Driving after leaving a mega....did it get better or worse?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by VA CDL Holder, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. VA CDL Holder

    VA CDL Holder Medium Load Member

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    I'm interested in hearing about the experiences of driving after you left a mega carrier. Did it get better or worse for you? Very open ended question for sure. Maybe the money was better, but the equipment was a violation in wait? Were you treated better and given more freedom? Whatever you want to share good or bad would be appreciated.

    In my time, I've driven for 3 megas, Knight, Swift and Schneider. I'll list the pros of driving for a mega.

    1. Well maintained and newer equipment, mostly, lessons your chance of inspection violations.
    2. Predictable terminal/yard network that alleviates parking problems under dispatch.
    3. Repeat customer base that gives you route familiarity if you work there long enough.
    4. PrePass, paid scales, ComData/EFS fuel card.
    5. On board navigation system.

    The only con that comes to mind is the SmartDrive camera, but not all megas had them I drove for, only Knight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
    Reason for edit: grammar
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  3. Harry Flashman

    Harry Flashman Medium Load Member

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    The only one of your pros that doesn’t apply to smaller quality fleets is the terminal network with easy parking near major metro areas. However as I have gotten experience as a driver, I have gotten better about learning areas and how to find parking.

    The biggest con of working for a mega is getting lumped in with the bottom of the barrel drivers.

    This does affect you if you work for a mega, the pay is lower and the safety department hassling and general petty bureaucracy is higher.

    It also affects the loads you get, the quality of shippers/recievers are lower.

    Some of the loads I got with the mega were some of the worst I have ever gotten, because the customers chose the cheapness of giving freight contracts to carriers who may be large, but staffed with inexperienced and unreliable drivers.
     
  4. VA CDL Holder

    VA CDL Holder Medium Load Member

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    So did you leave a mega for something else? If so, tell me how much better it was or worse. I'm just curious, as I see all kinds of ads on Craigs List for small companies and not many ads for the megas in the Phoenix area.
     
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  5. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Road Train Member

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    The only mega I have worked for is Roehl, and they were fine, I have no complaints. I just decided OTR isn’t for me and I’ve been a local driver in one form or another ever since. I have spent some time as a yard dog, and a couple other local gigs, even did a short stint with a tanker company but that absolutely was NOT my thing. Lol...

    Turns out I was meant to be a flatbedder, and now I have a pretty good gig doing local flatbed deliveries for the power company. I love it, wouldn’t want to do anything else.

    It’s all about figuring what you want to do in life and making it happen. Sometimes you have to bounce around a little and try different things before you find your calling. For some, that calling is working for a mega, for others it could be hauling bridges, or porta potties, or driving a bus, whatever the case may be. There is nothing wrong with making a career with a mega if that makes you happy. But there are so many opportunities out here, there is no reason for anyone to be miserable!
     
  6. NewbiusErectus

    NewbiusErectus Medium Load Member

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    I started with Schneider Bulk. The next job was heaven.

    While on the road with Schneider, they gave me plenty of free time to research other opportunities. So I did. I found this little ad from a small chemical company with a private tanker fleet. Their yard was 10min from my house. Only three road drivers.

    Equipment-wise, I went from an ‘09 60MPH Freightliner to a 2011 70MPH Volvo. Decent tank trailers, not like those beat up Schneider wagons.

    Loads were out and back and I knew a week in advance where I was going. None of that system crap, sitting around waiting for the next load, wondering where you’re going. No hazmat. No eLogs. We had a key to get in the building. Our BOL’s were in bins with our first name on it. Extremely laid back. Home 2-3 full days, on weekends. We got to know the customers, receiver’s names, what time they opened. Oh, and the pay was much better!

    I’ve since moved on from that job several years ago (for a local job), but I’ll never forget what that first job upgrade felt like.
     
  7. Saltyoldone

    Saltyoldone Light Load Member

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    Second Start was with May. Newish truck, governed at 61, $0.38 per mile, averaged 9000 a month using there mileage figures. Left because DM was an idiot. I would call for a voice report and she would yell at me for bothering her… then she would call and yell because I stopped making voice reports.

    Current company pays hourly. I work 4 on and 3 off. New equipment. No cameras. Governed at 70. Boss is in another state, he literally sends me a text on what cars to load, and maybe calls once a month to see if I need any new equipment for the truck. Drive approx 2000 miles a week. Home every night. Make more than I did with May with less stress.
     
  8. Team818

    Team818 Medium Load Member

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    Extremely laid back. Home 2-3 full days, on weekends. We got to know the customers, receiver’s names, what time they opened. Oh, and the pay was much better! Thank you, New E.

    This is what I like about smaller companies. You have to really be in with the left to get a job like that with a mega. Schneider had local daycab drivers that slept in the cab of the daycab, at the Terminals. They would come and go through the gate without even taking a load or bring back an empty. I hope I never have to work for another mega, plus they support the L.
     
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  9. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

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    for me, once i left the very first mega carrier, is was all for the better.

    less micro-managing, less looking over the shoulder, less stress.

    nearly all the companies i had worked for, had toll passes, very good, well maintained equipment.

    and the money was always better, as i never had to continually try and make fuel bonuses, or anti-idling rules.

    many times too, the health benefits packages were way better, and less costly, and covered more things.
     
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  10. NewbiusErectus

    NewbiusErectus Medium Load Member

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    I don’t necessarily regret the time at schneider bulk as it prepared me very well for that next job. I even went to some of the same companies. And if it wasn’t the same company, it was the same region. I knew the areas very well.. traffic, shortcuts, truck stops, etc.

    And not being a mega driver, it was day and night talking to the receiving personnel. I’d be checking in and the guard (or whoever) would be shaking their head watching a mega driver bumbling around trying to figure out what planet he was on. Id be smirking and saying hey, that’s not very nice, that was me last year :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
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  11. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Worst job I ever had was for a small mom & pop outfit. After that always went for the mid-sized to large companies.
    Couldn't care less if anyone knows my name; that doesn't mean diddly-squat.
     
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