Starting over with Paschall Truck Lines.

Discussion in 'PTL' started by Fr. Adam, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Fr. Adam

    Fr. Adam Bobtail Member

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    Dec 6, 2012
    Elkhorn, WV
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    No Sleep Apnea test. At this point it is still between you and your Doc. Urine test at orientation first thing. If you have a CDL but no experience I would expect them to put you with a trainer if you went to a school. I have no idea how much trainees are paid. It isn't very much and I would suggest you don't start with any company until you have $1000 at least in the bank. APU's inverters, animals and riders yes. Idling policy is less than 3% in a truck with a working APU. Less than 40% if your APU breaks until they can get you fixed.

    Sorry it took me so long to respond. Hope it helps.

    In Christ,
    Fr. Adam
     
  2. Fr. Adam

    Fr. Adam Bobtail Member

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    Dec 6, 2012
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    Bringing it to a close. As of the 3rd I have more than three months recent. Cool. Have not gotten rich but my bills are paid. I am going home for maybe six days to celebrate a son's birthday and my daughter's graduation from college. My wife started her new job three weeks ago so my time as OTR is coming to a close. I will go out a few more times but will probably hang it up by mid summer.

    In Christ,
    Fr. Adam
     
  3. Bilbirk

    Bilbirk Bobtail Member

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    May 1, 2013
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    Thanks for the info. I am due to start orientation the end of the month after a six year break from driving. They are one of the few that also offered me a refresher instead of starting over from the beginning.
     
  4. eric5712

    eric5712 Bobtail Member

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    May 12, 2013
    Beloit Wi
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    fr Adam ...dont know if you can answer this but I have a preventable accident (dot recordable) on my record. I have also been out of the truck for a year. Have you heard any thing about how strict ptl is about hiring someone with an accident
     
  5. Bilbirk

    Bilbirk Bobtail Member

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    May 1, 2013
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    Best thing to do is call them. Being out of the truck for a year is nothing. I've been out for 6 years and they are going to put me with another guy to do refresher training. Others want me to start completely over.
     
  6. Crassius

    Crassius Light Load Member

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    May 15, 2013
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    Fr. Adam

    Thanks for your useful reports on this company. I find myself needing to go back into trucking after getting out 20 years ago. PTL has my attention because I like their operating area, No Touch freight and APU's. I very well may end up having to go to a "starter" company job to get back in. If I can get insured, I might just buy a truck and run my own authority to avoid the stater company hurdle.... we'll see.

    20 years ago everyone except Schneider idled all the time. Diesel was $1.05, Idle Air would have been laughed out of existence, and APU's where just being introduced. Back then I could never imagine why anyone would drive for Schneider with its no idle policy. It is not humanly possible to sleep in a truck in... say Dallas,Texas... in 100 degree weather and 99% humidity without air conditioning. PTL's APU's are a check in the positive column for me, especially now that all companies seem to have an "idle policy"

    I was also VERY encouraged by your praise for their load planning. If the planning keeps up as good as you have noted, that is going to make your life much easier in ways someone that has never been in a truck, and may be reading this, can't yet realize. Please keep us posted if your early experience with good load planning turns out to be a happy accident. There will always be some weeks better then another, so stay positive and take a longer range view than week by week, even though the pay check is cut once a week.

    As for the trailers.... A lot of the blame for their not being in running condition when you arrive at them falls on your fellow PTL drivers. The drivers, and not the evil company, you ask? Yes the drivers. The trailer most likely was out of DOT compliance when it was parked by the last driver..... he (or she) didn't want to be troubled with getting it fixed, so they just parked it passing off the trouble to the next guy. This happens over and over three or four times, and you end up having 20% of the drivers in the company fixing 100% of the trailers, because the other 80% hooks to and pulls anything that will roll.

    I would document the frequency over a couple of months... so you can prove it isn't a fluke.... and then go to management, advocating some kind of incentive based scheme to drivers that discover and take the time to get a trailer fixed. The broken trailer screws up the carefully planned loads they had for you and takes time away from you turning wheels making money. You should be compensated for that, especially if you document that the company has a problem. I would argue that because drivers are not compensated, the company has drivers that ignore out of compliance trailers because they don't want to take the financial hit of taking care of the problem. The current situation you describe hurts the company in the long run because they won't be able to retain the "good" drivers, while the "bad" drivers rack up DOT tickets with the out of compliance trailers. I would try to make the case that the company pays one way or the other.

    What ever happens, just keep a positive attitude. In a year, two at the most you'll be able to work for any trucking outfit you want. No other starter company is going to be materially better... they will just have a different set of problems. Everything you go through out there is for your wife and kids back home, so I am sure for their sake you can survive the stater company blues for a another 6 to 18 mos. Other doors may open at any time..... they will when they do.

    Keep up the reports, no sugar coating allowed....
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
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  7. Crassius

    Crassius Light Load Member

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    I hope you'll keep us posted of your experiences Bilbirk.... hope PTL works out for you too.
     
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  8. Fr. Adam

    Fr. Adam Bobtail Member

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    Dec 6, 2012
    Elkhorn, WV
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    Folks, it just isn't as bad as some have made it out to be. PTL just isn't the boogey man I heard it was going to be.
     
  9. Deuce-Diesel

    Deuce-Diesel Bobtail Member

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    Mar 14, 2013
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    I wish I could trust what I read on all these forums before pulling the trigger on a company. How do you decide. There is a lot of BS floating around and no way to confirm anything.
     
  10. Fr. Adam

    Fr. Adam Bobtail Member

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    Dec 6, 2012
    Elkhorn, WV
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    Diesel,

    You don't know until you are there. Every driver is different. Some have a higher tolerance than others and some are more mature. Discipline is so important. You have to be willing to have a boss and be a man. Be respectful when you have a problem. All companies have issues I don't like in one area or another. PTL just has fewer that I have seen. I can tolerate PTL. It is still trucking and I hate trucking. My time with PTL has sucked much less that with the companies I have driven for in the past.

    God bless,
    Fr. Adam
     
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