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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
member avatar

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.

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