Makin' the bacon while local tanker yankin'

Discussion in 'LTL and Local Delivery Trucking Forum' started by McUzi, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. McUzi

    McUzi Road Train Member

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    Recently I left Saia LTL to go to a local tanker outfit. Saia's micromanagement, use of the driver facing cameras combined with enforcement of the "zero bluetooth" and "no CB use" policy ended up irking me beyond belief.

    I had initially sought to work for this company earlier in my driving time, but I wasn't given consideration due to not having 2 years of driving time under my belt as a result.

    Fast forward to the last month when I was contacted by HR and things seemed to fit. The hiring manager is also one of the owners of the company, and even during my interview, he expressed that he wasn't prepared to hire a driver that was relatively fresh to driving AND had no propane or gasoline experience. I let him know that I had previous bobtail propane experience as well as part time gasoline experience for another petroleum hauler in the region and having loading cards for a few fuel racks must have helped to convince him to give me a shot.

    I interviewed for a gasoline driver position, but when the hiring manager and I returned to the yard from a road test, I asked about the propane tankers and he humored my questions before asking if I had any desire for propane work. I told him I'd be thrilled to do propane work as I was comfortable yet had a healthy respect for it after threads on a quickfill valve on a forklift tank failed and left a sizable scar on my leg from a second degree burn. After I parked the truck and we were walking to the building he called HR and asked them to set me up with a drug screen and physical. I never heard a word about propane until the weekend approaching my start date when I started receiving online training course assignments in my email for propane safety and loading procedures with a few of the loading racks that they lift product from.

    Come to find out, the plan is to use me for propane during the winter months and gasoline during the spring/summer months. To me, that's the best of both worlds. Propane in the Northeast is obviously going to give me plenty of work, but I won't be fishing for tank covers in poorly plowed/maintained customer gas stations and the summer months will also yield plenty of work doing gasoline.

    I finished training with my trainer on Wednesday last week when my assigned truck was finished being PMed. Since I already had a good foundation of propane, training revolved more around conforming to loading rack procedures and getting me credentialed into loading racks.

    My first paycheck for the company was for just over 60 hours (O/T after 40), and this looks to be the norm give or take 4 hours in either direction working 5 days a week. I opted to take a Tuesday-Saturday schedule for a couple of reasons. The company pays a differential for all work performed on Saturday & Sunday, and the early start times of 0400 mean I'd have little availability during the week to plan on getting things done like going to the post office, banking etc. I also decided that the Tues-Sat schedule was beneficial due to 3 of the 10 paid holidays always falling on a Monday.

    I say "local" in describing this work. I wonder however if that is an inappropriate description. This company operates in NY, NJ, MA, RI, CT, NH and ME. NJ is a very rare occurrence, NY operations are mainly in the MA/NY border area and ME seems to be a rare occurrence as well. For the propane side, it seems the large majority of the work excludes NJ, NH and ME.

    What does shock me however, is how much driving I do in comparison to loading and unloading propane. I seem to average about 450-525 miles of driving on a daily basis, with one load, 1 delivery and maybe a pre-load for delivery the following morning, as propane loading racks are not as close in distance as fuel loading racks are. If a preload isn't in the schedule, it seems that I'd be set to deliver 2 loads in one day. This in my eyes is essentially a daytime linehaul gig with a little bit of hosework. I think I've come home with grime/crud on my clothes once, and that was because I let a hydraulic pump hose touch my clothing.

    I've lived in Massachusetts for 9 years, and up until now, I've never been to Martha's Vineyard. This company has put me on Martha's Vineyard 5 times in the last week and a half, so it's been pretty cool to see a lot of the region that I hadn't before.

    Only downside to the company at this point that I really see is the health insurance is a bit pricey to cover a family. But even with that in mind, once I finish my probationary period, it's still a $100k+/yr gig, and I'm home by 1830 every day. The company uses driver facing cameras, but from what I gather, the company doesn't harass drivers with them, and only uses them to come down on drivers if they are caught smoking in the tractor, on a public road without a seatbelt or in an accident due to the driver's actions. Bluetooth use is NOT prohibited and a majority of tractors have CBs in them. It's an interesting spin on the Bluetooth topic because a bulk of the company's business revolves around placarded hazmat tank loads, and they certainly don't want to encourage drivers to pull over on the side of the highway to take a phone call as a result.

    Biggest upside to me... I don't slip seat a tractor. My how glorious that aspect is to me. Clean, well maintained truck 100% of the time.

    I may have found my own personal holy grail.
     
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  3. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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  4. austinmike

    austinmike Road Train Member

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    Too long dint read !!!!

    kidding, sounds like a good gig - I work tues - sat too for the same reasons. this one horse town i Live in rolls up the sidewalks at 5pm on friday lol
     
  5. Gen_Picketts_Ghost

    Gen_Picketts_Ghost Bobtail Member

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    That's a long day! Start at 0400 and home by 1830?? You're not a man, you're a machine lol.
     
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  6. McUzi

    McUzi Road Train Member

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    I say home (walking through the front door of my house, not being back at the yard) by 1830 in the absolute latest of scenarios figuring a drive home and I typically pick up groceries for dinner on my way home. Most days I end between 1545-1630.

    Also, give a 30-45 minute sway on the start time in either direction based on whether I can start earlier for that day or not.
     
  7. HiramKingWilliams

    HiramKingWilliams Light Load Member

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    By far the best thread title on here, haha.
     
  8. road_runner

    road_runner Road Train Member

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    Happy for you man. Keep us posted on how things go. Tuesday - Saturday shift is a benefit of its own. I miss being off Mondays and hate having to take time off to deal with non work related official stuff.
     
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  9. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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    It’s easy to get the wrong idea if one glosses over it quickly. :biggrin_25520: :biggrin_25523:
     
  10. Texas_hwy_287

    Texas_hwy_287 Road Train Member

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    @McUzi congratulations on your new gig, Im following this thread.
     
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  11. 91B20H8

    91B20H8 Road Train Member

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    I like propane more than gas-N-oil, way more relaxed and no dealing with idiot 4 wheelers blocking your drops.
     
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