Marten Driver (currently)

Discussion in 'Marten' started by Skogie, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Skogie

    Skogie Bobtail Member

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    18
    Sep 1, 2006
    Payson, AZ.
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    I have been both an O/O and a Company Driver with Marten for 3 years. First as an O/O for 1 1/2 years until my 98 FLD died needing $25K worth of repairs, now a Company Driver for the last 1 1/2 years. I have been driving Commercially for 10 years OTR, Regional and Local after retiring from 35 yrs. in business.

    I was an Employer for 35 years. I always treated my employees like I would like to be treated. It took me 7 years with many different companies to find one who did the same.... and that is Marten Transport.

    There are many positive things about Marten and, like all companies, there are some negative ones.

    I will list the Positive first.

    1. Pay - Depends upon Expericence. $.36 - $.45/mile
    2. Average 3,000 Mi./week
    3. Type of Equipment - Freightliner, Volvo & Peterbuilt - Kenworth - all 2004-2006
    4. Kind of Freight - Frozen Food, Produce, Haz-Mat & General Freight.
    5. 50% Drop and Hook the balance "live" load/unload
    6. Detention Pay - $15/hr. after 2 hrs.
    7. Layover Pay - $25 after 24 hr. (Both a positive and a negative - kinda cheap on their part in my opinion)
    8. Tolls paid with the exception of the Chicago Skyway
    9. Pre-pass available
    10. All Lumper Fees Paid - Marten Policy is drivers are NOT to load/unload
    11. Milage Bonus - $500 if you average 10,000 mi. every quarter
    12. Safety Bonus - $200/Qtr. after you wach 15 minute video and take a multiple - guess test that any moron could answer correctly.
    13. Fuel Bonus - I average $170 every quarter between the months of Sept through May. Must have idle average at less than 40%.
    14. $150 if you stay out over Christmas. $50 for any other Holiday.(Not Enough in my opinion)
    15. $1.50 for phone calls and $1.50 for Scales automatically every week.
    16. Qualcom Dispatch - No Charge (would you beleive some companies charge their drivers for QC?
    17. Routing - You choose your own route. No idiotic mandatory "short" routes that take twice as long to drive.
    18. Chains supplied on ALL trucks.
    19. Hiring Area - all 48 - same as running area.
    20. Settlements - Every week. Very accurate and detailed. They have NEVER made a mistake on my pay.

    NEGATIVES

    1. Milage pay based on Rand/McNally "short" miles. I average 6% more miles than the trip pays for.
    2. No Pets. I wanted a Hamster in the truck. Qualify as having a "pet." With a pet in the truck you are exempt from all Anti-Idling Laws. Cats and Dogs make too much of a mess and are a pain in the butt. Marten said "NO." Going to get a small live turtle. Maybe that will qualify me.
    3. Scales are NOT re-imbursed. However they have load pressure gauges on every one of their trailers and tractors. Very rarely do I ever have to scale a load. You ARE paid $1.50 every week - no receipt required for scales. It balances out pretty even when I add up all the scale receipts and match it against what I have received from Marten.
    4. Load Lock Policy - Marten gives you 3 load locks. It is up to you to hang on to them. They will not re-imburse you for a new one unless it breaks.
    5. Forced Dispatch. Unless you are out of Service Hours, you MUST take the load. (If I EVER get dispatched to NYC I will be out of hours)
    6. Icy/Snowy roads. Marten does NOT want you to use the chains they supply you. They on there only because they are required by law in CA., OR, WA. ID, UT and CO. If you put them on and have an accident, even if it is not your fault (4 wheeler spinning into you) your Marten record will be charged with a PREVENTABLE ACCIDENT! They are handy to have though in case the road gets icy. Put them on and get to a safe place to stop until conditions improve. While this is listed in the "negative" column, it could have been in the "positive" as well. Just didn't know where to put it.
    7. Mandatory use of a steering lock. Must be used when you are showering, eating, etc.,etc. or do not have the truck in plain sight. This peice of crap is lodged into the turnbuckle of the steering rod under the hood. A real pain in the butt to install when the temp. is 5 degrees, the wind blowing 15 mph and the chill factor -30 deg. Especially when a gust of wind blows the hood back down on your head. If you are caught parking your truck without it - instant dismissal for not following "Company Policy." I hate that peice of ####.

    OK. That's about it from someone who has been with them. As you can tell this is NOT a recruitment thingy for Marten. You make up your own mind whether you can live with them or not. They advertise that they are the "BEST." I can't agree with that, but from everything I've experienced with other carriers and those of whom I have inqured, the others are so much WORSE!
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. mathematrucker

    mathematrucker Medium Load Member

    515
    263
    Sep 14, 2006
    Laughlin, NV
    0
    I've been a company driver with Marten for nearly seven years. Here are some comments and clarifications to add to the previous post, starting with the poster's positives column:

    >5. 50% Drop and Hook the balance "live" load/unload

    For o/o's 50% sounds right, but that sounds a little high for company drivers. I'd guess 35-40% for company. I don't know the actual statistics, so I can't say for sure.

    >6. Detention Pay - $15/hr. after 2 hrs.

    This is for o/o's. The standard rate for company drivers is $12/hr. after 2 hrs., and a few places like Wal-Mart seem to get away with paying less, or in some cases nothing, for detention. Most places do pay the standard rate though.

    >7. Layover Pay - $25 after 24 hr. (Both a positive and a negative - kinda cheap on their part in my opinion)

    Yes $25 is a pittance. But it does at least go up to $50 per 24-hr. period thereafter...it's only the first 24-hr. period that only brings $25.

    >8. Tolls paid with the exception of the Chicago Skyway

    Tolls are reimbursed as long as they fall within Marten's toll guidelines. If you take I-44 through OK on a Chicago to L.A. run, you eat the $28.50 OK toll. Marten won't pay it. But if you take I-44 on a run from Joplin to L.A., they'll pay it.

    You have to be especially careful about the very expensive, PA pike...if I-80 is anything close to being a reasonable route, you must take it.

    Toll reimbursements can also depend somewhat on who your fleet manager is. There are the generous ones who side with the driver in borderline cases -- and even some not-so-borderline ones -- and then there are the stingy ones...

    The best approach is if there's any doubt in your mind whatsoever, check with your fleet manager first before running a toll road to make sure he/she will reimburse. Sometimes the guideline sheet is not enough and you need to check.

    >11. Milage Bonus - $500 if you average 10,000 mi. every quarter

    If a company driver drives at least 10,000 paid miles during the calendar quarter, that driver gets $500 (there is no averaging involved).

    This bonus does apply to all four quarters, so it adds $2,000 to your annual pay if you run normally without taking a bunch of time off within any single quarter.

    >15. $1.50 for phone calls and $1.50 for Scales automatically every week.

    For each load you deliver to the receiver -- not relay to another driver or drop at a Marten drop yard -- you get $1.50 to cover the cost of a phone call for directions. But at least 90% of the time, directions are available over the Qualcomm, so you don't actually need to call.

    For each load you pick up at the shipper, you get $1.50 to cover the average cost of scaling a load. Most loads are obviously legal without having to scale, so this average is way less than $8.50. However, at tax time it always turns out to be above $1.50 for me...I usually end up paying an unreimbursed $40/yr. or so on scale fees. At least it's deductible.

    >20. Settlements - Every week. Very accurate and detailed. They have NEVER made a mistake on my pay.

    Payroll makes a mistake on my pay about once a quarter on average. They sometimes fail to reimburse things like out-of-network cash fuel purchases, and sometimes mysterious T-check deductions show up. The payroll people are very cooperative and friendly when you contact them, but you really have to keep watch...

    One really positive thing at Marten is you can view your settlement online, on the day it's paid, every Friday.

    Now for the negatives:

    >4. Load Lock Policy - Marten gives you 3 load locks. It is up to you to hang on to them. They will not re-imburse you for a new one unless it breaks.

    Indeed this is one of the bigger negatives. It's impossible to "hang on to" your three locks forever. Sometimes you have to drop a sealed trailer at a Marten drop yard and two of your locks are in the back. You lose those locks. About the only way you can replace them is by picking up a couple the next time you're at a Marten terminal, if -- and this is a BIG if -- a couple unbroken ones happen to be available.

    The main bad thing that can result from this annoying policy is you can lose time trying to obtain load locks when you absolutely have to have a pair. Or if you skimp, you can have freight tumble in the back. You just hope neither ever happens.

    >7. Mandatory use of a steering lock.

    Call me crazy but I love the steering lock. I'm single and pretty much live in the truck, so most of my stuff is in it, including thousands of dollars worth of electronic equipment. Sure, someone could break in and steal it -- the lock does nothing to prevent that -- but it does prevent someone from taking the whole kit and caboodle all at once. Knowing this provides me with a small added measure of comfort whenever I leave the truck unattended.

    It's quick and easy to install and remove the thing -- takes me about 30 seconds each time. I'm in a Freightliner Columbia...the lightweight hood is a snap to raise and I just let it drop to close. I don't mess with latching the latches until I remove the lock. I wipe it off with a paper towel after each use to keep it clean, and store it in an old sock next to the door.

    Another reason I don't mind using the steering lock is because it strikes me as smart policy on the part of Marten, considering the stakes involved. It's the stupid policies that bug me, not the smart ones. Fortunately stupidity is rare at Marten. Once in awhile they'll do stupid things like put 30-gallon tanks on their trailers, but again, this is rare.

    All in all, I can honestly say without hesitation that driving for Marten is the best job I've ever had...and I've had a bunch!
     
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  4. azcardnlz

    azcardnlz Medium Load Member

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    165
    Oct 4, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
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    I have other Marten drivers accuse me of being new when they see me using my steering gear lock at a truck stop. They tell me that i don't have to use it unless i'm at a terminal. I just tell them that if my truck ever does get stolen, I want there to be a steering lock laying on the ground in pieces so I can prove that i did everything i could to prevent the theft. (Not that it would ever happen; who would bother? Too many other trucks out there that are easier marks.)
     
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  5. mathematrucker

    mathematrucker Medium Load Member

    515
    263
    Sep 14, 2006
    Laughlin, NV
    0
    About a year ago I met a company driver at our main terminal who'd just flown in from PA because his engine caught fire for no apparent reason heading across I-80. It was a brand new Volvo truck but I don't remember what kind of engine it was. The fire burned up his tractor. He tried using the extinguisher right away but it hardly did anything. As he was leaving the scene he set the intact fire extinguisher back in (what was left of) the cab in order to prove he tried to put out the fire.

    He started our conversation by asking how much I paid for my laptop. People ask me that all the time, but that was the first time it was to figure out what to request for an insurance claim!
     
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  6. incognito

    incognito Bobtail Member

    5
    4
    Mar 6, 2007
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    I drove for Marten Transport Both as O/O and Company for 10 years, For the most part Marten is better than average.
    But for those that work there now, Be aware they have some kind of Internal Point system they never seem to mention, I exceeded these points and was fired, Oh, Did I say I was in the Marten Million Mile Club.
    Anyway, No sour grapes here.. Marten well be loyal to you as long as you fall in there good Stats, Good driver- Bad Driver, Its all Stats to them.
     
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  7. azcardnlz

    azcardnlz Medium Load Member

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    Oct 4, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
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    Really? They told us all about the points system in orientation. All points are double for your first six months.
     
  8. Moriarti

    Moriarti Medium Load Member

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    Jan 15, 2007
    NW Indiana
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    Well, it's easy to add new rules in orientation. everyone else just gets a garbled qualcomm msg:

    "411: Nw Pnt sys. whn U gt DOT, if U fl, U wll B Frd."
     
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  9. azcardnlz

    azcardnlz Medium Load Member

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    Oct 4, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
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    LOL that's funny. Not true, but funny anyway.:biggrin_25523:
     
  10. incognito

    incognito Bobtail Member

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    Mar 6, 2007
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    Hey Azcardnlz, I went though orientation in 1996, Points systems were shaped, molded, changed, dropped and re-instated in the 10 years I was at Marten, And they never seem to update the old timers on the new or changed system.
    Also never recieved any warnings that points were in danger area.

    So yes Azcardnlz "Really"!.
     
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  11. azcardnlz

    azcardnlz Medium Load Member

    412
    165
    Oct 4, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    0
    Yeah, you're right, it's probably just a scheme that they have to get rid of all of their good drivers.
     
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