Teamsters, Terminals, Companies, Percentage Pay

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The Pelican's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone! I just got my DOT Card (Praise God) and I'm about to start training at Diesel Driving Academy in Shreveport, La.

I'll probably have a lot of questions throughout this process, so I hope you dont mind. Right now a few that come to me are this:

1. Has anyone here had any experience with working with the teamsters union? My great grandfather made a career of it and was able to retire at 55. But that was a long time ago! Considering joining the local branch but I'm not sure at all.

2. Terminals - How important is it to have a terminal near my house? If I get off time I'd rather not have to spend hours and hours of my down time just getting home. That said, I very well may just move close to whatever terminal I end up at. I assume the terminal is where you park your truck for your off days. Any thoughts on this?

3. TMC, Schneider, Stevens, these three seem to be ever present at the diesel school I'm wanting to attend. How are these companies? What's flatbed work like? Lots of heavy lifting?

4. TMC mentioned that they now offer load percentage pay. Apparently it's superior to cents per mile. I'm not sure. Any thoughts on that?

5. Bonus question....do truckers still typically have to chain up their tires in snowy conditions?

Sorry for bombarding you folks. Any insight about anything at all helps me!

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Has anyone here had any experience with working with the teamsters union? My great grandfather made a career of it and was able to retire at 55. But that was a long time ago! Considering joining the local branch but I'm not sure at all.

Very few trucking companies are union companies. Only a few LTL companies that I know of. I can almost promise you that you won't have a single union company recruiting at your school. The trucking industry is so fractured that there is no way for the teamsters to regain what they once had. It's a non issue. I would not give it another thought.

How important is it to have a terminal near my house?

It's not important at all. I've never lived near my terminal. I live in Texas. The two terminals I've been dispatched from have been in Nashville, TN and Gulfport, MS. I seldom ever go to a terminal. You don't need the terminal unless you are going in for maintenance and that can be done at any terminal. When you go home they route you with a load near your hometown and you can park the truck at a nearby truck stop or even take it to your own property like I do.

TMC, Schneider, Stevens, these three seem to be ever present at the diesel school I'm wanting to attend. How are these companies? What's flatbed work like? Lots of heavy lifting?

They are all fine companies. Listen, every new driver wants to know about the companies. Truck Driving is a competitive job. The company cannot make you successful. That's your responsibility. Forget about trying to find the ideal company and focus on being the greatest asset they have ever had. That's how you become a successful driver. That name on the door is irrelevant. The person behind the wheel determines everything.

You need to decide what you want to do out here. The three companies you mentioned all do different things. Steven's does a lot of refrigerated freight. Schneider focuses on dry-van mostly. TMC is flatbed. What do you want? You need to figure that out.

Flatbed work is full of variety and responsibility. Very little heavy lifting other than the tarps. We have a very fun conversation about Flatbed Variety. You should check it out.

TMC mentioned that they now offer load percentage pay. Apparently it's superior to cents per mile. I'm not sure. Any thoughts on that?

There's nothing superior about percentage pay. It's a gimmick that allows the company to make sure they are getting the percentage they need to remain profitable. They put a twist on it to make it sound appealing as if you are going to make more money, but it's just a gimmick.

do truckers still typically have to chain up their tires in snowy conditions?

That depends on what you mean by "typically." When running out West in the winter you may have to chain up occasionally. I have not thrown any chains in ten years. If the weather is that bad I'll park it. Who wants to drive 25 mph just to clear a mountain pass? I've got better uses for my time. I'll typically wait for the next day which usually clears the way for you to pass without chains. It's far better to be smart than stubborn when doing this job.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
1. Has anyone here had any experience with working with the teamsters union? My great grandfather made a career of it and was able to retire at 55. But that was a long time ago! Considering joining the local branch but I'm not sure at all.

I've had 2 jobs I was part of teamsters, in different industries. I never really seen a benefit of it. My union reps sucked and didn't handle grievances like they should have in my opinion. For the most part they went to management and said it's against the contract but left it at that and nothing changed and they dropped it. To stay competitive non-union companies are paying similiar to what unions are. For the most part, the days of working at the same company for 30 years is gone. For most workers company loyalty is gone, often jumping ship to someone paying a few cents more an hour or mile. Management at large companies seems to get shuffled around alot due to pressure from share holders when the profits aren't as much as they'd hoped. With new management comes new ways of doing things which many times creates more work for the employees or adds unnecessary steps, atleast in my experiences.

Terminals - How important is it to have a terminal near my house? If I get off time I'd rather not have to spend hours and hours of my down time just getting home. That said, I very well may just move close to whatever terminal I end up at. I assume the terminal is where you park your truck for your off days. Any thoughts on this?

Almost every trucking job that is union will have you home daily, so living within reasonable driving distance is very important. You may only have 10 hours off between your shifts and your commute, shower, dinner, family time and other personal commitments come out of that and hopefully you have enough time to get adequate sleep.

3. TMC, Schneider, Stevens, these three seem to be ever present at the diesel school I'm wanting to attend. How are these companies? What's flatbed work like? Lots of heavy lifting?

Like jobs of all industries there's people that are very satisfied that have made it a career, and others have the complete opposite experience. I can't personally touch on the flatbed as I've never done it. Don't limit yourself to just those 3. Use this link to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs. One app will be sent to several companies. After you have your offers find what the best fit for you is.

4. TMC mentioned that they now offer load percentage pay. Apparently it's superior to cents per mile. I'm not sure. Any thoughts on that?

Don't fall for it being "superior" Sure, sometimes percentage will pay more than CPM but in the long run it evens out. Why would TMC be eager to pay you so much more to be paid one way vs the other. Almost everyone agrees that most freight rates are low right now. I prefer to know what my paycheck will be. At my company we're given a choice of mileage or hourly. Hourly I'm $28.50, or I could get $.573/mile and $31.97/stop. For the most part they pay pretty much the same though there are some drivers earning alot more from mile/stop but we run a seniority system for what routes you run. I much more prefer knowing I worked x amount of hours my check will be this week.

5. Bonus question....do truckers still typically have to chain up their tires in snowy conditions?

Sorry for bombarding you folks. Any insight about anything at all helps me!

Many companies have policies that require a driver to shutdown if chains are required. However, there are times you will need to chain up to get to a safe, legal parking spot.

As old school pointed out running with chains is terribly inefficient. Think of how much time is spent putting them on and taking them off while your clock is ticking. If you're only able to drive 20 mph it's taking you 2 hours more to go the same distance if you wait a few hours or until the next day. If you're running hard you'll welcome the delay to get some much needed rest. As long as you keep your dispatcher updated and do your part to get the load there on time it will not count against you. I'd still recommend learning to put chains on when the weather is nice so if you're ever caught in a situation that you need them to get to a safe legal spot you're not trying to figure it out in the nasty weather.

No need to apologize for your questions that's why we're here. We volunteer our time to help those entering the industry.

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Howdy, "The P." and welcome to Trucking Truth;

The guys (mods) above, sure touched on everything you asked, and then some!

In the meantime, as you decide on where next, here's a great start:

To see if something suits your likings, this is the next step: Apply For Truck Driving Jobs.

Also, if you'd put at least your state of residence in your profile, the folks on here can be more 'specific' if need be, as some states have different rules, when it comes to 'many things trucking!'

Best of luck in school;

Hope you find your niche~!

~ Anne ~

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.
The Pelican's Comment
member avatar

Thank you!

Howdy, "The P." and welcome to Trucking Truth;

The guys (mods) above, sure touched on everything you asked, and then some!

In the meantime, as you decide on where next, here's a great start:

To see if something suits your likings, this is the next step: Apply For Truck Driving Jobs.

Also, if you'd put at least your state of residence in your profile, the folks on here can be more 'specific' if need be, as some states have different rules, when it comes to 'many things trucking!'

Best of luck in school;

Hope you find your niche~!

~ Anne ~

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.
The Pelican's Comment
member avatar

I should probably apply after I'm finished with school, Right?

double-quotes-start.png

1. Has anyone here had any experience with working with the teamsters union? My great grandfather made a career of it and was able to retire at 55. But that was a long time ago! Considering joining the local branch but I'm not sure at all.

double-quotes-end.png

I've had 2 jobs I was part of teamsters, in different industries. I never really seen a benefit of it. My union reps sucked and didn't handle grievances like they should have in my opinion. For the most part they went to management and said it's against the contract but left it at that and nothing changed and they dropped it. To stay competitive non-union companies are paying similiar to what unions are. For the most part, the days of working at the same company for 30 years is gone. For most workers company loyalty is gone, often jumping ship to someone paying a few cents more an hour or mile. Management at large companies seems to get shuffled around alot due to pressure from share holders when the profits aren't as much as they'd hoped. With new management comes new ways of doing things which many times creates more work for the employees or adds unnecessary steps, atleast in my experiences.

double-quotes-start.png

Terminals - How important is it to have a terminal near my house? If I get off time I'd rather not have to spend hours and hours of my down time just getting home. That said, I very well may just move close to whatever terminal I end up at. I assume the terminal is where you park your truck for your off days. Any thoughts on this?

double-quotes-end.png

Almost every trucking job that is union will have you home daily, so living within reasonable driving distance is very important. You may only have 10 hours off between your shifts and your commute, shower, dinner, family time and other personal commitments come out of that and hopefully you have enough time to get adequate sleep.

double-quotes-start.png

3. TMC, Schneider, Stevens, these three seem to be ever present at the diesel school I'm wanting to attend. How are these companies? What's flatbed work like? Lots of heavy lifting?

double-quotes-end.png

Like jobs of all industries there's people that are very satisfied that have made it a career, and others have the complete opposite experience. I can't personally touch on the flatbed as I've never done it. Don't limit yourself to just those 3. Use this link to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs. One app will be sent to several companies. After you have your offers find what the best fit for you is.

double-quotes-start.png

4. TMC mentioned that they now offer load percentage pay. Apparently it's superior to cents per mile. I'm not sure. Any thoughts on that?

double-quotes-end.png

Don't fall for it being "superior" Sure, sometimes percentage will pay more than CPM but in the long run it evens out. Why would TMC be eager to pay you so much more to be paid one way vs the other. Almost everyone agrees that most freight rates are low right now. I prefer to know what my paycheck will be. At my company we're given a choice of mileage or hourly. Hourly I'm $28.50, or I could get $.573/mile and $31.97/stop. For the most part they pay pretty much the same though there are some drivers earning alot more from mile/stop but we run a seniority system for what routes you run. I much more prefer knowing I worked x amount of hours my check will be this week.

double-quotes-start.png

5. Bonus question....do truckers still typically have to chain up their tires in snowy conditions?

Sorry for bombarding you folks. Any insight about anything at all helps me!

double-quotes-end.png

Many companies have policies that require a driver to shutdown if chains are required. However, there are times you will need to chain up to get t

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Thank you!

I should probably apply after I'm finished with school, Right?

Howdy again, Pelican!

You're welcome; and .. how long IS school ??? Many companies will look at you, and we suggest pre hires:

I know, more reading/learning; right?

There's so MUCH that goes into this! Once you get it, you'll be fine. This is one of the reasons we DO recommend company sponsored training , but this'll work, too!

Take a look at the 'pre hire' info above, and as you get close to graduation time... you'll be ready for that app I linked above!

Thanks for updating your profile; that's always helpful, as the guys/gals in your area can always help if there arises something, location specific.

Again, best of luck; study !!!

~ Anne ~

ps: When you get close to 'pretrip' classes, let us know.. we've got that, too!

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre Hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre Hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Applications are good for 30.days. you need to reapply if not at the company by then.

Chaining...they have autosocks now that are way easier to install...but more expensive and not as durable. They only last for so many uses.

Good luck

Rhino's Comment
member avatar

I work at yellow. We r teamsters union. But no pension. Only 401k.

The Pelican's Comment
member avatar

School lasts 6 months approximately. This is actually really good for me because I'm currently under a contract at my current job that says if I leave prior to February then I owe them $1500. So I kind of wanted to avoid that. I'm also not too fond of the idea of company training. It seems very rushed. I'm the kind of person that it takes time for me to learn things but once I learn them I do them well. I want to set myself up to succeed in this field and I feel like this course will help with that better than a 20 day frantic sprint through CDL school. Plus, I don't like the idea of being beholden to a single company if I don't have to be.

Those are just my reasons for going about it the way that I am. Feel free to criticize. I'm gonna enroll on Friday so I'm not likely to change my mind at this moment.

Howdy, "The P." and welcome to Trucking Truth;

The guys (mods) above, sure touched on everything you asked, and then some!

In the meantime, as you decide on where next, here's a great start:

To see if something suits your likings, this is the next step: Apply For Truck Driving Jobs.

Also, if you'd put at least your state of residence in your profile, the folks on here can be more 'specific' if need be, as some states have different rules, when it comes to 'many things trucking!'

Best of luck in school;

Hope you find your niche~!

~ Anne ~

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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