Speaking from experience on their broker side of the house, (if it's the same keen... Pretty sure it is) they had me deadhead from Phoenix to Vegas to pickup an excavator. When I got to the yard in Vegas they told me that's a new model and we don't have one yet... dealer made some calls. Hey that machine your after is in phoenix. Are you kidding me?! Just came from Phoenix. Long story short Keen said to head back to phoenix and they would make it right. They bought the fuel and adjusted the rate nicely.
Well I have been back at Keen Transport now for about 4 months. To give you a quick recap....I drove for Keen for two years and loved the company and the freight we haul (we do alot of oversized loads), but with the economic down turn last year, things finally got to the point that I decided to leave, so I could meet my financial obligations. I.E. bills, child support, etc.. I kept in close contact with the powers that be at keen, and was called in late December of last year and asked if I would be interested in coming back because freight was picking back up.
Over the 8 months that I was gone I kept in contact with several drivers that were still there, and they had all assured me that freight was indeed looking up. So I gave the company I was driving for my two week notice, and set up an orientation date of early Jan. They brought 8 drivers back in that first orientation that had either been laid off or quit on good terms like myself. (let me have a little sidebar here...for the newer drivers in this industry it is important to not burn bridges I don't care how unfair you think you are being treated always try and give some type of notice when leaving. It will come back to bite you in the #** if you don't. In this industry it will follow you on your DAC, and the perfect example is that when I quit I gave notice, but a friend of mine quit about the same time with no notice. Well I was rehired and when he tried to get back on here they said "no thanks. When you left before you didn't give a notice" So now he is stuck driving for an inferior company making about .12 less a mile.)
Since being back I have stayed busy, and made great money. The base pay is .48 per mile plus $35 additional for an over sized load. On average an overosized load pays me about .51 per mile. This is by far the best company I have driven for, the equipment is well maintained, if you have maint. issues they are taken care of immediately. They give you the cleaning supplies that are needed to keep the truck clean i.e. papertowels, windex, armour all, lubricant for your binders, they reimburse you up to $100.00 for a pair of steeled toed boots once a year. Little things like this make a difference to me. The drivers here are a pretty tight knit group, and I really missed that during the months I was gone. If stuck for a weekend somewhere, we will usually break out our grills and have an impromto cook out.
We are the main carrier for Caterpillar and that makes up the majority of what we haul. We normally haul from the Cat plants either to a dealer, the ports for Export, or to a coal mine somewhere. The nice thing about hauling this type of freight, is that most of the time the customer is glad to see you, and for the most part there are no appointments You get loaded, give your travel agent (dispatcher) an eta for delivery as long as your get it there in a reasonable amount of time there are no issues. Occasionally you will have a set appt. at a coal mine or select customers, but those are few and far between.
Now there is a down side to hauling over dimensional loads. Curfews around larger cities, having to run designated routes that are on the state issued permits, in most states if over sized you can only run during the day light hours.( there are a few exceptions) You must have patience to haul this type of freight because you will have to wait on permits to be issued from different states. You can't just run when you want to...you have to abide by that permit of face extremely high fines.
I will try and update this thread on a weekly basis, if anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask.Full Discussion
I drove for Keen for two years....left in June due to the freight slowdown. It was by far the best trucking job I have ever had. The equipment is the best maintained, both guys in safety are former drivers and haven't forgotten what its like to be out on the road as a driver. How many other companies out there provide the driver all the cleaning supplies they need to clean there truck...i.e. papertowels, windex, carpet cleaner, armor all, and anything else needed to keep THERE trucks clean.