90 Day Company Review

Topic 24768 | Page 1

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Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I guess anybody could tell when I’m on my reset ‘cause I post a lot.

Last week I was routed to my operating center for my 90 day review. As it turned out, it was a full 8 hr day. I really enjoyed being able to see my instructors from training and I could tell they enjoyed seeing a former student who hadn’t killed himself or anybody else. I think it’s because they claim all the credit. I watched about 3 hours of safety and instructional videos. Some of which were about winter driving and skid control since I drive a lot in winter conditions. I was amazed by how much data the company collects about my driving. I had some HOS issues due to my ignorance of several requirements that I can easily correct. ( I also picked my nose in excess of company allowances) I had one preventable incident that I went to the Principal’s office about. Other than that I had a clean record. During this process I only heard the word “good” one time. I thought the company could encourage new drivers by giving a little positive input, but I guess they are just focused on what is correctable. Anyway, I think I came out of the review a more knowledgeable driver. I’m not looking for a pat on the back, I just want to know what I need to do to become a safer and more efficient driver. My only complaint is that they made me watch videos during lunch while everybody else got a break. And I was hungry !

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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During this process I only heard the word “good” one time. I thought the company could encourage new drivers by giving a little positive input, but I guess they are just focused on what is correctable

Well, you did have a preventable accident of some sort and numerous logbook violations, which is totally normal for a new driver, but isn't likely to earn a pat on the back. But you're still in the game and no doubt you learned a ton those first 90 days.

So for the next 90 days have the goal of keeping the logbook violations to an absolute minimum and don't bump into anything. If you can do that you'd certainly deserve a pat on the back.

A couple of things to keep in mind....

For one, trucking tends to be a thankless job. Our society does not appreciate what a truck driver goes through, which is understandable because they haven't had the experience. They think it's a simple job that's mostly for idiots who can't do anything better with their lives. We know the reality of it so we just have to take pride in doing a job that's extremely difficult, dangerous, and critical to the health of our society. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and let that be your reward.

For two, trucking companies require a ton of people to operate and they also have rather difficult and stressful jobs. Not too many truck drivers thank their road trainers for risking their lives to train them and then roam the halls of the terminal thanking the salespeople, load planners, safety personnel, dispatchers, and others before going over to the shop and thanking the mechanics for working so hard in such brutal conditions to keep the trucks rolling. So I guess it's only fair not to expect any of them to throw us a parade and roll out the red carpet for the tough jobs we do.

Just to get to the point you're at now took a lot of courage, hard work, and endurance outside of your comfort zone. We all know that and we appreciate that. But I would focus on the satisfaction you get personally and the great adventure you get to live while doing this job. Those are the best rewards, and oftentimes the only ones. It always feels great to hear, "Hey, you did a great job and we appreciate it." But it just won't happen very often. Don't let that bother you.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

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.
Jamie's Comment
member avatar

My 90 day review for Schneider wasn't so long about 2-4 hours total if I'm not mistaking. But I also had problems with log violations mostly entering the load data and logging a pre-trip and post trip when drop and hooking, I would be on duty but I didn't have any remarks during that time.

I also learned a lot that day which has helped me become a better driver.

Also now looking back mine probably wasn't that long since I watched the winter training videos after that.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett & Jamie, thanks for the input and encouragement. Yes, I really appreciate the tough love my company gives me and it reminds me a bit of the military. The drill Sargent is tough because he doesn’t want you to get killed or kill others. Everything I got on my review was spot on. I was amazed by how much data the company collects on me and analyzes (emphasis on “anal”). The review I was given was conducted by seasoned professionals and I learned a great deal. I know all these people want me to succeed not only for the company but for myself. And on a side note, I’ve learned as much from TT as I have from my other training, not just technique but about attitude, humility and the general mind set of a successful driver. So thank you everyone from this orphan who’s found a family here.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Bruce, I just wanted to stress something that Brett said...

Just to get to the point you're at now took a lot of courage, hard work, and endurance outside of your comfort zone. We all know that and we appreciate that. But I would focus on the satisfaction you get personally and the great adventure you get to live while doing this job.

The part about "focusing on your personal satisfaction" is golden advice. That's always been my approach to this career. I don't do it for the money or the accolades, or even the "atta boy" that typically comes with many other jobs. But... I've found that when I am focused on my own personal goals and objectives, all those other things have fallen into place. My satisfaction comes from beating the odds - making things happen when others don't seem to be able - excelling in a career where so many just struggle at best.

When I'm accomplishing my personal objectives, I find that the people at my company really appreciate me, and they actually express it at times. You mentioned being surprised at all the data they had on you. Trust me, there are layers of management at your company who are analyzing data on their drivers, their terminals, their mechanics, and on and on. When I'm accomplishing my personal goals and objectives out here, I find my paychecks getting larger, my loads being better, and my overall enjoyment of the job increasing.

In trucking you can measure out your own success. Set goals, and keep pushing yourself to exceed those goals. Your personal satisfaction will increase with your accomplishments. You'll also find your value to your dispatcher and company increasing at the same time. I've gotten emails from people who are analyzing all that data. If you're doing this right you'll start to rise to the top of the pile of information they study. I once got an email from someone at Knight thanking me for the job I was doing. They told me I was one of the best drivers in the company, and then went on to say I was the best flatbed driver they had. They also reminded me I was under a microscope, but for all the right reasons! There are people paying attention to what you're doing.

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.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks OS. I’ve gotten a college education from all you moderator people, Brett and my fellow contributors. Not just about technique but more importantly about attitude. We are in a profession that requires continuing education and no matter what experience level we have we always need to be a student.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

But I would focus on the satisfaction you get personally and the great adventure you get to live while doing this job. Those are the best rewards, and oftentimes the only ones.

Well said! I like it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I get thanks when other drivers drive my FM nuts. The biggest compliment a dispatcher can give is "I dont worry about you". That translates to: "You are so awesome i can concentrate on the children who need babysitting and spoon feeding."

A friend of mine left my FM and company to go to an "Atta boy" every day kinda firm. Now he feels the thanks and cheers are hollow and not meant.

In trucking, the praise is high miles and lots of favors. I know my dispatchers trust and rely on me, not just the FM but the night and weekend guys too.

so keep up the great work. any day you are on time and dont hit anything is a great day!

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

so keep up the great work. any day you are on time and dont hit anything is a great day!

Thanks Rainy, yes I am appreciative that they teach me how to be a better driver and do not fire me. But at least they could tell me something like “you have nice teeth for an old guy” would that be so hard?🤠🤠🤠

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Everything said already is spot on. When you reach that arena of your dispatcher not worrying about you, that is the top of the heap for sure. I just got another call to rescue another load. I really hate these, but it needs doing... It always comes back to me.. I have a brand new dispatcher. When I said yes, his response was “You always come through from what I’m being told”. To me that is the ultimate compliment.

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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