Is Being A Company Driver Competitive By Nature?

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Michael S.'s Comment
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. I don't plan to even read the training material until I finish the Raw Truth material.

I guess I think the opposite is more important, my first and ongoing step is to work all the way through the training material once, twice, maybe 3 times if need be.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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. I don't plan to even read the training material until I finish the Raw Truth material.

double-quotes-end.png

I guess I think the opposite is more important, my first and ongoing step is to work all the way through the training material once, twice, maybe 3 times if need be.

Agreed.

Not to mention, Brett's book is only about 90 pages. Maybe 2 hour's worth of reading.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Todd I sincerely do not understand if you will have anything more than a casual curiosity about trucking. I’ve avoided posting replies because you do not take advice we’ll,...as if you are above it all and know better.

I have seen hundreds of students come through this forum; starting at the same exact place you are in. The biggest difference I see, is you seem to fixate, access, then critique and ultimately judge minute elements of this industry based on past experience. Experience that has little relevance to or bearing on the realities of trucking. Your current paradigm will fail you when applied to trucking.

Most of us who saw this through and have become reasonably successful at trucking, frankly never cared about many of the things you are questioning. It’s noise. I truly wanted this, and focused on what really mattered. Your post about weight borders on silly; not because of the question itself, but because of how you responded to well-thought-out answers, waging a feckless debate about how you think things should be. Who cares? I sure don’t. In over five years I can count the number of times I had to redock due to being overweight on 1 hand.

No idea what your true motivation is or if your propensity to discect is sincere or self-destruct. I continue to question your level of commitment and highly doubt you’ll ever adjust your lofty expectations to a more grounded level of reality. In the time you have invested in all of your questions, had you focused your effort on real work you could have passed your CLP tests, entered a Paid CDL Training Program, graduated, passed the CDL-A tests and be on your way with road training.

I am not going to judge what’s in a man’s heart, only you know that, but you need to stop walking down the middle of the road, divided by an attitude of a Casual Wanba-Be vs. a Commited Gotta-Be. We all want to help you achieve success with a trucking career, but only if you have a burning desire to do the work and get-it-done. Right now? Sorry, but I just do not see that.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Michael S.'s Comment
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Not to mention, Brett's book is only about 90 pages. Maybe 2 hour's worth of reading

I havent read it yet, but, yeah, I thought it was a fairly short read. Todd, I really mean no offense, but do believe that you are a chronic overthinker, and suspect that you are focusing on the least important factors as a means of putting off the more challenging but very important factors and tasks. I could be wrong, it's been known to happen!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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How I perform, and how I communicate with my support team, are what makes me successful

How you perform and communicate when compared with other drivers in your company will determine if you're successful or not. Just because you think you're doing a good job doesn't mean anything if you're ranked 47th on a board of 50 drivers. You're going to be sitting around watching John Wayne movies at the truck stop with the terminal rats if that's the case.

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

That honestly makes no sense to me at all. Of course you should be focusing on being one of the favored drivers who gets better runs.

I come from a sports background so I'm in 100% agreement with Old School. Every day of my life out there as a driver I wanted to prove to dispatch that there is no one out there who is safer, more productive, or more reliable than I am. So if there's a super important load, a big run with a ton of miles, or a major slowdown in freight I deserve to be the one who gets first consideration for everything. I deserve the best runs and the most miles because I've earned it by outperforming my peers.

One key example that made me a lot of money was keeping a list customers that often had empty trailers. So when several drivers were sitting around without a trailer waiting on dispatch to find them something I would take off and go scouting our other customers for trailers. I would find one, message dispatch with the number, and ten minutes later the load information would come through and I'd be down the road. The rest of the trucks, all of which were empty before I was, would often be sitting for 12 - 24 hours waiting on dispatch to find them an empty. I drove more miles, made an extra $250 or so that week, and showed dispatch I'm a step ahead of the other drivers. I'm capable of operating more independently and solving problems without needing dispatch to stop what they're doing to help me.

Lobbying for more miles was always very important also. I didn't just sit back and let dispatch hand me any old freight. I always made sure to let them know I was ready to run hard and turn as many miles as they could give me. I'd run whatever load I was given in the end, but I made sure they always knew I was outperforming everyone else so I wanted the best freight they could find me. I was always near or at the top of any board I was on.

Read this article by Old School:

Trucking Is A Competition Between Drivers. Can You Hang With The Big Dogs?

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.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

How I perform, and how I communicate with my support team, are what makes me successful

double-quotes-end.png

How you perform and communicate when compared with other drivers in your company will determine if you're successful or not. Just because you think you're doing a good job doesn't mean anything if you're ranked 47th on a board of 50 drivers. You're going to be sitting around watching John Wayne movies at the truck stop with the terminal rats if that's the case.

double-quotes-start.png

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

double-quotes-end.png

That honestly makes no sense to me at all. Of course you should be focusing on being one of the favored drivers who gets better runs.

I come from a sports background so I'm in 100% agreement with Old School. Every day of my life out there as a driver I wanted to prove to dispatch that there is no one out there who is safer, more productive, or more reliable than I am. So if there's a super important load, a big run with a ton of miles, or a major slowdown in freight I deserve to be the one who gets first consideration for everything. I deserve the best runs and the most miles because I've earned it by outperforming my peers.

One key example that made me a lot of money was keeping a list customers that often had empty trailers. So when several drivers were sitting around without a trailer waiting on dispatch to find them something I would take off and go scouting our other customers for trailers. I would find one, message dispatch with the number, and ten minutes later the load information would come through and I'd be down the road. The rest of the trucks, all of which were empty before I was, would often be sitting for 12 - 24 hours waiting on dispatch to find them an empty. I drove more miles, made an extra $250 or so that week, and showed dispatch I'm a step ahead of the other drivers. I'm capable of operating more independently and solving problems without needing dispatch to stop what they're doing to help me.

Lobbying for more miles was always very important also. I didn't just sit back and let dispatch hand me any old freight. I always made sure to let them know I was ready to run hard and turn as many miles as they could give me. I'd run whatever load I was given in the end, but I made sure they always knew I was outperforming everyone else so I wanted the best freight they could find me. I was always near or at the top of any board I was on.

Read this article by Old School:

Trucking Is A Competition Between Drivers. Can You Hang With The Big Dogs?

Well, my philosophy is working, lol. Like I said, I am getting great miles, and have only had to sit during a reset. Currently on the last leg of a 2300 mile run, with a 1250 mile run once I finish. I may or may not be 1st 2nd 3rd or 4th. It doesn't matter. I am getting great miles, good and challenging loads, and my paycheck and savings account are on great terms. In many ways, we are talking about the same thing when it comes to success, the difference in our philosophy on how we approach things. Neither are wrong.

Btw, John Wayne was way overrated. His supporting cast made the movies great, not him. Yup, I said it. shocked.png

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
the difference in our philosophy on how we approach things

What I'm talking about is the reality of the situation more so than personal philosophy. The reality is that you're going to get miles based on how you perform when compared to the rest of the drivers. Whether you choose to compare yourself to others or not is up to you, but just realize that in the end the people who distribute the freight and make all of the decisions are most certainly comparing you to everyone else.

So take any approach you like, as long as you outperform most of the other drivers.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Danielsahn, you're clearly getting it done. I think most truckers miss the whole competition idea because they are not necessarily seeing what their fellow drivers (competitors) are doing. It's not like we're lined up together at the starting gate. I get a better feel for it being dedicated to a single group of drivers that I have considerable interaction with. I hear them moaning and groaning about getting delayed at the places I've learned to get in and out of quickly. I hear them complain about issues with getting pre-planned on loads, and other issues that I don't experience. That's when it's made clear that I'm competing against them. I've taken the steps to keep those things from being problematic for me.

You can bet you're being measured up at various levels of management by your employer. I've had phone calls from people I've never even met wanting to know how I manage to be as efficient as I am. I have been asked several times if they can use me as an example when trying to demonstrate to new recruits the principles of success out here. You may not be realizing just how much you're in a competition, but you certainly are.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Old School wrote:

Danielsahn, you're clearly getting it done. I think most truckers miss the whole competition idea because they are not necessarily seeing what their fellow drivers (competitors) are doing. It's not like we're lined up together at the starting gate. I get a better feel for it being dedicated to a single group of drivers that I have considerable interaction with. I hear them moaning and groaning about getting delayed at the places I've learned to get in and out of quickly. I hear them complain about issues with getting pre-planned on loads, and other issues that I don't experience. That's when it's made clear that I'm competing against them. I've taken the steps to keep those things from being problematic for me.

You can bet you're being measured up at various levels of management by your employer. I've had phone calls from people I've never even met wanting to know how I manage to be as efficient as I am. I have been asked several times if they can use me as an example when trying to demonstrate to new recruits the principles of success out here. You may not be realizing just how much you're in a competition, but you certainly are.

Danielsahn, you were a Walmart Dedicated Driver for quite a while. What Old School posted is totally applicable and relevant to how you performed on that account. You and I both know how that game is played.

Perfect example...

My first run yesterday was a 1 stop, 246 miles to the Port Richmond store (Philly), which is a drop-and-hook location. If all goes well (and it did), my round trip on-duty clock time for this trip should be no more than 6 hours, leaving up to 7.0 hours of remaining time (accounting for PTI & 30 min. Break). I made it clear to the planner (who I’ve known for years), that if something short is available, I’d be happy to accept a second run. He agreed and requested a call on the return leg of the trip.

Like I indicated, everything went as planned (not always the case), lack of traffic helped with the trip duration; I-76 was not the usual rolling parking lot. Thus I called once I was ready to depart the store with my empty trailer. I was preplaned on a short, local 3-stop reefer run, issued the trailer number so I didn’t waste time parking and retrieving paperwork once I returned to the DC. I just grabbed the next load after dropping the empty, retrieved my new paperwork and off I went. 4 hours later I was done, returning empty.

I never skipped a beat and wasted zero time between loads. Productivity is what this is all about; communication is definitely part of that equation for overall execution. However it’s not the only criteria for success. It “all” fits together; efficiency, safety, and proactive communication necessary to achieve top performance.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop-and-hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Regardless of my philosophy, everything each of you said, is golden. I realize that other people DO compare us to other drivers, but I just don't let that factor in, because I have zero control over that, beyond letting my performance speak for me.

Being on the Walmart account, I could definitely see the "competition." I get the feeling most, if not all, dedicated accounts are like that. Now, I really don't see it, and I guess you could say that it is somewhat liberating. But yes, I am aware that the powers that be, do measure us up. I simply love this lifestyle, and right now, I am being paid to enjoy the absolute beauty that is New Mexico. It doesn't get any better than being paid to see the country. Well it might, but, for me, I am happy.

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