Are My Expectations Realistic??

Topic 20701 | Page 1

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Doug W.'s Comment
member avatar

I am leaving a job where I currently bring home $2700 a month. I am scheduled to start training the first of next month with a company that starts out at 40 cpm in the reefer division. Am I setting myself up for failure thinking I will be making the same amount of money. Please give me your honest opinion. Thanks folks!!

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Calkansan's Comment
member avatar

Yes it is realistic starting. As a rookie, your goal should be around 2000 miles/week. 2000 x 4 x .40=3200 gross. As you gain more experience, you can be turning 2500-3000/week safely. The important part is developing a can do attitude with your DM and planners. Be their "go to guy". That's how you become a top tier driver and make good money. Good luck.

Dm:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Doug, you really give me cause for concern, and here is why...

I honestly feel that we have answered this question for you on multiple occasions. We are thrilled that you are making use of our forum, and I hope that we have been able to help you, but you exhibit a pattern in here that is all too familiar with me. I could be wrong, and I hope that I am, but it appears that you are scouring the internet for information about trucking, and then once you have gotten yourself totally scared (again) about starting this career, you jump back over here with us, just in the hope that we will pat you on the back and tell you that it is going to be okay!

Successful truck drivers tend to be self starters and go-getters who don't need the amount of affirmation that you seem to want.

Of the five times you have posted in here, two of them were seeking advice on which company to choose, and the other three have been that you need us to help you decide if you are doing the right thing or not.

Here are the last three questions you have given us a chance to take a shot at...

I need to talk to some Current Jim Palmer drivers. Have some company specific questions
Scheduled to start September 18th. Just curious if the miles are consistent and average weekly take home pay
I am leaving a job where I currently bring home $2700 a month. I am scheduled to start training the first of next month with a company that starts out at 40 cpm in the reefer division. Am I setting myself up for failure thinking I will be making the same amount of money. Please give me your honest opinion. Thanks folks!!

If your problem is that you are making yourself nervous by reading the horror stories from the truck driving failure crowd online, then do yourself a favor and quit reading that garbage! We understand that there is a boat load of misinformation out there. Our best advice is to ignore it and take your own destiny by the steering wheel and write your own success story out here. We certainly don't have a crystal ball that is going to tell us whether you are going to be able to handle this job or not, but I can tell you that this career has a competitive environment to it and those who understand that are the ones who make it to the top of the pay scale. Do you remember my former advice to you? Here is a little of it...

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.

I still stand by every word of that.

Continued...

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You want to know specifically...

I currently bring home $2700 a month... Am I setting myself up for failure thinking I will be making the same amount of money.

Doug, you are a green horn rookie driver who honestly doesn't have a clue about what he is getting into. That is not an indictment of your skills or character, it is just the truth, and that is exactly where we all started at. Nobody starts this job making the top pay. There are reasons for that. Trust is a big part of the pay equation in trucking. When you first get started you have no record or reputation as a driver, therefore you have nobody who trusts that you are even capable of getting this job done efficiently, safely, and productively. I call that the ESP formula for success. You have got to establish trust with your driver manager/dispatcher and that just takes time. You will never establish trust by being good buddies with him, or having the same interests as him, or even by bringing him donuts every time you visit the terminal. Your performance record is the only thing that will keep you getting the big miles, and brand new rookies don't usually get stuff handed to them out of benevolence. Remember that ESP formula, You need to put those three things together regularly and consistently if you want to be earning the top wages - Efficiency, Safety, Productivity.

On top of that excellent performance record that you are working on establishing, you need to be easy to get along with also. Nobody gets anywhere for long in this career by demanding that they get treated a certain way. There are drivers out here who have been beating their head against that wall for years, and they still can't understand why they are not getting the best loads and the kinds of miles the top tier level drivers are getting regularly.

In short, the only way that you are "setting yourself up for failure" is if you don't understand the very real fact that it is going to take you about six months of driving solo until you can establish what type of driver you really are. You need to have a plan of how to survive that first three to six months while doing everything you can to establish an excellent record of being on time, of managing your time efficiently, and always making sure you are communicating effectively with your dispatcher so that he can keep you moving in the right direction. The onus is on you. You will measure out your own pay. It isn't so critical how much they are paying you per mile - I started out at 27 cents per mile - paltry compared to what you are starting at. When my first year was tallied up at the end, I had made almost fifty thousand dollars. I got several raises along the way, because they recognized that I knew where the "holy grail" of success was to be found in this business, and they responded accordingly.

This job takes a lot more than just a minimum skill set behind the wheel. It takes courage, determination, some savvy approaches to problem solving, and a Commitment to being all in and staying the course until you get it all figured out.

I wish for you the best Doug, and I have repeatedly tried to illustrate the way to success for you, but you alone will be the one who determines whether you can do this or not.

Go get 'em Doug, We are all pulling for ya! good-luck.gif

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

If you're a go-getter, hard worker, and resilient, you'll do fine. I started out at much less than that and I easily cleared more than that my first year.

Im a top driver with my company and they often show their appreciation. I was pushed to a very high level immediately upon going solo and drove just over 158k miles in my rookie year. They used to only hire very experienced drivers and I came in under a relatively new training program. I was thrown to a dm who had never had an inexperienced driver on her board ever. Her drivers make more money at West Side than any other board overall. She treated me just like the rest and I was expected to perform at a high level from day one. She would push me within minutes of my 70 hour clock. I got used to it over time.

Often companies will take a new driver and slowly ramp up their miles. My company doesn't do that.

People asked me what my kids thought about my new adventure and my response was, "Don't really know. I didn't ask their opinion."

When I was in school I knew what kind of company I wanted to drive for. I researched 4 companies, applied to only 2, got offers from both, and chose one. I've never looked back. I've received numerous raises.. got another 3 cpm just the other day. Just before my 1 year mark, Safety called me in and requested I become a trainer. My trainees biggest complaint? I literally died laughing when Safety showed me the reviews recently. Trainees say I drive TOO MANY hours. I work 70 hours every week. This is how I was trained and expected to perform. I don't know any different.

You either want this or you don't. It really IS that simple.

Dm:

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I love her answers!smile.gifsmile.gif

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