I think this can be considered a true statement for just about every trucking company out there, and one of the reasons I would advise anybody and everybody to request a new fleet manager/dispatcher, or whatever your company calls them, rather than jump from employer to employer.
Page 2 of 4
I am a Marten driver too.
They aren't too bad..
I've worked for worse,although I did have kind of a lame dispatcher for a few months.
The one I have now seems alright.
I like them cause they leave you alone once you p/u your load..
The scale policy is a joke though, those scales on the trailers hardley ever work, and I end up having to scale out anyways.
All in all, you could do worse..
How many company trucks you see with the trlr tracking to the right (usually) or left, then when that driver drops the trlr you see his 5th wheel shiny as a new nickel?
Any point where metal meets metal needs grease, more often than every 30,000 miles.
A friend of mine was a mechanic for Overnite for 23 years. He solved a mojority of the alignment problems by applying grease to the 5th wheel.
Soapy water also works well on the trlr rails/pins/landing gear/whatever.
Can't get the tandems to slide? I use a "heavy" (50/50) mixture of water and the cheapest liquid dish detergent I can get. Works great.
It ain't right, it ain't wrong, it just is Toby "Dutchy" Maguire
i worked for Marten for almost 2 years, everything was just fine untill i got hurt @ work, then things went downhill FAST. i was on SE Regional for a while, and yes they do not "ask" you to run illegaly... they "tell" you to. please i have run for 36 strait hours for them, between pick up and delivery, waiting on the shipper or reciever, and when i finally get done with all the BS they wanna call me onj my cell and ask me to take another load. when i tell them i have been up for 36 hours dealing with this problem or that, they dont wanna hear it. the computer shows me being still @ the shipper/reciever for more then 10 hours, im good to go. now i refused this load. i sat for an aditional 34 hours. i wouldnt work for Randy Marten if he had the LAST truck on the planet and i was starving to death. he is DEFINATELY not his father's son.
Because I was there when his father was alive and if you didn't run your *** off he didn't want you in his truck.
But if you had a problem with dispatch he would get it worked out,and it was most likely the dispatcher that got the boot.
I just spent 3 months with Marten.
Yes, they do still train newbies. If you have a CDL and less than (I think) six months experience you go out with a trainer for 6-8 weeks. With more than six months but less than a year they send you out with a trainer for a week or two.
My trainer was really excellent.
But... a message on the Qualcomm stated that 75% of Marten drivers were lying on their logs and that for that reason Marten had lost its Pre-Pass.
As far as I can tell, the successful drivers (those who drive 15,000+ mi. per month) drive whatever way they want to and log it some other way. Keep in mind that I have only 3 months experience, but I never really even understood the "higher math" involved in the way my trainer was logging.
Once I was on my own they gave me a truck Freightliner Columbia with 330,000 miles. The idea was that I would drive it for 70,000 mi. then be given something newer.
Previous Qualcomms that were still on the unit when I took it over suggested that its last driver had endless mechanical troubles and finally threw a fit to demand a better truck.
My own experience with it was as follows:
1) When I started down that four-mile, 6% hill outside of Chattanooga (I think), I started down in 8th gear and flipped the switch for the engine brake and it didn't come on! After something like one mile of the hill, and I was doing way more braking than I wanted to, the engine brake did at last come on. I was on my way to the Forrest Park terminal, where they took me very seriously and fixed the problem, which they said was a bad switch.
2) The engine never would idle properly. This became a problem as summer came on and they routed me to Louisiana. I ran out of hours and spent the night by the edge of a swamp where I got bitten by mosquitos and some kind of poisonous spider (about 20 times!). I had to leave the windows open because the truck wouldn't idle and it was 90 degrees or so.
Then the gauges started cutting out. I would lose the speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, water temp and transmission fluid temp, and sometimes even the odometer and voltmeter would be replaced by the words "no eng."
The problem was intermittent, and Marten wouldn't let me get it fixed when I passed a Freightliner place in N. Little Rock. When the gauges cut out near Dallas I eventually refused to drive it any farther until its problem was addressed and I was put under so much pressure to do so that I finally felt I had to quit. It is, after all, illegal to drive without a speedometer.
Now I know that I am a new driver and lots of more experienced drivers probably wouldn't have any trouble driving without speedometer and tachometer, but it really terrified me and I wouldn't do it. And it was my CDL on the line, after all.
In the end I waited around all day to hand off the truck to somebody else, then they charged me $700 because they had to get it towed and said I had abandoned it -- the last thing I wanted to do, believe me.
But... then the story turns nicer. I petitioned to get the $700 back, wrote them a letter and summary of events, and they gave me my money back and cleared my DAC record. So there it stands.
And, yes, they do require you to do illegal things, at least sometimes. I think so anyway. Like if you have to do 478 miles to deliver a load and then your p/u is 10 hours later but you have to drive 3 hours to get there, how on earth is it possible to do that legally? Another driver said to me, "Well, you know what to do about that," which I imagine meant that I should slide hours. I wanted to log truthfully, but I doubt it's possible to do that and drive for the company.
So I had a mixed experience with them for sure.
I've been interested to read other people's experiences on these two threads.
And BTW I like the steering lock too. But I think it's kind of dumb that you have to put it on at Marten terminals. What could be safer than a Marten terminal? (And yes, there isn't anywhere near enough parking at them and you're required to drop the trailer -- is that normal?). Some drivers only put the steering lock on at terminals!
And is it normal that you're not allowed to leave the truck at a truck stop when you want to be away from it for 8 or 10 hours? or a day or two? Truck stops are the only places built for trucks! But maybe I just don't know how dangerous truck stops are -- I don't know. My dispatcher said he'd get fired too if the truck was stolen from a truck stop (shades of the USSR). How is it any better if it gets stolen from a Wal-Mart parking lot? Or wherever else I might find to park it in rural NC.
I have had the advantage (some might say disadvantage) of working in the office and in the truck for Marten. I signed on in Jan of '03 as a driver, became a recruiter out of the Wilsonville, OR terminal in Feb of '05 and now I have jumped back into the truck as of just last week.
In response to the ones that state Marten demands you to run illegal-Marten does not want drivers running illegal. Sometimes a DM (driver manager) might get in a jam and ask a driver to "do a favor" but he/she is acting against company policy. There are bad apples in the office just as there are bad ones behind the wheel. Of course this is true with all companies as well. I know of at least two cases where DM's were fired for doing this after being given several warnings. Marten cares about their drivers but if you happen to get a bad apple as a DM then it's going to seem like the worst company ever. When policies are broken at Marten, by a driver or office worker, then action is taken. It has to be this way in order to keep the company running smoothly, profitable, and in business.
So many drivers think, and I use to as well, that many companies are intentionally trying to screw the driver every chance they get. That there are policies in place to cheat drivers out of pay, home time, and such. I'm sure that there are companies out there like that but now that I spent almost 2.5 years from the inside I can honestly tell you that Marten is not one of them.
Miles are a bit down but it's like that with all companies right now.
sorry i have nothing good to say about this company... dont get me wrong they were a good company to work for untill about a year ago. then something went REAL bad. SE Regional hit the fan, Dedicated runs started getting screwed up... also i hurt my elbow in that time (on the clock, so yes it was a Wrok-comp deal)that was in 4-06... i was opening the doors on a trailer in the wash bay, to wash it out, when a STRONG gust of wind blew one fo the doors shut on me... now im not a small guy... 5'9" 225lbs and i was almost knocked off my feet... i was out of work for a few months dealing with Physical Theraphy and such. the HooRah didnt begin untill i came back. my old position (which i was told i would get back once i returned, no matter what) was gone, got stuck on a DM trainee board for a couple of months and the most i got was 2200 miles in a week... i complaind constantly about the DM's lack of ability and all i got was the same "cookie cutter" answers. " you must not be sending in the info the DM needs to pre-plan you " after i sent in all my macro's and even free-form msgs... i would get silly loads... 1500 miles in 86 hours... wanted to reschedule or drop acuse i can do the load in 2.5 days EASY... nope. i had to sit on it. then a 700 mile run in 60 hours... WTH? and i was the one @ fault... no pre-plans i got my loads AFTER i declaired unloaded... if the DM was in the office @ the time, if it was end of day then i had to wait till tommorow...
anyway i finally got switched off that board (i had to threaten to quit to get moved) and i got the same crap all over again, NEW DM same crap. they dont get it, if the truck aint rolling NOBODY is making money, and they dont care, they get to go home every night and they get to pull a check every week for about the same cause they get paid by the hour.
oh and i had Qualcomm messages to back up 90% of what i said. i KNOW better then to use the phone and not the Qualcomm... i still got the shaft. the final straw was when i got wrote up and never got asked what happened... i snapped and quit.
oh and my elbow STILL hurts and Marten will do NOTHING for it. even though its work-comp. i cannot afford a lawyer for it so im getting shafted AGAIN. thanks Marten... i would not shed one single tear if your company went bankrupt tommorow.
Ouch...sorry to hear that man. Sounds like you have had a real bad experience. It still amazes me that one person's experience with a company can be a total opposite than another person's. I have been back in the truck for 1 1/2 weeks now and the loads have been pretty good.
1st: Salem, OR to Chicago (swapped in Beach, ND)
2nd: Beach, ND to Heyburn, ID
3rd: Heyburn, ID to Shelbyville, IN
4th: Indianapolis to Denver
5th: Denver to Detroit
From Detroit they have a Southern Cal load for me and then from there I'll get one home to Oregon. Loving it so far. I guess not every company is for everyone....that made sense in my head.
^ hope they keep me runnin like that. been with them for 3 weeks so far so good I came from Covenant. funny though they dont want you to run out of route when they dont give you a route to go out of and no pre pass ugh!! but like I say so far so good keep ya posted for sure. I will have to at least stay 6 months before I jump ship if need be. 4 will be year mark.
Page 2 of 4