Is Trucking Worth It Anymore?

Topic 8519 | Page 5

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Alexander D.'s Comment
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I'm trying to get funds for school. I figure I've got the right personality for the job.

the red rabbit's Comment
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I have a question for some experienced drivers out there. First, I am no dummy when it comes to trucking. I have a Class A with all my endorsements, 15 years of experience, a passport plus a Twic card. I have made excellent money in trucking being a Temp. Yes, I said the word "temp" driver. If your in the right spot at the right time you can make 1700-1800 gross a week being on a dedicated account (local or Regional) being a Temp. Temp services will use you and throw you out the window when theres no work so save every penny. I also have done regional (living in the Northeast) and I liked sleeping in the truck. I never actually did the 48 states but I want to. Companies look at my experience and call it OTR because I was regional. Presently, I have been applying to Mega Companies and the offers are coming in. No, I really don't want to work for them as a solo driver but instead be a Driver Trainer. I heard from a student at Prime that I could make huge money (120K) doing just that and the students would actually like me! Nevertheless, I am coming down to the wire. First, I don't trust the Mega Companies and their false promises not to mention them ruining my DAC or PSP report. So, this is where I need Drivers with years of experience to chime in:

Two offers on the table so far:

1. a. A small 10 truck company that does OTR reefer. I met the owner and spoke with a driver plus they even went as far as showing me their pay stubs. Yes, I know... I deleted the info after I viewed it with a fine tooth comb. lol b. A Penske 2017 Volvo or Freightliner with speed pass for all states. c. Working off paper logs, yes I can cheat. I would only cheat if I was feeling rested so no comments. d. I can get all the miles I want, easy money. e. .50 cents a mile paying ALL miles once I get in the truck. If I go to the grocery store with the truck, I get paid the miles. I can stay out as long as I want. f. No health ins or benefits but a company employee NOT a 1099, paid bi-weekly. g. No corporate bs, no cameras in trucks, no tracking, nothing! Idle the truck when sleeping, no opti-idle! h. No pet policy, bring whoever with you, just get the job done. i. No DAC or PSP reporting. j. I can take the truck home but since I vacated my apartment (single, no kids) I would stay out longer or visit my parents when needed. k. They will let me take the truck home (day 1) to get organized before I depart.

I already took a drug test for them!

2. a. Mega Company, Crete/Shaffer. b. pet policy, 700.00! And you know there not going to refund that. c. fridge policy, 600.00! d. elogs. e. Not much for training new drivers, its not lucrative. f. They want to start me off at .45 with 15 years of experience... bs! And thats practical miles which you can subtract 5-10% of the top. g. DAC/PSP reporting. h. good health ins @ 27.00 a week for a single person. i. They promise 2700-3000 a week, something I don't believe. j. Opti-idle, paid weekly. k. Corporate policies!

Is it really that profitable to be a Driver Trainer or should I pick from the above. I'm leaning on #1 and I would appreciate your thoughts.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

To me there's only one choice - go with the smaller company because your attitude toward the larger company sucks. Attitude determines performance which determines the treatment you'll get. A lousy attitude means lousy performance which means lousy treatment.

If you go to a large carrier with that cr*ppy attitude you won't get along with the people, you won't perform the way you should, they won't give you the miles you expect or the special treatment you think you deserve, and you'll quit in four months anyhow. Then you'll run around telling everyone how the company was the problem.

We watch these cycles play out continuously, far more times in fact than we could ever count at this point.

Attitude -> Performance -> Treatment

Go with the smaller company.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Training new drivers isn't about snatching a lucrative opportunity. Do new drivers a favor and don't train at all. Being a teacher isn't about what's in it for you. I pity any student that's stuck with you as a "trainer."

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Training new drivers isn't about snatching a lucrative opportunity. Do new drivers a favor and don't train at all. Being a teacher isn't about what's in it for you. I pity any student that's stuck with you as a "trainer."

Oh I meant to add that, also. I totally agree. Training is super stressful for all involved. It certainly isn't worth the little extra cash they'll give you to be a trainer if you're not really into the idea of training in the first place. If you're doing it for the money you'll approach the student as a necessary evil and it will quickly become a nightmare for you and your students.

You're best off going to work for a small company and running as hard as you can.

G-Town's Comment
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The Red Rabbit wrote:

First, I am no dummy when it comes to trucking. I have a Class A with all my endorsements, 15 years of experience

Ok, cool.

If so then why did you also write this?

I heard from a student at Prime that I could make huge money (120K) doing just that (training) and the students would actually like me!

So a significant part of your rationale to train is based on a comment made by a Prime student? Interesting. With your 15 years of experience, it makes no sense why you would believe them. We have a former Prime trainer on the forum, hopefully he can offer a reality check on this. Daniel, you out there?

Training is something to be taken very seriously and should not be considered if money is the primary motivation. If you actually believe you can really help a student safely learn the ropes of the business and have considered the challenges and risks associated with it, then maybe it's for you. Like others who have replied, I think not.

Something to keep in mind if you decide to stick around, we try like h*** on this forum to share first-hand, personal experiences that can help people who are either considering a career in trucking, active student drivers and rookies. In addition most of us in here are company drivers that do not share your negative perspective on the large carriers and certainly do not dissuade newbies from training/working for them. So yeah, attitude is everything and can either be a benefit or a detriment to a driver.

Having offered proof that you are indeed, no "dummy" when it comes to trucking, your choice is obvious. The Utopia of door number 1.

Jrod's Comment
member avatar

I know its always easy to get into the "whoa is me/Whoa is my industry"... but basically ALL blue-collar and middle class wages have stagnated since the 80's... Of course, there are a few exceptions, but it's not just us in trucking. When wages stagnate, everyone gets paid less - and everyone has less spending power. So less money to buy the goods getting moved.

I know we want to fix our industry, but its just a part of the whole. It's like trying to fix a broken finger when we have a gaping chest wound.

Alley B.'s Comment
member avatar

There's no way a newbie driver can make $40,00 per year driving solo. Prove me wrong. I drove for 20 years, even before deregulation and I aM telling you, if you count your down time, layovers, sitting and waiting at a dock to load or unload. you make less than minimum wage.. Figure, hours, costs of food, layovers, load and unload, unless you can be a porn star in your truck. aint happening. Benn down the hard road.. They lie to get you in, they lie to get you to do or wait.. re-tarping a load which takes at least an hour should [pay you $25.00 per hour , you get dirty, you get tired, you need a shower, and then even though you feel that way the company wants you to try to do 500 miles over night. Other than naked trucking with your porch light on to flash drivers, you can't keep yourself awake to run liker that after, tarping, strapping, chaining. and that's just if you haul a flat bed. A dry van is worse, you hope they load it so your axles aren't over, put your load bars in and hope the pallets are correctly placed by the loader so they don't shift. In most places, they will not allow you to dictate what you want for loading, oh and then there's refer... Cabbage on the front, grapes in the middle and watermelon on the back. That causes you to scale, shift, rescale, shift, rescale, and shift and if you don't have it right you start using back roads to go around scale houses.. There is no perfect situation when your trucking and you have to be prepared for whatever each individual state requires, plus the bridge law.. Have fun Drivers, It's not Disneyland, and it's not the wizard of OZ who knows all, tells all. It's a guessing game from point A to B. So if you want to take on all that responsibility, then koodos to you.. Alley Baker, 35 year veteran...

I've written a new article entitled Is Trucking Worth It Anymore? where I discuss my opinion on today's trucking industry and whether or not a career in trucking is worth doing any longer.

Every one of us has a different personality. We live under different circumstances and have different life goals. Some people want adventure and travel, others want a quiet life at home with family and friends. There are a ton of jobs to choose from, but in the end trucking isn't the answer for most people.

If you're an experienced driver, what advice would you give people considering a career in trucking?

If you're considering a career in trucking or you haven't begun just yet, what are the major factors in making your decision?

This is such a tough decision for so many people. I'd love to hear what it came down to for you and how you feel about the industry today.

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.

Kirk P.'s Comment
member avatar

There's no way a newbie driver can make $40,00 per year driving solo. Prove me wrong.

double-quotes-start.png

I've written a new article entitled Is Trucking Worth It Anymore? where I discuss my opinion on today's trucking industry and whether or not a career in trucking is worth doing any longer.

Every one of us has a different personality. We live under different circumstances and have different life goals. Some people want adventure and travel, others want a quiet life at home with family and friends. There are a ton of jobs to choose from, but in the end trucking isn't the answer for most people.

If you're an experienced driver, what advice would you give people considering a career in trucking?

If you're considering a career in trucking or you haven't begun just yet, what are the major factors in making your decision?

This is such a tough decision for so many people. I'd love to hear what it came down to for you and how you feel about the industry today.

double-quotes-end.png

The company I am looking into will be paying me .56 CPM to haul glass. As long as I reach my 6 month mark without incident. And that's fresh out of CDL school.

.56 cpm x 65 mph = $36 per hour

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

Ken H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Heavy C Thank you for the realistic information post, you hit it on the head, if people rely on "reviews" as the only piece of information to make decisions on, well, they're getting off on the wrong foot. I happen to look at some reviews online of a hotel in St Louis Mo. The reviews were horrible, well, when I was in St Louis I checked the hotel out. To my surprise the hotel was a 5 star location and was outstanding in service. So I don't know about the bad reviews, they were wrong. I also checked some reviews online at a couple of hotels in San Diego Ca. same thing happen. In a business meetup in Champaign IL I attended, focus was marketing for business, a co-peer told me that competition gets down and dirty and deliberately post negative feedback to push people away from them and toward the other, in this case hotels. Also, you might have a disgruntled ex-employee, which will get on the review sites and post horrible reviews. Everything in life no matter the opportunity, takes the individual putting they're time and effort into the situation, if people put a small amount of time into something, that's just what they will get out of it. I have a friend, who always wanted to have a business, make a lot of money but put a fraction of time into that business, well, needless-to-say that never happened. We've heard the expression "you are what you eat" well, you'll only get out of something what you put into something.

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