1 Year Anniversary - Michael's Dedicated Marten Job

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Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

Gary, I never dismiss your comments, advice, etc. I respect your experience as a professional truck driver. Sometimes you do make mistakes, however, so I won't always agree with what you say.

You wrote recently that drivers don't get paid detention when off duty. That was wrong. You wrote that reputable trucking companies don't let their drivers advance loads with chains and that is not correct. Laura reported her experiences with that and I mentioned a driver making daily trips to Reno that chains up often.

Honestly, if Michael ever posted here he would not come back after getting some of the harsh comments that get made here. He needs to be coached along gently at times and will sometimes misunderstand a suggestion as a personal attack (he's had a full psychological test that helps explain why). Here I see it is often described as "telling them the truth" but this is frequently not done in a constructive manner. This site is described as "The friendliest, most helpful one on one advice you'll find anywhere." but it often does not come across that way. Instead of coaching people along, some have more of a habit of putting others down. I was an internal auditor for about 20 years and my job was to find problems and to help companies make improvements. The language I used was an important part of how management and employees accepted my recommendations. I worked with some others on my teams that frequently used harsh or offensive comments.

This is not a game for me. I am interested in the industry and like sharing insights with Michael and sometimes I like to share Michael's experiences that might help others or for those interested in his journey.

Someday we may meet, Linda and I are spending more time traveling, headed to Virginia and North Carolina soon.

Happy and blessed Easter everyone.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Harvey, indeed I do make mistakes. Honest ones...the detention pay while off-duty has become more liberal. As recent as last summer that was not the case with Swift while I was still running Walmart. I’ve been away from the CPM world for almost 9 months now. It’s been changed... for the better. So my understanding of that is now current and I stand corrected and apologize for my firm stand on that.

The chaining thing? I still maintain that if conditions warrant chaining up I’m either not running that day or stopping as soon as possible. An inch of snow at least in the NorthEast, is not a chaining-event. If running during a chain-up event was SOP for Marten, then Michael’s DL wouldn’t have been bothered by his decision. For me, I will always err on the side of caution when it comes to snow. If I don’t need to run, I won’t. PA & NJ will usually post empty trailer bans on the interstates when it’s really bad. Recently on PA NB I-81, exit 119 (the WM DC 7030 exit), there was a major snow squall. 70 vehicles and 3 fatalities (that I know of)... less than an inch of snow caused a tragic wreck. I’ll never downplay the significance and severity of a snow event. Understand all of the experience and tragedy I’ve witnessed because of snow in the mountains...

Okay so your point about Michael... how is it he can stand up for himself to his DL but not us...? I “get it” to a point. Can’t force him... but I still believe he’ll benefit greatly. We’re primarily harsh with *******s and posers, yes, but he is NOT in those categories, so he won’t be insulted. Besides he is known to us. ‘Nuff said...

Okay... you’ve made your points, I’ve made mine. I’ve thought about what you wrote and will consider all of it going forward. Thank you.

Peace.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Moe's Comment
member avatar

I’m celebrating six months with Marten this month. Best move I made for myself. I skimmed over this and the thread is a week old so I don’t have all of it down pat, it from what I saw about weather pay….. if your son chains up when Marten has him shut down from my understanding it’s grounds for termination, we have a no chain policy. In fact Marten prefers we shut down if chains would be needed regardless of state requirements for road conditions.

This winter I’ve shutdown and been shut down a total of about 7 days give or take, my fleet manager has never said a word bad about it.

Case in point we had a driver jack knife her rig on 84 a couple months back driving during inclement conditions (ice from my understanding). She wrecked the trailer and tractor (the latter of which is still parked at our Wilsonville terminal awaiting transport back to Mondovi , WI headquarters to be scrapped for parts). She lost her job. Marten don’t play round, tell your son if he feels the need to put the chains on, park it and send the message in Qualcomm asking for the bad weather PO. It’s not worth it to me to lose this very lucrative opportunity when I get paid to keep my job and my license secure

There haven't been many Marten drivers here over the years so I will give an update on our son Michael's job at Marten. He started at Marten on 3/29/2021 (orientation for first two days, I think). He drives a on a dedicated Nestle account pulling a reefer , mostly between northern California and Utah and southern California but sometimes to Idaho and Oregon and Washington (only a few times and not too much recently. He sometimes pulls other loads, as needed when other fleets have a pressing need. Prior to that he drove for CR England for seven months.

He is on a schedule of 12 days on, 2 days off. He came home about noon last Wednesday and left Saturday morning at about 0500. For his first 52 weeks he grossed $77,857.

He started out at for the first six months at 49 CPM plus 2 CPM "premium pay" (getting deliveries on time, no refused loads, not taking more than two days off every two weeks). At six months that increased to 52 CPM plus 9 CPM premium pay and then two months later it increased to 54 CPM plus 9 CPM premium pay (that was probably a company-wide raise, he doesn't know). His guaranteed weekly pay started out at $1,175 and after six months increased to $1,425. His gross pay for the first 14 months of 2022 has averaged $1,640.24, so he is on a pace to earn $85,292 for 2022. He does not seem to push hard and there are sometimes long waits because of picking up a load, driving 750 miles, and a delivery time of more than 48 hours after he picked it up. He does get paid detention pay for bad weather and excessive waits at a receiver even if he is clocked out as off duty not driving (got paid $250 for a seven hour wait a few weeks ago). Marten had said in a newsletter that they charge the customers a penalty for these long waits and they share that with their drivers (FWIW).

Overall, Michael seems extremely happy with this job and still says he "loves it". I thought he might get bored after a while but he likes the routine. Since we have safe parking on our farm he is allowed to bring his tractor home when he is on home time. He has a dog with him to keep him company. He had to wait a couple of months until his truck had 150,000 miles on it as Marten does not allow a dog on trucks newer than that. He drives a Kenworth T680 and likes it.

He gets along very well with his manager, she sometimes refers to him as "hon" (honey). When she calls when he is on home time I overhear some calls and he seems to make things flexible for her (he told her yesterday he was okay with getting out of the house at whatever time she wanted that he would make it work).

Michael is 24 and admits that he doesn't care too much about the money but he understands when we tell him that someday he will appreciate that he is doing well.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

Marten did not have him shut down. Chain requirements went up while he was underway towards the beginning of a storm and snow was not heavy, only about an inch of snow on the ground at the time. He was headed east, as was the storm, and it did continue to snow for quite a while after he passed. More snow was coming so CalTrans apparently put up chain requirements necessary to avoid problems. As I said in the first post about this, he called dispatch and they told him to use his best judgement. He would have had to chain up even to get to turn around and head back downhill. Weather forecast had called for less than 1" of snow for the entire storm (I had looked myself since I watch the weather often, both for rain here on our farm and snowpack for summer irrigation). His manager was fine with it after this was explained. He had shut down for weather a few days earlier and then again a few days later (yesterday, for high winds near Wells, Nevada). He has never driven ahead when chain controls were posted in advance and has had inclement weather pay at least 10 times.

Where are you driving for Marten and what sort of fleet?

I’m celebrating six months with Marten this month. Best move I made for myself. I skimmed over this and the thread is a week old so I don’t have all of it down pat, it from what I saw about weather pay….. if your son chains up when Marten has him shut down from my understanding it’s grounds for termination, we have a no chain policy. In fact Marten prefers we shut down if chains would be needed regardless of state requirements for road conditions.

This winter I’ve shutdown and been shut down a total of about 7 days give or take, my fleet manager has never said a word bad about it.

Case in point we had a driver jack knife her rig on 84 a couple months back driving during inclement conditions (ice from my understanding). She wrecked the trailer and tractor (the latter of which is still parked at our Wilsonville terminal awaiting transport back to Mondovi , WI headquarters to be scrapped for parts). She lost her job. Marten don’t play round, tell your son if he feels the need to put the chains on, park it and send the message in Qualcomm asking for the bad weather PO. It’s not worth it to me to lose this very lucrative opportunity when I get paid to keep my job and my license secure

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.
Moe's Comment
member avatar

I run 48 states OTR. At this point in my life I need to run 48 states as I am currently in the middle of some family things that will require me to move later this year and a dedicated won’t work for my situation presently. That said once that aspect of life is settled down, I’m definitely looking into dedicated/regional routes. Those pay the best at Marten. That’s good that he worked it out with his FM. Like I said in my previous reply, I really didn’t read too deeply into the thread so I admit that I didn’t have a complete understanding of events.

Marten does give us 100 percent discretion except in the cases where dispatch tells us to shut down. I run pretty conservatively so if chains would be needed to get there safely but we aren’t shut down. I shut down as policy for myself. I believe if it’s bad enough for chains it’s good enough to shut down. That’s just me personally everyone is different

It sounds like he is happy doing what he is doing and I wish him continued success with us.

Marten did not have him shut down. Chain requirements went up while he was underway towards the beginning of a storm and snow was not heavy, only about an inch of snow on the ground at the time. He was headed east, as was the storm, and it did continue to snow for quite a while after he passed. More snow was coming so CalTrans apparently put up chain requirements necessary to avoid problems. As I said in the first post about this, he called dispatch and they told him to use his best judgement. He would have had to chain up even to get to turn around and head back downhill. Weather forecast had called for less than 1" of snow for the entire storm (I had looked myself since I watch the weather often, both for rain here on our farm and snowpack for summer irrigation). His manager was fine with it after this was explained. He had shut down for weather a few days earlier and then again a few days later (yesterday, for high winds near Wells, Nevada). He has never driven ahead when chain controls were posted in advance and has had inclement weather pay at least 10 times.

Where are you driving for Marten and what sort of fleet?

double-quotes-start.png

I’m celebrating six months with Marten this month. Best move I made for myself. I skimmed over this and the thread is a week old so I don’t have all of it down pat, it from what I saw about weather pay….. if your son chains up when Marten has him shut down from my understanding it’s grounds for termination, we have a no chain policy. In fact Marten prefers we shut down if chains would be needed regardless of state requirements for road conditions.

This winter I’ve shutdown and been shut down a total of about 7 days give or take, my fleet manager has never said a word bad about it.

Case in point we had a driver jack knife her rig on 84 a couple months back driving during inclement conditions (ice from my understanding). She wrecked the trailer and tractor (the latter of which is still parked at our Wilsonville terminal awaiting transport back to Mondovi , WI headquarters to be scrapped for parts). She lost her job. Marten don’t play round, tell your son if he feels the need to put the chains on, park it and send the message in Qualcomm asking for the bad weather PO. It’s not worth it to me to lose this very lucrative opportunity when I get paid to keep my job and my license secure

double-quotes-end.png

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.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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