I've just started company driving with Gless, did orientation two days June 2-3.
Lots of paper work (usual stuff), very short road test. The guy running the program is pleasant and not out to get you, just the paperwork filled out.
They've changed thier program around a bit so things went a little slow at times as they debugged on the fly. Nice air conditioned room, big plasma t.v. up on the wall so you can see what's going and be comfortable.
Very informal and inviting. Pay is $90 a day during orientation training.
They don't have a meal allowance but the hotel is a very nice room at a Holiday Inn w/ a hot continental breakfast, about 20 minutes down the road in Davenport Iowa. Absolutely no complaints on the room or the local food options. If you want to splurg the in house restaurant is killer or else there is all the fast food joints to feast on.
Foodliner, DBA, Gless Bros, Blue Grass Ia.
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Training June 4th, 5th, and 6th.
Met with my trainer, nice guy, started out at 6A.M., hooked a load of antifreeze that delivered about 15 miles away.
Did the pretrip on his 08 freightliner w/ 35k on the odometer.
Yeah I enjoyed it while I could, knowing I'll be driving a much older rig "Mack" atleast for the forseeable future.
I've been pulling petroleum for about a year now, so the slosh didn't bother me to much. A couple of hard hits, not used to the gear pattern, ect. Then I pretty much settled in.
Did three rounds first day to the same place, two air unloads and one pumping off so I knew how the equipment works which I'm honestly already familiar with but do need practice before I run out with a load of acid or base and do something stupid.
Ron explained their friend's net system, I think he called it. Similar to Qualcom. Day ended around 5 ish.
The 5th started at 8a.m. with what I thought was three more loads of antifreeze. hooked the first for a 10a.m. delivery and when we got there... some other guy was in our spot but not unloading because the customer tanks were full.
Hey great planning??? right??? Anyways after an hour, Gless decides we will drop our trailer and come back deadhead, they are cooking up a scheme.
New plan: you get the rest of the day off, head home about 2 1/2 hours drive, and we'll meet up at the Hydrite facility in Waterloo tomorrow at 3a.m. and you guys can boogie a load to minnesota and then a quick turn to Cedar Rapids.
Kinda a long jaunt but doable in 14 hours if nothing goes fubar.
Trainer mentions he is on vacation come friday night and is supposed to be back at the yard. "oh you'll make it, we have a plan!!!" Weren't those somebody's famous last words???
Your new truck (talking to me) will be all cleaned out, full of fuel and ready to roll to help save time. On the second trip, the trainer will only follow you to Cedar Rapids so he can head out on vacation after you drop the load. You drive ok and we trust you to get the rig back without him.
2:30 A.M. friday morning, show up early and hey??? my truck is filthy, hooked to wrong trailer which is being loaded in a bay. They are using it as a yard mule.
No problem, we jump in the trainers truck to roll to Minnesota. Call and let the "powers that be" know that the plan is not going to well, but they have til mid-day to get it back on track. They will, they will, we are calling right now.
Finished Minnesota and headed back to Waterloo, truck is still a mess, floor covered in dirt, a couple of baldies riding the left hand drive position. =AND= Nobody had time to fuel it up but they did syphon about 10 gallons into it, enough to get us to the fuel stop. Well now, thank you very much and this, quite frankly, is too funny and I am going along with the joke, for now.
Fueling cost us another half hour on the way down and the trainer isn't real happy since he doesn't do hazmat chemicals, and should be 200 miles south getting ready for vacation by now. Did I mention he had to call a buddy to verify the hookup at our first drop??? Anyways, we get to a large fortune 500 company with armed guards...
Go in with all our paper work and are told, "hey trainer, your not on our approved list, we can't let you in." "you cannnn't cooome innn" (very polite and smiling when he said it. and you can't wait here either... go get rid of the spare trainer truck and come back.
yadda yadda... so much for off at two since it is 4p.m. before we start dropping.
5p.m. trainer is in his truck and outta there for vacation. Me I been on the clock for 14 hours and live just up the road. Guess where I go???
Hope the safety guy can take a joke, cuz he's gonna hear a doozey at 8a.m. Monday morning.
In all fairness this little comedy of errors is partially my fault and the trainers. Traditionally I am told you ride with the trainer for a few weeks learning everything on a schedule.
The first day I drove fearless and made no errors, knew how to hook hoses, pump, and even rebuilt the pump in front of the trainer before he could say to much. The slosh didn't bother me and there really wasn't that much. (figured I could skip playing dumb and lets just get this thing rolling)
This, I think, thru a wrench in the plans and the boys decided they should work me like a rented mule from the git-go. Trying to do that on the spur of the moment snowballed into one uh-ohhh after another.
I was on 17 hours friday for a training wage of 90 bucks or???
$5.29 per hour labor. lol **it happens...
Truck needs some attention and had they had an extra week I'm sure it would have been ready and "the plan" would have been slightly more successful.
I'll give it a week and see what happens, maybe a couple of months in the yard mule til we really have to have that serious discussion about what's going on.
Oh yeah, lastly, I haven't a clue how to work the all important Qualcomm clone, everytime the trainer tried to show me, it broke.
I think its fixed now though because it was beeping "read message" all the way home. Had I had some training on the thing I probably would have pushed a key on the thing to see what they wanted.
I got about three reasons they should fire me right now and ten reasons I should quit and run to the nearest exit... lmao
but I'm here and staying for now. everybody stumbles once in a while and companies are no different.
They have a nice line of trucks, and everything about them is 100% professional with no complaints from the several dozen drivers I spoke with. So I'm chalking it up to, the experience of a lifetime. You couldn't pay money to see anything like this in the theater.
More tomorrow on what cometh... be well...
Came in early to complain about the truck and the goings on. (lightly)
Booo hissss !!! was shut down in a heart-beat.
Said, that trucks a p.o.s. and I don't think its even legal if the DOT gets a hold of it.
Guy says, "hold on, I know everything you're gonna say, and I'm really sorry about that, it wasn't supposed to be or happen that way. We need you to make a run to clinton with it then scooby over to blue grass and we got a new (different) truck waiting for you."
well crud, that blew my whole speach all to heck. okie-day.
new truck is newer, nicer, ect...
still a mack (I hate macks) but no dents, dings or bobbles and lotsa rubber on the drives.
gotta love it.
was wondering if these guys would be able to keep me busy.
ok... now I'm wondering if I can even keep up.
run here, run there, skip this, new that... forget the dispatch, its all changed because of the flooding here in Iowa. Am running my butt off and hoping it all goes away or slows down a bit.
its been a mad house with the regular delivery schedule chucked out the window in favor of: run to the ones you can get to and skip the guys that are under water.
spent 16 hours yesterday on a couple of "quickie runs".
clocked 600 miles on the odometer. lots of roads closed, lots of flooding and detours across the goat trails and through traffic to find a bridge or dry pavement.
and the a/c quit.
guy says pull it in the shop they'll fix it or top it off real quick to get you by...
nice offer, but I gotta go... maybe tomorrrow?
news said the water "should" recede by saturday??? Good, because I'd really like a chance to see what "normal" is for these guys.
Right now a few guys are off because they were hit by water at home, a few customers are closed, alot of roads are closed, and its impossible to make a fair judgement or assessment of how the company runs, pays, ect... because everything is in a bit of turmoil.
will let this sit and stew for a bit till I get a normal week and normal pay check then will post back.
pay is 40 cents a mile loaded and empty.
$10 for the chem suit (thought it was 15 but guess not).
am unsure of a weekly payday as yet.
was told I could turn in my paperwork as late as sunday and still have it counted for the week.
got everything in order and went by the truckstop and their machine was busted so I only got paid for one and 1/2 runs this week. (my fault)
I've got the papers but am too tired to dig them out and see what I should have made.
Am guessing about $975. Seemed like it should have been more for as tired as I am... but its not and not supposed to be.
I was really pitifully slow all last week.
normal new job stuff, how do I this or that, where's the form for...???
hauling my crapolio in and out of trucks... not a good productive week.
this week is better... kinda getting the feel for things, my speed driving has picked up considerably... was sloooooowwww shifting to not rock the boat... and now I just wap right thru them without much slosh at all. (must take a little practice???) hehehe...
and roads are still fubar... was down town iowa city today... eeehawww...
those poor guys are wet I'm tell'in ya...
and 500 looky loo's driving around taking up space.
So far I've been home every night, did a couple of real killer runs I wouldn't mine having for my own pays about $255 for the day...
that would bank you 60k and weekends off... but... I'm dead last on that wish list... maybe next month? hehe
planning on getting settled in my own truck next week... or b'tching some more???
work on my performance... and hopefully start pounding out some serious miles...
owner operators are getting $1.25 loaded and $1.00 empty plus fuel surcharge... which the guy didn't know what it was... thought 50 cents... but that sounds low to me... really all the o/o stuff everywhere seems low to me... I don't how the guys do it...
couple of fellows I saw in the lot, jaw jacking, driving long flat petes with all the chrome goodies. I didn't have time to talk... but was sure wondering how they paid for those???? maybe they aren't??? lol might be three payments in the rears??? but sure shiney pretty and brand new...
anyways... will get back next weekend, hoping I'm a little better off or atleast still under the radar...
I haven't answered the qualcom thingy yet... lol and so far nobodies said nothing... they just keep sending me out on loads... okie-day...
My new truck is ready to go but I'm still in the loaner for now...
guy asks me, you wanna run to blue grass and get your truck or you wanna go to wisconsin or nebraska ???
hmmm...???? Wi. and Ne. pay roughly twice what going and getting the truck will pay.... so I'll take one of those and forget the truck thingy...
I really need the truck and keep waiting to get it... I suppose I am greedy and will just keep sitting as long as they let it...
home every night, weekends off, and the good loads come your way... you can do $1200 worth and be a very happy little boy.
home every night, weekends off, and a couple of shorter runs, local stuff really, you can make 850-925 and not be to tired.
there is a large gap between the two and I figured out why...
as yet I haven't had a chance to talk to anybody about short haul bonus but am sure there isn't one... and this is a problem.
3 of the longer runs I have done pay almost hub mileage... no fooling.
the shorter 57 mile runs are way off base... you get paid 57 miles each way but are running 68 miles each way plus these have a wait time in line.
meaning: 2 runs a day ... 228 total miles @.40 = $91.20 + $50.00 stop pay = $141.20 for roughly 8 hours work or a $17 hourly average.
now technically you can do three runs a day local... I'm just saying I haven't had the priviledge and really don't care to. city traffic, waiting in line, flat sucks to me plus I don't know that they have three runs available and god help ya if you get stuck with just one run. That happened to me one sat. worked from 11-4 for a lousy $70 bucks. I don't mind saturday work... but come on guys... hit me with a run for $200 if your gonna work me... I gotta eat to ya'know...
248 mile run you get paid 246 miles each way and no wait time in any line.
1 run... 492 miles @ .40 = $196.80 + 25 stop pay = $221.80 for roughly 11 hours work or $20.00 hourly average and "no" traffic.
work on saturday is just an extra days pay but do that all year and it's "ten" extra grand a year !!!
work on sundays pays a $100 dollar bonus. that's 5k extra a year.
work on holidays is another seperate $100 bonus....
so how much you want to work??? the pay is there if you can hustle.
its a very broad spread 40-65k but that really is the spread.
and to a large degree it isn't up to you as a newbie as to where you will fall in this range of pay... the run has to be available and the dispatcher has to know you want it and have the hours to burn.
same as all over... the better you get along... the better you get along...
same as all over also... if you can't get along... you ain't gonna...BigDaddyJollyRob Thanks this.
I know where I'm going tomorrow, there is no sitting and waiting on a dispatch. If I were sitting it would be at home. AAA+++
Pay is fair and more than fair for the longer runs.
I get treated with respect and am just one of the guys. I've only been here a month but there isn't that corporate management/employee or suit vs driver thing going on here... just show up and do your run and go home. No head games... no problems at all really...
Lots of older drivers here... that's good... cuz they been here for 30 years, meaning they are retiring from this place... or yeah its worth staying here... almost no turn-over at all. actually it is kinda weird.. lol
You get used to a training company and being a bit of a number and seeing so many new faces constantly because of turn-over... then you come here... and at first, it almost has a morgue feel to it...
I see old people... and they are driving and they know my name... they've been stuck here FOREVER... forever... forever...
WTH is going on ???????? ohhhhh... they like it here.... my mistake... hehehe
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