Winter Storm Juno and High Winds

by Natalie P.26. January 2015 16:03

 

 

WINTER STORM JUNO & HIGH WINDS

Winter Storm Juno threatens to become a major snowstorm today through Wednesday with the potential for blizzard conditions and high winds.  The storm is projected to have a substantial impact on the North East Region of the country.  Conditions are expected to begin to worsen beginning Monday afternoon and continue into Wednesday. 

 

High winds are expected during this storm.  In addition to impacting visibility, high winds can impact the stability of high-profile vehicles.  These vehicles are more prone to being pushed or flipped by high winds.  If winds are severe enough to prevent safe driving, please properly park in a safe parking area and notify your Fleet Manager.

 

Please take the necessary precautions in advance of this storm and remain alert for changing weather and road conditions as well as route closures.  Please stay safe.   

 

The following images were obtained from the Weather Channel Website as of 14:30, 26-January-15. 

 

http://www.weather.com/storms/winter/news/winter-storm-juno-blizzard-boston-nyc-new-england

 

 

 

 

 

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VP of Maintenance, Gerry Mead Live Chat on Facebook

by Christine Turner26. January 2015 10:00

 

 

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, January 28th from 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. EST! We are happy to announce that our vice president of maintenance, Gerry Mead, will be on our U.S. Xpress Drivers Facebook page ready to live chat and answer our drivers’ questions pertaining to roadside, maintenance, trucks and trailers. If you are not a fan yet, visit our page and click "like" today, https://www.facebook.com/USXpressDrivers

 Check back in throughout this week and next week for topics of discussion. We look forward to chatting with you!

 If you are not on Facebook, we will be sure to share the Facebook feed with questions from drivers and answers from Gerry here on the newsletter.

 Thanks

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Not all Crime Fighters Wear Costume, some drive Big Red Rigs!

by Christine Turner23. January 2015 11:45

 Thomas Denboer has been a driver with U.S. Xpress for the past 4 ½ years and on December 19th, 2014 he was doing what he does best, picking up a load of freight at CEVA in Carson, CA. 

 But this did not turn out to be just any other pick up.  Thomas walked in the check in area and noticed a bulletin on the wall with the photos of two individuals allegedly responsible for the theft of trailers loaded with cargo.  He said “standing at the window I thought, my gosh is that the guy I just walked by?”  Thomas proceeded to inform two CEVA employees, and then went out to wait in his truck because he was informed his load was not ready yet.  He said he was “99% sure that was the guy”.

 When he received a call that the load was ready he went back into the check in area and advised another CEVA employee that he believed the person on the bulletin was on the property.  CEVA security immediately issued a lock down, called the authorities and started the investigative procedure which led to the arrest of Suspect 2 in the attached picture of the bulletin Thomas saw.

 Thomas said “I believe it is all of our responsibility to pay attention and to report anything you might see.” Thomas has a history of helping capture criminals. He told us, “at 15 or 16, I reported someone trying to derail a train and I got a cup of Hot Chocolate as a reward for that.” Thomas stated that he is always researching activity and encourages everyone to read “The Cargo Threat – Inbound Logistics”.

  Thomas, thank you for your continued commendable efforts! You set a great example for all of us.

  If you or anyone you know that works for U.S. Xpress has a story to share of a heroic or other act, please email clturner@usxpress.com.

 

 

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Free Blue Beacon Truck Wash

by Natalie P.22. January 2015 14:00

We wanted to remind everyone that you can now wash your truck and trailer every 28 days/4 weeks at any Blue Beacon Location without calling in to Xpress Roadside Assistance. You will be able to pull up to a Blue Beacon and provide your unit number, show your CDL and sign a wash ticket. This wash will include a cab wash as well as a trailer wash. We highly encourage that each time you wash your truck, you also wash a trailer. From now through April 1, an "Under Carriage Salt Away” wash will be included on all U.S. Xpress tractor washes. Please note, you must show your CDL and sign in, and any other add-ons are your responsibility. This service will be available to all U.S. Xpress company drivers and “L” truck drivers.

So next time your truck is all shiny and clean share a picture with us on our US Xpress Drivers Facebook page!

Trailer washouts will still need to be called in for authorization. There is a separate Owner Operator account that will need to be called in for authorization.

 

We hope you enjoy!

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BJ's- Critical Customer

by Natalie P.20. January 2015 10:00

 

Description: https://driverapp.usxpress.com/InfoLine/image.axd?picture=%2f2014%2f06%2fBJs-Wholesale-logo.jpg

 

 

 

We know that you strive to support our customers with your best service all of the time, but we currently have a critical push to get our service up to 98% on time delivery on all lanes to BJ’s Wholesale Club this month. Last month, we ended up at 91.4%, and we really need your help to service this customer. Please help us out and reach out to your Fleet Manager if you are under a BJ's Club load and you foresee an issue with delivering on time.

 

Thank you for everything you do, and keep up the great work!

 

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News for 2015

by Natalie P.19. January 2015 10:00

Please call the Driver Infoline to hear about what's in store for 2015 from Senior Vice President of Operations, Greg McQuagge, and Senior Vice President of Dedicated Operations, Justin Harness. Call 1.800.320.9593.

 

Also, please be sure to wear your seatbelt properly and stay safe out there!

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Driver Tech Down Tonight

by Natalie P.17. January 2015 10:00

We will perform our monthly computer system maintenance shutdown from tonight midnight - Sunday 9 a.m. EST. This means the Driver Techs and fleet messages will not be working at this time. Please call in during these times if you have issues that need address. Please be aware that we will not have access to review any information in the system at these times. Please be patient and make sure you fuel and have all of your load information and anything else you need prior to midnight tonight. Thank you.

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Driver Tech Down This Weekend

by Natalie P.16. January 2015 17:40

 

We will perform our monthly computer system maintenance shutdown from Saturday 11:59 p.m. - Sunday 9 a.m. This means the Driver Techs and fleet messages will not be working at this time. Please call in during these times if you have issues that need address. Please be aware that we will not have access to review any information in the system at these times. Please be patient and make sure you fuel and have all of your load information and anything else you need prior to midnight Saturday. Thank you.

 

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Blue Beacon Truck Washes

by Natalie P.15. January 2015 15:09

We are thrilled to announce that you can now wash your truck and trailer every 28 days/4 weeks at any Blue Beacon Location without calling in to Xpress Roadside Assistance. You will be able to pull up to a Blue Beacon and provide your unit number, show your CDL and sign a wash ticket. This wash will include a cab wash as well as a trailer wash. We highly encourage that each time you wash your truck, you also wash a trailer. From now through April 1, an under carriage “Salt Away” wash will be included on all U.S. Xpress Tractor Washes. Please note, you must show your CDL and sign in, and any other add-ons are your responsibility. This service will be available to all U.S. Xpress company drivers and “L” truck drivers.

So next time your truck is all shiny and clean share a picture with us on our US Xpress Drivers Facebook page!

Trailer washouts will still need to be called in for authorization, as well as there is a separate Owner Operator account that will need to be called in for authorization.

 

We hope you enjoy!

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COO Eric Fuller's Live Chat Summary

by Natalie P.7. January 2015 10:00
 

 
We are excited to share a summary of COO, Eric Fuller’s Live Chat from Facebook. Please see the chat summary below or you can simply visit our Facebook page "US Xpress Drivers", click the More Tab and then click on Notes. It is titled, “COO Eric Fuller's Facebook Chat 12/11/2014”. Take a look! Other drivers might have asked questions you would like to know the answers to.

We are also eager to share that since Eric’s Chat was such a success, we are looking forward to hosting more chats on Facebook with other U.S. Xpress executives to address department specific questions. We will be sure to announce the dates when we have them. Thank you to all of our drivers who participated!

 

Question: I would like for our fleet managers to be more professional and communicate better with the drivers. Especially if they are new and fresh out of training. Driver tech software needs to be updated also.

Answer:  We expect all of our fleet managers to be respectful and professional at all times. We all understand that without those of you on the road, we would not be here. If we have fleet managers that are not treating you, or any driver, with respect we would want to know about that situation.

 

Question: Any plans on getting more help for break down so we don't spend hours on hold trying to get help so we can get back on the road faster?

Answer: We are looking at some software and phone system enhancements to improve your experience with breakdown. We hope to announce those changes soon and we expect to see some significant improvement in time.

 

Question: Any plans to change the way you calculate miles for loads? 2-3% over is fine but 10% plus is a little much? Maybe PC miller would be a better option?

Answer: We follow what is considered to be the industry norm in regards to miles. We do not have any immediate plans to change this.

 

Question:  Are there any plans to make any changes within the Detention department? I'm sure many drivers would agree that this has been a long time issue that hasn't improved much at all over the years

Answer: Part of the reason we face issues with detention are the use of the appropriate macro, which is macro 14--- not sending that macro caused 66% of the driver detention requests to be denied in October and 67% to be denied in November. It is the number one reason that driver detention pay is denied. Keep in mind that we cannot charge our customers detention if we do not receive the appropriate information back from our drivers

 

Question: I honestly hope that your dispatcher that work on the weekends and night time has had some more schooling on answering the phones and not hanging up on the drivers. Please help the drivers when they deliver on Friday. They sit until Monday. Driver's are making USXpress money, and making them sit is a slap in the face. They always pick up on time and bust there butt to deliver on time but when the weekend comes it's a different story

Answer:  I apologize that you have had this type of experience.  This type of behavior towards our drivers is unacceptable. We are constantly working to improve our service to our drivers. Please keep in mind that we have a limited staff on the extended hours. We find that some of our phone issues are related to calls that tie up our lines that cannot be handled during the extended shift. If your question or issue can wait until our weekday hours, then please wait. Our weekend and night staffing is based around issues that need immediate attention.

 

Question: Why don't you have your FM do a ride along so the FM can understand what is going on out here?

Answer:  I am glad you brought that up. Starting in January we are going to require all of our FMs, both current and new FMs, to ride with a driver. We are even looking at expanding this to all of our operations staff.

 

Question:  I have been driving for USX for only about 8 months and one of the main issues I am having is with my home time. Meaning 95% of the time that I put in a request for home time, dispatch gets me home at least 24 to 96 hrs. past when I was supposed to be home. Mindfully, my requests are put in at a minimum of 2 weeks and maximum of more than a month out from my requested time off. I am curious as to what can be done to remedy this issue because every driver has a life and makes plans for their time off. When this issue occurs, it affects our, professionalism, when speaking with FM's FO's and Ops Mgrs. because we feel disrespected and underappreciated. I know I am new to the industry and still have much to learn but I am just curious as how to possibly remedy this situation.

Answer: We strive to meet all of our driver's home time needs. I will have someone look in to your specific issue. Being late on your home times should be a rare exception

 

Question: I've been approved to come into orientation after the first of the year and was told y'all would have me home every other weekend. My only concern is the miles I have heard several of your drivers complain about their miles. Is this an actual problem or just driver bunk?

Answer:  We work to get our drivers as many miles as possible. Based on industry data our OTR drivers are on the  high end of weekly miles compared to our competitors

 

Question: Eric, can you discuss the low-idle/no-idle solutions that are currently being tested? I know we were testing a few Arctic-Breeze units a year or two ago but haven't heard much about them since

Answer: We are constantly testing new equipment. We pride ourselves on being on the leading edge of technology. We took possession yesterday of three trucks with solar panel charged APUs. We also have other innovations that we are looking at to test over the next couple of months.

 

Question: Increase in trainers pay since student hours increased ? NE. Regional pay increase ? 3-5 cents less than average! New trucks for trainers?

Answer:  With the increase in trainer/trainee hours, our trainers should be able to spend more of their training time in team status. Therefore the trainer receives more miles during training and increases their take home pay. With this being said, we are always reviewing the pay package, and will determine if additional pay is needed. We typically plan to put trainers in our new equipment.

 

Question: I am one of your team drivers my partner and I enjoy running coast to coast right now our truck has 272928 in miles after Christmas. We have to get our truck into the shop for a pm and other work needs to be done on the truck.  I would like to ask you do you really think that when a truck is in the shop that a driver who has a family and has bills to pay can live on 50 dollars a day?  So if the truck is in the shop for a week that is only 250 dollars for a week's pay before taxes are taken out. How much do you think that is left in the pay?

Answer:  We encourage our drivers to go home when you have scheduled repairs that may take more than a few days. Our breakdown pay is more geared towards short term breakdowns, mostly over the road. Our intention is to somewhat bridge the gap until we can get you back on the road.

 

Question: Can there be a different way to having CSR verify what time a load picks up? That way nobody is starting their clock to drive there and sit because the load either wasn't due to pick up until later time or isn't ready yet.

Answer:   We strive to provide you with the most accurate information that we can provide on all of your loads. Our information comes directly from our customers and we pass that information along. If we receive any updates, we pass that along as we receive it. Obviously, we want you to have the opportunity to maximize your available hours. It is in both of our best interests.

 

Question: Why is it every time I apply noone calls me back after I get email saying they will be in contact? Is there still hope? I was there once but took time over a weekend to talk over with family about getting off of the Dollar General account and go regional. I called my Driver Manager that Monday morning and never got a call back.

Answer:  I apologize that no one ever got back to you. That is unacceptable. I will follow up to ensure that you are not ignored like that again.

 

Question: Any plans to increase Team pay? Increasing Solo pay to nearly the same as team has taken away a huge incentive to Team drive.

Answer: We are consistently reviewing our pay competitively in the industry, and we will always remain in the top pay competitively.

 

Question:  I would like to know if we are going to do any updates to the Duncan South Carolina terminal?

Answer:  No immediate plans, but as we evaluate our properties and our network in 2015, we may see a need to going forward. We will be sure to communicate any changes we plan to make to any of our facilities.

 

Question: Are we getting new trailers this year, it's pretty hard to find an empty trailers, sometimes we waist three or four hours waiting for planners to tell us where to go get one, then the customer says they can't release it? Thanks for your time.

Answer:  Not only are we getting new trailers next year, 200 new ones a month, but we are also installing trailer tracking on all of our trailers next year which should greatly reduce the time you spend looking for trailers.

 

Question: How can I go about getting my truck washed? I never get to a terminal.

Answer: Currently, you would call in to Xpress Roadside and request a truck/trailer wash code at for Blue Beacon. Understanding that this takes away your valuable time, starting December 20, you will be able to wash your truck and trailer every 28 days/4weeks at any Blue Beacon Location “without” calling in to Xpress Roadside. You will be able to pull up to a Blue Beacon and provide your unit number(s), show your CDL and sign a wash ticket. This wash will includes a cab wash as well as a trailer wash. We highly encourage that each time you wash your truck, you also wash a trailer. From November 1 to April 1, an “Under carriage Salt Away” wash will be included on all U.S. Xpress Tractor Washes. Please note, you must show your CDL and sign in, and any other add-ons are your responsibility. This service will be available to all U.S. Xpress Company Drivers and “L” truck Drivers.

Trailer washouts will still need to be called in for authorization as well as there is a separate Owner Operator Account that will need to be called in for authorization. 

 

Question: Any plans on adding some creature comforts to the trucks? Air suspension gauges refrigerator factory installed inverter and TV mounts?

Answer: We are constantly looking at our equipment to provide the best quality of life for our drivers. At this point we do not have plans to add any of the items you mention but we have had active communications about a few of those.

 

Question: Why don't you allow vacation time with pay and paid holidays? It is not fair when office staff is always off with pay.

Answer: We are always evaluating our pay and benefits package. Vacation pay is something we continue to consider but do not at this time have immediate plans to implement

 

Question: My only issue is the last solo pay increase in August. I've been with USXpress over 17 years, but I'm still at .41cpm because I live in West coast. But if I lived in Midwest or Northeast I would make .46cpm I think cost of living is higher out West than Midwest and I think it's unfair West coast drivers make less per mile. I think pay should be based on years with USXpress not where you live. I love USXpress never had any other issues thanks a lot!

Answer:  While we run out West, the majority of our freight footprint is in the Eastern half of the county. This makes drivers living on the East less costly to get home.

 

Question: Eric I've been with USXpress almost 10 years. The last year and a half on a dedicated account. I really like what I do and the account. But there are some issues. Attitude of a few are horrible. There is no driver support on issues with stores. I've mentioned these issues to upper management. They have been addressed and things improve for a minute and then it's back to the same stuff. It's not all staff. There are some really good folks. My question is does USXpress still hold accountable FM's and staff when their attitudes are not acceptable? Also thank you for putting Justin over Dedicated. I had the chance to speak to him and I believe he cares and will fix issues Dedicated is having. I also am grateful to Scott A. and Steve B... They are awesome to work under and fair. Thanks for doing this live chat.

Answer: I appreciate your positive comments. Treating our drivers with disrespect is absolutely unacceptable. We continue to work with our FMs and ops staff to give them the appropriate training and support. We do follow through with disciplinary actions when necessary. Thank you

 

Question: I work a dedicated account I had a great truck in pristine condition but they sent it to lease. Never had a problem in it they put me in a 2011 International, and it constantly needs work and has issues. Will they be phasing those out and putting us in nicer trucks that will be more reliable than the old high mileage trucks? We only have 1 2015 truck on an account out of 5 people the rest of us are in trucks 2011 to 2010. Thank you.

Answer: We plan to trade over 2200 tractors in 2015. I cannot speak specifically to whether that will affect your specific account or not

 

Question: I'm on the Michelin account in Sandy Springs, SC. Since the contract was recently renewed, is there any possibility of getting new trucks (day cabs)and/or trailers? Or even getting more trucks on the account? The average wait time for a truck is approximately 3 hours. We arrive at the plant on time, but there is always a wait before anyone can get a truck and begin their shift. I always hear complaints on the wait time and that half the equipment is always being repaired.

Answer:  I will pass your contact info on to our dedicated group and I will have someone reach out to you. Thanks

 

Question: How can I get my CDL through your company, because I'm tired of a dead end job, getting laid off, or work being too slow, going home early? Want to try something new and different.

Answer: Please call 1-866-576-2979. Thank you

 

Question: Do you have a school for people that want to get in to driving that want to get a CDL but don't have one?

Answer: Mike, we work with a number of schools. Please call our Recruiting department. They can get you with a school in your area. 1-866-576-2979

 

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