Two drivers that work here used to work for heartland. They never enjoyed it, one said he did it for the experience to come here and the other heard good things but found out not so much. He stayed to get experience though.
If I ever go back otr there's only one company I'll go to.
Heartland Express posts record annual revenue
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My dad drove for about 10 years before I was born after he came home from Vietnam then he decided to go to his first love which was turning wrenches so he spent the rest of his career as a diesel truck mechanic and both sides of my family have truckers spread throughout. I just like the challenge of it, I mean we all know and most will even admit it that truckers are not always the sweetest human beings to deal with and learning how to deal with people of different personalities while having to adapt to ever changing rules always was something I fed on. Honestly we were schedule for 7am-4pm but rarely did that ever happen even though if you didn't take 15 smoke breaks a day you could have your drivers pre-planned, committed too and auto dispatched for their next loads in that time frame but the TM usually kept you till he was ready to say he was done. So sometimes it was more like 5 or 6. In an extreme circumstance it would be closer to 6:30 but 5 or 6 was the average quitting time. Now on your Saturdays noon was the goal, because naturally everyone wanted to enjoy the weekend as much as possible. It was also a good idea to make sure you had all your i's dotted and T's crossed because Columbus night dispatch was the laziest and biggest group of fools and generally would leave enough loose ends each day that it went beyond comedic. I never had dealings with TN terminal while there so I have no right to comment about that facility but corporate was your typical group of as Roddy Piper says "sons of unnamed goats", Columbus was useless, and in regards to Chester I will be fair and give credit where credit is due they were always pretty pleasant to deal with and generally were great folks to deal with.
I am up to my 1 year since leaving Heartland as of this month.
I still like the people that I worked with in Columbus, Kevin (huggy) was not the best dispatcher around, but darn, I would see him and stop being mad at him. I still left his fleet when a dedicated route came open, even though he begged me to come back. He lost his fleet shortly after, due to loosing drivers. But He did run me 2500 miles a week and home most weekends.
When I went off regional and onto dedicated I had Larry for a few years. Really good guy and he kept me running. No BS from him, if I could not run due to shop time during the day, he would get me on a run leaving later, so I could get some sleep. Never had any retaliation or talkings to about how I worked. And trust me, I am not the easyest driver to deal with. I cussed them out when things went south. We would talk it out later, and I kept going.
When I went to Heartland they tried to get me on the Carlisle fleet. Since I lived near Buffalo NY. But I told the recruiter that I would not go to the company at all if I had to be NE regional. And carlisle was the main reason I went to dedicated. Since every Columbus driver that got over there would get all the garbage runs in the NE for a few days before getting sent back. Good way to kill a paycheck.
Once I had Larry, he would not send me over unless he already had a load back set up.
Granted, during the recession we were low on some freight lanes. So allot of the time it was water runs out of Maine for everyone. Then if they had nothing else, it was Sears back up. And another water run.
Lucky for me my dispatcher did all he could to get things done for me and his other drivers. When his drivers were running better than other fleets drivers they would get taken and put into the fleet of a dispatcher that had an under preforming fleet. Management for some reason seemed to blame low miles on the driver in most cases. But then those top preforming drivers would get low miles on the new fleet. It took them months to figure out it was the DM and not the drivers who were messing up.
And if it was a DM that had been transferred in from Iowa, look out, since they would never be in the wrong if you asked management. A guy named Peter comes to mind.....
All in all they were not bad to me up there. But from the time I headed out monday, till I got home Friday night or Saturday morning, I ran every hour I could and planned every minute of every day. Always checking on delivery and pickup windows to best use my 14. I did it for over 4 years and made ok money. On dedicated I was on a salary minimum pay, so it was in the dispatchers best interest to make sure that I did not sit. And if I ran the miles to be over that set pay I would get the mileage pay, which I did almost every week. I never had a week with pay less than my salary pay, even when I only ran 3.5 days due to a family issue. Since the truck made revenue every time.
I used names in this so that AK would know who I was working with by the way. All would have been around while he was there.
And the regin issues were being worked out by the time I left a year ago. Since the fleet is all 2010 or newer now. Also the Freightliners all have opti idle in them and some I have seen even have APU's on them they are trying out now. And the temp settings for idle were adjusted while I was still with them. So driver comfort issues have been being addressed the past few years. SLOWLY. But I am sure they have continued.
I will agree with you on 2 people that did Columbus nights. Days we had several good ones. And several that were not worth the time of day. If I heard from one of them I would just call a direct line around them and get someone else lol. And I did not deal with anything nights unless I had too.
You can use names here, just not last names. The mods will edit last names out.
How many drivers does an HTLD DM herd?? Imagine it varies some by fleet. AK/81, were you there before, during or after the Gordon acquisition--if that's okay to ask and whether that changed anything management-wise. Also, Gordon had a pretty regular problem with drivers simply abandoning trucks that then had to be recovered, sometimes our Safety Guy in Indy, sometimes others. How much of an issue was not hearing from a driver and then finding he/she had abandoned truck?
So you kinda had trucking in your blood... do you wrench?? (Like your dad?)
Gordon had a rather elaborate tracking system on each driver with various notes, things you got credit for, things you got dinged for and you never knew what was there until you met with the Fleet Manager, who still tried to inform you on the one hand and keep the actual details from you. I read upside down just fine as well as sideways (like off a screen facing the FM, not me).
We had one pretty testy meeting and she claimed I'd been 'giving operations a hard time.' Yet, right on the screen in front of her was Green Bay saying I was 'one helluva driver,' yada, yada. Like they collected ammo to use against you depending on their purpose and would slant what was there. Claimed I had 3 service failures, which I didn't and got those pulled off then and there.
Is this much different from HTLD??
I gotta say Victor...you still crack me up...if i didnt know better i would assume you worked at Gordon for 10 years or more instead of the approximate 10 weeks in which you actually worked there..
I only point this out so that AK does not make the mistake of identifying you as someone who actually knows anything about Gordon or their operations. It could be misleading.
To AK; i do appreciate your input here...i left Gordon after 5 years shortly after the sellout to heartland. I knew i could not work for people like that and reading your posts serves to affirm my decision.
AK/81, you still with us? Don't bug out!! Sadly, a certain amount of static occurs here abouts and it's best to overlook it. I'd like to hear more of your personal story and Heartland, especially vis-a-vis Gordon--if you have a take on that. Others are interested, too, I'm sure. Certain of it.
Best just ignore the static...
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