On the Road Again

It’s a fantastic day in my world!  Just got the call that I will be heading to TMC Headquarters in Des Moines, IA on 7 May to attend orientation.
As many of you know I am currently taking classes online through the University of Southern Mississippi.  Well, about the third or fourth week I knew this wasn’t for me.  I am not student material.  I am tired of sitting in this chair staring at a computer monitor for 8-10 hrs a day.  Bottom line is; I am not an office or desk work person at all.
That got me thinking about things and what the options were.  On one hand I continue to take classes and on the other I find a job.  Angie and I had several discussions over the course of a few days and it was decided that I would look for employment.  What kind of employment though?  More discussions ensued and oddly enough we came to the same conclusion.  This guy was going to look into going back on the road.
I started by calling Mike, currently an Owner Operator (O/O) with Swift and a former driving school roommate, and asked how things were going with him.  All of typical questions like how many miles he was getting a week, etc.  My initial thought was that Ty Everson Trucking was going to be back in business.  However, after calling Swift I was told that since I hadn’t driven in the last 6 months they couldn’t hire me back as an O/O even though I was one when I left.  They could hire me as a first seat company driver though.  That means, pending a road test, I would go strait to my own truck.  The recruiter told me that if I did that for 30 days he would then lobby for me to go O/O.  Eh, OK I guess.  Not really what I wanted, plus I know how Swift treats their company drivers and what they get paid.  But, I have a decent guarantee as he said it was a no-brainier to re-hire me.
After wearing Google out searching for jobs, a commercial came on the Road Dog Trucking channel on Sirius for TMC. BINGO!!!!! I was actually pissed at myself for not thinking of them sooner.  So I headed over to their website (http://www.tmctrans.com/) to see if they were hiring.  Lucky for me, I am just inside the hiring area.  I continued to do some research on them and waited for Angie to get home from work.
Once Angie got home I told her about what I was looking and and what I found.  She pretty much told me I was an idiot if I didn’t apply.  See, Angie not only knows how much I miss trucking, but she also knows that TMC has been the company I dreamed about driving for since I first learned about them after I was initially hired with Swift in 2009.  They are the largest privately owned flatbed company in the nation.  But that isn’t what originally drew them to me.  What caught my eye was their trucks, as seen in the picture above.  In the two years driving for Swift, I never saw a dirty TMC truck, nor trailer.  Yeah, they may have been dusty or had spots from rain, but they weren’t dirty.  Plus all the drivers were extremely professional and had nothing but good things to say about the company.  Their motto, which is on the back of every truck is “Destination Excellence”, and it shows.
I contacted a recruiter and interrogated him further on the company and by the time we got off the phone, he was already starting a file on me.  I filled out the application last week and he called me back today and said that pending a drug test and DOT physical, I am hired! So, what happens now?
I take my last final on 3 May and will probably be on a Greyhound bus on the 4th of May and head to Des Moines.  Orientation starts on the 7th.  That first day is when the drug test and DOT physical happen.  I will also have a road test.  Now, if I pass all three of those with no issues, my orientation is just 3 days, then I have two weeks on the road with a trainer as a flatbed securement refresher.  I know there won’t be any issues with the drug test of DOT physical, but not sure about the road test.  I mean hey, I could have an off day and hit a cone or cut a corner and the trailer tires hit a curb, ya never know.  So the worst case scenario is that I have to attend both weeks of orientation and then go out for 5 weeks with a trainer.  Even the worst case scenario pays significantly more than my best case scenario would with Swift.   
When I am assigned my own Black and Chrome Pete, I will be home every other weekend unless I want to stay out.  It works out perfectly as Angie has every other Friday off, so I will try to get synced up on her schedule.  Speaking of Angie, I couldn’t have done this without her.  She has been so loving and supportive through this and is my biggest cheerleader.  She is such an amazing woman that I still wonder what I did to deserve.

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