Can You Be An Actual Owner/operator At Prime?

Topic 24838 | Page 3

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Sid V.'s Comment
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OS, i didn't say anything about forced dispatch. I said if i only used one load board and there was only one load available within 200miles and it was a 45k beer load going I've mountains, i would take it.

That's pretty sweet that you have that kind of relationship with your dispatcher. I was just glad my old dispatcher picked up the phone when i called, lol.

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
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I understood you Sid. I was really wanting people to see that you don't have to be completely "independent" to have some liberties in this business. My experience has always pointed to developing a relationship of trust with my support team in the office. If I've got their trust, I have their confidence and their willingness to do things for me that aren't typically experienced by your average driver.

I do have a really unique relationship with my company. I've worked hard at keeping it that way.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I was just glad my old dispatcher picked up the phone when i called, lol.

This comment got me to thinking about our communications with our dispatchers. I stress the importance of good communication all the time. Each company has their own way of doing things, even as individual dispatchers probably differ from one to the other.

I started my driving career at Western Express. They did not want us calling them on the phone unless it was an emergency. I learned from them how important it was to use my macros and update my status on the Qualcomm. It was frustrating as a rookie, but it helped me tremendously as I developed as a driver and understood better how things worked in the office. Rookies need a lot of help - they have a lot of questions. It was a discipline for me to not go to the phone as my first resort.

When I went to Knight I remember them telling me in orientation that they wanted us to call them at least once a day. They said, "We want to hear your voice and make sure you are doing okay." I had to make myself call them because I was so accustomed to never calling my dispatcher. Now days I might not even talk to my dispatcher for a week. He knows what I'm doing and where I'm at. If he has something he wants to talk about he will call, but most of the time he's got my updates through the truck's computer system and he's happy with that.

He was laughing and joking with me the other day about a 2,700 mile dispatch I had just finished. He was talking about our relationship and how it's based on trust. He said, "I never once heard from you on that trip. After that third day I looked you up just to see where you were. You were almost to the consignee. I commented to the person planning your back haul, "look at ole Dale, he's almost there and we haven't heard a peep out of him - that's pure trust right there."

I know I'm rambling, but I thought maybe some of the new folks might benefit from my musings on trust and good communications with dispatch. Communication must be deliberate. Trust is born from those acts of deliberation.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
Solo's Comment
member avatar

I am absolutely intrigued by where all these thoughts of wanting to L/O & O/O stem from.

I'm not saying this as an antagonist. I'm genuinely interested in what has created this draw of people completely new to an industry like trucking, into wanting to go from 0 to L/O or O/O.

Coming down 40 today, I could tell who was L/O or O/O vs Company driver by who had their windows down or up (running their A/C) haha.

PackRat's Comment
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Coming down 40 today, I could tell who was L/O or O/O vs Company driver by who had their windows down or up (running their A/C) haha.

Explain that observation meaning?

Rainy 's Comment
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Many LO OO wont use the A/C, the brakes (wear n tear), and in the manuals shifted less to save fuel. They claim they throw it in neutral.

My TnT trainer yelled at me that every time I shifted, i wasted 5 cents of her fuel, and in the beginning, i often shifted more on hills than i needed. its called learning.

i understand the concept, be your own boss. And Prime does what i call a "soft push". the wall posters are everywhere, they have phone messages while you are on hold, they discuss it in weekly meetings, but only once will you be directly asked by Prime.

The drivers on the other hand, are a different story. They sort of peer pressure newbies to go lease. Not only have they created a web of lies about being a company driver... lies they perpetuate because most never were so they believe it all.... but they take pride in being a lease op LLC owner. Which they became due to no real accomplishment. They needed no money down, no experience, and no credit check, so anyone can do it, but they sometimes belittle company drivers.

I have had lease ops tell me "Im taking your drop and hook and you can sit in my door cause i already been here 3 hours and they didnt start yet."

"Ive been here for 3 weeks at prime, and i have seniority over you, so drop that trailer, i want it"

"you need to back up and let me get washed out first, cause i need to get rolling"

(None of the above worked out well for them)

"I went lease cause i wasnt gonna have Prime searching my personal belongings on my truck constantly as a company driver" (Not only has this never happened although it could, BUT the lease contract specifically states Prime CAN search a lease truck for drugs/alcohol and DOT violations. So first he thinks it is a constant, then he didnt read his contract.

"I went lease cause i didnt want them telling me where i had to park" Doesnt happen.

" i wasnt getting forced into a lightweight" Big deal, you ask for a condo and you get one (im on my 4th truck, all condos)

"They aint holding me hostage for fuel" Uh, i have never been denied a fuel request ever! No fuel, no delivery.

"I know they only run the company drivers 1800 miles a week". Thid one is perprostrous. Prime takes 100% of freight rate then pays the driver a cpm rate. The lease op gets 72% of the load. What business person in the world thinks that means the company drivers are gonna run less???? I honestly think we run higher paying loads and prime leaves the scraps for the lease ops to lose money on. My lease friend was one given a $5 per mile load then it was taken from her "sorry, that wasnt for you... heres a $1.40 per mile for ya".

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Well, this one uses the A/C and there’s no effect on the fuel bill here. Another myth busted. Last year, I had actual 7.82 mpg of all loads and all miles for 134,000 miles.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

There's a ton of good info already but let me add in another aspect that nobody ever talks about. If you start talking to owner ops, not newer ones but guys who have been at it a long time, you'll find that none of them want to take their trucks to the larger carriers. The big reason being, most large carriers are working high volume contracts but the rates normally aren't as high as what can be found outside of say Walmart, Dollar General etc. Those owners try to avoid those loads because they're generally heavy and just won't make them any money. The big companies make money because they're moving thousands of those loads a day but a solo truck is always chasing the revenue unless they have regular customers they've built relationships with over the years. Drive your truck, establish your reputation, get the experience and then think about chasing the money. Once you've built a name for yourself, your value goes up and along the way. you might decide you want to try different avenues of the industry. If you're just hell bent on some of the better money out there, you're gonna need a good amount of experience and then constantly train with new trailers, equipment and securement methods in the specialized fields. Heavy haul/ specialized drivers where I'm at average around 130k a year but it takes time to work up to it and we haul a little bit of everything. They just placed an order last week for a new perimeter trailer to grab the ridiculously heavy, high dollar, insane planning stuff. They won't let just anyone hook to a million dollar trailer with 300,000 # cradled in it. There's so many things available to a driver who wants to put in the effort and can make a damn fine living as a company driver.

0582426001552262799.jpg

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

Solo's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Coming down 40 today, I could tell who was L/O or O/O vs Company driver by who had their windows down or up (running their A/C) haha.

double-quotes-end.png

Explain that observation meaning?

I should have put an /s at the end of my sentence, but those that have skin in the game (their money in their tanks) had their windows down, while the company drivers with less skin in the game, had the windows up and A/C going.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar
(None of the above worked out well for them)

Why doesn't that surprise me?

rofl-3.gif

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