On The Fence About Staying, Maybe Not For Me?

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Buttercup's Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I appreciate the words of encouragement more than I can express over the internet. If nothing else, this has been an odd adventure and learning experience. I did do something that I *wanted* to do. I also realized I am either extremely homesick or I value my small town much more than I realized. I find it hard to talk to people at home as that makes the desire to go home even worse lol. So. My hopes are to stick this out and hopefully find something a bit more local after. I do like the driving. I like the trucks. I even like the truck stop atmosphere lol.

I just think everything is starting to pool into a big ole bowl of homesick soup. The training has gotten better/easier. The sleeping is still difficult but also getting a little better. So. A few weeks to go before I decide if I'm going to do company or lease.

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Still have 15k to go.

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Nice! That won't take long at all. Let me tell you, everyone here is really proud of you! There is nothing like going through something like you are, to really get to learn a few things about yourself. When you finish this first phase of your trucking experience you are going to find that you are capable of achieving much more than you thought you could. Trucking slaps almost all of us in the face at the beginning. Very few people ever enter this career with realistic expectations. We try like crazy to prepare folks for what they are about to face, but it is a difficult thing to convey from a keyboard.

Trucking is one of those careers that gets easier as you progress. There is just so much to learn at the onset of the career that it is absolutely overwhelming for many. That is why there are so many sad stories online of aborted trucking careers. It really does take some special people to do this job, and yet the career seems to attract a lot of people who were never cut out for the challenge.

Your tenacity is proving your worth, I was so glad to see this update from you. Hang in there - you've a whole group of folks here pulling for you. We've got a bunch of dancing bananas just waiting to be released when you give us the news that you are getting upgraded to your very own solo rig.

Stay the course - the challenge is great, but the final reward is even greater! Independence, adventure, and financial rewards are waiting for you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I appreciate the words of encouragement more than I can express over the internet. If nothing else, this has been an odd adventure and learning experience. I did do something that I *wanted* to do. I also realized I am either extremely homesick or I value my small town much more than I realized. I find it hard to talk to people at home as that makes the desire to go home even worse lol. So. My hopes are to stick this out and hopefully find something a bit more local after. I do like the driving. I like the trucks. I even like the truck stop atmosphere lol.

I just think everything is starting to pool into a big ole bowl of homesick soup. The training has gotten better/easier. The sleeping is still difficult but also getting a little better. So. A few weeks to go before I decide if I'm going to do company or lease.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Still have 15k to go.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Nice! That won't take long at all. Let me tell you, everyone here is really proud of you! There is nothing like going through something like you are, to really get to learn a few things about yourself. When you finish this first phase of your trucking experience you are going to find that you are capable of achieving much more than you thought you could. Trucking slaps almost all of us in the face at the beginning. Very few people ever enter this career with realistic expectations. We try like crazy to prepare folks for what they are about to face, but it is a difficult thing to convey from a keyboard.

Trucking is one of those careers that gets easier as you progress. There is just so much to learn at the onset of the career that it is absolutely overwhelming for many. That is why there are so many sad stories online of aborted trucking careers. It really does take some special people to do this job, and yet the career seems to attract a lot of people who were never cut out for the challenge.

Your tenacity is proving your worth, I was so glad to see this update from you. Hang in there - you've a whole group of folks here pulling for you. We've got a bunch of dancing bananas just waiting to be released when you give us the news that you are getting upgraded to your very own solo rig.

Stay the course - the challenge is great, but the final reward is even greater! Independence, adventure, and financial rewards are waiting for you.

double-quotes-end.png

Company, definitely go company. Starting out, company is ALWAYS the way to go. At least until you manage your truck on your own. Adding the lease obligation to your learning curve, is not a good recipe.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

*learn to manage your truck.....

And I even proofread 😕

MyNameGoesHere's Comment
member avatar

I was told by an instructor that if you decide to go the O/O route to buy from a dealer and not do a lease purchase. As cool as it would be to own my own truck and have that "extra" freedom (to earn a paycheck or not, haha), I think company would be best bet until you have the time and experience in. You don't want to get stuck with a truck payment and all the hassles and cost of owning a truck until you have an idea of what it would be like. That's just my opinion anyway. Best wishes on your journey.

On another note, this has been filled with so many horrible trainer moments that it makes one even more nervous about mentor phase.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

I was told by an instructor that if you decide to go the O/O route to buy from a dealer and not do a lease purchase. As cool as it would be to own my own truck and have that "extra" freedom (to earn a paycheck or not, haha), I think company would be best bet until you have the time and experience in. You don't want to get stuck with a truck payment and all the hassles and cost of owning a truck until you have an idea of what it would be like. That's just my opinion anyway. Best wishes on your journey.

On another note, this has been filled with so many horrible trainer moments that it makes one even more nervous about mentor phase.

200 hours with a mentor, is only a drop in the bucket, compared to the rest of our careers. I requested a company driver as a mentor. When my recruiter asked why, I simply stated that some (not all) l/o or o/o mentors/trainers only look at new drivers as a bigger paycheck, and that I would prefer a company driver, because they tend to be more focused on actually training a new driver. Either way, I will learn everything I possibly can, and ask as many questions as I can, because the solo phase of my education will be an unforgiving teacher.

Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

TNT at Prime is terrible and is one of my big complaints about them. With that said, it gets so much easier once you're solo. You'll be able to run your truck as how you see fit provided you meet appointment times.

Go company if you're just coming out of cdl school. You'll have tons on your plate to handle as a rookie, don't need to add a lease into that mix. If you want to go lease, wait a year or 2.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Buttercup's Comment
member avatar

I understand the reasoning behind 'going company' however after talking to multiples of company and lease drivers, seems the majority of the company drivers have averaged 1600-2000 miles a week. With the nickles and dimes taken out of each paycheck (psd 'loan', sleep apnea test, whatever you need for your truck, twic , passport, health/medical/vision/life/dental, not to mention your regular tax deductions) I am weary of spending 70 hours a week to take home $400 lol.

Thus part of the 'on the fence' deal. Just weighing everything out.

Plus coming into winter won't help with miles.

TNT at Prime is terrible and is one of my big complaints about them. With that said, it gets so much easier once you're solo. You'll be able to run your truck as how you see fit provided you meet appointment times.

Go company if you're just coming out of cdl school. You'll have tons on your plate to handle as a rookie, don't need to add a lease into that mix. If you want to go lease, wait a year or 2.

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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Buttercup taking on a lease as a rookie driver is a huge mistake. Much has been written on the subject and can be accessed by clicking this link: Leasing a Truck.

I urge you to take the time and read the threads in the link.

Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

Leasing is not much different with having small pay checks once in a while. Want to go home? You're still paying for that truck on your home time. Yes your pay checks will be a bit smaller at first but you'll still be taking home $600-1000 weekly company.

You don't need a twic or passport for prime. Sure it opens you up to more loads but you won't see a noticeable rise in income with them.

9OtTGXy.png

This is the deductions part of one of my early settlements. The wage advances are for lumpers and prime reimburses those. As you can see at the bottom, I still took home $945 that week.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I understand the reasoning behind 'going company' however after talking to multiples of company and lease drivers, seems the majority of the company drivers have averaged 1600-2000 miles a week. With the nickles and dimes taken out of each paycheck (psd 'loan', sleep apnea test, whatever you need for your truck, twic , passport, health/medical/vision/life/dental, not to mention your regular tax deductions) I am weary of spending 70 hours a week to take home $400 lol.

Thus part of the 'on the fence' deal. Just weighing everything out.

Buttercup, congratulations, you literally have me wanting to bang my head against the wall with your above rationale for wanting to lease a truck!

First off how in the world have you had the time to speak to "multiples of company and lease drivers?" And since you have all this extra time to speak to all these people, well, how about you spend a little time and speak to us about it?

Let's just look at the things that you stated, and just stick with that for now.

First... You have wrongly come to the conclusion, after speaking to multiples of company drivers that you are only going to be getting 1,600 - 2,000 miles per week. Where are you finding these drivers to speak with them? If it is at a terminal , then you are speaking to the wrong drivers! The terminal is the worst place to ask drivers about their experience at your company - the absolute worst place. Terminals are typically the main place where all the "under achievers" are hanging about.

Second... Who are the lease drivers that have influenced you? If it is your trainer, I'd like to shake him/her real hard and get in their face with some hard questions, and have them produce for you some real genuine solid numbers. I'm not talking about looking at their gross amount on their settlements, which is the only thing they ever want to show anybody, because the rest of what is going on for them is usually so scary they don't even like to think about it, much less have you know what they are going through. Why do you think lease operators are always the ones who end up being trainers? Oh, I already know that your trainer probably told you that they are training because they really want to help other people learn how to do this, and therefore they are making the sacrifices necessary to teach others to be professional truck drivers - they do it because they "really care." I'm shaking my head - they became lease operators because they thought they were going to be making a ton of money. They were wrong, so then they decided that the only way they were going to even break even was if they started taking on students, so now they are training and using their poor trainees just to turn more miles for the truck. I know I sound like a deranged cynic, but 95% of the time, that is exactly how it works.

Third... You are worried about getting nickled and dimed by the company if you are a company driver? Try having them deduct money for your maintenance, your tires, paying for all your own fuel. How about that lease payment, how are you going to like them taking that out every single week, including that week that you didn't feel well and just didn't need to be driving, or how about that week you needed to be home for something important, or that one week of vacation you felt you deserved, or maybe that week that your truck was broke down and you didn't get to turn any miles at all? Forget about being nickled and dimed, and start thinking about having about 900 - 1,000 dollars a week or more taken from your check! Does that sound good to you? Have you ever had someone give you a check with a negative number on it? Well guess what? Just about every lease driver I have ever encountered has had that happen to them, and of course it always happens when you need the money the most!

Fourth... How many miles a driver gets has absolutely nothing to do with whether you are a lease operator or a company driver. Nothing! Your ability to be productive and creative out here and be the type of driver who gets a lot done while being safe, productive, and easy to work with will be the way in which your miles are measured out to you. There is no random or fair spreading of the miles out to drivers in this business. It is a very selective process, and the folks who understand how you get to the top of the list are the ones who are making the money.

Plus coming into winter won't help with miles.

For me, that statement is completely false. I keep up with my numbers very carefully. For the last four years I have made more money during the fourth quarter of the year than any of the other quarters. I honestly think it is because my dispatcher knows that I will get it done if he gives it to me. He would rather trust a load going up into the snow covered Northeast to a driver who has proven time and time again that he will get it done, than he would risking it with someone else.

If the fact that you are concerned with winter giving you less miles makes you lean toward leasing, then why in the world would you want to lease during a time when your miles are going to be down? You will absolutely need to be turning every single mile you can if you are going to make a lease work out in your favor.

Please Buttercup, don't put your rookie self into the position of having to risk life and limb just so you can make Prime's truck payments for them.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
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