If your running 48 States or if you get on a dedicated account, you should do well with US Xpress!!! When I ran 48 States for them about 4 years ago, I was very happy, and spoiled with there automatics! Good Luck.
I worked for USX for 6.5years and believe me lots have changed since then. Only teams run 48 at that company solo's are regional even if they enter as a system driver. I ran 48 and got alot of 2800 mile runs but then in 2004 they started putting frt on the rail and all of a sudden the miles went in the tank and you were forced into doing p&d work at the rail yards and for the teams while getting paid OTR. my last six months otr I never broke 10K miles and one month not even 8k. this after doing 12500 to 13500 a month for 4 years.
Once you enter their terminal you have to be under dp to leave agian in your truck so if you want to go out to eat or to a store you have to use a company van and all agree on were you are going.
Even a simple repair on your truck at the term can take days becuase drivers under loads, teams and trainers have priorty. Lots of high dollar or so called priorty frt with lots of running restrictions. If you run on the west coast you have parking restrictions in the whole state of Nevada and So Cal. No prepln loads and late dp becuase they load everyone before the solo driver so expect waiting for hours or longer between loads. If you happen to get a good run, most likely they will try to repower it to one of their teams who want to go sightsee somewere becouse driving a truck for pay is cheaper then buying a RV but will lie and say they have time off and their trying to get them home. Hometime when I started with them I did'nt care becuase I was saving to buy a house. Good thing becuase they could care less even more then Crete about your time off. I had to go to terminal mang and even higher on several occasions to get routed home even days after I was sapposed to be home. Hometime Is based on hours not days if you have 2 days that means 48hours. I used to stay out 6 weeks at a time and was told cant take 6 days becuase I would have to turn in truck first since they only allowed 4 days at a time. So I olny stayed out a month at a time after that. Pay is on a progressive scale and anything other then miles pay will be a headache trying to get them to pay, if at all.
A company to cut your teeth on but unless you intend to run team you WILL find out that unless you run highly illeagal for them you will be lucky to bring home $600 a week.
You will be running tired alot at this company unless you get a dedicated account. You will learn all the rail yards and the headaches that come with them. You will learn to hate places like BAX and Airborne Express if they still run those loads standby at 0900 leave if you get a load at 2200 del at 0500 drive 300 miles in 24 hours? woopie.
My last year at the company as a regional/ railhead driver I did 96000miles thats it, and I was out a month at a time never turned down loads or del late. By the way hope you like timed expidited loads. The time on your bills not when you get the bills is when the clock starts 15min late is a service failure. Many will be late if you stop anywere. Got caught in a blizzard in Wyoming? they don't care, Ice in Pa? they don't care, Fog in Iowa? agian they don't care.
If you make it 6months at USX without wrecking or throwing in the towel you can be assured you can make it most anywere. Good luck
Here I go (USXpress ??)
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I talked to a driver that got out of my school in April 07. He's a solo with USXpress and had nothing but good things to say. He said his paychecks have been 900-1000/wk and has no trouble getting loads whatsoever. He is running all 48 and has had no otrouble getting home when he needs to. When I talked to him he said he stayed out for 8 weeks by choice and ran alot of east of the mississippi (again by choice). Though he is new to the industry he didn't have anything bad to say about USX. When his original truck hit 500K miles they put him in a new one. It was two days to get the new truck so they paid his detension pay and put him in a hotel during that time.
It just didn't sound to me as bad and some people are painting it on here. He did say he has now been to all the bouroughs in NYC but didn't really care since he's in an automatic...
All packed and ready to go. I leave at 9AM Tuesday for Orientation starting Wednesday. I'm excited and nervous. A million and one things going through my mind.
If I can get access to a puter, I will post updates on my progress for those interested.
Off I go......................................
I am currently working for US Xpress on their Dollar General dedicated account out of Zanesville, Ohio. I started at the end of January right out of CDL school. There are some real good things and some not so good things, probably not much different than any job.
First the good. This is one of the highest paying jobs in the company. If you aren't afraid to work your butt off you can make great money. It took me awhile to figure out what loads to request but I am now in a fairly good earnings groove. I average between $1100 and $1350 per week. My miles average about 2800 to 3200 per week. There are three ways we get paid: mileage, load/unload, and stop pay. In addition we are eligible for a $500 safety bonus each quarter if we are ticket and accident free for the calendar quarter. My first truck was a 2004 Pete, which I loved. At 6 months I was upgraded to a 2007 Kenworth, which I love even more, although the sleeper is a bit smaller and I'm a big guy. I am assigned to the best dispatcher/fleet manager in the Zanesville building so I am lucky - no drama. I almost always get what I request as far as destinations. For instance, if they can't get me eastern NY they'll get me Syracuse. I work Sunday through Friday and usually get Saturday off without burning a hometime request. At 6 months I hopped on the 401K plan and am happy with it. I also take advantage of a pretty good medical plan and legal plan.
Now for the not so good. I like unloading 42,000 pounds of product every run but I know many truckers do not. My theory is they are paying me to work out. It keeps weight off my oversized behind. In the summer I ate whatever I wanted and didn't gain a pound. Went through many a shirt this past hot summer. The winter, however, was brutal. You will unload in snow, sleet, heavy rain, blizzards. We deliver to 10 states: Ohio, Michigan, eastern Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, western Maryland, Pennsylvania (but not Philly), western New Jersey, New York (but not NYC), and one store in Vermont. While the tractors are maintained well the trailers are garbage. Dollar General does not believe in replacing anything (technically I guess the trailers are owned by Werner). In any event be prepared to get your shirt ripped on jagged metal, lifts won't work periodically, straps to secure the loads will tear, and lights won't always work. The guys in the Dollar General Distribution Center load the trailers like one-legged blind monkeys. At this point I'd like to send out my apologies to one-legged blind monkeys for that last comment, but I do stand by it. Be prepared for 75 pound totes to be stacked on top and eventually land on your head, rolltainers to be stuck together and need the netting cut, crushed toes, cut and scraped arms on the numerous loose metal shards, etc. This sounds worse than it really is because after awhile you know what to look for and you avoid most of it. Most of the people in the DG stores are women and they are nice. You'll get an occassional jerk wad but that's just like anywhere. You'll travel to some of the most remote places imaginable, tiny towns way off the beaten path and have to back a 45 to 53 footer into places they don't have any business going. But you'll back like a 5 year vet after just 6 months. If you make it 6 months on this account you can drive anywhere for anyone. There is currently some sort of a poison in the office, with a lot of unhappy people it seems, but that is not my concern as I'm only in there for minutes weekly to get my paperwork and roll. I'm not into office politics. It'll fix itself eventually, it always does. Anyway, most of the truckers I speak with are happy with the work and the $$$. We have about 130-140 drivers working out of the Zanesville yard.
All and all, not a bad job for my first in trucking. I'd recommend it for anyone who needs to gain knowledge and wants to make big coin right out of school. I'm on pace to make $65K my first complete year. I don't know of any other job out of CDL school where that is possible. Orientation is three days in Medway, OH. Medway will be your home terminal.
I agree there is always something truckers can find to beach about. I beach sometimes too, probably a little more than I should. All in all I'd give US Xpress a B- with a chance to raise that up to a B with some extra credit.
Hope this helps. Good luck to everyone.
Concrete Angel.... aka CA
man, spoiled with the automatics... I couldnt imagine an truck without an straight 10 speed. I get in my 4wheeler and will almost break my foot through the floor board trying to get the clutch. I would get bored with an automatic truck before to long, its bad enough after a couple years most drivers are so bored with all the same old roads, they start being able to tell you exactly what mile marker what tourist trap billboard is on the 90 throught S. dakota.
Well, I am back from US Xpress and as much as I hate to say this, it was the wrong company for me for several reasons. This is going to be a rather long post so sit back and relax while I go through the whole experience.
I arrived at USX in Medway Ohio on Tuesday September 25th. Orientation did not start until Wednesday. I got moved into the bunk house and then went to the drivers lounge to hang out. I will tell you that its a pretty nice facility even though you have to sleep in the bunk house.
Being the new guy, I just kept my mouth shut and listened to the other drivers talking to get a feel for USX and what other thought of them. I heard a few gripes about this and that which I expected and comes with any job in any industry. So I went to bed early so I could be ready for day 1 of orientation on Wednesday.
Wednesday, day 1 Orientation begins at 0700 with 34 recruits of varying experience. Signed some paperwork, went over some basic policies and procedures and prepared to go and get our physicals. All was pretty much on schedule up to lunch time.
We come back after lunch and two recruits were dismissed for unknown reasons. Several others were called into various offices to answer certain questions for the background auditors. Peoples nerves were becoming a bit unstable at this point. We were told that no one was hired until the moment they received their fuel cards and if they were dismissed from orientation, they would have to find their own way home. Two more people had been dismissed by the end of day 1.
That night, I sat around and listened to some drivers complaining about low miles and long delays in truck repairs there at the Medway yard. Some drivers claimed to have been there for up to a week for repairs. I found this a bit hard to believe at the time.
Thursday, day 2 More paperwork and videos. Also went over the Driver Tech system. Its a pretty nice touch screen, Windows based computer system for the truck. Has everything you need loaded on it for USX as well as a pretty nice GPS system.
We broke for lunch and were told to be back in class by 3PM. Upon our return, 3 more people had been dismissed. I was called in to one of the offices and informed that they were still waiting for one of my former employers to verify employment. They asked me to call and see if I could get them to send it ASAP, so I called and was told that they had not received a request. I informed USX of this and they sent the request again. At this point, they came in and began talking to us about dedicated accounts. They seemed to be pushing the Dollar General account. In fact one of the guys doing the orientation( well call him Dave for reference, not his real name) was assigned to the DG account but was assigned to do orientations for the past couple of weeks. We were told that many of the people on this account were grossing around $1,400 per week. In fact the Dave showed me his pay stub later that night and he was actually averaging $1,450 per week. But since he ruptured to disks in his back while working on that account, he hasnt seen a check like that for a couple of months.
That evening I heard more tales of low miles, load repowers cutting drivers out of mileage, extended lengths of down time and appointment changes within minutes of arrival at a shipper which prevented layover pay. Needless to say, I started to get nervous.
I also asked several drivers about the DG account. All said it was great money until you get hurt. They said that countless drivers have been hurt on that account within just a few months of being assigned there. I dont know about anyone else but I want to work and make money but not at the expense of my health. How could I make any money being laid up?
Friday, day 3 At this point, we are still not hired but assigned our training coordinators. We have some final paperwork to sign and the background auditors are still asking people a variety of questions.
Let me warn those of you with anything at all in your background that may be viewed as unfavorable, be up front with them and dont try to cover anything up, .. they will find out. I was very impressed with their background process. If you know up front your going to fail a urine test, bring extra money for a bus ticket home cause they will send you packing, . 5 more cut for urine screen issues.
I ended up having to call the IRS and get my W2s faxed for employment verification on a previous employer or they were not going to hire me. It was 4:30PM and they needed it by 5PM. At 4:55PM the IRS faxed the info they needed and I was hired. By the time it was all said and done, they cut nearly 15 people from our orientation class.
So once I got my fuel card, I called my Training Coordinator (TC) to see who my trainer would be. I was told that I would have to sit at the terminal until Monday and wait for a trainer unless I could find a trainer that needed a student at the terminal. I was told if I found a trainer on my own to go with them and call in on Monday and let them know who I was with. Ah, .. ok kind want to get my 150 hours of training started so I set out to find me a trainer.
I went out to the smoking area and started shopping for anyone who indicated they were a trainer. While I was out there, I heard more gripes and moans about poor mileage, communication and more.
That evening, I wanted to get to a store so I road the shuttle bus that USX provides to town. I started talking with the driver and telling him how I was looking for a trainer. He gave me the name of a friend of his and suggested I look him up since he was in for repairs to his truck.
Later that night, I finally met this guy that we will call Ed. After talking with Ed, he said that his truck was in the shop to repair and air leak, coolant leak and to get his driver tech fixed. He said Ill take you on as a trainee but I dont know when we will get out of here. He seemed like a nice guy. I was worried about just who I might get as a trainer so I was happy that he took me on.
Saturday, day 4 Sat all day at the terminal waiting for Eds truck to get fixed so we could get truckin! Listened to even more gripes about low milage, . Guys not breaking 1600 miles. They were being told that freight was slow but how could that be at this time of year?
Also spoke with some trainees that said they had been on their trainers trucks for 4, 5 and 6 weeks to get their 150 hours of training in. Keep in mind that this is 150 hours of actual behind the wheel driving. And so I began to get pretty nervous when Ed told me that his last trainee spent almost 5 weeks on his truck before he got to his 150 hours. Thats 5 weeks making $320 per week, how can anyone survive for any length of time on that when other companies have step level pays during training?
Sunday, day 5 Late in the afternoon, Eds truck is finished and a load is waiting on the lot for us. It delivers on Monday in Cincinnati. I move into the truck (2007 Volvo, SWEET!) and we go hook up. Ed says we will do our PTI around 6AM and get on the road right after that.
I crash out early to see how I sleep in the truck. To my surprise, I slept better in there than I do at home.
Monday, day 6 PTI complete by 6:30AM. COOOOOOLLLL, here we go! Right out of the gate, there is a car facing me in my lane of a 4 lane trying to pull in to give another car a jump start I assume. After narrowly avoiding a crash, the realization of everything I learned in CDL school came into play. Its not just about driving!
We make it to Cinci and deliver our load. Time to let dispatch know we are available for another load. We wit for over an hour before we get a pre-assignment going from Cinci to Pompano Beach Fla. YES, lots of miles and driving time! We accept it. Within a minute of accepting it, we are told that the load no longer exists. Ed gets upset since this would make up for him only getting about 1800 miles last week.
We wait for another hour and get a load from Columbus to Mass. We accept it only to have them said that the load is not longer available after we accept it a minute later. OK, . Two good loads that would have benefited me and Ed and both pulled right out from under us, oh well.
Wait for about a half hour and get a short hop from Cincy to Dayton for a pickup going to Virginia, pretty good. We pick it up and start for Virginia, Getting late in the day and nearing our 14, we decide to stop near the Ohio, WV border for the night. Interesting first day.
Tuesday, day 7 We wake up to a message for us to come back with the load and drop it in the yard at Medway. At this point we were already two hours past Medway, didnt make any sense to me or Ed as to why they would want a load that delivered today to come back to the yard. Never the less, we take it back. At this point Ed is pissed and calls his dispatcher.
Within a few minutes, we are assigned a load from Columbus to Montgomery Alabama. Just then, the Driver Tech computer takes a dive and we have limited use of it. The dispatcher say to communicate via cell phone with each load update. We can still use certain e-mail functions so we decide to use the e-mail as much as possible. Keep in mind that the computer was one of the things the truck was in the shop for.
We pick up the load in Columbus and start heading for Alabama. We hit rush hour traffic in Cincy. Going down the hill and just before entering the tunnels there, the coolant warning came on for the truck. This was another issue that was supposed to have been resolved over the weekend when the truck was in the shop.
Once this coolant warning comes on, you have three minutes before the truck shuts itself off. So we pulled off the side of the road and Ed, pulled the censor as he was advised to do by another driver who had the same issue.
So we truck on. We spend the night in Ky. That night we are already preassigned for a pickup in Abbeville, Ala once we drop off the Montgomery load. The pickup time in Abbeville is 5PM on Wednesday.
Wednesday, day 8 We truck on to Montgomery, Ala where we drop off the load. We are on our way to Abbeville which is a small town close to no where. Its a two lane road to get there for miles and miles. We arrive at 4:50PM and send an arrival at shipper e-mail. We get an e-mail back saying the pickup time was changed to 10:00AM Thursday. WTF? Meanwhile, there are two other USX trucks in the lot awaiting their loads. One guy has been there for over eight hours and the other for over ten. Ed asks the shipper if we can drop the trailer and they can load it and we can just pick it up in the morning. Shipper agrees and we camp out between the Hardees and Subway for the night. Its 6PM.
Thursday, day 9 We arrive back at the shipper at 9:30AM. Trailer is loaded and we are ready to go. But wait, no one including our dispatch seems to know where this load is going. One of the other USX drivers was still sitting in the lot from Yesterday. Said he was here now for over 24 hours and they just started to load him. His pickup time was for 7:00AM on Wednesday.
At 10:30AM we get a call telling us that the load is to come back to Medway and dropped in the yard. It had to be delivered by Saturday at Midnight. We are told that at that time, we need to have the Driver Tech fixed. We truck to Ky where we spend the night at a Pilot. I need a shower and so does Ed.
When I come out to get back in the truck, I hear a gush of air coming from our truck. I jump in and the low air warning is sounding. I shut the truck down and that doesnt correct the problem. I bring the RPMs up a bit and it stops. Then every time the air tanks fill back up, you can hear a small air leak. This was another problem that was said to have been fixed over the weekend and wasnt.
Friday, day 10 We truck back to Medway. I kept close watch on the air and the coolant warning. Felt like I was driving on pins a needles. If I loose air going through KY, we have a problem. If the truck just shuts itself down, well .. thats a problem too. God, get me back to Medway safe!
We arrive back at Medway and are told that if the truck was not done by Saturday, we could use a day cab to get the load to Findley, Ohio. That was cool; Id at least get some hours in towards my 150. At this point, I only have 33 hours in 7 days. At this pace, it will take 5 or more weeks to get the hours over.
They put us in a hotel for the night since we are considered a team truck.
Saturday, day 11 Truck is fixed, . So we are told. Jump in and find that the computer is still broke and the air leak still exists. Told that they are going to repower our load so that means no driving for me. Told that the truck wont even be looked at until Monday.
MONDAY, ..? MONDAY, ..? What are you talking about MONDAY? Needless to say, I had to reevaluate why I was here.
I loved being out there and driving. I came to USX after doing a lot of research. Apparently, my decision to choose this company was wrong. I dont see how anyone can make any money here. After hearing this from so many drivers, I left last night. I called my Training Coordinator and informed him I left.
I want to drive and I want to make decent money. I have nothing bad at all to say about USX, they did treat me good but its about money for me. Without the miles, there is no money. And for the drivers I met, good people! Good luck to all of you.
This is just my experience with them. Other experiences may vary but from those I did meet and talk to, the experiences resembled each other. You decide for yourself.
As for me, I will be speaking with a couple other companies this week and hope to be at one of their orientations by the start of next week.
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