Need Advice

Topic 25142 | Page 1

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NeeklODN's Comment
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I'm wondering how I should handle this situation.

I've been doing fairly well in my first few weeks on the road, grossing between 900 and 1k a week. Have had loads of all kinds (Flatbed). Early this week I was dispatched to Greenville AL to pick up a pre loaded trailer from a customer who shall not be named. Upon arriving at 9 p.m. the gate was locked and I could see the trailer still sitting there empty. Parked for the night a couple miles away with several hours left on my clock. Woke up at 0600 day 2 so I could be up and ready when dispatch came in for the day. They told me to give Greenville an hour and it should be loaded. Waited 45 minutes and crawled back over there. Not loaded. Guys on that yard are telling me it's supposed to load for tomorrow. I called dispatch and they got back to me after about an hour and told me to run to roberstdale to grab a load heading to ashford. Ok fine. Spoke with the plant manager in Greenville and he said that the empty trailer would be loaded no later than 4 p.m. THAT day. I continued with my current dispatch. Upon arrival in ashford, I was told to deadhead back to Greenville for the next load and that I was pretty much going to be dedicated to that customer from now on. Ok sure whatever works for the company. Arrived in Greenville about 1800 or so. Lo and behold....trailer not loaded. Parked AGAIN with SEVERAL hours left on my clock. Woke up day 3 (today) and drove over at about 0700. Trailer wasn't done getting loaded until 10 a.m. mind you this is only a 280 mile load and has three stops on it. Which is time consuming. So I banged out all three stops by 1700. Send the empty call and haven't received a new load. I'm assuming they are gonna send me back to Greenville somehow when they come in tomorrow.

I feel like delays are just a part of the game but this is particularly egregious right? I'm already scratching and clawing to be as efficient as possible to get the miles I need to get and it doesn't appear I'll get anywhere close to that with this customer. Am I being a prima Donna? I've lost countless hours just in the past three days. Do I say that I don't want to be dedicated to this customer or just shut up and deal? I really have a feeling this week's pay is gonna be crap. My feeling is if I'm gonna be out here away from my fiance and dog then I better be making some cheddar to make up for it. What do I do?

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Old School's Comment
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You've got to have a "professional" conversation with your dispatcher. Keep calm, with little passion in your voice. Lay out why you're not thrilled with this idea, and let them know you're happy with the way things have been going until you got put on this account. They should be able to work with you, and maybe this is all a screw up. It might turn out to be a great opportunity. Stay patient and calm, but talk with your dispatcher and see what they have to say.

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
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I don’t know about you, but I’m doing this job for the pay FIRST. If I can’t make the $, I’m talking to dispatch. If they’re gonna leave me dedicated to a customer that can’t keep up, I’d explain it and ask my employer what I can do to get back to $900-$1k/week.

Temporary setbacks are one thing and maybe the customer didn’t realize they were getting a highly motivated, enthusiastic driver who can deliver on time. But will you be satisfied if you don’t discuss it with your team?

I hope this helps.

Splitter's Comment
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I was under the impression that once on a dedicated account that doesn't produce many miles, you'd get a guaranteed salary as long as your performance/revenue is above par.

This is generally Prime's policy. I was trying to get on their intermodal division, they don't get many miles, I was told I would get a guaranteed salary based on my current average. That's fair. To not get paid for 3 days, because of someone else's negligence? Not cool. Detention pay is supposed to cover that?! Or am I wrong about that?

Good luck with your conversation with your DM.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Dm:

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.
NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

Ok. I talked to them and I was calm and respectful but real. I told them my frustrations and not so surprisingly they understood. I guess from their perspective they didn't have the full picture of what was going on over there and how I was getting jerked around. I feel like they should have been able to tell from my long wait times and all but it is what it is. I left the conversation feeling better and they told me that they would make sure I get the miles I want. Only thing that sucks is my check this week probably is gonna take like a $200 hit or more. I didn't ask about detention pay because 1. Don't want to seem like I want money for free and 2. Because I don't think they even pay it unless the customer does.

All in all I feel better about it.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
All in all I feel better about it.

That's says it all, right there.

Keep communicating in a professional manner when you have concerns such as these. Dispatch has a lot on their plate at times, and things can slip under the radar when you don't speak up.

Avvatar's Comment
member avatar

SOMEONE PUT A STICKY ON THIS THREAD!

Neek, you did the RIGHT THING asking for help. All you beautiful folks gave great advice! Old School, you never miss the mark and shoot from the hip. I like it. Neek, you calmly listened to good advice and acted properly.

I'm glad that everything worked out so well. This thread shows so many good traits and characteristics! Well done, and keep us informed on next week's miles. I just want to know if it all got sorted like Harry Potter.

Super impressed with the community!

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

"1. Don't want to seem like I want money for free and 2. Because I don't think they even pay it unless the customer does."

Don't ever sell yourself short. Your time is your livelihood. Wasted time, through no fault of your own, is on the shipper. So what if have to wait until the shipper pays, it's your butt that's out here, doing the right thing by your employer, representing them to your fullest potential.

I think like this, the most they can do is say no & you're none the worse for the wear. But if they say yes, then it shows they have your back.

I reconsider this decision & see what they say. Like I said, the most they can do is say no. But it sure as heck ain't free money. Just like your time ain't free.

Glad you spoke up & they were understanding. Continued success & never sell yourself short.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on this!!! Take the win and don't worry about the one-time hit. You'll come out better in the long run.

It's always terrific to see how well things go when we focus on the issue, not emotion and we give it time to settle before having the conversation. Please keep this experience tucked in your mental files in case you need it in the future.

Have a great rest of the week!

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Noob (Newbie) here...

Just asking... PROS PLEASE WEIGH IN!

Do you know the policy on detention pay? Usually (I think) it depends on both your contract and the one your employer has with their customer. But if you are entitled to it AND the customer is subject to it, it sounds like you could qualify for detention pay.

NOT SAYING IT IS THE RIGHT CALL but it certainly COULD BE the subject of a conversation.

Reputable companies follow the rules. Nothing wrong (that I can see) with asking what the rules are. FM (DM, whatever) may need to approve it but they may be happy to do so. My (admittedly limited) understanding is if they can charge the customer for detention and they pay detention to the affected driver it is to both your and their advantage to do so. Kind of why it is there!

Dm:

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.

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

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