Well I fat fingered the enter key, fabulous (could a moderator or admin change the thread title to "Picky Q's about Marten Details")
New to the boards, not new to the road. Headed for Marten.
Please don't try to tell me they suck or anything, the decision is made. I'm interested in a few technical things.
Transmissions: I've notice in a couple of places on these boards that it seems Marten runs a mix and match of 10s and 13s. Is this true?
APUs: EVERY truck has one? For real? For really real? I saw them on Marten rigs when I was out in my big red FL, but to come in and be able to expect an APU would be glorious.
Guts: Governed at 65, do the tractors still seem to pull the hills? I know the big red guys had some troubles getting all of their trucks to govern without taking the piss right out of their uphill chops.
Maintenance: If you've got an issue, can you get it taken care of? I had one nagging issue with the EGR valve on my Century, and they never seemed to understand the problem...until I turned the truck in and they billed me to replace the EGR. I grumbled for a few minutes about that one.
Fueling: I found the preferred fueling map .pdf on their website today. Looks all right. I like Pilots anyway...but how much flak do you catch if you happen to wind up in a pickle and have to fuel at a less than optimum stop? For that matter, do they give you a fuel plan with the load? Or are you free to plan your own stops?
HAZMAT: I have the endorsement, but have never actually hauled any. Do they cover their policies in orientation thoroughly? I hate it when I know there are rules but they haven't been detailed clearly enough for me to follow them. Also, how much HAZMAT do you haul vs. regular stuff?
Canada: Interesting wrinkle. I've got a passport, and running up into Ontario could be a really interesting change of pace every once in a while. Is it a pain in the backside? Or is it okay? Logging issues? Border Crossing shenanigans? I'm in the dark on this one.
Easty Coasty: Call me a wimp (or anything else cruder and more derogatory), but I'm no fan of NYC or Jersey. I'll do it, 'cause it's my job, but how much of that can I expect?
Length of Haul: Long stuff? Short stuff? Mixed bag? Last job was reefer, too, and it was a grab bag of dry and reefer, short and long, so I'm not scared of anything there...but what can I expect?
Appointments: At the last job, I got in the habit of calling customers to see if I could swing in early and get empty. I just saw in another thread that Marten doesn't like this. If so, are they cool about trying to see if you can arrive early on your behalf? Or are you pretty limited to delivering when the little beep-machine says you deliver?
Speaking of the beep-machine: I had an ancient 4 line Qcomm unit in my Century. Am I looking at old stuff or new? And do you have that irritating safety feature that won't let you see the screen if you're rolling? (I'll get used to it if I have to, but bloody hell, I don't like the idea of not being able to quick double check some bit of info without stopping)
Add-ons: How's Marten about inverters, coolers, and such et ceteras? I'm looking to live on the cheap this time around with a lot more home-made (cab-made?) meals. Not to mention I've got my compooter that I need to keep juiced up so I can have some company. Do they frown on gear clowns, or are they okay with it?
Lastly, and in general: Do the DMs (FMs, whatever) have a reputation of being pretty cool about your 20 and your schedule? Or do they tend to need brown paper bags to breath into when you look like you're not where they want you to be in terms of progress? Sometimes I come up with some weird solutions to getting to places on time, and I know I made my last DM a little confused (at the very least) about how I was planning to make the load on time. I don't slack, I just run 8-10 on and 10 off on long runs so that I can run 7 days a week with no pukey 4-hour-available-days.
Thanks for any answers in advance. Those of you here that work the blue bird seem like pretty level headed and understanding folk. I hope to see you out in the field.
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Yes we do run a couple of diff options in the trucks for trannys,
My Columbia has a str8th 10 speed. I know a driver in a KW 660 WITH A 13.
Not all trucks have apu's The day cabs do not, and the other day while at our Indy Yrd, there was a mid roof ( one of very few i have seen) that did not have a apu.
No reason why.
65 off cruse, 66 on cruise, at least for my truck. Have been blown off the road by our newer trucks, ie Cascada's and the KW's Mine gutless on mountains. They are running Cummins or Detroit'S mine has a Denutted Cat C15.
Small things are sent to T/A if your no where near a terminal. Larger stuff to the dealer, or terminal. Reefer if on the road, sent to dealer asap. Tires, if you have a spare, you may be asked to give it to another driver who needs it, if your in the same area.
Fueling, We can use most any Pilots. There's one i know of in Nevada, they prefer us not to use, due to the high price of fuel.
Fueling a reefer. There are 7-8 states they don't want us fueling reefers, because they don't get the tax break for off road use. Look in fuel book.
But if the reefer does need fuel now, go ahead pout enough in to last till next normal fuel stop.
We do pull hazmat. The concentraite to make Coke and Pepsi is a hazmat load.
Just to name a couple. There are other hazmat products as well.
I haven't had one on months.
Canada, i don't go. When i started 4.5 years ago here, it was an option. Now i hear it's req for new hires. I still don't go
I'm not going to haul frieght to a country that stoled American jobs , thanks to NAFTA.
The east coast thing, is a roll of the dice. Haven't been to the north east in 2 months, just made a qwik trip to VA and out, yesterday.
As company driver you gotta go where they send you, but there are ways out of doing something you don't want to do.
About the same mixed bag here.
They get pissy when we call the customer to change appoinments. They want our c/s dept. to do that. Send a early/ late call for appoinment changes.
We can call the cust, to verifi or ask for directions.
I have one of those 'talking' Qaul Comms. I find it hard to understand it when going down the road. It's locked out when the truck is rolling. Only works when brakes are set.
Depending on how old of a truck you areassigned to , it may or may not have one. But all new trucks in the fleet are getting them. There is a remote on the dash to use, so you can hear the msg read out to you.
At night or during my req dot break, i turn off all volumes on mine, to ensure i'm not bothered.
Trucks that are apu equpied has a factory install 1,800 watt inverter. No need to add your, plus you wouldn't be allowed to istall it it you did.
No tearing out anything, ie: cabinets, upper bunk. You can add your own fridge,as long as it's plugged in, but not boleted down, no drilling holes.
There are some dispatchers who can be real ===holes,(thier 'toy' batteries ran out) while some can be great for you. Again it's the roll of the dice, on who you get.
I prefer not to talk to them on the phone. Things said could be 'forgtton' I use qc as much as possible, so that there is a record. QC records are kept 1 year at min. Needle=ss to say they don't call me very often, which is what i prefer.
Yes there are some, who will send out a msg to a truck, asking if your gonna be ok for on time del. A lot of times, the qc computer hasn't updated your trks location in hrs. It' suppose to do this hourly. 15 min if your on a high $$ load.
Another favoret thing they like to do to new hires, is send, out of route msg to you. All you have to do is reply, is how am i out route? you don't route me.
Always route the shortest way. Don't always go by your fuel recomendations that come with preplan, cause sometimes they are wrong.
Make sure your fuel times on your log MATCH. Or Safety will get upset. 15 min either side, as per co. policy. As per my Safety mng. Mary.
Thank you sir, that gives me exactly the kind of general clarification I was looking for.
That factory installed 1800 watt inverter makes me smile.
I guess I'll learn to love (read: curse creatively) the qcomm, but oh well. I'll be getting paid.
I'm sure they don't take students. It must be 1+ because I don't quite have 2.
EDIT: Just looked, it's at least a year...it's kind of buried in the language.
If you look at the "Compensation" section, there's a line that reads:
"Solo pay rate for company drivers with at least 1-year of driving experience is as follows"
Tells me they haven't got pay scale for <1 because they don't hire <1
Interesting. And yeah, not sticking it out until you had your year total might have been a little silly...but if you weren't used to that reefer humming in your ear...that's been known to drive a few folks batty.
Hard to make decisions when you feel like you're going insane.
Myself, I like the reefer. I also like the ridiculous delivery and pickup times. If I'm dropping in Phoenix at 3am, well golly, you think there's gonna be traffic on the way in?
Naps during unload are easier in the dark, too.
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