Help, Stuck In A Contract With A TERRIBLE Company

Topic 32050 | Page 1

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Adam T. (Diz)'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys and gals,

Long time subscriber, first time messager.

I went to CDL school with the help of a company and graduated in February. The terms of my contract essentially say drive about 100k miles at .03c/mile and have $2750 of loan forgiven OR pay $5750 OR drive whatever amount of miles and pay difference of $5750 OR wait 10 months.

I currently have fairly close to 50k miles in. My co-driver and I are hard workers, he is a former convoy driver w/ the Air Force, 13 year veteran. We don't hang out at the truck stop or in the terminals. If we have a load, we run it. We typically work "shifts" of 3-3(am/pm) and drive about 9 1/2 hours/day w/ 30 minute DOT. We do this so that we potentially never have to do a 34 hour reset.

All that said, our company sucks at keeping us moving. They suck at maintaining their trailers, so we find ourselves having to get things fixed regularly. We don't get breakdown pay or layover pay or detention pay unless any of those things takes at least 48 hours or longer. They don't communicate with us, if I had a dollar for every time I was told "I'll find out and call you back" I wouldn't need to work here. They don't communicate with each other, so our DM is constantly asking us why something is happening even though my co driver and I will have sent in messages as well as both called. My paycheck has been correct maybe 3 times since I started working for them.

We are meat in the seat, nothing more.

Can you all suggest any decent companies that may help with paying off this loan? Outside of that, does any one have any tips or tricks on how we can improve our situation? This has been nothing but high stress with low money ($500 paychecks are not abnormal) and I guess I'm hoping for some hope.

Thanks in advance for listening to my complaints, I've read enough here to know they're nothing new. Also, thanks in advance for your help.

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.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

What company?

Did you have all questions answered and read the contract before signing it (your legal obligation)?

You have two choices as I see it:

1. Do your 10 and fulfill the contract obligation. Best idea.

2. Pay off the balance and start sending out applications to other companies.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

10 months is nothing, in the bigger picture. I did 22 months with CRST, Think I was the last of my graduating class to bounce. They were good enough, was kept rolling 6000-7000+ miles a week. Started at $0.31 cpm , ended @ $0.60 cpm...And now I hear they have tightened their hiring process a tad. Anything you do in life, takes time and patience to get ahead. I think good communication and a good attitude play key roles in trucking. "Enjoy the suck", they say, besides, the grass ain't always greener on the other side of the fence.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

You get paid three cents a mile? 😳

1. You’re halfway done in four months since graduating.

2. You’ve got 50,000 miles since graduation. That’s about 10,000 miles per month. Not too bad for doing a lot of sitting around.

Depending upon the situation, every company sucks at some point, for some reason.

It sounds to me, like you’re doing a great job fulfilling your obligation and maybe a month or so ahead of schedule.

Maybe pat yourself on the back for putting up with it and start a list of desires for your next company. Complete your obligation and don’t jump until you know what the landing zone looks like.

Adam T. (Diz)'s Comment
member avatar

What company?

Did you have all questions answered and read the contract before signing it (your legal obligation)?

You have two choices as I see it:

1. Do your 10 and fulfill the contract obligation. Best idea.

2. Pay off the balance and start sending out applications to other companies.

Let's just say they're based in Cedar Rapids and originally specialized in Steel Transport.

Yes, I did my legal obligation. No, I did not know how hard it was going to be to be able to do actual work at this job.

I would have the contract paid before I worked for them 10 months. I only have to do one or the other.

Unfortunately the only way I can pay it off is to pay the whole thing, or drive a "credited"100k miles and then have some of it "forgiven."

Adam T. (Diz)'s Comment
member avatar

10 months is nothing, in the bigger picture. I did 22 months with CRST, Think I was the last of my graduating class to bounce. They were good enough, was kept rolling 6000-7000+ miles a week. Started at $0.31 cpm , ended @ $0.60 cpm...And now I hear they have tightened their hiring process a tad. Anything you do in life, takes time and patience to get ahead. I think good communication and a good attitude play key roles in trucking. "Enjoy the suck", they say, besides, the grass ain't always greener on the other side of the fence.

They're keeping us around 5500 miles/week on the weeks where we're not stuck having a trailer fixed, which is fairly regular. Lights out, markers not flashing, ABS issues. I have taken to paying out of pocket for lights just to keep us moving. I started at .33cpm, currently making .40cpm.

For the record, if anything my co-driver and I over-communicate, and I am ALWAYS nice to my DM as I want to keep moving. I am trying to stay positive, but it's hard when no one communicates back to you, your paycheck is always screwed up, and you're constantly having to stop moving to fix maintenance issues.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Adam T. (Diz)'s Comment
member avatar

You get paid three cents a mile? 😳

1. You’re halfway done in four months since graduating.

2. You’ve got 50,000 miles since graduation. That’s about 10,000 miles per month. Not too bad for doing a lot of sitting around.

Depending upon the situation, every company sucks at some point, for some reason.

It sounds to me, like you’re doing a great job fulfilling your obligation and maybe a month or so ahead of schedule.

Maybe pat yourself on the back for putting up with it and start a list of desires for your next company. Complete your obligation and don’t jump until you know what the landing zone looks like.

Hahaha, no, I pay .03cpm for miles the truck is credited with per week towards my school loan. That's how the company does it so that they get 100k miles of work out of you.

It's actually been almost 5 months, but I see your point.

I should have been specific in that we have driven 50k miles. We've been paid for maybe 45k of those miles. They calculate how far the trip is, and their calculations can be pretty unfair. Example: Denver to Arvin trip we did recently was paid at 1014 miles. We have to go down 25 then across 40 for that load as we're not allowed on 70 west of Denver. The trip in actuality is a little over 1200 miles. But we get paid for 1014.

This last part is great advice, and believe me, a list has been made and is regularly updated, hahaha.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hang in there the best you can and finish your contract. I get it, sitting around not making money sucks. Personally I could never team drive because I enjoy being by myself too much. The complaints you have about maintenance is valid. Unfortunately it's part of the job. If these are drop/hooks that you're grabbing needing repairs that's on the other drivers that dropped them. There's no way your company is aware of issues unless the other driver informed them. It's laziness on the other drivers part. Your company would rather that trailer be fixed while it's just sitting somewhere BEFORE you show up to grab it. If you're not making money either is your company.

Just know if you quit that company right now you're not going to find another trucking job before you fulfill the terms of your contract whether that's the 10 months, 100k miles, or financial price. They have successfully sued other companies for hiring drivers under contract. By law your new company has to verify the driver worked there. Your current employer will send a letter informing new company you're under contract and threaten legal action. Your current has 30 days to verify the information requested, which they'll do on the last day possible. My best piece of advice is tough it out and the day after your contract is done submit a 2 week notice if you have another job lined up if you're dead set on leaving.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Adam, I think you should do a lot of checking with other companies and see what you could get as CPM elsewhere. If you could get 10 cents more per mile, that would amount to $5000 over 50,000 miles, more than enough for you to pay off the remainder of your obligation. And while you are at it, you may find a new company where you will be happier with the way they do business. This may or may not be practical for you and your driving partner, but 40 cents per mile seems too low. I’m driving solo and switched companies. I went from .49 CPM to .55 CPM. .01 CPM raise at 6 months and another .04 CPM at one year. Do the math and see if a move would benefit you, but you have to do your homework before you decide.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

What company?

Did you have all questions answered and read the contract before signing it (your legal obligation)?

You have two choices as I see it:

1. Do your 10 and fulfill the contract obligation. Best idea.

2. Pay off the balance and start sending out applications to other companies.

double-quotes-end.png

Let's just say they're based in Cedar Rapids and originally specialized in Steel Transport.

Yes, I did my legal obligation. No, I did not know how hard it was going to be to be able to do actual work at this job.

I would have the contract paid before I worked for them 10 months. I only have to do one or the other.

Unfortunately the only way I can pay it off is to pay the whole thing, or drive a "credited"100k miles and then have some of it "forgiven."

Howdy, Adam! You should've stopped in here 6 months ago, when you registered.

Neither here nor there; have you read this? MillionMiler24's Diary

Also, have you read this?

0833248001657141656.jpg

This was shared by our member JRod, a recruiter and exec. at G.O.E. (Greater Omaha Express) and I've shared it 100x, as my photo diary probably shows.

One of, if not the most, difficult company and contract to get out of. You should've stopped in HERE when you 1st registered, to get some enlightenment, BESIDES the HRTP. . . High Road CDL Training Program, but hopefully THAT hepled, get you a seat with a company!

At this point, your best bet is to simply 'ride it out.' No pun intended. Unless you pay off the remainder of your $Contract$ .. nobody else will (or can) touch you.

Another exemplar: Let Go, Am Under Contract w/CRST...

I wish you the best; it's gonna be what you make of it.

~ Anne ~

ps: Look at Stevo Reno, for instance! He made a CAREER with said company!! His diary is 'slim,' but his comments re: CRST abound throughout Trucking Truth. He drove for their subsidiary (Gardner) for a while, also . . and even came OUT of retirement to help'em out!

Here's his diary: StevoReno ~ CRST training days!

If you search by his name, ie: Comments & Threads, re: Stevo Reno !!!

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.
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