Ok so the metrics on the first partial week are in. Keep in mind we ran Wed night to Sun. We turned one load down to get a 34 to have our hours properly reflected in the qualcomm. More about that later.
Miles: 2151 total
Mt %: 11.45
Current FSC: 19.2%
I'm not pleased for obvious reasons. The miles are not what we were hoping for. Then again, we're averaging over 8.5 mpg. We originally came here to run the White Glove division. Pay is about 75 cpm higher and supposedly more miles. Got a call today saying we pick up our reefer next Thursday, so we won't be at it long.
As far as the load we turned down? After our reset we got offered the same one and accepted. In ordinary circumstances I wouldn't have accepted it. 42k 300+ mt, 850 ld and two stops delivering in a freight poor market. But we agreed to not turn anything down for the boss man so we took it.
This week is looking better, but still feels like we're half stepping. Maybe it is all the linehaul and dedicated we've done for years where they beat us to death. I dunno. I can't remember the last time I did a 5k week.
Support is good. 24/7 and very short wait times. They are friendly ladies and very well trained on how to help and what to do. Sometimes though, it seems like they're in a hurry to get you off the phone.
We're getting the hang of the goofy fuel card. It was just hard to guess when we didn't have a history for this truck. And the qualcomm macros are getting easier to remember. We're looking forward to TVAL training, but I already laid eyes on their TK units and they are no where near as complicated as some of the stuff we've run in the past. No multi-zone, curtained sections... so we'll have to see what they've got to say.
Anywho... I'm under load and gotta mosey. Will post more soon. Gotta go chase the money.
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Okay. Just got done with 2 very full days of training. White Glove, Tval, Customer Service... you name it.
I don't know what I can say about White Glove other than it is elite customer service training. Specialty service requirements for individual customers. Special forms and things like that. You must have a hazmat and tanker endorsement for this fleet. It makes you eligible for higher paying loads than the Surface Expedited fleet.
Then we went on to have training at night for best practices on freight handling. The whys and hows.
All day today we went over the TVAL and reefer requirements. TVAL is basically specialty handling of extremely delicate temp sensitive freight. They also train you on a data logger that shows the customer the freight has never been out of temp. Marry that with a complicated tracking and macro system and I'm sure your brain will be applesauce just like mine.
This training ends with 2 hands on tests you have to pass.
I've been hearing good things about this fleet. We really could use more miles, so we had to make ourselves eligible for as many kinds of specialty freight as we could. We've done our part. Now time to see if it lives up to what other drivers are saying. If so, we should be much happier here, if not... well, we'll keep you posted.mountaingote Thanks this.
We had a similar "Surprise..here is a list of things to do before orientation" experience. We are also not very happy with the base pay rate in the contract of $1.50 a mile or the Tchek card that charges $0.45 per transaction. So far the discounts offered have not come close to what we find at smaller truck stops (as much as 10 cents less than the discount.)
You lucked out. FDCC paid us $1 a mile to pick up our trailer. It had a rubber hose airline zip tied to the metal and the passenger side mid way turn signal zip tied back on. I agree with your kuddos to dispatch. We called to tell them the trailer failed inspection. First they told us we would have to wait until Monday to fix it. A supervisor called back a little bit later and said FDCC has a service that would come on Sat. The repairman was great. We sat till Monday.
When folks leave out amounts to make numbers look better, I call it Congress math. When I figure out what a load pays per mile, I take all the pay divided by all the miles.
I will post the first few offers later. Some were under $1.50.
When I decide accept/refuse I also consider "pig trail" mileage. These are US or State highways that are stop light/sign infested. They increase the travel time and wear/tear as well as decrease fuel mileage.
Off to dinner...
Been stupid busy. Sorry for lack of updates.
There were many things that went into that decision, the lack of miles, the adversarial way they have contractors bid on loads, and the straw that broke the camel's back for me was the trip into NYC. Wait til you guys hear that one.
I will explain all that after I get done my shift tonight. Know this: the same day I turned my trailer in 2 other teams brought their trailers back.
It''s a bit of a long story because it was such a laundry list of things that seemed... like we were being preyed upon. In short, though, I do not recommend them. At all.
So let's begin the laundry list
Miles. As a team truck we averaged 3000 miles a week. We fought, we called, we cajoled, heck we even contacted their 3rd party load boards. We got one week over 5000 miles. One. Week.
We contacted our owner after the NYC debacle and we circled the wagons and went in for a "we are not getting enough miles" nicey-nice corporate meeting. The COO attended as did managers from WG and TVAL as well as our contract representative. We basically got told that CC was an ambulatory service and we shouldn't count miles, just count revenue. We should try to land in this lane or that lane... okay.
We tried that. Didn't work, either.
So, no miles... but Miss E, you say, there had to be a reason you stayed. There was. It was the I'm giving them a fair shake and perhaps I just need to learn the system reason.
So, I called friends who own current and past trucks leased to CC and picked their brains. We picked up a few tricks... but not enough to make a huge difference.
Then there is the bidding for the load. They send the same load opportunity to 5 trucks simultaneously. Whoever takes it the cheapest wins. Of course this is not the contract we signed. We were supposed to get 60% of the load period. But, of course, they never show you how much they booked the load for... so you have no way of knowing.
After the 'take everything at the starving artist rate' failed experiment... we stuck to our guns. $2 a mile for all miles and Tolls paid. Nothing under 600 miles without a back up load.
For those of you who think that's high for reefer, you'd be right. It was all high dollar, high security pharmacy stuff that required either secure parking or a driver up front 24/7. Temperature tolerances were extremely narrow and journal receipts with the temperature histories had to be printed for each customer. Some was temp controlled hazmat in dewars. Stop every 150. Must be documented in elog, etc.
So now that you have that idea, two weeks before we stopped working for them one of their happy little newsletters hits our inbox. Basically, it said, due to dropping fuel prices our rates are dropping.
Makes sense, right?
Except the math didn't add up. The same load from the same shipper that we got $2 a mile for last week, was now going for $1.35. Fuel was down, but not that much. And the thing that scared me was other contractors were jumping at those rates. And they were chicken feed for the qualifications of both the drivers and the trucks. Our level of service hadn't changed, but the rates were in the potty.
Remember, they won't show you the rate they booked it at. When you ask for more money, you're told a flat out "no". No haggling, no bargaining like the week before.
But I think the real dying gasp happened right before Christmas. The infamous NYC trip from H E double hockey sticks.
We got a load offering. OMG work!!! Quick! Grab it! 20 miles for $600. P/U city same as Receiving city. Okay. No problem. Whatever piece of art or organ or zoo animal needs to be moved, we're all over it. It's high security, White Glove and TVAL.
Could be anything from botox to those monkeys that like to sit in the hot springs in Japan. If it was monkeys, I didn't care if they flung poo at us all the way across town. It was $600 for an hour of work. (WORK!)
They accepted our bid and promptly sent the rest of the dispatch. It was marked as a staging load (what's that? No one told us about staging loads). We read on. We would not find out where it delivered until 2 hours before the pick up.
Two hours before pick up comes. Destination: NYC.
Uh oh. We have a 53' trailer. *Where* exactly in NYC?
Anyone who has ever run NYC knows big trucks don't go to NYC. But we wanna be team players. So we look it up and Mr. E and I both look at it and come to the same conclusion: no way, no how. We won't be able to get in that dock if there was a million bucks in it for us.
So we call dispatch. We explain the situation and are told... AND I QUOTE... "We send big trucks to this customer all the time." She was... less than happy to hear from us.
Now here's where Mr. and Miss E must take our lumps. We KNEW better. We've been doing this long enough to look at the satellite and say yea or neigh. We knew every other time we'd gone into NYC we took a 48' trailer. NEVER a 53'. We knew.
But we drank the kool-aid anyway.
So we actually make it to the front door of the receiver with millions in product in the trailer. I can throw a rock and hit the front door, but no way, no how can I get around the corner with cars parked on both sides of the street to the docks.
We call in. Notify CC, have them notify customer and customer's security. Meanwhile, Mr. E is walking the block looking for anyway we may have missed. I'm sitting in the middle of the street in the front seat "guarding the load".
Called for help to cross dock. Unable to get to Highway due to low bridges. Call again. Ask for routing. Nothing. Call again. Ask for police escort. Get a lousy phone number.
Long story short it took 4 hours to navigate our way out of Manhattan with a police escort and had to back down a one way street 3.5 miles and jump the curb across the street with the rear tandem tires to make the turn.
Headed out of the city and called again. Told them to find me somewhere in Jersey to cross dock. They dropped the ball, we sat for 30 hours waiting to unload.
Only to do research later and find in black n white on the NYC DOT website we weren't even supposed to be on that highway, let alone down on the surface streets. 100% of the routing they gave me was illegal for my truck size.
IF the NYC DOT would have allowed it, it would have been in a 48' trailer under 12' tall and only with a police escort.
And they wanna pay me what?
I returned my trailer the last week of January.
Sorry for wall o' text.
The per mile rate can be good. We averaged $1.98 a mile for Nov and Dec. in surface expedite. That was due to two $2 a mile loads and one $5 load that were all less than 300 miles.
We also had to stand on ground against low ball loads. After we sat in Albuquerque for a week refusing $1.4x a miles loads, they charged me for a second background check. I am still trying to get a detailed breakdown of the charges but I am guessing financial. When we were scheduled for WG classes we took a load offer going to Portland. "Sure, getting you back will be no problem..." After running 80 miles in chains to deliver on time, we were offered $1.4x loads again. We rescheduled class and sat for 4 days.
The miles suck. We averaged 2614 miles a week for Nov and Dec. in surface expedite.
The fuel discounts at TA and Petro are great. Many times they are .30 a gal off the price on the sign.
The secure routing is faulty. It always starts from the center of the zip code instead of where you are, does not account for current closures, and the routes switch between the mega toll route and the mega stop light state route.
The equipment is cared about. Never a problem when you call to get authorization for a repair.
The well paying loads are either Air expedite or HIGH MAINTENANCE. Air is ok, just lots of "How are you doing?" phone calls. The rest involve LOTS of QuallComm messages you have to fill out and send; tiny pieces of thermal paper you have to get a device on the trailer to produce, and zero help if the canned routing is wrong. Expect to lose a minimum of an hour at pick up.
My recruiter does care and has helped me several times.
Lots of fees... QC install just under $500; background checks were just under $60 per driver with my second one coming in under $50; drug tests $41 (x2,) QC service $35 a week, base plate $47.5 a week, and escrow account (total to be $2500.00) $91 a week. It is like pulling teeth but I am getting fuel tax accounting details piece by piece. So far, it looks like they keep any overage and charge you for shortages plus processing fees.
More to come but I have go now...
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