My Diary About Joining JS Helwig

Topic 31576 | Page 1

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BK's Comment
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I’m sitting here at the Madison,WI airport waiting for my flight to Texas for orientation starting tomorrow. The company called me yesterday and today to make sure everything was on schedule. My plane ticket was here and their driver called me to confirm that he will be there to pick me up at the airport and take me to the Marriot Hotel, which I’m told is very close to the Helwig terminal at Terrell.

Excited to get started on this new adventure. The only ride I could arrange to get me here dropped me off at 1:30 and the flight leaves at 5:21. It’s a long wait but I know it will be worth it. When I get a truck, I’ll be routed back up to WI so I can pick up my stuff for the truck. I should be back next Saturday if all goes well. Hopefully I don’t hit any snags with the company physical. Last week I got a cortisone shot in each knee so there is less pain now and it should help with agility testing, etc. That and my Ibuprofen should get me through.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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Rustybone Rambler's Comment
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Wile E.'s Comment
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Congratulations! Hope all goes well!

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Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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How's Texas so far, BK?

Awaiting info!!

~ Anne ~

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BK's Comment
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How's Texas so far, BK?

Awaiting info!!

~ Anne ~

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It was cold and windy in the Dallas area today. I thought I’d left that behind in Wisconsin. But most of the day was spent inside in their training center and getting the company physical. I passed the physical easily which reset my med card to another year. That was very good news. Then the company took all 7 of us to a very popular nearby eatery for lunch. Suffice it to say, there is a reason it’s so popular. Then we took a tour of their driver friendly facilities. They have invested a lot in driver amenities. That was very impressive in itself. Did some paperwork in the classroom, but the highlight of the day was in the afternoon. The company COO came in and talked to us for almost 2 hours with plenty of Q&A time. This man was incredibly informative and entertaining. I learned things about the trucking business that I always wondered about but never knew for sure. He didn’t sugar coat anything as far as I could tell. I was very impressed by how honest and candid he was. He emphasized that his office door is always open to any driver, but you may not hear exactly what you might want to. All in all, a very positive experience. Of course one day is a small piece of the puzzle but so far I like what I see and hear.

Driving test tomorrow and instruction on operating a reefer . Should be fun.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

BK's Comment
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Several things I learned today:

Appointment time is extremely critical.

Get “ahead” of the load, schedule wise. Better to hurry and wait than to be late.

Get the required temperature determined before leaving the shipper. If there is any discrepancy between the BOL and the shipper , contact your fleet manager before leaving the shipper. Document everything, leave a paper trail.

A ruined load could cost the company about 6 figures in damages.

Success is a team effort between the driver and the company. As it should be.

Not all top executives wear suits and toes.

To all you experienced reefer drivers: helpful advice?

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
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It's not just the temperature you have to worry about, it's also whether it's run on continuous or the start/stop cycle.

Laura

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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How's Texas so far, BK?

Awaiting info!!

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

double-quotes-end.png

It was cold and windy in the Dallas area today. I thought I’d left that behind in Wisconsin. But most of the day was spent inside in their training center and getting the company physical. I passed the physical easily which reset my med card to another year. That was very good news. Then the company took all 7 of us to a very popular nearby eatery for lunch. Suffice it to say, there is a reason it’s so popular. Then we took a tour of their driver friendly facilities. They have invested a lot in driver amenities. That was very impressive in itself. Did some paperwork in the classroom, but the highlight of the day was in the afternoon. The company COO came in and talked to us for almost 2 hours with plenty of Q&A time. This man was incredibly informative and entertaining. I learned things about the trucking business that I always wondered about but never knew for sure. He didn’t sugar coat anything as far as I could tell. I was very impressed by how honest and candid he was. He emphasized that his office door is always open to any driver, but you may not hear exactly what you might want to. All in all, a very positive experience. Of course one day is a small piece of the puzzle but so far I like what I see and hear.

Driving test tomorrow and instruction on operating a reefer . Should be fun.

Best wishes tomorrow, BK! Congrats on the 1 year Fed/Med; great news~!!!

No advice on reefers; Ms. Laura shared some, though.

I'll keep you in thoughts & prayers for your driving test, man. You GOT this. You OWN this.

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps: The crappy weather blew into Ohio, too.. Wisconsin sent it SCATTERING, haha!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

BK's Comment
member avatar

It's not just the temperature you have to worry about, it's also whether it's run on continuous or the start/stop cycle.

Laura

Thank you Laura, I’ll keep that in mind.

This company prefers Thermo King refrigeration equipment. I’ve heard Carrier also has units. Any opinions on what is best?

A random thought about my ongoing experience. Something that stood out to me is that this company doesn’t just claim to offer the long miles per week. They tell drivers upfront that they expect them to drive about 2800 miles per week, minimum. That tells me that they have a system in place to make that happen. This highly appeals to me. Time will tell, but I have a good feeling about this. Average trip mileage is over 1000 miles.

Another thing that caught my interest is that all the tractors are painted the same color. There is a logical reason for this. I found out that they have a large inventory of replacement body parts. (Truck parts, not driver parts, lol). So if there is damage, they can quickly replace the part and the driver doesn’t need to switch trucks. If I needed a replacement hood or cab extender, it gets done right away. Having gone through the unpleasant experience of switching trucks because of breakdowns, I really like this idea.

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