It Pays To Do The Dirty Work.

Topic 23235 | Page 1

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Turtle's Comment
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Some of you may remember my post about going to Brooklyn. In addition to that, I had to make several more runs back and forth to the NE area. Baltimore, New Haven, Washington DC,etc. These are my least favorite parts of the country to drive in, but by mostly driving nights I was able to make it all happen without too much damage to my sanity.

Shortly afterward, I get a message from my dispatcher: "Hey Rich, thanks for getting these runs taken care of. You were just in the perfect place for them." Although it had been an extremely frustrating week, I simply said "No sweat pal, whatever you need. Btw, I hear Montana is beautiful this time of year." (subtle hint)

It isn't often that I make a special request, but Montana is one of the two states I haven't been to yet, so I just threw it out there.

"I'm on it." He said.

Thus began three of the best weeks I've had since starting this career.

It took being routed from ME down into OK, then dh to TX for a load to CO, then a run out to San Jose, CA. From there I got dispatched to Missoula, MT!

My FM knows I like to run hard up against my 70, then take a reset. The timing couldn't have been more perfect on this trip. After nearly 3800 miles and with just under two hours left on my 70, I made it to Missoula early Sat morning for a Mon delivery. Bob-tailed down to the airport so my wife could pick up a rental car, and off we went to explore. Yeah I know, a guy that drives for a living likes to drive on his days off. Kinda crazy, huh?

Anyhoo, we had the best time that weekend. We went up into the mountains and found some back country off-road trails that took us through absolutely stunning scenery. Took a hike up to Mormon peak. Saw a black bear run across the trail up ahead of us. Found a k-a restaurant on the way back: The Lolo Creek Steakhouse ( I highly recommend).

*Side note: My 34 was up by Sun evening, so I drove the truck over to my 90, which happened to be a brand new Love's under construction. I parked on site overnight, setting myself up to be unloaded before starting my clock Mon morning. I'm pretty sure I can claim the distinction of being the first truck to ever park overnight at that truck stop. And no I didn't pee in the parking lot!! It's not even paved yet.

That started me off onto another stellar week.

Back-to-back high-mile runs brought me back up to New York for a reset, during which I went home for a day. Mon morning I completed the short drive to 90, giving me a personal best 4036 miles for the week, netting me just under $1800 takehome pay. Not bad for just sitting behind the wheel, touring the country.

The moral of this story is even though you are, or think you are a top-tier driver, you'll still get some crappy runs or crappy weeks. Accept them every time without complaint. That is what makes you that top-tier driver, and you'll see the rewards.

Take the bad, and you'll see the good.

That is all.

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.

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.
Army 's Comment
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Turtle

That's awesome. I grew up in Missoula, and my brother actually worked at that steakhouse in the late 90's. Its a beautiful area. When I was not the brightest young guy, my brother and I would ride our Mtn. Bikes up and down the small mountain with the "M" on it. It made it more fun when we thought the University cop's would see up coming down.... Glad you got to explore some of the best mountains and area they have to offer....

Chris

PackRat's Comment
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Brett Aquila's Comment
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I wish we could have every new driver read that story about once a month to really drive that point home:

...even though you are, or think you are a top-tier driver, you'll still get some crappy runs or crappy weeks. Accept them every time without complaint. That is what makes you that top-tier driver, and you'll see the rewards.

Take the bad, and you'll see the good.

That's such a big deal, and in my opinion it's one of the big reasons things never go very well for certain drivers. They have it in their head that they only want to do certain things or that the company is supposed to keep them happy all the time.

You have to realize that trucking companies must haul all different freight to keep their trucks moving and make solid money. Some of those short, frustrating runs in the Northeast can be the best paying runs out there for the company. All freight does not pay the same. Therefore the company has to take the bad with the good, and so do the drivers.

If you'll help your company move those tough loads they will reward you for it. It's not going to be the very next load every single time. But you'll build a reputation as a cooperative, hard working driver who takes the tough loads without complaining and dispatch loves making life nice in return for those drivers.

Although it had been an extremely frustrating week, I simply said "No sweat pal, whatever you need. Btw, I hear Montana is beautiful this time of year."

That sounds word for word like the type of things I used to say in the same situation. My expression was always, "It's time to throw this dog a bone, don't ya think?" They knew it, and they were happy to do it.

Here are a few articles to help people better understand what a Top Tier Driver is and why they make the most money and get the best treatment:

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Pupil2Prodigy's Comment
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Great story, great attitude

Splitter's Comment
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I’m sitting on a 2200 mi load that dispatch has me dropping in Sprimo cause my FM is out & he left a note saying I needed to fix my A/C. This is extremely frustrating cause I told the sub that I was good to go first thing this morning. I’ll suck it up & do a 34 but I’m not happy right now.

My alternator crapped out yesterday & the system shut off all non essential electrical equipment. I had to shut off the fan, music & fridge to make it to the shop. So I’ll be sitting in Sprimo when I need to be rolling & paying off my debts.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.
Jeramy H.'s Comment
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Good stuff man!! I love that part of the world! Great example of how hard work and sacrifice can pay off. Very happy you are enjoying it out there!

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