Starting at Transwood as an O/O
read a lot on transwood here figured I'd do a story out of a different Side of
the coin so to speak. So anyways figure I'll update this as I get time so far
it's been a 3 week journey For those that don't already know I'm an O/O so
it'll be from an owner ops perspective on things.
To begin with they're strict from what I have seen. Currently I have a county
plate on my tractor from a previous local gig that went south and didn't bother
reinstating my authority during a local trip because it wasn't required. Not
having active authority kicked me out of the carrier pool the first week. Week
2 was an insurance headache additional insured must be checked in every box or
it'll get kicked out. That added another week to the time I've sat waiting to
even get started but that was the week my blower was getting put on so I guess
it wasn't a huge deal.
So here we sit af week 3 I was hoping to get going this week but alas rain...so
we have no work. Rain being called for in the forecast the rest of the week so
it'll more than likely be next week before anything picks up and I can actually
get going...supposedly. I've met a few different kinds over here at transwood.
I trained last week on unloading had a great trainer seemed very knowledgeable
even gave me his phone number if I had any questions. Took the other truck into
the shop this a.m. to get a blower put on it and met a disgruntled
employee...well the guy had a hard on for owner ops. Non stop whining and
complaining about owner ops taking his loads and money. I guess out of the
lousiville ne terminal (terminal I run out of) There's about a 50/50 split
company to O/O. But it's hard to say from everything Ive seen company trucks
outnumber o/o's 3 to 1 if not more. Anyway wasn't a great trainer at all IMHO
but I wanted the other driver to at least get a feel for what's going on
instead of getting thrown to the wolves.
Trailers seem to be pretty basic once you understand the valves doesn't seem
like there's much too it aside from watching pressures I'm sure I'll screw
something up eventually but we'll wait and see. a few things that have been
instilled in me is
2.Pump into the correct silo (sorry blow)
3.don't bother running heavy it doesn't pay anymore when you have to shell the
money out for a fine
4.don't panic when you begin to plug up.
This was all instilled in me by my trainer who had been doing this for about 7
years or so. My terminal manager seems like a pretty decent guy but he's also
monotone. I can't tell weather he hates me or not. Kinda been a pain in his
arse because I've been calling for a week wanting to get going but I guess they
don't see the point in running 1 day and taking 4 days off. alas when the time
comes I'll be ready.
I did talk to my trainer who seemed very knowedge able about the company and he
did say the terminal makes all the difference the terminal manager has been
there 20+ years and seems like he generally cares. The app process for a
company driver takes about a month. They are very through when they go through
everything and they want clean records on everything or they throw the app out.
From what I gathered they used to check the logs of the independs. Seems like a
lot of people get turned away I can't say. Company drivers are paid via
percentage from what I gathered unless something is flat rated. Home nightly
and they only run a 250 mile radius of the terminal. I believe they're offered
a full benifits package but once again I'm unsure. I do know days will vary and
start times are staggered.
Pay I can't vouch for company. From what I have been told (by the company and a
few fleet owners that I've talked too) an owner op when they're busy and it's
not raining can expect to TAKE HOME about 2500-5000 a week AFTER fuel. I don't
know what a company driver can expect but I do know one of the fleet owners is
paying drivers 1250+/week and is still adding trucks on He's been there 3 years
and is who turned me on to transwood.
Overall I suppose I'm happy the company financed a blower for my tractor and a
couple odds and ends before even giving me a trlr to hook to. they seem genuine
and seem like they're not blowing smoke but it's hard to say. From what I
understand a lot of owner operators have been there 5 10 even 15 years so I
guess the money has to be pretty decent. Guess I'll find out when that time
comes. That's all for now I suppose well see how it all goes and I'll update
this as I get more information.
one is in the books at transwood it went ok I guess. I was home every night
which was promised and I was happy with that. Didn't have any major problems
aside from dispatch but that's to be expected I guess. Finished out the week
with 6 loads 2 local 2 medium and 2 runs over 150 miles.
The rain hurt a couple days but it is what it is. Had 1 load today went 4 miles
and that was it guess today was a slow day didn't bother me much as it was 108
inside the cab when I climbed back in the truck after unloading and no I still
don't have working A/C.
Some things I have learned is communication is ok at best I didn't find out
until Friday of last week that I needed to write tandem on my bills so they
could get my paycheck right. So my first 4 loads I may not get the correct
percentage and have to fight with payroll on the matter. I do however get an
extra 10% because I'm pulling a tandem which puts me at 83% gross and it's 87%
if and when I go to kansas city.
So far I have enjoyed who I have worked with as I said communication isn't a
strong suit one dispatcher (night guy) will tell me to bring my tractor back to
louisville every night and the morning guy gets agrivated because I guess we're
supposedly not running local. I guess I don't know it's hard to say.
All and all it seems like a fairly decent deal guess I'll find out for sure
next week when the first check comes in. I'm happy with the fuel discount it's
.10 cheaper than anywhere else within 100 miles. It's pretty easy work once you
get the valves down and pressures down. The pipes do get extremely hot as I
realized Friday the hot line brushed up against my arm on my last load and
instantly took the skin off and blistered. Oh well its part of the job I guess.
All we seem to haul in this terminal is type 1/2 Duracim and fly ash but I
can't say if that's the case everywhere else. I do know they haul frac sand I
know this because my blower won't handle blowing sand out doesn't bother me
though I've hauled it enough to know better than to haul it. Was bad enough in
Anyway I've got some things to fix and get ready for tomorrow I'll update again
beginning of next week unless something happens. Have a good one and be safe
seem to be like just about every other company depends on the terminal. We have
some company tractors at our terminal that look like junk and others that look
prestine. I guess it depends on the driver and how they take care of the truck.
I would assume...oh gasp I'm assuming but anyway the longer you have been there
the better the truck seems fair IMHO but thats me.
Trailers are another story I looked mine over a little closer today and I'm not
terribly impressed but it goes down the road and isn't cracked anywhere so I
can't really complain I guess. I'm a little nervous about a couple patches that
the welds look pretty sloppy on I guess if it blows it blows.
I had the chance to talk to a guy who was basically the senior owner operator I
guess only 1 guy has been there longer and he is happy there. He is however
tired of guys who come in and expect things handed to them on a silver platter
and the 8 to 5 ers as he called them.
Things were slow today I called dispatch at 7 am and had 5 trk ahead of me on
the dispatch list got to transwood around 9 and sat till noon and then headed
home didn't have much work today which I understand. Some days are slow others
you don't know what to do and get tired of running. I had work of my own to do
trying to figure out a wiring issue with my truck so it wasn't a complete waste
going up there.
Also understand I have a county plate right now so I'm limited sounds like our
other truck is headed for KC tomorrow so at least that will be some work
that'll get done I'm still questionable but like I said I have a county plate
so I'll take what I can get at this point.
I'm happy here I like my boss and dispatch is finally warming up so I don't
really have a problem with them. It'll be a learning curve but from what I have
seen so far the owner operators that are here are happy and can't
complain...unless it's about new guys coming in but that's to be expected. I
can say at LEAST they do it by seniority and not off stupid crap like BMS did.
I was there for 4 months and quit. I was the top driver up until march they
hired a new foreman and I got the shaft. He was talking about senior drivers
and I had the 2nd most seniority at that terminal still didn't get any loads
when the slow down happened in march. Yea I was a little livid so I am at least
happy to know where I stand and so far I haven't been lead on. I'll see how
tomorrow goes hopefully there's some work to do if not it sounds like there
will definitely be something to do on thursday.
Have a good one yall and be safe out there
season was short lived at transwood as some people know. I suppose I should
have titled it independent at transwood. To clarify I was never LEASED to
transwood I have my own authority and simply pulled their pneumatic.
Pay was dependent on what trailer you had don't quote me on this as I pulled
only a tandem but I believe a spread was the same way. I was paid 83% of what
I'm not sure as I was never issued a rate con which was frustrating not knowing
what you're getting paid before you load. If a driver had a triple or a quad I
believe the agreement stated they would be paid 73% of gross.
It wasn't all bad there, and the rain combined with starting at the bottom of
the dispatch list I'm sure didn't help matters any. Overall I would consider
going back although I would want a few things in writing I never made what I
was promised, a lot of what I was told wouldn't be a problem ended up being a
The ugliest situation came with trailers they're junk far as I'm concerned it
started to become a serious issue when I informed the shop both trailers hooked
to my trucks needed an alignment badly they were dog tracking horribly and I
began to notice abnormal steer wear on our other truck. Shop wouldn't fix it so
I ran the truck to bauer to see what was causing the problem and what could be
done to correct it. Immediately they determined the wear to be from the trailer
with the way they were cutting the ribs. It started to do the same to my
tractor and it was at that point I started looking for something else to do. My
trailer had a leaking discharge pipe never welded always wa simply told water
and a rag. Which works but it got old after a while when it needed to be fixed.
Other major issue we had was we were promised local work home every night.
Another company had 7 or 8 trucks on every driver was home we were supposed to
stay out. I was promised local work that's where I have an issue and to be
honest being 100 miles from home is worse than being 1000 from home for me
personally because I'm 100 miles away and can't go to the house and sleep in my
own bed. I figured it up and we were running when all was said and done for
about 1.40/mile it just became time to move on.
It wasn't all bad my driver manager I guess you would call him was great to
work with I enjoyed dealing with the dispatchers most mechanics were good
except for the foreman he was a jack wad never wanted to fix anything on my
trailer always had someplace to be when I had a question anybody else would
answer question and at least look at what may be wrong (I don't know much about
a pneumatic) him nope wouldn't give me the time of day.
From what I'd heard a lot of guys threw in the towel on last season because it
was so slow which is understandable no work no money have to do something which
was the decision I made.
I pull grain local home every night and I make more after fuel than I did at
transwood. That's not to say this year I'd blow my grain numbers out of the
water if I was hooked to a transwood trailer but last year just didn't do it
To each their own I guess I had a bad experience I'm sure there's 30 people
with nothing bad to say about them. It just didn't work out for me. I do know
as of last week I passed one of the kids I used to work with at transwood still
hooked to a grain trailer cutting my grain rates so it's tough to say how this
year will go. It doesn't make me feel too great seeing owner operators from
transwood hooked to hoppers right now though...I know what I ran for and grain
is their side job so it's a bit unsettling.