Starting Orientation With Gypsum Express

Topic 24924 | Page 2

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Ken M. (TailGunner)'s Comment
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Just go to flatbed immediately, you will be way, way happier. It's kind of a whole different world from reefer and dry van.

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Hi, I am in CDL school currently and starting to zero in on companies to apply to. Can you explain why someone would be way, way happier with flatbed?

I don't wanna start any arguments, but in my opinion, there is a lot less waiting around with most flatbed loads. Also there is 99.9999% of the time no hand unloading, your freight goes on and off with a forklift or crane. Yes, there is securing and tarping, but you get good/fast at it after a while. You'll never have to re-stack cases of anything that has the wrong number of them on a pallet. There are no grocery warehouses. No lumpers. Most of the time, you'll be able to drive in wind that keeps van trailers parked. Flatbed generally pays more than vans.

There are drawbacks to flatbedding that you don't get with vans. Tarping and untarping in the rain/cold/wind. There will be times, as with anything, that you want to leave it all beside the road and go home. But those times are very few, all things considered.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris L's Comment
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Ken M (Tailgunner) said

Just go to flatbed immediately, you will be way, way happier. It's kind of a whole different world from reefer and dry van.

I would like to start out in flatbed but there are no openings in Baldwinsville, NY location at the moment. So I'm happy to bide my time and drive dry van and get my experience then move up when an opening comes available. The important thing is I found a company that is willing to give me a chance and I'm going to do my best to exceed their expectations.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

I just did a phone interview with the gypsum express recruiter for a flatbed position with the home terminal being out of savannah. He kind of stood out as he wasn’t pushy, didn’t seem to be promising the moon. He answered my questions and made a point to let me know that while hiring me wouldn’t be a problem , there are no trainers in my area so I wouldn’t be coming home during the road training.

That all their trainer trucks are still manual so won’t take students with auto restrictions . Fine with me

Also he said that they won’t schedule orientation or hire without a face to face interview. Is that a norm? Not that it bothers me, I kinda like the idea that they care who they are throwing in a seat.

Other than my communication with him there is not a lot about gypsum out there. Any of y’all pull flatbed for them? Currently or in the past? Any interaction with their drivers?

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rubber Duck's Comment
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I’ve met a hundred or more of their drivers and they’ve always been great guys. They are always happy with gypsum. Be glad your getting trained on a manual and pray you get one for your first truck. You might just be the last generation of driver to learn to drive a 10 speed Eaton fuller to the point you forget how to grind a gear.

Chris L's Comment
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Pappa Pig wrote:

I just did a phone interview with the gypsum express recruiter for a flatbed position with the home terminal being out of savannah. He kind of stood out as he wasn’t pushy, didn’t seem to be promising the moon. He answered my questions and made a point to let me know that while hiring me wouldn’t be a problem , there are no trainers in my area so I wouldn’t be coming home during the road training.

That all their trainer trucks are still manual so won’t take students with auto restrictions . Fine with me

Also he said that they won’t schedule orientation or hire without a face to face interview. Is that a norm? Not that it bothers me, I kinda like the idea that they care who they are throwing in a seat.

Other than my communication with him there is not a lot about gypsum out there. Any of y’all pull flatbed for them? Currently or in the past? Any interaction with their drivers?

I currently drive Dry Van out of Baldwinsville,. NY I'm close to hitting my 1 year mark. I planning to make the move to the Flat Bed division starting out in Baldwinsville but moving south eventually. I know that the company just posted on their Facebook page that they just finished up a class of Trainers / Mentor's but I don't know what terminal the trainers would be working out of. I've got no complaints about the company they keep me working some weeks I rack up the millage some weeks not as much but I keep rolling along. They will definitely keep you working. Hopefully if you decide to work for Gypsum maybe we might cross paths and I'll buy you a cup of coffee. Cheers.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the responses guys. Finally got ahold of a flatbedder who loves it. He wasn’t a rookie when he started tho Chris L. How was your orientation and training with them?

Chris L's Comment
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Papa Pig wrote:

Thanks for the responses guys. Finally got ahold of a flatbedder who loves it. He wasn’t a rookie when he started tho Chris L. How was your orientation and training with them?

I started on a Monday did the standard orientation requirements (HR, Safety, EDL, and JJ Keller on line training classes can't remember which classes) I was scheduled for two days but I got everything finished up in one day. Then Tuesday afternoon I meet up with my Trainer and I was out on the road for the rest of that week. Dry Van is a bit quicker getting out on the road vs Flatbed. I spent a total of three weeks in-cab with a trainer. Then I got my own tractor and did Shadow Training with my trainer basically we delivered freight to the same location. I tested out with our safety and then I was certified to go solo. When I get back into the office tomorrow I'm going to talk to the FM for the Flatbed division about crossing over. Right now I'm West of Cleveland coming back from picking up a load of paper rolls from Wabash.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Let me know how that works out for you Chris L. The flatbedder I talked to for them seemed to really enjoy it. He said most of his trailers were pre loaded and he rarely had to tarp. Said he didn’t wait much and was generally happy. I hope they have an open position for you.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Papa Pig, their flatbed division hauls a lot of sheetrock. Those loads are often pre-loaded trailers. They're also tarped already so they can be parked outside and kept dry while waiting for a driver to come get the load. It's a common practice in the large sheetrock distributors. You drop an empty trailer and leave a specified number of straps, tarps, and bungees with it. You pick up the loaded trailer, checking and adjusting (if needed) the securement and tarps. Then you roll on out of there.

Incidentally, if you zoom in on my avatar, you'll find that the red truck in the background is a Gypsum Express truck. Yep, that day I was folding those tarps in the snow storm after delivering a load of sheetrock in upstate New York. Gypsum Express drivers were right there with me. You may not be tarping very often, but you will be un-tarping at each delivery location.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Old school, that’s what I was thinkin. Seems like a good deal to me. As long as they train me, pay me, give me the opportunity to either succeed or fail, that’s all a rookie can hope for.

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