Not Sure What The Next Step Is

Topic 27988 | Page 1

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Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

I’ve been solo for a few months now and am enjoying it. I like the challenge of maximizing the clock and pushing hard to churn the miles. I find peace in long hours on the open road. I love watching the seasons change as I’m rolling down the road. The challenges of long waits for loading or unloading are even getting easier to handle.

However, The thing that is killing me is that I’m getting extremely inconsistent miles. A couple weeks ago (early in the CoronApocalypse) I had a 3400 mile week and thought maybe I’d turned the corner. It felt great to finally get rolling. Last week however turned out very soft and this week I ended up with only 1700 miles. I’m getting a lot of short runs with way too much time on them. I try to deliver early, but it seems to be a 50/50 success rate.

As an example of the loads I’m getting, I’m delivering the load I’m on tomorrow (Sunday) at 6:00 am. I pick up my next load 126 miles away with a 10:00 am appointment on Monday. That load delivers 02:00 on Tuesday 327 miles away. So, I’m scheduled for 2 full days on a 453 mile run. I can make that entire run tomorrow and still have time left which is what I’ll attempt to do, but it’ll depend on getting lucky at the shipper and receiver

I’ve had a few conversations with my FM (over the last few months) asking what I need to do to get better miles and she tells me I’m doing all the right things. I’m on time or early for all of my appointments, haven’t caused any damage, communicate well etc. I’ve tried hard to establish rapport with my FM. I’ve don’t complain about the crazy loads or long wait times etc. She is new in her role and I wonder if she just isn’t aggressive enough to keep her drivers rolling.

She tells me freight is just slow and I get that in the middle of this global crisis, but, I’ve been averaging 22-2300 miles per week for the 3 months I’ve been solo. I’ll get a good week surrounded by two rough weeks. Im barely making enough to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table. I know I should be grateful that I’m not one of the millions of unemployed and I am grateful for what I have. I just do t know if freight is actually light now, or, if it’s just a continuation of the low miles I was getting before the world went crazy. I’m not seeing a lot of posts here with folks slowing down, so I wonder if its something I’m missing.

So, with all that background. What do I do now?

Do I just suck it up because things Really are slow now and will hopefully pick up in the back 1/2 of the year?

Do I Work my way up the food chain and reach out to my FM’s boss?

Should I ask for a different FM? Or different fleet? I pull refer now thinking that would be consistent and it pays a bit more CPM. But the CPM doesn’t help me if I’m not getting miles.

I hope that doesn’t come off as too selfish with all the other things going on in the world. Like I said, the lack of Or inconsistent miles for me goes back to way before the crisis. I just don’t know if it’s the crisis or me right now.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Freight is light according to my load planner. Like you, I'm getting good miles and then long running times on a short trip. This load I deliver in the morning at 0800 in Denver, I picked up on Friday at noon....only because the broker was getting antsy that I wasn't there at 0800 (appt was FCFS 0800-1500). It was only 589 miles. The receiver does NOT allow check in more than 1 hr before appt time....so no hope of an early delivery. I'm sitting at the receivers now.

My next trip (got cancelled) was 215 mi DH to pick up on Monday that went to Pasco WA...1125 mi or two 560 mi days. I had the hours and could have been in Pasco Weds morning. Instead, I was to deliver Thurs at 1400. Since it was seed potatoes (planters), it might be able to be delivered early. But that load was cancelled and I'm repowering a load in Santa Fe, NM going to Ontario, CA. Will get all the particulars tomorrow.

As for talking to your DM's boss, personally I don't do those kind of things as I've had it bite me in the butt! I would wait til the States open up and people go back to work. Many States are talking 1 May. I'd give it a week or so and you'll see if your work increases steadily.

Laura

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd keep talking to your DM about it while staying professional. I've always assumed reefer was constant because people are always eating. I'd try not reaching out to their boss quite yet. You don't want to make it look like you don't trust your DM. I understand the frustration with inconsistent miles and paychecks especially when you're trying to support your family but this is unfortunately part of proving yourself to your DM. I'm not able to elaborate more as I haven't done OTR so I dont have first hand experience with that. Hopefully others chime in with how they've handled similar situations.

It doesnt have anything to do with this, more so just curiosity, but you came from a management background in retail if I remember correctly. Was it a type of business that you would still be working with everything shutdown or would you be sitting at home like most americans right now?

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Banks's Comment
member avatar
I've always assumed reefer was constant because people are always eating.

Generally, they are but with all this going on they're eating less. Restaurants are closed and so are schools. Farmers and meat plants here are shutting down because they're losing money staying in business. Then there's the people that bought a years worth of food in a month.

Things are really weird right now.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Things are just nuts right now. My dispatchers are going nuts with load planning right now. Loads are booking, then cancelling or pushing out daily from what they are telling me. She asked me to please be patient for the time being.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Generally, they are but with all this going on they're eating less.

I don't know how that can be true. I'm hearing reports from quarantined folks that are gaining weight. People are procuring their food from different places, but not necessarily eating less. Grocery store sales have increased. That's not just from hoarding, because a lot of people have no extra money to hoard goods.

People aren't eating out like they were, but that's just because the opportunities are really limited. There really is just a sudden change in primary sources for food. That disrupts all the supply chains, which affects various facets of food transportation. Truck services delivering to restaurants are basically really slow now. Grocery store distribution systems are on the uptick.

Farmers and meat plants here are shutting down because they're losing money staying in business.

The reason for certain farms and food production plants shutting down is simply that they had their sales and transportation systems aligned with the restaurant food supply chain. Their production methods, packaging sizes, and their distribution lanes are non effective now. They've got to re-vamp everything to get their product moving. That's the issue with food delivery right now.

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Generally, they are but with all this going on they're eating less.

double-quotes-end.png

I don't know how that can be true. I'm hearing reports from quarantined folks that are gaining weight. People are procuring their food from different places, but not necessarily eating less. Grocery store sales have increased. That's not just from hoarding, because a lot of people have no extra money to hoard goods.

People aren't eating out like they were, but that's just because the opportunities are really limited. There really is just a sudden change in primary sources for food. That disrupts all the supply chains, which affects various facets of food transportation. Truck services delivering to restaurants are basically really slow now. Grocery store distribution systems are on the uptick.

double-quotes-start.png

Farmers and meat plants here are shutting down because they're losing money staying in business.

double-quotes-end.png

The reason for certain farms and food production plants shutting down is simply that they had their sales and transportation systems aligned with the restaurant food supply chain. Their production methods, packaging sizes, and their distribution lanes are non effective now. They've got to re-vamp everything to get their product moving. That's the issue with food delivery right now.

Read another article just today of a pork plant shutting down. They process 19,000 pigs a day. That is now gone. Plan that out up and down the supply chain to figure out the damage.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Ok, sounds like most reply’s so far indicate there really is a slowdown and maybe I should ride it out.

Rob T, you’re correct on the background. My last company was a home decor store so they’re all closed now and I’d be sitting at home. The sad part of that is that I’d make significantly more on unemployment than I’m making on a week like last week. That’s a pretty tough pill to swallow.

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

Three months isn’t a very long time in the grand scheme of things. My fm had a board with a hundred drivers, a couple dozen of whom had had perfect records for years, if not decades. Takes a while to stand out in a group like that, but it will happen with time. It was about a year before I noticed I was being treated better, load-wise.

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.
Brandon Kitts's Comment
member avatar

Freight has slowed down for all fleets at Roehl. Last week they had 150 drivers without a load. I've been fortunate as my FM has a load waiting on me before I deliver the current one. I'm on hometime until tomorrow morning and she sent me a load Friday evening. A lot of our customers that have been open up to now are closing for a few weeks. A big customer for those of us on curtainside is Masonite Doors in Marshfield and they went on strike.

The good thing about curtainside is that I can haul our designated loads and most flatbed loads.

Just keep your head up it will get better.

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.
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