Some Lessons Learned And Experiences Gained...

Topic 284 | Page 1

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Mthrsupior aka Julia Bals's Comment
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Hello again, it's been a long time since I've been able to drop in and update you all. sorry.gif

I want to say that I am doing really well, enjoying every minute in my truck, and extremely grateful for all of you. So Thank you Smart GuyJax, Momma Star, Old-School Newbie, Spunky Red, and a special thanks to all the second service contributors, whether military like Army Dave, and Ranger Dan, or police like Prime time Steve. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you for your service to our country and thank you for your contributions to this site as well.thank-you-2.gif But I owe a very special thank you to our Benevolent Brett. Thank you for this wonderful site, the increadible resources, and the invaluable insight that you give us all. But most of all, thank you for your honest, straight forward, opinions, and for telling us what we need to hear, even when it's not what we want to hear. It is because of this site that I have developed the attitude necessary to stay positive, and polite, which has proven to be immensley beneficial.

So with that said, I have a couple examples to share with you:

I go to a shipper , and am detained, causing me to have to shut down early and deliver the load later than expected, no problem with dispatch, cleared with customer service, but it causes me to be a day later to my next pick up then scheduled. So I go to the new shipper and there is a driver from my company who is apparently in the same situation ahead of me. He gets to the window and the receptionist says "this appt was for yesterday, you're late, we'll have to work you into the schedule" Driver says: "I'm not late! I was just given this dispatch" Receptionist says: "well, I'm sorry, but I can't change the appt time, so we'll have to work you into the schedule. They'll get to you as soon as they can" Driver says "They won't get to me! I won't be waiting for anyone, I'm not late!" Receptionist: "I'm sorry sir, you'll have to call your company, there's nothing I can do" Driver says "We'll see!" and storms off all ****y. So I walk up to the window and the receptionist says "So, are you going to yell at me too?" I say: "No Ma'am! I know it's not your fault, I'll be glad to get my load whenever I can. Just tell me where to go, and I'll be there" Receptionist looks up at me and says: "Thank You!". So I get backed into my dock and low and behold, it only took them about an hour to get to me, so I was able to get loaded, get down the road to a truck stop, and shut down for the night. The thing is, that other driver missed out on a very good run, just because he had a ****y attitude.

Next, I have a friend that went to school with me that actually got fired and now can't find work. Why? because she had a terrible attitude, and unreasonable expectations, and thought that the company was taking advantage of her and "out to get her". I had tried to tell her about this site, and what to expect, but she didn't get it. So after she gets fired, I asked her why, and of course she says "none of it was my fault" that the dispatcher didn't like her, and that she wouldn't answer her questions, and left her broken down on the side of the road without a bunk heater for "4 hours". She then tells me that she has yet to have a load that delivered on time without having to be relayed or rescheduled, or whatever... So after talking to her for awhile, I finally figured out that she was having problems with the route plans that she was given, that she didn't have a truck GPS, and was afraid to use her phone GPS, because it might lead her on a truck restricted road. So she was trying to only use the company directions, and getting lost, or stuck in tight situations because of "their" horrible directions. Totally not her fault, right??? Then she tells me that her truck bunk heater went out so she would spend hours trying to get into a hotel for the night, and finally would just go to a hotel and call them afterwards. She then said that she had been left on the side of the road for hours, and no one would get back to her, and that her dispatcher would call her on the phone while she was driving, and on and on she went, with none of it anything that she did wrong! Really? wtf-2.gif

I felt bad for her, but really, this was the same dispatcher I had for my training, and she was wonderful to me. When I was transferred from her to my solo dispatcher, she gave me a glowing recommendation! This is the same company, we graduated from the same class at the company school, and we had the same training dispatcher, but my friend would constantly get lost, try to find a way out herself, and just stop on the side of the road and wait for an answer to her questions, waste a ton of hours, and never managed to deliver a single load on time. Then here I am, with all the wonderful support of all of you, and I hit the ground running. I don't complain, I run as hard as I can, I keep in constant contact with my dispatcher, keeping her updated on what I'm doing and why, and asking her for her opinion on the best course of action, when necessary, but I get the job done. I'm still a little slow! It just seems to take me longer to do things, and I tend to drive a little slow still. I have made some mistakes, but I explain, and ask for help, and my FM loves me.

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I loved reading that!!! That was a fantastic update and I hope to God everyone is listening closely to everything you're saying. dancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gif

See, my biggest challenge here with mentoring people into the industry is getting them to stop obsessing about "finding a company that will treat them well" and helping them understand that it's you that will determine whether or not you're happy and successful in trucking, not the company you work for. And because pretty much anyone on Earth can learn to drive a truck with enough practice, the most important factors in your career become attitude, work ethic, and professionalism. That is what will get you on the good side of dispatch, and that's what will get you on the good side of the people you have to deal with day in and day out. If you can stay on people's good side by being a safe, reliable driver with a fantastic attitude you're going to get great miles, fair treatment, and be a whole lot happier than the knuckleheads who can't seem to figure this out.

The comparison between you and your friend is priceless. It's the same thing I've watched happen for 20 years now. Some people come in with an awesome attitude and they're ready to show the world what they can do. Unfortunately, most people come in with a rather lousy work ethic, the wrong expectations, and a cynical attitude toward their company, and nothing ever goes well for them. And naturally, the one thing those people always have in common is that in their mind they never do anything wrong. Everything that goes wrong is always someone else's fault and they're always the victim.

For everyone that's getting their trucking career underway, please do yourself a favor and understand that the most important thing in determining your happiness and success out there is you. I don't care about the name on the side of the truck, all trucking companies make money the same way - hauling as much freight as possible, safely, and on time.

If you're the type of driver that can get along with people, keep those wheels turning safely, and keep the customers happy, you'll be one of the drivers your company will value. You'll get good miles, you'll get fair treatment, and you'll be happy at pretty much any company in the nation. If you take the opposite approach and expect your company to prove themselves to you before you'll put out the effort and have a great attitude, you're better off finding a different career because you're going to be miserable in trucking.

I've always known that a lot of people tend to dismiss my "attitude is everything" speeches because quite frankly most people don't understand just how much they're in control of their own destiny. They believe they're at the mercy of outside forces more than anything else so they obsess about things like finding a good company instead of focusing on becoming an awesome driver with an awesome attitude.

Thanks a ton for sharing that with us!!!! Your story should be a huge inspiration for people. It shows that two people who went through the same schooling, worked at the same company, and even shared the same dispatcher at times have had two completely opposite experiences. Your attitude and work ethic has you out there making money and enjoying your new career, while your friend is likely at TheTruckersReport bashing your company and placing blame on everyone else while she figures out how to collect unemployment and find "a good company" or a new career which we know wasn't her problem all along.

Trucking is a great career for those who are willing to face challenges head on, work hard, make smart decisions, and show the world what they're capable of. And if you can do all of that with a smile and a friendly disposition, you're really going to stand out above the rest.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G MAN's Comment
member avatar

AMEN!!

Tami P.'s Comment
member avatar
So I walk up to the window and the receptionist says "So, are you going to yell at me too?" I say: "No Ma'am! I know it's not your fault, I'll be glad to get my load whenever I can. Just tell me where to go, and I'll be there" Receptionist looks up at me and says: "Thank You!".

Thanks for sharing your experience. And i really appreciate how you handled that situation. The way you talk and behave with your companion or whoever you have to work for or work with, represents how responsible and mature you're in relation with your profession. I really liked it. Thanks for sharing anyway.

Mthrsupior aka Julia Bals's Comment
member avatar

Tami,

You are very welcome. I wanted to share that story with you all because, as I was standing behind this driver, listening to him gripe, I thought to myself, this is exactly what Brett was talking about. Sometimes things happen in trucking, and it's not anyone's fault, but if you handle it with a great attitude, people will want to do what they can to help you. I just kept thinking how grateful I was to Brett, and this site, because I probably would have been one of the ones complaining and blaming everyone else if I hadn't been prepared by everyone here.

I have always heard "you catch more flys with honey" and believed in the principal, but it wasn't till I got to this site, and read some of the experiences of all of you that it really clicked, and so I went into my schooling and training with that attitude, and now, I'm seeing the results unfold in front of me, and I have to share it with you all. It trully has been a life changing experience for me, and a true blessing! Because of my new attitude, I am happier than I've been probably my whole life, I love my job, and I look forward to each new day, I work hard, and am tired at the end of the day, but I feel good about what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it.thank-you-2.gif and good-luck.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Julia, it's great to hear from you! We're so glad to see how you're developing into a "professional driver". I don't really know why, but I get a kick out of it every time I hear you say "I love trucking" - it's refreshing to see a new driver jumping in wholeheartedly and really enjoying what they do. Keep up the great job, and don't forget to pop in every now and then. We really do enjoy getting to hear how things are going for you.

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