Profile For ChrisEMT

ChrisEMT's Info

  • Location:
    Bristol, CT

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 2 months ago

ChrisEMT's Bio

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Posted:  8 hours, 30 minutes ago

View Topic:

WWYD?

Well, let me start by saying welcome. Being a truck driver can be a very rewarding career, both financially and personally. My first year I made $40k+, and my 4th year, I made $55k, and I had 99% of my weekends off. I had also seen a lot of the country. If you get hired on with a company that has contracts with one (or multiple) of the dollar branded stores, the average 1st year driver on one of those accounts I've seen make $60-65k, and by the second year you can be on track to make $80k+, but the drawback to the "dollar store" accounts is that they are all driver unload at the stores. I was on 2 accounts ( first was the 1st 18 months of my first 2 years, the 2nd was my last 2 years), and I ha to unload very little freight, and got paid extra for it.

Another benefit of being a truck driver is that no matter where you live, you will get paid the same. For example, my trainer lived in Mississippi, and I live in CT. as a regional or OTR driver, I got the same base amount as he did (he got paid more when he had a student obviously). I had moved to my first dedicated account, and made 10 cents more per mile pay, plus safety pay on top of that. My second dedicated account, I mad 10 cents more base then he did, 2 cents safety pay, unload/assist unload pay, and stop pay, which gave me an extra 35 cents a mile on average then him. it all adds up fast.

Posted:  8 hours, 56 minutes ago

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Prepaid legal services/insurance plan

I had it the entire time on the road. My company charged me somewhere in the range of $5 or $6 a week, for the first 4 weeks a month. Well worth it, especially if you get into a bind. Better than having to come up with a retainer of $2-3k and get charged outrageous amounts per hour... and some will help you fight traffic tickets (in your truck or personal vehicle)... Just my $.02

Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

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Can't Slide Tandems, Pins Won't Retract

Usually, when I had pins that wouldn't release, I would use WD40 to soak them, then I would pull the pin, get in my tractor and rock back and forth a little with the trailer brakes, and that would usually help....

Posted:  1 day, 10 hours ago

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Trucking companies not hiring from south Florida

You might want to try Werner. I know that they have a terminal in Lakeland, Florida. Not a bad company to work for, and last I knew, they have a home depot out of Lake Park, GA that my trainer got on, and he was home every weekend in Florida...

If your not looking to be "Home" other than every 6 or 8 weeks, any company should be willing to work with you. But I do know most freight is iffy going out of Florida, getting you into Florida wouldn't be too hard.

Posted:  2 days, 11 hours ago

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I messed up BAD

Hello, I was wondering, is that 36 cpm + 5 cpm bonus for OTR or on a dedicated account. I know with the carrier I was with, the dedicated drivers made more than OTR drivers before bonuses and such. for example, the carrier I worked for paid the new OTR drivers 26 cpm, no safety bonus, no fuel bonus, no stop pay, nothing. Most of the dedicated accounts they have pay between 36 - 50 cpm, + safety bonus + unload pay + fuel bonus + mileage bonus + border crossing pay. Obviously not all accounts pay those, but most do. My average pay every week was between 57 - 63 cpm and I averaged 2200-2500 and I was home every weekend, so if you do the math, I was averaging 1100-1300/week, and that was as a company driver. It all depends how fast your DM learns to trust you and how they can preplan you to maximize your clock.

Posted:  5 days, 10 hours ago

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Trucking Truth Driver Productivity Leaderboard

I know it's been said before, but part of it is when to start your clock, and trip planning, so you know you can make your delivery on time... I know drivers like me, who are on dedicated accounts that start and end at the same place, not only know when to start your 70 and 14 hour clocks, but where to start and stop.

For example, I had a regular load that delivered on Mondays. Usually my first stop was in South Windsor, CT and ended in Fishkill, NY. After a few weeks of picking up my load on Sunday, and stopping at a truck stop outside Springfield, MA, and getting back to Vermont at 6pm or later on Mondays, I made the suggestion of flipping the route to start in Fishkill, NY, and end in South Windsor to beat the rush hour traffic in 3 cities with nightmare traffic. So after a couple weeks of prodding, my boss agreed. The load that he gave me was the standard 6 stop run, and I mad it back to Vermont by 2 pm on Monday, a whole 4 or 5 hours earlier than the other way. When I strolled into my managers office, he was surprised and told me my next load wasn't even ready until 8 am the next morning. He gave me $75 layover pay because I had to wait for my next load, and the next week, he did the route the same way, and I got an extra 400 mile load in my weekly pre-plan because of it... from then on, he always kept me on the same Monday load and then gave me longer more challenging trips, with more miles every week....

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Quention about the DAC

Hello All,

I have a question about the DAC. I was with a major carrier for 4 years, and I had 2 minor accidents in 2014 and 1 in 2015, all with no injuries, no towing, or anything that was DOT reportable. All 3 show up on my DAC, which I expected. My question is, how long before they "fall off" or disappear from the DAC. I notices that it said on the top of the page that it has a section that said accidents over 7 years old, and then one that says accident under 7 years old. I am currently not on the road due to a few other reasons, but I was just wondering in case I decide to go back on the road...

Thanks in advance, Chris

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Important or Not

Hello, I find, in my opinion, that its not the amount of terminals that is important, its where they are located. If a companies terminals are strategically located throughout the country, with a larger network of trailer drop yards, it is better than having a large network of expensive terminals with large yards.

Like with my former company, they had several terminals, about a dozen or so terminals, and a few small "shop only" terminals with a maintenance shop, safety dept, logs, and a couple other admin offices spread out throughout the country. As far as home time, as long as I parked at my local truck stop, I was fine, unless I had a "high value" load, then I would need to deliver it before going on home time or securing it at a secured drop yard.

What I would suggest to a rookie is find out what major truck stops your company uses to fuel and sign up for their rewards cards to get free showers and points. Also, find out if your company uses truck stops shops, such as the TA/Petro shops for maintenance and inspections, this way not only do you get your company to pay for it, and for any extra fluids, bulbs, tires, etc., you get the points (and shower credits) to use towards in store purchases. I had always got my maintenance done at my local TA on weekends while on home time so I don't burn my clock and get in a reset.

Also, whatever company you go with, I found that if your company offers a dedicated account, you will usually get paid a few cpm more, plus safety pay of a couple cpm, plus stop pay, plus unload/assist unload pay, which all adds up to a larger total cpm average. Also, most of the ones I saw at my old company offered weekends off. My last account I averaged over 60cpm and 2200-2500 miles a week with weekends off. And your company may have an account near your home so you can be home on your days off....

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

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Hair Follicle Testing Question

Hello, from what I have heard from various sources, it depends on BMI and how much you had smoked and for how long... THC is usually stored in fat cells... Hair follicle testing can detect various drugs for anywhere from 60 - 180 days with the norm being about 90 for most drugs. I have heard rumors (and only rumors) that HFT can detect drugs up to 1+ years. My recommendation would be wait 120 days and go for it...

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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How many miles do rookie truck drivers average per week?

When I started with a "Mega-Carrier", I was averaging about 2300-2500 miles a week for about a month, but once I got into my groove and showed my DM I could do it, I was at about 2000/week on a dedicated account account, but the manufacturing part was lacking. I switched accounts, and started averaging 2200-2500/wk (over 5 1/2 days) and I was home weekends, and averaged about .60/mile to make up for the lower than average miles, but my DM would run us on weekends if we wanted, and those that did would average 3000/week at the same rate....

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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This stinks. Pam Transportation just said that they were not going to extend a job offer and I was almost done with my refresher course...

Like Brett (and others) have said, apply everywhere. I know Western Express is a decent "second chance" company from what I've heard. Also, I'm not sure who you have (or haven't) tried, but try Werner. Call as many companies as you can and talk to their safety departments, and be honest and explain everything because they will find out anyway, and ask them if you have a shot.... Also, get a copy of your DAC (from HireRight) and MVR from your local DMV (or RMV, depending on what its called in your state) and see what shows on both reports....

Hope you find something soon. And when you do, as it has been several times here, stay with that company at least a year to get experience, and hopefully you can get onto a sweet, high paying dedicated account.....

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

EFS Check, how to cash?

double-quotes-start.png

Usually, when I cashed them at truck stops, I usually made it out to me, and it was fee free due to me buying enough fuel. I have even used them to pay for supplies needed at truck stops, such as washer fluid, light bulbs, etc if I wasn't getting maintenance done.

double-quotes-end.png

Do I need to get the authorization code before using it or do they handle that part?

Usually the truck stops handle getting the verification code. I know with the all the major ones (TA/Petro, Loves, Flying J) usually do it through a computer, unless the system is down. the only thing that you have to get is the money coed from your company...

Posted:  2 weeks, 5 days ago

View Topic:

EFS Check, how to cash?

Usually, when I cashed them at truck stops, I usually made it out to me, and it was fee free due to me buying enough fuel. I have even used them to pay for supplies needed at truck stops, such as washer fluid, light bulbs, etc if I wasn't getting maintenance done.

Posted:  3 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Dedicated

Congrats on getting offered a dedicated account. My question is, you say you'll be losing miles. Is the pay per mile higher? Do you get any additional pay on the dedicated account that you didn't get before the dedicated account, like stop pay, unload/assist unload pay, safety pay, fuel bonuses, weekends off/extra pay for working your "days off"? The OTR drivers for the company I worked for were making .27/mile, with no additional pay lines like safety or stop pay, and no fuel bonuses, the last dedicated account I was on, I had weekends off, made .37/mile, .02 safety pay, $15/stop (5-9 stop a day average), $20/$40 assist unload/unload pay and layover pay if we had to wait more that 12 hours (2 hours over our 10 hour break) of $75-100. After everything was averaged, I was making .62/mile for 2200-2500 miles a week, home from noon Friday until 10 am Sunday, and mad over $52k/year without working to hard.

Just a few things to think about, and like you said, you won't be locked into it if you don't like it. Hope you enjoy it though....

Posted:  3 weeks, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Sign offer letter or wait for others (or both)?

Roehl is a great company. A classmate of mine went with them, and made a very good paycheck with them, and last I knew, he was still with them. They do pay very well, and like most companies, I would gather that their dedicated accounts pay better than their OTR..... I would suggest weighing which company (or companies) is the best fit for you between pay, benefits, and "hometime" and when you have heard back from your top 4 or 5, then make a decision. I even applied to them, but decided on another carrier, and always made over $50k/year without thinking about it, and I was home most weekends and holidays 98% of the time....

I would recommend going to your local truckstop, if you have one close enough to you, and go into the restaurant and talk to the drivers from various companies... You might be surprised on how honest we are about the company we work for in regards to pay, benefits, etc. My company (Werner) was good, but what made me happy, and ultimately my paycheck bigger, was the relationship I had with my dispatchers/Fleet Manager/Load Planner.... They always had me moving, and had my loads for the week pre - planned at least 10 days ahead of schedule so I could maximize my miles and clocks, But I was on dedicated accounts from central upstate NY to New England....

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Living in your rig?

Hello,

I had worked for a "Mega-Carrier" for 4 years, and I can honestly say I truly lived out of my truck for 95% of that time, even though I was "home" almost every weekend, outside the occasional time I visited a terminal or had lengthy trips that my dedicated accounts sent me on. I was on "Eastern regional" for about 3 weeks between accounts and didn't see "home" for those 3 weeks.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Bump Dock Pay

Usually, at least for Werner (they call it stop pay on certain accounts), it is a set amount that they pay you for every stop you make. For example, on my last account, my normal Monday run had 5 stops, plus starting and ending at the DC (which are not considered stops). Each stop paid $15 * 5 stops = $75 + mileage + assist unload pay of $20. I was averaging approx 62 cpm every week at 2200 miles which equaled about $1200 +/- every week...

Hope this helps. Chris

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Looking for confirmation of Recriuter conversation

I would suggest researching as many companies as possible. While Roehl is a very good company, and a lot of their drivers do well, I would also say that like any other company, there are drivers that don't do as well. I had looked at 7 or 8 companies when I was in school, and with the help of the career services people, I narrowed it down to 4, which I applied to. I ended up going with Werner, which is located in Nebraska, while I lived in CT. I was on an account out of central upstate New York, and averaged $45k a year the 18 months I was there, then I was on an account in Vermont where I averaged $53k/yr the 2 1/2 years I was there. Bothe were set up where I usually left late Sunday morning (10 or 11am) and got home around 2pm Friday. From what I understand, and at least at Werner, the OTR drivers get paid a lower cpm rate because of the higher miles, and dedicated drivers get paid more because of the lower mileage. At my last account, I saw drivers average a few as 1800 miles, and most of us averaged 2300-3000 miles a week, and after stop pay, safety pay, and assist unload pay, I averaged 60 cpm at 2100 miles a week.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

The Life Of A Dedicated Driver

I thought I'd share with you my last few loads just to illustrate how my "dedicated" job works. Last weekend I was dispatched on a 1,562 mile load that originated in Delhi, Louisiana, then had four stops. Almost all my loads are multi-stop flatbed loads. This one had it's first stop in Riverdale, New Jersey, then proceeded to Farmington, Connecticut, Bristol, Connecticut, and Amesbury, Massachusetts. It had a pre-planned backhaul load with it where I picked up return materials in Amesbury, then made my way over to Buffalo, New York to pick up some equipment that was bound for the plant in Delhi. That added another 1,700 miles onto that weeks miles.

You were in my neck of the woods. I live in central CT.... I was on a "dedicated" account out of Vermont, and I would go as far west as Buffalo, NY, as far north as northern Maine, and as far south as Maryland. Made very good money as well, usually 2200-2500 miles a week, and home on weekends.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

When does LTL shut down?

I know with Werner, usually they say that if its bad enough for chains, its bad enough to stop. For the most part, they believe that the driver is the captain of the ship, and if they feel unsafe or unsure about driving, stay safe and communicate with the dispatcher regularly. I know with my last FM/DM/Load planner, as long as we let him know what we were doing and gave him a good reason, he was ok with it. He also knew which drivers would "pull his leg" and those who would be straight up with him. There were only 3 times I ever shut down with him due to weather, and it was because it was snowing so hard that there was 1/2 mile or less visibility with traffic going less than 30 on the highway twice, and the third was because it was snowing 4 inches an hour and I pulled off into a TA, called my dispatcher to let him know,, and went inside and heard a few drivers talking about a 10+ vehicle pileup 10 miles up the road in the direction I was going. My boss called me as soon as I sat down, he called me and told me about the accident and that he saw the weather and it was a good call (he checked on us to make sure we all were safe). He also told me about another driver from my company in the same TA parking lot who's kingpin didn't lock, and he lost his trailer going around a corner (and I saw him as I was walking in.) He made sure that I also got a nice layover pay for the day because I was going to lose out on about 400 - 500 miles that week. But I think he was the exception, he always took care of the drivers who took care of him...

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