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Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Is everyone aware the ATA has lobbied for "anti-trucker" wages? Urgent!

I looked this up, the only thing I could find was legislation that was dating back to 2016.

The jist of it is, the ata did some studies and found that driver wages were on par for national median income, with average salary being about 46K, and top dedicated and specialized drivers earning up to 70K.

The bill amendment was basically set up to prevent states from prohibiting trucking companies not paying for any income that was not considered "piece work", which in our case is cpm. So, this would allow companies to not pay for extra things like detention, layover, pre trip/post trip etc...

Unless there is a newer piece of legislation on the table, this is what I found, and it was from last year.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

I understand OS. The scenario I mentioned about parking 2 hours away was just an example of when you run out of drive time, an have to bring it in the next day. Had I left when my 10 hours were up, I would have arrived about 7 hours before my appointment time, and would have had to park at a truck stop and wait.

Then, I would have had to leave the truck stop before I got an 8/2 split in or a 10 hour break, which means I would have had to unload and do another 10 hour break.

Rarely is it that we have our destination near enough to a truck stop to be able to get there without tripping out clock. Most of the time, it's between 5 to 15 miles. Some places it's up to 30 miles.

On reefer and dry side, we are not allowed to park in a public street, on an on/off ramp, or along any public roadway. They call it "sitting duck" and if caught, it's automatic termination, same goes with U turns, again, automatic termination. Now having said that, there is an exception, and that is if it is at a customer and there is ample space and parking is allowed. Most of the distribution centers we go to are along streets where parking is not an option. Not to mention, we are on appointment times, and you may show up and there will be up to 12 trucks in line ahead of you.

Also, in reefer and dry side, as far as I'm aware, we are not allowed to change appointment times. We can call and see if we can show up early, but beyond that, we have to go through our dm, and i believe he has to go through the planner to make that happen.

I think if I had it to do over, I definitely could have done it differently and probably have made a much bigger impact, but hind sight is 20/20. Still, I hate ending that segment of my driving career not hitting on full potential, that is why I call it a failure.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

Most of the time, the distribution centers where I go don't allow on site parking. Walmart is a big example. I've been dispatched on a load that got me to the dc with about 3 hours left on my clock. Ran out of hours while being unloaded, asked the wm dispatcher if they have over night parking, was told no and had to leave.

There are a few that allow parking, but most don't.

As far as washout and fuel, knight uses fuel solutions, so, I only have to worry about washout, as our fuel solution is given after we get commuted to a load, and that fuel stop is often somewhere down the road from where we are at.

Washouts are not a problem if we are in the southern or mid part of the u.s., but, on the east coast or west coast, you generally don't find truck stops with a truck wash in the same area, especially in socal.

The problem with showing up early is that, if they can't get to you, and they don't allow parking, then you have to leave and come back at the appointment time. Sometimes this will involve trying to find a spot to park, and in some cases, having to drive 30+ miles to find a parking area or truck stop.

If I know I'm going to be early, I always call the receiver and ask if they will take me early.

Like I said, I almost always have a pre plan before I get done with my current load, it's just that, between breakdown and getting in areas where freight is slow makes for reduced miles.

On several occasions, I have asked my dm how he felt about my performance, the response is that he is happy. He told me, "if I had a board of drivers like you, life would be great". So, from my perspective, my dm is happy with my performance, he likes that I go wherever he asks, any time they ask me to help out with something, I'm ways willing. This is what makes it hard for me to figure out why I am hitting on miles. If my performance were lackluster, or if there were things he didn't like about the way I drive, surely he would have mentioned something to me either on his own, or when I asked.

I did ask him about my service record over the last year. He said that I only have 1 service failure, for being late on an appointment. I have actually been late in several appointments, but those were due to weather, or mechanical issues, and the company has to record all service failures, but, i only have 1 service issue attributed to me, for failure on my part.

Now, I don't think any service failure is ok, but, I wouldn't think they would put me on a black list for 1 failure.

When I say I didn't communicate with my dm,.im not saying I never would, if I knew I could be early, I would call him sometimes, depending on the situation. For example, if I called the receiver and they would take me early, I would call on something like that. Often, when I put in my arrival call, my dm gets those messages, and he would dispatch me from that point, or, if I didn't have a pre plan, he would start looking for one. However, in times when they couldn't take me early, it wouldn't do any good to call as I would have to wait anyway. Also, it doesn't do any good to call dispatch at night because they can't assign loads, I would have to wait until day shift comes in to get a new load.

What I wasn't realizing is that I could call my dm, and if possible, get the load tcalled and move on to the next load, if I were really early. That,however, only works if I am near a terminal, as we cannot drop trailers at any place except for a terminal, or a drop yard.

Again, I'm not blaming anyone, I feel if anything I could have done more on my part, I just hate feeling like this last year has been a failure, like I could have done something more. Even though my dm is happy with me, I'm not happy with myself.

Granted, it's of little consequence at this point. I have asked and was recently was allowed to move to a local dedicated shuttle run. My dm said that they had a slot open, and he said I was a good driver and was always on time, so they didn't mind giving me this local position.

I guess I'm just reflecting back on the last year and thinking of how I could have done things differently, and my ocd is telling me i should go back on the road to prove to myself that I can do it, and to have the opportunity to make some really good money, knowing what I know now.

However, I also was wanting to get back to a normal life, so, this move is in line with what I want. Still, can't help but look back at the last year.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

As far as bonus, mine are generally only a few hundred dollars. I can't seem to hit either tier of my fuel bonus. Trying to keep my idle time down and doing my best to avoid out of route miles, I've never hit my fuel bonus.

Generally, depending on the truck, the tiers are 6.55 and 6.95 or 6.75 and 7.15 or something around there. I just can't seem to do it...smh.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

Actually,.i don't burn my clock at all. I hit the shipper or receiver and I go on duty just enough to satisfy dot requirements, i.e., when backing into the docks and check in. From that point it's off duty the rest of the time.

From a full clock, I generally run 9 to 10 hours a day. However, for example, I get a 1300 mile run. I'll try to run as hard as I can to get it done. If I have work, I like to get it out of the way as soon as possible. So, I'll run about 630 miles the first day, then i may get 550 the next day. The final day, ill have about 2 hours of driving left. I'll get up and drive the final 2 hours to my appointment. Now, I may not have time to drive to a stop near there, then shut down for 10, then get up just before the appointment and run it in.

Example: I have a 5pm appointment time on Tuesday. I drive Sunday and Monday and shut down at 8pm on Monday night about 2 hours away. Now what I have to do is call the receiver, if they say they can't take me early, then I have to wait til about 1:30 to 2:00 pm on Monday, then start driving. I like to show up to the receiver between 30 and 45 minutes early, just to ensure I won't be late.

So, now I've started my 14, I drive 2 hours and shut down at the receiver. I get assigned a door at 2:45, and sit at the dock for 4.5 hours waiting to be unloaded. At this point, I've used over 9 hours on my 14, but only 2 hours of drive time. I get unloaded 7pm. Next load picks up at 1pm the next day 80 miles away. I drive the 80 miles, which is about an hour and a half and shut down around 8:45pm.

Now I have to sit for 15 hours waiting for my appointment time, and I only used about 3.5 hours on my drive clock. Now, 8 days later when my recaps start coming back, I'm only getting back 3 hours on that day.

Remember, this is just an example but you get an idea if what can happen.

See, in reefer, you can't schedule loads back to back because there are so many variables. Things like how long will it take to get assigned a door? Once you're in a door, how long will it take to get unloaded? I've had many days and nights of sitting at a dock for 8 to 13 hours waiting to be unloaded.

Also, the way my recaps usually work is, once the recaps start coming, ill get about 3 days of 10+ hours, then I'll get back maybe 2 to 5 hours for a day or two, then the next day may be 9 hours, then anywhere between 4 and 8 hours, etc.

That's usually when my dm starts scheduling my loads around available hours, which for the first 3 days of recaps, ill get some good miles, then I start seeing loads with short miles, or loads with a long lead time so I have the hours to get it there.

I guess the best way to make sure miles stay high is, when you start seeing days ahead where recaps are starting to give back few hours, that is the time to take a 34, rather than trying to keep moving, which at that point is a futile effort.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

Yeah, I think that is part of it for sure, but as I said, most of the time I have pre plans before I finish my load.

I know that whenever I hit the northeast, I start seeing a lot of 500 and 600 mile runs. Seems like when I first started I was getting a lot of 1500+ runs, lately, however, they've mostly been 900 or less.

Oh well, for future drivers, make sure you communicate with your dm often, it will help. Be proactive in getting your next load ready before you are finished with your current one.

One thing though, better to take 34 or run recaps?

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

Ok, so let's talk about maximizing income?

Here is my story. I've been with my company for about a year. As of the last 6 months, my gross is about $16,000. To me, this is way low, and I've been trying to figure out what I've done wrong.

In the last year, I've been through 5 to 6 trucks, due to them breaking down. Each time one breaks down, it's between 3 to 5 days, working local runs in a loaner until they decide to move me to a new truck. Other times, I've had to go to the shop for repairs and it always seems that every time I end up in the shop it's between 3 and 7 days waiting for it to be fixed.

I've been dispatched loads to the northeast, and have a day, day and a half before they find me a new load. Generally, they have a pre plan on me before I finish my current load, but there are times when I have to wait. All of this breakdown time and waiting time is unpaid. Perhaps I should have been adamant with my dm about getting breakdown pay and layover pay?

I'm the type that I try to be easy to get along with, so, I try not to rock the boat and ruffle any feathers. Maybe that is just shooting myself in the foot?

I also have never refused a load, I go wherever, whenever they tell me. I had thought that maybe by being flexible and working with my dm, that good things would happen, but I'm not finding that to be the case.

I try to do the best job I can, and don't call my dm and gripe and complain. When things are rough, I try not to let it out.

The only things I can think of are:

1) I admit I've not been good about communicating with my dm about when and where I was. To be honest, I didn't even think of this. I would get a load and run it, and if I was going to be early, I would call the receiver and ask if they could unload me early, and if they could, that would be great, if they couldn't, then id sit and wait until the appointment time. Sometimes this would be nearly 24 hours.

I've heard some people in that situation would call their dm and try to get the load t-called, and have them dispatched on another load. I didn't even think of this possibility. Also, if I was able to deliver early, I wasn't proactive enough about letting my dm know I was unloaded early, granted, some of the time, I'd be unloaded really late at night and wouldn't be able to be dispatched til the next morning anyway, since, as far as I'm aware, night dispatch can't dispatch loads, only a day dm can.

I blame myself for not being proactive.

2) I always run on recaps. I've never taken a 34 unless it was due to breakdown. I'd run my 70 down and the run recaps and keep going. Im wondering if this is a bad idea? I've heard you actually get more miles by running your 7p down, then taking a 34, and then going again, but I don't know for sure.

In the last year, I've requested home time twice, most of the time is get home, was during breakdown.

So, I guess I have my answer, my low pay dilemma seems to be focused entirely on my lack of communication. Live and learn I guess.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

I see, so, the possibility of someone hitting those numbers is there, but from what I gather, that is really only going to be for the top drivers. I'm also seeing cpm numbers in this thread of .49 and .63 cpm. To me, those numbers seem out of the norm, considering most of your major carriers will start their drivers out between .36 and .43 cpm.

Also, raises seem to come at about .01 to .02 cpm per year. Does this sound right?

So, I'm going to guess that, generally, your average driver for a major carrier will be able to earn between 48k to 54k, after they have been with the company for a few years, and have learned the ropes. Does this sound accurate?

Just trying to see what the potential is out there.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Top driver pay?

Just wondering, but, what do you think is the most a reefer or dry van driver could make in a year? I know being efficient and knowing how to work your hours and being proactive will help boost your salary, but what do you think would be the most an average driver and top driver could earn?

I'm talking company driver, running normal OTR loads. 70k? 80k? Possibly up to 100k?

Is there any real money in normal OTR, or do you really need to get on a dedicated, or tanker or flatbed job?

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

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Question: why do companies choose the trucks they choose?

Speaking of air flow, I've wondered about the volvo design. The squared look, as opposed to the rounded look that most others use. I like the look of the volvo, but wondered how aerodynamic it is with those hard edges. I asked someone once and was told that the volvo design is one if the most aerodynamic trucks on the road.

Is this factual?

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