Rookie Year In The Books

Topic 24896 | Page 1

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Kevin K's Comment
member avatar

This is a long-overdue (and long-winded) "thank you" to Brett and everyone at Trucking Truth. I made it through my rookie year and I couldn't be happier with my job.

I'm 46 and have held many driving and delivery jobs over my work life. I started off delivering newspapers in my car, throwing the rolled-up papers out the sunroof and onto the porch. Early on I delivered phone books, groceries, and flowers, and in the mid '90s stepped up to a delivery job at an expedited P&D company driving vans and eventually straight trucks. I got my Class B with HazMat 8 years ago.

A year and a half ago, I realized I would never be able to save enough money doing what I was doing to retire comfortably and decided to get my Class A. I worked my way through most of the High Road CDL Training Program and studied Daniel's Complete Pre-Trip Inspection. I took all the tests, got my permit and all the endorsements, and attended a first-rate technical college to get my Class A. I had perfect attendance and a 4.0 to boot.

I had no desire to go OTR so I filled out several applications with LTL companies and was hired, or in the process of being hired, at all of them. I wanted a linehaul job. I was tired of running around the city doing P&D but I never tired of long drives at night. In the end I chose Averitt over Old Dominion, R+L, and Rock Transfer. I'm glad I did.

After six weeks of training with a city driver I began a nightly Milwaukee, WI to Lebanon, IN meet and turn. I'm now doing a Milwaukee to Nashville, TN laydown twice a week with a meet in Greenwood, IN on Fridays. I love my Volvo sleeper and I average about 2800 miles a week at .58 cpm. Averitt is an excellent company. Good pay, great benefits, a few really nice perks, and they treat their drivers with respect and heart.

I had two incidents that put a damper on a great year. I put a couple of scratches on a trailer when I brushed against a concrete pole at a fuel aisle when I was in too much of a hurry. And I got a warning for following too close - again when I was in too much of hurry. That last warning was an awesome blessing in disguise. I was so in the mode of hurry-hurry at my expedited straight truck job. I realized that I didn't have to run like that at Averitt. I could get the job done safely and with a lot less stress by holding back and practicing good space management.

I also had one of the most stressful days of my whole driving career a couple of weeks ago. I left Nashville in a steady rain that changed to ice north of Louisville, then snow north of Indianapolis, and more of just about everything from northern Indiana to Milwaukee. The precip never stopped. I took it steady and even made it back to Milwaukee in time for a city driver to get the freight he needed for his route that day.

If you made it this far my apologies and thank you. Trucking Truth was a huge help to me when I first started this journey and I continue to visit the forum for all of the helpful knowledge and insights. There is no other place on the internet that is free from all of the garbage so prevalent elsewhere. I still have so much to learn. I just put my body and soul and all things in God's hands and pray every day to become a smarter, safer, more courteous, and more professional driver.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

What time areevery night. I Get passed by a few Averitt trucks everynight on my linehaul run to Indianapolis.

Glad it is working out for you!

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on completing that first year. You definitely did it the hard way. Best of luck for many years of continued success. If you could give us a current review of Averitt, it could help so many. Keep up the great work.

Kevin K's Comment
member avatar

What time areevery night. I Get passed by a few Averitt trucks everynight on my linehaul run to Indianapolis.

Glad it is working out for you!

I usually crawl past an OD truck on my way down Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I get to Winamac around midnight. I'm set about 65.5 and most of you guys seem to be about 64 or 64.5. Turtle races lol. If you see a Volvo sleeper it's probably me.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Kevin K's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on completing that first year. You definitely did it the hard way. Best of luck for many years of continued success. If you could give us a current review of Averitt, it could help so many. Keep up the great work.

Thanks, Big Scott. I don't know if it was the hard way, but it certainly was the long way!

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Kevin K .! That's AWESOME!

So where are you based? (I live in Butler, N. W. of MKE - near 45 and Hampton Ave.).

RE: Averitt. They were my early first choice but they seemed to insist on 4 months. Curious how you started there.

I thought I wanted to drive for their On Tour Logistics division (once I met the 12-months and FM approval requirements). Not so sure now as I think they only make $1,200 / week and are out for a long time (duration of the tour).

Even applied to drive a forklift there and emailed the recruiter several times. Never got a response...

Happy to meet and buy you a cup o' Joe if timing / logistics ever works out!

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.
Kevin K's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Kevin K .! That's AWESOME!

So where are you based? (I live in Butler, N. W. of MKE - near 45 and Hampton Ave.).

RE: Averitt. They were my early first choice but they seemed to insist on 4 months. Curious how you started there.

I thought I wanted to drive for their On Tour Logistics division (once I met the 12-months and FM approval requirements). Not so sure now as I think they only make $1,200 / week and are out for a long time (duration of the tour).

Even applied to drive a forklift there and emailed the recruiter several times. Never got a response...

Happy to meet and buy you a cup o' Joe if timing / logistics ever works out!

Thanks, Marc.

I work out of the terminal near 13th and College. I grew up near 108th and Hampton and know Butler well. I went to school and church at Immanuel across from the True Value and my first jobs were at James Pharmacy and Sentry. You might be familiar with both from back in the day.

I went to MATC and got about a month of tractor trailer experience at the company where I was driving that straight truck. I filled out an application for Averitt online and didn't hear back, then saw somewhere that they were having a hiring event so I went down and talked to the recruiter. He must have liked something about me because I got a call shortly after.

I'm not sure why they accepted my one month of experience but I think there might have been a mix-up -- it's too long and complicated of a story to tell here. I do think that MATC had a lot to do with it and my Class B experience probably helped too.

I don't think we are hiring drivers now but I think it's a great place to work. Laid back and good people. City and Shuttle (linehaul) positions open up frequently enough. I can let you know when we have an opening.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Cool. Only been here about 1.5 years... except for part of a summer when my Bro and I worked at my Uncle's Wisconsin Packing Company.

Trying to get back into JB Hunt now. Looks like that may work out after all. Need to call recruiter back.

So maybe Butler Inn?

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