Plans Always Change In Trucking

Topic 29138 | Page 1

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Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Today I snagged what I thought would be short day to get done early and even told the wife we'd go out for lunch. Well, clearly that isnt going to happen.

Clocked in at 1am and waited until 230 for our warehouse to finish picking/loading my half trailer going to a store 5 miles away. Got back at 4am to grab a 290 mile round trip run to Albert Lea MN to be told they haven't even started picking it and have quite a few trucks before me. Thankfully that store is a very easy unload and I'll be out of there in about an hour but my after work plans aren't gonna work out. Due to Covid (virus and panic) running rampant in Iowa and Thanksgiving our warehouse has been struggling to stay caught up. We're shipping out at nearly the same volume as when all the lockdowns happened earlier in the year. We did receive a message last night saying the warehouse may be behind tonight due to a big night but we've received that same message all week and loads still got done an hour early. The brightside is I'm being paid the same rate to sit as I would if I was moving, 10% bonus on all hours worked this week and next, and I guess the last one is that I'll probably try to take a nap. The biggest downside is likely having to cancel plans, or maybe just take the family out to dinner instead. Typically I don't make plans ahead of time but I did this time and it backfired. I'm just thankful to have a good paying job when many aren't as fortunate. It can always get worse. its 5am and I just looked. About half my truck is picked and the loading dock is packed with pallets waiting to be loaded on other trucks. I estimate it'll be atleast 730 before I'm out of here.

This isn't meant to come across as a complaint, its meant to show those who think a local job is the answer to all the inconveniences OTR has will still deal with some of the same, but also a whole new set of problems. That's just truckin'

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Rob you are so spot on. It always happens when you really don’t want it to, or so it seems to me. I have went to customers over and over where things went smooth as silk, then that one time you figured it would, it doesn’t. Just part of the job.

Dan F.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah sometimes it’s like that, this Thursday I took my APU in for a service that should’ve been two hours and a couple hundred dollars but turned into $1800 and losing an entire day which impacted the next load to the degree that revenue for the week dropped by 30%( on top of repair).

When it comes to the money in my business I micromanage everything and watch every dollar because I have goals.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Rob you are so spot on. It always happens when you really don’t want it to, or so it seems to me. I have went to customers over and over where things went smooth as silk, then that one time you figured it would, it doesn’t. Just part of the job.

I ended up sitting until 630 before I could hit the road. When I get in for paperwork some of our drivers were acting like this job is the worst due to it. Drama queens lol. Everything in life has pros and cons. To me needing to occasionally wait on loads due to such an increase in volume going out doesn't even come close to outweighing what I love about this job. I'm on pace to make more money this year than I ever thought possible without a college degree since that's what's engrained in our heads as kids.

Yeah sometimes it’s like that, this Thursday I took my APU in for a service that should’ve been two hours and a couple hundred dollars but turned into $1800 and losing an entire day which impacted the next load to the degree that revenue for the week dropped by 30%( on top of repair).

OUCH! I give you (and other O/O) credit I'd lose my mind dealing with the financial side of repairs whether it's the shop or losing out on revenue for the day/week. What caused the repair to be much more extensive than you expected? Didn't you just have the APU worked on not long ago?

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Dan F.'s Comment
member avatar

One of the big deals about APU’s is that you really need to get them serviced at dealerships that charge $140 an hour. So when all of the sudden my fuel intake tube in my fuel tank got clogged or broken they couldn’t fix it but it took them several hours to figure out the problem.

Labor is one of our bigger costs because they just sit there scratching their head and getting paid while doing it or sitting on their cell phones and you’re not allowed in the shops (especially dealerships) to ask why they are texting thier girlfriends instead of turning a wrench. In this particular case rather than use the same hole and replace the part that goes into the fuel tank they decided to drill a new hole and Off the old part.

If you find honest mechanics they are worth their weight in gold especially if you can leave your truck with them while you’re at home.

double-quotes-start.png

Rob you are so spot on. It always happens when you really don’t want it to, or so it seems to me. I have went to customers over and over where things went smooth as silk, then that one time you figured it would, it doesn’t. Just part of the job.

double-quotes-end.png

I ended up sitting until 630 before I could hit the road. When I get in for paperwork some of our drivers were acting like this job is the worst due to it. Drama queens lol. Everything in life has pros and cons. To me needing to occasionally wait on loads due to such an increase in volume going out doesn't even come close to outweighing what I love about this job. I'm on pace to make more money this year than I ever thought possible without a college degree since that's what's engrained in our heads as kids.

double-quotes-start.png

Yeah sometimes it’s like that, this Thursday I took my APU in for a service that should’ve been two hours and a couple hundred dollars but turned into $1800 and losing an entire day which impacted the next load to the degree that revenue for the week dropped by 30%( on top of repair).

double-quotes-end.png

OUCH! I give you (and other O/O) credit I'd lose my mind dealing with the financial side of repairs whether it's the shop or losing out on revenue for the day/week. What caused the repair to be much more extensive than you expected? Didn't you just have the APU worked on not long ago?

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Oh yes they are. I have one and I know I’m very blessed for that. He can do everything on this truck except the apu. Thermoking has us over a barrell for sure.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Today I snagged what I thought would be short day to get done early and even told the wife we'd go out for lunch. Well, clearly that isnt going to happen.

This isn't meant to come across as a complaint, its meant to show those who think a local job is the answer to all the inconveniences OTR has will still deal with some of the same, but also a whole new set of problems. That's just truckin'

Very true. When I was driving for a specialized grain hauler I sometimes spent more time in line at the receiver than I did driving the whole day. Sometimes it worked out and I made it home after 9 to 10 hours but I had a lot of 12+ hour days. BTW, agricultural trucking does not have to pay overtime. I had 60+ hour weeks with no 1.5x for the extra 20 hours. If it rained too hard, I didn't drive or get paid. If my tractor was in the shop there was no spare - I didn't get paid. Home weekends? Not during harvest buddy. You make $10 per hour sitting and $20 per for driving. You sat a lot.

It was nice to be home daily but you have to remember that every silver lining has a touch of grey.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Had another interesting day. Last night we had plans so I took a route that started late (for me) to be out the gate by 0300 so I could get a little sleep. About 6pm I received a message that due such high volume going out (20% increase from last year) they were projecting loads to be 4 to 6 hours late and call before coming in to check the status. My first thought was great, now I won't see the family tomorrow. Woke up at 0200 and was told they were finishing picking it so I got dressed and got in about 0300. Load was ready at 0359, heck yeah I'll be home for dinner! The day went great getting my 2 stores off then I went to my backhaul to be told it is now 1100 and my appt was 0800 so itll be a while as I'm a work-in due to the route starting 3 hours later than normal. The route typically leaves around midnight or 0100 but due to how many loads they bumped many loads back a few hours. Ended up leaving the backhaul after 3 hours knowing i wouldn't be seeing the kids tonight as they'd be in bed. This load was 3rd party direct deliver to another business on my way back. Sat there nearly 2 hours to be unloaded. I made it back with 2 minutes left on my 16 hour clock (using my 16 hr rule) and 13 minutes left on my 70. We're currently taking advantage of the HOS Exemption due to Covid but this load didn't qualify due to it not being our product, and the exemption covers emergency restocking of shelves or grocery distribution, or our return trip to the DC empty among other things. Store shelves aren't as barren as March but still bad enough we're using the exemption again after 2 months following normal HOS rules. Although my 70 shows its depleted but a majority of my days don't count against my 70 due to the exemption but my employer has us still using our ELD and just making a note on there about the exemption.

Long story short I left the house at 0215 and didn't get home until 19 hours later at 2100 (9pm). Grabbed dinner on the way home, kids were already in bed, jumped in the shower and find my wife already asleep. I was going to work extra tomorrow but they didnt have any routes that could be bumped back late enough for me so I'll be off tomorrow.

Downsides are not seeing the family today and being out literally all day and the long day prevented me from working extra tomorrow.

Brightside is I have a steady job and ended up making $560 today.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Hey Rob T!! Does your company break up your straight time and OT into separate checks so you don’t get killed with taxes??

One of my former employers used to do that for us to help us out for working mad OT. I remember the last 3 weeks prior to the Phillies stadium opening I cleared around $2000 a week by them splitting regular, time 1/2, and Double time over 3 checks

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

No. My employer offers 3 different pay options. I'm able to do my normal hourly wage which I believe is around $23.50 and OT after 40. The other hourly option is a flat 30 per hour for all hours (except holidays, hours worked are paid at time and a half) because I'm scheduled to work sundays. We also have a mile/stop option but the routes available when I bid would have me making less on that. The guys that are on mile/stop tend to do small stores so they're taking off only a couple pallets and are there for only 20 minutes. Stop pay goes up with tenure but mile pay stays the same. Current rate for me is 50 CPM and $32.23 per stop. In nearly 2 years there has been only a couple times I'd make more like that. If I took the OT option 66 hours is around the break even point for the flat rate. On the $30 flat rate I should hit about $101k this year including bonuses.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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