Saturday, April 23, 2016
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Hanging out in Gary blows, the town just seems dead and rundown.
Picked up a single coil at Chicago Steel and am going through run that down to Huger, SC because they could not find a Texas load for me. Hopefully, I can get some lumber or something headed back west so I can get home for next weekend, cause this one is bust.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Unfortunately there are no available trucks in Little Rock, so I have to go to Gary, Indiana to pick mine up. Luckily for mr they are renting me a car to get there instead of subjecting me to a hideous ride on a Greyhound.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
After lunch we tested out and I passed with a 100% test score. So securement is now finished, we do tarring tomorrow.
Should be only two days left then I will get my truck and get back in the road.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Most of the day was taken up with miscellaneous load types including lumber, marble, containers, sheet steel and slinkys.
We also took some evaluations as well as some site specific safety videos.
We start our final evaluations tomorrow.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Very nice to get done early for once.
Today was taken up with cargo length based securement such as, shiny and grey bar, linear steel and mixed loads.
They also roped us into setting up the orientation DOT physicals area and stuff like that for tomorrow.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
After breakfast we returned to the classroom and covered pre/post trip inspections as well as routine load checks. Then spent a while on using the Omnitracs system, which I have never used. We covered macros and other options including the CoPilot navigation system and HOS logging. Finishing up with load tracking procedures.
After lunch we got speeches from safety, recruiting and information on the 'Pay for Performance' bonus system.
We then ended the day with a talk from the COO about Maverick's history and philosophy, and what's in store for the future.
Monday, April 4, 2016
In brief we skipped breakfast and did our DOT and hair follicle drug screens, as well as the physicals. Out of 31 people only seven were selected to be tested for sleep apnea. One refused and went home. Three were cut for medical reasons, most likely blood pressure.
The agility testing was next, and that was hard at times but wasn't that bad. Few folks got cut from there because they could not lift the weights.
We started with a total of 31 on Sunday, and lost I think a total of seven so far. Out of the eight experienced drivers in my separate class, five are left.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
But basically we has a catered breakfast and lunch. Did a ton of paperwork on the computer including our personal info, w2, direct deposits and more.
Also watched about 20 videos and took test on them. We also did the mpg simulator (I got 7.71mpg) as well as took our pictures for our id's.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
When I arrived I got a packet with my temporary ID card, information on benefits, sleep apnea , and a log book homework packet to do for Monday.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Friday, March 25, 2016
Well things are hopefully going to be changing around here. I'm going back over the road very soon, no more easy tons of home time local work.
To give you a taste of what has been going on the last few years I'll tell you a short story of it all.
Back in 2009 after being with Raider Express almost two years, I got stuck in the Northeast (Maine to be exact) for eight days in a blinding snowstorm, then once it was over I was left sitting for three of those days with no load, and no prospect of one. I finally put my foot down and deadheaded out against orders to Pennsylvania.
Once I got down there they finally found me something and headed me down to Georgia, which I told them I wanted to get home to Texas. I relented since I needed the money, but that night I started making phone calls and looking to get another job.
Since I was buying my truck from a third party who was not happy with Raider Express anyways, they agreed that I could take my truck to another company and gave me a list of about a dozen they had agreements with.
After much searching and such I found a semi-local O/O position with Greatwide Dedicated Transport out of the Walmart DC in Terrell, Texas. It was more money, regional only and well, working for Walmart in a refrigerated only DC.
I got approval from Greatwide and started begging to get back home since I had been gone nearly six weeks. They got me back and I bobtailed my truck out to Terrell to get it inspected and approved. Once that was done I ripped out the Qualcomm, pealed the labels off and turned it all and my plates into Raider Express. They were not very happy, but not much they could do as I didn't owe them any money, they owed me and cut me a check as I walked out the door.
Well, my time with Greatwide and Walmart was well documented for a while till Greatwide and Walmart asked me to stop blogging on them in 2012, so I did. I deleted just about all the blog posts regarding them, and all of my YouTube videos.
In 2014 I rolled my truck over 1.4 million miles and was having more and more trouble with maintenance issues, so I decided to sell it and become a company driver with them. However, just as I was making my decision Cardinal Logistics Management bought out the dedicated divisions of Greatwide so we all changed over to Cardinal company drivers. That was ok, but then Cardinal gave Walmart an ultimatum on needing more money, and Walmart said no, so U.S. Express took over the account.
I was never interested in going to work for U.S. Express, so Cardinal found me a serious local position at their Schwan's account in Richardson, Texas. Awesome pay, home every night and only working three days a week. I could work more if I covered other loads when guys were out if I wanted and all was great. Decent money, home A LOT and excellent benefits.
Though you know how it is, good stuff is destined to never last.
Two months ago we found out that the contract was up for renewal and another company had beat out Cardinal. And of course it all boiled down to money. Cardinal wanted to give us a 12% raise, Schwan's didn't want to pony up for it even though we had a 99.8% perfect delivery history. Only time we had issues was when the warehouse screwed stuff up. No load was ever missed, and the drivers always went beyond doing extra things and work if Schwan's asked.
So, Schneider got the contract and was kind enough to offer us positions on the account with them because Schwan's wanted to keep the drivers if they could. But unfortunately for a few of us it wasn't meant to be. They hemmed and hawed on how things would work and in the end the benefits were much worse and they wanted me to take nearly a 15% pay cut and work more.
So I started to hunt around and find something worth doing. And I finally settled on getting some flatbed experience because it is my intention to move up to Alaska in a few years, and a majority of the freight up there is flatbed stuff. After getting all my stuff settled, going though the background checks and all that I've been accepted by Maverick Transportation out of Little Rock, Arkansas.
I start my orientation on the third of April, and it is my intention to blog about that and much more since I'll be somewhat over the road as I will be in their Southwest Regional fleet.
So here is to going forward ... hopefully you'll join me again for the ride.