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Thread: Team driving makes the road a little less lonely

  1. Default Team driving makes the road a little less lonely

    The lure of the open road and the independence that goes with it draw a lot of people to trucking. Still, some potential drivers who like the idea of traveling the country don't want to go it alone. Others who have spent years on their own start thinking that it would be nice to share the experience with their spouse. That's where team drivers fit in, and plenty of fleets are actively recruiting them.

    "We have made a conscious effort to increase the number of teams at Schneider National," says Todd Jadin, senior vice president of operations. "We look at it as a way to provide a distinct service to our customers, because two individuals driving a truck can cover a significant amount of miles in a shorter period of time than a solo driver. Customers want goods moved quickly and we want to offer them that expedited service."

    Jeff Blank, director of recruiting at Barr-Nunn Transportation, also mentions the ever-increasing need for speedy delivery, as well as the changes in hours of service rules, as reasons for the demand for team drivers. "We can always use more teams," Blank says. "It allows us to service expedited accounts, which is a good portion of our business, and it increases our revenue."

    Talk to team drivers and they'll let you know that they benefit from the arrangement too. Both Schneider and Barr-Nunn, like many other companies, pay a premium to teams and offer a variety of other incentives. The very nature of the set-up means that teams are likely to get higher mileage runs. "The average run for a team is 1,500 miles per load," says Joey Lynch, who has been driving with his wife Terri at Schneider for the past 14 years. "We've had a couple of 2,400 mile runs. When you're a team you can go from Los Angeles to New York in 48 hours. Those longer runs really help your sleep schedule and you don't spend much time waiting around."

    It can take some adjustment to work as a team, though. "Everybody has their quirks," says Ginger Fisher, a Barr-Nunn driver out of Osceola, Iowa. She joined her husband Bob in his truck about 17 years ago. "Once you get in that truck, there's really no privacy, and there are probably tons of women who start driving with husbands who have been away on the road for years, and come to find out that they don't know them as well as they thought!"

    Initially, team driving takes some adjustment - especially if a veteran driver pairs up with a rookie. The beginning driver, excited to see the country, will often stay awake to see the sights, when they should be resting up for their shift. Or the veteran won't have much tolerance for the rookie's learning process, or will try to impose their own way of handling driving situations on their partner. "It's not the easiest thing in the world, and we have our moments," says Bob. "But you have to be able to talk about any problems that come up. Communication is the number one thing to making a team succeed."

    And then there are the details.

    "One thing that I would suggest for drivers who are thinking about teaming is to discuss a few things right from the start," says Terri. "Are they both smokers or nonsmokers? Do they have the same set of goals? Do they have the same work ethic? We've seen that with nonrelated teams - all team miles are split equally and if one person is working more but still gets the same pay as their not working partner, that's trouble."

    Successful teams figure out how to adjust to the small quarters and work out a team style that fits them best. And though alternating sleep schedules mean that teams actually spend a fairly small amount of time awake together, having company on the road can be nice. "Terri and I always have lunch together, and it's nice to have company when we do stop for a while," says Joey. "Plus, you have someone with you to help find the way when you're lost."



    From: Road King

  2. Default

    Well Dave this takes training it took me quit some time to get used to it

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default

    I ran team for about a year on a dedicated expedite run. No, it isn't for everyone.
    It takes a lot of trust in your partner first of all.
    Having the same likes/dislikes helps too.

    I was lucky. Dave and I had worked together for 6 years prior to teaming up. He looked after the truck, I did all the administration stuff, trip planning and most of the customer relations.

    I remember a few trips we had had where who ever was driving at the time had bumped docks, unloaded/reloaded and been back out on the highway without the other guy even knowing. So much so to the point we had to remind each other which way the truck was supposed to be going on that leg of the trip.

    We worked so well together as a team that occassionaly we would catch the team unit that had left 9 hours ahead of us.
    You can't fix stupid

  4. #4

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    I must say, one of the best teams I have ever worked with. They were always professional, & the customer liked them. You could pretty much pin them to thier door time.

    Then, they get to the yard, see me on the dock, & the nagging started. "Why did you let me sleep so long?" "Because you needed it dear. i couldn't figure out who the wife was.

    I really miss working with you guys Buzzy.

    Holly
    no sir I wasn't speeding, I was qualifying

    www.sosoconvoy.com

  5. #5

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    Well, he did do the vacuuming and the windows.

    BTW, HC. He quit Mid America and is now pulling a tanker for Safety Clean (Breslau)
    You can't fix stupid

  6. #6

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    So he has finally done it. He's wanted off long haul since we all left the other place. He wants to be home. He'll be home every night, & he still drive's trk.
    I wish him all the luck in the world, cause they really could use some.


    Holly
    no sir I wasn't speeding, I was qualifying

    www.sosoconvoy.com

  7. #7
    irish trucker Guest

    Default

    im sure a new driver has to team for a certain ammount of time until he or she gets the hang of things even a new immigrant driver entering canada for the first time on a visa will have to team ive heard yanke in saskatchewan require new drivers toi team for the first year that sounds like a long time to me even those big rigs in north america get tight for space for a single driver doing a month out ive just got home after working out for the last 2 weeks and it feels good to get out of my scania cab over and home thats for sure

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Default

    Not quite what you mean by team driving, but many years ago, me and a mate of mine were both working dayshift. A company I did some odd nights for asked me to do a full week of nights. My mate suggested that rather than take a week of work, we double up and that way I could sleep half the way and drive the other half.

    I couldn't sleep in daylight so I done first part of shift, then found I couldn't sleep when truck was moving. Before you knew it I was driving 3/4 of the shift every night. We must have done okay, because we got asked to do the next week, then the next, and then the next; 7 weeks later we gave it up, but with quite a healthy bank balance.

    I have now learned the error of my ways and would never condone 'burning the candle at both ends'. I was close to a few accidents when I nodded off. Never again!!!


    Older & wiser (and thankfully still ALIVE!!!)

  9. #9

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    It is very difficult to team drive.
    You put your life in the hands of your partner while asleep.
    TRUST, is a big thing.
    Trust that your partner will do all the right things, not just while driving, but awake as well. What one does, reflects on the other. It's hard to make a team unless they come as a team. You have to learn about each other. Everyone has there way of doing things.
    Respect for each other is another thing as well.
    Respect how your partner feels. Take the little tings & put them away, but sit & talk about the big problems. Don't let them fester.
    To many driver's get thrown out of the trk somewhere down the rd.

    This is truly a different life style, as team driving means your out on the rd for weeks @ a time.

    Holly
    no sir I wasn't speeding, I was qualifying

    www.sosoconvoy.com

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    whew! It's a good thing Dave and I liked each other cuz he never could read a map and me throwing him out of the truck woulda ruined his whole day.

    You can't fix stupid

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