Marten Transport, LTD. - Mondovi, Wi.?

Discussion in 'Marten' started by kpnpeace, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. buck and a half

    buck and a half Mr. Miles & Miles with Many Smiles

    Aug 11, 2006
    I have never heard drivers complain about MARTEN, they have a new program going about lease purchase but not sure how good. Would always recommend drive company first,then decide. You are better off knowing what your ck will be each work week,better than oo,lease etc.
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  3. mikroos5

    mikroos5 Medium Load Member

    Nov 16, 2006
    i left them 3 years ago tried the local thing,been on workers comp for the last year,2 surgerys later and im ready too get back to work ,im thinking of going back out on the road and thats where im going to try and get back on with. worked there for 6 years before i left.:smt030
  4. kdlaird

    kdlaird Bobtail Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Oxford, MS
    Well, I've been with Marten Transport, LLC about 2 months now and, I must say that I've not had a bad experience with them yet. It is true that they have certain requirements that are...unusual to say the least, but, overall, it's been a decent run so far.

    The positives for me are as follows:

    1. Good equipment - all relatively new trucks with APUs (auxiliary power units) on 95% on the fleet.
    2. Good Hometime Policy - If, through a mistake by planning or your dispatcher, you do not get home on time, there is a $50 a day reimbursement for your inconvenience.
    3. Good Detention Policy - They get you the detention you deserve.
    4. Drop Lots - They are everywhere.

    There are a couple of bad points though...

    1. Terminals - If you live, or are visiting family, within a 50 mile radius of a terminal you are required by their policy to leave your truck at the terminal. Marten states it is for the "security" of their equipment, but I personally don't buy their reasoning. This was a great inconvenience to me visiting my children in the Dallas area.
    2. Steering Locks - While this is a good idea, the fact that they require you to put these on the trucks at all times when away from it tends to become a hassle. These locks are supposed to go under the hood, at the steering box, to prevent anyone from driving the truck off. However, anyone that finds out about this feature is already in the truck and has already set themselves up for taking your things. A more visual security measure would be to have something on the dash, locking the brake valves, so that it can be seen by looking into the truck from either side. While something like this won't prevent those individuals from wanting your things, it will make those that are thinking of both the truck AND your personal items think twice before getting into the truck.

    I’m sure there is more that is good and bad about this company, but I haven’t found it yet. I’ve been with decidedly worse companies than Marten so my threshold for idiocy is pretty high...ecept when it comes to the idiocy of four-wheelers.
  5. skibum_63

    skibum_63 Road Train Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    somewhere, USA
    i don't have a hassle with the steering gear lock. 30 seconds to keep your job. It's well worth it.
    Been here 4 years, other than having tod eal with some stupid poeple in the Mondovi Knitting circle, it's been good to me.
    People make out jobs , the way they want it to be.
  6. Skunk_Truck_2590

    Skunk_Truck_2590 Road Train Member

    Feb 16, 2007
    Stonewall, LA.
    Not understanding here. Yall say .36+ per mile but the recruter that called me up said I would be started at .33-1/2 a mile. Can someone elaborate this pay scale? I have a year OTR and was told they do not except fresh out of school drivers and must have one year OTR before they can be considered.
  7. CA_Medicine_Woman

    CA_Medicine_Woman Light Load Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Oak Creek, WI
    There are two similar companies in Wisconsin, Marten Transport, and Martin Transportation. The latter is no longer in business, the former I currently work for.

    This thread seems a bit dated, so I'll try to provide the best information I know, as well as my experiences since hiring on January 2006...

    The Good:

    Late model equipment using Cummins or Detroit engines, though Cat's still used on older Columbias and long nose Pete's. All rigs have Qualcomms, the newer ones the "talking" type (learn where the volume controls are first, lol).

    APU's on all except day-cabs, Carriers on older Columbias, Thermo Kings on the rest. APU's don't meet California requirements, but that's to be expected since those change daily.

    Company rigs are Pete's, Freightliners, and KW T-600's. Volvo's are gone (huge mechanical problems with those). Almost all are "stand-up" sleepers, except the Columbias still being used on certain dedicated or regional fleets (it's a weight issue for those accounts). Newer rigs have either Cummins or Detroits, most of the older ones have Cat's (the latter are being phased out). The newer trucks meet California emmissions requirements (though the APU's don't).

    Most trailers have air-scales and air-sliders, though certain older ones being phased out don't have the air slide. 5th wheel is fixed, but air released from inside the cab (numerous safeguards to prevent accidental release). Marten pays for scaling on all loads over 42,000, dispatch discretion below that.

    Marten discourages driver unloading whenever possible, in every way possible. They strongly prefer we use lumpers (they have accounts with many), and don't even want us to haggle about price. I unloaded once, because I wanted to (needed the exercise and was faster), and got seriously chewed out for it.

    About 1/3 of my pickups are drop-hook, about 1/4 of the deliveries are.

    Marten charges customers a hefty detention penalty which kicks in 2 hrs after the appointment time, which makes planning and scheduling a bit easier all around, and ends certain customer abuses.

    Terminals are located in Ontario CA, Wilsonville OR, Mondovi WI (HQ), Forest Park GA, and Indianapolis IN. They have two others they call terminals in Irving TX and Joplin MO, but the former is barely a fuel stop, the latter is someone's private residence (they work the terminal). All (except the last two) have showers, fuel, driver lounges, wash bays, shop facilities, etc.

    Trip scanning is mandatory, no more trip packs unless instructed to send that way over the Qualcomm. Scanning from the truck is available to drivers who have laptops and scanners in there rigs, otherwise scanning is available at all terminals and fuel stops. All trips scanned by 0100 Central Tuesday are paid the following Friday.

    Pay is okay, starting at $0.36/mi and capping at $0.45/mi, depending on experience. Regional pays less, and on a sliding scale depending on length of load. Per Diem is automatic, unless you opt out. Per Diem takes back 0.11 taxable, and gives you 0.14 tax free (amounts to a 0.03/mi bump in your base rate). So, if your base rate is 0.36 and you get per diem, your taxable income is 0.25/mi, tax free is 0.14/mi, bringing you to 0.39/mi.

    OTR home time is 1 day for every 5 out. Regional is 1 for every 7. Vacation pay is one week after the first year, two after the second, 3 after the fifth. Home time IS NOT certain, except Christmas. Your fleet manager cannot control breakdowns, weather, or freight patterns. If you get home late, and return as scheduled on your home time request, you get $50 for every day late. If you work holidays, you get $50 each, except Christmas, where you get $200.

    Layover and breakdown pay are $25 after the first 24 hours per day, except if you empty out on a weekend (then it kicks in on Monday)

    Safety bonus is $200 per quarter, if you watch the video and pass the multiple choice test (very easy to do). Mileage bonus is $500 per quarter, if you average 10000/mo minimum during that quarter. There is a recruiting bonus of $500 after the first load is completed, and then $500 if they complete six months, for recruiting EXPERIENCED drivers.

    Marten uses EZ Pass, which works in most of the Northeast (except Ohio, who still prefers cash). Marten provides specific toll routing between various points, and the Chicago Skyway is never to be taken.

    Pre-Pass is driver optional, driver paid, Marten doesn't get involved. I consider this good, because that means I can use Oregon's transponder, which also works on PrePass and NorPass (PrePass only works on PrePass).

    While chains are provided, Marten discourages their use. The rule is to use them to get out of trouble, not to get into it. If you get into an accident and the chain laws were up, expect to be terminated. Marten expects us to shut down when weather or road conditions go beyond our personal comfort levels and capabilities to handle. So long as we tell them what's up, we're covered.

    Benefits are industry standard (insurance, 401k, stock plan, etc). Marten is self-insured on the Life-Health-Dental-Vision, BCBS just handles the claims. I have what some call the "Cadillac" plan, covering anything and everything, and I pay $89/wk (single, no kids). I put 6% into my 401k, Marten matches 50% of that amount.

    Fairly liberal passenger policy (low cost insurance required, even for a trip around the block).

    The Bad:

    No pets, no exceptions, for company drivers. More than a few of our customers prohibit them. Some now former drivers also completely abused the pet privelage in the past, making it unlikely Marten will change this policy, ever. O/O's are, of course, allowed to have pets, since it's their rig. This is bad for me, since I'm being pressured to have a search and rescue dog with me (related to certain volunteer commitments).

    Shops tend to be overworked and understaffed at most terminals, mainly due to limitations on facilities available. This could cause unreasonable delays in getting scheduled maintenance or repairs done. I try to schedule such things for when I'm on home time, but that doesn't always work out.

    We fuel almost exclusively at Pilot, which almost never has parking, very few food choices, and long lines at the fuel pumps.

    Marten rarely pre-plans anymore, except to get drivers home. This is both good and bad, since the new rule is first empty, first reloaded.

    Despite being forced-dispatch, drivers do not have to swap loads. This hurts when drivers are trying to get home and others won't swap to get them going in the right direction. I maintain a list of those drivers who have refused to swap so I can get home as a result.

    The Ugly:

    Load locks, unless you're a rail driver, aren't reimbursed. This is thanks again to a few drivers who abused this in the past. Drivers aren't above stealing them from one another, a growing problem. I recommend highly a strong, weather-proof, lock.

    My rig has been burglarized once, at a terminal, in full view of other drivers who knew my rig and did nothing to stop it, resulting in several thousand dollars in loss (mostly medical equipment, text books, and supplies).

    Office politics, and their negative implications, are fully practiced at Mondovi and Forest Park, even by the mechanics. I avoid both now, whenever possible, because I just don't like to play such silly and childish games.

    Most drivers do not do even the most basic walk-around, let alone an actual daily vehicle inspection. This pretty much insures that whatever trailer you pick up will be absolutely filthy, and will need immediate repairs. Trust me, it can get pretty bad. There is now a macro on the Qualcomm to report these problems, it has gotten that bad.

    Parking at the Ontario terminal is difficult, even on good days. Parking anywhere near the terminal is impossible on holidays. You have to see it to believe it. Given that drivers who live within 75 miles of that terminal MUST park their rigs there while on home time, it's a huge problem. Add to that drivers who park any old way they want, and, well...

    Every company has its ups and downs, it's just a matter of figuring out how to work within the ups, and around the downs.
    BobMac and platinum Thank this.
  8. BobBski

    BobBski Bobtail Member

    Aug 2, 2009
    Buckeye Lake, Ohio
    Great post. I came to Marten 18 weeks ago with 17 years experience, after my previous employer of 10 years ran into financial difficulty. Anywho...overall, with the present economy and talking to drivers from other companies...I'll be here for the next 3 years when I plan on retiring.:biggrin_25525:

    Load Locks....I've had to buy 3 since being onboard...reimbursed each time, no problem. Once was a split load and the other 2 were when I dropped loaded trailers in a rail yard.

    First 4 weeks miles were fantastic...2 over 3000. Was told pre-hire as OTR I could expect around 2300. I enter weekly paid mileage on a spreadsheet and base my success on weekly average vs one week at a time. My 18 week average is 1950 miles. I stay out 8 weeks at a time...take a week off, average includes the off weeks..would be higher if didn't.

    I'm a bit frustrated with the mileage avg but with the present economy and, in talking with numerous drivers working for numerous companies...they aren't doing any better...some worse, some a little better.

    Anywho...for anyone looking at Marten as a possible company to drive for...believe me you can do worse. OTR can be a tough life....but, there's something about it I love....dropped bad trailers and all.:biggrin_25510::biggrin_25525:
  9. CA_Medicine_Woman

    CA_Medicine_Woman Light Load Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Oak Creek, WI
    It's official, per the message that went out fleet wide over the qcomm. Per iem participation will be mandatory effective September 1, 2009. Also, all OTR drivers will now be paid using the same sliding scale pay scheme used with the regional fleets, which translates into a $0.005/mile pay cut on nearly all OTR runs.

    Drivers are being asked to not call payroll, which is reasonable since payroll didn't know this was coming down today, and they still are trying to get this week's payroll out and start on next week's. Drivers were initially told to contact their fleet managers or visit Marten's web site for information, but it turned out neither has information, and the FM's are already swamped trying to juggle 100 drivers each. So,, we've been told to contact HCH, the company managing the per diem (who has no answers either, nor are they involved in the sliding scale pay scheme).

    Please remember, for those who are planning to quit over these two schemes, to give reasonable notice and continue to be professional. You still need a decent reference for the next job, which I advise getting before giving notice. If you FM or Marten jerks you around, but you gave proper notice and remained professional, then it will reflect well on you and bad on them in the future.

    Also, from my conversations with the IRS, those on the per diem who are not qualified for that deduction because they have no fixed residence (as proven by rent or mortgage receipts, or property tax statements), you should set aside and not spend roughly 75% of your per diem, to meet the new taxes you will have to pay out of pocket (Federal and state income taxes, as well as both employee and employer shares of FICA and Medicare, and any other taxes normally deducted). If the amount paid or due is high enough, you may need to file quarterly returns. Contact your tax professional, the IRS, and the state IRS equivelant for information on what may be required.

    Also, remember to tell your tax professional about the $0.025/mi fee you are being charged. This may be deductable as an involuntary and unreimbursed business expense, and you may need to issue a Form 1099 to Marten on this one next January (because of the amounts involved).
    BobMac Thanks this.
  10. Skunk_Truck_2590

    Skunk_Truck_2590 Road Train Member

    Feb 16, 2007
    Stonewall, LA.
    Wrong thread people! Need to look back at the company DAC section as their are two Marten/Martin threads. Blue Bird is spelled Marten. The other Martin is a completely different company.
  11. blade

    blade Heavy Load Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    Some where, Mo
    Are u still employed at marten and how are things going for u
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