TransAm, Olathe KS - Looking Back

Discussion in 'Discuss Your Favorite Trucking Company Here' started by Hick, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Hick

    Hick Heavy Load Member

    928
    1,623
    Dec 4, 2014
    West Virginia
    0
    I just wrapped up my employment with TransAm, so I thought I would give everyone a rundown of my experience. I was there from 8/15 until 2/17. I was mainly under 2 DMs - Wendy for my 1st 10 weeks of 'warmup', and then Calico - with a few others for night/weekend and when Calico was off.

    I drove a couple of KW T700 and had some problems at the start with breakdowns. I finally got a good truck and did not have much trouble after that, even after switching to the T680. The trucks are loaded... DirectTV with free HBO + sports channels, decent sized fridge, Tripack APUs, power windows on both sides in the 680s, in-cab 5th wheel release and air dump, ~490 HP or so... nice trucks. I came to hate the automatic transmissions for my own reasons, but other than that the trucks are spec'd out great. The 62 MPH governor for company drivers is a bit of a pain.

    The DriveCam I despise with a passion. It is like having a DMV examiner in the cab 24/7 who only sees your screw-ups. Come up on a light changing to yellow that you COULD stop for and you have 2 choices: stop and become a movie star for 12 seconds (and expect that phone call later) or hammer down and get under it before it turns red. It changes your driving and I can't say that it makes you any safer. But it is a personal thing also, I guess.

    On to the money side of things. Remember that TransAm is a starter company with lenient hiring criteria. Starting pay is low for a reefer company at around $0.31/mile. But from 1/1/16 to 12/31/16, I earned $32.5k there, and that was my 1st full year in trucking. That makes my average for 52 weeks (including all of my hometime) come out to $625/week. Take that as you want.

    Most loads are meat and come pre-loaded, although you might need to wait for the trailer to get loaded. They do have line 5 if you are bobtail, so the downtime is well spent stocking up at a close Walmart or whatever. The live loads that I did were mostly quick. I can't remember a time where I sat longer than 3 hours to get loaded. The unloads weren't altogether bad either except for the normal culprits (looking at you, Hunts Point).

    And speaking of Hunts Point... as a company driver, you WILL be going there. It's just a matter of when. You'll also get to tour Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Birmingham, Miami, etc etc. Use this time to learn how to drive the truck and do not constantly whine about these runs. I've shat bricks and pizzed motar enough times to build Trump's wall, but I am glad I did those runs. Bumping around in 5 lanes of city traffic doesn't faze me much anymore. Besides, if you are on your way to, say, Chicago, then the odds of a swap drop drastically.

    The swaps can be a serious headache after a while... after your 5th or 6th back-to-back swaps, it is a pain to get another one on a run you could have worked on a few days and took it easy for a while. Loads get swapped for a lot of reasons and you never get told why you are swapping. Loads that are going to be late are prime candidates, but if another driver has a lot of time and a fresh clock on a load, they might want swapped. Or drivers needing hometime or another day of it. Or lease guys who want to pick a load, run some miles off it but do not want to go into the delivery area. And there's a lot more but you get the idea. These can be the single biggest PITA or they can be fine and dandy... it is going to depend on your luck and attitude at the time. They are something that you'll just have to live with.

    All in all, TransAm is a good company. I did have probably the best DM in the place, so that helped A LOT! She took care of me when I needed it, and I tried to make her life easier when I could. She has my respect 110%.

    So if you're just starting out and can resist the urge to be the boss, you might want (or need) to give them a call. That's my 2 pennies.
     
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. Pintlehook

    Pintlehook Road Train Member

    1,244
    1,922
    May 2, 2013
    0
    Informative, well written, and honest review. Good job.
     
    Lonesome and inandoutoftrouble Thank this.
  4. inandoutoftrouble

    inandoutoftrouble Road Train Member

    4,030
    3,666
    Sep 20, 2012
    0
    Was there actually anything wrong with the automatic transmissions, electronically or mechanically? How well did they function overall, electronically and mechanically?

    God bless every American and their families! God bless the U.S.A.!
     
    Hick Thanks this.
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    56,045
    104,602
    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    0
  6. Hick

    Hick Heavy Load Member

    928
    1,623
    Dec 4, 2014
    West Virginia
    0
    They functioned well overall. The thing is, though, that I never personally put even 200k miles on a single transmission... you are never in a truck that long. I did have one that stopped shifting on me at 6th gear, but the driver that had it before me may have been really rough on it.

    But these auto trans are like most things in the larger fleets. They do not keep 1,000,000-mile trucks, they just run them until the warranty or lease is up and then they are gone. I do not think an auto trans would be something I would want on a truck if I were to buy one strictly from a mechanical standpoint. That's just my opinion.
     
  7. Koltrucker

    Koltrucker Light Load Member

    68
    46
    Jul 13, 2016
    0
    Some people make it work. Great post.
     
    Hick Thanks this.
  8. Broke Down 69

    Broke Down 69 Road Train Member

    2,733
    9,769
    Jul 3, 2016
    Concord NC
    0
  9. LuDiesel

    LuDiesel Bobtail Member

    12
    6
    Aug 6, 2015
    Orlando, FL
    0
    Calico is great. I had her for a DM as well.
     
    inandoutoftrouble and Hick Thank this.
  10. inandoutoftrouble

    inandoutoftrouble Road Train Member

    4,030
    3,666
    Sep 20, 2012
    0
    At my job, where I work as a retail clerk, there are cameras, all over the store, continuously watching me and my co-workers, from the time one punches in the time clock, to the time one clocks out.
    It does take some getting used to, even after all these years at the same job location.

    God bless every American and their families! God bless the U.S.A.!
     
    Hick and Pintlehook Thank this.
  11. inandoutoftrouble

    inandoutoftrouble Road Train Member

    4,030
    3,666
    Sep 20, 2012
    0
    $625 a week at 31 cents a mile comes out to approximately 2016 miles a week.

    God bless every American and their families! God bless the U.S.A.!
     
    Hick Thanks this.
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted