The First Year Trap - Article By Rainy

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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We have another awesome article by Rainy called:

The First Year Trap

Just recently we had someone in the forum and I had said to him, "Your self-worth is greater than your performance, which is always an indication of someone who's on the path to nowhere."

There is no shortage of truck drivers with poor attitudes. Some people hear that truckers are in high demand and they come into the industry thinking they're way more valuable than they are.

In today's article Rainy talks about a different attitude problem that some drivers develop and it often leads to a downward spiral in their career. This is a great article for any driver at any stage of their career, whether you're just considering a career or you've been out there for a few years already.

Enjoy!

The First Year Trap

Big T's Comment
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Great article Rainy.

One thing for people to think about is customer service. Our companies push good customer service but many drivers miss the fact that our companies are our first customer.

A customer is someone that pays you for our services or products. So the trucking company is my actual customer. When drivers focus on that first year trap and not on servicing their customer it quickly spirals into situations like you described with your friend.

G-Town's Comment
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Great article Rainy.

One thing for people to think about is customer service. Our companies push good customer service but many drivers miss the fact that our companies are our first customer.

A customer is someone that pays you for our services or products. So the trucking company is my actual customer. When drivers focus on that first year trap and not on servicing their customer it quickly spirals into situations like you described with your friend.

Totally 1000% agree..."jumping up-and-down" great point BIg T.

Dan S.'s Comment
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Great article. Not only did I enjoy reading it. I found it very informative.

News I could use. I'm extremely on guard in regards to staying and being positive and proactive. Trying to stay away from any and all negativity.

Thanks Rainy

Rainy 's Comment
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UPDATE: In this article I discussed a driver who was fired for low productivity. The driver got hired right away at a much smaller company who had very few OTR drivers who drive products across state lines and then relayed them with local drivers.

Within the first 2 weeks he started telling me, "This fleet manager does not know how to run OTR trucks. He has no idea about HOS cause most of these drivers are local, and he doesnt understand parking situations". Yeah, ok. most dont. So within 2 weeks he was already saying the same thing about this small company as he did the mega carrier.

Within 2 months he bounced through 3 different fleet managers before going home using a personal issue as a reason. Then a hurricane hit and the excuses turned into "my truck is parked at the truck stop and the place is destroyed. I cant even get to it." After two months of not going back on the road, he finally told me "I decided not to go back to them. I told them i would drive the truck to their terminal , but its 1500 miles from home and they wouldnt pay the bus ticket. Oh well."

So after 18 mos of trucking, he got fired from one job and "quit" another without prospects of a new job. My guess is that he was probably fired from the second job as well, and now there is an abandonment on his DAC. He is looking for another career because he can't find a job.

Amazingly, I knew a year ago this would happen. All the coaching in the world couldn't help.

Moral to the story: Do your job. Have a great attitude. Communicate and make people WANT to work with you instead of being a whining cry baby thorn in the side.

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.

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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Rainy-

This was a fantastic article and a good read. You hit the nail on the head girl.

dancing-banana.gif

But all of your articles are great. I'm keeping them locked into this old brain. And people say to be wary of "Rainy's dungeon". Should I be?

Michael S.'s Comment
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Another fantastic article by Rainy D, I hope you know, that you and your written works, and your posting here, as well as others here have really immensely helped me! Yes I'm one of "them" that came on here complaining about having to go the route of "indentured servant" but through great advice from you and others, my attitude has changed profoundly and I am very happily on my way to a renewed career with Prime, hope to be able to meet you at some point, but just know that you are greatly appreciated by this humble "servant" Lol!

Rainy 's Comment
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Thanks guys... yeah Raptor.. be afraid. be very afraid. lol

Michael, Im glad you feel that way. But the truth is, just as a driver is responsible on the road, he is responsible for his attitude. You were frustrated when you first posted. We understand. But YOU turned it around, not me. I simply nudged you.

smile.gif

If you stick around on the forum, you will see people come in negative and never lose it. Then they bash us and their company. You can tell just from what they continue to post how their career will end... badly.

I came to this forum and got so much info from it that I decided to stick around and help others. I was scared cause i never a stick and quit my job of 18 yrs cause i wanted to scream everytime i pulled into the parking lot.. Someone once posted "Rainy, it is cool you embarrass yourself by sharing your rookie mistakes. it gives me hope". I have been making a fool of myself ever since.

rofl-1.gif

And I can't wait to hear how you feel about backing in an auto. hahhaha. You will probably have a FL though with creep.mode. My international doesnt have it. it is the one thing i absolutely hate about my truck.

I have met many other Primates on this forum. except Turtle. He keeps running from me. He says i talk "a lot". well...yeah...im a giiiiiirrrrllll!

Good luck and we will meet eventually.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

rofl-1.gif

He says i talk "a lot". well...yeah...im a giiiiiirrrrllll!

Actually, what I think I said was "I listen a lot" when you..er..we talk.

Who luvs ya, baby!

smile.gif

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Nice save Turtle. Its obvious you have been married a loooong time.

My FM.once gave me a crappy load and i told him..."you hurt me feelings and im a gurl". He responded "ive been married long enough, i should know better than that."

i got 3 other drivers to say the same. then my guy friend told him "you hurt my feelings and Im a gay guy"

My FM laughed so hard. he replied "youz are ganging up on me!"

I got the fleet to.revolt against him.and whine..but i didnt get fired for low productivity hahaahha

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.
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