Calex Express....My New Home!

Discussion in 'Discuss Your Favorite Trucking Company Here' started by JohnBoy, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. jrotra

    jrotra Light Load Member

    May 27, 2010
    Inverness , Florida
    John, I am sorry your time at Calex has come to an end. I have followed this thread since the start of your time here. Your travels and experience with this company led me to apply and work here for the last 3 years. Every word you wrote and experience you relayed to those that followed were true. Nothing sugar coated or covered up . truly refreshing . I did not post much but I did continue to follow. I will miss your writing about your experiences with this company . The best of luck in your new adventures and enjoy the wonderful world of trucking . John:biggrin_25514:
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  3. JohnBoy

    JohnBoy Road Train Member

    Apr 24, 2009
    Lake Worth, FL.
    I'm home. Glad I didn't have E-logs in this rental car. I left Pittston at exactly 12:30 yesterday afternoon and drove straight home and walked in the house at 6:30 this morning. 1265 miles in 18 hours.

    Ok, here is the reason I left Calex. Bare with me. I was a driver there almost 4 years. When I hired on I was told there was a pay freeze in effect. I understood that, and still do. Over these four years I have seen their hiring criteria go down the crapper. They will tell you there's a driver shortage and it's hard to get qualified drivers. The driver shortage that is constantly talked about by these companies is because of what? Over abundance of freight that can't be covered? or because drivers aren't compensated enough and leave not the company, but the industry as a whole. I am very fortunate that if I leave this industry after 33 years I won't starve.

    I saw over these last 4 years accidents that have happened in our company that is from a total lack of ability. We had an accident last year with a brand new trailer that the driver had for it's first load, he turned out of the customers driveway and rapped the trailer around a concrete pole, on the drivers side and bent the frame rails of the trailer. They had to total the trailer. We had another driver that was sitting at a shipper for 11 hours overnight, left the shipper with a brand new truck, a brand new fully decaled trailer and an hour later rolled the truck and trailer over in the median strip on I-95 in NC, because he fell asleep at the wheel. These are just 2 of quite a few screw-ups we've had. Now, I understand the no pay increase freeze, I mean it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that It cost a ton of money to straighten out messes like this. You get what you pay for.

    Here comes John, for 4 years he's able to not only leave the terminal without hitting something, but gives the company 4 years of ontime service, customer service, on average 135,00 miles per year then gets a dedicated run with the highest paying freight the company has. He does his job the only way he knows how, safely,so instead of a raise based on merit, he is penalized because as a whole, he is lumped in with screw-ups. We have drivers there that were making .40 p/m and have been there for a lot longer then myself. The difference between them and myself was one of them rolled a truck and trailer over, empty, on a clear spring day 3o miles from the yard. He's still there making .40 p/m.

    That is just a few instances, here is the reason I left. 2 weeks ago this past Friday I put an application in with another company, which is now my new company. Because of my work history it took exactly one day to verify everything. On the following Monday, at 9am, on my way up to Jersey I get a phone call from my dispatcher Louie. He asked me if I was leaving the company, I told him the truth, that yes I am looking. He asked me what will it take to keep me, I told him that it's all about money and money only. He told me that we will talk when I get in on Tuesday. Tuesday comes and I get a message from safety over the peoplenet to stop into safety, they need to talk to me.

    I get in to the terminal and go into safety. Brian tells me the President of the company wants to see me. So upstairs we both go. I will admit, the big boss is, and has been very approachable and we have been able to discuss a bunch of things to help operations out. He listens, and over the past 4 years we've had a great work relationship. I was in his office for 2 solid hours with Brian and the end result was no raise. I asked for .04 p/m, then went down to .02 p/m which based on my miles I run per week would have come out to $53.50 per week. The final answer after 2 hours was no. I left the office knowing that after 4 years I wasn't entitled to a raise, I wasn't worth 2 cents. I knew right then and there that it was time to leave.

    I have always, in my driving career and as a business owner made sure I had something lined up before I ever changed jobs, this was no different. I knew I had a job to go to so this made a hard decision a little easier. On Wednesday morning I loaded my run knowing then it was going to be my last. Unfortunately my wifes uncle passed away so it pushed everything back a week. When I called Louie this past Friday I told him I was leaving. He asked me if I was going to do the lettuce load. I chuckled and told him that it means more to me to bring back the companies truck and hand them the keys then it does to abandon the truck in South Florida. He said thanks and hung up. About an hour later Louie calls me back and asks me if I would do another round for him. Louie has been, at least with me, the best dispatcher I have ever worked for. I told him yes and he said to see him when I got in. In the meantime it all changed on the companies end and as it turned out I wasn't needed for another turn.

    That Wednesday on my way south I was invited to Abilene Motor Express in Richmond Va to stop by and take a guided tour of their operation. I sat down with one of the owners and felt, immediately, exactly how I felt the day I went to Calex. That Wednesday I took the physical, drug test and sat down with their operations manager to discuss what I have been doing at Calex. He had my file on his desk with a note attached that said "Deerfield Beach dedicated". So now I know what they have in mind for me.

    Let me tell you how and why I chose Abilene. Number one, their equipment, number 2 the company size and number 3 the recommendation of one of their drivers. I happen to be scrolling through the blog one night and came across the thread started by one of our members who I have followed from the time he went to training with Magnum, getting his CDL, going solo to changing jobs after a year then winding up at Abilene. I enjoy his post's, his honesty and especially his twist of humor he adds. I came across an Abilene blog, read all 28 pages then saw Scooterdawg left the company to take a local job. In the meantime, I saw a member of TTR that I was in contact with 2 years ago asking me questions about Calex and PMing me for information who has worked at Abilene for almost a year. We got in contact with each other and now it was my turn to pick his brain, and boy did I. I just want to say that Runningman0061 was a very big part of my decision making to come on board at Abilene.

    I have orientation Monday in Richmond. There is a running thread in the Motor Carrier section. I will make sure with him if it's ok that I start another one with my travels and what not. My wife and friends asked me if I'm excited about the new job, in a funny way I am, but in reality they have what I am looking for, I must have what they are looking for and for me the big winner was the hometime. That's about all I have, I'll be leaving the house Sunday morning to drive up to Richmond, drop the car off at the airport then get to the hotel to start my new adventure. Hope to see you all on the new blog following along. Peace, love and from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
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  4. JohnBoy

    JohnBoy Road Train Member

    Apr 24, 2009
    Lake Worth, FL.
    And now one final bit of info that really has put closure to this whole thing. I just got a phone call from Louie. He was out of the office yesterday when I handed the truck back in. He called me and said to me good luck at the new company, that in his 24 years at Calex I was one of his best drivers he ever had the pleasure to work with and that he will miss working with me. I'm am so humbled and honored to be thought of in that manner, just for doing a job that after 33 years I still love to do and get so much enjoyment out of. I just wish it could have turned out different. With that final bit of closure here's what I have to say..............................................................
    The End
  5. Voyager1968

    Voyager1968 Road Train Member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks John for your posts. Both responding to your well wishers, and your final entry about Calex. Congrats on going to Abilene. I've read those threads and they sound like they are a first class outfit. I was actually kind of intrigued by them myself when I was running the Boars Head account. They ran it as well and had well maintained equipment, and the drivers I interacted with had nothing but good things to say about the company.

    Probably shot myself in the foot with my latest departure from Calex, but if I'd ever have to go out on the road again, and at this point I'd look at tanker companies first, Abilene is one of the van companies I'd consider applying to.
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  6. jlind

    jlind Heavy Load Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Nature coast, Fl.
    Johnboy, Abilene was high on my list of places to work back when my wife and I ran team, I thought we had it all ironed out and when it came down to it with us moving at the time it became more of a project then I needed, what with taking ownership of a new house and all that it entailed. Then I fell into a great oversized gig here and she was content to stay home and do her other career and I never looked back.... If I had, I think my first call would have been to Abilene! Good choice in my humble opinion, I too have followed the other thread here about them, all the time knowing it would have been a good move for me had I made it.

    Good luck and Godspeed. I will keep an eye out for your new thread or additions to the existing one.
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    FLATBED Road Train Member

    All the BEST on the new venture.

    I am shaking my head that they could not see fit to give you $0.04 after 4 years. Heck I would have given that 2 years ago and matched it since along with a truck of your choice if I had a dedicated run to Florida and a driver like you doing it.
  8. pete1

    pete1 Heavy Load Member

    I went through the same thing a year ago after 7+ years. They really didn't think I would leave and when I did they were shocked!? They still haven't replaced me. Haha
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  9. joseph1135

    joseph1135 Papa Murphy

    Nov 8, 2009
    The Highway To Hell.
    I left Lessors after 5 1/2 years. I intend to say why I did as well. You and I did this at the same time! Lol. But it's totally for the better. Good luck JohnBoy.
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  10. Guitar Man

    Guitar Man Medium Load Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    State Of Confusion
    EXACTLY what I thought also. :biggrin_25526:The run he was doing is probably making them thousands a week after overhead,and they couldn't see fit to pony up about $60/week? Me thinks they were playing "chicken" with him,and he called their bluff. :biggrin_2559:John, good luck at your next stop,and thanks for the great posts along the way!!!
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  11. Larryparker

    Larryparker Medium Load Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boynton beach, FL
    Johnboy, If your still reading this, Best of luck at Abline, I had applied and was accepted there just before I went out and bought this truck. I wish you the best of luck at your new home and once I know what your driving you will hear me once again as I call out "Johnboy, is that you" Take good care, and safe miles.Larry
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