Anybody Work For Saia?

Discussion in 'LTL and Local Delivery Trucking Forum' started by Lotsa Bellyfat, May 28, 2024.

  1. jmz

    jmz Road Train Member

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    I can't tell you the number of times this past winter I was cruising along at night, doing 66mph, when I would notice a truck sitting in the left lane way behind me for no reason. I always back out of it when another driver is barely going faster, but Saia pulls out into the left lane so far back that I don't even realize they're trying to pass me at first.
     
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  3. Tobytob

    Tobytob Light Load Member

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    I worked at SAIA recently as a linehaul driver for a year and half. To be honest it was a good job. You start at the lower pay scale (.685 now it’s 70.5 I think) but every 3-4 months you get a raise. Top pay is like .805 and over $30/hr. When I got a full year in I was at top pay and had a bid run.

    As line haul I ran everything under the moon at night and I mean everything. It was great experience. When I got tired I’d pull over and get me a hr or two nap. They never said a thing. I’d try to make my meet point swap and get rest or get to the terminal drop trailer in the door if needed, hook up and get a nap.
    Best thing to do is stay available for work and your money will be there. At the time I was there they were getting away from a lot of lay down runs. Mostly turns so you get back home every morning, never worked more than 55 hrs a week and off weekends unless I volunteer for weekend work which I did often.
    when I was on the extra board I’d always pack a couple nights clothing because you never know. During my 1.5 at SAIA I spent a total of 5 nights away from home due to increase freight volume. It was no big deal because the next morning or evening dispatch was sending you right back home either loaded or with two empties. if you got into a large terminal and see their dispatch be friendly, it make a difference when it comes time to dispatch. A lot of times it FCFS, so if they know you and you arrived before another driver from your terminal they might give you a choice of the runs going back in that direction, one might have a via that allows you to make a few extra bucks with a early start time vs waiting all day for a late night run which gets you in early AM.
    Benefits are great, uniform provided with an allowance every 6 months, no need to get your own clothing dirty. Plenty of excess uniform allowance.

    As for the micro management it’s definitely there, cameras everywhere with audio capabilities, camera goes off for the slightest thing but if you don’t have the phone in your hand or distracted with something your good. Occasionally we get a text from safety saying watch your following distance and have a nice day but that’s about it. Make sure you stop at stop signs and if you have to go thru a red light hit the horn. Basically just be safe.
    No way around the cameras you get used to them and everyone is getting violations but they can’t fire everyone, they know it’s BS but it’s basically saving them money on insurance. So just like any business the bottom line is the most important thing. Just do your job and your good. Just do your best to remain safe and on time and they will leave you alone.

    Trucks definitely governed at 68 on cruise, the adaptive cruise is why you see SAIA in the left lane so far back, if they don’t get out in the left lane the truck will slow down and adjust the speed. It can take forever to get back to a good speed even on the peddle. If you get to close the beepers will go off and the camera will log it. It’s a pain but you learn how to manage it. Truth is that was my only gripe about the truck. All of them are set up wrong when it comes to road speed but it’s their equipment and I learned to deal with it.

    Money was good I was constantly grossing $2k+ a week, just make sure you get your rest. It’s the easiest gig I’ve ever had, I should’ve never left. Actually in the process of reapplying. I hate I have to start all over but if I climb the board again with in a year. That’s where I will retire.

    Hope this info helps.
     
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  4. Someguywithquestions

    Someguywithquestions Bobtail Member

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    Jan 10, 2021
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    How does it work with those cameras taking audio constantly. Would someone that's say schizophrenic that talks to themselves and non-existent people all day have a problem? Theoretically those "conversations" can get "heated" allegedly in theory hypothetically of course... My company runs forward facing cameras with no audio. Only a matter of time before we get driver facing and audio.
     
  5. Tobytob

    Tobytob Light Load Member

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    Once you enter SAIA property you’re on camera all the time, that means in the truck too. Drivers get key cards which allows them access to the property and certain areas. It’s all on camera and they can see your every move. It’s really not a big deal., drivers talk on the headset all night to each other. If they have no reason to pull the footage you are ok. certain events will trigger it to save footage like following to close, a big bump in the road, hard breaking, taking a curve to fast, swerving, or rideing the rumble strip, excessive speed in a 45mph zone Etc.
    just be mindful, what you do and say cause it’s all on video. It’s not monitored 24/7. Occasionally safety just send you a text about the infraction stating ( watch your following distance or speed) I’d respond ok and that was it. Sometimes if it happened too much they have you sign a paper on the infraction.
    If you get too many I believe they have you ride with a trainer for a week to see if you can correct the actions at that point your job is based on the trainer giving his/her opinion.
    even if terminated you can go before a driver/ management committee to retain your position. But to get to that point you’re just being hardheaded and stubborn.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2024
  6. jtaran06

    jtaran06 Road Train Member

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    western ky
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    We have the new AI driver cameras where I am at currently. I actually am the guy who installed them all. Set the parameters and worked the bugs out. I have the settings set fair coming from a driver to manager. I dismiss all hard brake events. Your either running the light or hitting the brakes, it's getting you either way. I have it set at 12 seconds for distraction. They talk when you have your phone in hand or are not paying attention. I am against them like everyone else but what can you do? I been driving more the last 4 weeks due to being short a driver. First day was a nightmare but I figured them out. Now I do not set it off. I hate it but a lot of places have it. I figure Saia won't be bad if I can manage these.

    The settings are crazy. You can make it do whatever you want. But unfortunately most of these places are prolly not rational like me since I'm a driver first. I over hired because I thought 30 year bad habit drivers would bail. When a guy can make 100k and do nothing for it I guess I should of known.. everyone of my drivers changed their habits. I went from 100 videos a day to about 8 a week for over 70 drivers and not 1 MF quit. Now I'm driver heavy.

    Unfortunately managing truck drivers is one of the worst jobs I have ever had. So I start with Saia Monday. Back to driving in quiet and not having to worry about anyone else but me. When I go home I am ####ing DONE until tomorrow.
     
  7. Someguywithquestions

    Someguywithquestions Bobtail Member

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    Jan 10, 2021
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    Yeah the driver supervisor at my place gets the biggest cry baby drivers from the linehaul side. I was talking to him and this dude who's turning 120k+ a year on a daytime linehaul bid just interrupts us both to bark out, "Don't know who you think is gonna run this load but it ain't me."

    After his huffing and puffing we find out the glad hand seal is gone in one of the pup trailers.

    Like dude, you've got the easiest most gravy job in trucking likely making in the top 3% of income for company drivers in the US and you're stomping around throwing a hissy fit over a glad hand? I've been told by management before to drive a truck at a 5mph derate 50 miles across 2 scales down the interstate in the emergency lane while being 15k lbs over the legal limit because, "we can't afford a tow truck right now."

    I can't imagine being a driver manager. I'm all for better work conditions for truckers but I'd end up turning into Mr. Burns after a week due to some of these guys.
     
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  8. FLHT

    FLHT Road Train Member

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    Your first mistake was passing the first scale.
    Should have pulled around back and had a chat.
    Its your CDL
     
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  9. Lotsa Bellyfat

    Lotsa Bellyfat Bobtail Member

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    Sep 21, 2023
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    Well, it looks like all systems are pretty much a go; I’m going through the background check process for the Saia, Scarborough, Maine terminal. Brand new place, about a year old, still’s got that new car smell. Will be doing P&D working days.

    And now, the ol’ monkey wrench…. Estes called and is offering an Extraboard Linehaul position working nights……terminal manager says most guys are doing $110,000- $115,000 a year. I did fill out an application there awhile back.

    Both terminal managers at both companies seem pretty cool; what to do?

    Last time I felt this torn was back in 1987… “ Linda’s sooo hot, loves me too…. but Debbie, geez, I’ve been walking bowlegged for a week… can’t have ‘em both. Who get’s the engagement ring?”
     
  10. USMC 3531

    USMC 3531 Heavy Load Member

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    I have been at Saia for 6 years now, and have worked at 3 different terminals in 3 different states for them and have been linehaul the whole time, overall I don't mind it there, I read all the other comments and for the most part they are all pretty accurate so no sense rehashing stuff, the cameras are LYTX and are foward and driver facing, they are not using the AI feature in them though, they just record events like hard braking, following to close or even just a hard bump you hit in the road will set them off sometimes, I hardly ever hear from management, just make your gate times, do your job and don't do anything stupid or break any rules they will pretty much leave you alone.
     
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  11. viper822004

    viper822004 Medium Load Member

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    Jul 25, 2014
    Texas
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    Yeah, but everyone is giving the Linehaul view and he’s going to do P&D. Totally different animal at Saia.
     
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