Railroad Train Carrying Only Truck Trailers?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by daviddincau, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Pete_379X

    Pete_379X Super Chrome

    Jul 4, 2007
    Its better than busting my ### for 30 hours a week... then coming home with less than what I could be making at Mc D's. Don't believe all you've heard about us railroaders making the big bucks... (On a side note... when I started I was getting anywhere from 20 to 32 hours of overtime a week... now I'm cut to 30 straight hours a week. The overtime more than made up for the lower pay)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
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  3. brsims

    brsims Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Meadville, PA
    My first trainer and I went from Kingston, AZ to Winston-Salem, NC in approx 37 1/2 hours (I think, it was back in '98, and my memory is slipping), and that was my first week of driving straight outta school. Based on this, I believe a good team who worked well together could probably make it from coast to coast in approx 60-72 hours. But a full time team driver would have a better estimate.
  4. rockee

    rockee Road Train Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    Pacific Northwest
    A few years ago the SP was experimenting hauling spiffied up Swift trailers that made up the whole train itself. They put some sort of dolly under the tandems and had a massive pintle hook on the front of the trailer that hooked to the dolly. It was quite a strange site.
  5. Scooter8419

    Scooter8419 Bobtail Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Fergus Falls, MN
    My brother-in-law works for BNSF in Minneapolis and over the past year he has seen hundreds of people in this region be laid off and has seen his work availability slashed to a fraction of what it used to be. It has been so slow he has seen a few $300 paychecks (that's for two weeks) and when he started, he was promised $60,000 a year and a nice golden egg to look forward to. He is just barely holding on, hoping that things will pick up.
  6. Troll Slayer

    Troll Slayer Bobtail Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    Quad Cities
    Pete who do you work for?I dont know about you but I made a KILLING jumping to the railroad and that was when I was a bottom of the board brakie!Paid my dues and finally after three years of being a conductor,brakman and hostler I get the bid in for engine service. Had to go to Colorado to do it but I learned from old head C&S guys and Rock Island guys. came back to Illinois and got picke up by the IC&E. I am the last engineer hired by the IC&E.Kinda cool. Then CP bought us and said hold the phone lay everyone off! So back driving I go.

    Avoid IAIS liek the plauge my friend. I have 5 years railroading and a certification from BNSF as an engineer. They hired a FREAKING NOBODY off the street and never considered me or another guy who had 15 years.Rumor is a few other guys who were laid off aplied as well and all were turned away. Except for people with NO experience. Weird. I thought about going to PHL but thankfully I got hooked up with a local company that I know the owner of. Whew!

    On to the train. If it is a Z and its a high priority ( Zs run the gamut from a Z1 to a Z9 Z8's and 9's are UPS get it there at this time or its free trains)We can get a train on BNSF rom Richmond Ca to Willow Springs in Chicago in about 3 days.The Denver Z leaves Denver in the am and is there next day. The arrival time for a Denver Z is 9 to 10 am. However seeings its a BN train ( off the old BN lines) Santa Fe guys treat it like a red headed stepchild.

    As for fuel sucked down GE claims a Dash 9 in run 8 is getting 200 gallons an hour ( give or take the old U33's sucked in 198 an hour in run 8)Before I left BN we were handed out notices that said anything but a Z8 and 9 you had to run at 50 mph and nothing over run 5 except to maintain speed.

    Hopefully IC&E calls me back cause as my sig says i would much rather work for the railroad than have a job anywhere else. I was bringing 210 a trip on the road and 190 in the yard and local service.That was shortline pay. As a "fireman" ( C&S rules state a student engineer on C&S lines will be paid the firemans rate not a student engineer rate which is a flat 140 a trip ) I was bringing about 1500 per half. That was higher than what I was making as a hostler.My engineer in Co could bring in 4000 a half cause we were short pool and gotta love old school contracts,we could claim a ton of stuff.
    rookietrucker Thanks this.
  7. otherhalftw

    otherhalftw Insignificant Otter

    Nov 18, 2008
    CA...gold discovery foothills
    As I was pretripping in our Sacramento yard, (the old army depot) yesterday, (Sunday), I watched and counted a BNSF train go by heading north..had 85 Swift trailers, 27 JB's, and 29 Schneiders, along with over 30 containers. I looked at that and thought to myself that the Swifties are only getting 1500-1800 miles each week, don't know about JB or Pumpkins, but can't be much better.

    The rates the railroad is offering the trucking companies I have heard is outrageously low so from a business side it is understandable why the trucking outfits go by rail..but it doesn't say much for the care and need for the drivers watching the companies make a profit, and the drivers going in the poor house!
  8. Brickman

    Brickman Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 17, 2006

    What I'm doing is a game of averages. I've had times where I felt like a HO. :D

    $200 to me for 38 mins of work
    $1500 to me for 6 hrs of work. (both were bid jobs)

    Then this past friday I had a day where I drove nearly 400 miles and didn't gross $200 for the day. Thankfully the $1500 dollar job was this week as well so it all averaged out.

    We have to worry about shyster MFS companies that are just like trucking brokers. Take all the money off the top and offer peanuts to you. And then do their dead level best to screw you out of every penny of that too.
    I'm looking at $5000 for two months of work that I don't expect to see.
    Another bad thing about this yob is that it pays just like trucking. 30 to 60 days out.
  9. Crotts Trucking

    Crotts Trucking Medium Load Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    Duncan, AZ
    These are in effect now...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadrailer

    I saw one of these trains a few years back at a rail yard, they hook to the front of the trailer and the back, with the train wheels seperating them, kinda funky looking....
  10. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Ask my GPS...
    If the RRs are talking ton-miles/gallon - then yeah, they can move a zillion tons of freight to the moon for next to nothing. If they count it like we do on the trucking side, then they're fuel economy really blows!

    RRs have been hauling truck trailers forever, and the RRs have been working to limit the ability of trucking companies to haul freight since trucks started hauling freight. Public Citizen - a liberal pressure group - that constantly sues the federal government to restrict our hours-of-service rules - has a major source of funding in the railroads.

    So along comes the economic meltdown, and the RRs have been using that (massively undercutting freight rates) and the environment (we don't need no stinkin' fuel to haul trucks!) to try to eat a good portion of the long haul trucking businesses' lunch. Thats one of the reasons why freight rates (especially dry van) suck right now.

    Best advice - if you are trying to get into trucking, work for a reefer or flatbed outfit.
  11. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    A team driven truck can do coast to coast in 42 hours easily. Trains can do it in 4 days. Trucking companies with long delivery times will use the rails to save money. A lot of those trailers are loaded with produce. They ship box cars loaded with lettuce to the east coast. 53' trailers on rail have been going on for years.
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