Humbled For A Chance, Grateful For A Dream Come True!

Topic 26010 | Page 1

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Joe R.'s Comment
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Hi everyone, first let me begin my apologizing for my lack of posts & participation, but between work and four little ones, not a whole lotta time. I lurk when I can. Lol.

Several months ago, I posted about finding a local home daily job as a new driver with limited experience and proving how daunting it was. Time ane time again I'd submit the app., get a call, get 98% of the way through the app, then came the "experience" part followed by "call us when you have a year in."

Well, about 4-5 months ago, I was given a chance by my terminal manager with a local home daily company.

I started with a company called W.W. Transport. At my terminal, we operate dry-van, pneumatic tank and tanker. We're contracted by Con-Agra, now known as Ardent Mills. We haul bulk flour to bakeries around the tri-state area for the local drivers and northeast for the otr guys.

I filled out the app., recieved a call from a company rep followed by a phone call from my terminal manager. If I recall, the covo went close to something like this: "Hi Joe, I received your app for a Class-A driver. Your app. looks great, but I see here you've had your Class-A and all your endorsements for a couple years now but only have 4 weeks of truck driving school for experience?" I thought that was it, just like all the rest, I was expecting "Call when you get your year in." But to my surprise, it went on as follows: "Well, thats ok. I'd like you to come in for an interview and I'd like to send you for a road test as its been 2 years since you've been in a truck." Fast forward a couple days, I go in for my interview and go on my road test. Bossman said "I'd like to offer you a job. For the first 2-3 weeks, I'm going to keep you very close. I'm going to have you bobtail up to our repair shop with trucks that need maintenance and back with trucks that have been repaired. Then I'm going to have you pull empty tanks up to the wash bay that need to be dropped off for wash and bring clean ones back. This way you get reacclimated with driving, shifting, etc. After 2-3 weeks, I'll put you with a trainer for 1 week to learn the pneumatic tank operations then you'll set solo to run loads." I was so excited to be given the opportunity and really liked the way I was getting broken-in so to say. He told me that all he had available was 2nd shift, Noon-2pm start times to Midnight-2am end times. I started to feel stressed. My wife works evenings from 6pm to 10pm Mon thru Fri so I needed to be home by 5:30pm to care for the kids. I also share custody of my daughter and have her on weekends. So 2nd shift was going to not be feasible. I explained all this to him and he said "well, the first 4 weeks you'll be on days." That gave me a month to iron out everything with my family. As luck would have it, bossman came to me at the end of those 3 weeks after getting reacclimated with everything and said "I have one yard guy but I need another one. How would you feel about being my other yard guy?" He then proceeded to me what it would entail. He said "You'll shuttle trucks back and forth to the shop, tanks and trailers back and forth to the wash bay just like you've been doing. You'll also be a loader, you'll unload flour from the railcars into the tanks until all the hoppers are full then place them on line for the drivers to deliver to the accounts. You'll cover the "docks" meaning you'll move van trailers from the loading docks at one mill and bring them to the loading docks at the other mill and back them in and stage them for loading. Occasionally, you'll run down to the other Ardent Mills site and other railyard site to retrieve tanks and unload flour into our tanks then bring them back here to get them ready to be delivered. Also, since you have your tanker, I'll have you run the water tanker to the pre-treatment plant to get rid of the waste water from washing out the van trailers and tanks." I told him I would absolutely love to have this position. He said "with your wife working evenings, your children, your daughter etc., this position will have you home everyday no later than 5-5:30pm."

So far, its been wonderful! My start times are 4am and I'm done usually by between 12 noon - 3pm Mon-Fri. Off weekends one week, then I'll work weekends with a day off in the week the next. Working the "docks" moving those 53 footers around have really honed my backing skillset tremendously! I enjoy going out to the other mill sites as they're only an hour to an hour and a half out from the terminal. Usually between 40 and 70 miles one way. Each time I run, its gives me more experience out on the road but keeps me out of the BIG heavily congested areas like NYC, NJ, etc. Its a strong hourly rate position with as much overtime as you want. If you don't mind working, the work is there. I generally put in 58-60 hours a week with some weeks touching 70 hours. All time and half over 40 hours. I love going in early and getting done early as I have the remainder of the day with the kiddos. Its only 8 miles from home, takes only 12 minutes to get there, etc.

I just wanted to take a moment and share my success story with all of you. To the new drivers out here looking at this post, keep your chin up. Your time to shine will come. All I can say is patience and persistence. Something will eventually turn up.

- Joe

Bobtail:

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

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Banks's Comment
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Congrats, Joe. Everything has a way of working itself out in the end. I'm happy for you and your family. If I ever need a tanker of flour, I know who to call.

PackRat's Comment
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Seems like you have sailed under a lucky star, Joe, so good for you! I hope everything keeps working out for you and your family, too.smile.gif

Joe R.'s Comment
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Thank you Banks! Much appreciated!

Congrats, Joe. Everything has a way of working itself out in the end. I'm happy for you and your family. If I ever need a tanker of flour, I know who to call.

Joe R.'s Comment
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Thanks a lot PackRat. I appreciate the kind words.

Seems like you have sailed under a lucky star, Joe, so good for you! I hope everything keeps working out for you and your family, too.smile.gif

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Joe, that's absolutely a wonderful story. You obviously have your priorities straight and I'm so happy to hear your experience. Keep up the good work, sounds like you are headed in a good direction. dancing.gifundefined

Marc Lee's Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing.gif

Joe R.'s Comment
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Thank you Bruce K and Marc Lee! I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be getting the experience while still being able to sleep in my own bee at night. 👍

Auggie69's Comment
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Sounds awesome! Proof that if you look hard enough you may just find what you're looking for.

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