A Walk On The ‘Darkside’ - Working For A Small Company

Topic 25544 | Page 1

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LDRSHIP's Comment
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Instead of hijacking others threads. Here is a chance to get a glimpse. I went to the polar opposite of the big, well established companies that have been in the trucking game for decades. I am working for a small upstart company that has been running big trucks for less than a year.

So fire away? I will answer honestly to questions. Only thing to really offer. The Truth.

DISCLAIMER: I agree whole heartedly that a rookie has no business trying to work for a small upstart or becoming an O/O. There is a reason most small trucking require a few YEARS of experience.

So let’s take a peak inside Pandora’s box and take a walk on the darkside.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

As you know, I've worked for very tiny companies with tiny fleets, old trucks, no money, limited freight opportunities, no clout, extremely limited expertise, no perks, and huge debts who were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy continuously. I wound up quitting one of them after a year because I was told I could only have two days off after running six straight weeks averaging 4,500 miles per week (the outlaw days of trucking) because the company was almost bankrupt and they couldn't let the truck sit any longer. He was literally going to run us to death to save the company if we let him. The company went bankrupt and disappeared from the face of the Earth about 3 months later. Good times.

I don't think new drivers will know what questions to ask, but I thought you made a great start yesterday in a different conversation when you were talking about the condition of your truck and why you weren't able to get it fixed properly. At the major carriers a driver can take the truck to the shop and they'll keep it in brand new condition, no questions asked. Talk a little bit about what it's like working for a company that can't afford to fix its trucks and the burden they put on the drivers to deal with it themselves.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Brett. The smaller company with "large cars" that doesn't keep up with maintainence is no where as good as a larger company with "fleet" style trucks that maintain them with pride. The large company has the power, dollars and knowledge behind them to be more profitable and offer their drivers a better paycheck and benefits to go with the pay. Bottom line is the "large car" might be impressive and more powerful but in the long run the company type truck will be there for you much longer. Besides the freight, miles and pay will be much better at the big company versus the little guy. Your choice.

Sid V.'s Comment
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Does your company have dedicated customers or are you running the spot market? If you are doing spot, have you heard anything from them about how bad the rates are right now, or if it's getting better? Tia.

Old School's Comment
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Sid, from everything I've been seeing the spot rates are falling right now. Unfortunately that old saying is still true... "What goes up must come down."

LDRSHIP's Comment
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Does your company have dedicated customers or are you running the spot market? If you are doing spot, have you heard anything from them about how bad the rates are right now, or if it's getting better? Tia.

Purely spot market thru brokers. Rates are in the toilet right now, with no anticipation of them returning to the level of last year. Reefer Freight is barely grabbing $1.50 a mile on average. There are some loads paying up around $2 a mile, but it is right time, right place scenarios.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

I am interested in hearing what you have to say on this subject. No real questions from me, I just have a local steel hauler who has been bugging me to drive for them, but not keen on giving up the hundred people and millions of dollars worth of support I have behind me right now.

LDRSHIP's Comment
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These are old trucks. TBH, a fast one was pulled on the company owner when he bought this truck. The people claimed it was a 2012 Glider from Fitzgerald. In reality it is a 2008 that had the engine swapped out in 2012 by Fitzgerald. It is not a true glider. It is actually a production model Coronado. This truck probably originally came with a 14L with DEF. since 12.7L stopped production after 2006. Fitzgerald probably just put a 12.7L in and removed all of the DEF components.

As far as my pay, I actually make more here than I did at Wolding. Yes the truck is worn out, yes we are given some loads with delivery schedules that are impossible without creating logbooking. Yes, the old saying rings true about if your out of hours, you must be new. I am by no means running to death. But, creative logbooking is highly encouraged.

With rates being down, boss man is having a rough go. I was asked to not run the tank down and fill it all the way up as he can’t afford a $1000 fuel bill. Basically don’t fill up more than $500 at a time. We have EZ Pass, but boss man asking to avoid tolls as much as possible. There is no type of accessorial pay unless a broker pays it. Trying to get detention out of a broker is like trying to wring blood from a turnip. You are better off holding your breath and waiting for Haley’s comet to come back.

As I said before any questions, feel free to ask. I will be as forthright as possible.

Names and dates may be changed to protect the guilty, lol

embarrassed.gif

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.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

I don't think new drivers will know what questions to ask, but I thought you made a great start yesterday in a different conversation when you were talking about the condition of your truck and why you weren't able to get it fixed properly. At the major carriers a driver can take the truck to the shop and they'll keep it in brand new condition, no questions asked. Talk a little bit about what it's like working for a company that can't afford to fix its trucks and the burden they put on the drivers to deal with it themselves.

Got told by the Boss that next home time the air dryer is gonna get replaced. He is not sure about being able to get a new or even a new to him air compressor. Like I said anything that can be jury rigged and fixed by the driver it is encouraged. Anything to save a buck. Maybe once freight rates go back up, more things can get fixed.

Duct tape, Bungee Cords, Safety Wire, zip ties are all good things to keep a ready supply of.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

These are old trucks. TBH, a fast one was pulled on the company owner when he bought this truck. The people claimed it was a 2012 Glider from Fitzgerald. In reality it is a 2008 that had the engine swapped out in 2012 by Fitzgerald. It is not a true glider. It is actually a production model Coronado. This truck probably originally came with a 14L with DEF. since 12.7L stopped production after 2006. Fitzgerald probably just put a 12.7L in and removed all of the DEF components.

As far as my pay, I actually make more here than I did at Wolding. Yes the truck is worn out, yes we are given some loads with delivery schedules that are impossible without creating logbooking. Yes, the old saying rings true about if your out of hours, you must be new. I am by no means running to death. But, creative logbooking is highly encouraged.

With rates being down, boss man is having a rough go. I was asked to not run the tank down and fill it all the way up as he can’t afford a $1000 fuel bill. Basically don’t fill up more than $500 at a time. We have EZ Pass, but boss man asking to avoid tolls as much as possible. There is no type of accessorial pay unless a broker pays it. Trying to get detention out of a broker is like trying to wring blood from a turnip. You are better off holding your breath and waiting for Haley’s comet to come back.

As I said before any questions, feel free to ask. I will be as forthright as possible.

Names and dates may be changed to protect the guilty, lol

As someone trying to learn about this industry, the above is probably the most helpful that I have seen regarding the company driver vs. lease O/O because of the detail about the difficulty of running your "own business." Many of the other threads, including the other thread that spurred this independent thread, involve a lot of "Jane you ignorant s**t." The know it alls (myself included) think they know this industry by understanding how things work when everything goes as planned. Seeing the details of the obstacles that Patrick encounters really puts a lot of things in perspective.

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.

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