Is JB Hunt really as bad as their reputation? There are thousands of drivers working for them. Can someone with actual experience tell me what it's like. They can't be that bad. I heard all the horror stories before I went to work for PAM and they were actually ok to work for except for the low pay. JB Hunt is offering a lot better pay than PAM with better home time. I think all of these big companies are what you make them. Can anyone honestly and objectively tell me what it's really like?
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JB Hunt is one of the largest carriers, and catches alot of crap because of it. Just like Swift, Werner, and Schneider. However, were there's smoke, there most likely is fire. I've never worked for JB Hunt, but one of my former neighbors did, and hated every second of his time there. That was enough to keep me away from the company.
I stuck out JB Hunt for a year ... I worked for a construction company for seven years driving in AZ CA and NV. NO ONE would hire me without schooling because I had not been "OTR". Interviewed at JB DCS and they overlooked my "inexperience" to hire me onto a account.
Any person can make of their time what they make of it at any company. My take, I had a job, and I do my best where ever I am employed ... Yaay for me. OTR I made no money. By this, I mean averaged take home of around 500 a week, and sat around quite a bit. Some weeks were 900, some were 400 (single claiming 2) .. but usually 500. This to me is not enough money to stay away from home for 5 weeks at a time ... and was much less money than what I was used to working construction.
DCS it all depends on the account. I grossed around 950 every week working 5 days a week around 12 hrs a day, weekends off.
I personally detested JB's big brother attitude, and the way managment looks at / treats drivers. You are a tool to make money, just like their equipment ... they dont take care of either.
I met quite a few guys that had serious time in with JB ... the only word I have to describe them, Institutionalized. They have no clue what life outside is like, and they are too conditioned/afraid to make their lives better by leaving.
I stay in contact with a driver that has 2 million safe miles with JB (which is a feat, because if you hit a coyote on the road and it does damage to the truck, your safe miles are reset). He just recieved a 25k saftey bonus and a banquet in Lowell, Ar. He loves the company ... doesnt understand why I would have ever left. Last year I made almost 30 grand more than he did (well around 5k, but he had to work 10 yrs for the saftey bonus). I worked less, drove nicer equipment, and didnt have to deal with JB Hunts corporate BS.
I would not work for JB again unless I had no other option to put food on the table. Nor am I very interested in working for one of the mega carriers. Check out some small to mid size carriers in your area ... you will be treated better, and probably make more money.
Oh, and JB baits and switches all the time in orientation. They will tell you that you can get on a Dedicated account .. then put you regional or OTR. Also when you are on OTR they will hang you out to dry for a couple weeks, then try to get you to do a "Dedicated Lane" promising miles for a significant reduction in CPM.
Bottom line ... IMHO, crappy company, stay far far away.Rick Brown Thanks this.
It is exactly Like MM71 said. They are arrogant and pretty much incompetent. I signed on with their power only program. The average wait time on the telephone with them (we dont have qualcoms) was 15 minutes, They seemed to feel that waiting that long was ok. They were susposed to offer loads but in the three weeks I was there they never offered more then one load at a time. In other words take it or leave it. They moved the same crew that they had as OTR FM's to be Power only FM's. They brought the attitude that drivers (owners) were a dime a dozen. I had a FM that called me at my house for everyload. EVEN When he knew I was a thousand miles away on the road. He had the cell number and other FMS never called the house. But they treat you like you are a company driver, I didnt work my A-- off to buy a truck and be treated like one of their drivers.!!!
JB is a very large company. They have more DCS accounts than any other carrier. They also move more intermodal containers by a huge margin over any other carrier. Here's the deal your pay, how well you're respected, your hometime and your overall job satisfaction is going to vary depending upon what account or location you are working at.
I've worked on two different DCS accounts and now I work a local intermodal gig. The first acct was PPG I drove nice equipment. It was 11 days out 3 days off. I took the truck home with me and they even paid me actual hub miles to my house from my last stop. And then paid me the miles from my house to my first stop out of the house. I started at 38 cents a mile and within a year I was at 39.5 cents. My first dispatcher was great and while I had him it was the best job (trucking or otherwise) I ever had. After he transferred to head another acct I got several fleet managers who just didn't keep me moving as well as I would have liked. I made about $825 a week whereas with my first fleet manager I made about 950-975 a week and never felt rushed and felt I was respected. The PPG acct got kinda old with the big brother atmosphere so I left for a M-F home most nights job delivering insulation. Pay was 41 cents a mile plus stop pay and detention after 1 hr. I made about 950 a week there off every weekend but I didn't like my FM and I didn't like NYC.
Now I work intermodal. I usually drive 2010 Cascadias (although yesterday I drove a 2011 ProStar). I make 38 cents a mile and it is actual HUB MILES not HHG. I am paid very generous stop pay at $21-$31/stop. Breakdown pay starts the minute you call roadservice. I am home every day and work M-F and usually make $1050/a week. Saturdays are optional for me. If I choose to work Saturday my pay is closer to $1200. In addition to my 2 weeks of paid vacation I also get 12 PTO days which are basically personal days which can be used as sick days or additional vacation days. So home every day, new equipment, $1050-1200/week pay and 22 days paid time off. Yeah it's real bad, no one should subject themselves to such awful conditions.
Honestly my advise: If you are a slacker, a whiner, have a bad attitude or are unwilling to ever make a sacrifice for your job, look elsewhere you may be able to find a union job where you can make money with a minimal effort. However if you have a strong work ethic, understand that stuff hits the fan occasionally, the world ain't perfect and that results require effort than I'd give JB a try. As I said there are problem FMs and on some accts the big brother is over the top, but once you're in be patient, scan the JB job board and you can usually make a transfer to something better as I have.
I want to agree with ROADKILL,
I worked for JB 3 separate times and am seriously considering going back and leasing one of their trucks....
It's taking me a lot of time and a lot of inquiring before doing so, not because it's JB HUNT, but because I am nervous about leasing a truck and now leaving a wonderful girl to go back on the road.
I will address the "3 separate times" at the end.
When or If you go to work for JB Hunt you have to be on top of your game. You have to know what you're doing as a professional truck driver, not saying that JB Hunt doesn't hire fools or inexperienced drivers or even that they have a high standard for hiring, I'm saying to succeed while working with JB Hunt, you yourself have to be a professional. Second, you have to know that although you may have bad days, there's always someone else out there who's having a worse day and that trucking is a lifestyle not a job. And last, that being a professional truck driver is COMPLETELY different then being a truck driver.
When you hear of drivers sitting for days it's most likely because when JB asks you to put in an ETA when you except your dispatch they are asking you for your (estimated time of availability) not your arrival time at the receiver. This is where you need to not only be able to read a map and know how to plan your trip extremely well, but have to realize that there is a list you have just been put on. The list you're placed on is the same list that every other driver in your delivery area has been placed on and your spot on the list is determined by when you said you would be available for your next pick up. If you said you'd be ready by 11 am and you don't place your MT call by 1059 am you have just went from the top of the list to dead last on the list. This is why people sit for days and complain. Most have no clue about how important, when working for JB Hunt, a correct ETA is. A correct "ETA" is important no matter where you work in the trucking industry but is probably the most important thing you could do when working for JB Hunt. There are so many unforeseen circumstances that a driver will face that getting an ETA exactly right is impossible but JB Hunt doesn't want to hear that. I would always add time to the time I thought I would be ready. I figured that sitting for a couple hours was a lot better then sitting for days. This always worked for me and I never sat more then a few hours. MT trailers were another important key when working for JB. A lot of their stops were drop/hook, however if you couldn't find an MT trailer and place your MT call with a good trailer number then you would find yourself back at the bottom of that list that you never knew you were on...These were just two of the biggest things that would guarantee you would be sitting for a long time. So in-turn, although JB never talks about that list or even tells you how to go about placing a very accurate ETA, it is really the drivers fault for sitting. I know, I know, no one wants to hear it's their fault, but as a "professional" truck driver, you need to understand that anything and everything that happens to you or your truck out on the open road "IS YOUR FAULT" in one way or another.
JB Hunt was not a monster like most posts I've seen here or from what I've heard out on the road (believe me, I heard a lot), but you have to be more of a professional, more up on your game as a professional truck driver, and definitely more intelligent to work there (then probably any other carrier) to actually make the money and miles and life you expect from trucking.
I want to give you a little background before someone says something about the "3 separate times" thing or bashes JB HUNT, or whatever, and also want to give that guy who worked for PAM another "good" review of JB instead of all the bad ones that are on here.
I'm 33 yrs old, got my CDL when I was 20 yrs old and went OTR for the first time on my 21st birthday. I've worked for Bradway Trucking out of Vineland, NJ (mom and pop trucking outfit), H&R Trucking out of Millville, NJ (mom and pop trucking outfit), Star Transport out of Nashville, TN (mid-sized to large trucking outfit), Trans Continental Refrigerated lines out of Pittston, PA (mid-sized to large trucking outfit), and JB Hunt out of Lowell, AR (super-sized trucking outfit).
When I started with JB I was making 34 cents/mile. That was years ago and I was running out of their Philly terminal which wasn't much of a terminal and isn't even there any more. My fleet manager was a good guy and kept me running but I quit after just a month or two due to the fact, that at the time; you weren't allowed to take your tractor home with you and my home time started when I got back to Philly, not when I got home. The 45 mile commute could take anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours depending on traffic. The other big factor was that I really had no transportation and was relying on a ride to come pick me up. It sucked! So I spoke with my fleet manager and quit.
Went back the second time a few months later and ran out of East Brunswick, NJ terminal as the Philly one was closed by then. I started just a few months later at 38 cents/mile and they had just started allowing all OTR drivers to take their trucks home as long as they had a safe place to park them. I had called my original fleet manager to get me my job back and he did. I ran under him for a few months and things were good. He transferred to another department and I was running under a new fleet manager. It definitely takes a little time for you and your fleet managers to get to know one another. I had some issues but after a couple months me and him were running as a team and the miles and money were again coming my way. Just to give you an example of how, YES at JB Hunt, when you have a good fleet manager, life can be good no matter what company you work for. I was having some family issues and had told my fleet manager that I wanted to stay out on the road over the Thanksgiving holiday but that in no way could I be sitting somewhere as I had alot on my mind and just wanted to keep rolling. He told me he would see what he could do for me. Within a couple hours of speaking with him on the phone he sent me a message stating that he had found me a load that I would be happy with and wouldn't have me sitting over the holidays at some truck stop. It picked up in Macon, GA and delivered close to Seattle, WA. Yes, JB Hunt had given me an almost 3000 paid mile run. Point is that you have to give a little to get a little and you have to have and keep a good relationship with your fleet manager, even if it means every once in awhile helping him out with things you don't want to do.
I worked for about another year and something came up in my life which called me from the road. Left again with no bad feelings on either side.
Third time I went back was a different story all together. HORROR!!! I got a female fleet manager which I couldn't stand. Wasn't cause she was a woman but because I was not her child and just wanted to be left alone to do my job not be asked to send her a safety message once a day or to be on conference calls with her about safety all the time, but to do my job safely. She placed me on with Walmart DCS to help them with store openings.. It paid $150 a day or milage whichever was greater and it was a change of pace from OTR but I didn't want to be there. I would have to go check for a load every half hour, well, I logged all that time as on duty not driving because I figured I wasn't going to make any miles running freight down the road to Walmart. My fleet manager was irate because when they needed me for a load I had no hours left and went off duty. From that point on she messed with me. She would never get me home ontime and usually would be a whole day later. She had me fired after I had requested to go to Gulfport, MS for Mardi Gras. I thought I knew her game and requested to be there 1 full day before I really wanted to be there. She knew what I was doing and scheduled me to deliver to New Orleans at 7pm on the Friday before fat Tuesday. I was supposed to be home Thursday and me and my friends were going to New Orleans Friday. I wouldn't have been to my friends house until sometime Saturday due to all the traffic that weekend. She knew it. I got irritated and excepted the dispatch. Left Amarillo, TX Tuesday afternoon, got to Dallas and swapped trailers and disconnected my quallcomm (couldn't afford any more log book violations with the company and her) and continued to Gulfport. I got there Wednesday late afternoon and parked my truck at Walmart, went and hung out with friends, went to New Orleans, came back to make my delivery Friday and my truck was missing. She had had it towed and told HR that she felt I was trying to steal JB Hunts truck....was ridiculous to say the least. I was fired and stranded in MS with a $50 paycheck as she charged me all kinds of fees from tow fee to out of route miles. Stayed in MS for 6 months with friends and then hurricane Katrina happened and sent me back home.
Sorry for all this, just sitting here bored thinking about going back on the road and reliving how it was and putting it on the computer...I know this went off topic and was way long, but if you got all the way to here then know that I thank you for taking the time to read my rants and know that no matter what truck company you work for I hope you find one that you work well with and works well with you. One that doesn't use you as some I've seen and one that you get what you're looking for out of...know that the only true way for you to find out what a company is all about you have to work for them yourself..Use all the information you get on companies as a guide, but know that each situation is different for different people and companies. Trust your heart and hope for the best, IT"S TRUCKING FOR GOD SAKE lol!!!!
Ya know how you said you got to be professional and that anything that happens in one way or another is the driver's fault? Well disconnecting the qualcomm is pretty much a surefire way of getting your pink slip at JBH.
Pretty much any time you deliberately violate a company policy or circumvent the rules you can expect to get the axe. As you know they are very strict about complying with policies and being safe and professional.
Many of the drivers who bash their previous employers are drivers who dug their own grave by violating rules, falsifying logs, damaging property and not reporting it or show a repeated unwillingness to do what needs to be done to deliver loads or communicate effectively.
There are a lot of whiners and slackers out there. There are also a lot of drivers who drive in an unsafe manner and are not professional drivers. These drivers do not last long at JBH. Safety and professionalism is of utmost importance at JBH. A lot of drivers think they know it all and don't want to hear about the smith system or 7 seconds following distance or 15 seconds eye lead time. For them there is Swift, Werner and Joe Blow we don't run logs trucking.
I have been reading the bad things said by some here. I drove for JBH about 20 years ago (1989). As a newbe I thought they were terrible, but as I gained experience (after I left them) I realized they are no better and no worst then the rest. And as they say the experience is what you make of it. As I look back I have no regrets, and they did me a favor and allowed me the experience I needed to move forward.
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