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Nervous newbie

Discussion in 'The Newbies Paradise' started by Josh, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Josh

    Josh Active Expediter Driver

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    Currently in Texas. Had a small load for today but that got canceled. We called the customer to verify the address (one of the few times we were given a point of contact) and they had mentioned they needed a truck with a lift gate, which we do not have. So we called FedEx and they cancelled it.

    The other day we arrived at GE to pick up a load and their security was intense. I had a few issues with what went down.

    1st - they do not allow pets. This was irritating to me since FedEx didn't say anything about Pets not being allowed. They said my wife could wait at the gate with our dog.

    2nd - they had a list of things that were not allowed on the premises including my phone and very specifically "porn". Let's think about this for a minute.. we'll look past the fact that my phone (which was allowed) is a gateway into a bottomless pit of porn and ask "what the hell happened in the past that porn made the list of banned items?

    3rd - they actually got into our truck (the sleeper) and looked inside.

    Anywho. I was very against leaving my wife at the gate 12:00am at the time with our dog. Despite the intense security it seemed shady to me. She assured me she would be fine, and that she did not want to refuse the $600 load. Fine, in and out as quick as possible..

    Negative. I got in the gate and backed into the dock. They didn't even know I was coming. They loaded me with the wrong product, had to unload me, find the correct freight and load me again. This whole ordeal took just a hair under 2 hours. At this point, it's pouring outside and my wife is not happy.

    I called FedEx and informed them that was the last time that would happen. If I get to a shipper to find out they don't allow pets, and I wasn't informed before hand, I will leave and they can get someone else to come. I was super upset.
     
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  2. RoadSaint
    Angelic

    RoadSaint Active Expediter

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    You know, I've been to places that "don't allow pets". I have a small dog that could fit in a hoodie pocket. She is super well-behaved and stays in the passenger seat of my van at all times while I'm loading(I got her a month before starting expediting, so she's been raised on the road). I've never had a place refuse to allow me on the premises. If they did, I wouldn't be that upset, and if a company told me I couldn't have her with me if I wanted to run for them, then I wouldn't run for them.

    I think they have the rule due to owners who have barely controllable, untrained, or large dogs running around the country with them. I've been to automotive plants that had huge signs saying no dogs, and no one, including security who peeks inside the vehicle, ever gave me guff about my 4 pound chihuahua sitting pleasantly in the passenger seat looking cute as can be. Part of it is also probably to release them from liability if your dog gets run over by a forklift. If they can point and say, "Hey, we have signs everywhere saying NO DOGS ALLOWED, we're not paying you a cent for your dead or injured pup." Then they will very likely be able to avoid any liability involving negligence which resulted in an injured pet.

    Also, no one needs to come into my sleeper. They can feel free to check the freight area as normal. I own the truck. It's basically like my house. I'll agree to let security search my house if they agree to let me search theirs. Don't like it? They can get someone less qualified and less safe to haul their freight.

    This all might sound like I'm being a bit unreasonable, but really, these places generally don't make you sign anything agreeing to a thorough search of your vehicle before being allowed on site(Consent). If they don't get that, then they have no legal recourse to keep you from leaving without them searching your sleeper. I don't even think they could legally take back their freight if you're already loaded with a legal Bill of Lading granting you shipping rights to the consignee. The exception to this would be if they are both the shipper and reciever, but in this case, unless the BOL itself stated the terms requiring a search of your vehicle prior to leaving the premises, they wouldn't be able to take back their freight without paying you the agreed fee for the entire trip anyhow, since common law grants carriers a lien on the freight against non-payment.(Unless the BOL itself clearly states that the carrier waves their rights to any liens.)

    And physically restraining you or your vehicle from leaving (including doing so by not raising a barrier at the exit point) without any evidence of wrongdoing is a felony called false imprisonment.

    Luckily for most of these companies, drivers typically lack the knowledge of law to recognize these wrongs for what they are.

    Of course, if you don't own your truck, some of this may not apply. If you're a driver for me and I own the truck, I can give them consent to search my truck that you're currently occupying because tenant rights don't extend to trucks as far as I know, though I've seen some claim that someone living in an RV has tenant's rights. It's a pretty grey area.
     
    • Josh

      Josh Active Expediter Driver

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      Warning, pitty party ahead. lol.

      Just came back out from home time. Can't seem to get out of the depressed mood i'm in. Some background,

      This job, from day one, has been a feeler for me. If we didn't make enough money, or life on the road sucked. We would be done. But I have always wanted to hold a cdl and would have always wondered what if had we not pursued it.

      Now, I will admit the first few months were rough. Getting those $400-$500 pay checks was like getting kicked in the nuts. The sleep schedule is pretty much non existent. Even when you want to sleep, the roads that are paved with boulders do a good job at preventing it. There is friction when your in a bad mood. (sometimes you need to snap at someone or vent and when your wife is the only one physically there it makes for a lot of apologizing later). There are definitely issues that you will need to over come.

      As of now. The money is pretty good for us newbies. We bring home on average about $1200 a week, sometimes more (highest was $3000) and sometimes less ($900ish). We have managed to save a decent amount of money. But then there comes home time. Its a pain to get home on the days you want to be home. When you are home (say a week for example) you are missing out on $1000 you could have been making (way more if your a good trucker, or o/o.) Not only that but you want to pull out all the stops (I do anyway). Your gonna need a secure place to park the truck, hotel room assuming you sold your house, stay with family (not a vacation, lol). All of which costs money.

      I have a car hobby (anything automotive really). I have a nice truck, a nice car, and a brand new rv. I pay storage for it all. It makes zero sense to have any of it. My car gets driven in summer only, which means a hand full of times a year now. My shop sits, unoccupied, full of nice things. Its depressing to leave all that behind sometimes, and its way too depressing for me to consider selling. I'd like to come home to something.

      Kind of sounds like i'm being a baby, and I get that. But every last one of you already knows this struggle and for the new guys reading this, don't over look these things and shrug them off. It will become the very reason you don't make it out here. I've come to learn this job isn't hard because of the work, it's hard because you miss out, on a lot. I can't imagine the stress for the ones with actual families at home.

      We had a pretty crappy day today. Delivered this morning to a very small, unpleasant man, in a very small building, and went to another shipper and waited from 11:30am to 6:30pm for a paperwork issue, only to have the load cancel. No big deal, we got paid to sit around and fedex seems more than happy with our patience.

      So, as of now we're chugging away, we still have bills to pay with some debt that needs to be handled. The free rent the truck provides is a plus. The job is still very enjoyable, but with every phone call you make to a loved one (more the wife than me) you can tell your relationships are taking a large back seat. The nephew gets bigger every time we take home time, the niece takes dance and we use to go to every show. The wife is falling off with a lot of her friendships, which is hard to watch. She use to be an instructor for pole dancing (not stripper pole, but pretty close now that I think about it. lol) and she use to love it. She got real close to her students/friends, and now there really isn't anything there. I have never been super buddy buddy with anyone but I do have friends. And summer is coming up and the local drag strip will be opening up, I'm going to miss most of that.

      How does everyone else cope with these depressing moments?
       
    • RoadTime
      Paranoid

      RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      I don't think you sound like a baby at all. These are common feelings with life on the road. I wish I had a magic answer. Embrace what you do have, and can control, with each other. And keep in mind your reasons for wanting to do this in the first place.

      Try to focus on what you do have, more then what you might be missing.
      They call this a lifestyle for a very good reason. Some can adapt better then others, and there is no time table for the adaptation ;)

      Not that you can't go back, just remember why you left.
       
      Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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    • ucfd608

      ucfd608 Expert Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Josh man I feel for ya it seems to me that you are a lil burnt out an I know what missing family is like man just hang in there An remember you have friends here that you can vent to an we can try to help you the best we can you and your wife seem like you are doing good as far as loads go An stuff don’t give up hope dude


      Sent from my iPhone using EO Forums
       
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    • Kip life

      Kip life Active Expediter Owner/Operator

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    • hapearce1
      Cowboy

      hapearce1 Rookie Expediter Driver

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      We all know what you’re going through.

      I was fortunate enough to buy a house near family for a very small amount of money, $20k.

      When I was on the road with the sprinter van, and I was single, I literally shut off water, sewer, and garbage utilities, and only kept electric on.

      I have a membership at Anytime Fitness, so I’d take my showers at the one close to where I lived, 12-15 miles away.

      I saw my mortgage as nothing more than an investment, so when I got my week off, I was comfortable, near my family and friends, and saved quite a bit of $.

      I got greedy, moved to Hotshot Flatbed, horrible horrible nightmare of a mistake, and am currently taking a break from driving, but I already have a stack waiting to buy a van in the fall, and go back to what I enjoyed.

      Long story short, being “homeless” causes a lot of undue stress. If you could find a cheaper place near where you lived, and could keep the utilities off, I feel your home time would be more of a recharge.
       
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    • Kip life

      Kip life Active Expediter Owner/Operator

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      You don't need all these to me you seem to have an expensive habit brand new RV ,two Cara just sitting in storage?

      You said you are 28. Better start looking at your spending habits , sell those cars, buy your own truck you Will make more and be happier .

      I read all the effort you put it and to make $1000-$1200 a week after all that is not good money.

      I do alot less, own my own not so fancy straight truck and I've never gone home with anything less than $3000 net except really bad weeks when I stay local

      Sent from my SM-N900T using EO Forums mobile app
       
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    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Researching

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      Buy your own truck, make more money, be happier.

      Maybe, maybe not.

      Money isn’t everything.
      A lot of truckers let life bypass them in pursuit of money.
      In the end they look back, thinking I missed life just for money ? Few made enough money to justify the trade off.

      You’ve got to reach a happy medium. A balance of trucking and living. There may not be enough money to do that anymore.
      People will say I’ve done it.
      Probably after an inheritance, or enjoying their military pension or spoils of an earlier, more lucrative career.

      I wish him well, but in his position, being young, fairly knowledgeable, with a wife willing/ able to work, I’d probably take the 9-5 and enjoy life.

      If I knew then what I know now.
       
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    • Josh

      Josh Active Expediter Driver

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      This seems to be the one thing that is the hardest to get people to understand, even myself at times. "Money isn't everything" That is for damn sure.

      A little background about me if I haven't said it already. When I just turned 18 I had applied at a meat plant (made hamburgers). It was a rough damn job. I worked 2nd shift 2pm - 2am, one day off every 14 days. I made it about a year before I was ready to quit. Before I got to that point I accepted a machine operator position and I was damn good at it. The pay increase forced me to stay around. I would go week by week and say "just one more paycheck and I'm out" One week turned into two weeks, then three. I lost contact with friends, hobbies, ...sleep. I thankfully had a girlfriend (my wife now) who understood the long hours and lack of time off. I became a supervisor and the hours just got longer, my stress went up, and since I was salaried, the plant manager thought "salaried employees" shouldn't get days off. The upside? I had more money than I could spend, mostly because I had no time to spend it. When I would take my vacation, I had no one to call to hang out with. My best friends were those I worked with.

      I got into a groove and time became irrelevant. Next thing I know I'm 27 years old. Where did all the time go? My fellow supervisor and I finally realized, it just wasn't worth it. We both quit. I feel that I learned a life lesson at that point. Money doesn't buy time, it doesn't buy memories, friends, or anything else that makes a person feel whole.

      My family history is a very crappy story, My grandpa passed at age 56, My grandmother at 50?, and my mother at 36, and I just lost a brother at age 34. I know all too well that your not going to live forever. Life is short, if your not enjoying it, make a change.

      That being said, I'm not having a bad time. I do like this job and the freedom it gives you. I don't like not being able to see family or friends when I want to, but that is going to come with anything more than being a bum.

      Buying a truck is 98% not in our future. For the following reason: Too much of a risk in my mind. A straight truck like the one we're in runs about $160,000. I haven't been able to figure out a rough estimate for a truck payment but I assume it would be between $2500-$5000. I also don't have an estimate of what people keep on the side for maintenance or breakdowns, But thanks to our crappy truck I know that even small things can cost a fortune. So I personally would like around $10,000 off to the side in case for an emergency. Perhaps even double that, say you encounter a $5,000 repair and it will take weeks to finish? Your out the repair and the money you could have earned. I just can't make it work in my mind. Not to mention the stress it can bring.

      Example, Since we have come back into service we've barely ran, Even right now, sat most of yesterday, sitting today, pick up tomorrow evening. I'm not stressed because I know I don't NEED the money. I don't have a truck payment due, I'm not paying for all the fuel our apu is using, I'm not paying for our showers, or drinks if you want to count that (expiditor services' loves card is always platinum, so two showers a day and drinks). Our income might seem low to some, but our cost of living is pretty low, so it makes sense to me. All we need to do is drive the truck and not smash it. A load comes over going to a place I don't want to go? (example being all the loads we've been offered going through that most recent snow storm.) We simply don't take it. My stress level is pretty low right now.

      I guess what I'm trying to say is, know where you stand in life. I know where I stand, I want to make a living with little to no stress. I'm not going be a millionaire, and that doesn't bother me. Whatever job meets that criteria, will be what I try. Currently this job does.


      Side note, Selling my remaining belongings is not in the cards either. My car hobby is my escape, my stress relief, and makes me happy. Nothing like flying down the drag strip at 100+mph.
       
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    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Researching

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      Josh- seems like you have a good handle on things.
      I didn’t want to discourage you, just give people things to think about.
      To me the worse part of Expediting was the no income for down weeks.
      Much more problematic for a truck owner than a driver.
      I hope your wife enjoys cars too. If you can work your loads into getting to the “Finals”, Carlisle, etc it’ll make your time more pleasant.
      Even a quick weekend with family, if you can make it an event, will give you much joy.
      I had 6 nice cars once. Gone. Last motorcycle was a 98 Honda Valkyrie Interstate.
      Had a beautiful 5000 ft shop , 14x14 doors, for my toys .
      In the end I trucked so much I sold it all.
      I’m not materialistic, but wish I had my 66 Pontiac back. And my 4 Door F350. And every scooter I ever owned.
      Being an owner I didn’t recreate. I wanted to be top earner in my Fleet.
      Today I have $$$, not in the greatest health.

      I don’t wish I hadn’t trucked. . I just wish I had found more balance between work/life/family.
       
    • Josh

      Josh Active Expediter Driver

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      Agreed, Ever since I left my last job I've been in search of a job that offers good work/life balance. Can't say that this is the correct career for that, lol, but I don't feel as though I've made a mistake choosing this. I can't say that its permanent, but i'm glad I did it.

      As for long term plans, we ran into another husband and wife driving for fedex awhile back. They drove a van and we recovered their load due to issues they were having with it. The guy was a wealth of knowledge. Now, I know people tend to inflate things because no one wants to come out and say "man did I make the wrong choice", but they seemed super happy. They had a box van, custom made sleeper portion in the back. They said they make over $3k a week and only work half the year. True or not my brain can understand how that may be possible. Vans like his (chevy 3500 gas) are super cheap to get into, and I could maintain and repair one myself. You would be an owner, so in my mind, we could come and go as we please. Take as much home time as we want.. Or am I missing something. I think the only issue is the abundance of van drivers if I understand correctly. Thoughts?
       
    • BigStickJr

      BigStickJr Veteran Expediter Researching

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      I’ll leave that to the van experts.
      I never drove anything smaller than what you’re driving now.
      What I think we’ll hear is at FedEx to earn $3,000 per week in a van, if you stay out 6 months you’ll need 6 month’s off to catch up on your rest.
       
    • Josh

      Josh Active Expediter Driver

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      After our few days of downtime I think we've been running pretty good. I'll have to look at our run list to know for sure (everything kinda blends together after awhile) few cancelled loads but that's fine with me because we get money for them anyway. We should have hit fedex's quota for their bonus incentive (hit 13 loads a month or 12,500 miles and you'll get $750, expeditors doesn't take any of that) our cancelled loads count towards that if we received money for them.

      We hit some bad weather last night heading into Mississippi. Got the alert on my phone saying tornado warning for our area. There was only one truck stop near us and it was packed tighter than a sardine can. Apparently we weren't the only ones waiting out the storm. That was the first time I've made my own parking spot.

      We got to Mississippi early this morning. Stopped at another truck stop to sleep for a few hours and ran into a guy having a hell of a time backing into his spot. To make matters worse everyone else was just flying by him, they'd fly right behind the trailer while he was in reverse. D*ck's. I stopped our truck in the middle of the lot and got out and helped him. He seemed super appreciative.


      The longer I do this job the more I see why truck drivers have such a bad rap and why they're not allowed to park in most places. It seems more often than not the trucks I use to think were piloted by a professional driver are nothing more than inconsiderate assholes mad at the whole world.

      Not all bad though. Still find some good ones that are very humble and can carry a conversation with for hours. We've also ran into quite a bit of expeditors in straight trucks , their all very chatty and friendly.
       
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    • Josh

      Josh Active Expediter Driver

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      Checked our loads and we should be doing pretty good. The goal is to stay out until the end of June and take the last week of June and first week of July off. (the 4th of July is my favorite holiday). Just need to make sure we have enough money to make that happen. If we happen to get back near Indiana in April we'll take a few days so the wife can see her dad since its been awhile.

      Gave expeditors a call to make sure there was no issue with the truck being out of service for two weeks at a time and they don't care. We'll still be in service 75% of each month so I don't see why it would have been but I always double check.

      Side note. We had a clearance light out in the rear of the truck. I went ahead and picked up the light and replaced it in the parking lot. Not sure if that was ok or not. Just didn't feel like waiting hours to get a light replaced.
       
    • Ragman
      EO4ME

      Ragman Veteran Expediter Driver

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      I don't see why it would be an issue. It's just a light bulb.
       
    • DBenton
      Amazed

      DBenton Rookie Expediter Driver

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      Oh Josh I am feeling you right now on all that you have said. We just went back on the road yesterday after our first home time. I cried all day. We have no rent and our truck is our home. Even at home time we stayed the night in the truck.

      I was heartbroken to leave my family. We have been dodging bad weather all winter and thought when we got home and came back out it would be gone. Nope. Heading into the mess tomorrow after we pick up out load. Devastated.

      I did not realize how hard it would be to go home and come back out. I hope I fall back into the groove and hustle until the end of June. July 4th is my favorite as well and that will be around the time we take the next break.
      My relationships have fell off as well. You leave with people wishing you well and come back to empty promises and no real friends. My husband just goes with the flow and never looks back. No regrets just miss all the activities we enjoyed and now it seems we are missing it all.
      Here's to working hard until we all take off again
       
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    • Josh

      Josh Active Expediter Driver

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      Yea, same exact feelings over here. Our next home time will hopefully be this weekend. Got a really good paycheck and a load going home. Not gonna turn it away.

      We do however need to get the truck in for a dot inspection that is apparently due. Tomorrow after delivery I suppose.
       
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    • Mark Crain

      Mark Crain New Recruit Owner/Operator

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      A couple questions. If you work for someone like Bolt or any broker for that matter and are sitting waiting on a load can you get a load from a load board or other source to get you down the road if your running under the broker's authority? What if you have your own authority as well? Also where do the brokers find loads? Are they just the loads called in by their customers only or do they work together with other brokers to help each other. Lastly, If a load that goes say 500 miles and pays $1\mile ($500) how much does the broker make on a load like that? Other wise what percent of the total cost to the customer goes to the van? Thanks in advance.
       
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    • ucfd608

      ucfd608 Expert Expediter Owner/Operator

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      Josh did you make it home if so how was it or how is it if you are still there an dbenton how are things goin I hope things r gettin better out there for u
       
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