Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Little Perspective

I know I often post my complaints about various aspects of my trucking life both on my blog and on facebook. This may make it seem like my experiences with truck driving have been mostly negative, but this is not true at all. Most of my experiences, even my dealings with my current employer, Gordon Trucking, have been mostly positive. If this were not true, I wouldn't still be here. Gordon has some really fantastic people working with drivers around the clock trying to keep freight moving and their drivers happy. No system, company, or individual is perfect however and there are delays, frustrations, misunderstandings, mistakes, bad decisions and just plain bad moods all around that ensure things are never perfectly rosie. This is the human condition. It happens with any job.
Luckily however there is a lot to like about trucking, and a good deal to like about Gordon. Would I refer other drivers to Gordon? Hmmm...the jury is still out on that one. They're not a bad company to work for, and their people - driver managers, fleet managers, driver services personnel, etc. - are certainly their strength. Gordon's tendency to actually pay drivers for what they say they will is also a rare plus.
I think I'd tell other drivers about my experience with it's ups and downs and let them decide for themselves. I certainly have some good things to say about Gordon, but I'd hesitate to tell any driver that I know for certain they'd be happy there. To each his own. Are there things I'd like to be different here? Sure. Absolutely. But not at the cost of what is already good about working here. For now, it fits. It works. I am content. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Gordon Trucking Driver Facilities

It's still amazing to me that Gordon's main terminal in Pacific, WA has fewer and poorer facilities than most truck stops. Today I stopped by to replenish my supply of Com checks and was sent on a goose chase around the property being told, "We don't have any, I thought they were supposed to have them." In the end I had to get some from a truck stop. Don't even get me started on the walk-in closet upstairs they call the "drivers lounge" or stall showers. The Rancho Cucamonga yard, hailed as the jewel of Gordon's driver facilities might barely live up to truck stop status except for things like the semi-public showers (something I haven't had to put up with since high school), recliners with the reclining function deliberately disabled, inadaquit parking, no auto access (helps when moving in or out of a truck; something that happens frequently at Gordon), weak wireless internet which is useless to drivers because even basic services including personal email and social sites like facebook are blocked. Apparently a little comfort and social interaction is not something Gordon thinks its drivers need.
The world is changing. Trucking is changing. If these amenities - things like private showers, unfettered wireless Internet, and a comfortable place to rest outside your truck - were not available to any driver at any trucking company, that would be one thing; but the fact is they are available - just not at Gordon. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Casual Status

Back in the truck after a nice long vacation. Took the entire month of October and some of November to recoup and it seems to be paying off. My first day back is going well. Not to say it was free of the usual bumps along the road. Spent the day hunting for empties, taking wrong turns, fighting traffic, squeezing under a low-clearance bridge (trailer: 14', bridge: 13' 10" - still not sure how I pulled that one off), being detained for 7 hours at a customer site, more wrong turns, more traffic, trying to find some oddball unlabeled trailer, cranking up stubborn rusted out landing gear, etc. The nice thing though was that none of this stuff really got to me as much as it did just before my vacation. I feel like I just had more patience and energy and that none of these things were new or surprising. In fact they are all fairly routine frustrations. I guess maybe the trick is having a break now and then. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop