Abilene Motor Express....A New Place To Call Home

Discussion in 'Discuss Your Favorite Trucking Company Here' started by JohnBoy, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. ExtremeUnction

    ExtremeUnction Road Train Member

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    Fortunately it is possible to expedite the process, at least for tires.
     
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  3. jarhead0311

    jarhead0311 Heavy Load Member

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    Got my PM done and new magnets and a new cotter pin on my deer guard so hopefully it stops falling down when Im driving now, though just in case Ill drive like I have a 3 foot extended bumper like when I was a volunteer firefighter driving some fire trucks. Those magnetized deer guards aren't the greatest I think.
     
  4. MidWest_MacDaddy

    MidWest_MacDaddy Road Train Member

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    Trend setter!!!
     
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  5. JohnBoy

    JohnBoy Road Train Member

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    Sitting at the WM yard waiting on a load to arrive to drag it to Stuart’s Draft Va for tomorrow. Let me explain to anyone that wants to hear about what I’ve been through the last 6 months, hopefully when I’m done, people will understand why I’m not in a happy place. Just like what I wrote back in January that got me dragged into the office with a sit down with the head cheese, this too is going to be an honest account of what I have been going through, and what I see.

    Home time, 5 of the last 6 months I’ve had to get everyone in upper management involved. Why? Because no one is doing their job. We put in a request for hometime a week before, then call in to make sure it’s in the system. After that, it’s operations job to make it happen. I have no problem about the amount of hometime I get, it’s the getting home in time that’s an issue. 5 of the last 6 months I’ve been home 3-5 days late. When I call various people to question them about getting me home, everyone suddenly becomes stupid.

    I’m now on my 17th DM, I get it, after almost 9 years driving here, I’ll see my share of DM’s but on average, 2 a year? Brain damage, on my part. I’ve had them all. The one that really gets me is a random phone call once a week “just checking to see if everything is ok” Come on dude, if there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s this job. Look at your computer screen and see for yourself I’m on schedule, as usual, and don’t need a phone call. 9 years here, 1.3 million safe miles, and you want to know how I’m doing?

    Load Planning. The worst. Yes, I do get the phone call offering me a few loads. That’s a nice feeling, but that doesn’t happen all the time. Here is what has happened the last 3 times coming out of the house. 2 days after leaving, with a minimum of a week off, I have to do a reset. Take for instance right now, I left the house last Wednesday, put in a whopping 2000 miles and did a reset over the weekend in Texas. Then, get 2 drops off and sit in Katy Texas for 6 hours yesterday to get a 560 mile deadhead to drop the empty reefer at Boars Head in Forrest City. The plan was to pick up a load there and run it up to Boars Head in Indiana then bobtail to Boars Head in Groveport and get the 2 stop Oregon that comes out on Wednesday. Sounds great. The first monkey wrench thrown in the plan came yesterday afternoon. The WM load planner called and said she was waiting on Volvo to release a few more Reno loads and she would send me there, if not, then Boars Head it would be. I’m ok with that. Sitting at Forrest City this morning the first correspondence from her came, no Reno, ok, how about one of these loads sitting here going to New Castle or Groveport? No, they canceled. Ok, here’s a firm belief I have always had. Dispatch, load planning and operations foundation is based on lies. You can tell a driver anything, and that’s it, except I was sitting at Forrest City and 4 trailers of ours were being loaded going to New Castle. How do I know? I asked. Lies. Maybe that’s too strong of a word. How about lying by omission, better?

    So, I get another phone call from the planner and I’m offered this load to Stuart’s Draft. It’ll be here by noon. It’s now 3:15 and I’m still waiting for the local guy to get here with it, as my clock is ticking down. Knowing how some of our local drivers operate, he’s probably sound asleep under a shade tree in Memphis.

    I’m frustrated with Abilene, when I get like this, I usually throw my hands up and make a change. In the almost 9 years I’m driving here, I’ve never once looked for another job, I’ve filled out more applications the last week then I have in the last 10 years. If I feel this way, I can only imagine what a new driver is going through. I’m easy to get along with, I do my job, I voice my pleasure and displeasure when need to, with such a short time left before retirement, it’s frustrating as hell to have to deal with this.

    For me, money isn’t the only factor, hell if it was, I could go to a number of companies and start out at .10cpm more. It’s the hometime, it’s the intangibles that I have that I don’t need to start over with at another company. Between my CPM, monthly bonus, yearly bonus, 401K match every February, vacation based on my weekly salary and the relationships I have established, these are what keeps me here. I’m very fortunate, I’m at the stage of my life where I don’t work because I have to, I work because I want to. I still have it in me, albeit an occasional back issue, winter is here and I know I’ll be out west in it all winter long.

    I’m done ranting. I’ll be in Richmond tomorrow evening, truck goes in for its first service on Thursday, this week is shot so I’ll be finishing up another reset Friday morning, and I phoned a few people to get me one of the LTL loads that will carry me into the middle of next week. Nothing beats closing the doors on the trailer and not having to deal with dispatch for a good solid week.

    One final observation, it looks to me that they tweaked, fumbled, and changed a perfectly good business model and turned it upside down. But then again, I get it, there’s a board of directors involved now, that to me, seems like a round table weekly discussion that centers around the type of toilet paper to buy for the bathrooms instead of dealing with certain issues that have a profound impact with drivers. But again, I’m smart enough to know it’s all about the bottom line, at the drivers expense. Oh well, it’s very obvious I work for a parent company that has 25,000 trucks. Where do I fall on that list?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  6. JustCallMeDriver

    JustCallMeDriver Light Load Member

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    What happens, is there'll be a meeting every once in a while where they tell all the DM's you have to call every driver no matter what, even if it's just to check in. I'm pretty sure this meeting is called whenever anybody notices that driver retention is a problem, and when drivers say nobody is listening to them or respecting them.

    But in the meeting, it isn't super clear what the reason is you're being told to call every driver once a day or once a week. So unless a DM is really into trying to be the best they can possibly be at their job, AND has a ton of industry knowledge somehow, they're not going to realize that they shouldn't ask a driver like you "is everything OK" so vaguely, instead of asking you if there's anything operations can be doing better for you. And then I won't even get into how little power a DM has to get anyone else in operations to fix how they're treating a driver.

    And then if you're new as a DM, there's not really an obvious way to tell that you as a driver have such a long, productive, safe, on time record. You would have to do some deep digging in the system to research all your drivers, either on your off time or while the phone calls and emails are piling up unanswered.
     
  7. JohnBoy

    JohnBoy Road Train Member

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    *****update*****
    Still waiting on my load. 5:39 minutes. I’m glad these folks have deep pockets and can absorb this type of BS.
     
    Flatbedder 1966 and Lonesome Thank this.
  8. Bumper

    Bumper Road Train Member

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    I know how you feel. I am sitting here at home waiting for my new job to finish up my hiring process and I can start with them. I know how tiring it can be.
    Good luck.
     
  9. BM 58

    BM 58 Medium Load Member

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    I feel for ya JB. But as close to retirement as you are you would be better off to stay put and deal with the bs. Another mega will suck worse for starting over. You won’t get the miles or the time off that you have now. Just my two cents. This is what happens to all the good carriers that allow themselves to be absorbed by the big sucky mega’s.
     
  10. mjd4277

    mjd4277 Road Train Member

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    You guys forgot about the Adidas track suits!;)
     
    Lonesome Thanks this.
  11. JohnBoy

    JohnBoy Road Train Member

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    You are spot on. This will work itself out.
     
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