Going Great With Crete So Far

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Jamie, how many miles did you run in the past week that you ran out of hours on your 70? Did you hit 3,000 miles?

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Jamie, how many miles did you run in the past week that you ran out of hours on your 70? Did you hit 3,000 miles?

Not quite, I was around 2400-2500. But some of my hours was used up during the first 3 days of orientation. looking to hit 3k this week before Friday at midnight. I on average drive around 500 miles a day so far, not including this last load since I had to shutdown early and wait to the next day for my appointment time. Couldn't get it moved up.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Ok. You should always have 3,000+ miles per week if you're hitting your 70.

You said you had trouble making money OTR with your last company so I want to throw some thoughts your way.

You've only been with this company for a couple of weeks and you've already turned down more loads than I did in 15 years. Instead of turning them down you could let dispatch know that you may not have the hours to make the delivery as scheduled but you can take the load as far as your hours will allow. Let them know the hours you have available and how far you can take the load while keeping it on schedule. They may repower the load somewhere later on. That will keep you moving instead of sitting around going broke and waiting for the next opportunity.

You said you couldn't get this appointment moved up. That happens sometimes, but make sure you try everything possible to make it happen. When I was picking up a load and I knew I could deliver early I was calling the consignee while I was still sitting at the shipper's dock. I didn't wait until I got closer, I did it immediately. The sooner you can contact them, the better your chances. I used to call and say, "Hi, I'm with [carrier name]. We have a driver coming in there tomorrow afternoon but it's really important that we get this appointment moved up to 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning because we have a load coming out of [make up the name of a town] that this driver has to pick up at 11:00 or we will be heavily fined by the shipper. He's the only driver we have in the area. Would it be a problem if we bring tomorrow's load in a little bit early? We'll be in a mess if we can't. I would really appreciate it."

Notice I didn't say I was the driver. I didn't say I wasn't the driver, either. The way I worded it implied I was in the office, not behind the wheel. You'll have way better luck if they think you're in the office, not behind the wheel.

I've also been known to type a message into the Qualcomm and show it to the guard shack if they weren't cooperative. Say I wanted to grab an empty and they wouldn't let me. I'd have a message typed in saying, "Go to [company name] and grab an empty. Be quick about it. Your next load picks up at 1:00 pm in [pick a town name] and you can't be late or we will be fined heavily by the shipper."

I'm the one that typed the message, and I never sent it to anyone, but I told the guard shack it came from my company. What are the chances that the guard could figure that out? In my experience, zero chance. That guard may have to call the shipping office. Let him/her. Make sure you're close by to ensure he's convincing them and doesn't take no for an answer.

If you want to turn some big miles out there you have to get creative and push the boundaries a little bit. You have to be willing to wander into some gray areas to make things happen. You've been out there long enough now that you're ready to start pushing the limits a little bit and being more savvy about it. You have to be proactive and find a way to make things happen, not just sit back helpless and let things happen. That's the key to turning big miles.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Then you need to scan the paper logs in, and you must get the elog fixed asap. (theres a rule to how long but i forget

double-quotes-end.png

It may be different due to us reporting to terminal daily, but when we rolled out our ELOGS (Samsara using android tablets) our management told us they have about 20 extras because by law they only have 24 hours before DOT cracks down on them. That seems like a very short amount of time for an OTR driver to make it back to a terminal.

we are supposed to notify the logs department within 24 hours, so it is noted. But we have a few days to get to a terminal. They had me go from GA to MO... i just dont remember the actual number of days.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Ok. You should always have 3,000+ miles per week if you're hitting your 70.

You said you had trouble making money OTR with your last company so I want to throw some thoughts your way.

You've only been with this company for a couple of weeks and you've already turned down more loads than I did in 15 years. Instead of turning them down you could let dispatch know that you may not have the hours to make the delivery as scheduled but you can take the load as far as your hours will allow. Let them know the hours you have available and how far you can take the load while keeping it on schedule. They may repower the load somewhere later on. That will keep you moving instead of sitting around going broke and waiting for the next opportunity.

You said you couldn't get this appointment moved up. That happens sometimes, but make sure you try everything possible to make it happen. When I was picking up a load and I knew I could deliver early I was calling the consignee while I was still sitting at the shipper's dock. I didn't wait until I got closer, I did it immediately. The sooner you can contact them, the better your chances. I used to call and say, "Hi, I'm with [carrier name]. We have a driver coming in there tomorrow afternoon but it's really important that we get this appointment moved up to 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning because we have a load coming out of [make up the name of a town] that this driver has to pick up at 11:00 or we will be heavily fined by the shipper. He's the only driver we have in the area. Would it be a problem if we bring tomorrow's load in a little bit early? We'll be in a mess if we can't. I would really appreciate it."

Notice I didn't say I was the driver. I didn't say I wasn't the driver, either. The way I worded it implied I was in the office, not behind the wheel. You'll have way better luck if they think you're in the office, not behind the wheel.

I've also been known to type a message into the Qualcomm and show it to the guard shack if they weren't cooperative. Say I wanted to grab an empty and they wouldn't let me. I'd have a message typed in saying, "Go to [company name] and grab an empty. Be quick about it. Your next load picks up at 1:00 pm in [pick a town name] and you can't be late or we will be fined heavily by the shipper."

I'm the one that typed the message, and I never sent it to anyone, but I told the guard shack it came from my company. What are the chances that the guard could figure that out? In my experience, zero chance. That guard may have to call the shipping office. Let him/her. Make sure you're close by to ensure he's convincing them and doesn't take no for an answer.

If you want to turn some big miles out there you have to get creative and push the boundaries a little bit. You have to be willing to wander into some gray areas to make things happen. You've been out there long enough now that you're ready to start pushing the limits a little bit and being more savvy about it. You have to be proactive and find a way to make things happen, not just sit back helpless and let things happen. That's the key to turning big miles.

You have to know your companies system to adapt to it though. Prime's appointments go through emails and an electronic database. There is no way the customer would believe i was a carrier rep and not a driver. Prime would never call them, just like us using the QC, everything is documented in writing.

I have found many of our customers will be pleasant and move us up if i just tell them i am short on hours and need to get there earlier. Reefer is harder because most of our places are set in stone appointments, unlike dry van for example. say midnight to 0600 is dairy, 0600 to noon is meat. not much leeway there.

The elogs are burning up a lot more of our on duty time too, cause there is no more "creep around under 5mph" or "less than 5 miles away". We have PC, but many companies are requiring on duty yard moves or drive time at customers, so that 3000 miles on your 70 is getting trimmed down a bit.

some companies it is 2 mph and you are tripped onto drive line. again spending more time at customers in reefer is gonna burn up time vs others. we often get there, stage.. then move to a door.. then stage again and wait for paperwork.

then many dry van guys just drive in and say "im here" and boom! door and out lol.

i dont turn down loads though... maybe 5 in 4 years. i do as brett says.. run it then tell them where someone can meet me or give them an eta.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

You've only been with this company for a couple of weeks and you've already turned down more loads than I did in 15 years. Instead of turning them down you could let dispatch know that you may not have the hours to make the delivery as scheduled but you can take the load as far as your hours will allow. Let them know the hours you have available and how far you can take the load while keeping it on schedule. They may repower the load somewhere later on. That will keep you moving instead of sitting around going broke and waiting for the next opportunity.

I admit that the first load I turned down, I could have easily picked up and made it about 300 to 400 miles into the trip and probably had it repowered. I will keep that in mind for future loads, but the last one I posted about going up to NY, I simply didn't have the hours at all to even pick it up, since I arrived at the customer to get live unloaded with only an hour and a half left on my 70.

About getting appointments moved up, we have to go through Crete and depending on the customer they will ask customers service to contact them, they do not want drivers rescheduling appointment times. Ideally we should only call the customer to get directions which Crete provides step by step directions for 90% ot their customers.

Otherwise I would be calling customers as much as possible, but I wouldnt want to break company policy. not sure how much they enforce this policy but since I'm new I wouldnt want to risk it.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I'll say one thing I have noticed since the ELD upgrade: it will not switch over automatically to "Drive" if I have been in reverse. I tried this experiment somewhere safe, and I did a long back of at least a quarter mile a couple weeks ago while on "Off Duty". Over 5 mph, and it never tripped.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

... I did a long back of at least a quarter mile a couple weeks ago while on "Off Duty". Over 5 mph, and it never tripped.

THAT explains all the trucks backing off the highway into truck stops around the dinner hour!

shocked.png

(Just kidding peeps!)

PJ's Comment
member avatar

The biggest take away here is pretty clear. Learn the ropes at the company you are with. Understand the policies, then figure out how to work within acceptable parameters.

I call 100% of my customers. I always have a scheduled appt time, however if the customer decides they can and want to accept it sooner then they get it sooner. Some customers have big enough tanks to take the load sooner and some don’t. However, I always give them the option.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I wouldnt want to break company policy. not sure how much they enforce this policy but since I'm new I wouldnt want to risk it.

You're new to the company, so give it a short time. But that's exactly the stuff I'm talking about. All the statements you guys are making that start with "we can't" and "they say don't" or "it doesn't work that way here" - those are all things that stop most people from turning the miles the elite drivers turn. I used to break the rules from time to time just to see what I could get away with. That gave me a huge advantage. Other times I would just come up with creative solutions to problems most drivers would let others figure out, which also gave me a huge advantage. That's how I was able to turn more miles consistently than most drivers.

Anyone who performs at the highest level in a competitive environment will agree that you have to know how and when to break the rules sometimes. It's best to do things by the book when you're brand new to trucking, but after being out there for a while it's time to start getting a little more bold and creative. Once you've built more trust with your company they'll let you get away with things other drivers wouldn't get away with.

Maybe you've heard people say, "It's better to apologize than to ask permission" - I'm one of those people.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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