Profile For Steve C.

Steve C.'s Info

  • Location:
    Lansing, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    10 years, 7 months ago

Steve C.'s Bio

I'm a former TMC driver who came off the road to work in IT. I love my job, but I am looking at getting back on the road.

Steve C.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  6 years, 1 month ago

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New CDL Female driver - Safety and concealed carry

Hi. This has been brought up a number of times and a search on the forum could give you some more information, but I'll try to summarize it to a short version:

Beyond the fact that concealed carry permits are not good for all states so it may be entirely illegal sometimes, there are many shippers and receivers that have policies against bringing any weapons on premise and they reserve the right to search your cab (though they rarely do). I'm not saying this is how it should or shouldn't be (and I really am trying to avoid a political discussion), but this is the way it is so you will unfortunately have to leave the gun at home. Don't let this discourage you, there are lots of drivers out there who stay perfectly safe without a concealed carry weapon.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

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New Tesla electric truck

I don't really have much to comment on here, I just thought this was interesting and didn't see it being discussed yet.

Tesla Semi, an electric big rig truck with 500-mile range, rolls into reality

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

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Flatbed-home weekly

Oops forgot to include the image.

2AAaEoG

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

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Flatbed-home weekly

It looks like TMC hires out of some parts of Northern Florida. They pay percentage, not mileage, but try not to get caught up on that. You'll likely make similar money at TMC as you would at McElroy in the long run.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

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Preloaded/tarped flatbed loads

I imagine if you were doing it regularly you'd probably get faster at it.

For example: had this been something that happened all the time instead of pretty rarely, I'd probably do a better job of keeping my stuff in the headache rack rather than the sidebox and belly pan of the trailer. It's just a change in workflow and if you have consistency either way it's probably fine.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

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Preloaded/tarped flatbed loads

When I was flatbedding the "preloaded/tarped" loads weren't really completely secured and it was understood they weren't. The load would have a couple straps on it and a tarp on it, really just to move it around the yard and keep it dry while sitting still. It was still 100% up to the driver to finish securing the load and getting the tarp on good.

That said, I personally didn't like these loads. Moving all my load securement equipment from one trailer to another and finishing a load that wasn't started "my way" usually took longer than just getting live loaded and starting from nothing on the trailer.

Posted:  6 years, 3 months ago

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Percentage Compared to Mileage - some real world examples

Hey Steve, it's good to hear from you!

I've never gotten paid by the percentage of the load, but I've often advised people that it is going to come out basically the same. It looks like you discovered that yourself.

There is some sort of a psychological hook to that percentage pay that makes people think they're going to yield more money by going that route, but it makes no sense. If doing this job was worth a lot more payroll dollars to these companies then they wouldn't make the drivers have to try and figure out what the best way to get paid is. Percentage pay is actually practiced to keep the company's margins at a desirable level, not necessarily the driver's pay.

Hi Oldschool. I try to at least lurk the forums and make sure people are still getting good advice. Even though I didn't stick with trucking long term I am really glad for the experience and all the help I got here, so I want to pay it forward to anyone else I may be able to help. I agree on there being a psychological hook for percentage pay. It did make me feel better about getting short loads because it worked out to paying so much more per mile, even though in the long run it all evened out when I got those long loads paying less per mile. I think companies like TMC that do a lot of short runs (I feel like average length of haul was around 250) benefit from having the percentage pay just so their drivers feel better.

It's all about the load value and customer when it comes to percentages, also which part of the country. Right now, rates are up and you would make more on percentage but again it depends on the customer.

I agree with this, but the downside with percentage is when rates go down the driver instantly feels it, where as CPM drivers will be consistent. Again though, over the course of even a few months it evens out and both are fine choices.

Posted:  6 years, 4 months ago

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Percentage Compared to Mileage - some real world examples

I am no longer a driver, but when I first started I remember being confused and spending a lot of time thinking about how I was going to get paid and which method was better. I ended up working for a company that offers percentage pay, and just this week I was going through some old papers and found my first load book. I thought I would go through and give some real example loads and let you know how much I got paid as well as how much that works out to per dispatched mile. These loads are from late 2013, so I'm sure rates have changed some since then. Most of these loads also had tarp pay, which I am not including for these calculations. I was paid 27% of the load, so "My pay" is arrived at by multiplying the gross pay by 0.27. In turn, CPM is calculated by dividing My pay by the total dispatched miles (that is empty and loaded miles for the load).

Load 1, Steel coils
409 dispatched miles
Gross rate: $546.02
My pay: $147.43
CPM: 36

Load 2, Steel tubing
341 dispatched miles
Gross rate: $651.44
my pay: $175.89
CPM: 51

Load 3, Particle Board
191 dispatched miles
Gross rate: $555.20
My pay: $149.90
CPM: 78

Load 4, More particle board
901 dispatched miles
Gross rate: $998.32
My pay: $269.55
CPM: 30

Load 5, Sheet Steel
289 Dispatched Miles
Gross rate: $675
My pay: $182.25
CPM: 63

Total pay: $925.02
Total Miles: 2131
Total CPM: 43


This was over the course of a week of driving for me. I turned 2131 miles and averaged making 43CPM. This was probably on the upper end of "fairly typical" for me. The CPM would normally average closer to 40. The point I'm trying to make is that in the end if you are a productive driver you'll do just as well with mileage or percentage. Percentage seems to even out by giving you higher CPM on shorter runs, and lower CPM on longer runs (see Load 3 compared to Load 4 for a good example of that). Had I worked for a company that paid 43CPM instead of percentage (which is definitely not unheard of for flatbed drivers, even new ones) I would have made about the same amount of money. There are definitely some weeks where percentage made me more money than a mileage driver would get, but also there were other weeks where I would have made more getting mileage. In the end it evens out.

I hope this has been helpful to at least some of you. I'll try to keep up with this thread and answer any questions that may come up.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Physical for cdl training school

Hey - There are a few links on the site that I think could help you out.

Here is the main page about the DOT Physical: DOT Physical Exam

And here is a page about blood pressure specifically: Blood Pressure Requirements For The DOT Physical

To try to answer your question more specifically: I also had hypertension when I was driving and was being treated with hctz. I was able to get certified no problem.

That said, in your situation - I would try to find a local doctor who does DOT physicals and go get yours done BEFORE you shell out money for school or take the bus to a company sponsored school, just in case you have trouble passing. You'll still need to take a physical at your first job, but the peace of mind knowing you can pass should be worth it IMO.

Posted:  6 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Prime (and maybe other companies) Hometime

double-quotes-start.png

There's some confusion going on in here.

The minimum time on the road before you're allowed to go home is three weeks.

1 day off per week.

You can be home for a maximum of 5 days. Anymore than that requires your DM's approval.

You can bank days. For example, if I do 5 weeks on the road I can go home for 4 days and bank a day. Next time I'll do 3 weeks on the road but I'll use my banked day and be home for 4 days.

Prime isn't the best carrier for Hometime. That's not their strength. This is something you sort of have to accept if you're going to come to Prime.

double-quotes-end.png

That's a little better! Thanks for clarifying :) Three weeks out is still a bit much for me, but as many have already stated, that is a matter of preference and what works for the individual. Guess I get hung up on how strictly worded it was in the OP...

If hometime is really important to you, maybe look into some flatbed companies. I know TMC, Maverick, and McElroy get most of their drivers home every weekend (I'm probably missing some that people with more recent experience can chime in with). It won't necessarily be a "full weekend" - but something along the lines of home Friday night and leaving Sunday afternoon.

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