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Pay confusion - How much will I make as a new driver?

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Janet M.'s Comment
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I am trying to figure out how much money in dollars I would reasonably expect a paycheck to be. How many miles could I reasonably expect to drive during a week or month? How do pay cycles tend to be weekly, bi-weekly or every two weeks? I am not counting any bonus money just work time. For example: If I drove 2000 miles @ 0.34cpm I gross $680.00 How long would it reasonably take to go the 2000 miles?

If any of this is unclear feel free to ask me. I hope this is not confusing.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

My experience has been most companies pay weekly for the miles driven (assigned) the previous week.

In my first year with Schneider, I averaged 10,000 miles per month as a solo OTR driver with 5 days off per month. I was told my average was a little high.

If you're considering regional or dedicated, you may average fewer miles, but get additional pay for things like stops or unloading.

To answer your question, you could do 2,000 miles in four days or seven. It just depends on what the assignments dictate.

I hope this helps.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Janet. Steve has some good numbers right there.

Here's an article I wrote that I believe is exactly what you're looking for:

Rookie Drivers: Time Management Tips And Mileage Goals

Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

Is it reasonable to expect to gross $2400/mo pretty easy? I chose this amount because I double my current monthly check. I prefer regional or dedicated where i can get home more. OTR may not work well because I need to be able to get my medications when I need to. Is it reasonable to gross $2400/mo on regional or dedicated routes?

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Is it reasonable to gross $2400/mo on regional or dedicated routes?

Oh it certainly is. And to be clear, because a lot of people confuse this, "gross" earnings are earnings before anything is taken out like taxes and insurance. So yes, you can certainly gross $2,400/month running regional or dedicated routes. It might start a little slow in the beginning, but you can expect to gross $35,000 - $40,000 your first year.

OTR may not work well because I need to be able to get my medications when I need to

I think 3/4 of the trucking industry is on medications. That situation can be resolved pretty easily. You shouldn't have to avoid OTR for something like that.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Janet. Steve has some good numbers right there.

Here's an article I wrote that I believe is exactly what you're looking for:

Rookie Drivers: Time Management Tips And Mileage Goals

Hey Brett thanks for this link it's a help. i have a question just for you: When it comes to the DOT and/or company physicals do they expect the ladies to handle the same amount of weight as the men? There is NO WAY I can push, pull, lift etc an excessive amount of weight. If I could not do 50 pounds when younger, I sure can't do it now. That's why I'm looking for as much drop & hook as I can.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
do they expect the ladies to handle the same amount of weight as the men?

The actual DOT physical itself does not have any "physical aptitude" tests like moving or lifting weights, walking underneath a bar to simulate walking under a trailer, or anything of that sort. However, there are a lot of companies, especially flatbed companies, that will do their own physical testing to make sure drivers can handle the physical strain. You will be able to ask companies when applying whether or not they do any physical stress tests like that.

But if a company does do that sort of testing they will almost certainly do the same tests for both men and women because everyone must be able to handle the minimum physical requirements of the job.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Is it reasonable to gross $2400/mo on regional or dedicated routes?

double-quotes-end.png

Oh it certainly is. And to be clear, because a lot of people confuse this, "gross" earnings are earnings before anything is taken out like taxes and insurance. So yes, you can certainly gross $2,400/month running regional or dedicated routes. It might start a little slow in the beginning, but you can expect to gross $35,000 - $40,000 your first year.

double-quotes-start.png

OTR may not work well because I need to be able to get my medications when I need to

double-quotes-end.png

I think 3/4 of the trucking industry is on medications. That situation can be resolved pretty easily. You shouldn't have to avoid OTR for something like that.

Yes I know the difference between gross vs net. As far as the OTR and meds go, it's good to know. I still prefer regional or dedicated though if i can get it

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

do they expect the ladies to handle the same amount of weight as the men?

double-quotes-end.png

The actual DOT physical itself does not have any "physical aptitude" tests like moving or lifting weights, walking underneath a bar to simulate walking under a trailer, or anything of that sort. However, there are a lot of companies, especially flatbed companies, that will do their own physical testing to make sure drivers can handle the physical strain. You will be able to ask companies when applying whether or not they do any physical stress tests like that.

But if a company does do that sort of testing they will almost certainly do the same tests for both men and women because everyone must be able to handle the minimum physical requirements of the job.

Thanks Brett

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I still prefer regional or dedicated though if i can get it

I would focus on dry van companies then. Flatbed you won't want and refrigerated carriers are predominantly OTR routes that get you home every few weeks or so. Dry van companies tend to have a good variety of dedicated and regional divisions. Some of them you will need some experience to qualify for, but many of the opportunities are available to students straight out of school.

Here is some great information on choosing a company:

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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