Melton Truck Lines Driver Review
I was a flatbed truck driver at Melton Truck Lines for about 2 years out of my seven year professional over the road truck driving career. The reason for my Melton Truck Lines driver review is because it is the only company, well trucking company that I ever really enjoyed working for. I am not saying that Melton was a utopia or perfect in anyway but it was better than other OTR (Over The Road) companies I drove for.
Melton Truck Lines Orientation
I attended orientation in Birmingham, Alabama as an experienced flatbed driver. The facility was decent and the class was very small, about 12 to 15 drivers. We all went through the regular DOT physical and generic first day of orientation stuff. After the first day we focused on safety. We watched and learned about the SMITH driving system. I can say that it is a great trucking safety program. I knew a lot of it but I also learned a lot and I felt and still feel that Melton Truck Lines is a safety oriented company.
After spending two or three days in the classroom it was time for us to head out on the yard to learn and review load securement. Our class was split into two groups. One group was for experienced flatbed drivers and the other was for drivers that had never pulled a flatbed. Each group worked on load securement and the new drivers also learned how to tarp. [su_spacer size=”15″] Orientation went well and I am thinking that we all got our own hotel room; I am not 100% sure on this though. They did provide lunch every day and breakfast was provided by the hotel. At the end of orientation we were paid in cash, yes as in 20 dollar bills. I thought this was odd but it was tax free. I think it was about $500 or more if I remember correctly. I was then assigned a newer T-600 Kenworth and my tie down equipment.
Here is the equipment I was Issued:
- Lumber Tarps
- Smoke Tarp
- 14 – 4” Straps
- 2 -4” Ratchet Straps
- 4 – 2” Straps
- 12 Chains
- 12 Pinch Binders
- 2 Ratchet Binders
- Coil Pads
- Coil Racks
- Beveled Coil Dunnage
- 6 – 4×4 Dunage
I was then assigned my driver manager and was dispatched on my first load that picked up the next morning.
Daily Operations at Melton Truck Lines
During my two years I found that I averaged about 2,500 miles a week or more. I had two driver managers while I was at Melton. I can say that my miles did not change much with either driver manager. I rarely ever heard from anyone at Melton unless I was due for an oil change or I needed a load.
The operations department was always willing to work with you if you had any issues such as having a wrong pick up number or whatever. Melton is not a huge company but more of a midsize large company if that makes sense. I felt like communication, problem solving and load planning was better at Melton Truck Lines than most trucking companies.
Load haul lengths were pretty decent and generally speaking if I did get a short load I would get a longer one on my next dispatch. I remember one load I picked up in New Jersey. It was a tall load of aluminum extrusions and it had three or four stops on it in Pennsylvania. It was a terrible load that had to be tarped and untarped at each stop and it had no mileage on it. After I made my final delivery I was given a load from Pennsylvania to California, then from Oregon to Florida. I am not saying that every time I got a bad load, which was few and far between that I ran coast to coast but Melton did try to get me the best load possible.
Melton Trunk Lines Safety Department
Melton Truck Lines safety department has the final say in just about everything. If you have a question about load securement they can answer it and are generally supportive of the drivers. When you come to any terminal they will audit your log book, they will take three to six pages from you and check fuel stops, rest periods and breaks in your log book against what the Qualcomm time stamps.
The only accident/incident I had at Melton occurred at a steel yard in Sharon, Pa in the winter season. I picked up a load of pipe and was told to pull around the building and park as close to the building as possible and then tarp. I pulled out from the loading area and around the building as instructed. Naturally as I was turning at the end of the building I was trying to keep the trailer as close as possible to the building so when I parked other drivers could get by me.
As I was making the turn I saw snow shoot up in the air in my mirror, I stopped quickly. I got out and inspected what happened. I found that I clipped the end of an old junk I-Beam that was partially buried in the ground. It had just snowed about three to four inches the night before and I could not tell that the beam was there. It had destroyed the first outside trailer tire and put a small hole in the last outside tire. The reason that the last tire was not destroyed is because when I saw the snow blow out from when the first tire that blew I pulled wide to try and avoid whatever was going on.
I called breakdown and they told me to go to the Petro just across the state line in Ohio to have the tires changed out. Long story short I was pulled into the weigh station just before the Petro and was put out of service. Petro came out and changed the tires.
The next day I get a phone call from safety. First words out of his mouth are “tell me about this curb you hit.” He was immediately disrespectful, rude and condescending. I told him what happened and then he asked if I took pictures. I didn’t and yes I probably should have but at the time I really didn’t see it as an accident so the thought didn’t cross my mind. I was more mad that there was a chunk of eye beam lying at the corner of the building.
I then asked him if this incident was going to be a problem for me he replied “we will see about that” and then he just hung up the phone. I can say that I have never been spoken to in such a disrespectful and unprofessional manner in my life. The other thing that bothered me is that this was not a low level employee and was the head of safety at Tulsa, OK.
This left a bad taste in my mouth and after two years at Melton and I decided that I had enough of over the road trucking and left. After I left Melton I found out that they recorded a preventable accident on my DAC report. All in all they were not a bad company to work for and I never had any issues with them except for that one incident with the safety department.
I hope that you find my Melton Trunk Lines driver review helpful and I wish you all the best out on the road.