A Week on the Road

on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 in Life on the Road

In this guest blog, TMC fleet manager Josh Kintz discusses his week out on the road with TMC driver Robert Martin.

On Monday, Robert unloaded at John Deere in Ankeny, IA and then came to the terminal for a trailer wash and inspect so we could drop it for a 48 back at John Deere. We had a minor breakdown with the new trailer, but eventually got the tires free from lock up. Robert and I then picked up some machinery from Omara Ag in Des Moines and threw some straps on. The machinery hauling was for Pioneer in Tipton, OH for delivery. We had to stop an hour short due to the amount of hours we had to drive.

We got back on schedule Tuesday, no tarp insulation from Johns Manville in Bremen, IN. Hauled that to an Amazon.com distribution center in Lexington, KY. No parking at consignee so we stopped at a truck stop 15 minutes from Amazon, the shower was nice. Luckily, we were the first truck to arrive and did not have to wait in line.

On Wednesday, we started thinking about positioning for the weekend. We picked up a lumber hauling job from Moulding Millwork in Jeffersonville, KY and took it to their location in Chicagoland. The tarping went well because we had two sets of hands, and they had a free spot in the shade. We bypassed a truck stop and got to the consignee Wednesday night.

Thursday, Crystal in customer service got us a load of steel from Independence Tube in Chicago, delivering back to John Deere in Ankeny, IA. The load had some sharp edges, calling for padding and steel tarps. Not too bad because they let us tarp indoors. This load enabled both Robert and I to get home.
After delivery at John Deere, we picked up some TMC hoods from the Des Moines terminal going to our terminal in Joplin, MO. After securement, my experience over the road was concluded and I went back into the office to see how the week went.

This was obviously not a typical week over the road, and I realize that. We got very lucky with virtually no delays at shipper/consignee. Typically drivers run into a few issues here and there. Robert made a great effort to stay on a good schedule while chasing the money. He did just over $3500 to the truck. I was expecting anything from breakdowns, traffic jams, routing issues, or weather delays, but I didn’t complain. It was an eye opening experience for me and very enjoyable. I am very thankful TMC has the ride along program and would be happy to participate again.

If I had to pick one thing that really caught my attention, it would be time management and trip planning. These guys make it look easy! There is a lot more that goes into it than I originally thought. With that change in perspective, that is something that I will consciously make an effort with as a fleet manager. Helping my drivers plan their trips will especially help out the newer drivers, and Robert agrees.