Our most recent LIVE Facebook chat took place on October 21st and we were pleased to welcome driver advocate Tim Hicks as our guest for the chat. In addition to driving for us in the past, Tim has been a fleet manager and a customer service representative, among other positions. Most recently, he has taken on a new role in the company as a driver advocate.

Check out the transcript below for some of Tim’s insights. Remember: you can always ask us questions on Facebook or Twitter, just include #ConwayTL in your post or post to our Facebook page!

Q. How many years experience does Con-way Truckload require for driving?

Con-way Truckload: For solo drivers it is three months OTR experience, but we also hire students.

Q. What is the starting pay?

Con-way Truckload: Here are some details of our pay structure.

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Tim Hicks: And we have a referral bonus, drivers can make some serious coin.

Q. What kind of equipment does Conway supply and what are the average miles driven by a solo OTR driver? 

Con-way Truckload: We have a variety of trucks available in our fleet. We select based on driver preference at truck viewing days. We have Kenworth-T660 and T680, Volvo 870, Freightliner Cascadia, Peterbilt 587, Navistar Prostar and are a mix of automatic and manual trucks. On miles: solo OTR drivers average between 2200-2600 miles/week, dedicated regional and teams would be different.

Con-way Truckload: We frequently get asked what our trucks come standard with for new drivers. Trucks in our fleet always include a satellite navigation system, cruise control and Sirus XM radio. Drivers can also add their own equipment such as microwaves and refrigerators.

Q. I have been driving for more than 15 years, what can you offer me?

Tim Hicks: Beyond the white truck with blue stripes, we can also offer reliable home time, great pay, a group medical plan including vision and dental, and many other benefits. More info here: http://bit.ly/1oO1SH3

Q. Can I get home every other weekend? As in leave on Monday morning drive for 11 days and get home Thursday evening or Friday morning?

Con-way Truckload: While we can’t guarantee you would be home every other weekend, you can highlight for home after your first day on the road and we will get you home within seven days.

Q. What is the price for health insurance for the family (me, wife and 1 child)?

Con-way Truckload: $34.50 per week for a driver and/or spouse and $16.00 per week for each child.

Tim Hicks: With the free rider pass for ages 12 and up I have taken all three of my kids out on the road. Ahhh freedom, nothing like time stuck with dad in a truck to straighten you out.

Q. Well, you got my attention. Been driving more than 20 years +. Had to resign last year, but looking to get back on it. Is your terminal in Dallas off Irving Blvd.?

Con-way Truckload: As far as Texas we have terminals in Lancaster and Laredo with a drop yard in El Paso. Give our recruiters a call at 866-265-2617.

Tim Hicks: I came onboard to Con-way Truckload 22 years ago through a student program. We recently launched a tuition reimbursement program up to $4,000. I used my Air Force benefits for truck driving school. We also work with the GI Bill to pay you the additional benefits. When I drove I also had my min pin Chacha with me …the little beast. We have a pet friendly policy.

Truckin’ is not for the weak, but Con-way Truckload makes it easy. See you all next time and thanks for the questions. And remember – keep the shiny side up. Stay safe out there.

Mark your calendars for our next live chat on December 9th, 2014. Become a fan of our Facebook page for details! 

 

 

Checklist: Winterizing your Truck

Written by: on November 7th, 2014

As winter approaches, it’s key to have your truck ready for the upcoming colder temperatures. Here is a quick checklist and some tips to make sure you’ll be prepared and safe when the snow starts to fly.

1) Check the batteries — One weak battery can drain them all. Old or weak batteries should be replaced.

2) Empty the air tanks — The air compressor produces residual water, as will sudden drops in temperature. Some of this may get past your air dryer. When cold air hits it, it can cause the air valves to freeze up, affecting brakes and air suspension. Remove all drain plugs, drain all air tanks in the air system completely and allow time for them to dry. It’s not a bad idea to add some airline antifreeze as well.

3) Fuel filters and additives — Condensation occurs in fuel tanks when the weather changes, allowing water to collect in the fuel filters. Replace old filters and keep a few in the truck with you while on the road. Adding a fuel additive will also help prevent jelling when the really cold weather hits.

4) Check tires frequently — The importance of tire wear cannot be overstated. Be sure all tires are inflated to the correct pressure and keep track of tread wear.

5) Keep an emergency kit handy —  Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  • Keep a supply of non-perishable food items.
  • Pack a well-stocked medical kit.
  • Always have extra cold weather gear like blankets, gloves, hats, boots and sweaters.
  • Road flares are essential for flagging down help.
  • An extra radio with extra batteries is a good idea.
  • Cell phone and charger.
  • Carry extra coolant, washer fluid and engine oil.

6) Inspect hoses and belts — Anything that is worn or cracked should be replaced.

7) Electrical wiring — Inspect wiring for frays or other damage. Keep extra fuses on hand. Check periodically for loose or hanging wires that may collect ice and snow.

A little time spent now may save you a lot of time (and hassle) later. Be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you and prepare your truck and yourself for the road ahead.

 

Today is National Eating Healthy Day!

Written by: on November 5th, 2014

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Every November 5th, the American Heart Association celebrates National Eating Healthy Day. This is a day on which we are reminded of all the healthy habits we should be paying attention to on a daily basis.

We all lead busy lives and at times we’re guilty of sacrificing healthy eating habits to purely convenient ones. National Eating Healthy Day is the perfect time to take a good hard look at the foods we consume and how a few simple changes can be the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.

To achieve this, education is key. Start by learning exactly how many calories you should be consuming daily to maintain your current weight. You can easily calculate your recommended intake by clicking here. Next, keep a chart that lists caloric content for the foods you plan to eat. See to it that you don’t eat more calories than you burn each day.

Ask yourself, “Why am I eating this?” The answer shouldn’t be simply to fill up. Even though you’re eating plenty of food, you may not be giving your body the nutrients it needs. Eating nutrient-rich foods that contain vitamins, minerals and fiber can help control weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

This may seem difficult – almost overwhelming even – when you’re on the road. Here are a few simple suggestions to help you along the path to better food choices:

1)   Steer clear of vending machines when you make a pit stop. Instead of salty chips, candy bars, sweetened beverages or carb-laden snack pastries, carry a cooler along with you packed with fruit, veggies and whole grain snacks.

2)   Before ordering in a restaurant, check the menu for nutrition information and healthy options. A chef salad with fresh vegetables, cheese and lean meats provides a variety of nutrients while avoiding hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats. Also, choose your dressing wisely and always ask for it on the side.

3)   “Snacking” isn’t a dirty word when done in moderation. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a variety of fruits, fresh, dried or unsweetened canned. Need something a bit more substantial? Whole-grain breads or bagels, sunflower seeds, nuts, and low-fat cheese are satisfying and delicious. Wash it all down with water, fat-free milk, low-sodium vegetable juice or any unsweetened fruit juices.

4)   Finally, try for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a minimum of every other day — every day if possible. We have some excellent resources for activity ideas in past blog posts.

Remember, there is one thing you can always take on the road with you — your willpower. Until next time, drive safe and drive healthy, and if you would like to share your healthy eating tips, join the conversation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ConwayTruckload