This company pretty much had three strikes against it before I even delivered my first load.
1- The told me right at the end of orientation that I was not qualified to haul blades as I've done many time in the past at my previous company. I was told for a week that I would be hired as a class 2 to test into one after a certain time, then at the last minute was told that because I've never been behind a high pole I'll be a class 3. This makes no sense. Blades are not over hieght on ATS trailers, and were in fact higher on the trailer I did haul them on, so basically, this was a big company piece of bureaucratic garbage I had to hurdle. One thing I HATE about all big companies, and the reason I stayed away from them for so many years, is that they all have a tendency to add too much damn red tape to the simplest of projects. Hauling a blade is not simple, but the point remains. Too much red tape just to do the damn job. That's been consistent the entire time I've been here. Having to submit dimensions of OD loads that there are already permits in for is crap, especially on things like crane parts that ATS has hauled (probably literally) millions of time and again. Every now and then loads are not what was planned for, but not as often as to necessitate this practice for every single load.
2- Being right before a holiday, my fleet manager "put me" on a load that went a whopping 300 miles in the wrong direction to sit for 3 days, instead of giving me a nice long run to start with, the guy screwed me straight out of the chute. Being new, and not wanting to make waves, I didn't say anything.
3- They screwed up my very first settlement. I told the recruiter I DID NOT want my own room during orientation provided I was put with another non-smoker. They whacked my first settlement for 85.00, and it took me two weeks of arguing to get the money back. "Well you DID tell me you wanted your own room..." no sir, I did not. Let's see here. I'm ONE person dealing with one person regarding one subject, you- the recruiter - are one person dealing with god knows how many people...where do YOU think the greater chance of error lies.
I do not take kindly to assaults on my honesty and character like that. Not at all.
January is over, and I think they are done running me through the ringer, so to speak. I think they put everyone through the same stuff. I did pretty good this month, and if this continues to into May when my lease is over, I stand to have what I'm pretty sure is going to be an above average payout.
BUT, I believe that there are very few random happenings here at ATS. I think a lease op here is an owner operator like a janitor who gets to decide what room to clean first. Other than that being able to call a few shots on your own, you're still going to do what Anderson wants you to do. I honestly think that the people who think this program provides "good money" either don't have very high standards, don't need regular home time, or even semi-regular home time, and don't realize that tarping a load in -100 degree weather or +100 degree weather, then running down the road for .88 cents a mile is a good deal.
I'm sorry, you'll just never convince me that 1.32 (or so) a mile for an OD load...even the smallest one, is a good thing. Industry wide, it simply isn't. I don't care whose buying the permits.
But, I think in ATS-land, I'm one of the guys whose done well in the program.
In seven months, I've put just over 100,000 miles on this truck, and fram May of 09 to December, I'm reporting almost 96,000 made. That's not too bad on paper, so I guess I'm certainly not as bad off as some guys.
Theres a huge list of other things I simply don't like about this company, but start with this: your fleet manager has - supposedly - no control over when and what loads are sent to the truck, and yet that is the person you are supposed to work with to get good loads, and stay profitable.
If this gaping hole in the contiuum of logic makes sense you to, you'll love working here. Because that's just the start.
"Well, they're just a go-between for you and the company, driver." is the smug answer you'll get...but I've never had a secretary anywhere else I've worked, and I'm not sure why I have one now.
There are positive aspects about working here however, but it's just not a place I'm going to spend any more time than necessary.
Soooo...let this knock down drag out thread begin!