Subject : Your blog
To : firstname.lastname@example.org
Thu, Aug 29, 2013 04:19 PM
I read your blog and agree with all of it.
The one point that caught my eye is how even local jobs have it out for you. I made the most money ever in my life delivering produce to NYC/NJ/PA (I live in NJ) but the hours? Fogettaboutit. There wasn't a single week I put in less than 62. I had Sunday and one weekday off a week. They had us leaving the docks at 3:30AM and there was never a time you were back earlier than 4PM.
My first day was 16 hours. The local guys get away with adding 2 hours to the 14 through some DOT rule. Most runs were in NYC. All were at least 7 stops a run. The good news is the trucks used 49(?)ft trailers and daycabs so those turns in Queens weren't so bad. But the hours and stress of NYC traffic along with constantly having to rush so you could get home was unreal.
And I never even quit. Someone in Brooklyn called the company and told them I nailed a parked car while making a LEFT turn. I know that never happened. But they fired me anyway with no proof. No ticket. Nothing! Its been over a year and a half now.
I did long haul too!
You know, I had to do the whole training thing. The funny thing is you are right about your other point as well. I was driving 11 hours a day as a trainee and yet, I was not paid as much as my trainer. Why? Because the companies use the leasers and OO's by paying them to train. Notice how they just don't come out and say you're teaming? Yeah, because technically you're training so you're getting paid that way, fair or not. At least my trainer was cool.
Last time I drove a rig was less than a year ago. It was a regional job that got me back on weekends so at least I saw my kid.
But the equipment was terrible. Started in June with no AC. The shop fixed it SIX times and when it went out the seventh in August, I told them I needed another truck.
So they stick me in a nice Pete. Only issue was - even when empty - I couldn't get past sixth on any kind of incline. I'm telling you, EVERYTHING passed me. So when I was loaded and doing MA runs, it was a nightmare. It would take a full clock to get from south Maine to NJ (without traffic) because the truck couldn't pull anything, never mind 44,000 lbs of water from Poland Springs.
The responsibilities of the driver alone make it not even worth a second thought. Everything is on you. Even when companies provide drivers with garbage to drive, its up to you to notice it on a pre trip. Dispatch doesn't care either. I can't tell you how many times I felt like taking that Qualcomm and smashing it to pieces.
Like the day I was 60 miles away from seeing home for the first time in 2 months, only to have dispatch run me back north to pick up an empty in Newark. I still got home but you have little time off to begin with.
I guess what I'm really saying is unless you don't care about being home, have no kids or are detached from them, have little desire to be in one place too long and don't mind long hours and truck stops......don't do it.
And ESPECIALLY don't do it in the northeast.
I would whatever necessary so dispatch would start my clock between 2-4 am because I wasn't going to fight for a spot in late afternoon. Ever see a TA or plaza in NJ after 4pm? Its stupid! If they want to put the blame on the driver for everything, then the driver needs to lookout for himself too.
Stay away from trucking!
I got into it thinking it was going to pave my way into something better. I made a mistake. It really isn't worth it. The only way to make money is being an OO and even that is now considered to be futile. Too much time and money into something with no payoff.
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