Bad Planning Or Is It Just Me?

Topic 8036 | Page 1

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Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I have had a lousy time of it for the last few days. I'm wondering if there's another way I should have handled this situation. I feel I've been sitting at truck stops more than I should, and this last weekend I got the short end of the Home Time stick.

This is the first time I've asked for a home call. Sent in a request in plenty of time for this last weekend.

Friday I get a preplan to take a load from near Peoria, IL, to Memphis, arriving at 9am. No problem with that, I prefer driving "the third shift". As part of the deal, though, I have a load from Memphis to Ottawa (near Chicago - 498 miles), delivered 1:15am Monday. Meaning my home break is over around 3pm Sunday. That's roughly 30 hours I'm home - overnight.

But, some dispatching/scheduling issues on Friday get me out of the truck at 4pm, so my off time (after two weeks OTR) is 23 hours. Not even enough time for a 34 hour reset. I've been working off recap to the end of the week.

Drive to Ottawa, having to use some recap time I get back after midnight. Deliver, then get to a truck stop out of time - 1 minute on my 70 hours, one minute good for all day Monday! 9 hours comes back for Tuesday.

With a useless 70 hour schedule, my DM is "kind" enough to make a (you guessed it) 34 hour break, with a new pickup Tuesday afternoon 175 empty miles away. (Granted, this run is 700 miles). So, instead of relaxing at home for 34 hours, I sit in my truck waiting to reset my clocks.

My question is, can I work this kind of situation out so I can stay at home, instead of watching Freightliners drive by me for two days?

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.

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.
Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

If you request home time in plenty of time, and you get short changed at the last minute it seems to me you should be able to turn down that load assignment.

I know I have done that same thing in the past with no problem.

You just need to stick to your guns on this or you will get the preverbial shaft every time you turn around.

Ernie

Charles K.'s Comment
member avatar

On my last home time, I have to turn down three loads affecting my home time. So if you decided to take one, stand by it! Don't ever take another load until you had ur home time with a new 70.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

As a rookie, your company is going to constantly be testing you to see what they can and can't get away with as far as pushing you to do things. And one of the first things they're going to try you on is seeing just how important your time off is. They're going to delay getting you home, just to see how much you squeal, and if you don't they're not going to make any kind of effort to get you home on time, because it must not be all that important if you didn't complain. Then they're going to call you out of the house early, again to see how important that time off is, and if you don't put your foot down there either, you can bet every time you're at home you'll be getting calls to the effect of can you do us a favor and come out early and grab this load?"

Granted, when you're brand new it's not wise to get yourself a reputation as a whiner, but at the same time if you don't stick to your guns, they're going to run rough-shod all over you every chance they get. Not necessarily out of malice, but because they won't see it as taking advantage if you don't say anything. But once you've established a pattern of what you will and won't put up with, especially after you've developed a rapport with your DM , things will go much more smoothly.

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.

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

Patricia M.'s Comment
member avatar

I have had a lousy time of it for the last few days. I'm wondering if there's another way I should have handled this situation. I feel I've been sitting at truck stops more than I should, and this last weekend I got the short end of the Home Time stick.

This is the first time I've asked for a home call. Sent in a request in plenty of time for this last weekend.

Friday I get a preplan to take a load from near Peoria, IL, to Memphis, arriving at 9am. No problem with that, I prefer driving "the third shift". As part of the deal, though, I have a load from Memphis to Ottawa (near Chicago - 498 miles), delivered 1:15am Monday. Meaning my home break is over around 3pm Sunday. That's roughly 30 hours I'm home - overnight.

But, some dispatching/scheduling issues on Friday get me out of the truck at 4pm, so my off time (after two weeks OTR) is 23 hours. Not even enough time for a 34 hour reset. I've been working off recap to the end of the week.

Drive to Ottawa, having to use some recap time I get back after midnight. Deliver, then get to a truck stop out of time - 1 minute on my 70 hours, one minute good for all day Monday! 9 hours comes back for Tuesday.

With a useless 70 hour schedule, my DM is "kind" enough to make a (you guessed it) 34 hour break, with a new pickup Tuesday afternoon 175 empty miles away. (Granted, this run is 700 miles). So, instead of relaxing at home for 34 hours, I sit in my truck waiting to reset my clocks.

My question is, can I work this kind of situation out so I can stay at home, instead of watching Freightliners drive by me for two days?

As a 13 year veteran and a former log specialist/driver trainer at a major food company with 1200 trucks, most companies now days are looking for the 3 week driver. They say 2 weeks out then 2 days at home, but to really make some money out on the road you will need to stay out 3-4 weeks then go home for 3 days. It is usually difficult to get you good miles and home time every two weeks because your load radius is really small. And now days with the way the 34 restart is structured you will need more than 2 days at home anyway to fulfill the requirement. I do not believe your dispatcher/driver manager is trying to "just give you the shaft" he/she is working the best they possibly can with the limited mile radius and required 2 week home time you have given them. Now, what you may have to do once you get home is turn your phone off. Let them know you are taking your time so you can fulfill the 34 hour reset, you will not be answering your phone, nor will you accept any loads until your 34 is complete. When you are home, you are on your time not theirs. If you allow dispatch to load you out early once, then they will do it again until you put your foot down. They do not do this to push you, or test you, they do this because the freight needs to move. Period. They do not get extra perks or bonuses based on how many loads they fulfill, it is all about customer satisfaction. So give the 4 week strategy a try, it's not as hard as it seems. You will see your miles increase and you will see your home time improve as well. Talk to your fleet manager he/she is willing to work with you to make you as much money as possible. Bottom line: if the wheels are turning, you are making money. They are happy, you are happy, family is happy. Bills are paid :D that's the goal right? Hope this helps. Happy trucking Trish

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.

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.

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.

Driver 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.
Jared McClure's Comment
member avatar

You should have turned down the load, using a "macro 9", and just let them know your new pta and the reason you're turning down the load. Its possible that whichever of the Swift planners put you on it didn't even realize you were wanting to take home time, but as Swift is not forced dispatch, there is no reason for you not to have turned the load down to take your home time.

Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

You ALWAYS can decline a load at swift. after i got my new truck some dumb planer got it in his head that weyers cave va was in south carolina. he sent me the same load to south carolina 5 times for me to do during my home time. it got to the point i had to call the terminal he was based out of tell him to look at a friggin map. I was going home not driving 3 states past my home time after he screwed up the previous 3 runs for me.

When you are at home its your time, you take the time you have earned. For the most part the planners are stupid most do not know what HOS are much less how much time it takes to get from one place to another. There is also a time where you need to put your foot down and say you are not going to do something or they will always just walk all over you.

I know you are still a new drivers but you have to stand your ground at some point. If you are going home you are going home, just decline the load and say you are going home for your home time and stay at home until your 3-4 days or however long you wanted of is up. NEVER let them short you on home time, if they get away with it once they will try it EVERY time.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Eckoh, I'm getting there. Last week me DM confirmed my home call is for March 10 (Fri). I put on an empty call from central NC, looking for a trip home to Memphis. I got a load sent to me that went from SC (fair 'nuff) to Valdosta, GA (no way). Delivered on March 11. Yeah, I macro 9 turned it down.

My next load was a SC pick up March 11, delivered in Memphis Match 12, MONDAY. Where'd my weekend trip home go?

rant on

Swift calls home stops "Your Most Important Stop". This is the second home stop they've messed up in a row. Important to me, yes. But shipments are more important to them.

rant off. Thank you. wtf-2.gif

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.
Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

Eckoh, I'm getting there. Last week me DM confirmed my home call is for March 10 (Fri). I put on an empty call from central NC, looking for a trip home to Memphis. I got a load sent to me that went from SC (fair 'nuff) to Valdosta, GA (no way). Delivered on March 11. Yeah, I macro 9 turned it down.

My next load was a SC pick up March 11, delivered in Memphis Match 12, MONDAY. Where'd my weekend trip home go?

rant on

Swift calls home stops "Your Most Important Stop". This is the second home stop they've messed up in a row. Important to me, yes. But shipments are more important to them.

rant off. Thank you. wtf-2.gif

if talking to your DM does not fix it go up the chain talk to the fleet leader of your terminal.

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.

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.
Jared McClure's Comment
member avatar

Eckoh, I'm getting there. Last week me DM confirmed my home call is for March 10 (Fri). I put on an empty call from central NC, looking for a trip home to Memphis. I got a load sent to me that went from SC (fair 'nuff) to Valdosta, GA (no way). Delivered on March 11. Yeah, I macro 9 turned it down.

My next load was a SC pick up March 11, delivered in Memphis Match 12, MONDAY. Where'd my weekend trip home go?

rant on

Swift calls home stops "Your Most Important Stop". This is the second home stop they've messed up in a row. Important to me, yes. But shipments are more important to them.

rant off. Thank you. wtf-2.gif

Its possible they didn't have a load to get you there on time and did the best they could with what they had..

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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