I've noticed a complete absence of anything on Chieftain as an owner operator. One guy replied to a company driver's legitimate complaints, but not much else, so I figured I'd throw my 2 cents in.
Chieftain doesn't follow a fleet lease model. So all their trucks are really old and typically in pretty rough shape.
There are 4 terminals that I'm aware of and a couple satellite operations centers, such as Ottumwa, Iowa for example which is on site of a soft drink distributor. Each terminal has a different crew and the workmanship is meant to be good at all 4 terminals, but it really comes down to reporting and actually doing pre and post trip inspections, which I can assure you, the company drivers are not doing.
The terminals are in Flint, KC, St. Louis and Anthony, Texas which is on the border of New Mexico and Texas just West of El Paso, which is my home terminal.
The experience for a company driver and being an owner operator, which I am, is night and day mostly due to the equipment the company guys drive.
In Anthony, Texas things run very smooth. Our manager is easy going, funny and fair. He goes out of his way to help anyone who asks and my interactions with Safety, HR and Maintenance have all been positive.
Unlike the mega carriers, you can talk directly with the person who's dispatching or assigning your loads, and you can ask for specific loads.
Our manager came over from Mesilla Valley and is a pro. He books loads that are typically 30k lbs or less, never accepts loads to California (which I love considering I'm from that Marxist sewer and never want to go back), maintains newer trailers that are in good shape, and usually keeps us on I-40 or south. We typically run from Phoenix to Georgia or South Carolina and like everyone else, we hit Memphis / Olive Branch regularly.
As an owner, I'm out 5 days, do a re-set and then head back out. I average about 2700 to 3200 miles in that time frame.and we're paid a flat $1.16 per mile. They will reimburse tolls, scale tickets and even my Love's tire pass charges, which I mainly use on their trailers. I typically don't submit reimbursement requests as I prefer to apply that to my taxes.
The company trucks are governed at 65 and I think you can squeeze out another 2 mph with the cruise control. They have cameras and ELDs (tablet style Qualcomm that plugs into the data port).
The only situation I've consistently run into is under inflated tires on the trailers. There's a Petro close to our yard so when ever I grab a trailer (which is always from our own yard, pre-loaded...day drivers bring them to us so we don't have to run to get them) I head to the Petro and air up while my tires are still cold.
I know that the company guys are very unhappy with the old beat up trucks, and who could blame them?
Personally I hated being a company driver and bought my own truck through traditional financing (I got a loan NOT a fleece-purchase) solely because I hated being a company dupe so much due to the micromanagement, the governor, the camera, the turned down Horse Power and not having any time to spare if I was going to make money.
I can't imagine how hard those pressures on a guy starting out who has to do all of that in a crappy tractor.
So the company guys do have legitimate concerns. Our manager is trying to rotate our fleet more often so that our company guys in Texas have better equipment to haul with.
Chieftain is like any company. Where there's people, you're going to have good and bad. I have yet to meet the bad.
Hope this helps.
If you're an owner operator it's an ideal situation. We pull medium to light weight loads over mostly flat terrain in the southern United States where fuel is cheaper, we get consistent miles and are home every week. I've seen one Qualcomm message in 3 months and that was a general message about a police standoff in Michigan. There's no mico-management at all.
Chieftain / E.L. Hollingsworth
Page 1 of 2
Well I work out of the new terminal on bircher. 2016 freightliner set at 70 mph,43 cpm. It does have a camera in it. Haven't seen it go off yet though. I got stuck on a dedicated run I'm not happy with running stl to kentucky and back. Beer outbound gm parts inbound so you know that's heavy every time.
I agree that the place by the mall sucks that's why they moved here and shop is about 60 percent built now so they will complete the move when it's finished
As an owner I'm super happy but if I were still a company guy I could live with your situation. It's not perfect, but it's so much better than the screw job swift gave me as a company driver.
I fantasized about being able to do 70 mph lol.
The Texas terminal is kick ###. Frankie is mad funny and he hooks us all up with 3500 to 4k miles per week. I got less when I first started but now I'm going from El Paso to Virginia every week. After fuel I took home $3,000 last week.
Texas is ran differently than the other yards. Glad you're steady and making a decent per mile rate bro.
Asked my office about trying to transfer to another terminal and he had no answer for me and no one's asked him before. I'd change to a texas location in a second if I could. Didn't really want this dedicated thing when I hired in and didn't even know about it until the first day. All I wanted was something in the southern region. Really have no need or want to be in st louis every other night at all.
Page 1 of 2