training

“Pallet Loading” – A Definition

PalletLoading

Ever wondered what the dispatcher was thinking when they are 1500 miles away from the actual load? I’ve thought about it a lot in the past, “what the h*** were they thinking?!” So here is a quick refresher course or definition of that the dispatcher was thinking:

Dispatcher: “Just put the pallets in straight!” Meaning: Usually a lighter than normal load, maybe 30,000 to 35,000 lb load.

Dispatcher: “May have to turn the pallets sideways, straight in!” Meaning: Usually a light load of low paying lettuce, etc. Put as many of those suckers in the trailer and load boxes to the roof! Need to make a profit somehow!

Dispatcher: “Gonna have to Pinwheel the pallets!” Meaning: Got a full load of bananas or toilet paper in a narrow container, close to maximum weight. Still need to make a little money on this load!

Dispatcher: “Gonna have to load double – single, double – single! Meaning: This load is close or over legal weight and we want you to spend 8 hours, loading, weighing and reloading to get the load legal! And by the way, company is going to give you an extra $10 for your troubles!

~LOL

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Truck Safety Coalition

I was doing a google on trucking safety and ran across this website, the Truck Safety Coalition. The stories are real and most of the accidents involved commercial trucks. I am strongly beginning to become an advocate for sites such as this.

My past posts have dealt with unsafe drivers, speeding and unsafe trucks. Read a couple of the stories on this site, go to a couple of the memorial websites dedicated to people who were lost in accidents involving trucks. Maybe it will change your thoughts about unsafe driving.

Job Search Techniques for Experienced Drivers

Trying to find a good Truck Driving job can be a frustrating experience at times. I have seen many job listing services, job boards and resume services come and go over the past few years. With the advent of the internet job search, one could very easily narrow down job opportunities from the comfort of the home. No more wasting time driving from job site to job site looking for that perfect job. Create an online resume, write a well crafted cover page, provide an e-mail address and a phone number and wait for the calls to come streaming in. But wait, it’s not always that easy.

I have searched for jobs using several online search engines. I have used everything from CareerBuilder.com, Monter.com and even the local edition of the newspaper online. These can be good sources of information and job listings, but be careful. The never ending lists of “Work from Home” companies, MLM companies and various other “Get Rich Quick” schemes love to use the large job search engines to “recruit” more prospective job searchers than I can shake a stick at. The most prolific scheme seems to be the never ending e-mails, phone calls and letters from Insurance Companies who claim I have the skills to become the next manager of their local insurance office! If they need “warm bodies” that bad, they must have a product no one really wants or needs. I have run across job listings that if you are breathing and have a pulse, you were the next candidate for CEO!

On the flip side to this dilemma, a potential job candidate might be able to pick and choose the companies for which they are genuinely interested in applying. If you have time and patience, you can pretty much figure out who is legitimate and who isn’t. My biggest complaint with online job listings is that the prospective employer doesn’t even have the courtesy of sending applicants a reply, much less a phone call. I recently applied for a low paying truck driving job and the guy finally gave me a call about a week and a half after I submitted my resume. Or take the company I recently submitted a resume to and left numerous messages, e-mails and phone calls without a reply. If a person calls you a dozen times and attempts to get in touch with you for an interview, don’t you think it is polite to return the call?

It appears that having experience in a job and using old techniques of getting a job just doesn’t work anymore, especially with the “job farms” or profit hungry “head hunters” found so prevalently on the internet. You need to have a game plan or strategy when searching for a new career online. Have all your information at hand, update your resume weekly and search all the job search engines. Not all employers use the same techniques of finding quality job candidates.If you are an experienced truck driver looking for work, I would suggest trying your local government state job service agency. It seems that employers still like to place a job locally and get local talent to apply for their jobs. I have had tremendous success in finding truck driving jobs using the local state job service. The jobs are usually a little higher paying, offer benefits and offer job security. The state job service acts like the Better Business Bureau. If you follow the rules, don’t rip anyone off and offer a superb service, the more likely the legitimate companies will still be around. If you live in the greater Washington state area, I might suggest you try your job hunt by starting on the Washington Job Service website. You can access their job search page by clicking the following link HERE. If you do not live in Washington, you can still search for local, regional and national jobs from their site. They have links to other state job service agencies and have free tools to post a resume to their site. Nothing to buy, no subscriptions or fees, their site is 100% free to the job applicant. Check it out!

JB

PS….. Professional companies such as Safeway Stores, Wal-Mart and other large trucking operations list jobs on the Washington Job Service quite often. These jobs are usually higher paying, allow you to be at home more often and offer substantial benefits. Be careful of the online truck driver search engines too. Most of these services are good, but usually cater to the inexperienced, rookie, recent graduate drivers. Stick local and get better results.

(Author is a 9 year veteran of the road. He has driven OTR, Local and regionally pulling 53’s, 48’s, Doubles, Rockey Mountain Sets, A-Trains, Refers and Vans. He has several years experience driving the winter routes throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California. He was a paid firefighter in California for several years and has his FAE certification with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Contact author by clicking HERE.)

Becoming a Freight Broker

The Trucking Blog. Over the last view weeks I have seen quite a few advertisements for companies offering broker training to professional truck drivers.

Although this seems to be a new idea, actually the idea gets it’s origins from early trucking. Before the advent of the large, commercial giants of the industry, if you drove a truck, it was your job as a driver or owner of the truck to get your own load. Today load boards at truck stops and fliers posted on a bulletin board are relics of the past. With the internet, cell phones and pda’s, finding a load is a high tech wonder.

I recently noticed a company advertising that a truck driver who was his own broker could increase his or her bottom line by 40%. This could be true, but what are the advantages and disadvantages to being your own broker? With the new hours of service rules, it could make sense that a driver has more time to look for a load. I typically get 6 hours of sleep on the road, this would give me at least 4 hours to look for a load. With my laptop and wifi at most truck stops, it isn’t a far fetched idea.

I think that the biggest advantage to being your own broker is that the driver could pocket the money a broker would make and add to the drivers profit. It sounds simple, but what are the drawbacks? My fear is that if every driver were to become their own broker, wouldn’t this drive down already low rates with competition between truck drivers to get a load? I would find this particularly true in areas such as the inland Northwest where finding a decent paying load can be an exhausting endeavor.

I think the key to being a successful owner-operator or independent trucker is finding a trustworthy, loyal broker with exceptional negotiating skills and talent for finding the good loads. I think if we reformed the broker industry and weeded out the sharks, we could all co-exist and benefit from one another.

I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, rebuttals, comments or questions to this idea.

JB

Job Search Techniques for Experienced Drivers

Trying to find a good Truck Driving job can be a frustrating experience at times. I have seen many job listing services, job boards and resume services come and go over the past few years. With the advent of the internet job search, one could very easily narrow down job opportunities from the comfort of the home. No more wasting time driving from job site to job site looking for that perfect job. Create an online resume, write a well crafted cover page, provide an e-mail address and a phone number and wait for the calls to come streaming in. But wait, it’s not always that easy.

I have searched for jobs using several online search engines. I have used everything from CareerBuilder.com, Monter.com and even the local edition of the newspaper online. These can be good sources of information and job listings, but be careful. The never ending lists of “Work from Home” companies, MLM companies and various other “Get Rich Quick” schemes love to use the large job search engines to “recruit” more prospective job searchers than I can shake a stick at. The most prolific scheme seems to be the never ending e-mails, phone calls and letters from Insurance Companies who claim I have the skills to become the next manager of their local insurance office! If they need “warm bodies” that bad, they must have a product no one really wants or needs. I have run across job listings that if you are breathing and have a pulse, you were the next candidate for CEO!

On the flip side to this dilemma, a potential job candidate might be able to pick and choose the companies for which they are genuinely interested in applying. If you have time and patience, you can pretty much figure out who is legitimate and who isn’t. My biggest complaint with online job listings is that the prospective employer doesn’t even have the courtesy of sending applicants a reply, much less a phone call. I recently applied for a low paying truck driving job and the guy finally gave me a call about a week and a half after I submitted my resume. Or take the company I recently submitted a resume to and left numerous messages, e-mails and phone calls without a reply. If a person calls you a dozen times and attempts to get in touch with you for an interview, don’t you think it is polite to return the call?

It appears that having experience in a job and using old techniques of getting a job just doesn’t work anymore, especially with the “job farms” or profit hungry “head hunters” found so prevalently on the internet. You need to have a game plan or strategy when searching for a new career online. Have all your information at hand, update your resume weekly and search all the job search engines. Not all employers use the same techniques of finding quality job candidates.If you are an experienced truck driver looking for work, I would suggest trying your local government state job service agency. It seems that employers still like to place a job locally and get local talent to apply for their jobs. I have had tremendous success in finding truck driving jobs using the local state job service. The jobs are usually a little higher paying, offer benefits and offer job security. The state job service acts like the Better Business Bureau. If you follow the rules, don’t rip anyone off and offer a superb service, the more likely the legitimate companies will still be around. If you live in the greater Washington state area, I might suggest you try your job hunt by starting on the Washington Job Service website. You can access their job search page by clicking the following link HERE. If you do not live in Washington, you can still search for local, regional and national jobs from their site. They have links to other state job service agencies and have free tools to post a resume to their site. Nothing to buy, no subscriptions or fees, their site is 100% free to the job applicant. Check it out!

JB

PS….. Professional companies such as Safeway Stores, Wal-Mart and other large trucking operations list jobs on the Washington Job Service quite often. These jobs are usually higher paying, allow you to be at home more often and offer substantial benefits. Be careful of the online truck driver search engines too. Most of these services are good, but usually cater to the inexperienced, rookie, recent graduate drivers. Stick local and get better results.

(Author is a 9 year veteran of the road. He has driven OTR, Local and regionally pulling 53’s, 48’s, Doubles, Rockey Mountain Sets, A-Trains, Refers and Vans. He has several years experience driving the winter routes throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California. He was a paid firefighter in California for several years and has his FAE certification with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Contact author by clicking HERE.)