I'm moving from OTR to the Pasco fleet. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA and am relocating to Richland, WA.
There isn't much in the way of information about this portion of Central so I figured I'd start a thread and chronicle my move and experiences to possibly help out someone else in the future.
Joining was relatively simple. I called them up and asked if they had room. They had openings in practically all of their locations (Pasco; Quincy; Hermiston, OR). They asked when I would be able to move up and told me that they would be able to provide lodging for up to two weeks while I looked for a suitable place. They will also refund my fuel costs up to the price of the bus ticket they would have provided had I not opted to bring my personal vehicle.
Training will be approximately two days.
They have different pay scales for specific loads (i.e. Dry vs Frozen), what shift you work, and apparently working weekends is an option. I'll be able to provide more information on this once I actually get there and can confirm it's accuracy.
So, I will be there April 7th. I turned in my truck once I got back to California and have contacted a few places for permanent living arrangements. I'm pretty optimistic about the future.
Please feel free to add any information if you have any.
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I arrived in WA on Monday (April 7th 2014) when I got there I met my DM and was given the paperwork for my lodging. I was set up at the Knight's Inn. It's basically around the corner. This place is no Hilton I'll tell you that much, but since I don't have to pay for it and there are no creatures living with me, it's perfect. I'm alone in this room although sharing rooms with other drivers is still the norm here.
It's a truck stop area, so there are a few immediate choices to chose from food wise. There's a Subway, Burger King, and a restaurant. There's also a pathetic excuse for a Flying J across the street. It has plenty of parking and a cat scale if you're just stopping in though, so that gives it a big boost on the ratings scale.
There are two shifts day and swing. Although you really wouldn't be able to tell as the drivers from swing come in whenever the hell they feel like it. For example; Swing is suppose to be from 3 to 3 but many of the drivers come in around 1 or even 12.
And the hours aren't absolute. If they give you three loads when you come in and you don't feel like taking anymore after those, you can just go home. This is one of those things that works in favor for the driver especially if they're sick or tired but seems ridiculous.
As for days off, you can have one or two. I got the feeling that I could have said I'll only work weekends and they would have accepted that answer.
I went out with one of their trainers yesterday. Apparently training is only for 2 or 3 days and you do receive pay.
He's a pretty nice guy. Went to some of the storage sheds to pick up and drop loads. There are like dozens of them all over the place. He showed me how the trailers work and how the machinery they use is operated. This stuff isn't rocket science, so picking it up is fairly easy.
They have a high accident rate here. I'd contribute it to them taking freshly licensed drivers that aren't trained here. Trainees have their 28/200 over the road instead of where they'll actually be working. These trucks can hual up to, correct me if I'm wrong, 96 tons. We drive city traffic and dirt roads constantly. So they really should train their own people.
A new lad rolled a truck just yesterday morning. Luckily the driver and the trailer made it out relatively okay but the tractor is done for.
Let's talk about the yard, tractor, and ag trailer situation. I was warned about this previously so I had an idea of what to expect.
The yard, unsurprisingly, is a giant dirt lot but it's no maze. Just don't expect your personal car to stay clean very long.
The tractors are all slip seat. Apparently this wasn't always the case. When Swift finally came in it was one of the first things to change. There are brand new tractors and really old ones. I mean like a decade or more old, not like 3 years. That can be tolerated though. The ag trailers on the other hand... there aren't nearly enough of them. You'll find 4 or 5 drivers wasting fuel and time driving all over the place to hopefully spot one they can snatch up, coax someone out of, or beg the mechanics to fix.
The pay scale will get it's own post as I can't say in absolutes yet, so I won't.
The people here seem to be great, although it's just a first impression. Good sense of humors, gullible office staff, and the aura of the office wasn't heavy.
Today is my day off so I'm going to go handle things with my apartment. We'll see how that goes.Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
I lived in Richland, WA the first 20 years of my life....born and raised there. Granted, climates change over the years, but the Tri-Cities has the warmest-driest weather anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. You're 3-4 hrs. from Seattle. You're @ 2 hrs from some of the best snow skiing (Snoqualmie Pass)..you're 4-5 hrs. from the Pacific ocean (but I would recommend going the extra hr. to Lincoln City, OR). And the Tri-Cities has some of the best outdoor activities in Wash., due to the great Columbia River. The Tri-Cities has grown a lot since I left. Total poulation of the Tri-Cities is approaching 300,000 now. It's a great place to live, play and raise a family. Richland has a lot of History too. Home to the 'Hanford Nuclear Reservation'...built in the early 40's as part of the "Manhattan Project" during WWII. They produced the plutonium for the the nukes that were dropped on Japan to end WWII. But enough history lesson.
While I may not know diddly about the job you have chosen....you have chosen a GREAT place to live. I hope you you do well at your job...because I'm sure you're not going to want to leave the Tri-Cities.Yossarian Thanks this.
I'm liking it well enough so far. They've extended the training period. I can basically train as much as I like. Yesterday was my last official training day. Tuesday and Wednesday I'm going to follow behind my trainer in a separate truck, running my own loads, and just have him there in case I have additional questions.
The trucks here are 10 speed, which is taking so getting use to. Irritating but my shifting will soften up eventually.
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