My Diary About Joining JS Helwig

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Navypoppop's Comment
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Many years ago when I pulled reefers the company I worked for had Carrier units. I found back then that the Carrier units did really well for produce loads in the 35*-45* range but I preferred the TK units for frozen loads such as ice cream etc. when you had to be closer to 0*. Just my personal observations.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

BK's Comment
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Ok, second day orientation is done. Another great day. So far what I like is the relaxed atmosphere. They obviously want to allow enough time for drivers new to the company to absorb their system without making any one nervous or rushed. Plenty of time allowed to ask questions and they definitely understand the concept that no question is a dumb question. Our orientation teacher is super laid back and patient. He told us he loves his job, the company, and it shows.

So today we did our road and backing tests. Everybody passed, but one young man struggled with his backing. He took a long time, but didn’t hit anything, so he passed. He did a 90 degree back while everybody else did a 45 degree back. Why he chose a 90, I don’t know. I was worried about him because he is a great, good natured kid. But he passed and I was happy for him.

We were taken to a great Chinese buffet for lunch. Everybody are too much, including me. I know I’m gaining weight this week, but will lose it as soon as I get back to eating in the truck. (Continued)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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So far what I like is the relaxed atmosphere.

Does that mean the "Boss" hasn't insisted you pay back the dollar you owe him? smile.gif

BK's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

So far what I like is the relaxed atmosphere.

double-quotes-end.png

Does that mean the "Boss" hasn't insisted you pay back the dollar you owe him? smile.gif

Hehe, good point. The boss has been out of the office so far this week, but I’ve been told we will meet him on Thursday. That’s when I will settle my gambling debt. What a relief that will be.

BK's Comment
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Continuation: After lunch, about 4 people from recruiting showed up to give us these nifty care packages of misc. goodies, and to explain their driver referral policy. Now this blew my mind, even though I knew about it beforehand. If a company driver refers a new driver, there is a $10,000 referral bonus to be paid out like this: $5000 when the new driver pulls his/her first load and $1000 per month for the next 5 months. Wow.

The rest of the afternoon was spent answering tests about safety and Human Resources videos. Boring! Then we went to the operation center for a tour and met all the office personnel. The facility was very modern, clean, neat and well organized. However, it was obvious that if they continue to grow, they will need to add on more office space. (Continued)

BK's Comment
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Continuation:

This experience has been very positive so far. Helwig preaches family atmosphere and I really see it put into reality here. Like I say, so far. Driver facilities at the terminal are amazing. They have spent a lot of money on driver amenities.

There is only one negative. We have a guy in our orientation group who is one of the most obnoxious people I’ve ever encountered. I’ve been trying, but so far I can’t see one thing to like or respect about this man. I’m the oldest one in the group but he’s second at 64. He has a mouth with no controls. Alligator mouth and chicken brain. He looks like he’s 84 years old, slovenly, profane and makes sexually inappropriate comments constantly.

Now here’s the good part; This afternoon a woman from the safety department was in the classroom and heard his foolish banter. She dressed him down before the entire group and told him very bluntly that his speech was unprofessional and would reflect badly on the company. She warned him that if he didn’t clean up his act he would be sent home. I wanted to stand up and cheer.

Lesson learned : Be professional not only in your driving but in your conduct because you represent your company and the company writes your paychecks.

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Sounds good Bruce suck it all up like a sponge, sure you will do fine with them. hehehe I was in a suburb of Houston, oh geeze it rained for 100s of miles drizzles to full head on blinding rain lol....

Headed to Vegas, Paper rolls, hope weathers better lol

Congrats on your new job again Bruce, ya got this bud

BK's Comment
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Thanks, Stevo. I’m excited to be just 2 days away from driving solo again.

Harvey C.'s Comment
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Sounds like things are looking great for you Bruce.

Michael is on home time so I asked him about his practice about setting reefer temperatures. When he pulls into a customer they will usually tell him what temperature they want and he will set it at that temperature and it always reaches the set temperature quickly and then they start loading. He then confirms the temperature with the paperwork. Some loads are continuous and some are on a cycle setting like Laura mentioned. He said that Marten has the ability to override what he has set it at. He explained that one customer (cheese) told him 35F and that was confirmed by paperwork but later that night when in sleeper he heard the reefer running a lot more even though it was 34F outside so he checked and saw it was now set at 32F. He called after hours office and they just said that the customer wanted 32F and didn't know why his paperwork said otherwise. Michael talked to his manager the next morning and the customer apparently had changed the instructions after he left but he wasn't given any instructions, they just changed it remotely. It might be worth asking Hewig if this is something they have control over also.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Glad to see things are going well Bruce!

With reefer you're going to find that many loads require a trailer washout (and receipt!) before they'll load you. I would assume your load info will have that information listed. Does Helwig have an account with the blue beacon or others or do you pay out of pocket and get reimbursed? It's always a good idea to top off your reefer fuel anytime you're fueling the truck, or before you drop it. Most places we drop at require anywhere from 3/4 tank to the needle being on full. Do you need to request fuel for the reefer like most companies do for truck fuel? Make sure you're doing a proper pretrip of the reefer (enough oil, coolant, belt etc). Probably twice a month I'll grab a trailer and the oil or coolant is low. As others have said always double check the correct temp is set and if it needs cycle or continuous mode. I always ask the person handing me my paperwork and circle it on the paperwork. Also, if it's a really hot day out it's going to take much more fuel to keep your reefer at the correct temp. It may require you to have it running even if you're empty on your 10 hour break to get it down to -10 where most frozen loads are shipped. I recall picking up a load 2 years ago in Sioux Falls that was kept at 36 degrees when when picked it up. They told me to ship at -10. Had a sleeper that day and ended up laying over at the Loves off I90 between 29 and 229. Air temp outside was high 90s and my reefer ran nonstop. When i rolled out around 1am my box was only down to -2. Kept dispatch informed on the situation and the customer said it was OK because customer shipped it at 36 but wanted it -10 because it was being delivered to another location where it would be frozen. The product temp when it's loaded will be a huge factor in how hard your reefer runs. I've only pulled reefer (aside from a couple dry vans 10 miles down the road) for the last 4 1/2 years and don't mind it. Sure it's a couple more things to check but nothing really difficult. Biggest thing is always be sure your reefer is set to the correct temp and seek WRITTEN clarification if you receive conflicting information.

One upside about pulling a reefer is the ability to jump start your truck if the batteries are dead. Other than that get ready for long waits at meat plants and food service like Sysco, US Foods and PFG.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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