I was hired in right out of school back in Aug with Melton so I'm almost at 9 months so far, and thought I would give my insight so far.
My first few months went great other than not being pre planned and having to wait hours on end for a load,and I couldn't be happier with them, was getting decently long runs and running fairly hard I would say all while still being a complete newbie (still am but now have a general idea of what I'm doing). Had an average 850 mile runs, at 2 a week, some weeks 3 shorter runs but still not bad and was always delivering early. This went on until about the end of Feb.
Now I came back out March 9th and stayed out until may 6th so roughly 8 weeks and I have no idea what changed in those weeks but someone was off their rocker. For some reason I only ever had short runs and next day deliveries with non melton appt time (dispatched at 50mph). Granted I always sent in messages with updated times but still frustrating when they didn't change them, examples would be loading in southern Ohio and wanting me to deliver forster thing the next day over by St Paul is it do able of course. But not when you unloaded that morning get to the shipper 3 hrs with 1 truck ahead of you (first come first serve) and it takes them 4.5 hrs to load that truck. Half your days already spent. Then you have to wait another 2 hrs to get loaded then another 1.5 to strap and tarp (3 lumber tarps with 8ft drops because why do we need steal tarps?) DM Says just get it there. Therefor in load planning they don't take into securment, fuel, LCTC, and 30s, just your 10. At least on short hauls, the longer runs you have more leeway on time.
BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER!!!
My favorite one so far. I get a load going to Lakeland, FL get there an hour early and unloaded by 9a.m. EST and send my empty call. Within 5 min I get a pre plan I read it over and send in my commitment (forced dispatch) wait 20 min and no load assignment. Call my Dm and asked what happened, turns out they take the load off me (was in Lake City, FL 3 hrs away would have been an hour early appt was for 1300). Fine s### happens. 3 hours later (1200) I get a pretty plan for the EXACT SAME LOAD!!! Best part it was for the same appt. Time I was already 2 hours late.... it's the little stuff like this that's irritating, and making me look bad. Start talking to others that have been with the company longer (over 2 years) and turns out its been happening to them as well just not as dramatic as my current experience.
Frosting on the cake
I went on hometime for a few days fri-Tues back to the grind wed (after all its been 8 weeks) and not 2 hrs after I'm home they send me a load for monday that delivers tuesday... Needless to say they hit a nerve and ended up being at home for a week and a half instead (mainly because the pillow top was too comfy). Meanwhile I'm at home relaxing at at least 5 drivers turn in their keys while I'm at home. (So I'm not the only one getting flustered with BS)
Pros: overall it's a decent company
-Decent pay .41 for students .43 after 90 days
-Good place to learn flat and get some experience
-Trucks are well maintained and newer
Cons: -No pre Plans (you will sit and wait empty for hours if in a low frieght area)
-switching out to a full auto company
-you will tarp almost everything and you'll think it's stupid (shipper pulls it out of the mud --> you use all 3 tarps --> arrive at customer ask why it's tarped with a confuzzled look --> they take it off the trailer and put it right back into the mud -->* you* start cussing to yourself)
All in all its not a bad place to start and get in your experience as a flatbedder and don't let my post discourage from joining. Every company is going to feed you BS and it's up to you to find out what flavour tastes best in your mouth. This is just my experience so take it with a grain of salt along with anything else you read or hear.
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I hauled a load of highway guard rails that HAD to be tarped.
The receiver, at the highway construction site, used a machine that drives steel posts into the ground, to unload the guard rails. He shoved them off the trailer into the mud & signed my paperwork and off I went.Last edited: May 22, 2016
I agree with the original poster and would like to add some info on Melton as well. Melton has good equipment, they take new drivers, pay weekly and the starting pay is definitely better than most other driving companies. HOWEVER, it does not matter about the pay per mile when you can not get good miles. Miles here are inconsistent to say the least. Your week by week break down of miles might look something like 2100, 2500, 2800, 3100, 2200. Not consistent at all. Net pay that I have personally seen can range anywhere from $600 to $1100. It ALL depends on whatever loads the Load Planners feel like giving you for the week. In my opinion, I feel that Melton's issue is that the company is more focused on freight productivity and no so much about maximizing a drivers miles so that we can actually make a financial living out here.
The amount of sacrifice, time, effort, and energy is very high here just to turn around and make a net average of $800 per week. Most drivers I meet here don't even make that. I found that by urinating while driving, picking up and delivering early, and sleeping at the shipper/consignee helps me to SOMETIMES get an extra run for the week half of the time but the money compared to the sacrifice, time, effort, and energy is just not here at Melton in my opinion. Especially with all of the tarping that we do all year round. Tarping in wind, snow, below zero temps, 100+ degree temps, mud, cow manure at dairies, etc., really makes a person wonder why on earth are they doing this to themselves. And yes, tarping at Melton is 99+ percent of the time.
This is definitely my last year at Melton and as a truck driver. I am a fairly new driver of only two years. A year and a half of that being at Melton. The OTR life is not worth the money. I don't mind the work/sacrifice but I do need the miles in order for the money to make sense of the sacrifice. I hear about mileage issues from other drivers from other companies online as well as in person so it's not like the grass is going to be greener elsewhere. If the miles were here at Melton, they would not have a high (very high) turnover rate. Because of the way the miles are delegated, the turnover rate is and will be for a while very high. Don't believe me? Go up to at least 4 Melton drivers and see how long they have been here. I'm willing to bet money the average would be less than a year.
If Melton were to orchestrate load planning to where they were focused on drivers getting 3000 miles a week, the turnover rate in my opinion would improve because the money would be there which would make the sacrifice worth it. Unfortunately Melton as well as all of the other big companies care more about their productivity and their bottom line. I totally understand that from a business point of view but I as well as most other drivers are not out here on vacation, we are here to make money. Plain and simple. So all that being said is Melton a bad place? No. Will you make money? Decent at best. Would I recommend it? No. If anything I would recommend Wal-Mart if you have the desire to stay in trucking because I haven't heard anything bad about them although I am sure they have their quirks. I got a jump the other day and the road service guy said that out of all the drivers/companies he deals with, the Wal-Mart drivers never complain. But this is 2016. You don't have to work this hard and sacrifice so much for "decent" money. We don't have to run to a job for a paycheck when we can make our own opportunities. I myself am getting into Ebay reselling. There are tons of money making opportunities that you can create for yourself. How do I know? Because there are tons of people making passive income online and it's always something anyone can do. 20 years of my life have gone to making other people money over the years and I am no longer going to live my life that way. Melton has helped me to realize that. Thanks for reading!
CosmicBlue Thanks this.
I worked for Melton for year .
I just put in my notice . I bought a truck and I'm going owner opp .
I have no agenda to help Melton and I'm not trying to dismiss what others have experienced, I am just giving my experience.
First I should say that I am a top driver at Melton . We are all scored and I was always top 25 % . There were months I was top 5 % .
I get 2200 to 3400 miles a week in summer .
And in winter 1800 to 2600 .
All in all I grossed just under 65000 my year here .
Everybody works different. Melton fit the way I run. I managed to park 98% of the time at a truck stop and grab a shower almost everyday .
Yes their are some annoying loads that pick up late or ruin your plans .
Swapping loads can be annoying because the other driver is often late to the swap spot ( I've been told others don't have this problem and it might be because they knew I'd catch up )
But overall Melton is as good as it gets to be a Company driver . They are a classy organization and I belive that starts at the top with the Owner Bob Peterson who is a truck driver
( looks like one too )
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