DoubleYellow's Covenant Thrival Guide

Discussion in 'Covenant' started by double yellow, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. double yellow

    double yellow Road Train Member

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    I'll put up a fuss if it happens again now that I'm officially under solo dispatch, but I'll let this one slide. Ryan was apologetic, and I can tell he's under a lot of pressure to get his idle percentages down. And I know idling costs Covenant a fortune. I mean if 1/3 the fleet (1000 trucks) idles 8hrs/day @ 1gph & $4/gal -- thats $32,000 in fuel going out the stacks every day. And that doesnt even account for def usage & dpf wear... On the other hand, the recruiter promised me a year ago that the fleet was rapidly adopting apu's -- yet I can count on 1 hand the covenant trucks I've seen with an apu. Obviously management ran the numbers and determined the cost of idling is better than the price of apus & their upkeep so they should cut drivers some slack especially in the summer.

    Then again, I probably wouldnt have been charged if I sent freeforms each time I idled & explained the circumstances. Aside from the orwellian nature of that request, I frankly didnt feel like expending the effort after working 14 hr days. If they want to get that picky -- just install temp sensors & have the engine shutdown after 10 min idling in 30-80 degree weather.


    Regarding 14 hour days, let's segue into solo miles pre Canada: I've been running fantastic the last 3 weeks, averaging over 3500 miles/week. More impressive is the fact those miles come with 1-2 local runs (~30 mile runs that pay $50-100 depending on how long you have to sit). Over the last 3 months solo, my worst week solo was 600 miles (I was going insane just sitting at terminals) and my best was 4000. I'd say about 3000 miles should be a workable average goal for solo otr, but individual weeks can be all over the place. To run those miles non-dedicated/non-engineered, you'll need to fully understand & utilize the 8/2 split in order to make yourself available to pickup & deliver on time at oddball hours.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
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  3. double yellow

    double yellow Road Train Member

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    Oh Canad-eh?

    Learning a ton so far, but so much more to know... My first trip into Canada went very well -- I was surprised at how well organized things are at the border. When I picked up, I told the shipper when/where I planned to cross. All the load info was sent to customs in advance so that when I arrived the officer just scanned my barcodes, asked a couple questions, & sent me on my way. It was remarkable how fast it was -- those citizen checkpoints in Arizona take more time to get through.

    It was slightly unnerving when receiving border-crossing info from Covenant how often "don't do/say this" statements were followed by warnings like "or you'll end up staring down the barrel of 10 assault rifles" or "you could be looking at a $5,000 fine." I hope those were hyperbole, but I don't intend on finding out...

    Going back into the USA (loaded) requires a lot more preplanning & paperwork. I did get held up for 2 hours when 2 of my 4 "paps" did not immediately clear (despite the assurance of the people who send the paperwork to customs that I was 'good to go'). Apparently the system crashed in transit so for now on I'll insist on getting the individual confirmation numbers. A Werner truck was there stuck too but since the driver ran out of hours during the time paperwork was getting sorted, she had to sit a full 10 hours. Apparently that was too long for customs so she wound up with a hefty fine...


    Ontario was interesting -- I've been to British Columbia twice before and felt it really did not differ much from the Pacific Northwest. There is more of a difference between Washington State & Kentucky than there is between WA & BC. Ontario was still a lot like the US, but there were more differences. Obviously they're on the metric system (like bc) so its odd seeing speed limit 100 signs and bridge clearances in meters, but unlike BC you see a lot more signs in French. There were more nuanced differences too -- fast food joints don't seem as common & they are more likely to be independent. The trucks on the road can be pretty crazy too -- tons of axles and long double combinations are common. Freightliner trucks are in the minority with Western Star being common instead. Most trucks are governed at <65mph so you dont have as many supertruckers blasting by you either. Minor logs differences too -- no more 8/2 splits & 34 resets now become 36...

    The music on the radio was pretty much the same, but the news briefings were much more world-centric. It was also interesting hearing outside perspectives on the American elections -- coverage seemed far less polar too (though slightly left of center)

    Anyway, lots more to see & learn -- I just wanted to jot down my initial observations
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
    transportHER Thanks this.
  4. Rocks

    Rocks Road Train Member

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    I can hear your excitement DB.... Glad to know you are enjoying this experience a lot and learning so much. It's an adventure, isn't it? All best wishes to you and be always safe. Hey, at least up there you don't need to idle... in the summer...
     
  5. double yellow

    double yellow Road Train Member

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    Definitely loving it so far, & being a bit of a polar bear I dont expect to idle more than the equipment requires. How are things going with you?


    I mentioned before how much I love white duct tape; here is one reason why:

    [​IMG]

    ...picked up this trailer from a dropyard so no spare placards (you're supposed to have a 3" border between the placard and any colors/labels/decals which might possibly make it more difficult to immediately recognize the placard for what it is)

    I've also added another tool to my arsenal: a crowbar. Rarely I'll have nails that need to be pulled from the floor of dry vans, but mainly it is because I'm told Canadian scales look closely for cracked brake drums (its easier to walk like a baseball catcher and thwap the drums listening for a broken-bell thud than it is to scoot on your back right up to each drum to visually inspect 360* with a flashlight)
     
  6. transportHER

    transportHER <strong>The Dynamic Duo</strong>

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    I am amazed at how many trailers I see that have NO MIND to this 3" rule.
     
  7. nightstalker59

    nightstalker59 Bobtail Member

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    i worked at covenant before and the disatch i had refused to get me home by friday morning to pay my bils for i was the only one at my house..they wouldget me a load back to the house but had 2 stops...1 in raliegh and the other in charlotte..i told him i couldnt do all that and be home in time to pay the bills..he told me its only an hour from raleigh,nc to charlotte and i said i like to know which route he takes...anyways i told him i was dropping the load at the greensboro terminal...i'll run my tail off for anyone but when i'm the only one at my house and cant pay my bills on the weekend then i'm gonna do what i need to do to pay my bills..they dont care about ur bills
     
  8. CondoCruiser

    CondoCruiser The Legend

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    Most truckers pay bills online, pay bills over the phone or even send money orders. :biggrin_2552:
     
  9. nightstalker59

    nightstalker59 Bobtail Member

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    that maybe be true bbut at the time i didnt have a bank account nor did i have direct deposit...pay was put on fuel card...and i dont trust money orders
     
  10. Rocks

    Rocks Road Train Member

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    nightstalker59... That's just bad... You know... trucking has A LOT to do with PLANNING, PLANNING, and PLANNING AHEAD... :yes2557: One MUST be prepared in advance... and things can change in one minute... so one must have plans A, B, C.... just in case.
     
  11. g64

    g64 Bobtail Member

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    Thank you for the info Double Yellow. I should start working for Covenant on the 1st of October, and was curious about the orientation and training. I have read your hole year story with Rocks and transportHER helping each other out. I hope I have decent team drivers and instructors to start off with. Like you I have a bunch of states I want to cross off, sounds like it wont take long. I want to go solo I guess I will have to wait the year to do that. Double Yellow, Rocks, TransportHER after reading this past year history I fell like I made new friends even though I am just starting school. Be safe out there. Can not wait to here more stories of your adventures.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
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