Loaner Truck And DM Issues

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G-Town's Comment
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JV

Drew Oswalt's Comment
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G-Town points out:

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We are collectively trying to help you focus on what matters

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I have been following this conversation since there beginning. Drew, I'm not sure if you haven't cleared your mind enough to do what G-Twin suggests.

All through this tread you have been explaining things. I believe this is the wrong tack. I started with Swift about a year less than my "Joined Us" date. As a rookie, I felt I wasn't getting the miles I was entitled to. I even ended up with one or two involuntary 34 hour breaks sitting at truck stops. Once I complained in a Trucking Truth forum post. But you know, I just kept driving. If I was late, I let my DM know, and it was never because I overslept or such. If I didn't have a preplan, a message went out with my ETA and a short "What's next?"

It did take a while, but eventually I enjoyed "go-to" driver status. I got all the miles that would fit. What matters in your career, Drew? Yes, try to figure out the "what happened" part, but only to understand what you can do better next time.

Thanks Errol. I stopped stressing over miles a couple weeks ago. I did make a post last week when I was stuck in Lubbock just to get a consensus of everyone else's experience. But, I've accepted I'll get what I get and then nicely ask for more when I'm done with the previous load. When I send my macro 10 in, it always read along the lines if:

"Done with my load. I'm ready for the next one please."

Usually get a response pretty quickly one way or another. I'm not on the bottom of their priority list or don't get a response because "they're tired of dealing with me".

Always polite. Never complain to dispatch. I just couldn't keep a level head here because people just assumed I am a constant whiner to the office staff, hate my company and can't complete loads properly. Unfortunately this thread turned into me having to be defensive of my true behavior and attitude in general. Some of you made assumptions about me, I did the same back. I just made complaints here thinking it was a safe place. But the assumptions of my behavior just doesn't help.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Drew, I feel your frustration.

What i have learned is that every company, terminal and even DM/FM does things differently. Yes, even at Prime we have micromanaging FMs... one I call "XXX the Micromanager", and even other FMs have told me he does the same to them on his vacation and they cover him. I arrange my shop time just as Turtle does, but another FM does not let his drivers do this. When it was suggested that you get to know your DM , it is not just "know the person" it is "know how he operates".

Putting everything in the QC is not just about getting results NOW, it is about documenting the stuff that happens so that you have evidence to back up the issues when and if you do need to change DMs. It is cover your @$$ stuff. If the bosses see that you asked everyday for loads and were available, they cannot possibly blame you for low productivity.

Every FM I know has different rules of his/her own. It is possible the "20 mile parking" rule is actually about keeping fuels costs down. Perhaps he got in trouble for fuel costs and he is trying to limit it. The others on your fleet may not like his rules when they hear other fleets do not do it that way. He may also be new, and he may be making mistakes...just as you admitted you have made. We all expect them to forgive our mistakes, yet we have problems forgiving theirs.

If you noticed on another thread, MANY drivers are sitting and waiting for loads. Luckily, I have not experienced this with Prime, but I would be upset too. However, I would be expecting layover pay.. and i wouldn't need to request it either.

My suggestion is to really have a conversation with your DM and ask how HE wants you to handle things. Ask him "when I need service, what do you want me to do? How can i make life easier for both of us?" explain you really want preplans to conserve fuel and save HOS.

If I heard rumors of other drivers getting stuck with the loaner situation you described, i would be asking "how can we prevent this from happening to me, im scared".

You stated you dont trust him, but you want him to trust you. Its a two way thing.... and you need to work on the communication to build the relationship... whether with this guy or another later.

good luck.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Drew, you might want to go back through your Qualcomm messages and see if there is a load waiting for you. If your responses to others here reflects on your comprehension abilities, you misinterpreted a message about a new load as saying something entirely different.

And you all assumed I complain and whine to all the DMs, planners and dispatchers. I don't do that.

Doubtful if your behavior in this thread is any indication. You have been complaining and whining throughout.

The trucking veterans here have been more than gracious in trying to help you. After the first few posts in this thread you strike me as a concern troll wasting everyone's 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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.
Drew Oswalt's Comment
member avatar

Drew, I feel your frustration.

What i have learned is that every company, terminal and even DM/FM does things differently. Yes, even at Prime we have micromanaging FMs... one I call "XXX the Micromanager", and even other FMs have told me he does the same to them on his vacation and they cover him. I arrange my shop time just as Turtle does, but another FM does not let his drivers do this. When it was suggested that you get to know your DM , it is not just "know the person" it is "know how he operates".

Putting everything in the QC is not just about getting results NOW, it is about documenting the stuff that happens so that you have evidence to back up the issues when and if you do need to change DMs. It is cover your @$$ stuff. If the bosses see that you asked everyday for loads and were available, they cannot possibly blame you for low productivity.

Every FM I know has different rules of his/her own. It is possible the "20 mile parking" rule is actually about keeping fuels costs down. Perhaps he got in trouble for fuel costs and he is trying to limit it. The others on your fleet may not like his rules when they hear other fleets do not do it that way. He may also be new, and he may be making mistakes...just as you admitted you have made. We all expect them to forgive our mistakes, yet we have problems forgiving theirs.

If you noticed on another thread, MANY drivers are sitting and waiting for loads. Luckily, I have not experienced this with Prime, but I would be upset too. However, I would be expecting layover pay.. and i wouldn't need to request it either.

My suggestion is to really have a conversation with your DM and ask how HE wants you to handle things. Ask him "when I need service, what do you want me to do? How can i make life easier for both of us?" explain you really want preplans to conserve fuel and save HOS.

If I heard rumors of other drivers getting stuck with the loaner situation you described, i would be asking "how can we prevent this from happening to me, im scared".

You stated you dont trust him, but you want him to trust you. Its a two way thing.... and you need to work on the communication to build the relationship... whether with this guy or another later.

good luck.

Thanks Kearsey.

I actually expected you to tear me a new one if you added to this post. Thanks for not doing so.

I have talked to him at the office a couple times and went over expectations. I told him I can run for 8-10 weeks at a time. I don't need to go home every month. I will to commit to Swift for at least 18 months and wouldn't mind sticking with them for the rest of my driving career. I know people jump ship quickly. A couple left as soon as the got their CDL. And I know people have been with Swift for over 15-20 years.

I did ask him and other DMs, what I need to do in regards to getting the truck serviced. They all said don't worry. But no one followed through. Even though I brought it up 5 times. This is where the frustration really set in.

Any way. I appreciate your advice. I dunno if this post will make it.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

People jump ship and head to "better companies" only to be disappointed. They find things the first company did better than the present company, and never see the good in the current.

When you start at a company, you only know the procedures they have. I have a friend who left Prime and went elsewhere. He mistakenly assumed he could wash the truck, trailer and washout... the way Prime would. Company denied it!!! $110 out of his pocket. After a series of drastically different policies, he came back to Prime.

When you get truly settled, you will love Swift and think the policies of other companies are crazy. Schneider doesnt allow 8/2 splits.... would.kill me. My friend at Marten has a FM who doesnt allow the trucks to drive nights, would kill me.

As for Maintenance.... is there a Road Assist department? Or ask the Safety Dept how to go about it in the future.

If safety put you down... maybe next time message the DM "my PM is due. Last time safety put me out of service. Should I be contacting them to schedule the appointment since i perhaps did it wrong last time?" That might "push him".

Keep in mind, someone in the Safety Dept is probably reeming out the DM or operations manager. 1.) the truck was "unsafe" and had to be put out of service. 2.) A driver was prevented from making money with it. Not good from a logistics stand point.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.
Drew Oswalt's Comment
member avatar

People jump ship and head to "better companies" only to be disappointed. They find things the first company did better than the present company, and never see the good in the current.

When you start at a company, you only know the procedures they have. I have a friend who left Prime and went elsewhere. He mistakenly assumed he could wash the truck, trailer and washout... the way Prime would. Company denied it!!! $110 out of his pocket. After a series of drastically different policies, he came back to Prime.

When you get truly settled, you will love Swift and think the policies of other companies are crazy. Schneider doesnt allow 8/2 splits.... would.kill me. My friend at Marten has a FM who doesnt allow the trucks to drive nights, would kill me.

As for Maintenance.... is there a Road Assist department? Or ask the Safety Dept how to go about it in the future.

If safety put you down... maybe next time message the DM "my PM is due. Last time safety put me out of service. Should I be contacting them to schedule the appointment since i perhaps did it wrong last time?" That might "push him".

Keep in mind, someone in the Safety Dept is probably reaming out the DM or operations manager. 1.) the truck was "unsafe" and had to be put out of service. 2.) A driver was prevented from making money with it. Not good from a logistics stand point.

I won't be jumping ship. Thought never crossed my mind. Grass is almost never greener. I already like Swift. All the jokes and bad-mouthing aside, they are generally a good company and want you to be a safe driver and succeed. It helps their bottom line obviously.

Thank you for your help.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar
I did ask him and other DMs, what I need to do in regards to getting the truck serviced. They all said don't worry. But no one followed through. Even though I brought it up 5 times. This is where the frustration really set in.

Here is me on my “high-horse”...Again.

See the above comment...why are you dwelling on this? Whatever you tried, it did not work.

My point is to be proactive and figure out how to get your truck serviced in the future with minimal delays. Use this as a lesson, to adjust your approach. Third time I’ve made this suggestion...

And the “high-horse” comment was totally disrespectful, unacceptable and uncalled for.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Drew I have been following along but kept my big mouth shut. You are brand new. There will be days that frustrate you, I have them time to time, we all do. It’s not about not getting frustrated, it’s all about how you handle it.

Right now your expectations are high, and your DM’s isn’t. That is the way it goes. No DM has high expectations for new drivers.

You have come into this industry at a slower time. Just the way it is. You, me, and everyone else see’s the things that directly effect us. We don’t see all the other stuff going on, like your DM see’s everyday.

We all forget stuff at times. That is life. Try and be a little more understanding in your approach. Can serve you well. If after all else fails ask for a different DM. Maybe he isn’t the best, but maybe he can be. I have fired a DM before but not before spending 5 months trying my best to make it work. Don’t be too quick to judge. Sometimes personalities just don’t click. You have too have a thick skin to survive in this business.

I don’t know you but reading along I see some things. You appear to be intelligent and you assess things quickly. That is good and bad. I am getting a feeling you are also impatient and a bit stubborn. I get it. Learn to go with the flow to a certain extent. Things will get better both for your situation of being new, as well as freight picking up. Be patient. Patience is truly a virtue and will be tested in various aspects, sometimes daily.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

A while ago, Drew lists some office people:

We have DMs/DLs, planners, ECTs (dunno what that stands for) and dispatchers.

ECT is short for Extended Care Team, Swift's title for the after-hours staff. These people keep the company running overnight, on holidays and weekends.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.
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