McFarland Truck Lines, Inc., Austin, MN

Discussion in 'Motor Carrier Questions - The Inside Scoop' started by DRTDEVL, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. DRTDEVL

    DRTDEVL Light Load Member

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Austin, MN
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    I drove for McFarland for a little over two years, but recently had to stop driving due to a medical issue. They currently have me in the office assisting with driver services and recruiting, so I now can see both sides of the coin. Basically, I can answer any questions about this company from both sides of the aisle, as I have been a driver, and now I get to relate to other drivers via the driver services department. While I assist these departments, there is only one recruiter for the company. Its not that big of a place, honestly, with 75 sleeper trucks, 20 day cabs, 8 spotters, 4 shag trucks, and 13 O/Os.

    I did a search on here, and only 2 people made reference to the company over a dozen years ago... so I figure I could let some folks know what its like here today. Turnover isn't that big of a thing here, but the drivers are ever-aging, and we do lose a few each year to retirement.

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.
     
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    How much experience is required? Found it!
    ~
    Requirements:
    At Least 23 Years of Age
    Class A CDL
    2 Years Tractor/Trailer Experience
    Knowledge of Federal Hours of Service Regulations
    Good Driving Record
    Good Communication Skills
    No Serious Violations in the Last 3 Years
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  4. RubberDuck473

    RubberDuck473 Light Load Member

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    May 2, 2021
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    What lanes do they run? What kind of miles on average are the runs? Fully equipped trucks? Driver-facing cameras? Fuel solution routing? Quallcom, Peoplenet, Omnitracs? What's the home time like? What are the hiring areas? Slip seating? What are the trucks governed at? Reefer or van? Micromanaged or left alone?
     
  5. DRTDEVL

    DRTDEVL Light Load Member

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Austin, MN
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    That actually needs to be updated. With our current insurance carrier's rules having changed, we only require 9 months of verifiable experience.

    I'll answer them in order:

    Midwest. Draw a triangle from Wichita, KS to the Twin Cities to Dayton Ohio, and about 80% of our freight is in those corridors. We do extend down to northern AL and GA, and NE Texas as well, but those are smaller contracts.

    The average run is about 700 miles.

    FULLY equipped 2020-2022s with upgraded seats, mattress, and insulation (quietest interior out there), Tri-Pac APU, Sirius/XM radio, 1800w inverter, and the Detroit Assurance Safety Suite.

    Every safety item possible EXCEPT we don't believe in driver-facing cameras.

    We have preferred sites to fuel at (based upon discounts), but we don't tell the driver where to fuel, only where *not* to fuel. If you happen to like the Iowa 80, go for it. If you like the Pilot near one of the customers, go for it. Just don't go to Love's or Casey's, that's pretty much the gist of the fueling rules.

    Qualcomm

    Home time is what you want. We're small enough to be able to do that. If you want to be home every Sunday and Monday, dispatch will do their best to accommodate that every week. One guy I know of has been doing the same route for over a decade now, leaves Sunday morning, and is home every Friday morning, like clockwork. On the flip side, we have guys who wish to be out 2-3 months straight and message dispatch when they want to be routed home or when they need to be routed to the terminal for PM/services.

    Hiring along the lanes, with focus on KS, IA, MO, MN, WI, IL, IN, and western OH. Hiring can be farther out (like OKC, ATL or DFW), but home time will suffer, and we'll let you know that before you even show up so you're not wasting your time if you want to be home weekly.

    Assigned trucks. The only slip-seats are local shaggers (washout/shuttle), spotters, and about 1/4 of the day cab fleet on certain contracts.

    Governors are a sticking point. We have all asked for more speed (what company driver hasn't?), but the Bakers refuse to even consider it. 63 pedal, 65 cruise, and 67 passing for 30 minutes out of each 12 hour period. On the plus side, a majority of the lanes are in 65 and 70 zones so you won't be running much slower than traffic, if at all.

    We are a refrigerated fleet.

    Don't come here expecting to have your hand held, there are plenty of megas out there who can do that if you want it. Dispatch will message you with your next load (usually before delivering your current load so you won't burn the clock waiting) to verify you can do it. Aside from that, drive the truck, don't crash, don't violate HOS, mail your paperwork in (billing lady might call you), and enjoy the solitude of the road.
     
  6. bzinger

    bzinger Road Train Member

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    omaha , ne
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    I know you guys have been around forever and guessing hormel is your outbound customer?
    Any owner operater opportunities in the omaha Fremont area ...percentage or mileage ?
    Just curious and happy where I am .
     
  7. Catmando

    Catmando Medium Load Member

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    Would you give a O/0 a dedicated lane between Wichita and Iowa ? With guaranteed milage per week ?
     
  8. DRTDEVL

    DRTDEVL Light Load Member

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Austin, MN
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    The O/O package is an odd duck. It starts with a base mileage rate that appears absurdly low on the surface, but then add on this, that, and the other on top to where the O/Os are pretty happy (we even lost 4 company drivers this summer to the O/O side when they bought their own trucks). I don't have that pay package with me at home, so I'll have to look it up tomorrow and get back to you.

    Our primary outbound from Austin is Hormel, yes, but we also haul a lot for Select Foods in Albert Lea and have multiple customers in the Twin Cities for both inbound and outbound. In order to simply life for the Regional drivers, we use a few day cabs for relay runs to and from the Twin Cities and St. Cloud down here to Austin, so the guys coming in for home or out from home time can just drop or hook at our terminal and leave directly from here without back-tracking north.

    Possibly. I know there is freight moving from southern MN to Wichita, and there is freight moving from Osceola, IA to Wichita, but the logistics of that request would be beyond my knowledge. If that were something you were seriously interested in, I could check with our head dispatcher to see what his thoughts are.
     
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  9. DRTDEVL

    DRTDEVL Light Load Member

    135
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    Jan 27, 2013
    Austin, MN
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    I forgot to address this point.

    Yes, that's in our hiring area... but every time someone is hired out of that area, apparently the VP and dispatch comes whining "why did you hire someone there? We have inbound freight to Omaha but nothing outbound!" "Uhh... someone would be there anyway with the inbound, now you can make it someone who lives there and you have an additional day or so to secure an outbound load?"

    Its actually quite comical, the things the office folk worry about.
     
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  10. Catmando

    Catmando Medium Load Member

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    I wouldn't of asked if I wasn't serious ... I don't like wasting your's or my time.. You can PM me with info at your convenience
     
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  11. bzinger

    bzinger Road Train Member

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    omaha , ne
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    I'm surprised you don't haul out of hormel in Fremont.
     
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