Just wondering if anyone out there ever drove for this company or knows anything about em.
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All I know is that I went to orientation today for an hour. Then I call dispatch tomorrow to get assigned a truck. They seem like a good company on the surface. I'll post back here in a week or two.
BTW. They don't have one style of truck. They have Petes, KW, and Freightliners. As they explained it to me we buy used trucks, whatever we can find.
As far as the trucks, that makes sense. I guess I dont see many of them on the roads and the only ones I do see are kenworths.
I see this hasn't been updated in awhile so I'll throw in my .02 or more.
I've worked for Gilster for 4 yrs now which is how long I've been driving. I did a short hitch for Hogan Transports for 7 weeks of training before working for Gilster and I'm glad I made the switch. I was planning on doing so but not so quickly.
Anyways, I'm pretty happy here and wouldn't work for another company unless it was one that could pay me equivalent to or more than what I make now and could get me home on a daily basis. As it is, I'm home every weekend and typically once during the week, depending on how busy I'm keeping myself.
Our mileage pay could be a little better but between mileage(I avg. 3500miles a week), unload pay, layover pay and a yearly Christmas bonus, I do pretty good. I started in June of '04 and by the end of that year I made 35k gross. Not too shabby for my first six months of driving.
As for some details, mileage pay varies on experience and time with the company. Our raises are odd to say the least in that we get a penny raise a year but it's given in 1/4 of a penny at time. Figure that one out!
Unload pay is 110 bucks for the entire load. Since we service grocery warehouses for the most part there is some breakdown to the loads. Multi-stop loads are nice since you just break down a little bit at a time with with 2-5 stops per load. I avg 3 stops a load when I have multi-stop loads.
I personally prefer straight loads since it's just one stop, get their crap off and down the road you go. I hire lumpers based on personal judgement. Why pay a guy 250bucks to break down a handful of pallets when I can slip a guy 20-30 bucks to yank it all off and I do the breakdown myself.
Our layover pay is 8.80/hr and we get paid on a 4hr-8hr split. This works by the company taking the 1st 4hrs, then giving us 8hrs of pay, 4hrs to them, 8hrs to me. In effect, I get paid for 16 hours out of every 24hrs of layover. This includes layovers for multi-stop loads and breakdowns.
For instance, let's say I have 3 stops. I unload 1st stop at 6am, arrive at next stop same day at 10am. Unload at 6am following day, arrive at 3rd stop again at 10am that same day. Unload following day at 6am. Not counting the 4 hours of unloading/driving from 6am-10am for each stop, you would end up with 40hrs total laid over and getting paid for 24hrs at 8.80/hr=$211 for doing nothing. Oh yeah, stay in a hotel during each layover period as well with reimbursement in an expense check the following week.
The company pays for fuel(Comdata), lumpers(ComChek) though sometimes paying cash comes in handy but call it in and you'll be reimbursed for it the following week as well. Motels are paid for as well..within reason of course. Don't stay at the Hilton @120/night when the 45/night Super 8 with truck parking works just as well. Also, I only stay in the hotel when I've got at least a 12-14 layover or more.
After a year of service you get a weeks paid vacation which is your avg weekly gross for the year. This is paid every April so some folks can use it for paying off taxes. A weeks paid vacation doesn't mean that is all you get. I avg about 3-4 weeks off per year by taking a week or a just a few days off here and there. Our Christmas bonus is 2% of previous years gross and the percentage goes up based on numbers of years of service. I'll be getting a little over 1300 this year so figure out how much I made last year.
Let's see, what else is there...oh yeah, our trucks are lame, unless you want to keep your lips pressed against a dispatches backside everyday. We have KW, Pete's, Freighshakers..literally will shake you and now some Volvo's. Some new trucks are bought new every year with a few kits thrown in for good measure. The company has bought used trucks in the past but seems to going with more new trucks as the years go on.
Gilster has bad points and good points just like every other company out there.
Good points, I'm home every weekend, TAH is never an issue as I just get myself dispatched according to when I want to get home. If I need some additional days off or can't leave until Mon afternoon I just let them know a week or so in advance. I usually ask about a month in advance if I'm taking off for a week or more and it's never a problem. By Thurs afternoon I know what I'm doing the following week. Call in Mon morning for second load of the week. First load is pretty much forced unless you don't have the hours to make, ie. got home too late on Fri/Sat to get in a 34hr restart in order to leave on Sun/Mon. Second load of the week is based on how far you want to go. Getting miles isn't an issue, unless you're a complete ###### and can't/won't work hard and/or complain about everything. The more you complain here the less you'll get. The one thing I like best is that I can call in to either dispatch or backhaul dispatcher and just say my first name and they know who I am. Usually know my truck number but with only 300 trucks in the fleet, that's not surprising. I just like that they know me by my first name. They don't bug you constantly with eta's and there is no qualcomm used. I get my load, take it and go. They don't care how we get there or what route we take. Just get it there and get it done. Nobody is looking over your shoulder or holding your hand.
Some bad points, the equipment while not unsafe or complete trash, it does leave a little to be desired. My truck is 10yrs old, over 2 mil miles for sure, but has at least 1.5 mil on it. I'm not happy to be driving a truck that old but oh well, gets me from here to there and back. I get paid if I break down so sitting around isn't a big deal for me. We have no 24hr dispatch system set up for calling in with problems, comchecks for lumpers etc. Dispatch office is open Mon-Fri 7am-5pm. After that we call that night's on call dispatcher at home and call the expenses lady at home for comcheck. Kind of a dumb setup but whatever. These guys are pretty old school and aren't one for change.
Well I think I said enough lol Not sure this is what people were looking for but it's been my experience here so far. Got any questions, feel free to pm me. As for the guy who just started orientation...if you're still working for Gilster and are checking this, feel free to pm me as well if you have any problems/questions. Be glad to help.Lonesome Thanks this.
Biscuit_trk I tried to PM you but I don't have enough posts. What truck do you run. They haven't assigned me a truck yet I just drive whatever they have sitting. But I also team. I run out of steeleville for the most part.Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2009
Sorry for taking so long to respond. Haven't had much time for internet stuff. Anyways, how are things going for you so far? Get assigned a permanent truck yet? How are you doing on miles? If you're still teaming I assume you're doing pretty good since the teams tend to do pretty well...at least the ones willing to work will do just fine.
I drive one of those awesome blue T600 piles of crap and run out of Perryville. If you were given a truck and it's got problems, just keep writing them up. Eventually they'll get fixed but if not, let the part break on the road and have it fixed properly by a dealership with real mechanics. Plus you get to collect all that downtime pay.
Hope everything is going alright for you. Got any other questions just ask away and I'll be sure to respond in a more timely manner.
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