Is Being A Company Driver Competitive By Nature?

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andhe78's Comment
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The problem I’ve seen here is that a driver’s idea of a golden driver is not the same as the company’s. What’s your idea of a golden driver?

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I'm not sure how you figure that. It seems to me the equation is pretty simple. Drivers and companies alike both win when drivers are safe, productive, efficient, and give their customers fantastic service. I can't think of a situation where a company would want a driver to perform one way but a driver would want to perform differently.

Go into more detail about your opinion. I'm curious about what you're referring to.

Huh, surprising, let me try again then.

I have met very few drivers who think it’s their fault they aren’t getting miles. Example I ran across this week. Got a great pre-plan yanked to do a short repower. I’ve never complained, just run what comes across peoplenet. (Ended up running that load, then a looong deadhead to an easy long load so it worked out well, but that’s off topic.) I weirdly ran into a driver that night after getting reloaded who I found out had been sent that repower. It was surprising and I never told him I ran the repower, just let him rant. When he got the work order he immediately called his fleet manager and ripped him up one side and down the other. “Had to put him in his place cause he’d been getting too many repowers.” He flat out refused the load, (which I’m surprised since we are forced dispatch and he wasn’t IC, but different rules for repowers I guess.) He then sat empty all day fuming cause he legitimately thought he’d done the right thing and never seemed to realize he was probably put on the difficult list. Didn’t have the heart to tell him that little repower turned into 1500+ miles.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I’ve seen a ton of drivers who think they are god’s gift out here and blindly don’t realize that their habitual lateness, or complaining, or whatever else is possibly a reason for their short miles. I hear all the time “I was only late three times this year,” and in the next breath wonder why they only average 1800 miles a week. Is the lateness thing the reason, who knows, but it can’t help.

So that’s what I meant, they sort of delusionaly think they are golden drivers while the company may think differently.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I mean this as respectfully as I can be; spend more time in the High Road Training Program and less time posting questions in this forum. I say that because I think it'll be more helpful to you.

All companies are not the same and all people are not the same. Some dispatchers understand the concept of teamwork and some don't care. The ones that don't care usually won't last, but you don't know which one you're going to get. Ergo, all you can do is YOUR best. Likewise, not all drivers understand teamwork between them and the dispatcher. Those drivers either learn that or move out the door.

We've probably all experienced a time where someone else got what we thought we deserved. Whether it was in trucking or not. That's just life. Not always fair, but you keep on keepin' on. Strive to be the best and you WILL get special treatment. Do mediocre work and you'll ALSO get special treatment.

Unless a great deal has changed in the last four years, you can do the HRTP, put out the cash for your permit and have it done in a matter of a few days. I did it and you can too! Got my permit on my 53rd birthday.

Until you get your permit and head off to training, much of the information you are seeking won't make any difference at all. Even then, some of it is subject to change.

Get your permit, interview the companies that best suit your needs AND hire in your area. Then, get out there and get started.

I hope this helps.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I drove a limo/cab for 3 years before getting my CDL , and they are both similar in a way.

New drivers would be late to pickups in the morning, which is a huge problem when people have a flight to catch, they would be late to picking up people at the airport which was hard to do because you had at least a hour notice before their flight landed. Then they would argue with dispatch as to why they where sitting for so long.

I would tell to look at it from the dispatchers perspective, you have driver A who is always on time, never argues, follows company policy, doesnt bother you with trivial matters and goes out of his way to help. Then you have driver B who is the exact opposite, he is always late, argues with you over where and why you are sending them, is constantly bothering you asking how long till my next ride ect. Which one would you pick to keep busy and do favors for when they ask. They would always say driver A obviously, so I would tell them you are driver B don't be driver B.

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.

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.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

There is absolutely a competition between drivers. As a performance-based business, it is by very definition a competition to see who can get the most accomplished, even within the same company. Favoritism is simply a byproduct of this.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
There is no competition between drivers.
I compete only with myself.

Big Scott, isn't it true that some of the drivers at CFI get bonus money for their performance? Some drivers get better bonuses than others don't they?

Don't the better performing drivers end up getting better loads or better attention from their dispatcher?

I just don't see how you can make a statement like you did. My trucking career has been one continuous competition with my peers. I've even had my dispatcher tell me, "We're giving you this load even though we've got other drivers who've sitting and waiting on loads longer than you. It's a critical load, and we already know you'll do what it takes to make it happen."

Sure, we compete against ourselves, but we are always being measured up against other drivers also.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Todd, trucking is by nature very competitive. Your list of traits you compiled of things that you consider making a good driver sounds more like a description of a decent considerate person. It was a good attempt, and I think there's probably a lot of drivers who couldn't come up with a very descriptive list. Many people just don't get it.

I like to think what makes a great driver is his ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment. There are no regular days or hours in this job, in fact your first criteria gave me a chuckle...

one who is never late for work

We just don't even have that concept as over the road drivers. We're always ready for action, we never punch a clock. Sometimes we work nights other times days. Nobody holds our hands or tells us what to do or when to do it. We determine our own schedule as well as our own fate.

Great drivers develop what I sometimes refer to as "street smarts." That simply means they know how to conduct themselves in such a way that greatly reduces their chances of being delayed unreasonably. They know how to deal with weather changes, various shipping clerks, security guards, and procedures at shippers and receivers. I've got hundreds of stories about getting ahead of other drivers when trying to get unloaded. I'm not inconsiderate, I just pay close attention and know how to take advantage of an opportunity when it arises.

The bottom line out here is that you have got to be quick on your feet with your decision making process. Nothing is cut and dry. Each new day brings new challenges and risks. You've got to be able to quickly analyze what's happening and come up with the proper response for that day's success. There's a lot of competition going on, unfortunately much of it goes unrealized by the average driver.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Over The Road:

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.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I mean this as respectfully as I can be; spend more time in the High Road Training Program and less time posting questions in this forum. I say that because I think it'll be more helpful to you.

Get your permit, interview the companies that best suit your needs AND hire in your area. Then, get out there and get started.

I hope this helps.

Very good advice.

Todd Holmes's Comment
member avatar

I mean this as respectfully as I can be; spend more time in the High Road Training Program and less time posting questions in this forum. I say that because I think it'll be more helpful to you.

All companies are not the same and all people are not the same. Some dispatchers understand the concept of teamwork and some don't care. The ones that don't care usually won't last, but you don't know which one you're going to get. Ergo, all you can do is YOUR best. Likewise, not all drivers understand teamwork between them and the dispatcher. Those drivers either learn that or move out the door.

We've probably all experienced a time where someone else got what we thought we deserved. Whether it was in trucking or not. That's just life. Not always fair, but you keep on keepin' on. Strive to be the best and you WILL get special treatment. Do mediocre work and you'll ALSO get special treatment.

Unless a great deal has changed in the last four years, you can do the HRTP, put out the cash for your permit and have it done in a matter of a few days. I did it and you can too! Got my permit on my 53rd birthday.

Until you get your permit and head off to training, much of the information you are seeking won't make any difference at all. Even then, some of it is subject to change.

Get your permit, interview the companies that best suit your needs AND hire in your area. Then, get out there and get started.

I hope this helps.

Steve, I am in fact reading Brett's Raw Truth book right now. The things I come across in his book are what are NOW prompting me to post questions here mainly for clarifications. I don't plan to even read the training material until I finish the Raw Truth material. Sometimes I have to take a break from reading and type something to keep my hands busy. If I read too much with idle hands, I get bored to death. Yes, perhaps I should go out and take a stroll in my neighborhood or a bicycle ride more often between reading sessions. I'm the type of person who likes to keep his hands busy. I'm sure truck drivers are constantly keeping their hands and feet busy during their shifts especially if they have an old-fashioned rig with a clutch: do any drivers here of slush-bucket automatics get bored? I haven't smoked since 2006 so I don't like to keep my hands busy with unhealthy habits anymore.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
I'm sure truck drivers are constantly keeping their hands and feet busy during their shifts especially if they have an old-fashioned rig with a clutch:

In my "old fashioned" 2019 Kenworth I have a clutch, and once you get on the highway where most of your time is spent you get to 10th gear set the cruise and do not usually touch it again, unless you have to down shift for a ramp. I rarely use the clutch except in traffic or at stop lights and even then I try to time it where I do not need it.

So there will be long periods of time where your feet have nothing to do and all your hands are doing is holding a steering wheel straight so it can get pretty boring.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

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There is no competition between drivers.

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I compete only with myself.

double-quotes-end.png

Big Scott, isn't it true that some of the drivers at CFI get bonus money for their performance? Some drivers get better bonuses than others don't they?

Don't the better performing drivers end up getting better loads or better attention from their dispatcher?

I just don't see how you can make a statement like you did. My trucking career has been one continuous competition with my peers. I've even had my dispatcher tell me, "We're giving you this load even though we've got other drivers who've sitting and waiting on loads longer than you. It's a critical load, and we already know you'll do what it takes to make it happen."

Sure, we compete against ourselves, but we are always being measured up against other drivers also.

I tend to be more in agreement with Big Scott Although both points are completely valid. I say this, mainly because, I am the ruler of my own destiny out here. How I perform, and how I communicate with my support team, are what makes me successful. What trucker x in truck #12345 is doing, does not effect me. Is he /she a better performer? I don't know, or care. I only care about My performance, and how it effects My paycheck. They may get "better runs" I don't know, I only know what is handed to me, and I run it, as best I can. I don't look at at my peers and see competition, I see a team, and I will do whatever I can to help them succeed too. Our good hard work, being on time, professional, and a team player may move us up the "favorites board" for "better runs" but focusing on that should not even be a factor. Just do the job to the best of your ability, learn, get better, and let the paychecks speak for itself.

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.
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