Anyone Nosy, Read Previous Drivers Outbox?

Topic 30254 | Page 1

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Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

So basically what I wrote, have you ever gotten a new to you (used) truck assigned and read some of the previous drivers messages if they didn't clear them? My new truck had 39,000 miles. I was sitting at a shipper for 6 hours yesterday and got bored. It's amazing some of the messages and expectations people have. Since theres no way for anyone to know who he was I'll share a little of his logic and reason for quitting. He had been asking for months to run nothing but southern runs. Nowhere else, just the south. He complained that Indiana was not south. Considering this company only runs the east half of the USA, I think that was an unreasonable, unrealistic expectation. He was not hired as a dedicated route driver. We dont do New York or above and very little Florida. He had been assigned a load when he decided to quit and asked if they really wanted him to pick it up since he was quitting. Now I would have picked it up and delivered it with them knowing it would be my last or better yet I'd have given 2 weeks notice. What are your thoughts or experiences with this kind of stuff? Do you feel he was right or wrong to expect that kind of special treatment? In all fairness he was probably a lease purchase driver but I'm not sure about that part.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I mean it doesn't hurt to ask, I've asked to avoid being sent to 1 terminal I hate if possible and they usually where pretty accommodating. However you shouldn't expect to be able to have them grant your every wish, freight has to move.

Also if you put a bunch of restrictions on where you will run, do not be surprised if your checks are small.

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

My perspective is a tad different. I love what I do. I certainly have loads or places I do not care for, however we all do some things we don’t like. As long as the check clears the bank I’ll do it if asked.

Here is one of those areas having a great relationship with your dispatcher comes in very handy. I usually get offered several and can pick the one I want. I automatically know if there isn’t a pick then it is all they have, and I gladly do it. I don’t sit much.

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.
Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

I’ve always had a just do it attitude. If your an employee on the payroll, you take what your given and get it done, PERIOD….

Even as a business owner I took jobs that I really wasn’t thrilled with but there was money to be made and it kept my guys busy. I’ve sent many guys home for crying about the work that was assigned to them. I’d rather be short a man then have to deal with someone complaining and dragging their feet all day

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Do you feel he was right or wrong to expect that kind of special treatment?

I agree with Bobcat Bob, it doesn't hurt to ask. "Ask" is the key word. Asking and demanding are wildly different things. Many people make demands without understanding how realistic those demands are.

Trucking is a dynamic environment. It's all about opportunity. Freight is constantly changing along with the weather, the cycles of holidays, the strength or weakness in the economy, and a million other factors.

Trucking companies must stay on their toes to keep up with fluctuations in freight. They must adapt quickly and go with the flow. If their drivers have restrictive demands regarding where and when they'll run, the type of freight they'll haul, how often they must be home, and things of that nature it prevents the company from taking advantage of the opportunities.

The other problem is the demands you're placing on the other drivers at your company. We'd all love a lifetime of gravy runs. Who wouldn't want to be in glorious weather, light traffic, and running full-out on flat ground so you can make that big money the easy way? Unfortunately, there is only so much of that to go around.

So if you give some drivers nothing but gravy runs, the rest of the drivers have to mop up the less desirable runs. That's obviously not fair to the others.

A new driver can benefit from a conversation or two with their dispatcher , a load planner, or an operations manager. They can help you understand where the company's freight lanes are, how much the freight fluctuates, and how they try to keep all the drivers as happy as possible. It's a tall order!

Top-tier drivers make big money because they understand how the trucking industry works and how their company works internally. They understand that there are fluctuations in freight. They know their company has some turnover with their customers. They know there are a ton of drivers making demands or coming up short in their performance (or both!).

They reward drivers who will run the less desirable freight and do favors for dispatch from time to time. You must develop a strong relationship with your dispatcher, get to know how your company operates internally, and make all of your appointments on time. If you're flexible and willing to do some of the dirty work, dispatch will make sure you turn great miles and they'll treat you well.

Trucking really is a team effort. Everyone must be willing to compromise and be flexible. Do whatever it takes to turn as many miles as possible safely and make all of your appointments on time.

Some drivers make demands, others make things happen. Which one do you think goes home at the end of the week with the bigger paycheck? If you were running the company, who would you reward?

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I delete all the messages off the ELD whenever I am assigned a truck, then again when I depart.

Asking for a change of scenery is fine as long as it's also realistic.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

I'll share my experience how never refusing a load has helped build my relationship with my FM.

I've had a lot of loads that I suspect were refused by several different drivers but I took them anyway. And I never said anything to my FM other than a casual remark about it took me awhile to secure and therefore affected my time.

I've even had a load as short as 123 miles but I never complained. My FM adds pay on those short loads.

As a result, when I came off my home time I got a load from Calipatria, California to Boston. 3,000 gravy miles. On my next home time my FM will swing me through St. Louis to pick up my son, get me to Salt Lake City for my home time in Moab, and then swing the back through St. Louis to drop off my son after home time.

After having some time pass, those nightmare loads don't seem that bad. In addition, I generally get a lot of good loads. So, in my personal experience, never refusing a load has paid dividends with my FM.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rob has it right...

I'll share my experience how never refusing a load has helped build my relationship with my FM.

I've had a lot of loads that I suspect were refused by several different drivers but I took them anyway. And I never said anything to my FM other than a casual remark about it took me awhile to secure and therefore affected my time.

I've even had a load as short as 123 miles but I never complained. My FM adds pay on those short loads.

As a result, when I came off my home time I got a load from Calipatria, California to Boston. 3,000 gravy miles. On my next home time my FM will swing me through St. Louis to pick up my son, get me to Salt Lake City for my home time in Moab, and then swing the back through St. Louis to drop off my son after home time.

After having some time pass, those nightmare loads don't seem that bad. In addition, I generally get a lot of good loads. So, in my personal experience, never refusing a load has paid dividends with my FM.

As in most every aspect of life; you gotta give a little, to get a little. Unless there is a safety reason, don’t refuse a load. Per Rob’s experience, over time it will work to your advantage.

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.
ChrisEMT's Comment
member avatar

I rarely "demanded" certain things. I would always "ask" if I could be assigned a few regular runs, such as my first and last loads of the week, which were usually longer runs with more stops. My FM/DM/Load Planner (same person) usually gave it to me, and then gave me other loads in between that were a little tougher/longer/more stops to give me more $$$ because he knew I could get it done. And because I talked to him about what my wants and needs were, he also worked with me when I called him and said that I needed to be "home" for an emergency and would take a load of his choice when I got back, or if early in the week, I would ask if he could get me home early Friday morning for something, and he worked it out....

I had talked to another driver from that account that had left, and found out that he made about $20k less than I did the last year that he was there, but he always wanted to be back at the DC every (or almost every) night and limited his delivery area radius, instead of challenging himself to maximize his clock and income. He also (I think) didn't talk with our boss to pre-plan his week...

It is always about talking with your boss and working with them instead of making demands... And my old boss (now retired and lives in NOLA) still keep in touch and are friends on social media... And when he switched account just before he retired, I would have followed him if I didn't have a family that I needed to be home every weekend for.

Dm:

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.
Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

I run everything I'm given. I don't complain at all to my dispatcher and he keeps me rolling. This summer has been great to me so far. I've been averaging 3300 miles a week since march on nom hometime weeks and I thinks it's because after 2.5 years of taking every load I get taken care of. Now I could be wrong I dont know. My dispatcher is similiar to me and we aren't very chatty and can be gruff and anti social so we havent had that discussion. Dont get me wrong I complain about runs I dont like alot to friends I talk to in the company but never to my dispatcher. I literally did a zero mile run this week. I picked up in black river falls and dropped at a terminal in Black river falls because my dispatcher asked me for a favor. I know he will hook me up later for that.

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.

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.
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