Journey With Wilson Logistics - Springfield, MO

Topic 29314 | Page 11

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Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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...and when it’s my turn to drive for 11 hours, nothing has ever presented itself I’ve been unable to handle.

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Oh no. You better knock on a lot of wood to offset those prophetic words.

It's nice to read that you are learning. Keep practicing your backing. Go to a sporting goods store and buy a set of soccer cones. They're red and stand about 10" tall. When you have downtime, see if you can set up adocking cone pattern and practice. The cones nest and don't take much space.

Good looking out, David .. and welcome to Trucking Truth! >>> Start a thread; tell us a bit about you; join in the fray!<<<<

Eugene; to this DAY, the other half still carries SOCCER CONES (as well as triangles.) Does he use'em for emergencies, or for set ups? I'll never know, never ask. They sure do 'nest' nicely. Can't hurt to have'em!

~ Anne ~

*still eagerly following, my favorite perfectionist, on TT ~!!!! *

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

James R.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, you are right, the internet is full of nonsense and I must be guilty of soaking up some of it. It wasn't my intention to disparage any of the companies I listed so much as to say that many larger companies get horrible reviews from other drivers. Obviously, I have no firsthand knowledge of these companies and must go by what I read and am certainly not attempting to pawn off “drivel”. With that said, it is safe to say that not all companies are created equal.

And as far as me realizing that the trucking industry is performance based and that I get out of it what I put into it, yes, I do realize that. I am not scared of hard work. Also, in terms of life style, I believe that personality wise I am ideally suited for it. And as for hanging in there with you guys, I’ve been hanging around here for 3 years and that isn’t changing.

And Eugene, I had already considered that as I know that truck drivers receive bonuses from their companies for driver referrals. So no need to feel bad about making that request of me even though it does violate the forum rules.

Eugene K.'s Comment
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Just checking in, still alive!

I spent a week on home time at my parents’ beach condo, and got to play with my 14-month-old nephew every day. Both spoiled me rotten.

At this point in my training, there really isn’t much to update. We are at about 21,000 miles out of my 30,000 and pretty much in a comfortable routine. Most of our sleep is when the other is driving—which sucks for both of us—but every 2nd or 3rd night we usually catch some down time, either arriving at a receiver early or in a gap between loads. This allows us to catch up on stationary rest.

At this point I do pretty much everything at shippers and receivers myself. Drop and hooks I love because most yards are pull-throughs, offsets, or straight backs. Live loads I still have my struggles with, but I’m very slowly getting better. My D seat trainer told me her backing was so terrible that she never even backed without help until she got to her solo week 😂 so that makes me feel a lot better.

Right now we are at a Love’s in Kentucky on the way up to Michigan, then routing down to west palm beach. If we are lucky we can get stuck with a 34 hour reset there, because I am officially over winter lol. Then our plan is to get dispatched out west to California again, and, if possible, stay out there on relatively short loads west of the Rockies. I know lots of drivers prefer the plains states, Midwest, and east coast, but I’m not one of them.

Scenery is more important to me than $$$, to be honest. I made this career change for the lifestyle, adventure, unpredictability, challenge to my independent thinking skills, and the ability to take home time to visit friends and family all across the country. The money I will be able to save from not having any rent, mortgage, car, or insurance payments will be close to $20,000 annually, so even if I’m only a medium-tier earner instead of a top-tier earner, I’m perfectly okay with that. I’ll be able to bank and invest those savings and still retire early :)

Till next time!

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
James R.'s Comment
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Eugene, good to see you back. Can you send me your company referral info?

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Can you send me your company referral info?

Once again, we don't do referrals on here, James R.

Got it?

If you want to drive for Wison, or Swift, or Malone, or any company....submit an application.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

James R.'s Comment
member avatar

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Can you send me your company referral info?

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Once again, we don't do referrals on here, James R.

Got it?

If you want to drive for Wison, or Swift, or Malone, or any company....submit an application.

Understood. I thought it would be ok since I asked for it. I am obviously wrong and apologize for it.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Eugene, Tonight has been my first time on TT. I have been on another site researching and preparing for a career change into trucking. I just passed my permit tests today and officially have my CLP. I am in contact with Wilson Logistics and working with my recruiter to head out to Springfield, MO sometime in early May. I have to go through a sleep study and possibly get a Cpap machine before starting, hence the delay. Your journey (and writing skills) has been such a pleasure to follow. Thank you for sharing with the forum! Can't wait to become a fellow WL driver!

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone, and welcome Nathan! It’s been a while, so time for an update. We are down to the wire—just under 2,000 miles to go of my 30,000 before B seat phase (team driving) comes to an end. My fleet manager is planning to route me back into Springfield to start my solo week either at the end of this week or early next week.

My backing has considerably improved in a short time, but it’s still hit or miss. Some days I will one-shot fairly difficult maneuvers, and other days I will completely screw up really easy ones with tons of room. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason or pattern, either. It all just comes down to experience and slow improvement over time. PROGRESS IS NOT LINEAR. At the end of the day, no one awards “style points” for backing. All that matters is that you get it in there without hitting anything!

We have been running at a breakneck pace! In only 12 days, we have gone from Virginia to New York to Charlotte to Atlanta to Michigan to Miami to Denver to Cheyenne to Virginia and now up to New York again. Yes, you read that correctly! We have experienced quite a bit in that time, the most exciting of which was shutting down in Nebraska with an empty trailer in 25 mph sustained wind (we were dead-heading 400 miles to the pickup). Seeing your trailer sway from lane to lane behind you is never a reassuring sight.

One particular story I have to bring up and ask WHY shippers do this:

On Sunday we arrive an .... “unnamed” shipper in northeastern Saline County, Nebraska, for what should be a fairly easy drop and hook. There was some initial confusion about checking in at the plant vs the DC, but nothing out of the ordinary. Everything seems to be going just fine until I pick up the bills from the shipping clerk and notice that our gross is ..... 46500. Red flag right there. Right as I read it, the shipping clerk even takes pains to mention it to me, albeit casually. Our instruction is to cross the street to the plant, use their scales, get four tickets, and call back if we are in the clear to leave. It should be fairly obvious, however, that we were far from clear to leave—we were ridiculously overweight on the entire load ... almost 83,000 pounds!

So of course, we bring the scale tickets back to the shipping clerk, wait an hour to get a clear dock, and then sit for three hours getting reworked. Then we have to go scale it again, to make sure we are good to go. All told we spent six hours at the shipper, essentially doing their job for them and then waiting for them to correct their mistake. Now, to be clear, I’m not complaining about the delay. Delays are par for the course in this business, and I’ve sat through way worse than this (the longest was ten hours!), and I was prepared for them long before my training even started, thanks to truckingtruth.com.

What grinds my gears is this: they KNEW the load was overweight, more than 24 hours before we arrived, and had their proof printed right on the BOL. Yet they chose not to fix it themselves and needed the carrier to weigh it on their scales, on their property, printing tickets on their paper, before they would do anything to change it. My trainer tells me that experiences like this are fairly common, because shippers will often overload a trailer hoping that a lazy or tired driver will just leave without bothering to fix it. However, driving for Wilson, I’m only assuming the shipper should know we hold ourselves to a high standard and would never cut corners like this.

Pardon me, but isn’t this the “logistics” industry? I’m not quite sure what is logistical about needlessly delaying a load for almost an entire day, simply because they were too lazy to take two pallets off. AND THEY HAD IT ALL ON PAPER BEFORE WE GOT THERE!

The former manager in me is still amazed at the level of sheer incompetence displayed, and not only do I wonder how so many people in this industry keep their jobs, but one has to wonder how many costs are needlessly passed on to the consumer because of sheer laziness like this. All in all, the experience was more amusing than frustrating. We were well rested and had plenty of time on the load. It just boggles my mind that this is par for the course!

Enough out of me for now. Until next time!

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Guess what, Eugene? My backing is just as described after five years: sometimes easy; other occasions laughable.

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

I had a similar issue once. The BOL had it about 41 or 42k, and the closest scales confirmed tgat we were 800 lbs overweight. We came back, they removed a pallet or too, it took about 3 hours. I really liked their first question: Are you sure there is no ice or snow on the top of your trailer? :-)

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