17(+2)/88/107 - UPDATE & Fleet Option Change

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Steve B.'s Comment
member avatar

Since leaving for orientation I've been home 17days in the last 107days. There was a family obligation where my wife and children picked me up from a terminal and I was with them for 2days. So that means I was out trucking for 88days of the 107. This last tour I was averaged right at 400miles a day. I keep learning all the time and I am totally amazed at how much I've learned since starting CDL school back in Jan. I so much enjoyed being one of three trucks at a rest area in eastern MI for a night where I could open the windows and hear the night sounds while in the sleeper. A lot better than being in s. AL with the heat & humidity while at a dollar DC and many trucks in the staging area.

Bottom line it has been a long & challenging time to get to where I am now. One of the reasons I chose the company I chose is to eventually switch my home time option or get something local after putting in the time needed (1yr - right Brett?) So I'm home for 3days and starting next WED I'll be on a 7/7 fleet. I've got children,4, and a bunch of projects here at the house.

AGAIN, thanks for all the encouragement from this site!!!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hey, that's a fantastic update Steve and congrats on getting into the 7/7 fleet!

One of the reasons I chose the company I chose is to eventually switch my home time option or get something local after putting in the time needed (1yr - right Brett?)

That's right! Sounds like you've paid your dues and now you'll be getting home a lot more often.

What are the terms and expectations for the 7/7 fleet? Slip seating I would presume. Do you have to live near a terminal to qualify for that fleet? What are the average weekly mileage expectations?

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.
Fire-Man's Comment
member avatar

Hey, that's a fantastic update Steve and congrats on getting into the 7/7 fleet!

double-quotes-start.png

One of the reasons I chose the company I chose is to eventually switch my home time option or get something local after putting in the time needed (1yr - right Brett?)

double-quotes-end.png

That's right! Sounds like you've paid your dues and now you'll be getting home a lot more often.

What are the terms and expectations for the 7/7 fleet? Slip seating I would presume. Do you have to live near a terminal to qualify for that fleet? What are the average weekly mileage expectations?

Steve, the more details you can provide on your home time option would certainly be appreciated by myself and the wider audience I am certain. Thanks for the post and the opportunity to gain valuable information from your experiences.

Randy

aka Fire-Man

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.
Steve B.'s Comment
member avatar

Slip seat - YES, you're sharing the truck with someone else. I'll have to commute from my house to a drop yard where there are others who are also on the 7/7. Not sure how far/close you need to be to a drop yard or terminal for this to work. There is also a 7/4,7/3 option. What I have been running is National and it was 11/3 or around that. Of course, at each of these levels there will be more cash that can be made so a person need to think about that. Being on the 7/7 I'm thinking right now that I'll be at the bottom of what a person can make. However, for me the trade off is worth it because of my family.

Average miles for the 7days is 3000. What the Fleet manager/dispatch is going to be doing is keeping you running hard for 7days and working hard to burn up ever bit of your 70hrs. A person has to be ok with putting in long days and driving long miles.

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.

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.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations, Steve. You have definitely kept your learning curve at its peak. That is a crucial thing to do, as a new driver. The only way you find the opportunities, is to work with the company you are driving for. I'm glad you have found a driving position that fits you and your family. Stay safe and sane...or as close as you can get....

Scott L.'s Comment
member avatar

The 7/7 is great if you can afford it. It's basically part time work. You're only working half the year. I know a few guys that do it, but most of them are semi-retired. Good luck!

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Working only 6 months out of the year? Your company must pay you a lot to make up for the money you are missing out on for the 6 months your not driving. Maybe one day I will be well off enough to only work half a year. Good luck to ya.

Fire-Man's Comment
member avatar

Slip seat - YES, you're sharing the truck with someone else. I'll have to commute from my house to a drop yard where there are others who are also on the 7/7. Not sure how far/close you need to be to a drop yard or terminal for this to work. There is also a 7/4,7/3 option. What I have been running is National and it was 11/3 or around that. Of course, at each of these levels there will be more cash that can be made so a person need to think about that. Being on the 7/7 I'm thinking right now that I'll be at the bottom of what a person can make. However, for me the trade off is worth it because of my family.

Average miles for the 7days is 3000. What the Fleet manager/dispatch is going to be doing is keeping you running hard for 7days and working hard to burn up ever bit of your 70hrs. A person has to be ok with putting in long days and driving long miles.

First the question which is being begged to be asked along the line of guyjax was referring to. What is the pay per mile or what can you expect to average for your week of driving to the limit? How do your benefits with the company change? i.e. do you pay more for insurance/s? Longevity raises etc…

Also:

Maintenance - 1) being in an organization where equipment is shared I know the issues involved i.e. there being a bit less ownership for the truck therefore it is rarely in the condition that a single operator truck would be; 2) are there back-up rigs in case of serious shop time or do you just suck it up if its your week; 3) are they smoke free; 4)how is clean out handled; ....

Coming on duty are there any specific limitations, other than those for any driver, on activities? i.e. must have x number of hours of sleep; cannot be employed elsewhere within so many hours of going on duty?

As always thanks for the information and keep it coming...

Fire-Man

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.

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.
Steve B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm in the situation as most of you. Not semi-retired, don't have extra cash, and this company pays the same as the others. I just know my children are a priority, my marriage is something I treasure & being gone so much does have an effect on every part of that. WE can use the extra cash if I were to continue at the same pace i've been running but at what price? I just take each day now and I'm thankful for the people around me.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I mean making $25000 or so a year or less AND being gone for half the year does not make a whole lot of sense. I understand what your family means to you but you could make more money at a normal job and be home every night.

Maybe I am seriously missing something

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