Transport America Orientation; Final Day

The final day started out with being greeted by an adorable little 6yr old girl when we walked in.  Joe’s (orientation manager) daughter had a fever, so they had to keep her out of school.  His wife had morning meeting commitments with her job, so he was watching her until she was done.

We started the day by learning how to be more safe out on the road, and went over various different things we can do to not only keep us safe, but to keep the motoring public safe as well.  At one point Joe had asked us why it was so important to be safe out on the highway.  He no more than finished the question and his daughter came running around the corner, and jumped right up in his arms.  The whole class, in unison said, “That right there!”  it was almost surreal… What a way to have a point driven home, ya know?  I mean you couldn’t have planned that to happen any better.  But it was the perfect illustration and reminder of what is important while we are out on the road.  Sure, we are all here to make money and move freight.  But at the end of the day we are all doing it to take care of our families.  If we aren’t safe out here and something happens, we may not make it home.  It’s pretty hard to take care of your family when you’re no longer above ground.  We spent the better part of 3 hours covering different things we can do to be safe and be better drivers.

That is one thing I love about this company. It has been pounded into our heads in these three days that Safety is the first Core Value of the company.  With the winter months here, we have the FULL backing of the company if we don’t feel comfortable driving due to weather or road conditions.  All we have to do is let our fleet manager know and the delivery appointment will be rescheduled.  Bottom line is we aren’t FORCED to drive if we don’t feel safe.  So we also talked about making smart decisions and the importance of them.  It’s better to be safe and have a delivery rescheduled, than to be in a ditch and not make the delivery at all.

Next up was a conference call with the Chief Operating Officer.  He wanted to welcome us to the company and reinforced the company position on safety.  He also let us know that their doors are open and if we are ever in Eagan (Headquarters), to stop in and say, “hi.”  This company is truly centered around the driver.  That’s why they don’t have terminals.  They’re called Support Facilities.  Everything they do is to support us, the driver.  The conference call wasn’t that long, but it was cool to  have someone in that position take the time to talk with us.  The other companies I have worked for just show you a video of someone in management giving their typical spiel.

After lunch we tied up some paperwork loose ends and then went outside to cover the Safety Inspection that we do everyday on our truck and trailer.  We also went over a bunch of safe work practices.  That basically covered a bunch of different stretches to do before we do things as well as how to properly get in the trailer, raise and lower the landing gear, etc.. Believe it or not, people actually get hurt doing those things, because they are either not doing them properly, or getting in a hurry and not paying attention.

Once all of that was done we came back inside and they handed out blank pieces of paper and told us all to write our names on them.  We were instructed to fold them in half and then we placed them in a small garbage can.  They shook them up and then said they were drawing a name for a $100 pre paid Visa card.  They drew the name, and it said; TY EVERSON.  WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!

Then came the reason we were all here; Time to get our truck assignments and find out where we were going to pick them up.  4 are going to Mechanicsburg, PA, 2 are going to Atlanta, GA, one is going to Eagan, MN, 4 are rookies that are going out with trainers, and I’m going to Janesville, WI.  Using my intelligence gathering skills from my trusted reliable sources I’ve been able to put together a fairly reliable assessment.  I’ll be picking up a 2011 Blue Freightliner Cascadia,  We will have confirmation on the assessment by noon tomorrow.  It’s a 339 mile drive up there and I plan on being on the road NLT 0630.  I want to beat the traffic out of Indy.  Plus I’ve decided to completely take Chicago out of the equation and take 74 to 39 and go straight up.  Plus I’m only paying one toll that way.  It’s about 40 miles longer going that way, but it’s well worth it not having to deal with the fluster cuck also known as Chicago Traffic.

This Orientation experience has been amazing, and everything my recruiter told me either happened or been proven.  In my experience, that just doesn’t happen in this industry.  With that, I have to give shout out to Jimmie.  If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be typing this and still driving for TMC.  With his knowledge and experience with Transport America though, I was able to ask the right questions and get this dedicated run.  Enjoy your $500 referral bonus jackass!

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