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

Topic 25544 | Page 2

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Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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My dad worked for small repair shop even did road calls and he would see the small companies try to avoid fixing anything they could. They had to have a truck towed out because the brakes where so bad and the truck owner wanted to wait. He has one truck in where the guys seat broke and he was using a peice of plywood instead. Mean while the "mega" companies would send in their trucks and basicly repair what ever the driver wanted.

I'll give you credit for jumping over to the "darkside", personally I'd stick with billions in backing.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

My wife is the dispatcher for a small trucking company. About 12 trucks most are O/O's.

She deals with brokers, negotiates prices, safety, ifta, permits. You name it, she does it. Company has been in business for 5 years. I've learned a ton about the logistics side of the business from her and helping her here and there. She's been at it for 3 years now.

Its definitely different. But her job is amazing no doubt about it. I would choose dispatching at a small firm over a large carrier any day. First driving I wouldn't though.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Do you book your own loads? Or do you have a load planner/dispatcher?

What boards do you use?

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.
LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Do you book your own loads? Or do you have a load planner/dispatcher?

What boards do you use?

The owner “da boss” books our loads. He is our dispatcher , load coordinator, fueling department, pretty much most departments. Although he does have a partner and she handles more of the paperwork of stuff. IFTA, permits, registration, etc....

I do have a free load board I peak at from time to time. If I find a good load on there, he will give it a call. Sometimes I do call myself to verify the rate before I pass it on to him. Eventually, he may let me start booking my own loads. Once he gets the one tractor back up and running though, that a fill in destroyed. He already said, any driver he is thinking about hiring will spend a week with me on the road. I guess then, I will become the training department, 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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
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.

Unfortunately the higher rates like those from last year always draw a bunch of new people and trucks into the game, and then the bottom drops out. That's the nature of a cyclical business. It's at the beginning of the downturn that the most pain happens because there are simply too many trucks on the road right now, all leftover from the previously high rates and high demand.

Unfortunately the rates aren't going to bounce back anytime soon, and this story is not likely to end well for the boss man. If he's already at a point where he can't pay the fuel bill, tolls, or repairs and the downturn has just begun then it's looking dismal.

I drove for a food grade tanker outfit for a year that had 11 trucks. We started showing up at the tank washes and they wouldn't wash our tanks until the boss cut them a check because he was so far behind on payments. The business lost their credit with vendors and it became cash only. Soon after that the business ceased to exist.

Now I have no clue how your boss financed this business, but it sounds like he's already just about out of cash. That's why I always admonish people who think they're going to save some money, pay cash for a truck, and start their business as an owner operator that way. They think being out of debt gives them an advantage. In reality the most important thing a small business can do is hang onto its cash. When you're out of cash you're out of business.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Small can be crazy for sure. I recall when one of our trucks broke down and we rented a car, loaded it up with tools and fixed it on the side of the road out in Calli where our truck went down. They then got the compact rental into the back of the reefer trailer and carried it back home. The rental was supposed to be a cheap local rental and they were none too pleased when they saw the car with grease stains and tons of miles. Lol. Shops were way out of budget and my husband and his brother did all maintenance and repairs on the trucks themselves. I distinctly remember one trip where we were probably 100 miles from home, a belt broke. My husband hitched a ride to an autozone carrying the broken belt with him. I waited in the truck. About an hour later, he comes back and takes him 15 mins or so to change the belt. Autozone, naturally doesn't carry western star parts. He showed them the belt and turns out it matched perfectly with a belt for a Corvette. Gotta get creative with parts and you'd be surprised at what matches up.

You are really brave doing this. Our trucks made very good money but even then its rough.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TXGooner's Comment
member avatar

I'm so new to trucking it hurts, but I have to ask in all respect and sincerity - is this Satire? You paint a very bleak picture, any upsides?

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

TX, I promise you he's quite serious and this is not satire.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Hey LDRSHP, does this small company use ghost riders? I'm sure Brett will at the very least know what I'm talking about.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Great question...

I'm so new to trucking it hurts, but I have to ask in all respect and sincerity - is this Satire? You paint a very bleak picture, any upsides?

The company/job being described is not something a rookie driver is qualified to perform. The OP has over two years of experience...

Good for you to ask this.

Focus on these threads...

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.
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