Help With Current Jim Palmer Drivers

Topic 20581 | Page 1

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Doug W.'s Comment
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I need to talk to some Current Jim Palmer drivers. Have some company specific questions

Old School's Comment
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Doug, throw your questions out here and I think you will get some responses.

Doug W.'s Comment
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Scheduled to start September 18th. Just curious if the miles are consistent and average weekly take home pay

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Doug, there's no such thing as a major trucking company that doesn't have great miles available to great drivers. Things may or may not be a little lean in the first few months while you're learning your trade and proving yourself, but soon enough you'll have all the miles you can handle.

I just wrote an article the other day - check this out so you'll have a better understanding of how things work:

The Right Strategy For Earning More Miles And Better Pay

I haven't added this to the article yet, but learning the logbook rules is also critically important to maximizing your available time, and therefore your potential for more miles.

You also have the advantage that we're starting the busy season, now through Christmas, so there should be plenty of miles available to go around.

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.

Old School's Comment
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Just curious if the miles are consistent and average weekly take home pay

Thanks Doug, your question is exactly along the lines that I was thinking it would be. That is why I wanted you to throw it out there. You see, most newbies getting started at this would think that is a company specific question, but actually it is a driver specific question. Here's what I mean...

This business is completely performance based, and there is not much of a way for someone who is just getting started to come out of the gate performing at the highest levels. For the most part, they are just barely figuring out how to shift gears and make a safe lane change. We understand your concerns, and to be honest with you every one of us started getting nervous about how everything was going to play out once we were about to get started. This is a common thing - that start date begins to barrel down on us and the next thing we know we are afraid we made the wrong choice of companies, or we just start getting those butterflies in our stomachs because we are getting into unknown territory.

One of the greatest things about this career is that you get to measure out your own pay - that's right! If you want to be average you can be average. If you want to be at the top of the pay scale, then you can work at it until you understand how the game is played and you can play your cards right almost every week to be at the top of your fleet. Personally, I like mileage pay, because I know that I will do what it takes to make some money at this. If you have got a work ethic that says "let's get this thing done," then you are already ahead of the game out here.

We don't talk about the competitive nature of this business enough in here. Any and all trucking companies, including Jim Palmer, really cater to the guys who make things happen out here. You are going to discover that there are a lot of mediocre drivers out here once you start to mingle with them and listen to them moan and groan about their jobs. I hear this garbage everyday, even from guys who are on this dedicated fleet that I am making a killing on. There is nothing fair about the way these companies "hand out" miles. They are actually partial to the guys who deserve them. So How do you become one of those deserving drivers? Well, to be honest with you, Brett just summed it up very nicely recently in a thread that I hope you will study and study some more, because in it lies the secrets to success out here - doesn't matter if you are at Jim Palmer, Prime, or Western Express. Click Here to read it and take the message to heart.

We understand the nerves getting to you, but to be real honest about it, you have got to commit to your craft and stick it out for a full year while you are learning how to be one of those guys who really does well at this. Trust me, if you heed what he teaches in that article you will be treated very well at Jim Palmer, and you will be making well above average when it comes to your pay.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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Haha! Brett and I are on the same page, but he is much quicker than me!

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
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All the miles you can handle if you keep the drivers side door closed, communicate with dispatch, supply good customer service and be safe!!

Big Scott's Comment
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Jim Palmer hauls Prime freight. Like the others said. Prove yourself and the miles come. The company is family owned. Many family members work there. They have good training and a good rep for working with their drivers. If you are going through their training, concentrate on learning all you can. Keeping the wheels turning and the doors closed leads to more miles. Communicate professionally and courteously with dispatch. Get your loads done on time or early. I don't know if they send you preplans. If they do, those pick up as you prove yourself. Good luck and keep us posted.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott's Comment
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Great article Brett. I agree. I do all of that. I don't need to ask for more miles, I get all I can drive. This site taught me how to make it in this career. Thanks. I love it. I love my checks. I have 12,573 miles for the month of September. My best month yet.

Phox's Comment
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Keeping the wheels turing and the doors closed leads to more miles.

It also leads to various health issues... I for one am getting tired of reading that line. I am the type who prefers to stop as little as possible so i can either maximize my miles or get shut down early enough to get more sleep and have a better parking spot. That caused me to develope adema in my feet (swelling due to retaining fluid) because I was not stopping and taking enough breaks. I would go 250-300 miles before stopping and then that would be my 30 which I usually didn't even get out of truck for, then I do another 250-300 to complete my day. When my feet got so big they looked like water baloons I went to doc... they were afraid I was having a blood clot or something else more serious and sent me to er. I ended up having to take 9 days medical leave because of it. I still have the problem but not as bad and I can manage it, but I also have to stop about every 2 hours and walk around.

So this "keep the left door closed and keep rolling stuff" yeah that's bad advice. I stop for about 15 min every 2 hours or so (obviously limited by truck stop or rest area availability), 3-4 times a day is not going to kill your miles.

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