Got up early this morning so I could be at Raider at least 15 minutes early for orientation. Traffic wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting driving into downtown Ft. Worth and got there about a half hour early.
Once I got there I hung out outside smoking and talking with other drivers who were about to head out for their runs. Everyone was very upfront about how things are there. Guys said that money was good, freight was plentiful and if you want to run hard you can and make good money. Even guys who take their time seem to be running about 3100 a week and the average length of haul is about 800 miles. Since 99% of work is drop/hook time flies and there is very little retention.
Orientation started right on time with Andy and went by pretty quick on the first part which covered doing a ton of paperwork including company policies, tax forms, contracts and all that jazz. Then afterwards he talked about the pay scale, and specifically my pay. Bonus programs (which are achievable and not just a scam) as well as benefits and more.
After that, Dustin came in and talked about company procedures such as dealing with their shippers and receivers, client specific procedures and qualcomm and reefer operations.
Once that was all done, I sat around a bit and waited for HR and Safety to finish going over my paperwork and such. I was assigned my trainer and given his phone number and told he would call me later today to let me know what time to meet him tomorrow to get started.
I'm all packed and ready to go, and everything starts tomorrow. Stay tuned if you dare
Raider Express - Ft. Worth, Texas (Training Blog)
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Get ready for those meat loads in Cactus, TX going east or to Denver. I'm a newbie as well so just keep an open mind with your trainer. It will go by faster than you think. Inverst in a good satellite radio and yes get the truck antenna it works bette with it. Helps the miles go by. L8tr
[Couldn't connect to the internet last night very well so here's yesterday's update]
Today started out pretty crappy, it started raining in Dallas last night and man did it start. By noon we already had three inches of rain and my back yard was flooded.
I was originally supposed to meet my trainer at the yard, but he ended up having to do a local run early and he told me he would call when he got to Irving to do a pickup. Once he called I met him at the Quaker distribution center and unloaded my car, kissed my wife goodbye and joined him in the truck.
Tom's a pretty good ol' boy, a redneck just like me ... we should get along just fine.
After joining him we drove over to the yard so he could unload his stuff into the truck and we took off with me driving ... lol.
Heading to Denver with stops for fuel. Those folks gotta get their gatorade I'm sitting in Boise City, OK right now and about to take my 10 hour break. More tomorrow.
Got up early this morning and ate breakfast and continued on to Denver.
With me continuing to do just about all the driving, we arrived at the consignee about two hours early and ended up having to wait an hour to be able to log in for our appointment.
That wasn't to bad though, because we were early we were forth in line and got our door number very quickly as soon as they started calling trucks. Then the wait began ...
Took them two and a half hours to unload 23 pallets, and man those lumper fees are a scam. That is what I need to do is open a lumper company ... geeze!
After we got cleared and made the MT call, we were told there were no loads leaving Denver going anywhere and we would have to layover till Thursday morning and hope to get a brokered load out as the meat plant up here has nothing going out for some reason or another.
So we are now up there at a truckstop about ten miles outside of Denver for the night. Had a good dinner with another driver who is stuck here with us and hoping to get out tomorrow as well.
So far so good ... see ya tomorrow!
Congrats TX Mike. I think you made a wise choice w/Raider. I'm sure they aren't perfect, but you just don't see the horror stories like you do w/Werner, Swift, CR England, and the rest of the bottom feeders. And TX to CO is a lot better than NY city. I don't care for Denver much anymore, but it's still not too bad for a big city. Keep up the good posts.
Well unfortunately we ended up getting laid over for the whole day along with about twenty other Raider drivers up here in Denver, and it turned into a 34hr reset.
It wasn't that bad of a day really, just slow and somewhat boring at times. One thing we did today since we had the time is take the truck over to the TA Service Center to have the fuel filters looked at. Since we started on Tuesday the fuel mileage has been horrible and the truck has been very sluggish.
We were correct, one of the filters was bad so the otherone was picking up all the slack, so they replaced both of them and now the truck is running much better. Hopefully once we get going tomorrow morning our milage will be better than 5.2 mpg.
Around 8pm we finally got our load assignment, we will be heading up to Greeley to pickup a load going to La Porte, TX which is due on Monday.
However, we are planning on only taking the load to Ft. Worth, TX and seeing if we can T-Call it and pickup something else that will get us back into Ft. Worth on Monday so Tom can handle some family business that came up. If not, we can always try and get a D/H back to the Yard or a backhaul of somekind.
Well we got up early and made our appointment time in Greeley, CO and it looked like it was going to be a good day. Man were we wrong
They got us up to the dock just as soon as we got there and started to load us about an hour later. However, at noon they told us to close up the truck and they would be back with us, then they all promptly went to lunch!
After sitting there a while they got back and asked us to open it back up and then proceeded to unload us ... Apparently the first time around they put the wrong load on our trailer and didn't even bother to tell us till 2pm local time, four hours after we arrived.
Finally at 6pm local time they had the correct load on the truck and we headed out. Since we were already six hours behind and wanted to get into Texas before midnight, Tom hit the rack and I drove till 11pm. We swapped spots in Eads, CO and he drove till the wee hours of the morning ... and then some. I got up at 8am and we stopped in Quanah, TX and swapped again and I floored it down US287 to get us to Ft. Worth.
Once we got in the yard we discussed it and decided we'd take 24 hours at home (where I am now) and go ahead and carry the load down to La Porte, TX in the afternoon and be there for the delivery at 9:00am on Monday morning.
Dispatch is working on getting us a load back to Ft. Worth on Monday afternoon, if not they promised to deadhead us back so he could go to the Doctor with his Mom on Tuesday.
We got going today at about 4:00 pm today and the trip down to Houston was pretty uneventful. Dinner at the Flying J around 10pm and now we are sitting here at a truck parking lot across from the receiver and our appointment is at 9:00 am.
Hopefully tomorrow we'll get a load of of here heading back to Ft. Worth quickly so we can get back at a decent time.
Well, after sleeping in that hole in the wall truck stop in La Porte last night, we got up at about 7:30am to head over to the receiver.
After driving up and down the street like three times we finally figured out that they gave us the wrong address and finally found it.
P&G Cold Storage is just like any other icebox except that this one seemed even colder than others, it was -28 degrees on the dock... talk about excessive electric bill... ugh!
After unloading, we put in our MT call and proceeded to leave, we got a block down the street and the Qualcomm went off and we had a load ... yea! no dead head back to Ft. Worth. But now we have to turn around, our pickup is back where we dropped off ... lol. That doesn't happen much but this was a blessing.
After getting back we drop the trailer for them to load and head out for breakfast at the same truck stop we spent the night at. It is only a half mile away and wasn't to bad. Will have to remember that truck stop if I have to come back down there again.
We got back to the shipper and the trailer was ready for us, I signed it out, hooked up and hit the road.
The trip back to Ft. Worth was very uneventful except for the traffic coming out of Houston.
We got back to the yard and T-Called the load and headed home about 6:00pm. And we'll get back at it on Wednesday after 48 hours off. That is assuming that Tom is able to take care of his mom in that time. I'd really hate to have to get another trainer, he is just too cool.
Granted, I do everything, but then again that is the way it should be. He's evaluating me and helping me get to know the company, I won't learn anything if he does it all.
For the 1st week of running I ran 2,157 miles. I probably could have broke 3,000 if we hadn't been laid over in Denver for 48 hours.
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