While at the Mid-America Trucking Show, where I had been helping out at Marten Transport’s booth in Nemoville, I got the chance to talk with a lot of drivers, some of whom were very happy and doing great with their present career, others who were not so happy. A thought occurred to me about looking for a new trucking job. Drivers looking to change jobs need to keep some key things in mind.
- Is this a job I want? Do they operate the kind of equipment I want to drive? Do they haul the kind of freight I want? Do they run were I want to run?
- Can I afford to work for them? Cents per mile are meaningless if they can’t get you the miles to turn them into dollars. Are the bonuses reachable and realistic, and how often are they paid out?
- The third and perhaps the most important question: do you have confidence in the people you are going to be dealing with? The first and most important part is the foundation; it has to be solid and true or nothing after that will work right.
When starting a relationship with a new carrier, you want to build it on a foundation of honesty and integrity. Do you trust them to do what they say they are going to do for you in order to build a lasting relationship? If you can answer these few questions in a positive way, then give them real consideration. There are other factors in choosing a carrier, but these are the most important. You need to find out as many details as possible before you jump ship. For me Marten is the best, but it may not be for you. Take your time and look around; there are a lot of trucking companies, and you want to find the one that is right for you.
‘Super Truckers’ Ignore Posted Signs
I was reading the letter on a driver that called super truckers idiots [Letters to the Editor, May 2006 issue]. A super trucker is one who can’t read the posted signs on the road. The most common misread sign is “Slower traffic keep right.” When in a six-lane highway and three lanes are on your side, the slower traffic must keep right. Today’s drivers seem to drive right down the middle of three lanes. Those are super truckers. Those drivers don’t look out both mirrors, because nine out of 10 of them have their trailer in the other lanes, which makes vehicles not want to pass them on either side. Let’s not forget that most of those super truckers can’t even do the posted speed limit.
I’m not sticking up for the tanker because I wasn’t there. But I know it sounds like you’re the super trucker, and he wanted to get by your slower truck.
A super trucker is one who speeds in a parking lot and drives by a driver backing in a parking spot. Those idiots end up driving so fast that people walking in are worried they are going to get run over. One idiot went so fast in the parking lot that he came around the row of trucks and a couple was walking back to their truck. He couldn’t stop in time and killed the lady and hurt the man real bad. Now that super trucker is locked up.
The bottom line is everybody needs to use common sense and read posted signs, and think of safety and be professional out there.
More Hours to Log Wait Time
As far as the hours of service for the trucking industry, I would propose 110 hours in eight days, as well as tell the people at PATT and CRASH where to go and do it quickly. I can remember when PATT and CRASH said they only wanted truckers to work eight hours a day and take mandatory weekends off, and they sounded like they didn’t care whether the trucker was at home or not.
As stated earlier, 110 hours in eight days, 16 hours to get 11 hours of loading and driving done, and you would have a lot more hours to log waiting time at shippers and receivers. As you know, drivers lose money when they log legal and have to sit for hours and hours at receivers.
Orange Park, Fla.
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