Since I was in here a few months ago making a Complaint thread, thought I should come back and make an Improvement thread.
Since that last post about PTL treating me poorly, things have gotten better. Finally got a newer truck last week. Had the choice of a 2015 Cascadia Evolution w/35k miles, or a 2014 Prostar w/ 122K miles. Both were double bunk automatics, but since I've never driven one before I was okay with trying it out. And since I was already familiar with the Prostar and where I would put everything, I went with it. Heard it climbs mountains better too. So far I really enjoy it, and it's definitely an upgrade from my last one w/ its 372K miles. Plus, they've been better about getting me more miles lately. So basically I'm getting what I wanted originally, it just took a lil' more time than I thought it would.
And it being an employee-owned company is a cool idea. If we decide to make this into a career instead of a short term job, it's definitely set up to benefit us well, over time.
Also the 500 or more new trailers coming in has been nice, and seeing all the new 2015 Cascadias come in is a good look too. Supposedly the last 2 years at PTL have been the busiest and most profitable in company history, so sounds like we're growing and prospering like a business should be doing.
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I worked for PTL in 2013 and I thought they were going under at that time. Here is my experience with PTL, and why I left. 1) They NEVER include the paid miles with the load info. If you want to know what the paid miles are, you have to ask EVERY SINGLE TIME you get a new load! At first they will give you the paid miles over the QC. But then they quickly stop doing that and tell you to call-in, which takes at least 20 min and leaves no record of proof. The longer you work there, the harder it becomes to get the paid miles info. And the reason is because "IN MY OPINION", they shave about 12% of the paid miles off each paycheck. Now I'm not talking about the 4% to 12% more miles that we all drive to deliver a load (national average is 8%), no, I'm talking about an additional 12% fewer miles that you are getting paid for AFTER allowing for the 8% out of rout miles! 2) Company policy requires any driver who has 3000 or more paid miles in a week to take a drug test. So if you have a load left over from the previous week that didn't get turned in on time, or, if you just have a good week period, you have to take a drug test. I was drug tested 3 times in 5 weeks! So I said something to my dispatcher about it and was informed of the 3000 mile "red flag" policy. 3) The company is pretty good about maintenance as long as you are far away from a PTL terminal. If you are up in Wisconsin and break down, they will get you rolling again asap. But if you are at PTL's HQ in Murray or at the Memphis yard, you will be there all #### day for even the simplest repairs. 4) PTL does a lot of drop & hook, which is good. The problem is that 90% of the time (seriously, 90% of the time!) the trailer you are picking up will have a major issue. And you will have to waste 4 hours of your time getting it fixed AND still deliver the load on time or its YOUR fault! If you pick up a trailer that's missing a mudflap and you decide to fix it yourself, figure about 3 weeks to get reimbursed for the mudflap that YOU paid for to deliver the load on time. Same thing goes for DEF fluid, if you get reimbursed at all. When I finally quit after 7 months, they asked me why I was quitting. So I told 'em, "I'm tired of all the lies". Their reply was classic PTL, they said "Well, that's trucking". No....., that's not trucking. But it is PTL policy!
1) Every preplan shows the paid miles right there on the QC. And it always has according to anybody I've asked.
2) I've only been drug tested once. On the day I was hired. That's it. I've not even talked to a single veteran PTL driver that can verify what you put here as a policy. Ever. Perhaps they had reason to keep an eye on you?
3) Maintenance is an issue but it's also a reality of trucking. Trucks break down. ALL trucks. And repairs can be quick or time consuming no matter where you are.
4) Still lots of drop & Hook. And the problems with the trailers have gotten considerably better. They have made a hard push to get older trailers serviced up to spec & the new trailers are state of the art. And why would you spend your own money to fix what can be done at a TA in about an hour or less? And when I need reimbursed it happens within 48 hours tops unless I submit it on the weekend then it'll be Wednesday & I usually get it back.
5) DEF fluid is bought with your fuel card & PTL only recently started getting trucks that use DEF. You sure you talking about the right company? That drug test thing is getting clearer to me.
6) "When I finally quit after 7 months, they asked me why I was quitting. So I told 'em, "I'm tired of all the lies". Their reply was classic PTL, they said "Well, that's trucking". No....., that's not trucking. But it is PTL policy!"
If you say it happened that way I guess it did. But the rest of this makes me wonder if perhaps you imagined your entire time at PTL.
Okay, its pretty obvious you're not a PTL OTR driver. But let me reply to your comments anyway. My biggest problem with PTL was that they did NOT put the paid miles in the actual dispatch. In fact, they told us this in orientation and said that if we wanted to know the paid miles then all we had to do was contact dispatch on the QualComm and they would then, AND ONLY THEN, tell us the paid miles. When they gave me a new dispatcher (which happens to every driver after the first 90 days), that guy flatly refused to tell me the paid miles over the QC and insisted that I call him every single time I was dispatched to get the paid miles. The last time I called in to get the paid miles, my dispatcher simply refused to tell me, told me that he was getting tired of me calling to get the paid miles when, as he said, nobody else ever did. He told me that I should just "trust the company". As for drug testing, I was told by dispatch that COMPANY POLICY is to drug test any driver who turns in 3000+ miles in a single week. I could be wrong about the mileage threshold, maybe it was 3200 miles in a week. But there was definitely a threshold that resulted in an automatic drug test. Why would I make that up?! I passed every single one. And I wasn't putting down PTL's maintenance on the road, in fact I was very pleased with how they got repairs done as long as they weren't the ones making the repairs. But at their shops, forget about it. I was at the Memphis yard from opening til closing and all I needed was an oil change and a truck wash. Next, the truck I was assigned to did use DEF fluid and it wasn't a new truck. Finally, your weak attempts to discredit me, a 22 year veteran driver with no accidents and over 1.5 million miles under my belt, suggest to me that you are in management or a local driver, not a OTR driver who has to do the real work. PTL is not the only company I have reviewed. And my review of Walbert Trucking is pretty favorable as trucking companies go. But PTL not so much. However my review of PTL is based on facts at the time I was employed there. I didn't call PTL a bad company, I simply told the truth. I've never failed a drug test in my life, period. Nor have I ever worked for a company other than PTL that sent me to take a drug test every time I reached a certain number of miles in a week. But PTL did just that, and told me that if I continued getting high miles every week then I would keep getting drug tested. That crap is too stupid to make it up, in fact I'd never heard of it before working for PTL. But it is still a fact that did occur. You Sir can imagine whatever you want. But it won't stop me from telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about my experience as a OTR driver at PTL. What exactly is your position at PTL? Damage Control?Western flyer Thanks this.
"If you say it happened that way I guess it did. But the rest of this makes me wonder if perhaps you imagined your entire time at PTL."
Just one more little tidbit though...
PTL just took delivery of 200 brand new Freightliner Cascadias that all use DEF with Detroit DD15s. They replaced older flattop Cascadias with 07 series 60 Detroits. No DEF. As for International Prostars the company has a total of only 12, yep 12, that's T-W-E-L-V-E in service , all 2015s that have the new Cummins DEF systems installed on the Maxxforce engines. That simple fact alone puts the lie to the rest of your rant.
But good day to you anyway.thelastboyscout72 Thanks this.
And since I can't resist because now I'm having fun...
I've had the same dispatcher since day 1 when I was assigned my 1st truck. That'll be 1 year ago come Memorial Day. Yep. The same one.
Also... just for giggles. The only way I'll believe any of your story is if you can PM the name of some of these folks you dealt with. If what you describe was company policy then somebody should be able to verify that to me. Because EVERY long term veteran driver I have spoke with about your claims, EVERY LAST ONE including one who's been there 22 years, looked at me like I had an appendage growing out of my head when I asked about your claims. They have to a man & woman never heard of your nonsense.
Feel free to prove me wrong though.
My son in law is finishing cdl school and i advised him to go with ptl for his training....
mainly because of the equipment and your lanes...
i have spoken with drivers on the road and many have had good things to say so i hope ptl does him right so he can get some experience in....
who knows...he may like it there...
If not he can work where i do once he gets enough road time..
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