Your first year as a truck driver will be a learning experience, and depending in part how long your company training is, your miles probably won't be very high compared to what they will be later on.
That said, truck driving is one of the few professions where you are in competition with the other drivers in your company for loads and miles. Top-performing drivers will learn the tricks to be available for any load, any time. "To the Victors, go the Spoils."
Generally, most new drivers will start in OTR jobs, so home time may be sparse at first. Occasionally, new drivers will land local or dedicated jobs right out of the gate, getting them home more often, but not terribly often.
It will depend, but at first, your dispatcher will normally be giving you loads to work your way into high miles while you learn the job, so your miles will follow your personal learning curve. This is not to say that they won't test you or challenge you, though.
Forum - How many miles do rookie truck drivers average per week?
What are the realistic miles that a new (solo) driver can expect after all training is done? I keep hearing numbers from recruiters that do not seem to be too realistic. Some have indicated that their drivers average 3,000 mils per week some have said 3,500 and others even more.
Forum - Rookie truck driver miles
The bottom line is your relationship with your dispatcher. You can either get 500 mile loads in the northeast or 1000 mile loads in the south. Your relationship with him/her will have a direct effect on your happiness with your company.
The companies and drivers are in the same boat: nobody makes money unless your wheels are turning. The company has no interest in "punishing" drivers, or making them sit for a while. If you're not moving freight, you're not making them money. There are always loads available, for the drivers that really want them.
The drivers that get the most miles and and the long runs are those that go out of their way to really go after it, be it knowing where to find empty trailers, being willing to take ANY run they're given, cultivating great relationships with their dispatcher, and managing their clock to be available as much as possible.
Forum - The Power of Being First (How to Set Yourself Up for Success in trucking)
First in, first out. That is a mantra for me. Simply put, that means the first driver on the scene gets unloaded or loaded first, and therefore he is on his way and available for the next load first. Sometimes this means sleeping on the premises, sometimes it means starting your day at one a.m. while other drivers are snug in their sleepers, other times it might mean making some phone calls to your customers and getting some appointments moved forward if possible.
Forum - Me and My Big Mouth! (How to start a fight at a terminal)
I'm just minding my business and keeping my head down while taking it all in. I don't dare want to mention that I'm almost always in excess of 3,000 miles on a weekly basis, because I really don't know much about what these reefer and dry van guys go through, and half the time when I say to someone in the company that I am a SAPA driver they act like they've never even heard of that division.
Forum - Any tips to get better miles?
So what I'm gathering is that I really need to have a conversation with my DM as soon as she's back in the office to find out how she prefers to handle getting new loads. During that same conversation I can communicate my mileage goals with her as well. That way we can have a plan in place for the kind of situation I had yesterday. I really need to focus on building a relationship with my dispatcher , then let everything else follow from there.
Forum - How to get those miles
Today talking with my DM, just on passing (this wasn't am important point for her) she said "You drive 600 in a day. I have many drivers who stop after 500." Also, she knows I never complain (well, almost never) about a load. She says I've helped her out of some sticky situations. Did you get the message?
It will depend on the company. New long-haul drivers should expect the average "1 week out, 1 day home" OTR routine, until they are established within their company.
Forum - Getting more home time as a rookie truck driver
Bottom line it has been a long & challenging time to get to where I am now. One of the reasons I chose the company I chose is to eventually switch my home time option or get something local after putting in the time needed. So I'm home for 3 days and starting next WED I'll be on a 7/7 fleet.
Forum - Can new truck drivers get home every night?
Firstly, I am finding it hard to find information about going straight into something where I will be home daily, as far as I can tell UPS Freight, Con-Way, and maybe some others do have these sorts of opportunities (LTL mostly). Any help here would be great.