Trick Drivers Running Nights

Topic 8264 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
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I have run into two other drivers that have her and they average 3000 miles a week. Both run nights. She wanted me to run nights when I first joined her fleet but I told her no. She didn't like it so I think I am paying the price.

Joe, you know what's best for you to do and still be able to be safe. But, yeah you are not doing yourself any favors when you tell your dispatcher no. I'm running my tail off at this new job, but I hear from a few of the other drivers that claim they aren't getting their share of the miles. Usually with a few discreet questions I find out that either they refuse to run nights or they refuse to run in the North East. I run through the night a couple of days out of each week, and I take all the loads I can get up into the North East. I'm on a 2500 mile run right now that finals in Connecticut, but I'm having to run through the night for two nights.

Crete is a great operation, hang in there, do a bang up job on what you get, and hopefully things will be looking up for you.

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.
Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

I do my best to stay on a day schedual as well, however i do not get the "i don't do resets" i know its a preference thing but i do not grast the "i sit i lose money" if you are sitting because you used up your 70 before you start getting recaps you are not losing money, you still used your 70. When i am running how i like to run i used my 70 every 6 days then do a reset and do it again. When running that way i can normally still get 3100-3400 miles in the week. Now i can run recaps but to me its more of a pain, i rather blow up my clock and start over :D

I also agree with old school never say i will not run nights, if you do not want to run them do your best to work your clock so you can;t run as you need then time for a 10h, also there is places i hate to run like the NE and i also will not ever go to British Columbia again just because Canadas roads make the NE look huge, but i also get not ill will for saying i rather t-call the load before the boarder.

Skydrick (Brian L.) 's Comment
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I run through the night a couple of days out of each week, and I take all the loads I can get up into the North East. I'm on a 2500 mile run right now that finals in Connecticut, but I'm having to run through the night for two nights.

Hey Old School, If you have the time would you mind posting maybe a simplified plan for that trip? I'm just curious how you switch back and forth between days and nights with HOS etc. Either way thank you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar

There is an old saying. If you like what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

Trucking is not a job it is a lifestyle.

I like to drive and I love to travel and see our beautiful country. That is one of the main reasons I got back into trucking.

I didn't refuse to do nights. I told her that I tried to stay away from nights as much as possible. She wants me to do nights all the time or at least a large part of the time.

If I have to start treating this lifestyle like a job and start running nights 2, 3, or 4 times a week then it becomes a job to me. It no longer becomes fun and enjoyable to do. I start not liking what I am doing.

If that has to happen, I can go home and drive a trash truck for 20 dollars an hour. Have every weekend off. Be home every night. And make better money than I am now.

I didn't get into trucking for a "job". I had a "job" before I came back into trucking.

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
Hey Old School, If you have the time would you mind posting maybe a simplified plan for that trip? I'm just curious how you switch back and forth between days and nights with HOS etc. Either way thank you.

Brian, rather than going through this whole trip which starts in Louisiana, goes over and down into Florida for two stops, then up to Connecticut for two stops, let me just give you some examples of how and why I might switch over from nights to days and or go back and forth during my week.

Let's just say that I finish out a load in Connecticut at eleven in the morning and they send me a message to pick-up my next load in Pennsylvania at nine o'clock that night. (that is not an uncommon occurrence) I started driving at four in the morning, and I arrived at my delivery location at ten, I'm empty, and my tarps are folded and put away by eleven. Now I've got close to a 5 hour drive over to the pick-up location, which puts me there around four in the afternoon, and my eleven hour clock has run out now. So, I force myself to bed while parked in the shippers parking lot to get some rest until my loading appointment. I get loaded and secure my load (I'm driving a flat-bed) then I go back to sleep. From the time I arrived at this shipper I have had my electronic logs on the sleeper berth. You do not want to waste your all important drive time by logging unnecessary "on duty" time which will eat away at your ability to turn the miles during your work week. Not everyone agrees with the way I work my clock, but the guys who are making some real money at this do it this way.

Now I can drive again after ten hours on the sleeper berth line. So, at two o'clock in the morning I start rolling. Let's say this load is going to Louisiana which is also a very realistic back haul for me, and it will take twenty hours of drive time. It's Tuesday morning at 2 a.m. when I leave out with this load and it is due in Louisiana on Thursday morning at seven o'clock. I drive for a total of ten hours with a thirty minute break in there somewhere and fifteen minutes for a pre-trip inspection and another thirty minutes for checking my tires and load at various points along the way and a fuel stop. That means I will stop for the day around 1:15 or 1:30 in the afternoon. I get myself right onto the sleeper berth line and I'm good to start driving again ten hours later at 11:30 Tuesday night. Now, I'm going to drive the other half of my ten hours that it takes to get me to the destination plus the time for a pre-trip inspection, a thirty minute break, and several LCTC stops (Load Check Tire Check - it's a flat-bedder thing) and I arrive at my destination at approximately 10:30 Wednesday morning.

Now, one of two things is going to happen. More than likely I will get unloaded a full day early (because these receivers are always glad to see a flat-bed load get there early!) and I will then take a ten hour break which will set me up to be ready for a pick up on Thursday morning around nine o'clock, which is when the planners are looking for me to be ready for a load. (Remember I was due here on Thursday morning at seven) Or the other scenario is that I will have to take my ten hour break on their property or relatively close by so that I can get unloaded at seven in the morning when I was due. Either way I have set myself up to be available for a pick-up and have time to turn some miles with it because I ran through the night on the previous two nights, but now I will be running in the daytime with this next load. (Do you see how my time frame has now switched back to day time?) That is the critical part of managing your time like this - you want to always be working toward keeping yourself available. The planners will start to recognize that you "get it", and they will come to count on you being available. That my friend is how you make the big bucks! It is challenging to say the least, and it can be tiring, but if you can learn how to "git er done" safely, and still be available when you get emptied out you will be way ahead of the moaners and groaners out there.

Now, my friend Joe, who started this thread, runs differently than I do, and I have every bit of respect for his choice. He knows that I would defend him, and have done so in the past. But here's what I want to point out to you Brian, because you inquired about how I do this. Joe stated his miles are not what he was promised. He also talked to some other drivers who are getting more miles than him, but he qualified that with the statement that they didn't mind running nights. Joe has handicapped himself in a way. He has sort of set his own bar that is hard for the dispatcher to overcome because they do not control when these things have to be delivered.

This business is performance based pay. The folks who compete at the highest levels turn the most miles. I'm not trying to brag, if you knew me very well you would know I'm a very unassuming fella. I am turning in 3,579 miles this week @ .45/mile (that pay rate includes .05 cents/mile bonus pay which is also performance based, but I am regularly making the cut for that bonus pay) I will also get around 150 dollars extra on top of that for stop pay and tarping. That is a big week! I consistently turn in big weeks because of the way I manage my time. Is it exhausting at times? Yes, but that is what home time is for.

Hope that helps a little!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Old School,

I am no longer with Celadon. I moved to Crete just after the first of February.

Still having some "growing pains" here. I like the company itself. But things are not what I was promised.

Good money. Good benefits. Home time, not so good. And the big kicker. Miles. They are really down. And it is not so easy to change dispatchers here.

If things keep up, I am going to have one more talk with her about my miles and if that doesn't work, I don't know what I will do.

I have run into two other drivers that have her and they average 3000 miles a week. Both run nights. She wanted me to run nights when I first joined her fleet but I told her no. She didn't like it so I think I am paying the price.

I am averaging just over 2000 miles a week.

But we shall see.

Hope we can meet up. I am in a big red Freightliner now. 34807 is the number. So if you see me, throw a rock at me or something. LOL

Keep it safe out here. The life you save might be your own.

The Blue Angel

Not to butt in.. I am new to the trucker term.. What's restart?

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Thomas, it's a good question, and one we deal with often. The answer isn't always simple, but I will try to answer it and point you int the direction where you can very successfully self-educate yourself on a lot of this stuff.

That term "re-start" comes from the Hours of Service regulations that truck drivers are bound to by law. Once an over the road truck driver has worked for seventy hours in an eight day period he is not allowed to drive any more. He can work more if he needs to as long as that work doesn't involve driving. We call that our seventy hour clock. If you want to re-start that seventy hour clock, then you must be off-duty for 34 hours consecutively. Then you have another seventy hour time period available to you. You don't have to do that re-start if you manage your time in such a way that you don't exceed that seventy hour limit by balancing out your hours that you work each day into an average amount of around 8.5 - 9 hours a day.

That's a simplified version of the much more involved rules and limitations a professional driver operates under. If you want to learn a lot of the things that you will need to know when you go to take the test to get your learners permit you can start doing that now by studying our High Road Training Program. It's absolutely free and there is a special section in there on the log book rules where you can learn all about the re-start and all the other things that will make your life as a new truck driver much more simpler and profitable.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

There's a big difference between "won't" run nights, and "don't like to" run nights. I don't like running at night, and my FM knows this. But he also knows I'll do it if I have to in order to get somewhere on time. He generally tries to avoid putting me in that position, but as we all know things don't always go as planned, and what should have been a daytime run turns into a night run thanks to some glitch or another. But he isn't going to hamstring my miles because I prefer to run in the day either.

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

Fatsquatch, I don't disagree with you. Joe"s problem, in my opinion, stems from the fact that he started out at this new job wanting to dictate how he wanted to run. It will always go better for a driver if he just starts out doing whatever it takes, and after he has established himself then begin to communicate his preferences to his dispatcher.

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.
Scott M's Comment
member avatar

Thanks OS Oldschool. This is the tip-of-the-week about Always being available for the dispatcher. Lots of great advice on here. A guys just got to dig.

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.
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