Well, we finished cleaning out our truck last night. Orientation has been changed from 3 days to 5 and from starting on the 28th to the 26th. So, Monday through Friday is going to be classroom. 2 days for TVAL (reefer) certification, and 3 days for company orientation. We'll be going to Uniontown, OH and staying at a hotel up there. The boss man has to be there for the last three days of the week, too.
So apparently, I will be working on a few little things for the boss this week, unpacking, cleaning and repacking our truck junk. We also have to work on lettering the new truck, getting all the permits, passes and DOT stupid in order. Still need the new fuel card and company credit card... all the little things that make you pull your hair out.
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Well, gang, be prepared. As a favor to my boss we agreed to run one last week for the old company. Gads, what a mess that was.
Here's the stickler:
Day one: On the road we get an email from CC: two video trainings to complete. I'm running the mountains on a week-long turn n burn. Not gonna happen. Gonna have to do it this weekend. How long can it take? An hour? No biggie.
Day two: we get a list of things to wear/bring to orientation. Turns out the 60 days I have left on my current DOT physical isn't good enough. Need 90 days. Oh, and you have to wear a collared shirt, dark pants and dark shoes to orientation, which we don't have. We wear sweatshirts, sweaters, jeans and work boots to work. So, physical, training and shopping need to be done ASAP. Well, if the run ends when it's supposed to, we can squeeze some of this in Saturday afternoon after our run is over but before we head home. Not happy about it, but what you gonna do?
Day two: new email: Elvee and Mr. Elvee we need you to drug test before showing up. "our new provider is slower in returning the results to us..." blahblahblah. Second email: hazmat online training - in addition to the other two already on the list.
Day three: Owner called, having problems getting the title for the new truck. The paperwork monkey at the dealership is on vacation. Was going to drop it off an hour from the house - but now that's up in the air, and the dealership can't guarantee delivery of the title. Great. Sounds like the sales departments are about as pleasant to deal with as their repair shops. Sigh.
Then here's the kicker: the run we agreed to cover ended at 0600 Saturday morning. Until the current customer called on day four and messed with the schedule. We weren't going to be home after the changes until 1100 Sunday. But what are you gonna do? Yessir three bags full.
I had to call the boss and talk it over. We're going to have to push it back a week. There's no way I can get all that done in 8 hours on a Sunday. We both reluctantly agree.
Lesson learned: take a week off for the last minute stupid. Holy Gods! CC could have given these trainings and lists to us a month ago instead of making us jump through flaming hoops at the last minute.
Home for a week,
Got drug test done at a lab an hour away (that's 2.5 hr wait time and an hour each way in the car) 4.5 hours of my life I'll never see again, lol. Scanned and emailed chain of custody to boss man to secure lease to get IFTA etc.
Got DOT physical done. Why do they make you set an appointment when the office doesn't bother to keep it? Another 2.5 hours of my life gone. Run to DMV, update the DOT physical on my license, scan long form and email boss man.
Went and picked up truck. It is a 2016 Freightliner Evo AUTOMATIC. Never driven an auto. Hubby ran it home. Jury's still out. I'm sure it will be fine. The truck is just another tool. I do love my boss man, he tries very hard to keep us happy. Took him a bit to understand we meant it when we said, "if it rolls, it's fine." Leather seats, satellite radio, fridge, inverter... he's a good man.
I took time this week to certify in First Observer. It's a terrorist watch program for transportation workers. Its not like it does anything special, but it does pad the resume. Always looking to get more certs, more training and more credentials, never know when it will pay off.
Edit: linky for those of you interested in free cert. First Observer
We're loading up the truck today and heading out tomorrow. Orientation has been shortened to 3 days as they are fresh out of reefers right now. So... we will have to come back in for TVAL, but we gotta get back to making money, so dry van it is.
I'll let you know about orientation on Monday from the hotel. Have a great weekend gang!
Well first day is over. Paperwork, more paperwork, drug tests for some (did mine last week), DOT on vehicles new to the fleet. More paperwork. An odd insistence on doing a VIR as close to midnight as possible with an insistence that CC is only following the reg. Must road test if you have tanker endorsement.
Breakfast muffins and scones coffee and juice provided. Lunch was provided in a nice cafeteria. Food was good. Had lunch with our recruiter.
Hotel is not provided but was by our owner. Supper is on you.
Class was full, 35 or so folks. We were told this is very unusual. We were let go about 5pm. So it was a long day 0700 to 0500.
No real big surprises so far. Will keep you informed.
Sorry for the delay. Indoc is a 200mph process.
Second day was more of the first. Classroom with a truly knowledgeable trainer is nice. Lunch with our Fleet Specialist. He's the guy that helps get you home or back in a freight lane. You aren't cut lose for qcomm install and branding until all your paperwork is square.
We spent that night rounding up some of the long laundry list of crap you need to prove you have to get released into the fleet:
4× 4' length of 2x4. ($6)
Padlock (new truck so need everything $15)
Claw hammer ($10)
Nails (3 1/8" my choice $5)
4 e trak 1000lb straps
4 e trak load bars (NOT load locks) ($300 from their supplier- way overpriced)
(optional but we needed)
Hard hat ($15)
Safety glasses ($10)
Back up padlock ($15)
Kingpin lock ($30)
Sheet covers for permit book ($20 had bought the rest previously)
Check book register ($5)
So don't come broke. We burned through $500 bucks pretty quick.
Also make sure you have some fuel to scoot down the road to pick up your trailer. You can't get a ton of money for a fuel advance right away. 20% on dispatch, another 25% on leaving the shipper.
The fuel card is strange. Its a Tchek that you have to load with an amount of money based on the load you're under and how much it pays. On the upside, it's pay as you go. On the downside, it's pay as you go.
My plan is to keep good records for 6 months until I can get a solid average and pull money based on that. Not some arbitrary number I pull out of my seat cushion.
We're on our way to run dry van for a few weeks until our reefer comes in. We have to go from Akron OH to Atlanta to pick it up. They're paying full rate plus tolls to get there.
The system of dispatch and macros is fairly complicated. Judging from the mess we made of trying to get on the road to Atlanta! Lol. But dispatch was awesome and all over it. So, kudos dispatch!
Will let ya know how things go in Atlanta.
Miles: 680 LD 27 MT day 1
Got to Atlanta no issues. As a matter of fact the freight yards treat you way better when you work for a sister company.
From here on out I'm not going to be talking about where my loads go for security sake. But I can tell you we were given a 500 mile run from here and a 1000 to back that up. If nothing else, we're moving.
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