since the take over by the son Randy Marten,the company has taken a bad turn,they have cut out providing load locks for the trucks,the quallcomm system dont give detailed route info,they want you 2 always drive over the legal driving hours,they wont even give your truck a front end alignment when its serviced,they have this stupid steering wheel lock that has 2 b put on even if you r on company property,the yards 4 truck parking r 2 small,if they call u in 4 a random drug test they want u 2 pick up a load 1st,local work consist of working 6 dys @ 12 hrs a dy 4 945.00 a wk,alot of seasoned drivers are leaving,every driver that run logs r probably running illegal logs,they dispatch you based on who u r,this is just a number of things thats going on with this outfit,just w8t and c,this is a big accident w8ting 2 happen.
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Ive been with Marten for 3 years as an O/O and recently their freight seems to be thinning. So far I have not been asked to run illegal or had any problems getting home. Then again,Im an O/O,so Im not sure how they take care of their company trucks. I agree a few of their yards are too small for the number of trucks that go thru there. Last month I booked a load in Wa. only to find out it was loaded on another truck the day before when I got to the shipper. Then I was sent a load that was supposed to pick up 4 hours earlier and it didn't get loaded till the next day. They seem to be getting slowly unorganized and their freight seems to be thinning. This may be another sign of them slowly taking a turn for the worse.
I have been both an O/O and a Company Driver with Marten for 3 years. First as an O/O for 1 1/2 years until my 98 FLD died needing $25K worth of repairs, now a Company Driver for the last 1 1/2 years. I have been driving Commercially for 10 years OTR, Regional and Local after retiring from 35 yrs. in business.
I was an Employer for 35 years. I always treated my employees like I would like to be treated. It took me 7 years with many different companies to find one who did the same.... and that is Marten Transport.
There are many positive things about Marten and, like all companies, there are some negative ones.
I will list the Positive first.
1. Pay - Depends upon Expericence. $.36 - $.45/mile
2. Average 3,000/week
3. Type of Equipment - Freightliner, Volvo & Peterbuilt - all 2004-2006
4. Kind of Freight - Frozen Food, Produce, Haz-Mat & General Freight.
5. 50% Drop and Hook the balance "live" load/unload
6. Detention Pay - $15/hr. after 2 hrs.
7. Layover Pay - $25 after 24 hr. (Both a positive and a negative - kinda cheap on their part in my opinion)
8. Tolls paid with the exception of the Chicago Skyway
9. Pre-pass available
10. All Lumper Fees Paid - Marten Policy is drivers are NOT to load/unload
11. Milage Bonus - $500 if you average 10,000 mi. every quarter
12. Safety Bonus - $200/Qtr. after you wach 15 minute video and take a multiple - guess test that any moron could answer correctly.
13. Fuel Bonus - I average $170 every quarter between the months of Sept through May. Must have idle average at less than 40%.
14. $150 if you stay out over Christmas. $50 for any other Holiday.(Not Enough in my opinion)
15. $1.50 for phone calls and $1.50 for Scales automatically every week.
16. Qualcom Dispatch - No Charge (would you beleive some companies charge their drivers for QC?
17. Routing - You choose your own route. No idiotic mandatory "short" routes that take twice as long to drive.
18. Chains supplied on ALL trucks.
19. Hiring Area - all 48 - same as running area.
20. Settlements - Every week. Very accurate and detailed. They have NEVER made a mistake on my pay.
1. Milage pay based on Rand/McNally "short" miles. I average 6% more miles than the trip pays for.
2. No Pets. I wanted a Hamster in the truck. Qualify as having a "pet." With a pet in the truck you are exempt from all Anti-Idling Laws. Cats and Dogs make too much of a mess and are a pain in the butt. Marten said "NO." Going to get a small live turtle. Maybe that will qualify me.
3. Scales are NOT re-imbursed. However they have load pressure gauges on every one of their trailers and tractors. Very rarely do I ever have to scale a load. You ARE paid $1.50 every week - no receipt required for scales. It balances out pretty even when I add up all the scale receipts and match it against what I have received from Marten.
4. Load Lock Policy - Marten gives you 3 load locks. It is up to you to hang on to them. They will not re-imburse you for a new one unless it breaks.
5. Forced Dispatch. Unless you are out of Service Hours, you MUST take the load. (If I EVER get dispatched to NYC I will be out of hours)
6. Icy/Snowy roads. Marten does NOT want you to use the chains they supply you. They on there only because they are required by law in CA., OR, WA. ID, UT and CO. If you put them on and have an accident, even if it is not your fault (4 wheeler spinning into you) your Marten record will be charged with a PREVENTABLE ACCIDENT! While this is listed in the "negative" column, it could have been in the "positive" as well. Just didn't know where to put it.
7. Mandatory use of a steering lock. Must be used when you are showering, eating, etc.,etc. or do not have the truck in plain sight. This peice of crap is lodged into the turnbuckle of the steering rod under the hood. A real pain in the butt to install when the temp. is 5 degrees, the wind blowing 15 mph and the chill factor -30 deg. Especially when the wind blows the hood back down on your head. If you are caught parking your truck without it - instant dismissal for not following "Company Policy." I hate that peice of ####.
OK. That's about it from someone who has been with them. As you can tell this is NOT a recruitment thingy for Marten. You make up your own mind whether you can live with them or not. They advertise that they are the "BEST." I can't agree with that, but from everything I've experienced with other carriers and those of whom I have inqured, the others are so much WORSE!
This is in response to the first post. I've been a company driver with Marten for about seven years.
1. Marten's Qualcomm directions aren't bad...no complaints there.
2. The steering lock is hated by drivers, but I like using it because I've got a lot of valuable stuff of my own in the truck. In my opinion where Marten went wrong with this policy was shoving it down drivers' throats. Using the lock would seem to be a relatively small favor to ask, considering the high stakes involved. All the "do this or else" approach does is make drivers less willing to comply.
3. The load lock policy is bad...it's knee-jerk and overkill. You can end up wasting a lot of time trying to obtain a pair of locks. I cannot defend the policy.
4. I've never had trouble refusing dispatches I didn't have the hours for. Marten wouldn't force anyone to run illegally...they're smarter than that.
I always thought Marten was one of those companies that was one of the top companies. But boy was I wrong. Until I went thru orientation in july of this year and left on sun. the 8 of Oct. 2006 As far as them asking you to run over hrs. this is a deffinate YES. On the 3rd. day of orientation you arrive for class @ 0700 (in indy.) go thru the rest of the B.S. are issued a unit. ( check it out) this is not bad. But you are told not to log this time as it is not cosidered on duty not driving time. (Bull S.) as per Carl Z. My DM. I myself have never worked for a company w/ quailcom. so it is a little hard tring to figure this thing out. My first load was dispacthed. But I forgot that they use 24 hr. clock. And the load delivered @ 0500 in Wi. now their is no way I can get there without running over hrs. I called my. DM. and was told you answered the trip aknolgment to having the hrs and accepting respon. for the load. an error on my part . and was forced to take the load. enough on that one.
You are told by safety that if you are waiting for your unit 2b worked on that is off duty time this is wrong. It is on duty not driving, Unless they put you up in a hotel rm. Also you are toldthat you need not log a post trip. This 2 iis also a mis info certain states require it , Ohio is 1. It is a gig if cited as per marten rules.
AS far as the routing. Marten says you are paid by Rand Mcnally. thats funny they my check always says Marten trans. actually they use Mile maker w/ all the bells and whistles ($1600. program) but they run their trips using House Hold movers Guide (HHG). This works to their advantage. East of the Mississippi. where it is more densly populated. they can save 10% of milage. Not so much west of the Mis. only 3% or less. You may ask how I know this . I called custoumer service @ Rand M. asking to get their program or something simmilar. This is why they dont route so you dont hit that low bridge or go thru that no truck zone. But they do tell you your out of route all the time. This is STUPID. I was told I was out of route in the rocky mountains on Rt. 70 coming from Filmore, Ut. so I called my DM. and asked what mountain top am I suposed to hop to 2b back in route. LOL
These people dont talk to each other. day shift and nite. They could care less what your needs are. it is all about getting the load there. And that you take full resonseabillty for the load. they will say anthing for you to do this thyey want an ETA to the stop ( exact time of arrival ) according to their milage which is off. ( not pratical milage) and if your late their macros dont work or they just ignore them. they get the newbies just out of school and give them a NEW unit but the seasoned drivers get the crap of the fleet. (slip seated units).
They tell you to fudge your logs all the time. But say I didnt say this. Like use the 15min. rules to your advantage. Like fueling. it is imposible to fuel and get you receipt in 15 min. The logs they use are vage for a reason it is to hard for DOT to figure the out without the legend of codes. that is why they suggest that you use them like loose leaf logbook.
Their steering lock is a good idea. But like others say it is forced down your throat.
Their maintance is a joke. the mondovi shop has alot of experance with the different type of units but dont share what they learn with the other shops. This is bad very bad. I had a freightliner Columbia. They have a problem with the heat shields coming loose. and will rattle constantly when your going up thru the gears. I wrote it up 6x . It finally fell off and stopped rattling. I was asked why I didnt write it up.
Their dispatch is a joke they have dispatchers that have no clue what it takes to get a load, loaded and dwn. the road. or vise versa
I was early to a reciever by 24hrs and was told I had to wait for my unload time, that this reciever will not unload us early. so I when to the store a got a box of doughnuts . When the reciever came in at 0530 I went in and said good mornig and ask him why he didnt have anything to eat with his coffee, and gave him the doughnuts. needless to say I was the first one unloaded that day. A little kindness goes a long way my unload was for 1800 that nite. My dispatcher could not figure out how I was the only marten driver to ever b unloaded early there. CLUELESS.
As for time off they ask you to put in for it 2 wks b4 needed. thats fine in most cases. But will not get you their. ina timely manner ,always over. 1 to 2 days
and wont pay for the days you missed your day off $50. aday they always find an excuse why they dont have to pay you that $$.
Owner ops. dont and wont see what company drivers have to deal with. comany drivers are forbiden to use a macro to refuse a load.
as far as the scales , $1.50 doesnt pay for any scale. ( I asked for the list of dollar fifty scales.) this is a cost that they are obligate to pay for. if you are orver on your frt axel that onboard scale wont tell you this. Beside these thing are not certifed or calibrated. It is your responsiblity to scale the load. the best way around this is to Quailcom them that your bills dont match your dispatch. and let them tell you to scale the loador not to. that way they have to pay for it. It puts the responsability on them. But DO NOT erase the message. this way you can prove to DOT that its not your fault.
You have to be smarter than them this isnt hard. just use common sense. if it doesnt seem right it probably isnt. they will tell you anytrhing to get you to do it. ie: its only an 18hr trip when you have 17hrs left in your logs. But remember this 18hrs is by HHG miles it is more likly to be longer.
I hear a lot of drivers complain about the 65mph top speed this I never had a problem with. I would always make it to my del. ahead of time. by 12hrs or more. But at a price. I didnt stop at the trk stops. to eat and shower every day just fuel and go. Marten doesnt care for the driver. This is a bad. they will run you ragged. they want the drivers who wont speak up for them selves. who will do what they are told with no questions asked. this is their perfect driver. But if you get caught they wont back you up. they will leave you out in the cold to fend for yourself.
I myself started driving in 1984 before the CDL and have 22yrs behind the wheel. all weather.
I've been with Marten for 5 months. I don't care for the slow/low powered trucks, but oh well. The one thing thats making me look elswhere, is the fact that I never get home on time. You would think that the two week lead time they require would give them plenty of time to line up loads to get you home. In my five months, I've made it home on time once. Usually I end up 3 to 5 days late getting home. Kind of hard to plan doctors/dentists appointments and other things when your employer doesn't care whether you get home or not. My time with my family is #### important to me. Another big thing with me is the complete lack of personal contact. Road assist and OSD are the only people there who answer the phone. With everyone else you get voicemail and maybe, just maybe a reply on the qualcomm. It's the only place I've ever worked where there were locks on the doors to keep the drivers away from dispatch and office personnel. Not a good sign. The Mondovi, WI shop? Please. Took my truck there for service 2 months ago. Three mechanics were standing there looking at my fifth wheel. When I asked if there was a problem, they told me I should have written my trailers reefer up for repair because it must have a terrible oil leak. The idjits thought the generous amount of grease on the 5th wheel was oil from a leaking reefer. I quote, "We've never seen a 5th wheel with that much oil on it." I then explained my habit of applying a little grease each time I did a drop and hook. They looked at me like I was crazy. During that same PM, they "fixed" a leak under the bunk. I went from using a gallon of coolant every 3 days to a gallon each day. Had to get it fixed 2 weeks later in the Indy shop. I could go on but I think you get the picture.
It used to be that both road assist and OSD would leave you on hold for long waits (15-20 minutes) but they seem to have improved in recent years. The benefits department is the only one I've noticed that's set up to greet you with voice mail (except when someone is simply away from their phone).
Some shops are better than others. Mondovi isn't the best, but I have no idea why you'd bother to apply grease to the 5th wheel every d&h. The mechanics definitely get a pass on that one. Your time would be better spent spraying lubricant (I've heard soapy water works well) underneath the 5th wheel to keep the auto-release working smoothly. I haven't been, and now I can't get the darn thing to release.
How well Marten gets you home has everything to do with who your fm is. Some of the fm's work real hard while others read magazines. If you get stuck with someone lame, you fleet-hop until you land somewhere good, or you company-hop, which also works sometimes.
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