Trapped In California

Topic 26840 | Page 3

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Old School's Comment
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Guys, there's nothing more frustrating than repeat mechanical issues. I get it, but you've got to realize these big trucking companies are sometimes looked upon as "cash cows" to outside mechanic shops. I've been aware of several scams that were perpetrated against Knight by their own vendors. That's why your company wants to look at your truck again.

One of the biggest ways you make sure you're making money in a commodities business is to have strict cost controls in place. Operating ratios are critical in the trucking business. It's often the difference that causes one trucking company to fail while another is able to grow and prosper. In house maintenance is one way to keep out of control costs at bay.

I completely understand the frustration of sitting idle, and feeling like you're getting the run around, but try to think of it as though you were the owner/operator of the truck. I've seen those guys changing out a starter or a water pump on the side of the road. That's because they don't want to waste money on an unneccessary towing expense. There are layers of management up above us drivers who are charged with the responsibility of keeping costs to a minimum. They're merely doing their job. If anybody were to tell me my fifth wheel needed to be rebuilt, I'd say B.S. That's a really rare necessity.

Rob mentioned this...

Thats quite surprising that your shops aren't 24 hours.

There's more to this than meets the eye. You'll find that some companies like Prime have fewer terminals than other large trucking companies. Prime puts a lot of money into their terminals to enhance their driver's experience. One feature is a 24 hour shop, but Springfield may be a long ways from where you are. There are about twenty six full service terminals at Knight. I'm always fairly close to one. There's very little cost efficient reason for them to have that many repair shops open 24 hours.

There's always a tight rope balancing act between keeping costs at a minimum and keeping drivers and equipment utilized efficiently. It can be frustrating, but it's usually just part of the territory. I can say I've had really efficient experiences with maintenance and some that left a lot to be desired. Overall there's been some degree of balance.

It's trucking - it's got challenges.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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It all makes sense to me now, knowing which company it is. I have had too much frustration with the mechanics, too.

I feel your pain. Every driver is going to have a different experience, and a different opinion of their company maintenance practices. Some love it, while others have less favorable results. Try to stick it out if it will benefit you in the long term.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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