USA Truck, Inc. - Van Buren, Ar.?

Discussion in 'Motor Carrier Questions - The Inside Scoop' started by mykel58, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. lookingup

    lookingup Medium Load Member

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    Dec 3, 2006
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    from what ive heard sounds like the trucking industry is problamatic in alot of ways...so how much is is he getting by with at USA?
     
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  3. shannon27sc

    shannon27sc Bobtail Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
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    nothing..he has 4 days bedore he gets home again...he going to work for crete...:happy3:
     
  4. boaterer

    boaterer Bobtail Member

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    Nov 9, 2006
    Batavia, Ohio
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    Hi All,

    I mentioned I'd post an update...

    I started orientation on the 2nd of Feb. It lasted two and a half days. They had me a trainer with his truck on the first day after that. This trainer does a dedicated run every week and has weekends off, so I am one lucky trainee. This is my first weekend and the trainer dropped me off at a Sam's up the road. My son picked me up and now I'm home for the weekend! Cool! Through the week we've covering stops between S. Carolina and Maine. It's pretty interesting. We did hit upstate NY, but I'm still hearing "No NYC". I don't doubt what you other people have said about NYC, but I've not found anyone at orientation or training that knows anyone doing NYC. I guess time will tell on that one.

    Sounds like my 4 to 6 weeks of training should be complete in 4 weeks, but if anything goes wrong, it could be 5 weeks. The trainer said we could have some minor problem about any time that would cut down my driving hours. Since I'm required to have 175 driving hours for training, a breakdown or something might cost me an extra training week.

    For any of you that have had bad experiences with USA Truck, I'm sorry to hear it! So far, I've asked about a zillion questions of my trainer. He's been with them for about 7 years and he seems to be one happy camper. He's also a pretty intellegent human being, so I value his opinions pretty much of the time. Sounds like there are little glitches now and then on various issues, but all in all, it sounds like USA is a pretty fair company and little glitches are just part of the world we live in. I'm 54 years old, have been in three different career types, and glitches happen in all of them. Sometimes it's very frustrating, but it's surely not limited to trucking.

    shannon27sc,
    Sorry to hear about all the trouble your brother is having! I guess by the time I've finished training and have been OTR for a while, I could be having problems too. I sure hope not :) .

    If anyone reads this and has questions, I'll try to answer them today, but I'll have to leave again tonight for my second week of training.


    Mark
     
  5. panhandlepat

    panhandlepat Road Train Member

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    Jan 12, 2007
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    that's great to hear! hope it keeps going as smoothly as it is.:smt023
     
  6. mArTmAn

    mArTmAn Light Load Member

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    Dec 23, 2006
    Greenville, MS
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    Glad to hear its going good. Did you get any mountain driving when going up to Main? If you did would like to hear about it.

    Good Luck!,

    Marty
     
  7. littlebit

    littlebit Light Load Member

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    May 27, 2006
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    Sounds like things are going ok. As far as NYC those loads are dropped in Jersey city at another trucking company. That is the way I always did it but it has been 18 months since I worked for them.
     
  8. boaterer

    boaterer Bobtail Member

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    Nov 9, 2006
    Batavia, Ohio
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    Thanks for all the kind words people!

    Mountains... Yep... In NC we came back through Cheroke & Gatlinburg. My first time doing Mountains at night for me. It was interesting. We were loaded pretty light, so it wasn't as extreme as it could have been. Mostly, I was passing other trucks going uphill, then they'd pass me a lot going downhill. I didn't want to let her go too fast downhill on the windy turns in the first week. Besides, I get passed a lot cause USA Truck has everything governed to 63 MPH. :smt010

    On the Maine trip, we were on 81 and 80. I'm still not real familiar with where things are, but by the road signs it seemed like we were somewhere near the Pocanos. That whole trip, although a lot longer, seemed less mountainous than the NC trip.

    Over all... great experiences, and great fun! Now don't I sound like a newbie :laughing9: !

    Mark
     
  9. panhandlepat

    panhandlepat Road Train Member

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    not at all, i have seen some of these guys here that have been on the road who can appreciate the scenery and trip in general.
     
  10. mArTmAn

    mArTmAn Light Load Member

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    Dec 23, 2006
    Greenville, MS
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    Dang I can't wait. My instructor was saying that Vermont has alot of mountains. He would go through the local towns and would have to stop at a red light with a steep incline. Sounds scary but I want to make sure I get all the tough assignments like that when I am with my trainer.

    Marty
     
  11. boaterer

    boaterer Bobtail Member

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    Nov 9, 2006
    Batavia, Ohio
    0
    Welp, Week two of training is over. Had a lot happen that was different.

    One of the routes changed, so we did a 5 stop trip to SC on Tuesday. It was a long day (5am till a little past midnight), since some of the stops were a little slow in getting us loaded. I think they'll be better next week when we show up.

    Also, about Tuesday, the ice and rain started up north. We avoided most of it till Thursday by doing trips to the south (just lucky). Monday was a big circle through KY, Tuesday was another circle through SC, Wednesday was a smaller circle through NC, then Thursday & Friday was up to Maine again.

    I was awake and driving through Jerico Mountain and Black Mountain going down to NC (Marty, you might like this). Pretty neat and no real problems, but you turn on the Jake Brake and monitor your speed, braking every few minutes to slow, but not overheat your brakes. Limit is 35 mph, so down to 7th gear, jake brake on, ease on the brakes to 30 mph, then let the engine hold you, gaining speed a little to 35, then keep doing it over and over. It was like 7 to 8 percent grade, we weren't too heavy, so it was good training for a rookie. The trainer slept through the whole thing :smile: . I guess he's somewhat confident in my driving, but none the less, he must have nerves of steel :smile: .

    The Maine trip was different this time. There was a lot of snow and ice up there (mostly in eastern PA), so we had to take a different route. We went around... across KY through W VA, VA, NJ, and then north on 95. Got to do the George Washington Bridge... It was backed up when we got there so we sat in a parking lot of trucks, waiting to get through the toll booths. It was a dead stop for about 45 minutes... then they opened it up... there are about 6 to 10 toll lanes (didn't count). Out of the toll lanes it narrows into 4 driving lanes right away. What a trip!! It seemed like a zillion trucks, in 4 lanes, all going like #### :smile: . The outside lanes were narrow because of the snow, which had been plowed and piled up against some concrete side walls, so those trucks squoze into the middle lanes by about 2 feet. It did slow those north eastern drivers at all!! They were fearless, driving like it was the last day on earth in the Indy 500, mirrors only inches away from each other... It was fun, scarry, and crazy. This went on for quite a few miles before things thinned out a little. You UPS and FEDX drivers are nuts!! :smile: Those guys are dragging doubles, and going like crazy... A ton of o/o huge Peterbuilts and KWs, with a million lights, and me in a seemingly tiny USA International cab pulling a 53 foot trailer, with a governor at 63... Stuck in one of the middle lanes... trucks streeking past on both sides... no way I'm going to changes lanes... I just sat there, trying to stay in the middle of it all. I'm not sure how I got out unscathed, but it was a trip doing it! :smile:

    Coming back from ME, we got to see some of those mountains from a few back roads... 81 was still closed down w/snow, so we had to take 11 down to 80 and then come across PA to OH. 11 takes you through a few little towns, winding through some pretty mountainous area. It was slow... lots of trucks... no real tight bends in the road... I'm sure the towns' people hated it! Coming across 80 in PA there were guite a few trucks turned over in the medians and on the sides. Then had been talking about horrible weather up there all week. We called a couple of the trainer's buddie (also with USA Truck) that were stuck on 80 and in truck stops for as much as 4 days, snowed in. Dispatch was pretty happy we got through even through our p/u in Maine was about an hour late and our delivery back in KY was about 3 hours late.

    All in all... lots of driving hours, lots of new stuff, and we're still alive :iconbiggrin: !
    Drivers, in general, have a lot more of my respect now than they ever did before.

    Company? ... I still don't have any problem with the way they've handled anything. They told us we didn't have to do the Maine trip if we didn't want to. They OKd a minor repair order for a marker light, with a simple phone call. I'm not sure how much that says, but it went well. I get an advance of $160 per week until checks start going to the bank. These have been available on my gas card (Comdata card) each week.
    ... So far, so good!?!? Guess I'm just a newbie, with newbie stuff to say, but it may help some of you a little. The real proof will be after many more weeks and months, but so far all is pretty good.

    I'll be home till tomorrow evening, so if you have anything specific, let me know and I'll be glad to post!

    Mark
     
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