FedEx Freight Driver Apprentice

Topic 25933 | Page 9

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Banks's Comment
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Toiletries, flashlight, some non-perishable foods, and some bottled water.

I will add those items. Thanks PackRat. I also threw in a cable and plug for my phone.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Auggie69's Comment
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There's only 2 of us with a 0200 start time. We load city trailers and take road runs when he have to. If I have to load trailers, I prefer city. No decks and no stacking. I got a chance to speak to the guy that did the shift before (he went to road). He said he would go out at least 2 nights a week, but sometimes it would be after working the dock 4 or 5 hours.

Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely make it a point to stop by road and city to bug them. I also see it as having some overtime opportunity. At the very least, I'll be able to pad my check with the road runs.

I'm packing a bag to keep in my car for when I do have to go out. In it I have a change of clothes (in case I get stuck), gloves, a blanket, a tire gauge, rubber grommets and my medical card, is there anything I'm missing?

Plan for Winter or Summer.

It sounds like the 0200 start is basically to assist the Inbound dock to load the City. If they "do" have a late run it will fall to you or your fellow 0200 partner. The bad thing is that, as you've seen, the Inbound ceases about 0800 or 0900. If the City is covered and there are no Road runs it sounds like they send you home? If so, hang in there. It doesn't take long to bump-up seniority and you'll leave that behind. That makes it even more crucial that you let the City dispatch and Road dispatch know that you'll do what it takes to get runs or run the City.

For Road runs I've only been "stuck" twice. Once going to New Jersey and the other to Knoxville. I had no return so they had me do a "laydown" and wait till the next day. They set you up in a hotel, which you'll bobtail to. Then come back and get your set the next day.

Change of clothes, toothbrush, yada, yada. Pillow, if that's important. Usually when guys get on a Road bid they anticipate what they need as to where they are going. But when you can be sent anywhere - it's a crapshoot. Above all - TAKE A CREDIT CARD! My last FORCED laydown the hotel they sent me to said they had no agreement with FXF. I had to pay first and they reimbursed me.

Oh, and if you want Road experience, volunteer for weekend runs. You'll only run one day, either Saturday or Sunday. Good experience, easy duty, good money. Go to the Road dispatch office and ask. Also, sometimes there are weekend City runs. Make sure you inquire about that too.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Man, is it hard being back on the dock. After spending 6 to 7 weeks loving life driving a truck, I'm back in the environment I fought so hard to get out of.

It's hard to stay positive because I'm surrounded by terminal rats. Dock workers telling you why they'd never drive, drivers telling you how FedEx has done them wrong and it's frustrating. I tend to stay to myself, but I don't want to be rude when someone engages me in conversation. I try to tell them what they can do differently. Give them top tier driver advice that I learned here and they brush it off because I'm new. What makes it hard is that after spending 7 weeks with top tier drivers that love the company and appreciate the opportunities they were given, I'm now in an environment that I call the black hole. I call it that because of the crabs in the barrel mentality. Everybody pulling each other down.

The main example of this is a driver I got paired with to unload a trailer. The first thing he tells me is that he hates midnight shifts. I ask how high he was on the list and he told me 50s. I asked why he didn't take noon unassigned. He said he doesn't want to drive. Driving a truck makes you fat and he doesn't want to spend his entire day there. We split up. I take my pallet he takes his and we end up back at the trailer at the same time. He tells me that he's not making enough money and FedEx is wrong for scraping over time. I ask him if he volunteers to do weekend runs and he replied that his weekends are his. He's not giving them to FedEx. I told him that sometimes city dispatch has some drop and hook assignments maybe he can go grab one before clocking out. Can't do it because he's tired.

It's draining to have conversations like this when I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize and stay positive. Fortunately, this is my last week running hub freight and I can separate myself a little more.

I do plan on taking Auggies advice and volunteering for any runs they have available, but I can't do that until I'm officially a city driver. I am not an official city driver until I sign the offer letter.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Any updates?did you sign the offer letter? Have you run any routes or have you been stuck in the warehouse? Either way, it will pay off in the long run

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Ignore the miserable people, i am lucky in 2 years at OD I have done zero dock work so I have not run into many of them but they do exist.

Just keep your head up and do as asked without complaints and volunteer for any run you can get. People will take notice and before you know it you will be out driving and they will still be miserable on the dock.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Any updates?did you sign the offer letter? Have you run any routes or have you been stuck in the warehouse? Either way, it will pay off in the long run

I received and signed my offer letter yesterday. I'm official now. I haven't run anything yet, but I knew I wouldn't because I wasn't officially a driver. I spoke to the other driver that works inbound with me and he said he has no intentions of running anything unless he has to. He said he has some things going on and he has to do his 8 and go.

An interesting update, they messed up my bid spot. I was supposed to be second to last not last last. I went to the office on Monday to see if my offer letter was in and I was asked what shift I ended up with. When I told them 0200 inbound, they asked why and I said that's what was left. I was then told I wasn't last. I told them the bid sheet said I was. They pulled it up and I actually have seniority by number 68 by a few minutes.

This furthers my belief that things happen for a reason. I would've selected the noon shift if it was left up to me, but then I'd have zero chance of driving because of all the guys with more seniority there. I also like the shift I'm on now and I like the people I work with. But, when it really counts I'm a spot higher on the list.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Ignore the miserable people, i am lucky in 2 years at OD I have done zero dock work so I have not run into many of them but they do exist.

Just keep your head up and do as asked without complaints and volunteer for any run you can get. People will take notice and before you know it you will be out driving and they will still be miserable on the dock.

It's the lazy guys that have been here forever that feel like they're owed something and the new guys that feel they should be getting what a hard running driver that's been here 5 years gets.

I tried to volunteer for some runs, but I have some more hazmat classes to take. Until then, it's forced runs only when they pop up. I'm looking forward to my time here.

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

PackRat's Comment
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"All good things to those that wait".good-luck.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Went to speak with my ops manager today. Turns out, I was wrong. I can drive without finishing all of my classroom stuff because I completed their skills assessment. I'm not scheduled to be done with classes until October.

I went in and asked about the voluntary Saturday runs. He said I can sign up, but I probably wouldn't get anything due to the amount of people that sign up and dreaded seniority. He said I would have a better shot at voluntary holiday runs because nobody signs up for those.

I received an offer to work for a FedEx ground contractor on Saturdays so I asked about that too. He said I could do it because there aren't any company rules preventing it, but I can't because of HOS regulations. Even though I'm only doing 40 a week, It'll be tough to have a full 34 before my start time on Monday.

I'll keep signing up for voluntary runs and we'll see what happens.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I was an instructor today! Sort of.

My trainers new student is struggling with his brake test. Driver development instructors are not allowed to help students off the clock. Something about bias or favoritism. When I heard he was struggling, I offered to help. My skills aren't great, but I pat myself on the back for my pretrip.

New student was off today and I finished my shift at 1030 so we met up in the break room and headed to the yard. I drove the tractor to a trailer, since he can't drive without an instructor or a mentor, and hooked up. Had him do a whole pretrip and he did great. Then the brake test. It was pretty bad. We did them back to back for about 2 and a half hours. It's not that he couldn't do it, he just couldn't get the script down. We finished up at 1530 and by the end I'm confident he can pass the pretrip at his state exam.

I enjoyed doing this. Being an instructor may be in my future. Not near future, but eventual future.

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