Comments By Steak Eater

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Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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2 years -- There is hope for a lousy backer!

After the last bills are paid, upping your 401k contribution to 35% would still leave you with more spendable cash than you have had over the last 2 years and put you on a left-lane Express path to that Aruba house.

One suggestion, make sure your 401k contributions are going to a stock fund, preferably an S&P 500 index fund. You will make yourself wealthy by investing, not saving.

You really should be proud of yourself. In a relatively short time you’ve mastered a new profession, drastically improved your financial position, and taken the time to give back to those of us on this site who are looking for insight and advice.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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2 years -- There is hope for a lousy backer!

I went from near bankruptcy to paying off $39,000 of debt and putting nearly $10k into my 401k.

Rainy, as impressive as the driving skills are that you have acquired, the financial gains you have made are even more impressive. You should be proud of yourself. Having excess cash in the amount of $25k per year (debt pay down and 401k amount) is a HUGE amount of money, and your having used that excess of cash to pay down debt and invest is a very wise move on your part.

I hope you’ve considered increasing the contributions you are making to your 401k. If you increase your 401k contribution to nearly $25k per year over the course of 10 years, with reasonable investment returns, you could easily find yourself with a retirement account valued at over $400,000.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Any tips to keep cool around crazy drivers?

That was one of my questions (dealing with aggressive drivers) a couple hours ago as I was taking the written test for my CDL permit! The correct answer; “Give the other driver the benefit of the doubt”. Wrong answer “Make hand gestures towards the offending driver”

😂😂😂

Suggestions straight from the manual (you can determine the validity);

How you feel before you even start your vehicle has a lot to do with how stress will affect you while driving.

Reduce your stress before and while you drive.

Listen to “easy listening” music.

Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by talking on your cell phone, eating, etc.

Be realistic about your travel time. Expect delays because of traffic, construction, or bad weather and make allowances. If you’re going to be later than you expected – deal with it.

Take a deep breath and accept the delay.

Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try to imagine why he or she is driving that way. Whatever their reason, it has nothing to do with you.

Slow down and keep your following distance reasonable.

Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.

Avoid gestures. Keep your hands on the wheel. Avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver, even seemingly harmless expressions of irritation like shaking your head.

Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another driver seems eager to get in front of you, say, “Be my guest.” This response will soon become a habit and you won’t be as offended by other drivers’ actions.

Posted:  4 years, 9 months ago

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Recovering an abandoned tractor/trailer

Sometimes bizarre things happen in this job. I am still puzzled to this day how any driver would think he can just up and leave without notice, leaving all his property in the company's truck at a remote location unrelated to the company, then several months later waltz right back into the job and expect another driver to be preserving his "stuff" for him to retrieve.

I don’t know if I’m more dumbfounded at the driver’s expectation to retrieve his belongings after a couple months or that the company would hire him back after abandoning his truck.

Posted:  4 years, 10 months ago

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First Truck, It Has Bed Bugs

From another thread :

I'm twiddling my thumbs in Columbus waiting on my truck to be rid of bed bugs,

They still have you in the same truck?

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Fuel card

Got it. Thanks for taking the time to explain!

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Fuel card

Are these Comdata cards (the employee account / debit card feature) mandatory for employees? My credit union reimburses ATM fees so I'd prefer to have my entire check deposited there instead of messing with a Comdata account.

I understand the company / fuel use of the card would be necessary.

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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What is a day off?

Thanks Kat. That gives me a much better idea (for at least one company).

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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Equipment on truck

.... so I opted out of their system and install I figured out a way to wall mount a 32" TV and sound bar (no new holes drilled) .....

Any chance you could post a picture of this setup?

Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

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What is a day off?

My question was pretty poorly worded. Instead of "What is a day off?" I should have asked "How long is a day off?"

Despite some excellent answers, I'm still not following the timing of days off for an OTR driver. If I have 2 days of home time coming to me and get "home" at 3:00 pm on Friday, when is my two days of home time over? Sunday at 2:00 pm, Monday morning, or some other time?

Posted:  4 years, 12 months ago

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What is a day off?

I've seen posts indicating different time-frames so maybe it's different for each company. Is a day off a day by name or 24 hour period or some other time-frame?

Posted:  5 years ago

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Who loves a good steak occasionally on the road?

Exit 74 of I-40 at Amarillo TX, The Big Texan. Truck parking in back. /thread

😀😀😀

Posted:  5 years ago

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Reserved parking : How much and who pays?

I see reserved spaces at a couple of the busier truck stops in my area. How much does it cost to reserve a space and does the driver or the company pay?

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

I can however tell you that even with the weeks that I make little or no money that week (a negative paycheck does happen from time to time), I have been able to average about $1200 - $1500/week before taxes overall.

So even without receiving any "payout" at the end of the lease term youre still coming out slightly ahead of a company driver on a weekly basis. I'm pretty impressed. Given the leasing rates I see thrown around for Prime you appear to be one of the few able to make this work, and as a solo driver at that! Pretty clearly a testament to your work ethic and ingenuity. Good for you, sir!

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

Per the article:

"The best scenario that I could come up with was that I was going to make about $40,000 a year, and that was if I could consistently haul freight at 1.75/mile. I might be able to make a little bit more than that, but basically I was breaking even at 1.75/mile and paying myself a $40,000 salary - there really were no profits left after that.

Now when I projected that out to somewhere in the five or six year distance and I would be needing to either do some major overhauls to my truck, or try to buy a new one, guess where that money would have to come from? Out of my annual salary that I had been making of $40,000 for the past year!"

Disclaimer : I recognize a new driver (the focus of this site) is foolish to contemplate a lease purchase or outright purchase of their own truck. Given the lease rates I see thrown around (nearly $1k per week) there's very little chance anyone can be successful from a mathematical perspective. And I agree with Brett, having extra debt, responsibilities, and associated grief and worries to only make the same as you would by being an employee and allowing another to shoulder those risks makes little sense unless there's room for substantial growth relatively quickly.

That being said, Old School, Im curious about your comparison analysis as it would relate to an owner operator. If your analysis took gross revenue and deducted reasonable expenses and arrived at an excess of $40k per year for driver salary and truck replacement, I'm curious as to how any trucking company could be profitable with the same numbers. Even if I assume a company has significant leverage with suppliers with regard to expenses, that still wouldn't seem to be enough to cover driver salary and truck replacement costs.

I know this is pretty far out into the weeds for this site, but I'm curious as to what the difference would be that would allow a company to purchase a truck and pay a driver to run it profitably (even minimally) but not allow a driver to purchase a truck and at least break even (meaning, cover expenses, salary and truck replacement without excess profit).

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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New Article From Old School About Buying Or Leasing A Truck

So far this year leasing I've made 157,000 revenue my fixed and variable costs are 82,000 so before income tax I've Made 67,000 and I have my settlements to prove this.

That math doesn't work. $157k minus $82k leaves a balance of $75k.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Parking for the night to sleep (or during the day )

Do OTR drivers spend most nights at truck stops or shippers / receivers? Is it 50/50?

I see mention that truck stops fill up pretty quick in the evenings. When is the worst time to find parking at a truck stop? Is it better to stop early or late?

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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How do I get out of this?

I'm not sure I'm buying this, but if it's true, I would;

(1) Make sure I covered my tail so the female trainer couldn't claim it was rape. The accusation itself could destroy your life. Rainy is 100% right on all counts. Whatever it took. Recording conversations, securing any evidence, etc. Whatever. It. took.

(2) I think RoadR has the better hand and I wouldn't be afraid to go all in. I'd make it clear that I'm getting approved to go solo ASAP or you're (a) screaming to everyone possible at the company and (b) calling a lawyer to file a sexual harassment complaint.

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Co driver being woke by customer during sleeperbirth

So would the driver who was awakened go on-duty then before the completion of his 10 hour rest period?

What about damage to / or theft of equipment from the truck while the drivers are segregated in the waiting room?

What did your company have to say about it?

Posted:  5 years, 1 month ago

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Making the Sleeper Cozy Like your Home

Here are some pics.

Nicely done. Thank you!

I've never been in an OTR truck / sleeper. It's hard for me to imagine the space availability or storage areas.

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