Well it is interesting, I loaded two coils out of Baltimore on a Friday, got back to the yard Friday evening, kept in contact all day they even sent me a delivery window for the following Monday so of course I didn't take my things out of the truck came in Monday to take load to Weirton (wva)And the truck was locked up in the shop , called driver manager and he told me truck needed pm to call back Tuesday morning ( which I did)at that point i was told that I and sever others were no longer needed LOL, hAD A GREAT TRACK RECORD WITH THEM i thought lol i HAVE NEVER HAD anything LIKE THIS EVER HAPPEN WITH ANY OTHER COMPANY IN 20 PLUS YEARS OF TRUCKING lol
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Got to do those pretrips and make sure that truck can run when you leave the yard or some office jockey is going to kick you to the curb sooner or later.
Now this is all theory and speculation but I only see those kind of numbers on a lifeboat that is taking water and needs to get rid of dead wht. Not from a company man go getter loved a revered by the management.
I was driving for a company named HWC, in Fairless Hills, PA. The company was bleeding money, and I could see the end coming. Honest to God, on a Monday morning in December, I said "I don't give this place another week" to another driver. That coming Friday, the company was bought up by Gypsum Express.
During our 1 day Orientation, I was told, in no unclear words, that I would still get my 1 week paid vacation I had coming from HWC. A month later, when I took my vacation, I was not paid for it. The key word in "Week Paid Vacation" is the word paid. Everyone heard the promise. Their safety guy Dennis lied to me, and continues to lie to every driver he speaks to.
Next, I was told, again in no uncertain words, that we would be getting paid by "Practical Miles". That was an outright lie as well. They were paying us Household Movers Miles, basically stealing 10% of our money. They charge the customer hub miles, but pay the driver 10% less.
This past weekend (o3/03/2012), we had a safety meeting. The owner came out to tell us we were all getting a pay cut. I myself am going from $0.48 a mile, down to $0.42 a mile. Since I only get 1700 to 1800 miles a week average, I was already going broke at the higher rate. Some other drivers were making more per mile than me, and are getting knocked down to $0.42 as well.
The company has only taken over HWC for a little over 3 months, and has already shown itself to be nothing short of a pack of liars.
Flatbed driving is tough work, and should pay well. This company is nothing more than a J.B.Hunt outfit, with a different color scheme on their trucks. I have my name in at a few other companies, and I am just waiting for any phone calls.
Some places start out good, then go bad. This place is bad from the start. If you doubt anything I say, I will show you my pay stubs, and when you stop laughing....you can thank me for saving you from making the mistake I did.
Well, today I got a look at my first pay under the new pay scale. There are some things I am a little unhappy with, but the paid miles have come up. I have been losing 10% of my miles in the past, but now am losing less than 1% with the new rate. Some loads even pay more than you actually drove.
There are ways to make good money out of the Fairless Hills yard. If you pick up **AND** deliver within the I-95 corridor, we get an extra 8 cents a mile. If you do more than 1 stop, the additional stops pay $40. We also get a $50 bonus for deliveries in New York City. I did a 2 stopper to Queens, and made an extra $90.
There are still a few small issues, but for the most part, things seem to be much better at Gypsum Express. One thing that sucks is if you load a load in the higher paying area, and run 300 miles through the area, but deliver just a few miles outside the higher paying zone, the whole load pays the lower rate. That sucks, but no plan is perfect. You just have to learn where the higher paying loads are, and stay in that area.
ONE THING I MUST SAY I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED about, was the 8 cent bonus for the I-95 corridor is paid on empty miles, as well as loaded ones.
To their credit, getting paid for detention was a breeze. You give up the first 2 hours, like a lot of other places, but get $15 an hour after that. All you have to do is send a delay message once every hour through the Qualcomm. No song and dance. No getting any signature on a detention form.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would have given Gypsum a score of 4 or 5 before. Now I would have to bump that up to a solid 8. Their equipment is good, and the customers treat you OK, but there are still issues with getting enough miles to get a good pay. It doesn't matter if you are getting top rate per mile, if you only run 1500 miles a week. Maybe that will improve as time goes on.
Well, I am still a little irritated about not getting paid for my vacation, while switching to Gypsum Express, but it has been brought to my attention that I was blaming the wrong people. The fact still remains that the guy in orientation said we would be paid in Practical miles, and we were not. In a meeting, the owner (John Wight) said that was changing. I was expecting that he was lying, but this past week, we did get practical miles. That alone helps buffer the difference in pay per mile to some degree.
So, as far as I see it, I am driving a brand spanking new truck, pulling way better than average trailers, and getting paid a little better than a lot of other drivers out here. The customers are OK for the most part, but a few of them suck. The people who suck in the office have been weeded out, and that is a major plus.
I get paid $40 for any stops other than the final destination, and $15 an hour for detention. I would rather get $20 an hour, but the ease with which you document the delay time makes up for that.
One bad part, is that tarp pay is only $12 for putting it on, and $12 for taking it off. That should be higher, but in a big picture way of thinking, I can deal with that. The pay rate for loaded miles is fair, but the empty miles are only 38 cents per. That is an issue with dispatch, more than the company as a whole. And remember $0.38 a mile, per practical mile, is equal to about $0.43 a mile if you get paid HHG miles.
I would have to say now that this company has a few blemishes, but is not bad to work for in the long run. That should mean more coming from me, since I have been driving for over 25 years.Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2014
truck- n -tech and updates on fairless hills? was thinking of going to p and s out of elizabeth since they say 27% but there trucks are set at 62 i know 64/65 isnt much of a diffrence but it is . plus fairless hill is prolly 10 minutes closer then eleizabth. i live rt on rt 1. i see them driving by every day. can u take toll roads? has anything gotten better? ur updated posts seemed promising. i need at least 2300 miles a week and i got no issue running the queens bronx brrokly long ilsand area. manhattan is a diffirent story
This past week, I finally got out of my trip through Hell with Gypsum Express Ltd. Now that I have a new job, I can speak openly and honestly about my experience there. I will admit I do not like the owner, even a little bit, but will try to be fair and honest with what I write now. There are some other people who were more to blame than the owner for my experience being so miserable. If you read my posts at the beginning, up to this one, you might think I have a severe case of mood swings or something. I stand by everything I have written, as being 100% honest at the time they were written.
Since my last post, a lot of things happened. I didn't write about them here, since I know they are read by the company. I had to bite my tongue, for fear of being treated worse than I already was. Now that I am done with the company, I can speak openly. I have no axe to grind with Gypsum Express, for the most part. There are individuals within the company that do most of the damage, unless you kiss their rears. If you get into trouble with them, it will multiply quickly, and drive you out. If you don't have any respect for yourself, and think you are paid to kiss rears, instead of drive a truck, you might do OK there.
Anyway, back in April of 2012, I got a better job offer from another company. Tanker work....no more stinking tarps...and about 3 times the pay. I was talking with the owner of the new place, and was given a great offer. Since I knew people who knew the owner, and they told me he was a man of his word, I had very high hopes. I was offered to start working for the new place on April 16th.
Just 3 days before I was to start the new job, I fell while unloading, and busted up my right elbow. My Triceps Ligament in my right arm was torn 100% off from the bone. I had to have it surgically re-attached a few days later. I was out of work for 5 months, give or take a few days. I could not believe my bad luck. 3 days short of a better job, and now I am out of work for 5 months. The good thing about that, was during this time, I found out I had some problems with my license. It took 2 months to get that squared away, plus I took the time to get my HazMat endorsement back.
When I first got back to work, I didn't want to change jobs too quickly. I wanted to be sure my arm was fully healed before I went to a new place. Even though I could work, I was not up to full strength yet. I figured I would just use Gypsum as an income, while I got back to full health. At this point I was looking to leave the company, but wanted to be sure not to jump out of the frying pan, and into the fire. The company I was going to go to before I got hurt would have an opening soon, so I just settled in till that time.
When I got hurt, I was driving a brand new 2012 Cascadia. The truck they put me in when I came back was a 6 year old piece of junk. No equipment at all. I had to spend my first 2 hours back at work, searching for straps, chains, binders, and even a winch bar. They knew I was coming back, yet didn't even check that I had even the basic equipment I would need. What a bunch of jerks.
I was not happy at all, but painted on a happy face, and went about my business. The pay sucked. On worker's Comp, I was bringing home a check for $419.79 every week. Now I was working 70 hours or more, to bring home checks like $318, $340, and $380. I was working harder, to go broke.
Then the real kicker came around Christmas time. I honestly had no money to spend on my family. All my 3 year old daughter wanted for Christmas was a $50 bicycle. I went into the dispatch office, and asked about getting my vacation pay, but working the week also, so I could have some extra money for the holidays. I was told it was no problem. I filled out the form for the pay, and left. 2 weeks later, on December 21st, I got my last pay before Christmas. No Vacation Pay!!! I called my dispatcher, and asked what the deal was. I was given a fairy tale about the form getting turned in too late, because the girl doing payroll didn't see it on her desk. My Christmas was the absolute saddest holiday I have ever had, ever. My poor daughter wanted so little, and I was not able to give it to her. My sister found out what was going on, and handed me $200 the day after Christmas. She told me to use it to take care of my daughter and wife. If not for her, the holidays would have been a total disaster. Sure, I got the extra vacation pay the following week, but that didn't do me much good during the holidays, now did it? That was the time I decided I would leave without any notice at all, when the time came.
Then in December of 2012, I had to get my medical card registered with the state of Pennsylvania. If I failed to do so by the 28th, I would lose my CDL. I wrote my dispatcher an E-mail on Sunday night, and explained my situation. He told me, in no unclear words, to deliver my load in New York on time, and he would run me back to my home terminal directly from there. Half way to my destination, he changes the deal on me. He offers me to get a physical set up for me in New York. I explain to him I already had a new Physical, but had to register the card with my state. At that point I was ready to turn toward home. Better to get fired, than lose my CDL.
I went to the delivery, and unloaded. It started to snow so hard, you could not see 50 feet. I send in my empty message. My wonderful dispatcher wants me to take a load from 30 miles away, out to the center of Ohio, and deliver it, then grab another load there, and run it to Pittsburgh, PA. From there, they would get me home. I agree to do it, but warn him if there is any problems, I am dropping the load, and heading home. He told me they would load me till 8 PM. I come rolling through the gate at 6:30 PM, and there is not a soul there. The night guy tells me to wait till morning, and they will get me a different load to take.
The next morning, I go into the shipper's office, and tell him I am there to pick up a load, but was still waiting for the info on it. The shipper tells me he has 4 loads waiting. 1 to OHio (the original plan), 1 to Lancaster, PA., 1 to somewhere in NJ near Philadelphia, and 1 to Oxford , PA. The day before, my dispatcher could have given me any of the 3 other loads than the one he gave me, and I could have been home with plenty of time to spare. Instead he planned to run me out across Ohio and back. Had to squeeze that last drop of blood from me before I took care of my business with the state. This showed a flagrant disregard for my situation, risking my losing my CDL, when it didn't have to be done. That is the day I decided the dispatcher could go screw himself. When I did leave, I would have no guilt about not giving any notice.
I have had my name in with a few places, and got a call about a week ago. I was approved for a position with a better company. A guy I have known since we were 12, has 4 trucks, and needs a driver. This past Thursday night, sometime around 5 PM, I got the call. I had the new job. I still had a load on my truck, so I had to hit 2 Home Depot locations, then I was free! Sure, I could have really screwed them, and just came home without delivering, but when you agree to do a load, you see it through to the end. My last stop was in Howell, NJ. Then I started home. Took an hour to get there. I cleaned my truck out, and sent a Qualcomm message in. Short and simple "I will not be doing the next load. My Pay is a joke, and is not going to get better. I am done".
Looking back at it, I will admit my trouble with Gypsum Express was more due to the dispatchers at the Fairless Hills, PA yard, than the company itself. They are the ones who play games, and act like you need to beg for work from them. But I can't help but think others should have noticed what was going on. If I was the owner, I would be wondering why one driver is making over $60K a year, while another driver, who has never refused to do any loads, and has routinely been away from home 6 days a week, only made $27K. After all, if I am not making money, neither is the truck. If the truck is not making money, it costs the company. I gave these people an honest effort every day I was in that truck, no matter what my mood was. I try to see things from all points of view, but really, upper management doesn't seem concerned that 5 or 6 drivers in a terminal do good, while 20 or so others starve. I can't say for sure if that is oversight, lack of caring, or just plain stupidity. I don't think the owner could be that stupid, and manage to build such a big company, so it must be one of the other two reasons.
I am just happy beyond words to be at the end of my 2 year long sentence in Hell. First with HWC, and then with Gypsum Express.
If you are a new driver, maybe driving a nice truck is all you want. In that case, maybe you can find a good deal at Gypsum Express. Just remember driving a nice new truck does nothing to pay your bills. The pay is what supports your family. If you think $12 is enough money for throwing a tarp over a load in the wind and rain, then maybe Gypsum is OK for you. If getting another $12 at the end of the run for taking the tarp off, and rolling it up is Ok for you, then maybe Gypsum is OK for you. On a few rare occasions that I ran over 2500 miles in a week, I will admit the pay was not too bad, but that depends on what kind of mood your dispatcher is in, and if you agree that you should have to kiss rear ends to get miles.
I don't like the owner, but really hold no ill will toward him. He is not better than J.B. Hunt, but he's not any worse either. Just a typical trucking company owner. The dispatchers might not be as bad throughout the whole company as they are in Fairless Hills, but I have no way of knowing that. At this point I have no need to worry about that one way or the other.
Just take my posts here for what they are. Just one driver's views. I have tried to present things honestly, but can't deny that there are a few drivers who would not support what I write here 100%. Most would, but not all.
wow that sucks 320.00 a week? thats a ####### chrime.. i live right off rt 1 in nj and i see a few gypsums headed south all the time. usually daycabs. if you are looking i thinking my location in bridgewater nj for cardinal is hiriing. we do all office depots. and since we merged with office max looks like more stores will be need to deliver too. i do the same run every single day 500 miles 4 stops 11 hours 275.00 a day 5 daysa week weekends off. same truck, 1 boss who i never even see or talk too. fuel card. paper log. grossing 1300-1350.00 a week. i get 16.00 an hour for any delays at the delivery spot. but since each store gets 1-4 pallets im only their for maybe 10 minutes. i start at 2am done at 12.30-1. i think we need a driver to run out to the office depot hq in newville pa run a shuttle back to jersey then do a few local stores.
Hey there Ink, it sounds like you have a good deal going. All I can say is don't screw it up. For what you are doing, it sounds like you are being treated very fairly.
I myself just started with a company doing Inter-modal work from rail yards. Mostly drop and hook, without even putting it in a door. Maybe you need to open the container and put it in the door 2 or 3 times a week. The money is OK; about 1,200 a week average. The work is so easy, I put a 13 hour day in, and come home, not even feeling tired in the slightest. After a while, I will start a thread in the "good companies" side of this forum.
For now, thanks for your comments. I hope you keep doing well as you are, or even better.
We had a driver's safety meeting a while ago, where the idiot from safety showed us a graph involving CSA scores. He shows that the rate of accidents had started to climb the last 90 days, and had to be addressed. I made a comment about the quality of drivers was going down, in direct correlation with the recent cut in driver's pay. You can't get good drivers at 37 cents empty / 42 cents loaded per mile, when in the flatbed business. Flatbedding is a tough gig, and demands a lot more physical labor than a dry van driver, and needs to be better compensated.
You pay garbage waages, and you get garbage drivers working for you. All the good ones leave, as I did. Where is the big mystery?
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