I applied to "lazy spot" in mid '18 for 2nd shift.
Got hired the following week and started on day shift (becuz somehow [I soon enuf learned why] that shift had minor coverage).
Equipment was GARBAGE, much worse than the described Unit when the 2 Owners started their "company". Just minimum "Maintenance" would have helped.
Broken Instrument panel (caved in actually), Broken Lights, Bad Brakes, Floppy or missing Mirrors, Loose 5th wheel, sliding door wouldn't stay open, defroster, ha-ha, no function and that was the BETTER Model.
I lasted 3 days. 3rd day, regional "manager" offered me a company hat and shirt. That was the lynch pin as well the "maintenance will be supplied sometime soon". I'm not waiting on a "sometime". I'm DONE!
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I had applied to Salem Transport in Winston-Salem, NC, and they offered a Switcher Position at a Lexington, NC company. >>lazer spot supplied the broken down switcher units and didn't wanna repair or replace<<
Went for the "interview" to discover that those folks were using Road Tractors (with sleepers) as well Day Cab 10 wheelers to "switch trailers" and EXPECTED at least 8-10 moves per hour.
YES, Hook, roll gear, close doors, move to new drop spot across street which usually required BLIND SIDED BACKING (higher % than Sight Side, Day & Night), then uncouple, etc., 8-12 hours with a 1/2 "lunch".
Thoughts on yard dogs?
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Drove some worn out Switcher Trucks at a Harris-Teeter D.C. in Greensboro, NC.
One Driver "experienced" the fun of a 5th Wheel disassembling itself with a Loaded Reefer.
Wasn't his fault nor was he "written up" for it.
Luckily I had no problems apart from the "Coal like Dust" that consistently showered from the ceiling "insulation" even when no apparent "insulation", the "dust" that accumulated on the floor was "recycled".
Some units had NO A/C, some had NO Defroster, some had NO Heater. When Raining, interior windshield fogged up, windows open or closed.
ALL Switcher Units, even new ones, cycled through the shop for "repairs or upgrades".
The guy I "trained" with suggested "No driving faster than 25 mph as anything can go sideways with these units".
All Lights worked with efficient Tires and Brakes.
Since H-T has mainly Rollup Doors, quite many Outside Carrier Trailers with Barn Doors were docked with Doors closed. Big Deal, pull and re-dock.
Harris-Teeter D.C., Greensboro, NC, has Fuel On Dispatch Yard mainly for Road Trucks.
Switcher Trucks have Tags and Registry for Road Use since there are 2 Yards. Main and Perishable.
Fuel available on Both Yards for Company Vehicles.
CDL-A OR B REQUIRED with Verified Experience To Drive Switcher Trucks.
H-T Road Drivers with no Road Experience start out on Switcher Trucks for 2 Years, then "graduate" to Road Routes, however some "graduated Drivers" are also required to continue Switcher Truck usage when needs arise.EuropeanTrucker Thanks this.
Not necessarily on ones' Driving Record.
Depends upon "severity" of "crash" and whether or not "damage/s" were previous or new.
Also depends upon Company and probably other factors like Driver Experience or lack of, Day or Night, Company Equipment Condition/s, etc.
What really put me OUT of Switcher Trucks was, in '19, Harris-Teeter D.C. changing all the in truck "communication Radios" (not C.B.'S) with a LOUD, ANNOYING Roger Beep.
Only way to eliminate Beep was don't get in a Switcher Truck.
Granted, there are other Companies that use Switcher Trucks (or 6 & 10 wheel Day cabs), but it's not anymore or any more my "Modus Operandi".
Retired before 63.
Class A to C.
CHEERS!!Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
Reason for edit: adding bits.
Option 1: sit on your ### don't touch the inside of the trailer....hide and occasionally get up to switch a trailer.
Drive ...open the door and see the loaders didn't put a ###### pallet under half the load and load it by hand....
I liked option one when I drove local before going to ups after coming off otr.Val_Caldera Thanks this.
I took a Yard Jockey job in Mobile, AL. ( John Fayard driving at Kimberly Clark )
I did this once before up north, so I can at least appreciate no frozen brakes here and no insane winter conditions. There will be days when weird coastal rain storms come in.
I don't really like it, but I don't completely hate it I guess. Mostly because of the old equipment and the yard is in rough shape. However, it's a 3 on 3 off then 4 on 4 off schedule so I'm still here for that home time.
The pay is meh but there is some overtime. When I hired on, it was discussed that Yard Drivers can pickup some extra hours road driving so I'm looking into that. It might turn out to be a local shuttle.
I parked my dog today after 5 years in the dang thing , the mills closing in July and moving the rest of it to the tar heel ,. staying with the same outfit going OTR , and yes 2 days of retraining. i was wrong.
So if you see a guy in a 680 with a confused look on his face going thru the Windy , kicker back to Gator.
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