Graduating In November

Topic 20557 | Page 1

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Wade T.'s Comment
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I'm graduating in early November and looking into companies that pay decent Looking for a quick evaluation period so I can start making my miles I'm in the north east (New Hampshire) Any advice?

G-Town's Comment
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Wade...that's a rather telling statement you just made.

To better set your expectations and build an initial knowledge base, I highly suggest investing some time in the following two Trucking Truth links:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

With the above links in mind,... all of the companies that are "willing and best equipped" to hire and develop an entry level driver "pay decent". The meaning of "Decent" is a subjective evaluation and requires further clarification. The delta from the top rookie pay scales to the very bottom is not so huge (pennies) that one is necessarily better than the other, or should be used as the primary reason to hire-on with them. First year compensation is about 40k, some higher, some lower. Money for rookies or experienced hands is directly tied to top performance and has little to do with CPM rate. The mileage point is also in direct correlation to performance; as you prove that you can handle more and more, you will likely be given more and more consistent mileage. During the first few months expect to experience swings of 1000 miles from 1 week to the next; 1800 miles one week, can be 2800 the following week. We suggest doing the best you can; focused on safety, efficiency, learning every minute of every day, and begin to build that all-important relationship with your driver manager/dispatcher.

This link provides additional details supporting the above points:

What to expect the first year

My suggestion is to focus on completing your training and take a look at the carriers listed in Trucking Company Reviews to help narrow your choices, with an eye towards those that will hire a driver with no experience.

Best of luck!

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Yeah, G-Town is spot on. Trucking is a lot more complex and challenging than most people think. It's not just a matter of "hurry up and let's get this training baloney over with so I can bank some cash."

It's going to take quite a while to learn the logbook rules, learn to manage your time, adjust to erratic sleep schedules, and even get dispatch to trust you with their most important customers.

And believe me, the schooling only teaches you about 2% of what you'll need to know to do this job at the highest level. When you get out there and start training you're going to see that right away. When you go solo it's going to be even worse. You're going to make a ton of mistakes and there's simply a lot you won't know for quite a while.

There's no such thing as a company that doesn't have decent miles available, but it's going to take some time to prove yourself worthy of them. You can be on time for every appointment for an entire month. But miss one appointment time and you might be in the doghouse for a while.

If you want to maximize the amount of money you can make once you get out there, focus on learning everything you can learn now so you're ahead of the game. Use our High Road Training Program to:

Learn The Logbook Rules

Learn Truck Weight & Balance - which will teach how to load cargo, how to slide your tandems to redistribute the weight, how to calculate fuel burnoff, and a whole lot more.

The more you know the more money you can make. But it's not going to be about which company you work for. It's going to be about how good of a job you do, how quickly you learn, and how well you get along with people.

You can apply to quite a few companies here on our site with one quick application but you still have a few months so I wouldn't worry about it just yet:

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Study hard. Go through our Career Guide like G-Town pointed out. Learn all you can about what to expect and how this industry works.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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