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Move from TOC to Freightliner

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Mix107

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23 Jun 2012
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81
Hi, currently 9 years on the railway this year. But been driving passenger trains my whole career so far for 2 TOCS. May have an opportunity coming up to move over to Freightliner Intermodal and wondered what our other drivers experiences are both good or bad?

I don’t dislike my current job or depot and have a great variety of traction and routes. However I’m finding the shift pattern now quite hard, as with a Sunday we do 7 days on some weeks and pretty much work 3 weeks on with a couple of days off just to get a 5 day weekend every 3 weeks. I would like a true 4 day shift pattern, but that’ll never happen where I am. So looking for something with a better work life balance. I have seen the roster for the depot I’m thinking of going too and it’s barely any weekend work currently, although does involve nights (which not a fan of but is only shunting).

I have a an ex colleague and mate who’s gone there so I know about this specific depot. So mainly looking for general advice on Freightliner itself, Intermodal work on freight and anyone who has changed from a FOC to TOC and how they found it?

My main concerns are the risk of moving to a FOC, is it secure enough long term and is the change quite big compared to passenger work? Are you still in the final salary pension and do you have a privilege card for passenger services still? My main pros are the variety of work, better shift pattern/same start & finish times/more time off and a change of scene driving logos. Depot is 3 miles from home, but my current TOC is just under that too.

Any help or advice greatly appreciated
 
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vikingdriver

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11 Mar 2010
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307
Hi, currently 9 years on the railway this year. But been driving passenger trains my whole career so far for 2 TOCS. May have an opportunity coming up to move over to Freightliner Intermodal and wondered what our other drivers experiences are both good or bad?

I don’t dislike my current job or depot and have a great variety of traction and routes. However I’m finding the shift pattern now quite hard, as with a Sunday we do 7 days on some weeks and pretty much work 3 weeks on with a couple of days off just to get a 5 day weekend every 3 weeks. I would like a true 4 day shift pattern, but that’ll never happen where I am. So looking for something with a better work life balance. I have seen the roster for the depot I’m thinking of going too and it’s barely any weekend work currently, although does involve nights (which not a fan of but is only shunting).

I have a an ex colleague and mate who’s gone there so I know about this specific depot. So mainly looking for general advice on Freightliner itself, Intermodal work on freight and anyone who has changed from a FOC to TOC and how they found it?

My main concerns are the risk of moving to a FOC, is it secure enough long term and is the change quite big compared to passenger work? Are you still in the final salary pension and do you have a privilege card for passenger services still? My main pros are the variety of work, better shift pattern/same start & finish times/more time off and a change of scene driving logos. Depot is 3 miles from home, but so is my current TOC one.

Any help or advice greatly appreciated

Not on Freightliner but a driver for a TOC, but in my mind doing intermodal work is probably the most secure type of freight work. Can't see things not being transported around in boxes so if I wanted to dabble in the FOC world that is where I'd look!
 

Aivilo

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15 Jan 2014
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646
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Surrey
If you have an itch to scratch intermodal is probably the safest place to go to.

I'm sure you've done the research on the ddepo seeing as you have a friend there.

You'll lose all travel privileges which for me was a big hit when I moved. The job was interesting but hitting the same routes all the time made it no different to pass work
 

Crazyb

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6 Dec 2014
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165
I started at Intermodal from day one when we split from RFD in 1997/98, I'm now at a TOC.

Ive always said that intermodal is the safest out of the FOC's.

Roster's do change...I only had 1 week of nights in 13, but that soon changed.

You will lose all your travel if you move, only ex BR keep their passes.

Look at their pension, I think they are in deficit.

Look at the diagrams, driving nearly 300 miles a night, on nights is quite tiring.

For being secure, that's the chance you take...Years ago Freightliner HH lost loads of work as did the other FOC's...Though some drivers were made redundant, Freightliner did move some Intermodal work to keep the drivers in work.

Though the government will not support FOC's and if FOC's go into administration that's it, Freightliner do move quite a lot of boxes and personally I couldn't really see Freightliner going down the pan.....The ports couldn't cope for a start....I think there are around 34 maybe more trains a day out of Felixstowe.

I can't speak for everyone, drivers like different things in life....I'm not really a TOC driver, it's boring, but my pay is massively higher...I'm looked after, I have nice mess rooms, I know what time I'm getting home, that's what I want in later life. Freightliner, you just get on with it, which is good in some way.

I miss Freightliner, but I would never go back, even if they matched my pay....It is hard, and I started to struggle with the long nights, but on the other hand I'm old!!!!
Sometimes I wouldn't get home until 8am or 9am Saturday morning, so that's Saturday wiped out. You get the Sunday off but your then back to work Monday.

Like you've mentioned, you have a ex colleague and mate there, so you have all your answers really, only you can decide what suits you.



Good luck.
 

Mix107

Member
Joined
23 Jun 2012
Messages
81
Not on Freightliner but a driver for a TOC, but in my mind doing intermodal work is probably the most secure type of freight work. Can't see things not being transported around in boxes so if I wanted to dabble in the FOC world that is where I'd
Not on Freightliner but a driver for a TOC, but in my mind doing intermodal work is probably the most secure type of freight work. Can't see things not being transported around in boxes so if I wanted to dabble in the FOC world that is where I'd look!
Yeah thanks I was thinking the same if did make the move.

If you have an itch to scratch intermodal is probably the safest place to go to.

I'm sure you've done the research on the ddepo seeing as you have a friend there.

You'll lose all travel privileges which for me was a big hit when I moved. The job was interesting but hitting the same routes all the time made it no different to pass work
Yeah I’m doing as much research as I can as it’s a big move from TOC to FOC. Losing the travel privileges isn’t great. Yeah I can imagine like any driving, it can get repetitive. I suppose for me at the moment it may come down to the roster. But then they can change too. It’s tough one.

I started at Intermodal from day one when we split from RFD in 1997/98, I'm now at a TOC.

Ive always said that intermodal is the safest out of the FOC's.

Roster's do change...I only had 1 week of nights in 13, but that soon changed.

You will lose all your travel if you move, only ex BR keep their passes.

Look at their pension, I think they are in deficit.

Look at the diagrams, driving nearly 300 miles a night, on nights is quite tiring.

For being secure, that's the chance you take...Years ago Freightliner HH lost loads of work as did the other FOC's...Though some drivers were made redundant, Freightliner did move some Intermodal work to keep the drivers in work.

Though the government will not support FOC's and if FOC's go into administration that's it, Freightliner do move quite a lot of boxes and personally I couldn't really see Freightliner going down the pan.....The ports couldn't cope for a start....I think there are around 34 maybe more trains a day out of Felixstowe.

I can't speak for everyone, drivers like different things in life....I'm not really a TOC driver, it's boring, but my pay is massively higher...I'm looked after, I have nice mess rooms, I know what time I'm getting home, that's what I want in later life. Freightliner, you just get on with it, which is good in some way.

I miss Freightliner, but I would never go back, even if they matched my pay....It is hard, and I started to struggle with the long nights, but on the other hand I'm old!!!!
Sometimes I wouldn't get home until 8am or 9am Saturday morning, so that's Saturday wiped out. You get the Sunday off but your then back to work Monday.

Like you've mentioned, you have a ex colleague and mate there, so you have all your answers really, only you can decide what suits you.



Good luck.
Hey thanks for all the info. Yeah I have most of the answers locally at this particular depot. I’m not a fan of nights, but their night shift is currently only shunting work as it’s a new FL depot. But that could change. For me it’s less shifts in a row and better work/life balance as struggling where I am. Intermodal as a whole does seem to have less weekend work.

Regarding the pension, aren’t all TOCS currently in deficit as think the whole railway pension is like 7 billion out. Least it’s final salary right?

Losing the Priv pass isn’t great either. But like you say it’s pros and cons of both. Pass work can get repetitive, but assume freight can be the same. It’s getting the best work life balance in this job and that’s hard on shifts. I think Intermodal overall is the safest freight work compared to HH from what everyone says. Sounds like you miss freight though? For me the pay difference is marginal and ours has just been frozen for a second year, so could be negligible by time I get there at this rate.
 
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Aivilo

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646
Location
Surrey
My pension payment at FL was almost three times what it was at the TOC previously.

Your obviously not at a toc that has a long weekend every third week as personally I don't think it gets much better.

I learnt alot on freight but if I had to choose it would always be pass.

One thing I recall about inter was less weekends and obviously things like Xmas due to shops being closed. Obviously you could get stung with frost prevention duties.

Sometimes it's better the devil you know
 

Mix107

Member
Joined
23 Jun 2012
Messages
81
My pension payment at FL was almost three times what it was at the TOC previously.

Your obviously not at a toc that has a long weekend every third week as personally I don't think it gets much better.

I learnt alot on freight but if I had to choose it would always be pass.

One thing I recall about inter was less weekends and obviously things like Xmas due to shops being closed. Obviously you could get stung with frost prevention duties.

Sometimes it's better the devil you know
I have asked someone there and it’s only £20 more then I pay now. So maybe depends on each company.

Yeah I am at a TOC with a long weekend every 3 weeks. But you only get the Sunday off from lates to earlies or vice versa and the Wed/Thurs off every 3 weeks. When you do a Sunday (outside the working week but forced OT) it’s 7 days straight and sometimes 60 hours+, which is alot. A true 4 day roster would have 4 days max with less RD’s. But I would take 2-3 days as opposed to 5 to work less continuous days.

Like you say it’s not always greener on the otherside I know that. Any swap has it’s downsides too. But also you never know unless you try it. I wouldn’t swap pass to pass again, I have done that and I’m currently at the best depot and company for variety of routes and traction in my opinion up north.
 

Class2ldn

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Joined
25 Feb 2011
Messages
1,184
At TL we have the long weekend every 3rd week but we swap shifts after the wed Thurs rest day which is much better.
I looked at FL but not having shifts so far in advance is a pain for me personally.
The extra nights would fry my brain as I dont like them every 13 weeks let alone every 3 or 4 .
 

Mix107

Member
Joined
23 Jun 2012
Messages
81
At TL we have the long weekend every 3rd week but we swap shifts after the wed Thurs rest day which is much better.
I looked at FL but not having shifts so far in advance is a pain for me personally.
The extra nights would fry my brain as I dont like them every 13 weeks let alone every 3 or 4 .
Intermodal is on a regular shift pattern that repeats like TOCS and the nights can be every 4th week I’m told. I hate nights too. It’s weighing up for me the change of work, nights which I don’t have now but weekends mostly back. It’s a tough one as 40 now and feeling the shift work more. Not sure I wanna be doing nights in my mid 50s
 

Class2ldn

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25 Feb 2011
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Yeah I understand that, at my place we have 1 late Saturday 1 early and then obviously the long weekend one off so its not too bad especially if you've got a nice early finish on Saturday.
To me doing nights every 4 weeks sound like hell, I'd rather do 2 weekends, 1 of them being an early anyway and nights every 3 months instead of nights every 4 weeks.
Weekends won't wear you down so much whereas nights will over time .
Yes we like the weekends off but as you say we are not getting any younger and I think nights every 4 weeks will have a more detrimental effect then a couple of weekends a month .
 

The One

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Joined
2 Apr 2010
Messages
244
So what exactly do you want to know, I know making that change is a scary thought, thinking is the grass greener.All I can say is go with your instincts.You must have your reasons why you want to jump ship.Without giving too much away what depot is it for.
 
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