Marquette Transportation

Anybody work or previously worked for Marquette Trans. River Div.? See there lookin for people. Website looks appealing. Said in three years you can earn six figures. Crew rotations look good either 14/7 or 28/14. Whats the entry level deckhand pay there? Do they have limitations on where you can live. I’m in northern Michigan. Would like a little info before I apply. thanks

The offshore side works 28/14 and have paid travel. I was told pay is around 200 a day

Do they offer any vacation time besides crew rotatation schedule?

Havent a clue. I only know what I know since we worked along side of them for a project and I worked on the boat for a few hours one day.

When you see a daily pay rate like $150 or $200, does that mean thats pocket or before taxes. Just want to clarify this. thanks

No one ever gives after taxes rate since everyones has diffrent taxes

It means before taxes, insurance, 401K contribution ect. I’ve known several people that work for them. I’ve heard they promote quickly but to learn the deck, get your steersman license, and get pilotage experience to make those 6 figures it’s going to take a lot more time than 3 years. I currently work for Ingram Barge same kind of river towing company but they offer 28/28. I’ve been working for them for 2 years and won’t be much longer. Good deck experience but you’ve really got to want to be a river captain because it’s a pure hawsepipe industry. Checkout their always hiring, they can’t keep good people because they expect you to sling rigging, clean shitters, make the captains bed, chip, paint, for 8-10 years before you get into their steersman program. I’m sure that’s the same case with Marquette to some degree, all these ditch companies seem to be the same. Your from northern Michigan ever considered GLMA?

Yeah I thought about going to the academy after I graduated, but didn’t and then life happenned. I would have to relieve some major debt nowdays to go. I have a buddy who went after high school. He graduated as an engineer, and now makes bank (8500/month pocket). He told me if I wanted to sail he would recommend the academy. Sounds like Ingram offers a great crew rotation. When you hired on did you have any experience? Does Ingram hire guys with no sailing experience? If they do what could a greenhorn expect to make the first couple years? I understand (like any job) you must work your way up before the pay goes up, but If I made a career change at this stage I would like to make atleast what I make now. thanks

You need no on vessel experience of any kind. I don’t know your background but if you have any outdoor grunt work experience that will help to put on the app. I’m serious. Trainee starts at 112 per day, you’ll move quickly to inexperienced Deckhand within your first week which is 141 then you’ll have to work 90 days on vessel to get promoted to experienced which is 170, another 90 days you move to senior Deckhand per day 201, or 33,000 gross per year which ends up being like 24,000 net but if you have dependents it will be less due to insurance. Another 120 days you make leadman my position 220 per day. They split your pay so you’ll make half on the boat half in your off month, which means a steady check year round. A perk is you can trip over(overtime) and make your full days rate plus 20%. I’ve heard senior deckhands making 60,000 a year but they work 6 weeks on 2 weeks off year round which sucks as a Deckhand. Senior Deckhand is really where you start making money because of working overtime, although you can trip at any position which will help you get your days in faster to get promoted. You can only make mate or deck boss as they need them, it usually takes 5 years then you can enter your name into steersman program which could take another 1-5 years to get in. Ingram is a good company with really good benefits but as I said if you want to be a river pilot it’s going to take years and it is not guaranteed. Plus the economy blows and the old pilots and captains are not retiring to let the younger guys in. Most people I’ve worked with are just temporary which explains their 20% turn over rate.

Thanks for the info man. One more question. With the leadman pay of $220/day, and there pay setup (split pay) what would the average paycheck be? thanks again

1,200$ per check. There always hiring, apply online

I started out with Ingram in '96 at $65/day.
The personnel man was on the take with a scumbag headhunter down in Alabama.
He told me I had to go to this crook’s “deckhand school” first in order to be hired.
I was starving and did what I had to do. I paid the crook 14 days of my pay to get hired on of which I am quite sure a few nice, crisp, and untraceable Ben Franklins made it into the personnel mans mailbox.

After they hired me I spent a week in the classroom and a week in the fleet before they sent me out to the line haul boats.

I found the same thing. Very cliquish. I made it to lead man ($120/day) after riding the boat for about 16 months strait time. The Bill Berry was my regular boat and then I would trip on other boats until my rotation came back up on the Bill Berry.

The deck mate on the Bill Berry was in his late 40’s and had been on deck for at least 20 years. He tried several times to get someone to steer him but he was not related to anyone so he remained on deck.

Back then you had to get your First Class Pilot Western Rivers before they would even steer you. This was all before the puddle pirates’ steersman program that is on the books now. The CG’s apprentice mate program is loosely based on what river pilots have been doing since the days of steamboats and paddle wheelers.

I was a Yankee and was not related to anyone in the wheelhouse so I knew i would never make it to the wheelhouse on the river. Not even running a fleet boat.

One very good captain I used to trip for on the Cumberland river would let me steer the boat and treated me like a human being instead of a deck monkey.

I expressed my frustrations about not being able to move up and he told me to get my AB ticket.

I had no idea what that was. He explained it was more or less a license to work on blue water boats. He told me I could move up much faster offshore as he had been there and done that.

I immediately started researching and within a few days I got a home study kit from Houston Marine for AB.

I spent the next month hitting the books and then set up a test date at the REC.

I got my AB ticket and STCW on the spot and off I went to the gulf.

When I quit Ingram I had about two years on deck. Not on a 1/1 but an actual two years of strait time. I got out of the Navy in '95 and almost starved to death before I got that deckhand job so I was more than happy to have 3 hots and a cot again and no bills to pay.
I was used to long deployments and abusive assholes from my time in the Navy so being on Ingram Towboats for almost two years strait (not to say we didn’t take the skiff to 1111 3rd Street occasionally for booze and whores) was a breeze.

I spent about another two years as an AB before I sat for my 1600 Ton Mate and my river deckhand time allowed me to get my 2nd Class OUTV (now called Mate / Pilot of Tow).

I started tripping on trash can towboats for whoever would give me some wheel time and working full time in the gulf as an offshore mate.

After a couple years as a mate I sat for my 1600 ton Master but I was about 60 days short of having enough time in to sit for my Master of Tow.

After I got my 1600 ton Master all I had to do was get a TOAR signed off (I already had the (20) 12 hr days inland and (60) 12 hr days WR time as an observer under a DE from running towboat trip pilot) by a DE and submit it for my upgrade to MOT.

Now I am a Captain on a towboat. Granted I am not a First Class Pilot Western Rivers (does not exist anymore anyway) and I will never be Captain of the Martha Ingram but I can guarantee you that on my worst day as a trip pilot I make more than the most senior full time captain at Ingram. I don’t trip for any less than $850/day now. I will settle for $650/day if you don’t 1099 me.

I can push heavy or light tows. I can push liquid, freight, long tows, 6 packs, canal tows, you name it.

I never went through any formal steersman’s’ program. I had to pick it all up on my own at the school of hard knocks but i never did anything i didn’t feel comfortable doing. I would defer to the Captain and watch him to learn how or have him watch me and teach me how.

All the big river line boats are the same. Way too much politics for me. You have to be connected to get on one of those boats to start with. Yes, they are big and luxurious. Yes, the deckhands make your bed and clean your head. Yes, you have a cook and the power of God. But you also have all the bullshit that comes along with being on the flag ship.

Maybe set your sights a little lower or just move them to a different target, brother. I would say it is possible to break the 6 figure mark within your first 3-5 years depending on how much you work and how dedicated you are to moving up.

Marquette pays very well for deckhands. Being a deckhand on a line haul boat would be better than being a deckhand on one of the “gulf / canal” towboats. The canal boats are small, old, and deplorable…that is unless you are lucky enough to end up on one of the new build canal boats. Good luck finding a regular boat. Today you might be on the Queen Mary and tomorrow you might be on the biggest piece of shit in the fleet. A lot of that depends on how well connected your captain is with the coon ass mafia and how well you bob his knob.

The offshore division of Marquette used to be called HLC tugs (Huey L Cheramie). I think it still may be. That is a totally different kind of towing my friend.

I can do both but not all Pilots / Captains can. You would do well to learn both from the deck up.

You can get an offshore and an inland license. If one sector slows down you can switch to the other.

Marquette “River Division” has both 1/1 and 2/1 schedules. If you work the gulf it is going to be a 2/1 (28/14 or 14/7 depending on where you live).

Marquette doesn’t have travel restrictions like Ingram. You have to live close to the terminal with Ingram. Marquette will fly you in from just about anywhere in the lower 48.

Hope this sea story helps.

I will check back some time and see if i can be of help.

Good luck shipmate…I mean river rat.

Wow…Great story man. Thanks for posting! I enjoy your open and honest posts!

850 a day on a tug…prove it

Perseverence pays off, you gotta really want to ride the ditch. And yes open any waterways journal, ad after ad of companies offering 600-800 a day trip.

[QUOTE=kfj;52884]850 a day on a tug…prove it[/QUOTE]

Sorry bro but I aint got nothin to prove to nobody anymore. my day rate speaks for itself. if you want someone to jump on a plane on little to no notice and ride the biggest piece of shit you got without tearing up your equipment then you call me.
money talks…