me off at the truck for the 1st time. His response then was lets get on the road & make some money & then "we'll" replace the tires. Yesterday wasn't the worst day but it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I had a pick up in Syracuse, UT 11am delivering to Keller, TX (1239 miles) at 7pm Sun, It was 7am & I was unloading at SLC. After loading taking I80W, the truck decided it had had enough. I spent 6 hrs on break down not earning a cent, at 1point was told that another driver was on the way to help me play at truck mechanic for free, replacing the hard line hose beneath the driver's wheel well. That never happened but the bill from the mobile mechanic was $354. My boss must think I'm a hell of a generous guy. I love the job, despise my employer. I'm ready to drive to my terminal in Chicago and hand the keys in. Only thing stopping me from including a punch or two to the jaw is I'd like to get my last check.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Man, first of all I totally get the frustration. We've all been there many times. The road is just a tough way to make a living and things go wrong quite a bit. Sometimes it's just about persevering and maintaining your sanity until the sun shines again.....and it always does.

When you say a "small company," how many trucks roughly?

Small companies are a very difficult way to go. I've been in companies that had 5 trucks, 11 trucks, 25 trucks, and of course some of the majors that had thousands of trucks. So I've seen it all. The small companies in my opinion have absolutely no advantages over the larger carriers. The larger carriers have tons of money behind them and they really go all out to make life on the road as easy and efficient as it can be for the drivers. They have new equipment, tons of office staff, national account for fuel, tires, breakdowns, and hotels, and all sorts of other perks that really make life so much easier out there.

Small companies don't have the finances or the manpower to do all of that stuff. They're normally run on shoestring budgets and each person has to be more of a jack of all trades, including the drivers. Large companies have the manpower so that each person only has one specific job.

With the hours you're running are you guys not on electronic logs?

I spent 6 hrs on break down not earning a cent

The one philosophy I have when it comes to trucking is that I made money when the wheels were turning. I did everything I could to keep em turning and anyone I counted on in the offices did the same. As long as we all did our jobs I would turn a ton of miles and make great money. Once in a while you're going to have downtime. Take advantage of it and get some rest, get some chores done, or go have some fun. Don't sweat the pay. Don't worry about getting paid for doing nothing. Sometimes you'll get detention pay or breakdown pay or whatever. Great. Icing on the cake. But in the end a great driver normally won't make 2% of his gross pay getting paid to sit.

So don't sweat that kind of stuff. Make sure you do everything you can to turn as many miles as possible and make sure the people supporting you are doing their best to do the same and you'll make great money.

Don't sweat the small stuff - that's one of the most critical rules to live by for truckers. There's a lot of small stuff. If you sweat it you'll go insane.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I don't know if what I'm about to describe is just the normal stuff that goes on in most small companies & I just need to get over it.

Villain, you've got a really tough situation that you're going to have to really think through. You can't just jump up and go anywhere due to your felony. Oftentimes the smaller companies that will hire you right now are going to be run just like this one. They are struggling to make it, so they try to bend all the rules just to keep the money flowing in. Unfortunately the drivers usually feel the consequences of such actions.

I don't know what to tell you. If it were possible to get a solid year in somewhere, it will make a big difference in how the other trucking companies view your felony, but if that comes at the cost of tickets and CSA points on your record, it may not be worth it. Maybe set a goal of six months with this company and then evaluate your situation again. At that point you could consider some of the Trucking Companies That Hire Felons.

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wait... WHAT? 1100 miles in ONE drive shift??? did i read that right?

how the hell you doing that other than illegally running on paper?

and YOU paid for the mechanic? ohhhh no way.

please explain this further. thanks

Villain's Comment
member avatar

My company has about 10 trucks I believe. As far as the elog , some guy back at the office alters them however they want. I work EVERY day no 34 restart. They only worry about the elog when I'm in the Western States (OR, WA, etc.) I sat in the truck outside the Freightliner Service Center in SLC waiting for the mobile mechanic because Freightliner couldn't service the truck until tomorrow. I didn't have the option to leave the truck & do anything else. I'm with a small company because it was the only opportunity that came my eay due to my felony record.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Villain's Comment
member avatar

@ Rainy: I didn't pay for the mechanic. The boss' 1st plan after Freightliner said it would be tomorrow was to have another driver 2 hours away come & help me do the repair (my hard line hose in the coolant system). So I was going to do a repair that came out to $354 on the house, or so he thought.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dustan J.'s Comment
member avatar

If you can suck it up for a year and part on good terms, you'll get a positive referral out of it. That means a lot. Like Brett said, small companies struggle to stay afloat.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

CRST may take you with a felony, depending on how long ago it was. That whole thing is a matter that only a recruiter can address. But I can put you in touch with a really kick-ass recruiter that I know firsthand doesn't sell dreams, he will simply give you the truth.

We don't have the best name in the industry right now, but they take care of their trucks and their drivers. I have barely just gotten here, and already have had my share of trials, and they have treated me like a rock star all the way through.

Even if you tried before, it may still be worth trying again. Especially now that you're driving - you've already taken quite a few variables out of the gamble they have to take on new students.

Whatever you do, I'd suggest making a plan to get away from what sounds like a toxic environment. No year, no whatever. It doesn't sound like it's worth the risk of all that's going on there. This is your shot, your future. It's worth a little more struggle.

Just my advice. Safe travels, brother!

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Normally I would be in the camp of stick it out for the remainder of the year. However based on just what you've said alone, if it were me I'd be looking. Drivers are in such high demand right now that even without competing that first year you should still be able to land another job without issue. I've seen so many cookies used to require so much experience now are starting to take guys right out of school. Sure jumping ship this early doesn't look great. But like I said so my places are desperate for drivers, most will overlook it.

A word of warning to all of that though. The grass isn't always greener. If you intend on leaving, you better be damn sure this next one you're gonna stay at and if worth it.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

If your company is altering your elogs they are setting you up for big problems and risking being shut down. It 100% illegal to alter logs. You should learn the rules

Learn The Logbook Rules (HOS)

At CFI our trucks are governed at 65 MPH. On a good hard day of driving, the best I have done is 675 miles in one 11 hour drive shift. When do you sleep?

Like Old School said try to stick it out 6 months, then try CFI. If they won't give you a shot, try Carolina Cargo. These are two companies which give people second chances.

I rarely take 34s. I run every day, when my 70 runs out my recaps kick in. If I find I need a 34, I ask my FM to find me a load with enough time on it to take one and he does. And sometimes they just happen.

When you are driving that truck, it is your butt on the line. One reason, we do pre trips is to make sure the truck is safe to operate. If not, you don't have to drive it.

As far as break down pay, I don't think I would be paid for 6 hours of waiting. I believe ours starts after 24 hours.

You have some thinking to do. Maybe talking with your boss will help. In the end it is your life to live. If you decide to leave, make sure you have another job lined up first. Good luck.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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