Well, I'm up two hours early and can't get back to sleep, so I figured I'd post up a starter thread to provide some info on the time I'm about to do with Dart. As the subject says, I've had nothing but good fortune since calling my recruiter, Jake, last week to pull the trigger on this job and get things moving. I was supposed to be here this time last week, but an unforseen family emergency meant that I had to postpone my start, so let's skip that unfortunate business and start this little story when I arrived at home on Monday evening. That's when it all started.
I had been a little uncertain about Dart because I knew very little about them prior to responding to an ad on Craigslist (I don't know about you guys, but that's the only place where I seem to be able to find a job!) looking for local company drivers for slip-seat, 5 day a week, home daily work. All I thought I knew was that they primarily worked with O/O. I wasn't aware of their company driver positions. When Jake called and told me about the job, it sounded great, though I was a little wary of working nights. I've done it before but it isn't ideal. I decided to roll with it anyways, but that's when the family issue popped up and I had to go out of town. Fast forward to last Tuesday, after I'd left a voicemail for Jake and he calls me back. This is where the good stuff starts!
1. A day shift position came available. I could now take a Sun-Thu 6am start position. The daytime work was so important to me that I nearly took another job paying half as much and working twice as hard, but everything worked out.
2. I had previously been told that I'd have to take another physical at orientation. I tend to swing high on BP after travel and, on top of the stress of the previous week, I was sure I'd get a 1 year card where I have always gotten 2 years under normal conditions. After review, though, I was informed that I could just bring my Long Form and I'd be good. A minor thing, but never underestimate a straw removed from a camel's back.
So I'm happier than I have been in a while already. Family problems behind me, good news received, and an ideal work schedule ahead of me. I was short on money and had an overdue car insurance bill, but they said it could wait another week or two. Still, I hate having overdue bills. Did a pre-employment drug screen Wednesday and waited til Friday to make travel arrangements with Jake thinking I had a stressful weekend on a greyhound and a crappy hotel with a skeezy roommate who would get fired on day one ahead of me. We've all been there, right?
Friday comes, Jake e-mails me my travel itinerary. Good luck shows up again!
3. I balked when I heard something about an airplane. What kind of trucking company FLIES us drivin' schmucks out to orientations? Whatever you say buddy, it's your corporate credit card! Stress level goes down just that much.
4. Why are you calling the local Motel 6 "Country Inn and Suites?" And what the hell do you mean they're short on rooms and I'm getting stuck all by myself in a King Executive Suite? As an aside, this room (from which I currently write) is huge. I almost feel lost. I've never slept in a king sized bed before and it just feels like an endless ocean of mattress. Also there's a Jimmy John's that delivers... score!
Saturday. Thought I'd be on a bus by now, but I'm still swimming in good fortune.
5. Instead of being on a bus, I get to spend the day with my girlfriend. It doesn't sound like a big deal for someone to see his girlfriend of 5 years for a day, but between my family stuff and her working a lot lately, it hasn't been easy. She buys me sushi (yum) and I take her home. I love her to death and a day with her is like an internal stress reset button. Everything is good.
6. I get home to find an unexpected check in the mail. Insurance bill is paid. I literally have no worries for the first time in who knows how long. It's an amazing feelinv.
Sunday. Travel day. I splurge on a slightly better parking spot for a few more dollars a day. Find a place right up front. I'm early and wait a while for the first leg of my flight, which lands at Chicago Midway 10 minutes early.
7. As soon as I get to the gate for the Minneapolis flight, they make an announcement looking for volunteers to take a later flight. Hey, I don't have to be there til tomorrow morning, what's a few more hours? I volunteer and they say they'll let me know. Sure enough, I get called out and given a ticket for a flight leaving 3 hours later. They give me a $500 voucher for my trouble. I spend 3 hours planning a fall trip to Vegas.
Now, I've never been one to believe in divine providence, fate, destiny, or anything else. I never have believed that my path in life would be illuminated. But this past week, with luck and good fortune popping up at a time in my life when I thought it had all run out and I needed it most, has me rethinking that. And I still get the feeling that my best days are still ahead.
I'll update this thread as I go forward with actual info about driving for Dart, I promise. But for now, I'm just going to get cleaned up and get some breakfast in an hour before the first day of orientation. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Dart and Jake for not putting me on a Greyhound.
Lucky streak since signing on for local work with Dart. Hope the job is good, too!
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I see you're from Columbus. I wish you the best of continued luck until late November when the Wolverines pay ya a visit.
On a serious note, I'm with ya on Craigslist. I'm not sure where else to look either. I've read here that it doesn't seem to be the best of places to look. I have noticed the same ads over and over. Yea, that's a sign that usually the companies aren't that great. I tend to look for companies (as in single companies, not trucking companies) that need a driver. 99% of those say that experience is needed though.
Definitely glad things are working out for ya. I hope it continues. You take care.
Indeed , a lucky streak.... but ok......
I've always been curious bout Dart and their "local" gig. When you get settled in I'd like to see details of exactly what your doing and how close they keep their word. There is money in dedicated accounts and shuttles.
Just kidding. I did get switched in to a midnight start shuttle gig that pays hourly, though. Sounded like a better deal and all I ever needed was 7pm-11pm off, which was why I was after days. All in all, so far so good.
I'm in day 2 of the shuttle run. It starts at 40cpm. I'd like more, but there aren't a lot of other options for me that get me home every day. If you sign on, you will probably do a relay 5 days a week. 200-250 miles out and back, 400-500 total. I'm doing a shuttle run which is basically the end of a relay where I take loads to the warehouse and bring loads back for the relay drivers. I handle 6 trailers a night and get plenty of backing practice. I only do about 360 miles a night, so they offered me a flat rate over mileage. I didn't ask how much but I won't complain as long as it's comparable to what the other guys are making.
Home every day? Definitely. They gave me a CNG powered daycab tractor that I don't have to share with anyone else, though relay guys slip seat. The equipment is all nice and relatively new (except the cruddy old backup truck...incentive to maintain yours, I guess!). Mine had 7000 miles when I started on Monday. I'm pretty happy so far. Pretty easy job and my fleet manager is treating me really well. I'll do a full update this weekend.
2 days for experienced drivers. Mostly just paperwork. Staff is easy to get along with. Even the safety guy was a decent person. Definitely didn't get that jerkwad, you-know-what-don't-stink attitude from him or anyone else. So far, so good.
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