Buchanan hauling and rigging
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I bought an 05 frieghtliner and my payments were 225 a week. Detroit 60 10 speed with 355 rears. I had to rebuild the motor in March 10 months before i had the truck paid for. I had Columbia Freightliner in Columbia Mo rebuild it for me. I got a 2 year 200 thousand mile warrannty with it. Buchanan loaned me the money for the rebuild and put it on a side note. They kept me busy enough and making really good money that I paid the 21 thousand dollar motor rebuild off in 10 months. I like working here and am still here after paying everything off.
Anyway, I just went through their orientation as an O/O, and quit before I got under my first load. I own my truck and trailer, so, it is a bit different for me. Here is what happened:
They will tell you what they think you want to hear to get you to orientation...but, just because you get to orientation, there is no guarantee you're hired, so, don't quit your job before you go!
Before I went to orientation, I asked several times for the opportunity to speak to other O/O's to get the "skinny" on what life was like as an O/O. I expected to hear things weren't as great, everyone has their gripes. But, they did a GREAT job stalling. They promised to get me names and numbers, but, nearly a week went by, there were NONE. So, I decided I'd see what orientation brought, and, seek out a few veteran drivers. My advice, don't ever join a company, as an O/O or a company driver, without first having talked to 3 or 4 of your peers. However, that is no guarantee you'll be happy. I did speak to a few O/O once I got there....things were NOT the way they painted them to be.
Orientation was a joke, a real waste of time. If you are new to flatbedding, they are gonna give you wrong info on how to do load securement. My advice if you are new, read closely and understand the FMCSA handbook, it is not that many pages dealing with load securement. I have been doing flatbed for nearly 20 years, there have been times where I have gotten my handbook out at an inspection, and educated the DOT along the way. Many of them are still learning themselves. If you say it the right way, are unassuming and ask them a few questions along the way too, they are most appreciative. We all have the same goals, and are trying to collaborate on keeping roads safe for travel. Flatbeds represent one of the most dangerous and unpredictable loads on the road. Straps or chains break, come loose, stuff flies off, people get hurt or die and property gets damaged or lost.
I questioned the Buchanan instructor in a few places, even showed her the DOT rules and regs (which they give you the latest copy of in class), that got an icy reception, and, I was told, "Well, we have NEVER done it that way at Buchanan!". The DOT is NOT going to accept the answer "Well, this is how they taught me to secure the load in training.", and, Mr. Buchanan certainly isn't going to pay your ticket. I don't mind doing things that go "above and beyond" DOT regs to ensure safety, to an extent, but, you cannot do them differently!
They will also give you a "strength and agility" test at orientation....but, it's not easy! Unless you work out a lot, you will be sore afterwards. When was the last time you stepped on and off your truck very quickly for 3 minutes straight? And, there is a LOT more to it. If you do a lot of flatbed work, you should pass, its just over-done.
Many attitudes run very sour at Buchanan as well. The recruiter I spoke to was very apologetic for them. To me, that is inexcusable, and, it typically emanates from the top. I never did get to meet Mr. Buchanan, his top exec, or Brian Buchanan, whom I was told I would be working closely with under conestoga loads. That is very telling as well....they don't have time to meet with new recruits. Must get so MANY in and out, why bother getting to know them?
But, all this was very minor in comparison to what I was to discover very quickly.
What urked me was, my recruiter AND Brian Buchanan (owner's son) said that flatbeds at Buchanan Hauling and Rigging in Fort Wayne Indiana averaged $2.50 for all miles, pulling a Buchanan trailer, and, since I owned my own trailer, AND it was a conestoga, that I should average well above that. I thought "cool". But, was never properly shown. I realize I may sound like "sour grapes" here....and I certainly knew better before coming on board. What it re-emphasizes in my mind is, talk to other drivers. Ask to see a report of recent settlement statements going back however many months they will show you. Ask what kind of miles it takes to get to that kind of revenue, and, find out how and where those guys run to get that money? Compare it to what you have been doing and how you want to run.
Here is what I found out, very quickly I might add. Every load dispatch offered paid far below $2 a mile heading into areas which seldom have a backhaul or, if you can find one are usually low paying. And, of course, when I asked about it, they had no backhaul scheduled with the trip. "We'll look for something while you are driving" was what I was told. Famous last words...and, if you have ever run east coast, you know that what is typically coming back from there usually pays closer to $1 a mile heading back.
One backhaul load they did offer me was over-dimensional and would have required me to drive all night to deliver in the AM after having driven days. I refused it before we got to discuss the route, but, you know my choices of roads would have been either lots of tolls (which were to come out of my pocket), or extra miles on backroads with little or no shoulder riding through all kinds of little towns. This load paid gross a whopping $2.70 mi on 400 miles, but, was not getting me any closer to home, just further north and into congestion of eastern PA!
When I refused that one, I was told not to be so "picky". Sorry, but, I am not being picky, just not willing to run under $2 a mile heading to the east coast. In all, these loads were not getting paid anywhere near what was told "everyone else" was getting.
They asked when I was at orientation how I liked to run, where I liked to run. I wrote it all down on a questionare for them. Then, on the second to last day, I met my dispatchers, and we went over it. I was adamant, I don't want to run for under $2 a mile average. It costs me a $1 a mile to operate, if I am only going to average $0.80 after expenses, I might as well drive a company truck, be an employee...less taxes and WAY less work and hassle. I also was adamant that, even though my conestoga can convert to run open, I don't want to do it unless the haul is big and the money is too good to pass up. My final request was to be home most weekends, or, at least have the choice so I can plan family events. If I am going to work a weekend, I want my wheels turning, not sitting in a truck stop waiting for Monday to come around. Being 52 years old, owning my own truck and trailer, I think I have worked hard enough in my life to at least deserve that.
Evidently, all those things I wrote down were just for my benefit, because, they ignored everything I we went over, and then, like I said, had the balls to call me "picky".
So, I had to say "good bye". And, good riddance to Buchanan Hauling & Rigging in Fort Wayne IN!
One last note, their contract says you owe them $500 as a flatbed O/O if you quit within the first 180 days of the year, to cover permit costs.
My advice, stay FAR away.seawind Thanks this.
I just called today about the lease purchase.....Any advice is appreciated.....I would like to know which division would be best to do lease purchase.....
QUOTE="cdsinor, post: 4429228, member: 36203"]Just wanted to say I am still with Buchanan Hauling and still like it here. I was a company driver for about 3 months then switched over to lease purchase. I paid my truck off in December. They have a good lease purchase which can be tough at times but can be done. This company works great for me and gets me home when I want. If anyone has questions I will try to answer them.[/QUOTE]
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