Lucky streak since signing on for local work with Dart. Hope the job is good, too!

Discussion in 'Dart' started by Triad, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Triad

    Triad Light Load Member

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    Apr 15, 2011
    Columbus, OH
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    Well, after two weeks, I'm trying to think of anything I can put in here as an update, but I really can't. I'm making more than I did OTR, sleeping in my own bed every night and I've got the routine down to a science. I finish my first run, come home, wait about two hours or so (at my house) for the next trailer, run it and go home. I don't talk to anyone or hear from anyone from Dart unless there's a problem, though I do occasionally have to give them a phone call to get the computer in the truck to update my load info, but that takes 2 minutes. Other than that, it's all routine. Plain and simple, a great job that I could see myself doing for years and years because it pays well and it's low-stress. The best part about it is that I can listen to Coast to Coast AM every night! There's really not much else to say.
     
  2. bottomdumpin

    bottomdumpin Bobtail Member

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    Jul 6, 2014
    southern california
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    Listening to coast to coast is the best thing about driving at night! Congrats on the job!
     
  3. SOAthor

    SOAthor Light Load Member

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    Jun 3, 2012
    Tennessee
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    Triad
    are you still with Dart ? They also hire in my area so I had a few questions, are you happy with the flat rate theyre giving you and may I ask what kind of cpm you would compare it to. Also how many days are you running a week ? Yes lazily of me, hours and home time are important haha
     
  4. Triad

    Triad Light Load Member

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    262
    Apr 15, 2011
    Columbus, OH
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    I am still with Dart and quite happy. 95% of the job is easy, stress-free and simple and the 5% just gives me something to complain about when I'm talking to other people about it. Nothing worth raising a fuss over.

    My situation is unique, I'm running the shuttle end of a relay. Instead of meeting another driver, I run a total of six trailers a night between three different drops. Yep, I back six trailers a night - I got good at it real quick! Loaded to a DC, an empty from the DC to a plant, and loaded from the plant back home. I get about 300 miles a night and I sure am glad they pay me hourly because I do most of my work off the road dropping, hooking and mostly waiting. It doesn't always go according to plan, but Dart usually pays me for time I'm not working when it's not something like me calling in sick or missing an alarm clock. At the same time, they're very lenient and easy-going about how and when I run. My scheduled start time is at noon, but I can start as late as 2am, as long as that first trailer is back home for the morning relay driver to take when he shows up. I usually hit the road about 15 til 1 and a single round takes about 4.5 hours, of which I do two a night.

    Factor in the usual delays, and I can count on about 9 hours for a smooth night, maybe 12 for a rough one, and I have used my 16 hour exception a few times when things really got thick. But they also pay me by the hour, so they've never heard me complain about being out too long, and they will make sure I get home every day, even if it means skipping a load. I gross about 900-1000 a week most weeks, which I'm wholly satisfied with given the amount of time I get at home and how easy the job is. I'm not sure what the flat rate actually pays, but I think it's comparable to what I'm making. I think they only pay me hourly because I do often have to wait around when stuff doesn't go right and I don't abuse it - except sometimes I'll take a 45 minute nap instead of a 30 minute nap when I need to do my 30m.

    The usual holidays, I have off paid, plus or minus a few days depending on how things are flowing... Memorial day, I could have had Friday and Monday off, but did a bit of extra work on Friday. There is always something to do if I feel like tacking another hour or two for a short run on to my day when I finish. I work Midnight-Noon (officially) but usually run about 12:30-10:30 when things flow well, give or take an hour or two. Sunday night through Thursday night (which is technically Monday-Friday with those hours) with Friday night and Saturday night off. It's the perfect schedule for a night owl such as myself and due to starting at Midnight and not 6pm or something, I do about half my night in dark and half in daylight, which is nice.

    The only complaints I have (the 5%) are pretty minor:

    -The DC doesn't always clean out their trailers and the plant (whose docks are run by the same company) won't take them if they're dirty, so I occasionally have to sweep out a trailer - oh, the tragedy.
    -The backing sucked at first, but I learned quick and there's really plenty of room.
    -Dart's night time staff usually has no idea what's going on with my loads since I have a weird route. My FM and I have kind of agreed that if something gets lost in the computer that I'll just make things up as I go. Sometimes a load at the plant won't be in my computer, but they know me well enough there now that they'll just give me one if they have one ready, which saves my FM some trouble I imagine.
    -The plant had some axle weight problems early on, but through persistence/stubbornness, we got things fixed and I haven't had to take a trailer back in almost two months.
    -Some of Dart's older trailers have some ###### stubborn landing gear and tandems, but I haven't met one I can't beat in to submission yet. Fortunately, they just ordered a ton of the new, light weight Eco trailers, and those are what I deal with the most anyways.
    -I should have my own CNG truck, but some lady decided that her cell phone was more important than her life (or her left femur, at least) and crossed over and hit it head on. Sometimes, someone swipes the diesel I'm using for now and messes my night up, but I got paid for the night anyways last time that happened, so no huge deal on my end.
    -Aforementioned CNG was a little annoying since it was an entire hour out of my way to fuel and I had to go there twice a night. But imagine my delight as I've watched them build a brand new CNG pump literally right on my route as I go from the DC to the highway... once it's open, I'm going to get on Dart about getting that CNG truck back!
    -The plant has a really crappy lot and lazy yard drivers. Trailers dropped in one spot will have the landing gear too high/low for other spots, which gives me a nice work-out and I'll admit a high-hook or two... but those aren't too hard to get out of if you know what you're doing. Yard drivers will often set trailers as tight as sardines and leave no way to get the gear cranked, so I've had to dig a few pad-shaped ditches in their lot a couple of times. Hey, it's their lot.

    It's a great, easy job that pays well for what it is and if you don't mind being pretty isolated from the loop and doing your own thing, it's pretty much perfect save for a few minor frustrations. Of course, every route is different and you might get a run that's pure gravy or pure hell, depending on the destination and the people you have to deal with along the way. The security guys at the DC and plant know me and are all great people, so I lucked out there. Don't mind spending a few minutes of my night BSing with them before I go drop/hook and it kind of helps with the tedium. If I could do this until I retire/die/become a rock star, I would. Hopefully it lasts a while.

    BTW, your recruiter will offer you a choice of a couple routes. Pick with caution, they might try to talk you in to something else at orientation, which is what they did with me. Fortunately, it turned out much better than my initial choice would have. Keep your ears open for the name "Colleen," as well. She's my FM and is absolutely awesome, I couldn't ask for a better DM/FM/Dispatcher. If you can get a route with her as your FM, you'll be well taken care of as long as you aren't too flaky.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
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