Looking to get back into trucking...

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by BlackJack, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    What "Airbrakes" says is true - and that's why it's so important to do your homework on all the companies that say they will hire you. Read all you can on these companies. Talk to as many of their past and present employees to find out all the good and the bad about the companies, their bosses, their equipment, their "turnover rate", their benefits, their pay rates, their reputation, their safety record and everything else you can find out BEFORE you sign on. ASK questions at the job interview. If you feel like you're being played, you probably are.
    If you find a job you are happy with and one that treats you right, there won't be any need to go somewhere else. That's where the "homework" pays off.
     
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  2. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    Also I started a few years before you did and I was 25 when I started. It was a bad time for me too but I stuck it out.
    Ironically I found my current job on Craigslist. It was an unknown small carrier. Mainly a dump truck company with 50 dump trucks and 10 semis. The only 'research' I could do was looking at the condition of their equipment and checking their CSA score. I hired on as a part time driver first. I love the job and have already been here 4 years.
     
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  3. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    henry j you know your stuff when it comes to checking out companies.
    However I did think of one other source that would be good to check out.
    Which would be the DOT for equipment violations & crashes.

    Those 2 issues can be big if a company is even going to be able to keep operating.
     
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  4. henry j

    henry j Banned

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    Sometimes you find "gold" in the most unlikely places. Good for you. Happiness is NOT hating to go to work in the morning.
    I've been in both places.
     
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  5. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    That's exactly what I looked at. I was impressed when I saw that their score was at 0%. It's still at 0% even after 40 inspections. Heck, the only coop I get pulled into is the i75 Ringgold GA coop, but they pull everyone in.
     
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  6. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You got to be careful as a dump truck driver.
    The thing I could never understand was,how does a driver not know their box isn't down & secured before leaving the dump site?
    Why can't they tell by the feel,or by looking in their side mirrors?

     
  7. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are a dump driver,I don't know what this trailer costs,but with just the safety aspect this is the way to go.
    The biggest danger I see with dump trucks is that they have a lot of weight raising up with a hydraulic cylinder.
    So if you are not parked on the level the box could tip over.

     
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  8. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    damn neat trailer.
     
  9. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    On the mine I work at there really isn't a level surface to dump. Plus you have narrow roads with a 300+ foot drop on either side. The roads are so narrow that you have to maintain CB contact with everyone on the mine, cause two vehicles going the opposite direction won't clear each other. No room for error. I've seen 30 year veteran drivers get hired by my employer and then quit within 5 minutes of riding with me. Driving a truck on a mine separates the men from the boys.
     
  11. Apostolic

    Apostolic Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Whoa with a job like that I'd be talking,& thanking Jesus for a safe day every minute I was driving.
     
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  12. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    It's dangerous, but it's fun and pays extremely well. I made a joke with the owner stating that after I become a chaplain I'll offer last rites to the new drivers riding with me. Lol
     
  13. BlackJack

    BlackJack New Member

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    UPDATE:

    Sorry for the late reply, but a LOT has happened since I posted in here. The company that was going to send me back through school was J.B. Hunt. After doing a phone interview with them, testing for a grant (they were worried about me being on drugs, because several vets had tested positive), and passing a drug test, they turned me down. Initially they said it was because of my work history; I was on a leave of absence from Stateville (it's not Statesville as many mispronounce it), and working two other jobs. J.B. Hunt said that Stateville told them I quit, but when I cleared it up by calling Stateville, J.B. Hunt changed their story, said it was because of a motorcycle accident two years prior that wasn’t my fault (no tickets), and stopped taking my calls.

    Instead of getting pissed, I called the folks where I received my grant for a refresher course, and asked was the grant contingent on me getting hired with J.B. Hunt. They said no, the grant was mine, and I went on the hunt to find a refresher course that fit my schedule. No one had a short refresher course, and to make a long story a bit shorter, I wound up taking 160 hours. My instructors told right away that I was going to be bored, but I made the best of it.

    I finished the course in July, but didn’t just want to work for anybody. My instructors were encouraging me to work for a former student of theirs who worked for his brother-in-law’s company hauling "dirty water," so I gave him a call. At the time they weren’t hiring, and he told me that if I could wait until the end of the year, he’d see if he could bring me on. In the meantime, one of my instructors left the school and went to work at the same company. We kept in touch and he told that things there were great, and as soon as he knew of an opening, I’d be the first to know.

    The company is a national company with a small fleet of trucks. I’ve met all the drivers, and most of us are veterans, including my boss. I’ve also met one of the co-owners, and everybody has been great! They all have said welcome to the family, have said that they treat everyone as family, and hope that I stick around. The first order of business that they had me take care of was setting up my direct deposit, everything else was secondary. If anything is wrong with my truck, it gets handled immediately. I don’t get rushed to complete my work; my boss tells me you’re hourly, so why rush and potentially have an accident, get hurt, or both. My safety is priority number one, always. I started last month, and even though this is my first experience driving tankers, I really like it. The tanks are heavily baffled and I haul mostly non-hazardous waste water from companies that don’t have a waste treatment facility on site. I don’t bump docks, but I do a fair share of backing into driveways, parking spaces, and parking lots with cars. I’m a little rusty at backing around corners, but I’m getting better everyday. I’m home daily and the furthest client we have is a 6 hour turnaround. I get dirty lifting hoses and it gets frustrating at times when the cold freezes up valves, but it’s still a great job.
     
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