One Year Later

Topic 24397 | Page 1

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NeeklODN's Comment
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I'm back! Been riding safe for a year locally now. Looking for the good money. Out of Pensacola Florida. Regional? Otr? Tanker?

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I'm confused. I thought you wanted to be a local driver. What has changed, or am I just wrong in my assumption?

Having no OTR experience is gonna be something of a problem, but probably not insurmountable. What is it you want to do? Don't just chase the biggest paycheck. Decide what it is you want and go for it. If you figure out how to excel at what you do, the money will follow.

If I told you flatbed was where the money is would you believe me? I know some young men working on the same account I am who can't seem to make over about 40,000 dollars a year. I make twice that, and have a blast while I'm doing it. You're going to be the one who ultimately determines what you make. You'll be better equipped to make top dollar if you are enjoying what you do.

Success at Trucking is all about what you bring to the table. It really isn't bound up in the type of job you're doing. We've got people in this forum earning top money hauling each of the different types of freight.

Show Me The Money!

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.

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.

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

I just read Show Me the Money. Great article, and very interesting. How are these companies able to assimulate a rookie driver who knows very little and moves at a slower pace? Do new drivers get passed over for better loads or are they assigned the loads that will enable him/her to gain experience thats needed? Sounds like a rookie has to hit the ground running, so as to speak. I don't see it as something to be overy concerned about. But if you didn't have an understanging of how it works it could be discouraging. Thanks.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
How are these companies able to assimulate a rookie driver who knows very little and moves at a slower pace? Do new drivers get passed over for better loads or are they assigned the loads that will enable him/her to gain experience thats needed?

I don't think there is a set pattern on how companies deal with individual rookies. But they will quickly find out which ones get it and which ones don't, and then assign loads accordingly.

For example, let's say you're given a delivery window of 7-3. Will you be the driver who lays up in the truckstop and casually rolls up to the receiver around 0900, or will you be the one parked at the gate by 0630 ready to go?

Dispatchers and planners aren't concerned with a driver gaining experience. They're concerned with results. So if there is only one load available in a particular area, and the two drivers above our both waiting for a load, guess who gets it?

Sounds like a rookie has to hit the ground running

Bingo.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

My brief experience with the trucking world only began at the beginning of October, 2018. During that time I've seen a majority of those entering the field are minorities. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Africian immigrants, etc. I'm a 66 year old white guy. Not many of those! So, I think that trucking is a great opportunity for the young, the minorities, those with limited job opportunities to get a good paying, honest career. But it's an OPPORTUNITY, not a cake walk. It takes hard work and diligence to learn the trade. The education never ends. But the trucking companies need drivers. They WANT you to succeed and drive for them but only if you make the commitment to being safe, professional and proficient in executing company policies.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Doug, assimilation of new drivers is a really good subject to ask about. I'll answer some of your questions and throw in my own experience with this topic.

How are these companies able to assimulate a rookie driver who knows very little and moves at a slower pace?

They realize new drivers have a lot of challenges before them. Of course, that's one reason they put you with a trainer. That time with a trainer doesn't polish you off like a pro. It's more like a buffer period to help you get a small understanding of how things work. I often compare it to learning to ride a bicycle with training wheels. Eventually you take the training wheels off, but you've still got a lot to learn at that point. One of the realities of trucking is that they give you the opportunity, but they expect you to put in the work and take the initiative to improve yourself. They will give you ample training and support, but you've got to put in a real showing of effort to become productive.

Do new drivers get passed over for better loads or are they assigned the loads that will enable him/her to gain experience thats needed?

New drivers will be given loads that they should be able to handle. If they're realizing they are going to be late, they need to communicate that information well in advance to their manager. You'll learn how is the best way to communicate with them, but typically they prefer the in truck computer system for this - it's like email. If they think they need to talk with you they will call. I've had my manager ask me to take certain loads because they were critical and he only had a couple of new guys available. So, yes you will get passed on occasionally if your manager doesn't think you're ready for something, but you'll probably never realize it. Every load they give you is an opportunity for you to learn and push yourself to improve. Doug, I'm still playing this game of improving the way I get things done. It's a new challenge each day. For me, that keeps it interesting.

Sounds like a rookie has to hit the ground running, so as to speak. I don't see it as something to be overy concerned about. But if you didn't have an understanging of how it works it could be discouraging.

All rookies get discouraged, and many of them up and quit because of it. There's an awful lot of people who give up very early on in this career. Trust me, no rookie driver really has an understanding of how this all works. We can study and research it until we're blue in the face. The reality of this career is that it's learned by doing it. How often have you seen newbies in here complaining about not being able to back up a truck? Do you know why that is? It's because we go backwards less than 1% of the time on this job. They simply haven't done it enough to get the basics of it.

The same principles hold for learning how to manage your clock, communicating effectively with dispatch or customers, navigating through congested cities at the proper times, moving appointments for efficiency, and a host of other things that will help you improve your productivity. You have just got to take the initiative to practice things and try something different occasionally just to see how it works. I learned to really make use of the log book rules and found the split sleeper rule helps me a lot in certain situations. A lot of driver's eyes just glaze over at the mention of it. They haven't tried using it so they haven't learned the benefits of it.

You're not expected to come into this career as a top performer. Every company knows that takes years. You are expected to learn from your mistakes, and show improvement on your own without them having to babysit you. Some of them start rookies out with a special dispatcher who is specifically trained to help you through that initial rookie awkwardness, but everybody is expected to pick this stuff up with out a lot of extra input from the company. Once you've been through the training you are expected to start showing your own initiative.

Continued...

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

It's a performance based business. The onus is on the one performing - that's you! You are in the spotlight. I remember getting loads as a rookie that would have extra time on them. That was by design, to help keep me from being late. I'd get something that picked up maybe at ten o'clock at night Monday night, and delivered 500 miles away Wednesday morning. That's easy - you drive all day Tuesday, take your ten hour break, start again Wednesday morning and make your delivery. Very early on I started thinking, "Hey, if I'm managing my time correctly, I can pick that load up immediately following a ten hour break and then drive all night and deliver it a full day early. That sets me up for another load on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. I can get more done that way. If I'm getting more done, I'm making more money!"

I started doing things like that and communicating it with my dispatcher. I'd simply let him know I'm gonna be empty Tuesday morning instead of Wednesday. At first he just ignored this new rookie driver, and I might have to wait until Wednesday to get my next load. Eventually he decided, "Wow, this guy really gets it. Somehow he's managing to get in early on everything." At that point I started turning some big miles and getting some really great loads and paychecks.

I still surprise my dispatcher at times, and he just says something like, "I don't know how you did that, but I've learned to expect nothing less from you - it's a pleasure working with you." Everyone is getting performance pay, including your dispatcher. If he has a driver that shows the initiative and the ability to make things happen, he will do everything he can to help you be more productive. You've heard us talking about how important relationships are in this business. That relationship with your dispatcher is paramount to your success. You'll be the one that seals the deal and makes it work, but they will always reciprocate with that kind of driver.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the great input guys. Old School, I learned many of the same principles you mentioned when I worked underground and in the operating room. Different worlds for sure, but still, but hard work and commitment, with teamwork at the top make all the difference for everybody involved. I made it in those places so I think I'll be fine in trucking. I am not afraid to invest myself to be the very best no matter what it takes. You get out of this old world what you put into it! Everything on this website helps us newbies gain an understanding of this trucking world we could not know otherwise.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Doug, Big Scott had a fleet manager for the newly solo driver for awhile until he got moved to his permanent fleet manager.

At Prime, the fleet managers are used to dealing with the rookies. Basically someone like me takes very little of the FMs time. the newbies do. they know you are new but each FM will run differently just like drivers do. My FM threw 2600 miles at me the first week, my friend got 1800 miles his first week from his FM. My FM wants to see how the newbie handles things. Will they communicate and understand they will be late? some drivers just run and dont pay attention to their clocks. One friend had no idea she didnt have enough on her 70 to complete the load. My FM knew at that point he had to watch her more closely.

they will watch you when you dont know it. that is why i laugh when i hear the "i dont want to be a number" line. thats crap. My FM told one of the other dispatchers in front of me "she does a lot of 8/2 splits. dont bother her." he also once told me that when i message him with "im slowing to 45mph due to wind", he knows im shutting down in 30 minutes. lol i never realized that.

Our drivers hate walmart loads cause they take forever. as a new driver i asked for them because rhey are usually just off the interstate and have lots of backing room. he was hapoy cause other drivers complain so i got a lot of walmart loads lol

you will be given as much as you can handle.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Rainy. It's good to know what your FM is looking for. You can look at things from his/her perspective that way. That's not something a new person would know to think of. Thank you.

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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