How Do I Handle Hub Rats?

Topic 26651 | Page 1

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Banks's Comment
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A few days ago I received a call from my trainer. He asked me if I was having any issues with my runs because he got an email saying that I was taking too long to leave and there was an issue with gate times. I told him I haven't heard anything, but I wouldn't be surprised I'm not fast, yet. He told me if I had issues to let him know and he'll schedule me in to get some practice. We left it at that.

Today he calls me again and he's not happy. He told me after we spoke he went to ops to see pull my depart/arrival times. Turns out, I haven't been late at all. Some people are complaining that I take too long to hook. They're complaining about me trying to line up my lead trailer and dolly as straight as possible.

Here are my issues

1) I know it takes me a little longer too hook. Because of that, I'm courteous and I let everybody pass before I block everything up.

2) I'm averaging a hook and pretrip in 40 minutes. FedEx goal is 30. I've only been on 5 runs in total, I think I'm pretty decent.

3) Who cares? We're not team driving. If it takes me 3 hours to hook, it doesn't affect anybody but me and maybe some customers. What I do has no bearing on anybody else.

My trainer told me he was going to find out who was talking and address it personally. He said he's not going to let somebody bad mouth his student for doing things the right way. He told me to keep doing what I'm doing because I'm the one driving the equipment and I have to be comfortable and confident that everything is secured properly. He said the office people know I'm new so they're not going to give me a hard time about being late.

Here's the issue, unlike terminal rats I see the same people everyday. It's not in passing or once in a while. I don't want to have a bad work environment. I'm thinking I should just let it slide, but I'm not ok with drivers going to the people that run the place to complain about a nonexistent issue. I don't want people to hear my name and think "the slow guy".

What would you do?

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.

G-Town's Comment
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Banks I think you should let it pass. Keep smiling and conducting your business with professionalism and courtesy.

Focus on learning and not let this bother you (which seems to be what you are already doing) Your trainer knows the cultural protocol at your hub, I'd follow-up with him to see what the outcome was.

Southern Dad's Comment
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As with any process it takes time to be an expert at it. I suggest that you keep doing what you are doing and do not try to hurry or skip any steps. It’s not worth it. You do you, let them do them.

Banks's Comment
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Banks I think you should let it pass. Keep smiling and conducting your business with professionalism and courtesy.

Focus on learning and not let this bother you (which seems to be what you are already doing) Your trainer knows the cultural protocol at your hub, I'd follow-up with him to see what the outcome was.

I'm always focused on learning. My goal is always to better today than I was yesterday. I also ask a lot of questions.

I am bothered, but not because somebody doesn't like how I do things. I'm bothered because they went to management and made such a stink about it, that management felt the need to reach out to my trainer.

As with any process it takes time to be an expert at it. I suggest that you keep doing what you are doing and do not try to hurry or skip any steps. It’s not worth it. You do you, let them do them.

I have my routine and I'll never deviate from it.

Army 's Comment
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Banks

This type of behavior exists in most every industry around. I am currently reading a new book, Call Sign Chaos by the Former Secretary of Defense and Retired General Mattis. Here is what he says, "you don't always control your circumstances, but you can always control your response". Don't give these other drivers or Hub Rats a second thought. Also, remember, those same people will continue to complain, and the more they make frivolous complaints, the less they will be believed.

Safe Travels.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Banks, FedEx runs one of the tightest ships in the business world. They're a super high-performance company. Squeezing every bit of efficiency they can out of every person and every process is deeply ingrained in their culture and their business practices. Embrace it. Never take it as an insult when someone offers you advice for improving your performance, especially when you're the new guy. Expect it and be thankful for it.

I'll tell you what's worse. What's worse is when you think you're doing a great job until one day, out of the blue, you're called into the office and they hand you a one-way bus ticket home. You never saw it coming, and they never gave you a chance to improve on whatever was lacking. That's the worst.

Accept advice or criticism with a smile, take it to heart, and find ways of improving. You've heard me talk many times on this site about the things that successful people have in common. One of those things is a never-ending desire to get better every day.

You've already said you're focused on learning. That's key. You have the right approach. Now allow those around you to help you with that approach. Be humble, be thankful, and keep focusing on getting better. People are always far more willing to help a person get better and give them more leniency if they know you're thankful for the help and they can see you truly care about doing an awesome job.

I'm thrilled to see that you've brought this to us and asked our opinion. It shows you're being thoughtful about the job you're doing and you care about getting better. You're not just one of those people who freaks out when something doesn't go their way or blames, complains, and criticizes all the time.

Keep a great attitude and keep showing people you're thankful for their help and you're doing all you can to get better. Things will work out great for you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I agree with everything you said, Brett. I'm fortunate to be surrounded by people that have been doing this for a long time and don't mind taking a few minutes to answer some questions or offer criticism. I'm all for it and I absorb everything I learn. The people at FedEx have put time and effort into making sure I'm successful. My phone is full of new contacts because everybody that finds out I'm new gives me their number. They tell me they're running all night so don't hesitate to call if I get sent somewhere new or if I have any questions.

My issue here is that instead of offering constructive criticism or a helping hand, somebody took it to the office and had negative things to say. That's not constructive at all and does nothing to help anybody. I would have preferred that person come to me and say "hey, I only you're new but you have to get faster at this".

I'm not going to start a blaze over this because it's not worth it. I like the company I work for and I don't want to do anything that makes the environment toxic. I go to work happy every day (even dock days) and I leave happy. I'd like to keep it that way.

Joel D.'s Comment
member avatar

I agree with G-town. You just have to let it go over your head and carry on doing the best you can. Reach out to the people that want to help you get better and even though it’s hard the less you bite and show them what a good job you’re doing and improving all the time and eventually things will or should settle down for you. Good luck and stay safe

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I am kind of shocked to hear this, especially if it was one or more of your fellow drivers complaining. When I first started it took me like 45 minutes to a hour sometimes to make sure I was comfortable that everything was done correctly, nobody from management to fellow drivers had anything negative to say other than you will get faster over time.

I am actually kind of upset that someone felt the need to A. Say something and B. For someone to call your trainer. Honestly it is ludicrous to me and completely different than what I experienced, OD told me to take my time and it will come to me and it did, I can drop and hook a set in as little as 20 minutes less if I do not have to park trailers.

I was and am known as the slow guy I pull into the yard at the same time as other but am generally the last one done, At the limo company I worked at before I was known as "grandpa" because of the way I drove doesn't bother me at all. I would rather be known as "grandpa" than unemployed because I made a dumb mistake rushing.

My advise would be unless your tm or operations guy or who ever is in charge of such things at FedEx calls you in to say something ignore and keep doing what you are doing 40 minutes is not bad at all. If they do say something tell them you are still new and are getting better by the trip and should be under their goal soon.

More than likely it was either a senior driver with nothing better to do than complain about the new guy or someone under you in seniority trying to clear a way up.

Sorry to ramble but this legitimately has me upset that FedEx would have even cared what someone said let alone mention it to your trainer. I was a nervous wreck when I went solo and plugged up many terminals and got nothing but support they should be giving you the same.

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
member avatar

Banks when I first started where I'm at it took me a little bit to get good at backing the 53' trailers we use as I'd spent year and a half pulling pups. I had a couple guys running their mouths in the drivers room, and apparently one even went to management giving them crap for hiring a "sorry excuse for a truck driver". I ignored those comments and stick to myself for the most part. I'm friendly to the drivers I see, but I keep it to small talk just asking how they're doing or where they're headed for the day. Most drivers will initiate the conversation and i have plenty that have offered advice on a store or backhaul im going to if I haven't been there before, and many have offered their phone numbers if I have questions or having trouble staying awake. Anytime a conversation turns to constant complaining I leave the room. The job isnt perfect but to me it's close enough to overlook the negatives.

In reality any time you're dealing with the same group of people day in and day out there will always be toxic personalities. The key is to not allow it to pull you in. Certain people always need to feel like they're king S*** and the way they do that is picking on others that aren't as good at what they do. There have been days our senior guys (been with the company 30+ years) start complaining about the job. They tend to forget a long time ago they used to 2 wheel an entire 53' load across the floor and now use pallet jacks. I just laugh it off, and say it cant be that bad if you've spent 30+ years here. I finish it off saying if they dont like it...... Quit. I'm sure I come across as a jerk but I'm not going to allow them to drag my mood down. Probably 95% of our loads leave between midnight and 2am. When I started I had several guys tell me they're on their 3rd, or 4th marriage and if you love your wife quit. I told them if you've gone through that many failed marriages maybe the problem is YOU. At the end of the day as long as I do my job safely and get everything I needed to accomplished I dont worry about what other drivers say or do. Management isnt going to fire or discipline you without doing due diligence and these guys bringing false claims about you just make themselves look like idiots. Especially with the time and money FedEx has invested in you, dont worry about it. If you confront those running their mouths you give them the satisfaction they're seeking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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