Choosing Between Two Local Companies

Topic 29919 | Page 1

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Andrey's Comment
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I had road tests at several local companies, and got offers. I narrowed it down to two companies, and I would appreciate any advice helping me to make a right choice. Company A has about 300 trucks and 7 terminals. All trucks are auto, 2018-2018, all repairs are done in-house. Work hours are M-F, 8am until done, usually 10-12 hrs, OT after 50, routs are 10-12 stops, pay is $26. Company B is much smaller, it has 8 trucks, 2015-2018, all 10 speed, they do paper logs, work hours are M-Th, 8-10am until done, usually 10-12 hrs, OT after 40, routs are 10-12 stops, pay is $23. Both companies are 20 minutes from my home. I liked the owner at the smaller company, it does look like a family business. I also like the chance to drive a manual truck. I am not so sure about their maintenance though...

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

KH's Comment
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Do either of them involve going into or south of Boston?

Old School's Comment
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Andrey, I have a few serious questions for you. Do you want to drive OTR some day? Forgive me if you already told us what you wanted to do, I lose track of things. Maybe local is what you wanted ultimately, and if it is then that is fine, I just can't remember what your goal was.

The other question is, "Have you considered what will happen to your new trucking career if you have an accident at one of these jobs?" It is imperative that you be extra careful. We have had several members here who ended up in a similar situation as yours. They chose to go local, had a minor accident, then got canned. They were then unable to find employment as a driver. I know what you have gone through, but I just want you to be prepared for the worst case scenario. It is a common problem. You have no OTR experience, and you are taking a local delivery type job. If they end up firing you, the other local companies will usually not take a look at you. Then you are stuck. You have no experience that counts to anyone, plus you have an accident on your record. That is the description of a trucking pariah. I hope you don't end up in that situation.

I know you felt wronged by Roehl, but I still would encourage you to seek out another company that will allow you to be OTR until you can establish some legitimate experience. I probably sound hard headed, but it is because I have witnessed so many folks in here who ruined their trucking careers with bad choices. They felt they were making good choices for their particular situation, but they just didn't understand the consequences.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I prefer larger companies, they usually have the money and resources to support their drivers.

I would question how a company with 8 trucks can afford to put someone with so little experience on their insurance.

Andrey's Comment
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Do either of them involve going into or south of Boston?

Both cover full Mass, so I assume that includes Boston :-(

Andrey's Comment
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Andrey, I have a few serious questions for you. Do you want to drive OTR some day?

I may have written somewhere, but don't remember. I never wanted to drive real OTR (>2 weeks), in fact, I decided to go with Roehl mostly because it was the only company that offered a regional (5 days) job straight after training. I fully agree with the concept of OTR as the best way to gain experience, it is just not my ideal lifestyle... I can imagine myself enjoying it some 25 years ago, but today I prefer to sleep every night at home and with my wife next to me. So I looked at being away from home for a while just as a necessary step of getting a local job, that was my initial goal.

The other question is, "Have you considered what will happen to your new trucking career if you have an accident at one of these jobs?" It is imperative that you be extra careful.

Accidents do happen, but my accident-free 30+ years of driving make me confident enough. Yes, driving a semi is different from a sedan, but still there is a lot in common, especially when it comes to actual driving, not backing into the dock which is a completely different skill.

I still would encourage you to seek out another company that will allow you to be OTR until you can establish some legitimate experience.

I would probably do that if I found a company ready to assign me a truck without going out with a trainer for a month again. I did it once, and do not want to do it again. I did make quite a few calls, nobody would do that. So the only option to keep driving was start looking for something local. I am aware of all the minuses, the biggest of which is probably my NE region with NY, Boston and other nasty places. Hopefully, my FM would allow me to stay for a while on some quite local roads before jumping into those big cities...

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.

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.
Bird-One's Comment
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When you say 10 to 12 stops. What do you mean exactly? What will you be hauling?

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar
I would probably do that if I found a company ready to assign me a truck without going out with a trainer for a month again. I did it once, and do not want to do it again

There are companies that have shorter and longer training periods. Im trying to verify from mine, But I have one week of training on campus here (Knight in phoenix) in sims and on the range simulating docks and real world situations (confirmed) and then two weeks on a truck with a trainer, more if desired. If the week program here isnt done, I believe its 3 weeks on the truck with a possible fourth. Thats for brand new students though, not sure if is applicable to those who already have training, but I believe it is.

In regards to time out, they are very clear about that, at least for dry van , in my region either 6 Out and 2 in (most of the time of course) or i can choose 8 out, 2 in. I can stay out longer if I choose to, and may well do that. Im not sure on the refer and flatbed side.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

When you say 10 to 12 stops. What do you mean exactly? What will you be hauling?

Anything, no hazmat though, since I don't have an endorsement yet. About 80% are businesses (furniture, hardware, construction, etc.), the rest is residential, I'll have to drop pallet on driveways with a jack.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

When you say 10 to 12 stops. What do you mean exactly? What will you be hauling?

double-quotes-end.png

Anything, no hazmat though, since I don't have an endorsement yet. About 80% are businesses (furniture, hardware, construction, etc.), the rest is residential, I'll have to drop pallet on driveways with a jack.

Haya, Andrey . . . and congrats!

Have you checked the safety record on either of these potential new employers? It may help in your decision. Here's the link:

https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx

Well actually, the address. I have NO idea why the 'link' function on here will NOT work with safer web. This is the second time I've tried, yielding me an error message from Trucking Truth; hmmm~! Just copy & paste, you know the drill.

~ Anne ~

ps: Brett, if you read this ... thoughts?

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.
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