Frustrated Isn't The Word For This New Truck Driver!!!!

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DeJuan J.'s Comment
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My first mission as a solo driver was to go by Greyhound from Birmingham, AL to Chicago, Illinois then catch a cab 50 miles away to Joliet to our yard to recover a truck then head to Indy, then my home terminal in Atlanta to get my own truck. Monday afternoon I left on the bus headed to Chicago. I got to Chicago Tuesday at 2:30pm, my FM gave me $100 for cab fare, it ended up being $160.00 so I spent $60.00 of my own. I get to the yard to grab the truck and look for the trailer on the yard that I'm suppose to be getting and its not there.

Night dispatch tells me there's nothing they can do so wait until the am, alright fine but its 20 degrees outside and the truck won't idle. It keeps cutting off and the heat won't get hot and the bunker heat is broken completely. Have yall ever had to sleep in 20 degree weather? My toes were literally numb but I survived. I look around the truck for paper logs because now the Qualcomm is broken, guess what? There's no paper logs! My FM tells me to go buy some smh.

I try to leave the yard and get out of the gate but guess what I have no badge because when I tested out at the Memphis terminal he told me my home terminal would give me a badge so I had to wait 30 min for someone else to leave and I followed him out of the gate. Alright no harm no foul, I begin to head towards the interstate and I see a pick up truck speeding from behind I pay him no mind so I get on the interstate and notice I can't accelerate past 30mph then all of a sudden the truck shuts down in the middle of the interstate.

I wiggle to the shoulder and the guy from the pick up truck get's over with me and says I'm the mechanic from the yard where are you trying to go in that truck because it won't be far its a piece of crap! I said I was told to come recover it. He said this truck hasn't run right since October and when I saw you I knew you would be on the side of the road soon. He said there's nothing he can do with it, so I called break down and they sent me to the International dealership which just so happened to be on the next exit.

I get to International and guess what they tell me? They're backed up because of the holiday's so it'll be a few days. All I've done was lose money this week I haven't made a dime, and the mechanic from the yard told me he has let them know numerous times the truck was undriveable but I would be the one who was sent to go get it. A bad way to start my trucking career. Smh

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.

Interstate:

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

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

DeJuan, I guess you know I'm with Knight, and I'm out of the Gulfport, MS terminal. I know you are new at this, but I'll tell you that my DM throws extra money at me all the time - he'll pay me for three stops when I only had two, or he'll put a double tarp pay on me when I really only had to tarp the load once, and they are always fair about breakdown pay. Some of this stuff won't happen until they know you are a dependable employee that knows how to get things done, but you do that and they will take care of you. Just hang in there and keep a great attitude - I promise you they love that.

I know it seems crazy to you, and to many of the others that have heard your tale, but it is just not that unusual for a new solo driver to be asked to go recover one of these abandoned trucks like this. Sometimes they are so nasty inside that you'd think the best thing to do with it is pour about five gallons of gas on it and throw a match to it. The other thing that happened to you that is very common in these large trucking companies is that the right hand seldom seems to know what the left hand is doing. Crazy isn't it how they had you go get a truck that the mechanic has been saying isn't fit to drive. Stuff like this happens fairly often in these trucking companies. Some dispatcher in a different terminal sees on his computer screen where a truck is sitting and all he can tell from the notes is that it is sitting idle and needs a driver in it so he sends a new driver to go get it. Then it starts to develop into a scenario like you are experiencing. Trust me on this one thing though, it does not mean that this is a bad company. Just hang tough and it will all be righted in a relatively short time and they will have you rolling down the highway in a truck that will serve you 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.

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.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Wow, the replies and encouragement everyone has given is simply stellar and right on. Every word I've read in this entire conversation I've agreed with 100%. It just really hit me as I was reading through this how many people in this forum really get it when it comes to working with dispatch and understanding the nature of large trucking companies and life on the road. That is what being a true professional is all about. Wow. This is really a fun thing to be a part of I'll tell ya.

maybe they'll recognize your good attitude and reward you

....shortly after....

They just put me in a motel

Excellent! As they should. They immediately did the first right thing they could think of to do at the time when they realized the terrible situation they put you in. Someone screwed up...there's no debating that. But everyone is right - they're going to reward you for having a great attitude and handling yourself like a professional. Believe me, if you do this long enough you will have days like that. I have 100 stories of wild goose chases, unnecessary breakdowns caused by careless mechanics, waiting for days just for them to find me an empty trailer for the next load, and all kinds of stuff. Almost none of it ever should have happened. But you're dealing with a tremendous number of people trying to share tons of information that's constantly changing 24 / 7 / 365. People make mistakes. But if you'll handle yourself like a professional you'll work through situations without getting in fights or making enemies and you'll be soooooo much better off when you do that.

One time I was empty and dispatch insisted that I drive dead into the center of the worst snowstorm of the year rolling across the Northern Plains. They said one of our loaded trucks went off the road and tipped over. They needed me to take the empty trailer there so they could offload him onto me. Now I'm from outside Buffalo, NY - lived my whole life in a heavy snow region. I told dispatch calmly but quite seriously, "I'm either going home or I'm parking this truck but I know better than to drive into the middle of a blizzard with an empty trailer. It's suicide. And nobody would question me on this because if I won't drive through it, nobody can." They let me go home and wait out the blizzard for a few days and all was well. I understood the situation. They were looking at their computer screens, saw the opportunity to get that load rescued, and told me to do it. What they didn't understand was what I would be seeing out my window if I drove into that blizzard. They did their job properly and I did my job properly. No hard feelings, no arguments, no problem. We just talked it over until they understood what I was saying.

So just try to stay positive and relax. Count your blessings. Just being a healthy American that's driving a big rig for a living makes you better off than 90% of the worlds population right there!

smile.gif

Situations like this are what gives a driver the opportunity to set themselves apart from the rest. Any knucklehead can take the gravy runs and will be easy to get along with when things are going well. But when you're in a really tough situation, whether it's a really important load on a tight schedule, heavy traffic, bad weather, or in this case a wild goose chase in 20 degree temperatures without heat - this is when you have the opportunity to really show the people you're working with the type of character you have and the type of driver you are. And they don't forget that stuff. They'll forget 95% of the little things that happen every day, but they'll remember this kind of stuff.

So keep your head up. You have the rest of your life to make money in trucking. Give them the opportunity to make this up to you in some way. However it works out just ask them for the next assignment and get after it. Every day is a new day. Sometimes you'll have days (or even weeks!) that are just better off forgotten like they never happened. Don't let it bother ya. Because you'll see....very soon you're going to find yourself relaxing and cruising down the highway on a beautiful sunny day listening to the chatter on the radio and you're going to be lovin' life! Nothing lasts...it's all just temporary. Roll through the tough times and there will always be more good times right around the corner. People forget that sometimes and handle situations poorly. You have to keep that awareness.

The drivers that work hard, consistently get the job done safely, and handle themselves like professionals are the ones who have it made at any company out there. You have to know how to work with the people in the offices. You have to help them do their job the way they help you. One of these days you're going to make a mistake and you'll be the one apologizing. They'll remember how you handled yourself when they were the ones that screwed up and you can expect them to be understanding and move on without any problems the same way you did. No hard feelings. That's just life.

smile.gif

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

David L.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I've waited for these other responses as I often get accused of telling the same stories OVER and OVER again! smile.gif

My son, Sean (Trucktograper) had a similar experience with his rookie truck pickup. He flew from FL to MN to get a 2015 Kenworth with only 22K miles on it. He ran bobtail to the terminal in WI and then got his first load. Yay!! Then the fun began: dropped his first load and the DEF system faulted. He was depowered and finally limped to a dealership. They "fixed" the problem and a day or so later (note: DAY or so later) he picked up another load and then had the DEF system fault AGAIN - under load. So, had to call for a re-power to pick up the load AND get towed to a dealership.....anyway, long story short, he killed almost two weeks living in a broken truck or in a motel near a dealership until a really fine shop discovered what the real electrical problem was and got him on the road - since then, not a problem and that 2015 Kenworth is running like a top. All this pretty much answered the question of why a rookie got a brand new KW T680!! But, what started as a lemon has turned into a dependable truck!

Dejuan, hang in there. Roll with the punches and grow from the experience. What you are going through, as others have pointed out, isn't new or different. Heck, if all this was easy everyone would be doing it! Besides, these make great "war stories" when talking with other rookies!!

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

DeJuan J.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Here's an update. The tractor won't be ready until possibly Monday so my dispatcher sent me home via Greyhound which will take 20hrs just to bring me back on another 20hr Greyhound ride on Monday which means I'll get there Tuesday to hopefully get a load to deliver on Christmas Eve so I can see my kids open their gifts on Christmas. Why they're sending me home over the weekend I do not understand but my dispatcher said he was told to do that instead of paying for motels again. This is becoming too much.

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.
Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Talk to your DM/FM or what ever initials they go by and explain that you need some help with the cab fares, as in cash, because you do not have any more you can lay out. they should be able to get you some money for that.

Now for the part that shows no sympathy... LOL

20 more hours in a bus? Really you are going to complain about that? When ever I think that I have it bad or difficult, I think of all the others that have had it worse. Our troops with days, weeks and months in cold, wet and miserable conditions from WWI on up to today. Can you imagine living and fighting in a trench in WWI or WWII or a foxhole in southeast Asia? I also think about my great grandmother that crossed this great country of ours in a covered wagon. We have it EASY compared to the past generations.

The Lord has given you an opportunity by opening a door, you have to have the guts to walk through it. He helps those that help themselves which means that he will meet you half way. Apparently that is the bus terminal.

So, ask for help with the cab fares and get on that bus.

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.

Covered Wagon:

A flatbed with specially fitted side plates and curved ribs supporting a tarp covering, commonly referred to as a "side kit". Named for the resemblance to horse-drawn covered wagons.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I want to reemphasize what Old School said - do not let this sour you on the company. There isn't an experienced driver in America that hasn't been through this kind of thing many times. Like I mentioned a couple of days ago I've been on my share of wild goose chases, long bus rides, and piles of money lost due to no fault of my own - simply a victim of the decision-making of others.

This will all be over soon enough. You'll be in your own truck cruising down the highways enjoying life and making money.

This is why we tell people to prepare for the worst and expect to feel like quitting your job or getting out of trucking altogether many times in those first 6-12 months. Everyone experiences it. We all have slightly different challenges to navigate, but nobody gets trucking experience without suffering through extremely tough circumstances numerous times over. I had mentioned I waited 8 days in a motel room in Albuquerque for a truck to be repaired, only to find out it wasn't going to be repaired so I had to take a bus all the way to Oklahoma City to get another truck from our terminal. That's life in the trucking biz....it happens to everyone.

Hang in there! Better times are just around the bend - you'll see!

smile.gif

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Sean's Comment
member avatar

I understand that every new driver should expect to have to pay their dues, but sounds like DeJuan got hosed here. This is the kind of story that I dread hearing.

I hope they get you in a truck that at least runs ASAP!

Hopefully you can hang in there man and look back at it one day and laugh.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Well they all warned us there will be days like this, but instead of whining and complaining you seem to be taking the high road for real! I have to say that is some big test they are giving you on your solo run. Hopefully you are rewarded down the road for this adventure. I am sure the check mark will look good to your DM. Stay warm and positive and just consider it a little test. Also joke with your DM that you deserve a New Truck for this.

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.
Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

Well they all warned us there will be days like this, but instead of whining and complaining you seem to be taking the high road for real! I have to say that is some big test they are giving you on your solo run. Hopefully you are rewarded down the road for this adventure. I am sure the check mark will look good to your DM. Stay warm and positive and just consider it a little test. Also joke with your DM that you deserve a New Truck for this.

Yeah I agree with this just keep your head up and show them u can understand and that its not your FMs fault and trust me u should get breakdown pay and if u keep the receipt from the cab they will pay you back for it and they should put you in a motel till the truck is fixed..... Who are you working for

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.
DeJuan J.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Well they all warned us there will be days like this, but instead of whining and complaining you seem to be taking the high road for real! I have to say that is some big test they are giving you on your solo run. Hopefully you are rewarded down the road for this adventure. I am sure the check mark will look good to your DM. Stay warm and positive and just consider it a little test. Also joke with your DM that you deserve a New Truck for this.

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah I agree with this just keep your head up and show them u can understand and that its not your FMs fault and trust me u should get breakdown pay and if u keep the receipt from the cab they will pay you back for it and they should put you in a motel till the truck is fixed..... Who are you working for

They just put me in a motel. I work for Knight Transportation. Thanks for the encouragement guys.

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.
Sean's Comment
member avatar

Are you going to get breakdown pay? Did your DM say anything about getting you in a different truck?

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.
Chiefmac's Comment
member avatar

Talk about paying your dues! Dude...when (notice I said when) you pull this off, you are going to make some big points. Those points may not make a big difference to all the right people but the most important person, you, will know that you went the distance and stood tall.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Are you going to get breakdown pay? Did your DM say anything about getting you in a different truck?

Yeah that only bad part is I don't think the breakdown pay kicks in until you've been down 24hrs

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Are you going to get breakdown pay? Did your DM say anything about getting you in a different truck?

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah that only bad part is I don't think the breakdown pay kicks in until you've been down 24hrs

Hmm...since they sent you to pick up a truck the mechanic had told them wasn't right in the first place, seems like they could spring for breakdown pay from the git-go. Especially since you paid cab fare. But maybe they'll recognize your good attitude and reward you. Good luck!

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.
DeJuan J.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Are you going to get breakdown pay? Did your DM say anything about getting you in a different truck?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah that only bad part is I don't think the breakdown pay kicks in until you've been down 24hrs

double-quotes-end.png

Hmm...since they sent you to pick up a truck the mechanic had told them wasn't right in the first place, seems like they could spring for breakdown pay from the git-go. Especially since you paid cab fare. But maybe they'll recognize your good attitude and reward you. Good luck!

Yeah man this cold weather isn't making it any better. The shop is closed all next week so that doesn't give me a lot to work with.

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.
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