Fed-up With The Trucking Industry

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Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

To the guy that keeps saying, "you should know how to use a load bar without having ever been taught. It's not rocket science," Here:

2 Sound_Event /chime 80 Sound_Event /open 90 Sound_Event open 240 Sound_Event /close 250 Sound_Event /announcement 260 Sound_Event announcement 360 Sound_Event /alarm 528 Sound_Event closea 536 Sound_Event /closea

I want you to tell me what that is, what it means and how you're supposed to use it. You should be able to find out without me telling you. It's not rocket science. By your logic, next time the power goes out, I should just climb on the power utility poles myself because I should know how to safely work on power utility lines without ever being trained on them. It's not rocket science. So go on. Tell me what it means and how to use it.

I can tell you exactly what it means. It means I was 100% correct, you are a complete and utter failure. You can't even post that link correctly so we can't even see what it is. Who does responsibility for that lie? Surely it's not your fault you cannot post a link, just be the creator of this website since you can post them on other sites, must be Brett's fault (sorry Brett) for not holding your hand and walking you through the process. Oh and again, load locks, load bars and load straps are so simple a 5 yr old could figure them out in 2 minutes, and could also figure out how to slide tandems with the help of the internet. Probably wouldn't have hit a building and not reported it either but whatever dude, your the innocent victim in everything you do. You keep that attitude and you'll be a failure at everything you ever do in life. It's scary to think you can vote and breed.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

It's been quite some time since I posted here, but I'll chime in.

I drove for Werner for about a year. Started with the Dollar Tree account (HUGE mistake). After I quit that account, I then went OTR (home weekly) for almost a year and loved it. After that ended, sadly, I took the Dollar General account because it would let me be home weekly (that's important to me). Another big mistake, and after a couple of months, I got back to the DC and told them I was turning in my keys. Haven't driven a truck since (it's been about 2 years). I absolutely agree with some posters/admins here - do NOT do a dollar account as your first trucking job, and in fact, a few people here will echo this sentiment - unless you're young (under, say, 35) and built like a linebacker, don't do a dollar account at all. I once had to unload an entire 53-foot trailer, all 40,000 pounds, by myself in an 8-hour stretch (and I was behind, they wanted it done in 6 hours). I'm in my 50's, and after I was done with that job, I slept for 12 hours at the nearest truck stop and quit that account as soon as I got back to the DC. If I ever considered going back on the road again, I'd only do OTR. Give me drop and hook every time.

I'm not sure where you went to CDL school, but I took mine in Philadelphia, PA. A rough city to drive in, even without driving a big rig. We had plenty of opportunities to practice backing. Sounds to me like you had some lousy instructors.

~

Jim~!!

Good LORD i remember your plight!! Started that dang account mid 50's Family Dollar / Dollar General / Dollar tree... something like that? ... YEAH, the o/p should read YOUR POSTS FROM THE PAST!!

Nice to see you back up in here; you never DID post pix, as promised, haha!!

~ Anne ~

ps: FAB hires in PA !! My 'old guy' 's comfy zone... great company good money, happy happy!! 100% NO TOUCH.. Dunno how y'all even did it.

KUDOS, ALWAYS... to PAPA PIG~!!

Again: Dollar store unloads, Papa Pig ~

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

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.

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.

Don's Comment
member avatar

This is the dumbest, most childish response yet. I don't remember my parents teaching me to wipe my b***, but I figured it out. Your little sound wave equation is irrelevant. It equates 0% to figuring out how to use a simple load bar, and only makes you look stupid for trying to do so. Do "dumb, ignorant Redneck" drivers have higher IQ 's and analytical skills than you? Since they figured out how to use one; yet, you could not, I guess we know the answer. It is not a Rubic's Cube, FGS! Driving a truck takes some thinking and analytical skills, but the job responsibilities are pretty simple. Tearing equipment up, then not reporting it is no one else's fault but yours. That will get a driver fired pretty quick. The rolling loaders may be an exception, because it is difficult to do your job with bad equipment, but, 90% of everything you have complained about was your fault. I wonder how the other Driver's who attended class with you are doing? Still in the industry? Still behind the wheel. Performing well? If so, they had the same training and instructors as you did. Interesting question.

To the guy that keeps saying, "you should know how to use a load bar without having ever been taught. It's not rocket science," Here:

2 Sound_Event /chime 80 Sound_Event /open 90 Sound_Event open 240 Sound_Event /close 250 Sound_Event /announcement 260 Sound_Event announcement 360 Sound_Event /alarm 528 Sound_Event closea 536 Sound_Event /closea

I want you to tell me what that is, what it means and how you're supposed to use it. You should be able to find out without me telling you. It's not rocket science. By your logic, next time the power goes out, I should just climb on the power utility poles myself because I should know how to safely work on power utility lines without ever being trained on them. It's not rocket science. So go on. Tell me what it means and how to use it.

Gabe M.'s Comment
member avatar

Gotcha Mikey. As the thread continued my early thread empathy started to subside a bit. Especially with regard to the car note. To one of your points, as well as one of the thread subjects, (tandems) I'd been wondering about just what those were, trying to pick up in context, etc. As luck would have it, a employee arrived whom had done a couple of years OTR , and she was able to answer a few of my trucking equipment specific questions, as well as share some humorous stories from her experiences on the road. I am glad I stuck with that thread, because of the information on dedicated routes/runs for the Dollar Tree, General, and other dollar stores. Highly likely, if it came up, I would not have been thinking about a few of the possible pitfalls/bugaboos, which were brought to light. e.g. tight quarters backing with obstacles present and the like. There appears to be so much learning to become efficient/proficient, I'm sure that many times I'll feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose!

Take Care. Gabe

double-quotes-start.png

I have empathy for this young man, because I've been in similar situations when I was young, just trying to execute, and get the job done. The military refrain, many a time, was, often from a frustrated instructor: "Just wait until you get to your unit.... you'll learn how they want it done. I'm also sure, soon enough, I'll have some kind of situation involving tight quarters backing, that makes me sweat!

double-quotes-end.png

Gabe, I implore you, do not waste perfectly good empathy on him. You will find out, it is impossible for a trainer or trucking school or trucking company to teach you everything you need to know out here. There is nobody there to hold your hand and coddle you when you start this career. You are given the basics and are expected to be able to figure much of it out on your own, as we all have done and had to do. You will understand when you start what I mean and to be honest, like a previous commenter stated...it ain't rocket science. If you have even a quarter of a functional brain and a cell phone with internet you can figure it all out. At the very least, accept blame for what YOU f*#c up. He hit a building and failed to report it ffs. His third offense. Then blamed Werner for it. He even blamed Werner for his failure to pay his car payment on his dream car 2006 Altima. Where does the ignorance stop?

It really isn't that hard to figure out, trust me. Much of it you get just by seeing it done or looking at it for a second (like a load strap or bar. Even sliding the tandems. He sadly deserves every bit of criticism he has gotten. Well, even more than he has gotten but some of us, myself included have held back so as to not hurt his feelings.

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."

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

So far this conversation has gone pretty well. Thanks to everyone who contributed. We've had a new member who seems to have joined us just because of this conversation. Unfortunately we haven't been able to allow their comments because they fall right in line with Jonathan's misguided beliefs that there are trucking companies out here who just want to take advantage of new drivers. You cannot educate me or any successful driver on these matters. We have been out here working at the highest levels of success for years. We understand the business and we have navigated it successfully while watching others stumble and fail. We know how this all works.

There is this current train of thought that claims these trucking companies will purposely put a new driver like Jonathan on a difficult account knowing they will fail. They do this just to get some of the work done, knowing there are thousands of other applicants waiting in the wings who will be willing to give it a shot as soon as they fire the current driver. That is absolute nonsense from people who do not understand how important efficient professional drivers are to the trucking business. You cannot run a successful business without successful employees.

I have built many strong relationships in trucking. I'm not talking about with other drivers. I am talking about management and dispatchers. Everybody in the trucking offices loves and appreciates the drivers who are getting things accomplished with little or no problems. We call them Top Tier Drivers. They are the "go to guys." They are dependable, reliable, and highly sought after. Every trucking company has a core group of these type drivers. They are a solid group that keeps things running smoothly.

These same trucking companies spend a ton of resources trying to develop more of these type drivers. Jonathan's employer was hoping and working toward having Jonathan be a part of that upper echelon of drivers that they love and respect. His performance put him in a different category. We can sympathize with him losing his job, his income, and his car if we like. He certainly wanted us to know how bad his life had become. He blamed it on our industry which has treated us with great respect and honor. I've been earning a six figure income from the very industry that he claims he is fed up with because he lost everything. Those are two very disparate outcomes. Why is that?

Trucking has a lot of detractors. Trucking is not easy. Many folks don't survive it. That is not because it is a cruel industry that treats people badly. Most people who come into trucking come from jobs where they got paid by the hour just for being at work. It really didn't matter how well they performed. What mattered was how much time they spent on the clock. Trucking is measured completely differently. We have got to produce something of value, and we do that in a very challenging environment. It is extremely challenging for the new folks. Jonathan made enough mistakes to get fired in three months. That was hardly enough time for him to have learned anything about the trucking industry. That is why he misunderstands everything about why he didn't make it. This is a typical knee-jerk reaction to something that is beyond one's understanding. Jonathan messed up in every way he could. He has given us clues all along as he continued to try and impress on us how he was mistreated.

Success at trucking can be simplified in terms of goals and expectations for new drivers. Here is a list of things that every new driver should focus on for their rookie year.

  • Don’t hit anything. Playing bumper cars out here is a sure-fire way to remove yourself from this career.
  • Don’t be late. Professional drivers make sure they arrive on time. It is a hallmark quality that sets you above the crowd.
  • Conquer any bad attitudes that start taking root. When you encounter difficulties in trucking, learn to conquer them. Don’t let them become seeds of bitterness that grow and become a hindrance to your successful trucking career.
  • Stick with your first company for one full year. Don’t believe this foolishness that says certain companies are just for getting started at. Those very same companies have long lists of million miler drivers working for them. Staying one full year will help you tremendously. You can stay longer if you like, but make sure and give them one full year. It will do wonders for your career.
  • Strive to be a top tier driver. There’s nothing that will set you apart in this career like distinguishing yourself. It’s how this game is played. The best drivers get the best treatment.

It is not an easy task to make sure you accomplish all these things. It is important to our success though. I think anybody reading this will realize Jonathan's mistakes. We are expected to perform in a way that proves we are getting the hang of things. If we continue to do otherwise we will find ourselves being overlooked and replaced by someone who will prove to be on the path toward success. Trucking companies do not have some secret pleasure in destroying our lives. They are on the hunt for successful drivers. They cannot keep drivers who keep screwing things up. They cannot continue allowing someone to tear things up repeatedly.

Continued...

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately Jonathan was not a trucker for very long. As best I can tell he had about three months in his job. I give him props for trying, and I sympathize with him for the account he started with. It is tough. I wish he had started differently, and I wish he had done his homework beforehand. He could have had a lot easier time getting started had he insisted on taking an over the road gig. Whether he survived or not would still be up to him. He had a lot of issues other than just the account he was on. There is no way for us to know how his outcome would have been.

Three months barely gives you enough time to scratch the surface of this career. That is why it is hard for us to understand his sentiment when he says he is "fed up with the industry." He was a newbie with little experience or exposure to the industry. He has got to acknowledge that Werner was fed up with him. That's why they parted ways with him.

His experiences make us question many of his claims. I have been to several trucking orientations. We were always instructed in the ways of reporting accidents. We were always given paper work that we could refer back to in the event of an accident. We would never hit a customer's building without reporting it. We would never have any sort of accident without knowing it had to be reported. We would understand our responsibilities. We would face our consequences and acknowledge our personal responsibility.

Blaming hitting a building on our tandem location or the store personnel would never be a consideration. We know we were driving the truck. We understand that any time that truck hits something when we are at the wheel, it is because we drove it into that object. We would be kicking ourselves for not G.O.A.L.ing. We would absolutely realize we had made a terrible mistake of judgement. Trucking is that way. It requires discipline and judgement. It requires quick decisions to be made with caution. It requires a level of responsibility that demands caution and self discipline.

There is no room for being cavalier in a big truck. Once we allow our attitudes to become cavalier, our performance follows right along in that same path. It is a path to disappointment and frustration. We have to hold ourselves to a very high standard. That is what Werner did with Jonathan. They held him to a standard that he was not able to rise to. They expected him to be a professional. Trucking companies expect that from all of us. We must rise to the challenge if we are to stay in this profession.

Over The Road:

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.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

For those of you that may be new or considering a career. (Tandems) are the rear set of the tires on the trailer. They can be adjusted to slide forward or backward to adjust the weight distribution on your trailer. On most trailers they can be slid all the way to the rear of the truck but on trucks that have liftgates (a platform that allows the driver to offload his own freight without a loading dock) that are folded underneath the trailer , it is not possible. Either way it’s a lame excuse for hitting something. In most states you can’t roll down the highway with your tandems all the way to the back anyway. (Kingpin law)

Companies and trainers can teach you many things. Common sense is not one of these things. If you are a CAT4 and untrainable it is most likely you will be let go.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Banks's Comment
member avatar
Lehigh Valley, PA. Here, we have all kinds of intersections that are so narrow, the stop line is moved further back. Cars always ignore this line and drive all the way up to the corner. This means if a truck needed to make a turn onto that road, the car is too far up, so the driver will usually drive as far as they can, make the car back up, then continue making the turn.

My neck of the woods. I understand what he's saying and I was taught the same way. It's not an aggressive form of driving. The way it was explained to me is that car is in your space and they need to get out of your space.

The roads here aren't really designed for buttonhook turns. There's heavy oncoming traffic and you can't go into that lane.

There's a stop line where cars are supposed to stop. They don't always stop there and you can't obstruct traffic by not making your turn, you can't hit the car in the intersection and you don't have the space to go anywhere else. They have to backup or move over.

They said, "don't worry, we'll take care of it

This isn't uncommon and I've heard it plenty of times. For that reason, FedEx stresses this to employees. Do not pay any mind to this and report everything. I have heard of people getting fired for not reporting accidents because customers said don't worry about it. I tell everybody to report everything that happens. I've seen people destroy trucks and trailers due to low clearances. They report it, get retrained and move on.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

My neck of the woods. I understand what he's saying and I was taught the same way. It's not an aggressive form of driving. The way it was explained to me is that car is in your space and they need to get out of your space.

The roads here aren't really designed for buttonhook turns. There's heavy oncoming traffic and you can't go into that lane.

The key to the button hook is to stop, signal left, and wait until it's safe to make the turn. It's amazing how many cars will recognize what the truck is doing and courteously wait behind the truck in order to let the truck swing out into the second lane and execute the turn. Jonathan thinks this is a problem, but it's just another example of his lack of common sense.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I understand what a buttonhook is, Bruce. Swinging to the right isn't really possible on these roads and drivers here aren't that courteous. A lot of the roads are also single lanes of traffic going in opposite directions with cars parked on the right side. For a left turn it's easier to get around. On a right turn, if that car didn't stop behind the line they're going to have to move because I can't swing left without going into oncoming traffic and I can't sit here obstructing traffic because somebody is in the way. Usually, a tap of the air horn to get their attention will get them out of the way.

This is also an area flooded with tourists all year around. They're not familiar with the area and that makes things a little more interesting.

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