Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why Maverick?

Been getting some questions lately about why I chose to go to Maverick, which is generally considered a starter company, as opposed to a better outfit since I have many years of OTR experience. And that their CEO is a former chairman of the ATA, which has proven repeatedly that their goals are to suppress driver wages, benefits, and protections while increasing driver oversight and micro-management. Couple of reasons actually. First and foremost is their training center, which is considered one of the best, and I'd like to learn proper securement techniques. Most flatbed companies I approached wanted me to ride with a trainer for anywhere from 3-8 weeks even though I have eight years over the road experience. Sorry, but I'm not a noob and do not need that kind of hand holding or training. Second was money. The mileage pay I am going to get starting out is the same as I'm currently making, if not a bit more. They are also going to pay me very well for orientation and training, $1000 a week. Nearly every other company wanted to start me out .05-.06 less per mile and only pay me $300-$500 per week to train. One actually told me I'd get $300 per week period for six weeks then get my own truck, I think not. Additionally, I know quite a few drivers at Maverick and all seem happy. Sure they are a starter company, but then again nearly every company is to some extent. I'll get my training and hang out and do my job like I'm supposed to. If Maverick turns out to be a horrible place to work, then I'll go someplace else. That simple and I will get valuable experience. Worse comes to worse, I can buy my own truck and go back to being an O/O again. I have good credit and did well last time. No reason I can't do that again. It's a job, and I need those skills, good a place as any.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wow, been a while huh?

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.