US Xpress 3 month review - trucking is not for everybody!

Discussion in 'US Xpress' started by Hometime, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Hometime

    Hometime Light Load Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    The purpose of this post is twofold. First I know there are a lot of students, wannabees and newbies out there scouring the pages of this forum attempting to learn what they can about the various companies and hoping to find information from current drivers. And second there are a lot of students, wannabees and newbies out there planning to make this major change in not only their career but also their personal life and they are uncertain about whether this is the right job for them. So if you can bear with me hear, I want to offer some insight into both the company and the job.

    First, the main question my hubby and I both get asked over and over is why did you change to a truck driving job at 47 years of age? Well the answer to that is very simple…..economics, meaning the savings were running out and we had bills to pay.

    After 22 years in the same line of work my hubby got the shocking news last December that he was losing his job along with about 300 other people. Over the next six months we got the second dose of shocking news having to learn that mid forties is OLD in much of the workforce. So me being me did what I always do and set out to do some research. I jumped on the net and searched for careers with the highest shortage of workers. Number one was nursing. :biggrin_25512: Ok so that wasn’t happening. Number two was professional truck driving. Now we were getting somewhere.

    I discussed it with my hubby and him being him liked the idea. There was a driving school within thirty minutes of our house. He called them up, said they were extremely nice and helfpul and gave him all the wonderful details. And so off he went to get himself a CDL. Now at this point it is important for me to say that during that time I had never been on this forum or any trucking forum for that matter. We didn’t know about companies that paid for training and we didn’t know squat about trucking in general. We had never heard the term “bottom feeder” nor did we know enough to know that there might be such a thing.

    So how did he end up choosing US Xpress? Very simple. Recruiters from three or four companies came to the school. He brought home all the glossy brochures and shiny handouts and we spread them out all over the kitchen table to sort out who paid more, who had the better looking benefit package, life insurance, disability etc., … different than we have always done for any job he was offered. And out of this group of companies (all unknown to us as bottom feeders) US Xpress looked to have the best to offer. So he made his choice.

    But before I go into the details of the last three months with US Xpress, I have to take a moment to give you a little insight into my personality and into his personality because that is where we get into the “Trucking is not everybody part” of this post.

    Me – I’m anal with a capital A. I cross T’s and dot I’s. I’m usually described as a mover and a shaker. I make things happen. I’m organized to the hilt, the sticky note queen and have list to go with my other list. I can’t be late even when I try. LOL I can’t tolerate disorganization and don’t understand people who do. My glass if usually half empty simply because there is always more to accomplish. And to me….time is money.

    Hubby – He is the most laid back, easy going, never met a stranger type of guy in the world. He would give you the shirt off his back, doesn’t get in a hurry for much of anything but somehow always manages to be on time. Stress is not in his vocabulary and he will never die from it. Whatever you can’t solve today you’ll figure out tomorrow. Life is an adventure. The world is his oyster. And his glass is always half full and sometimes completely full simply because he is alive.

    So off he went to orientation at US Xpress. It lasted two and a half days during which they fed him lunch and put him up in a hotel. I’ve read post on here saying negative things about the food and the accommodations but to him the food was hot and free and the bed was clean and comfortable.

    By Wednesday of that same week he was home again waiting on a trainer. Two weeks later he was STILL waiting on a trainer.
    Me – :biggrin_25516:
    Him – Relax honey it just gives me time to finish up all the things around here I need to get done for you before I am gone. :biggrin_25525:

    Finally gets a call to hook up with a trainer and takes a nine hour bus ride in the middle of the night two states away to hook up with the guy.
    Me – NINE HOURS!!! :biggrin_25516:
    Him – WHOO HOO! I’m on my way. :biggrin_255:

    Gets the trainer from HELL. You can read my “tolerating trainers” thread for more details on that.
    Me- :biggrin_25516:
    Him – Baby it was tough but I’m tougher. I figure once I dealt with that I can take whatever they throw my way. :biggrin_25522:

    Finally gets off the truck from the trainer at the Oklahoma City Terminal to do his upgrade. Stays there two and half days during which they put him in a hotel.
    Me – I’m still :biggrin_25516:over the trainer
    Him – Baby I’m in a hotel room all by myself with a shower, a microwave and a fridge. LIFE IS GOOD!:biggrin_25514:

    After day three he takes another eight hour bus ride to recover an abandoned truck.
    Me – EIGHT HOURS!!! Don't they have any freaking trucks on that lot?? :biggrin_25516:
    Him – WHOO HOO baby I’m getting my own ride. :blob:

    Gets there after dark in the middle of night in the middle of nowhere and has to take a cab from the bus stop that he has to pay for to find this abandoned truck at a truck stop.
    Me – :biggrin_25516:
    Him – SWEEEEEET! It’s all mine!!!! :love10:

    Next morning in the light of day he discovers truck has been wrecked, passenger side fender completely smashed, headlight busted. Not so sweet, but drivable enough to get to a terminal. Or so I thought until I got the news they had him pick up a load to take to the terminal in the truck with the busted fender and broken headlight.

    Me – They're gonna make you run a load like that?? :biggrin_25516:
    Him – WHOO HOO baby got my first load.:smt049

    He gets his first load delivered and then gets the news that he can bob tail home in the truck with the broken light and the busted fender.

    Me- Why don’t they let you take the truck and leave it at a terminal to be fixed while you're home? :scratch:
    Him – I’ve been gone five weeks and I’m coming home to see my baby! Can get the truck fixed later. :love4:

    Comes off home time and you guessed it, he sits at a terminal for three days while they fix the broken truck.

    Me – :biggrin_25516:
    Him – WHOO HOO Baby she’s looking SWEEEEET! :blob:

    And since then he’s been off and running. He averages about 2500 miles per week. His pay so far has always been right. He has seen Texas stadium, been over the George Washington Bridge, figured out what a lot lizard is and has eaten things you couldn’t pay me to put in my mouth. He loves his FM, thinks free showers at the Pilot ROCK and gets home whenever he has asked to. In his words, “the coolest job I’ve ever had!” To this day I’ve never told him I discovered he is working for a “bottom feeder” and that after a year or so he can go elsewhere if he wants. I just wait for his call and listen to the adventure of the day. :biggrin_25525:

    So short story made long…..LOL….the moral here is that before you worry about what company you are going to go with you better figure out who you are. Are you me? Or are you him? Because the truth is this job is not for everybody. If you’re a ME the company probably won’t matter because you will want to kill them all. LOL!

    And If you’re him. Get out there and enjoy the ride!
  2. alabama grappler

    alabama grappler Bobtail Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Decatur, AL
    LMAO... sorry, I know you are being serious and all. MOST trucking companies are the same just have a different name.

    That is why I only use the QUAL COM to discuss stuff with the dispatcher, NEVER CALL. I might be laid back, out going, money maker, loose leaf driver but if I can't do it safely I support it legally on the qual com. That CYOA..... "Covers Your Own #####".
    spunkymonkey Thanks this.
  3. slingblade07

    slingblade07 Light Load Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Commerce, GA
    Thanks for the post, and makes me feel better about going on the road. I am just like your hubby. I never get stressed or worked up and just go with the flow. The way I look at it, things are going to happen that I cant control, and will deal with it when it comes the best I can and thats all I can do. Hope it works out as well for me as it has him.
  4. alabama grappler

    alabama grappler Bobtail Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Decatur, AL

    You have a good attitude, good luck. You will find that there are things that you can control and different ways of dealing with things too. I grew up in a trucking family, so I knew alot about the business before getting into it.

    FLATBED Road Train Member

    Like the way you animated it , made good reading.

    Glad he likes it so far and good luck with the future adventures.
    Hometime Thanks this.
  6. sudsnbud

    sudsnbud Bobtail Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Warren Mi
    Are you my wife? you sound like her.. but I haven't started yet
  7. badsey

    badsey Medium Load Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    Green Bay, WI
    with your husband now gone for most of the time and your controlling ways you are headed for a nervous breakdown = go trucking with him sometime and enjoy this country.

    Trucking is difficult to start out in --> takes about a year.

    USExpress is ok. ->we all start at the bottom.
  8. win/win

    win/win Bobtail Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    St.Clair Shores, Mi.
    Great Story. Reminded of the old Blondie and Dagwood movies.
    Wish you well.
    Hometime Thanks this.
  9. Hometime

    Hometime Light Load Member

    Aug 8, 2008

    Me a nervous breakdown? That wouldn't fit into my schedule! LOL. :biggrin_255: My intent was to be comical in the fact that the differences in personalities can make a difference in whether or not this paritcular career choice is right for everyone. I admire the fact that my hubby is who he is and can roll with the flow.

    He has no complaints about his time so far with US Xpress and most likely would have no complaints no matter who the company was. I suspect his experiences would have sent some running in the other direction. But long as he is happy I am happy. And I wouldn't change a thing about him!
    Beedubyah Thanks this.
  10. keb1209

    keb1209 Light Load Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Decatur, GA
    Great post, good way to put things into different perspectives.
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