I couldn't find a section that was more fitting to this thread, so apologies in advance if it's not where it belongs...
At three years into my career, I have had an interesting ride, as some have seen through a post or two about one company or another I have worked for. Some say a lot of having a successful career in this industry is finding the right company that is the best fit for you. Alas, when I think I have found that, the game changes and I find myself looking elsewhere. For instance, when a good company I found was bought out, the managing company brought their people in and proceeded to screw things up six ways from Sunday, and I was actually fired for seeking medical attention while my truck was supposed to be in the shop.
I can honestly say it does take some time for any new driver to figure out what they want, and what they don't want. What do I want? What anyone else wants... Good job, good pay, good miles, and good home time, which is all difficult to balance, as you cannot make money going home for four days every other week. Benefits are always a plus. I am willing to compromise a bit for the right job.
My favorite parts of the country are the Southwest (with the noted exception of California) and I have a good amount of experience running the MidWest (IA, WI, MN, MO, IL, IN). There are parts of the Northwest I don't mind running, MT, UT, WA, for instance. However, at 41, I'm no spring chicken and I'm getting a little tired of playing in the snow, so I would prefer southern routes. Nor am I inclined to hoof freight. Twenty years ago, I wouldn't have minded.
After three years, I also now can say with conviction what I don't want... After six months running reefer, never again. Too many excuses about too much unpaid detention. I can also say there is less than a 1% chance I would run team again (woke up to catch a co-driver drinking in the driver's seat with the key in the switch)
I'm not interested in auto-shift transmissions, driver-facing cameras, OnGuard, or any of this other nanny BS so many companies seem to be going to, all of which limits my options if I intend to continue my career. I don't mind e-logs, however, as that is how I was trained and have learned to work within their limitations.
Now here's the kicker. My situation is especially ticklish because I have an extreme allergy to secondhand cigarette smoke, which as anyone knows, is nearly impossible to avoid at truck stops, shippers and receivers. And it's not just the smoke, it's the fumes that linger long after the smoke has disappeared. I had to leave my last job so that I could come home to recover from severe bronchitis, which took several weeks (I require antibiotics that are difficult to get if I'm away from my home state).
So what to do? I hate to piss away all the hard work I did to get my CDL and have kept my commercial record clean, although the South Dakota Highway Patrol decided to give me a nice parting gift in a well-known (well, not to me) speed trap around Sioux City, SD (not in a commercial vehicle). I currently have no endorsements, though I am TSA-cleared to get HazMat and I currently hold a P-endorsement instruction permit, though I have not yet sought training for it.
So, basically, I'm looking for...
1) Dry-van, no-touch freight (preferably drop-and-hook)
2) No "big-brother" technology
3) Manual transmission
4) Prefer southern routes, not interested in Northeast, especially NYC.
5) Prefer trucks other than ProStar/Volvo
Does anyone know of a solo-run dry-van company with 100% drop-and-hook, that actually trusts you to do your job, doesn't have cameras and radar boxes second-guessing your every move, doesn't force an auto-shift Volvo with an electronic backseat driver down your throat, and doesn't mind one blemish on an otherwise clean record? I know this is a lot to ask for, but I try to do my job safely and legally.
Perhaps I would be better off in a lease-purchase program where I can book my own loads? I hate to think that I made a bad choice in getting my CDL. Any helpful advice would be welcome here. I'm just not sure where to go from here.
Where To Go From Here?...
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The only way you'll get all your wants is to buy your own truck and pull containers/intermodal.
Otherwise, make some compromises:
Danny Herman Trucking - no northeast - dry van
Beacon Transport - no northeast - dry van
Dartco - dry van company with lease purchase program
KMC Eagle - dry van based in Tucson
Titan Transfer - dry van
Contract Freighters - dry van - www.cfidrive.com
West Side Transport - dry van
Driver-facing cameras is something I despise as much as you. Maybe more. Fortunately, there are some outfits that don't have them.
Automatic transmissions are the future for most company drivers (heavy-haulers and tow-truck drivers will be the exception). You can work for a mom&pop or buy your own rig and have a manual.
Driving line haul for LTL outfits such as Old Dominion might be worth a look as their trucks have manual (so far) and no cameras.
And if you do get hired, you'll start out on the extra board, which means they'll send you where the freight needs to go. Alot of it depends on the terminal you work out of.Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
Buy a playstation and a trucking simulation game.
Never leave your house.
Collect unemployment for your "condition".
OR... Man up and get a gig that pays the bills and gets you home enough that you don't get divorced and your kids remember your name.
Drink a six pack and listen to the rolling stones, ' you can't always get what you want'....i mean really listen.
Good luck driver!
Maybe if you knew what it was like to have to avoid an invisible cloud of toxic fumes everywhere you went, that could give you a bronchial infection at any given time, you wouldn't be so flippant. If only it were legal for non-smokers to unload on smokers with fire extinguishers.
So, in closing, don't judge me. Seriously, not cool. If you have nothing useful to add, then don't bother... NEXT!Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
If the condition is that severe, look into line haul.
You will have to get doubles/triples, tankers, and hazmat. Even though it's dry van, you haul liquid containers which is why you need tankers endorsement.
Almost all drop/hook.
Docks are smoke free areas.
Most large terminals have their own fuel pumps, so you minimize time spent at typical truck stops.
The ones who offered me jobs such as Saia and, more recently, Old Dominion have a strict non-smoker policy for all their drivers. So even when you slip seat (and you will have to slip seat), you should, in theory, get a truck without cigarette residue.
And you either do an out and back in a shift or they put you up in a motel or hotel to take your 10.
Fair warning: some LTLs like Saia are implementing driver-facing cameras.Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
i have not had a cigarette for 16 years
still smells good to me
so,the cigarette makes you sick from 150 feet away
you must be exaggerating or have a severe problem in your head
you cant function in society
many snowflakes want to be dictators and control peoples lives even at great distances
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