Divisions

Topic 29353 | Page 1

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Joseph L.'s Comment
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So I did a little looking trying to get a idea on what division I should be looking at. Most the posts I saw where years old.

I was originally thinking Tanker, as it pays the most. But post say prime is mainly food grade for tankers, and suggested that a novice drivers should not start there.

They makes me wonder about refrigerated and flatbed trucks. what are turnaround times, pros vs cons? Ext. Basically hoping to get some general knowledge. That will either help me choose or ask more specific questions.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Too bad this question wasn't asked a month from now. I hope to be driving a tanker by then.

I've asked my Fleet Manager to get the process started. She told me I would be taking a big pay cut. Which is true bc I am currently training and being a trainer pays a lot more (for me anyway) than i made driving solo reefer. Im guessing she doesn't want to lose a trainer from her fleet. She has been curiously silent in response to a follow up message I sent her. Quick to respond to other messages though. Hmmm....

Anyway, I looked at some old posts on here too. If you search "prime tanker" there are some threads with good info on there from Icecold24k.

I have close to 3 years experience overall. I dont know if I would have been comfortable starting out pulling tankers. I tend to follow the advice of the more knowledgeable people here at Truckingtruth. They have not steered me wrong yet.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

I forgot to mention:

I spoke with a man at Prime named, Brett, who heads the tanker division. He told me there were regional routes as well as OTR positions available to tanker drivers. Nothing more specific than that.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

PJ's Comment
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Tankers are not something recommended for new drivers. There are many differences to pulling them vs other types of freight that doesn’t move around.

Prime’s tanker division is strictly food grade. I don’t work for them but I’ve run across them some. Tanker freight generally payers a higher rate per mile than box freight. If your paid by the mile it really doesn’t matter, only if your paid percentage of the linehaul.

If your a brand new driver start out pulling a box or flatbed, learn your driving part well and how to be very smooth. Tankers are not going anywhere.

As far as turn around time every division has their own situations with that. Box van freight tends to have extended wait times loading/unloading but less empty miles than others.

Flatbed usually load/unload quicker but then you have securing and tarping time. Depending on the load that can take some time.

Tankers sometimes can have alot of empty miles and washout times depending where you are.

These are just general things.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
RealDiehl's Comment
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If your a brand new driver start out pulling a box or flatbed, learn your driving part well and how to be very smooth. Tankers are not going anywhere.

As far as turn around time every division has their own situations with that. Box van freight tends to have extended wait times loading/unloading but less empty miles than others.

Obviously that's good advice, PJ. Also, yes... waiting to get loaded/unloaded can be a lengthy process.

One of the great things about Prime though is that we get paid for those empty miles😲😊🤫 A three hundred mile deadhead to go pick up a load is ALWAYS welcome. Plus, it helps your fuel bonus!

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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I was originally thinking Tanker, as it pays the most.

Joseph, don't fool yourself by equating highest CPM (cents per mile) with what pays the most. There is just no way to make that comparison. I understand how it seems to make sense, but it's just not the way it works. In trucking you get paid for how much you can accomplish. This job is actually very competitive. The folks making the most money in trucking are the most competitive. That just means they have figured out how to be the most productive drivers in their fleet. Those guys get the best loads, the best treatment, and often receive perks that other drivers simply don't get.

In trucking you create your own value. It doesn't come from what type trailer you are pulling. You may look at CPM rates and wonder why people would choose to pull dry-van freight, but I can assure you there are some dry-van drivers out here who are making considerably more than some tanker drivers. You simply cannot equate CPM with overall income from a trucking job. It's a false extrapolation.

I had a dispatcher who told me that one out of five of his drivers did a really good job. Those drivers were his prize possessions, and he would do just about anything for them. He managed about fifteen drivers. That means he had three drivers that understood how their productivity was what produced good revenues for the company and good pay in their paychecks. Imagine that. One Out Of Five Drivers Does A Great Job.

The key to making the most money in trucking has nothing to do with what type trailer you are pulling. It has everything to do with how well you pull it. I think tanker driving is not the best way to start. It adds a lot more things to the already steep learning curve. Pick a large company with several divisions. That way you can start as a dry-van driver, learn how to be efficient and then you can switch to another division if you still feel the need for a challenge. Trust me your rookie year will be challenging enough just trying to adjust to life on the road and dealing with all the problems that truck drivers come across. Don't try to add more difficulties into the mix. Get yourself established, build a solid relationship with your dispatcher, and then you can start trying out some more challenging stuff.

Don't chase after what you now think are the highest paying jobs. You really have no way of knowing how to produce at a level that is meaningful yet. That's why you think it has to do with certain types of freight. There are plenty of really productive dry=van drivers out here who earn more than average tanker drivers. Brett tried almost every type freight available, yet he still learned that it was his levels of being productive that produced meaningful income. Find something you like and excel at it. That's how you make money in trucking.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Marcin M.'s Comment
member avatar

Great reading Old School. I was thinking to start with tankers but as you said there is enough problems waiting for beginners. Why jump into deep water if I don’t know how to swim? At this moment I am considering OTR with flat rate to start and learn trucking.

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.

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you. For the replys. I guess my only question would be what the difference to driving flatbed vs refrigerated

Old School's Comment
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I guess my only question would be what the difference to driving flatbed vs refrigerated

Refrigerated has it's own set of challenges just like every division does. I've never pulled a reefer , but I've known a bunch of refrigerated drivers. Reefer drivers need to be familiar with their cooling unit and make sure they are maintaining the proper temperature for each load. They also will need to get their trailer washed out after hauling meat products or any other product that might leave some form of blood or residue in the trailer. They have the potential to get some nice long runs hauling produce out of California up to the far Northeastern states where you can't easily grow stuff like that. They sometimes have long waits at distribution centers or cold storage plants. They also sometimes have weird hours. It all depends on what you like. Some drivers love driving at night. Refrigerated freight might sometimes have delivery appointments at two or three o'clock in the morning. Some folks love that kind of thing, while it drives others crazy. Your freight is pretty much no touch, but you may have to wait for "lumpers" to unload you. Folks just figure out how to manage their time and deal with the delays. It's all part of being a professional driver.

Flat bed requires the driver to be responsible for making sure his freight is secure. It is a fairly physical job at times, but it is only at loading or unloading time. You will have hours of pleasant driving interrupted by maybe an hour or two of tarping and un-tarping your load at shippers and receivers. You will learn to strap and chain down all kinds of freight including machinery and equipment, lumber, pipe, steel coils, and a thousand other types of "open deck" freight." Flat bed generally services customers in the building trades or manufacturing facilities. They go to all kinds of places including building construction sites, highway projects, mines, and even oil fields. Their customers are generally open Monday thru Friday so it's possible to get some nice long weekend runs on a Friday that will carry you through the weekend driving, or some flat bed drivers go home each weekend.

You can get an idea of the great variety of freight that flat bed drivers deal with and also the type of things you will be required to secure while pulling it down the highway by taking a look at this classic thread on Flat Bed Variety. You might as well pour yourself a cup of coffee before you click that link. It's going to take a while to digest what's in there.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar
Prime’s tanker division is strictly food grade

This isnt true anymore. Just before covid they had bought routes for oils for candles, soaps and detergents. Also pet food and more. Covid had an impact.. But i think that is back up and running

Reefer isnt so bad. People whine and cry. Push a button to turn it on..fuel it. Bam done. 😂

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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