I just had an experience I will never forget.
If I leave a truck at the dealer for repairs, this being the second shop - after the owner had refused to repair at the first shop...then choose to not stick around for $50/day sitting in a dead truck in a parking lot?
I just picked up my "new? ? six year old truck, half million miles plus....Volvo
Ok. This company has one truck. Mine.
I had never worked for a small company. Always had breakdown service, professional dispatch. So this is new to me.
Long story short. Second day, owner called up randomly to warm me that if the Parked Regen light came on, to NOT DRIVE OVER FIVE MILES before stopping. hmmm...ok
So a couple hours later, the light comes on. I stop. Can not regen. Will not initiate. Call owner, he spends an hour trying various things to no avail. Ends up telling me to just go make delivery, about 1000 mile away up in Massachusetts. Ok.?? hmmm.
During this run, the Parked Regen is flashing, the power is going down. ...
During this run, the Regen goes to full "DERATE ACTIVE MODE", Parked REGEN REQUIRED.
I get up there, Saturday. Sit all weekend, asking what we are going to do. They will not tell me anything. Well, sort of tell me they are trying to find a mobile mechanic. Anyway, Monday they send me to a shop about 30 miles away.
It is 8 faults, a clogged exhaust filter, 38 regens in the computer, and in the end, the owner refuses repairs and demands I take truck on another load to Indianapolis with the dashboard flashing, turning orange now. From yellow soot level.
Did I forget to mention the AC did not work from day one? The owner told me to buy freon and put it in. It had a new compressor! Ok...did that. But still no AC ALL WEEK. This is a one week story.
Now during the calls up to this time, from day one, I had asked them what company policy is regarding downtime pay, motels etc. and was told it is $50/day no motel. And If I leave the truck, they will file an abandoned truck report on my DAC report. Never heard of this report, never in my life ever planned to do that anyway. In fact, I do not believe this story includes an abandonment.
But on the second day, I informed owner that I do not agree to those terms, and we needed to get this truck back asap, but I will attempt to fulfill this load and one back. I had always had at least ten different papers and contract terms at the big companies. Everyone knew what the story was. But I would never hurt an employee, so I assumed this guy was ok, and the lack of red tape was ok....oops?
So numerous emails, texts, all to no avail regarding getting my release from this truck.
I also got in writing that IF I went ahead and drove this dying truck to Indianapolis, that I needed $500 load pay up front, since they owed me for two loads already and it appeared to me money was going to be problem and they had already said many times they intended to use threats of abandonment and no pay as a hook. So they promised to pay me airfare back, plus my load pay on Friday, three days forward. Plus the $500.00 load pay up front for the current load while driving the DERATE ACTIVE VOLVO.
Anyway, needless to say, they refused to give me travel money. I did make the delivery, and actually was able to drive the truck to the dealer in Ft. Wayne. Where I promptly did leave it, as I had promised to do before starting it up in Massachusetts. Now they are withholding my load pay from the previous two loads, and threatening me with reporting to DAC and also telling me I owe them for recovering their truck.
This only tells part of the story, the rest is in extensive texts (they will not communicate by email?) Only use Zelle, no fuel card. But I do use email. And I have pictures of the DERATE ACTIVE in Massachusetts, plus numerous emails clearly stating that I will not sit around for $50/day no motel. I have a recorded telephone call with those exact words from the owner, slyly revealing he actually thought I didn't have my own travel money.
Question: Do I have to drive a truck in DERATE MODE? Is it actually illegal to do that? I felt trapped. I am a loyal responsible person, and I feel used. Something about the entire experience is surreal.
Now, we both live in Texas, and it is a short drive to the office which is actually a home.
So what should I have done? And now I am home, what can I do now to collect my money they owe me?
The owner flew up and got the truck himself without effecting repairs and they are telling me I owe them for that.
I had actually offered in an email to attempt to drive the truck home, with or without a load IF, and ONLY IF they pre paid me $1000.00 see how far it can go? I felt they had no money to repair anyway, and it was going to be thousands. While still taking the IOU to pay me the load pay they already owed me for the first two loads.
As a former deck driver, I offered to let them borrow my saddles and equipment to come get their truck if if did not make it home to Texas.
But they spat upon my offer.
So what to do? I appreciate all input. Be hard on me, in every way. That is the best lessons.
What is abandonment of a truck exactly? How to get the heck out?
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You're screwed. Move on and chalk it up to lessons learned.
And as far as the 'abandoned' thing goes, I sincerely doubt this douchbag knows how to register it.
When you go for your next job, just say you got tired of not being paid properly.
It's not a matter of if you have the ability to drive in derate mode.. you basically can't. You won't have enough power to safely travel highways. These small company owners always want a driver to limp a truck back to its home base regardless of what's going on with it, all in the name of saving money. Those types of repairs are going to cost thousands of dollars, whether it's done on the road or at home. You just ended up working for someone that really don't have a clue. Then he's looking for a mobile mechanic. I thought that was funny. That repair can't be done on the side of the road. That owner would just he donating money to that mechanic. There may be money owed to you, chalk it up to the game and go somewhere else. It's more stress than it's worth.
Its off topic I know from what the OP of this thread is asking, but if employment is at will (assuming it is in the state he is employed in as well), how could you even get abandonment if you decide to quit, or quitting under dispatch? Seems like this would go against the entire at will thing, if an employer tries to force you to continue running for them on either basis mentioned. As for the OP though, like everyone else has said if he only has one truck he probably either isn't set up with DAC, or maybe doesn't even know what DAC is.
You've got a higher tolerance level than me for sure.
After you made delivery that's about the time I'd be implementing my exit strategy from this dude.
Email would read...
Consider this my notice.
Left your truck at receiver.
Never call or email me again.
And then I'd do what I had to for a quick return home.
BTW you will NEVER see any pay they may owe you.
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