Solo Or Team

Topic 12482 | Page 1

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Robert E.'s Comment
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I work for reefer company and a guy I know both run regional right now which is around 500 miles trip space between loads but we are talking about running teams so we get longer runs to try to increase our paychecks.... Would it be worth running teams or stay solo?

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

classA's Comment
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I work for reefer company and a guy I know both run regional right now which is around 500 miles trip space between loads but we are talking about running teams so we get longer runs to try to increase our paychecks.... Would it be worth running teams or stay solo?

I started out driving solo regional for about 2 months and being disappointed with the pay, I decided to go team with the expectation of more earnings.

But I quickly learned that I was not personally cut out to drive team. Team driving only provides more money per mile as an incentive to do it. In reality, I found that it really was not a comparable amount of paycheck to offset the sacrifices. - no 10 hour breaks (with the truck not moving) - no good sleep (it was like someone punching me in the shoulder each time I was about to doze off, then I would finally pass out literally only to awake not rested with 11 hours of driving to go) - no personal time to myself (if I wanted to be alone, I had to go into a truck stop or go for a walk....and the truck had to be stopped for that....but the team keeps rolling) - no stopping for 10 hours, no good rest, and no personal space made me choose to go back solo.

Keep in mind that the reason Teams make more per mile is because the Company makes more because of the quicker delivery ability for the customer. Likewise, the Teams get the bettet loads, quicker dispatch, and overall best treatment it seems. My hat off in respect for those who drive team. It takes a certain type of person for it. And I learned it was not me.

For literally about $100 less a month, I have my own space, stop when I want, sleep peacefully, and have a better life.

So considet the benefits of one as opposed to the other.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

classA's Comment
member avatar

FYI - I now drive Solo - lower 48.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

My only experience with team was with my mentor in training. It all depends on two things: Can you get some sleep in a moving truck? I had no problem. Can you live with another person (friend or someone you just met) in a small can (the cab/sleeper) for days at a time?

The truck (and you) does not literally roll on forever. You get fuel, you can stop for showers, and shop for grub. If you are running 10 hour days all the time, you will need to stop for a 34 hour reset about once a week.

The money thing needs some thinking on your part.

A ballpark example: say solo drivers get $0.32/mile, and teams get $0.39 CPM. But the big difference is the team splits the whole mileage pay, or $0.195/mile each in this example.

Solo driver makes a 1,000 mile trip, gets $320 in two days, making $160 per day.

Team does the same trip in one day the team gets $390 in one day, or $195 for each driver.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Okiecowboy's Comment
member avatar

Not many seem to like teaming, but so far I have really enjoyed it. However, these guys are right it does take a few tolerances to do it. Just like previously mentioned you need someone you can trust and get along with and be able to sleep and relax while the truck is moving. I have been extremely lucky. I work for PAM and had to take a partner at random and got a guy with a lot of intrastate experience and has a very easy going personality. At as a company sponsored student the pay is way higher here for teams. I lost my first partner and had to solo for a week, i went from making $800 to $1000 a week to $400 to $600. So i wanted a partner back in a hurry lol, and I am the only income earner for a family of four. Now again this is only an experience with PAM, other companies are probably gonna be different. Also I got lucky with a great partner and I can pass out in a moving bed :).

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

I will preface what I'm about to say with the disclosure that I love teaming. I wouldn't go solo for all the tea in China. In fact, I have very little experience driving solo-- so little that it's insignificant.

With that said, I do not recommend that people who do not have a teammate whom they know well already lined up (spouse, relative, friend) try to team, especially if your primary motive is the very enticing pay difference. You can make slightly more money teaming, but as classA mentioned above, there are a lot of sacrifices to be made for that money. You will earn every penny of it, in truth.

Sleeping in a moving truck is part of it; there are very few people who will never have a problem sleeping as a team driver. Construction zones are a sleeping codriver's worst nightmare (no pun intended). I myself take otc sleeping pills and wear ear plugs, which reduces but does not eliminate resting woes. Also keep in mind that in order to get good rest you will need to completely trust your teammate. Your life will be in their hands every time they drive. You are incredibly vulnerable in the sleeper, cargo net or not. In a serious accident you are much more likely to be injured or killed than the driver, who has the benefit of a seatbelt and the safest place in the truck.

Have you heard of a phenomenon called cabin fever? It happens when people are isolated together indoors for long periods of time. Among other things, it causes bickering and irritability. A similar thing can happen to team drivers, we call it "cab fever" and it can tear apart even the best of friends. If this happens to you, you must be able to recognize and overcome it, or your stint teaming will be very short.

Lest you think teaming is an endless bag of hurdles that is more trouble than it's worth, it does have its rewards, and the least of them in my opinion is money. You will have a companion to lessen the solitude of the road. You will have someone to relate a funny joke to, or talk about what you heard on the news. You have two heads to decide what to do in a difficult situation, you have a spotter to back you in to a difficult dock. The list goes on. There are many more positives to teaming, and many more negatives, but I won't drone on any further as this post is already scandalously long.

Brett and many others have said before that you have to drive truck for the lifestyle and not solely for the money, or you will be sorely disappointed. I would say that applies to driving team as well. If you decide to team, there's one piece of advice I'd like you to remember: you are not two solo drivers sharing one truck. You are a team, and that means being a team all the time. If you can do that, then you will successful.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

murderspolywog's Comment
member avatar

My advise is if you like to team then team. If you like solo want to go solo and stay solo. Inless your company has really good team loads or a special fleet you want to work on. The amount of extra money you will see will not make up for you being miserable. I did team driving a few times, I enjoy it I also enjoy solo. Thats one reason I train I can go solo when I am tired of teaming and training. From my experience teaming real teaming with 2 full on drivers. Of the freight is good you can make a few hundred dollars more. But most of the time the freight is not that good and the truck will only run about 4500 miles to 5000 miles. I would consider it if you got at least 6000 miles a week or more. Good luck let us know what you decide and How it works for you.

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