Where the Rubber Hits the Road…


I hinted yesterday at coming changes and today they all came through, amazingly enough!  I had no idea that it would happen so quickly.  Let me explain…

My current carrier has been ticking me off for weeks now but I’ve ignored and suppressed my irritation.  I figured they knew what they were doing and what did I know anyway?  I’m a raw rookie.

So what happened to my love affair with this carrier, you ask?  (Or you would if you were me and wanted to know all the sordid details of an affair gone wrong.)

Not having loads for 2 weeks early on, then only a few scattered loads.  Me sitting with little income.  Them refusing to book back-hauls in spite of constant nagging from me.

Pushing me to get back pronto-fast from outgoing loads so I can’t book my own back-hauls because I might “miss a good paying load.”  What a joke!  By the time I ran out and back, I was lucky to be making 75 cents a mile.  Good load my ass.

Now lately they’ve been wanting me to run, run, run, with no down time or resets, and still no back-hauls so instead of making the promised amount per mile, I’m still only making less than half of what they promised.  And they don’t give a good Blankety Blank because I”m the one buying fuel….

And there were other issues, namely, requests that could not legally be met and so forth… suggestions to “dodge” weigh stations, trying constantly to overload me and acting disgusted when I wouldn’t let them, that sort of half-assed bad business practices…

So… (I love those three dots…) Today I put in for a revision on my own authority and much to my delight and extreme surprise, it immediately was approved!  I had no idea that they even did such a thing and figured it would take another 6 weeks of waiting.  But no.  That was a very good thing and the timing couldn’t be more right.

I also got my own insurance lined up, have a handful of paperwork for the government agency here that handles IFTA taxes and such, with whom I shall meet tomorrow, and two load boards ready to go to find my own work.

In other words, I’m getting a D.I.V.O.R.C.E. from my very soon to be former carrier.  They get the official notice in the a.m. when I go in to get my check.  And it better damn well not bounce….  as numerous agencies would be very interested in how they conduct what they call “business.”

You may notice I’m pissed off.  It’s true.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, dang, look out!

Well, let’s just say that although they seemed good, there were little nagging warnings I worked real hard to ignore.  Denial is not a river in Egypt as it has been said.  I tried to believe that they were good folks and just being a little dense, but the truth is that they’re a mess.

The proverbial poo hit the fan last week when they told their broker that I had picked up a load 2 days before I actually did so.  Evidently the broker thought I was lost out there somewhere when in reality, I was on two other loads down South.

They did this little lie in order to take a load that they wanted to put on their own truck that broke down.  What they did was went and picked it up, parked it in their yard, then told the broker I had it and was on my way.

Then they called me (I was in AR driving happily along with my own back-haul I booked) and told me that they told the broker I had their load, and when she called me I should just play stupid.

So, being unwilling to lie to the broker or play their childish game,  I simply did not answer my cell phone for the rest of the day.

When I did get back, I picked up the load and headed north the next day as I was out of hours the day I got home.  That was when the broker called me and just about blew a fuse when I told her where I was and when I actually did pick up the load. I gave her my honest ETA for delivery.

I don’t think she liked it much, but to her credit she said bluntly that this wasn’t my fault, which I told her, “nope, it sure isn’t.”  So I suspect that the carrier caught holy hell over lying to her, and I hope she gave it to them good.

She asked very direct questions, just for the record, and I gave her very honest answers, and I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it just a little.  Ok, I liked it a lot.

After I answered the broker’s questions truthfully and showed them to be complete liars I went on up and delivered the load… 3 days later than they had originally promised it, due to their lies.

That was kinda cool… I was on time and they were late.  The rest of the run was pretty stress-free for me, but I heard that they were sweating it bad at the office.  They deserved the discomfort, IMHO.

At that point I realized that these people are not entirely truthful, (I like understatement) and I decided to find a way out.

Then the last straw came today when they bounced a check to my better half for services he rendered to them a week ago.  When they called tonight to tell me my next load is ready for the a.m., I told them, …. wait for it….  “Nope.  I’m not taking it.”  “Why,” said they?  “Well, there’s this thing about you’all not confirming loads with me, and now you bounced a check to BB,” says I.

“You’re going to do this over one little check??” the lady involved shrieked into my phone.  “Yep.” She went a little bonzo at that point.  Oh well, anyway she yelled and carried on for a while, but finally seemed to understand that I’m not as stupid or accommodating as she was counting on.  Her load is just going to sit there, and it’s her own damn fault.

So in the a.m. I’ll go out, collect my pay, and say, “Adios.”

Now let me just say I’ve been very patient with, and encouraging to these folks from the get-go, probably mostly due to my own lack of know-how regarding the trucking biz.  But I’m a quick study and have proven my ability to get my own load booked, loaded, tied down, and delivered without them holding my hand.

Needless to say, I’m still learning and probably will be for a very long time… but, having said that, I have definitely already learned lesson number …

1. Get away from these people ASAP, if not sooner.

By that, I mean run on my own authority without having anyone taking a cut of my earnings aside from the factoring company who will get a small percentage to buy my invoices so I get paid up front and don’t have to sweat it if my shippers either pay late or fail to pay.

And booking jobs I want to do, not taking junk from someone with “big trucks” or their own hot shot truck to fill first.  And not having anyone tell me that I have 24 hours to deliver a load that requires 16 hours of driving.

And not having to explain to anyone why I have to take a 34 hour reset then getting put down for taking what the law requires me to do.

And finally, not having the terrible safety record of another company reflecting on me just because their logo is on my door under “Leased to.”

Oh yeah!  It will be fun taking those decals down and putting my own DOT number on my truck!

So it looks like I’m starting over.  But it’s in a very good way.  What is it they say? Get rid of the dead weight?  Yeah, that’s how I feel, like I just lost 100 lbs of oppressive old fat.

Now you can clearly see that I do have a mean side.  My only redeeming quality in this whole matter is that the company involved shall remain un-named.

As well they should.  As far as I can tell, they do not deserve to call themselves a trucking company.  And I suspect that they won’t be around after their annual audit anyway.  All those shenanigans they pull will eventually catch up with them.

Karma is a wonderful thing.

The only downside is… well, even with the paperwork involved there just isn’t one!  I’m free!!!!!!!

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2 thoughts on “Where the Rubber Hits the Road…

  1. Wow!
    Pat yourself on the back for holding your own. You know, you did the right thing hanging low and giving them every opportunity to play straight with you. Your gain, their loss and you are wise to cut your losses quickly. How many times have you read, even in the TruckingTruth forum, of dissatisfied drivers but they continue to take the B.S.

    You appear to be an extremely bright individual who was looking out for your interest, safety and that of the general public.

    In todays work environment, you are a rare bird indeed, so don’t label yourself as being mean with that so called trucking company.

    The red flag was a bounced check! Even if things were going better, I would have done the same as you after receiving a bounced check as it indicative of their financial situation.

    They’ll never admit it, but they lost a very safe, reliable professional.

    Drive Safe,
    Joe

  2. Thanks for the kind words! As it turns out, I think I jumped ship at the right moment. Seems there is more trouble over there and everyone is bailing.

    At any rate, I’ll be happier doing my own thing and having the freedom to do it the right way. I guess I’m still in cop recovery as I don’t dig breaking all the rules. Just isn’t right for me.

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