One Of These Days...

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Old School's Comment
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Okay, one of these days I'm gonna take a little time off from driving this truck and write a book. I'm gonna write about how to succeed as a truck driver - how to be a top tier driver - or something along those lines.

I'm amazed at how many professionals out here on the road don't seem to get it. I listen to their conversations in the cafes and I hear them out in the parking lots, or on the radio. I can totally get how a rookie gets started and doesn't quite grasp how things work out here, but the number of folks who have been out here for eight to ten years who are still beating their heads against the same old wall concern me.

I have always tried to learn from both my mistakes and my successes. And if something can be learned, then it can be taught. I've got the urge down inside to try and teach some of my practices to other truck drivers. I don't know if anyone would even buy a book like that, but it's worth a try.

Success can be measured, and it is also rewarded. Just last week my dispatcher called me to discuss a load he needed moved up into the Northeast. He has this habit of calling his top three of four drivers on his board his "hosses." He tells me that he will do anything to keep his "hosses" happy. He called to say he had this load going to Connecticut but that all his other "hosses" refused it because they were out of hours. Then he made this statement that I found very flattering. He said, "I got to thinking, you've been here for over a year now, and I cannot think of a single time that you ever told me you were out of hours." I blushed and replied, "Well, I guess you just never caught me at the right time." "No," he says, "there's some reason for that - how is it that you always have hours available?"

It's the little subtleties like knowing how to manage your clock, or how to deal with a ridiculous receiving clerk, or knowing just when to show up at a certain place so that you can get unloaded expeditiously that can make all the difference in the world out here. I was quite amused by a recent thread where a new driver had left his job, and was now wondering if he was going to be on the hook for his contractual agreement with them. He complained that he wasn't making enough money for the sacrifice involved. I didn't respond, but I could not get it out of my mind that he wasn't willing to make the sacrifice needed to earn some decent money. He had it all backwards and couldn't even see his error.

I was looking over this last work week to see if there were things I could have done differently to improve upon my results. All in all it went pretty good. Do you ever self analyze your week and take stock on how you did? I probably could have done a little better here or there, but it was a good week - not my best, but up there at the top of the scale. I always am very leery of sharing with you guys about my pay. Here's why: as a moderator I tend to get a fair amount of e-mail from folks in the forum, and every time I mention a weeks pay I will get stuff telling me what a doofus I am for working so cheap (that comes from the folks who think they are going to set the world on fire in a lease program) or I get stuff saying that they basically think I'm dishonest, because they have never seen a paycheck like that and they've been out here for years.

I want you to see the potential in this career. I want you to succeed in your efforts. You will not get rich doing this, but there is the possibility of bringing home a good positive paycheck if you work it right. I have been consistently earning above average wages for a driver, even when I was working for .27 CPM. That's right, that was my starting pay rate a little less than three years ago - and I still managed to make close to a thousand dollars a week.

Here is a look at my take home pay this week - I'm not trying to brag or boast - after all this is a working man's wages, but you can consistently do well at this with a little understanding of how it all comes together out here. This is my take home pay after all taxes, insurance, and even a cash advance of $105.00 was deducted.

20160204_094038_zpsrplhf0dr.jpg

I hope you are all doing well out here, and if I ever write that book, y'all better buy two or three copies each!

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

Great idea, I would totally buy it! Make sure you get deals with all the major truck stop chains to sell it in their stores in a big display right by the driver entrance.

I'll take 3% of the profits for that little marketing idea. And I have more ideas if you want 'em... 3% for each idea.

smile.gif

RebelliousVamp 's Comment
member avatar

Old School; I am VERY interested to know how you manage your clock. Please share, if you have time. When I'll be driving, I want to make full use of the time I am supposed to WORK. Meaning, driving, on duty/not driving, etc. What I'd LOVE to learn how to do efficiently is to maximize the time I can haul a load for my employer, without sacrificing my very well needed 8 hours of sleep AND a shower, *hopefully* as close as possible to one shower a day. YES, showering to me is more important than making a few extra dollars. I just know how crabby I get otherwise. I will manage with an alternative whenever I cannot shower. For example, how do you go at it when you're just sitting at a shipper/receiver and they tell you that it may take a couple hours or more? Go off duty in your sleeper and take a few zzz's so you can be rested and keep going when they're done with you? It will greatly help when I can see an example on paper of how a "clock" works. :)

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

OS, I want to make a promise to you. If this local tanker job doesn't work out I'm going to go to Knight at their SAPA division and give you a run for your money. Something tells me you don't have enough competition!

embarrassed.gifsmile.gif

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.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

I only had one time at Knight where my dispatcher ran me out of hours and a big part of it was chasing a trailer because evening Dispatch didn't look well enough. It still wound up being a 3800 mile week though but I didn't like having to take a reset. Normally, I was always running recap hours and was able to make it work to my advantage.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I don't think it's a lack of information available, but rather a thickness between the ears. Brett already wrote a book, and there's lots of good info in this forum. You can't fix stupid, even bad attitudes are hard to correct. There's a lack of willingness to be humble and teachable amongst our trucker brethren.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I'd buy your book,...signed by the author of course.

sgtwilldog's Comment
member avatar

Throw your book up on Amazon digital. I just bought a trucking memoirs one that a trucker wrote for only $2.99: still have yet to read it though haha

http://www.amazon.com/Thriving-Truckin-Chaos-appleton-schneider-ebook/dp/B008BYGA9W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454621146&sr=8-1&keywords=thriving+on+trucking+chaos

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately OS you are a rare breed. The old fashion work ethic somehow doesn't apply in this day and age. Sure many people may read great book like yours, but how many can really apply the knowledge your suggesting? All of a sudden your wisdom just inherently becomes a novel instead! Instant gratification that is the montra for today's society. I want it and I want it now!

Heck, you and I both are old enough to realize it's a marathon. So when and if you decide to get out those aching bones out of that seat just sit, relax and enjoy. One thing I realized in life is its harder to train people out of bad habits then it is training them the good ones. Ps I would still buy the book LOL

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

OS great thread. All the comments here are spot on. I talk to folks everywhere I go in my travels. Sometimes I am very impressed with wisdom I hear, but too many times I just shake my head. Experience and years at something are not always equal. What I find all too common in this business is folks are only worried about themself. Not one load any of us do is by ourself. It takes team work in all aspects to make this work efficiently. My current dispatcher goes crazy with me most days simply because I try to get her to think ahead, so I can efficently manage my hours. Alot of drivers and dispatchers I find only look in the current moment. I come from a background of always planning 2-3 steps ahead. It works well when others involved cooperate. When they don't everyone gets frustrated. I find your approach and wisdom very interesting and would love to read a book if you do ever write it.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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