• Report: #571937

Complaint Review: Transport America

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  • Submitted: Fri, February 19, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, January 25, 2013

  • Reported By: nv37cw — stow Ohio United States of America
Transport America
eagan, mn eagan Internet, Minnesota United States of America

Transport America safety dept. eagan Internet, Minnesota

*General Comment: False

*UPDATE Employee: TA Response

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: yea? and??

*UPDATE Employee: TA Response

*Consumer Suggestion: Know your rights

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: What fun I had at Transport America for 2 weeks..NOT

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: What fun I had at Transport America for 2 weeks..NOT

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Copy of FMCSA Letter

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Follow-up of safety issues

*UPDATE Employee: Follow-up

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If you work for Transport America, you had better be in your sleeper if you have an accident. Even if you don't get a ticket and the other driver flees the scene, you'll be found "preventable".

I honestly think they tried to starve me out with no miles and when that didn't work, they trumped up this because of my accident. Yea, I guess I give them fuel for the fire by having an accident. But again, I was not at fault and the other driver did flee the scene. No ticket for me.

Shortly after I started at ta, they switched gears and would not hire new drivers that wanted home every weekend. I was one of the last ones they hired for weekend hometime. They also changed to a JIT company. The planners barely give you enough time to get the load delivered, not to mention p breaks. Also, no Co. insurance for the first year but they do offer private insurance which is very expensive and limited benefits.

They keep hiring new drivers and trying to force out anyone before they get a years seniority. This way they keep the revolving door open with excess drivers sitting not getting any miles. Lets face it, it don't cost them a dime if your sitting waiting for a load. Any expense they incur traing new drivers is just a write off. If I could start a Co. with employees that I didn't have to pay until I needed them, well, thats money in the bank.

It amazes me that these really smart CEO's really thinks the average worker is stupid.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/19/2010 01:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Transport-America/eagan-Internet-Minnesota-/Transport-America-safety-dept-eagan-Internet-Minnesota-571937. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

False

AUTHOR: princess04 - (United States of America)

Driver you are wrong totaly about what u said. I know for a fact who you are and who ur trainer was. I saw u back and drive you had no buisness on the road I been out here less time then you and ur trainer but I but been in the business since I was kid. You couldnt back and you thought u knew more then anyone else when we meet. Why dont you stop blaming everyone else for your mistakes and blame your self. It no one else fault for what u did. Andmost company out here talk and take the words of there trainers. There is a reason why the company has chosen us to train new and experienced drivers. Thank you princess and if you knew why he call me that then you wouldnt have said nothing. And you know one final thing when you have friends who drive you look out for them let them know what they could be facing up the road did u ever think that why he was on the phone!
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#2 UPDATE Employee

TA Response

AUTHOR: TAResponse - (United States of America)

In response to further discussion, as a senior employee of the company, the first response was to the very first discussion thread and not toward the training experience described in following reports, hence why it was focused on some incorrect information such as benefits.  Reading all of the threads that have come up gave us more data to work with.  First, it is critical to have a great driver instructor force, and sometimes we miss the mark here.  We believe we have a pretty comprehensive process in selection and training, but it is not perfect.   We will continue to work with our safety team and look into this situation.  Second, we are currently re-evaluating our orientation to improve, eventhough this appears to have gotten pretty decent ratings.  The hard part about 1/1 trainers in the truck is the individuals that are doing the training, assessing people, training them. and not having a bad day when you are doing it, takes real professionals.  Our focus is safe, professional drivers and we have over 1850 in our driving force.  For the most part, they do an excellent job in safety, service, and respect.  As a company, we will continue to improve, and we will take this feedback along with feedback from other sources. 
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

yea? and??

AUTHOR: SSalvitti - (United States of America)

It seems the rebuttal posted by transport america is more about how their benefits package works then the issuse raised.  The meatball trainer in question does not belong training.  He himself told me i was his second trainee and the 1st had complaints on him also that were probaly legitimate.   as a CDL holder for almost 8 yrs i STILL disagree and hope that this guy has been removed from trainer status and a CMV.  Having sat there watching him fall asleep with a cigarette lit in his hand, and get a pat on the back for trashing me....I feel sorry for anyone that attempts to "improve their career" with a compant such as this.  as a side note, a different carrier hired me based on my experience and respects my investment in my CDL and has me running SOLO with no need to have some moron they gave a trainer shirt to to hold my hand.  fact is fact...he was in violation of all the things he accused me of...plus sleep apnea.  wheres the FMCSA when its really needed?  thank your buddys for your job ... they obviously truly dont care about enforcing their ideas across the board, just randomly at whoever gets the target pinned on their back

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#4 UPDATE Employee

TA Response

AUTHOR: TAResponse - (United States of America)

TA's number one value is safety and we pride ourselves on having some of the safest drivers in the industry.  We take every incident and review for how we can prevent them.  Unfortunately this driver had an incident and did not like our emphasis on prevention. 

Freight has been difficult as all carriers are working hard to keep drivers moving and we will not take the tack of starving drivers out.  We work very hard to keep our drivers moving safely and productively.  Lastly, our drivers are elgibile for benefits the first of the month after 90 days of employment, there is not a year waiting period.  Our focus is to lead with excellence, deliver a great driver experience, and they inturn will take great care of our customers.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Know your rights

AUTHOR: Double Trouble - (United States of America)

I have to agree with you that it seems you got stuck with a egotistical and bad trainer.  It is not always easy for any company to find the "perfect" pair to match up.  I do not work for Transport America, but I have over 10 years in the business and over 8 years training students and I can say that there are bad trainers as well as bad students.  

One thing every students needs to find out ahead of time is if they can change trainers.  This is important because if you and your trainer does not mesh, you need someone you can get along with.  It may make your training time lengthier, but it is your choice.  find out about the true Grievous process. Every company should have a grievous process to which complaints can be filed.  Lastly, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.  Do not take anything for granted.  Get documented proof of what is really going on. This will only strengthen your case.  Be cautious, Trainers are treated on a different level, so there are times when the trainers word will be taken over the word of a student or refresher.  Thus the need to document everything with pictures and recordings.

I do want to say that as a trainer, i do try and get every student to do as much of the work as possible.  How else are they going to learn.  With experienced drivers coming back into the industry, it is totally different.  They have to be handled and treated differently.  A trainer can learn things from them as well as teach them some things.  In the end, the Trainer needs to be at the top of his game in these trying times to teach the new and refreshers what it is really like out in the real world.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

What fun I had at Transport America for 2 weeks..NOT

AUTHOR: SSalvitti - (United States of America)

I was employed by them very recently.   As i seen in other reports on here, I can agree and say the orientation part of the experience was well done and informative.  But as I "Looked under the hood" this was how the 2nd week unfolded.  I have held a CDL A since 10/05.  So I do have a very good working knowledge of the idustry as I entered employment with this, (as stated by them) "highly rated in safety" company.  As I was out of a truck for a year before this, they wanted a week with a trainer to get me back up to snuff.  I also am used to higher rev equipment so the time to get used to the new cascadia I did not have a issue with and agreed to this.  They placed me with a trainer with only 3 years as a CDL A holder that asked questions and belittled every answer as not as good as his.  He then said I was disrespectful and said I had a chip on my shoulder as he was a CDL holder less then me.  I approached it as he knew the equipment and company better and did NOT disrespect his position until he disrespected my experience level.  If his ego allowed it we could have learned from each other.  

it gets way worse tho. The trainer obviously has a sleep disorder and sounded like he was dieing as he slept while parked and while I was driving.  He was snoring loudly and gasping for air and distracting my ability to concentrate on all the things needed to operate a 80,000 lb CMV effectively.  I slept very little when able as I feared I would awake and find him blue and lifeless in the bunk below.   As a trainer, it seems his idea is to get the trainee to do most the work, get paid extra, and then give a crappy review that in no way mentions the fact he was violating many company rules himself.  He claimed I was distracted by electronics when I spent 90 mins at the top of a break on my laptop checking my email for the 1st time in a week. Yet he was on his phone while driving the truck and was more interested in his buddy at swift, another trainer, a male, that he calls 'Princess".  Sorry   but I really DONT wanna know about that one. He completely left my review book untoched till the final few hours the wrote alot of satisfactory check boxes but said i couldnt stay awake....gee  wish I got 12 hours of sleep a day that week..  The local guy in charge at N Jackson, OH terminal is so interested in safety that the trainers words were taken as gospel, and my asertations of the trainer were disregarded.  It seems that cronieism is in play and how dare I criticize the narcoleptic seeming and sleep apnea suffering trainer.  I asked for a copy of my assesment and it was snatched out of my hand and I was told to get a attorney to subponea for it.  The Director in Eagan, Mn actually to his credit thought that was wrong. However the local bozo in N Jackson, OH however used profanity in telling me to get the "H" off the property and offered a bus ticket.  I did not need a bus ticket as I had my better half make the 2 hour drive from pa, instead of a greyhound nitemare. 

I entered this company with hi hopes.  But as drivers on here know, we get set to a high standard and the companies dont care or feel the need to set their bar as high...then we get the stinky end of the stick when the stuff hits the fan.  The impression I am left with is the trainer felt threatened by my level of experience and was therfore pounding his chest as if to say   you suck, dont challenge me as i wear this cute shirt.  As a experienced driver I feel I personnally would not want to be a trainer. If someone gets in a bad way and it came back to haunt me, my conscience is such it would feel like the what ifs would be a burden.  I would hope this driver is removed from the burden of training and driving a CMV.  After he asked me a question once, he was snoring as I started to answer. That I submit is a serious concern as I never seen anyone, sober, drop out like that. 

That I submit is a scary scenario... when I raised the concern in N Jackson, I was rebuffed as I am NOT a DR, then asked why I did not raise the issue from the road.. I responded that the safety of the terminal was more preferable to raise that issue since whats to stop them from  informing the trainer of my complaint and therefore turning a 80,000 lb CMV into a hostile work environment.  Not what I thought was a good idea.  The same trainer felt I should attempt to pass a truck that was swerving and speeding up and slowing down on 2 lane section of I 80 in pa.  I felt it safer to reduce speed, let him get way ahead and if he wrecked we see it , not be a part of it. Again, his answer was better then mine?  I was taught there is no load worth dieing over...rule number 1.  I would advise any driver out there looking for a position, or if they know any that are... avoid this company, and research, research... I wish I had seen this site before this mistake but thank god I found out quick. 
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

What fun I had at Transport America for 2 weeks..NOT

AUTHOR: SSalvitti - (United States of America)

I was employed by them very recently.   As i seen in other reports on here, I can agree and say the orientation part of the experience was well done and informative.  But as I "Looked under the hood" this was how the 2nd week unfolded.  I have held a CDL A since 10/05.  So I do have a very good working knowledge of the idustry as I entered employment with this, (as stated by them) "highly rated in safety" company.  As I was out of a truck for a year before this, they wanted a week with a trainer to get me back up to snuff.  I also am used to higher rev equipment so the time to get used to the new cascadia I did not have a issue with and agreed to this.  They placed me with a trainer with only 3 years as a CDL A holder that asked questions and belittled every answer as not as good as his.  He then said I was disrespectful and said I had a chip on my shoulder as he was a CDL holder less then me.  I approached it as he knew the equipment and company better and did NOT disrespect his position until he disrespected my experience level.  If his ego allowed it we could have learned from each other.   it gets way worse tho.

The trainer obviously has a sleep disorder and sounded like he was dieing as he slept while parked and while I was driving.  He was snoring loudly and gasping for air and distracting my ability to concentrate on all the things needed to operate a 80,000 lb CMV effectively.  I slept very little when able as I feared I would awake and find him blue and lifeless in the bunk below.   As a trainer, it seems his idea is to get the trainee to do most the work, get paid extra, and then give a crappy review that in no way mentions the fact he was violating many company rules himself.  He claimed I was distracted by electronics when I spent 90 mins at the top of a break on my laptop checking my email for the 1st time in a week. Yet he was on his phone while driving the truck and was more interested in his buddy at swift, another trainer, a male, that he calls 'Princess".  Sorry   but I really DONT wanna know about that one.

He completely left my review book untoched till the final few hours the wrote alot of satisfactory check boxes but said i couldnt stay awake....gee  wish I got 12 hours of sleep a day that week..  The local guy in charge at N Jackson, OH terminal is so interested in safety that the trainers words were taken as gospel, and my asertations of the trainer were disregarded.  It seems that cronieism is in play and how dare I criticize the narcoleptic seeming and sleep apnea suffering trainer.  I asked for a copy of my assesment and it was snatched out of my hand and I was told to get a attorney to subponea for it.  The Director in Eagan, Mn actually to his credit thought that was wrong. However the local bozo in N Jackson, OH however used profanity in telling me to get the "H" off the property and offered a bus ticket.  I did not need a bus ticket as I had my better half make the 2 hour drive from pa, instead of a greyhound nitemare.  I entered this company with hi hopes.  But as drivers on here know, we get set to a high standard and the companies dont care or feel the need to set their bar as high...then we get the stinky end of the stick when the stuff hits the fan. 

The impression I am left with is the trainer felt threatened by my level of experience and was therfore pounding his chest as if to say   you suck, dont challenge me as i wear this cute shirt.  As a experienced driver I feel I personnally would not want to be a trainer. If someone gets in a bad way and it came back to haunt me, my conscience is such it would feel like the what ifs would be a burden.  I would hope this driver is removed from the burden of training and driving a CMV.  After he asked me a question once, he was snoring as I started to answer. That I submit is a serious concern as I never seen anyone, sober, drop out like that.  That I submit is a scary scenario... when I raised the concern in N Jackson, I was rebuffed as I am NOT a DR, then asked why I did not raise the issue from the road.. I responded that the safety of the terminal was more preferable to raise that issue since whats to stop them from  informing the trainer of my complaint and therefore turning a 80,000 lb CMV into a hostile work environment.  Not what I thought was a good idea.  The same trainer felt I should attempt to pass a truck that was swerving and speeding up and slowing down on 2 lane section of I 80 in pa.  I felt it safer to reduce speed, let him get way ahead and if he wrecked we see it , not be a part of it. Again, his answer was better then mine?  I was taught there is no load worth dieing over...rule number 1.  I would advise any driver out there looking for a position, or if they know any that are... avoid this company, and research, research... I wish I had seen this site before this mistake but thank god I found out quick. 
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Copy of FMCSA Letter

AUTHOR: Benn - (U.S.A.)

Ok since pictures and such did not post to my last posting I will write-out the letter I received from the field office of the FMCSA office in St. Paul, MN.


 


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (St. Paul, MN)


May 04, 2010


My name and address


Dear Benn:


This is in reference to my March 18, 2010, letter sent to you because of information you provided concerning the safety complaince of Transport America, of Eagan, Minnesota.


The matter has been investigated and instances of noncompliance, as you alleged, were discovered.  We believe the action we have taken with the carrier, as a result of the investigation, will result in prompt corrective action by the carrier.


If you find that these or other violations of this agency's regulations continue, please advise us.


Thank you for your interest in motor carrier and highway safety.


Sincerely yours,


Daniel D., Division Administrator


cc:  Raymond S., Federal Program Manager

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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Follow-up of safety issues

AUTHOR: Benn - (U.S.A.)

I had filed two on-line complaints with the FMCSA over:

1) Hazardous material shipping papers were not in compliance of DOT regulations.  (Note I picked up a load that was relayed in the Eagan, MN drop yard and saw that the shipping papers were not correct.  Hazardous materials were not highlighed, or on the top page of multiple bill of ladings, or the bill of ladings were tabbed to denote the hazardous material pages and flagged the issue to the safety department when I noticed such problem.

2) Multiple incidents of the tractor and trailers are unsafe and not road worthy to be on the road.  Examples were cracked and out-of-adjustment brakes, rubbing airlines, leaking wheel seals, lights missing and/or burnt out, flat or leaking tires and tandem locking pins unable to engage.  I had refused to operate such equipment till repairs were made since I was fearful that if I operated such equipment that I would endanger the general public and/or myself.

I have documented these issues both on the vehicle inspection report and digital photographs which I sent to my assigned dispatcher, safety department and main shop office personnel. 

My first day of orientation I placed the first trailer I was to use for a road test out of service due to a leaking wheel seal that was leaking into the brake pads (out-of-service issue).  Then during my employment I ran into more than my fair share of problems with the equipment.  Finally in mid-March I grew tired of the numerous mechanical issues and filed two on-line complaints spelling out the problems listed above.  The preventive maintenance schedule is only twice a year on all the equipment regardless of the type of unit.

The company was audited in mid-April 2010 and the company's lead dispatch announced that the company received no compliance issues but "came out smelling like a rose."

Which was hard to believe since I was providing the FMCSA investigators information on noncomplaince issues that I had complained about in real time.

I have attached the copy of the FMCSA investigation letter for current and potential employee's to know the truth about the action of noncompliance issues that I witnessed. 

So my claim of unsafe equipment and hazardous material proved to true and I can only hope that the carrier will now ensure that they provide safe, legal equipment to the drivers'.  Remember we as the drivers' need to hold our employer to the same standard that we are held to.  If the employer is offering unsafe freight and/or equipment then its our job to say no and stand up for our rights. 

If you are placed out-of-service or worst have an accident, do you really think the company is going to stand with you to defend or pay any legal issues to might occur? or do you think they will hang you to cover their butts?

Stand-up and make a stand drivers.  With CSA 2010 law coming out, we are being held to a much higher standard and we need to hold the fire to the "real problem" and quit taking the blame.  Put the blame where the blame belongs now and in the end enjoy the fruits of a safer environment, better living conditions and pay.

 

(Attached a few pictures to show what I am talking about.  These are just a few pictures of the numerous defects that I found on the vehicles I was dispatched to use.)

 

 

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#10 UPDATE Employee

Follow-up

AUTHOR: Benn - (U.S.A.)

Sorry to hear your problems, I am a new driver with nearly a month under my belt and I will be leaving VERY shortly.  I have witnessed numerous "other" issues that concern me and I am not impressed with them.


Example:  numerous trailer defects, a truck satellite that did not work nearly half of the time, a bunk heater that want-to-work when it feels like it, hauling an improper documented hazardous material load (which I refused till the bills were proper), a dispatcher that has a short additude, etc.


These are a few issues that I have witnessed and have been part of.  I will be leaving soon so I will then post the "real details" for the rest of you to read and make an informed decision at that time.


Stand-by for the rest of the story (Paul Harvey).....

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