The Joy Is Fading ...Please Forgive My Attitude ... But ...

Topic 9698 | Page 1

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mountain girl's Comment
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...I can't help it. I spent 4 weeks assigned to the dock. I got so few hours there that my (weekly) paycheck from last week was (no kidding) $99. I started out with this company, training for several weeks until they sent my evaluations in to corporate to approve me for driving on my own. During that time, I spent nearly 4 weeks on the dock in January. By the time I got back into a truck, I had forgotten a few steps in the handheld computer, needed for city driving. Not many. Back out with a trainer for a day or two. Then, because I didn't know the city too well, they sent me back out with a trainer for another week. On my own again, I made the usual new guy mistakes.

Just as I was starting to get the hang of things, one of the dispatchers complained or whatever and I was back with a trainer for another day of evaluation. Back out on my own. More harassment from the same dispatcher and I called him out on it one day, in February or March. Having done so, both of us ended up in the service center manager's office. Then it was decided that I could have a regular route for a time. As soon as I started to get good at that (after about 6-8 weeks) they changed it up on me and started sending me on different routes again. I had my second preventable accident in June (at a dock where I'd never been ...again) and in the 1st week of July, I was grounded to the dock for 2, then 3, then 4 weeks before I could be re-road-tested. Tuesday of this week, I took my road test and the evaluator interrupted me so much during my pre-trip that mentally, I was all over the place.... I mean, he was a real ....... (choose your own derogatory word, here)

Here's where I am totally perturbed. I have always had an exquisite pre-trip - not perfect - but very, very good. I've worked very, very hard at my pre-trip and I deserve a reputation for having a great pre-trip. The evaluator goes back to the dispatch manager and insists that I be evaluated by a trainer for 3 days because of my pre-trip. Today was my first day back in my truck (or any truck) and I'm expected to be as good at driving as I was a month ago. Well ... I'm ...not. I don't care about what IIIiii think of my driving but now it appears that I'm not as competent as I should be after being on my own for 5 (broken-up) months. I'm frustrated as hell man ...guys, ...gals. I feel like I can't shake this image they have of me. Someone or some of them are convinced that I'm incompetent and I canNOT shake this. My stats prove I'm getting better and better every day but this cloud keeps following me around.

To give you an example, today, the trainer directed me to a dock that he said I was going to "have fun" trying to back in to. He got out of the truck and watched while I set myself up and backed in (a little wiggle-y with my pup) to this very, very tight dock. No pull-ups - just one shot. It was nearly stellar. I squeezed out of the tractor door, stepped onto the ramp next to me, and laughed and said, "Now you can tell everyone back home that I don't suck." He laughed too, it was cool, but I was only half kidding.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see a pattern here? I'm getting shuffled around and then just when I'm about to refine my craft, someone wants to freaking evaluate me again or shuffle me somewhere else just before I've really caught on. Today, I'm not as skilled as I was a month ago. Yes, I understand why I was grounded and it had its benefits, and I understand the need to be re-assessed before they send me out on my own again, but I was good enough on Tuesday, this extra evaluation time is redundant, and it's getting old, very, very fast.

I told the trainer today that I would really like to be taken out from under the microscope so I could just come to work and do my job. He also noted that my 1 million mile+ tractor was a serious hindrance to my productivity and that he would mention the unfairness of its assignment to me as a newbie and the hyper-focus on my performance to the terminal manager. He even tried to make my tractor pick up its pace ...and could not. I'm back to double-clutching because he said the (Meritor) gears were so sloppy, it was the only way I was going to get them to sync.

I'm going to emphasize again tomorrow, that I'd like to just do my job without the spotlight on me constantly.

He's a good trainer and there's something new to learn from him, any day that I'm in the truck with him. That's a gift. I've taken his constructive and helpful criticism to heart and even proved myself to be "trainable," fixing issues or bad habits right away. I will improve on everything he pointed out, immediately.

However, the hyper-analysis and the setbacks from the terminal powers-that-be are beginning to erode the joy.

-mountain girl

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

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

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

MG, You have posted tons of very positive stuff about your LTL experiences here. So when you get worn down, it's believable. Go get that MG cape out and take a look at it. Maybe even try it on again.

It seems to me that you have a company that so believes in you that they are doing everything they can to get you ready for the road. Once they can trust you with a truck and a 28' trailer again, I believe you'll be able to make your final escape from the terminal. On reading of your experiences here, I know you learn from everything that happens. This is a sign of someone who will become very good at their job.

If you are scheduled so, take this weekend just to relax, lemonade on the back porch style. Look online for trucking opportunities (only as Plan B!!!), and be ready to rock and roll next week. You did the right thing: asking to get a truck and get out there again. The worst that can happen with that question is the boss can say "No.", but they know you really want to get a move on.

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
Gladiator 76's Comment
member avatar

Just clear your head and do your best, because your best will be good enough. Don't over think things. Stay positive! Good luck!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

MG, how come you're doing P&D instead of linehaul? That would be soooooo much easier. Doing P&D as a rookie is really being thrown to the lions.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

MG, how come you're doing P&D instead of linehaul? That would be soooooo much easier. Doing P&D as a rookie is really being thrown to the lions.

-Brett

Ok, now, you got me, Brett. Lump in throat. I asked in March and the terminal manager told me with a smile, to come back in June and ask him then. When I did, he said 2 guys were ahead of me in line. Fair enough. They're my friends, they are experienced, and were hired on just before I. They went on to linehaul and then he changed the policy again, saying he wasn't allowing any others to transfer to linehaul.

I'm not questioning his honesty because as a terminal manager he's entitled to his reasons for things that I don't know about, at my level. He changed his mind right before it would have been my turn to go linehaul. Still, not about me. He also said during this probationary period, I would not lose my seniority once I was back in a truck. He's had 27 years of driving experience himself and he's a man of his word. I trust him.

That said ...Two senior linehaulers just got fired: 1 for driving off an embankment and rolling all three trailers (my guess is, he feel asleep) and the other for reaching for his phone in Wyoming while a cop witnessed him doing it (don't do it guys. Not worth it).

To fill those positions, they'll either hire experienced drivers from outside the company (I can't hold resentment for that, as those drivers have earned their time on the road) or offer them to P and D drivers, in which case, I'm next in line. ... WAIT a minute ... ...In which case, I should not give up, just before the miracle, right?

good-luck-2.gifgood-luck-2.gif

It seems to me that you have a company that so believes in you that they are doing everything they can to get you ready for the road.

-Errol

Errol, you're right. I'm tired. I called in this morning because I could not fall asleep in time to be safe on the road today (not being able to sleep is rare for me). I was still awake past 2 am. Three hours of sleep - no way. Dispatch treated my call with respect and I appreciate it.

I made mistakes yesterday that I should not have been making. The trainer pointed out specific instances where I was not getting the big picture. I totally thought I was.

If he said I was not getting it and I thought I was, then I'm too danged tired to be driving. I grounded myself.

Thank you for the booster shot, guys. My goal for these last 2 days of evaluation (Mon and Tues) is to attack each day's manifest with confidence and professionalism, and show the trainer the stuff of which I am made. (**** and vinegar, I've been told)

-mountain girl

thank-you-2.gif

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Shirley K.'s Comment
member avatar

You got this, mountain girl. good-luck.gif

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

You got this, mountain girl. good-luck.gif

Shirley

Thanks, Shirley!

-mountain girl

smile.gif

DaveDiesel's Comment
member avatar

Mountain girl,

Your persistence and attitude are very impressive. It's no supprise you're a veteran.....Stay motivated!

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