May Trucking new driver training

Discussion in 'May Trucking' started by Honua Gal, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Honua Gal

    Honua Gal Light Load Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    SW WA
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    I am a new driver who just accepted an offer from May this week and will go through their new driver program starting next Wednesday. I thought I'd start a thread on my experiences, for better or worse, as a new driver for May. I am hoping that my own journey may help other new drivers make decisions, as so many people's posts here have helped me.

    So, this is what I know about May right now: May is based in Salem, Oregon running 900 trucks in two divisions: 48 state (which requires a hazmat endorsement) and 11 western (which doesn't). It fit the bill for me as another medium sized NW company, so I applied and was accepted within a week. After getting accepted, my husband and I drove down to Salem to see the operation and get more information. (FWIW - I'm planning to drive solo OTR, but it is important to me that my husband has all his questions and concerns addressed as well, which is why I asked him to go to Salem with me.) We spent about two hours there, getting a tour of the base yard, maintenance, ops dispatch center, and spent over an hour talking to the Driver Services Mgr. He really took time to answer all of our questions.

    They do not have a driver training program. You must have your CDL. They take experienced drivers and do orientation with them on Mondays. They take new drivers with CDLs and do a three day orientation with us starting on Wednesdays, after which we are assigned to a driver "mentor" for an unspecified period of time. Could be a few days to a few weeks... whatever you need to get with the May program. Their mentor policy is that women drivers get women mentors, men with men. Also, non-smokers get non-smoker mentors, and I am particularly happy about that. Most people get their mentor's blessing in about two weeks. Then you go back to the main yard for a final driving test and assignment to your own truck.

    Pay: During training, you get $71.43/day, which comes to $500/week if you work seven days. Once you get your own truck, you are paid .30/mile for the first six months, .32/mile at six months, .33/mile at nine months, .34/mile at one year. Thereafter, you will get a 1/2 cent raise every six months. If you drive 10,000+ miles in a month, you get a .03/mile bonus for that month. It's 95% no-touch freight, and they pay for lumpers or $75 to unload. They do have detention pay, but my notes aren't real clear. I think it's $80/day after 24 hours. After 4 hour wait, it's $10/hour. If I'm not right on this, I'll get more info next week and post it.

    They have a rider program for spouses, no pet policy, 401K matching 35 cents to the dollar up to 6% vested at five years, PPO 70/30 health plan ($19/month for single, $57/month for family). The manager said that 60% of their drivers are long term employees. Their turnover is less than the national average, I think he said 65%, but again, my notes are fuzzy on this.

    That's about it for now. I'll post more as I learn it. I'm hoping to take my laptop on the road during my "mentoring" and post something here whenever I can get online.

    Let the adventure begin! 8)

    Honua Gal
     
  2. bigm3944

    bigm3944 Bobtail Member

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Queen Creek, Arizona
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    Honua Gal great post really looking forward to the rest I too am looking strongly at may out of phoenix so I'll be really interested in your view as an actual driver Thx
     
  3. Honua Gal

    Honua Gal Light Load Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    SW WA
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    Well, I got to Brooks on Tuesday night and checked into the hotel. I expected something like Motel 6, but it's much nicer. Good food in the restaurant and even a nice jazz trio in the bar that evening.

    Yesterday morning at 7:30, there was a van to pick us up and take us over to May. First off, all our paperwork was checked for currency and accuracy - CDL, medical long form, SS card, school transcripts and certificate of completion, and tuition receipt for reimbursement. May will reimburse tuition at $100/month up to $3000, provided you have not received any reimbursement from any other truck company previously.

    Next, we filled out reams of paperwork and, one at a time, we got our "UA" or drug screen. Then, right off the bat, we had our driving tests. The road test was pretty straight forward... some freeway driving and some county roads, then backing into a hole in the yard. After a pizza lunch, we had "Skills Development" - straight back, angle back, obstacle course, another angle back and more backing into the hole.

    The seven new drivers in our group all seem to be doing pretty well, so far. I did hear about some folks in previous orientations that did wash out on the driving test, and one guy apparently got ticked off and walked off the skills course last week. All I can say if that's all it took to torque him, he'd make a lousy employee, for sure! Talked to lots of drivers in the drivers lounge and everyone seems pretty upbeat about May. Didn't sense anyone with a chip on his shoulder about the company. There was a brand new '08 Freightliner Cascadia in the yard that we could take a look at. Pretty slick. It's got all the bells and whistles. I hear they are giving it to a driver that's been there 11 years with a clean driving record.

    Well, that's all for now.

    HG
     
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  4. Honua Gal

    Honua Gal Light Load Member

    66
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    Nov 13, 2007
    SW WA
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    Finished Day Two. Morning was review of company policies (including the idling policy - 30% April-Oct, 10% Nov-April), Qualcomm, DataComm, Transflow, and signing a lot more forms acknowledging we heard what they were saying. They took us all out to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. Afternoon was watching videos on safety, hazmat, staying healthy. The Ops mgr and HR person came in to talk to us. Last, we finished the Skills Development course and I got my MTC patch. :)

    One thing about the health premium info I posted before.. I was wrong on the employee payments, they are each week, not each month - $19/wk, $57/wk - and there is a smokers premium of $14.64/wk.

    Thoughts on the orientation.:
    • They are zero tolerance for drugs/alcohol. They have the "May 120" where every new employee is randomly tested twice in their first 120 days on the job. The rationale is that a person may be able to go off drugs long enough to get through a pre-employment screening, but they can't stay off for 120 days. Drugs/alcohol show up in your drug screen, you're gone. They also have regular random screening of all employees as well.
    • They are zero tolerance for cooking your logbooks. There was an accident where the driver was killed, as well as two people in another vehicle. The investigation revealed that the driver was running illegal. You mess with your log books, you're gone.
    My personal values include ethics and safety, so I'm fine with this. While I've been here, I've been watching for employees that seemed angry or had a chip on their shoulder and I didn't spot anyone. I talked with as many people as I could, and most folks seem to genuinely like working there. There doesn't seem to be any "Us" vs. "Them" that I've experienced in so many other companies. Drivers mix with admin people and there seems to be a comfortable, casual atmosphere here. Of course, I'm new so I might not be picking up on some things.

    Earlier in the week, they told me that my driver "mentor' wouldn't get here until the weekend, and I'd go home today. But yesterday afternoon, they told me that she would get here today, so I'm leaving right away for my training period. This could be several days to a few weeks, depending on what I need. At the end, I will take another driving test here at Brooks. If I pass, I get upgraded to "Solo" and get my own truck.

    All for now... I will post on the road about my training as I can.
    See ya 'round. :)

    HG
     
  5. Honua Gal

    Honua Gal Light Load Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    SW WA
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    Have been out for just under two weeks. First load from Brooks to Salt Lake City Walmart distribution center, then a Home Depot load to two stores in Seattle (my first blind side dock at the second :biggrin_2551:), then a load of wine from Patterson, WA to Denver, then furniture from Denver to central Oregon, then a load of doors back up to Brooks, then toilet paper down to CA. All in all, well over 5000 miles in 11 days, and I did 80% of the driving.

    I'm really happy with my trainer. She is very good. She's been driving for ten years - three with May. The more frustrated in a particular situation that I get, the calmer she gets. She doesn't yell or brow beat me (I do plenty of that to myself). The best trainers are able to say the same thing a hundred different ways until it sinks in and she has this talent. She's got a zillion stories about drivers and situations, and that's a great way to teach. She's got a great sense of humor. We laugh a lot about stuff. I like that. She also said that whenever I have questions when I'm on my own to call any time. In other words, the mentoring will go on for as long as I need advice.

    I've been off the truck for a couple of days to get some personal legal docs notarized. I get back on tonight. My trainer says I'm more that ready to solo out and get my own truck. Depending on where we're headed, that may be Payette or Denver. I'm looking forward to it!

    All for now...
    HG
     
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  6. Lonesome

    Lonesome Road Train Member

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    4,900
    Dec 15, 2007
    Northern Indiana
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    Sounds great! Keep us informed!
     
  7. illegal_eagle187

    illegal_eagle187 Light Load Member

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    Aug 4, 2007
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
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    sounds like you're doing good, do you know what their hiring areas are? i couldnt find it on their website?
     
  8. Honua Gal

    Honua Gal Light Load Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    SW WA
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    They have terminals in Phoenix, Layton UT, Payette ID, Pensacola FL, and the headquarters in Brooks OR. They have drop yards in Fontana CA, Auburn WA and Denver. Denver is the closest to you and I know they run new driver orientation there. When we stopped there last week, I talked to a fellow who'd just finished his orientation and was waiting for his driver trainer to come in. You could call one of the recruiters and ask. I worked with Opal, who was very helpful to me.

    Good luck,
    HG
     
  9. illegal_eagle187

    illegal_eagle187 Light Load Member

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    Aug 4, 2007
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
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    thanks! i cant call them yet wouldnt do me much good since im only 20 and havent got my CDL yet
     
  10. Honua Gal

    Honua Gal Light Load Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    SW WA
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    Always good to start planning early. :) In my CDL school in December, there was a fellow who was also 20. He told me he wanted to be ready for a job by May when he turned 21.

    HG
     
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