Looking For Advice From Real Truckers

Topic 12958 | Page 1

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John S.'s Comment
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I am currently looking to start a trucking career. I will need to find a company that pays for cdl training. My problem is picking the right company. I have a family so do need a decent home time schedule but my biggest concern is pay as I have to be able to support my family. I have no Delusion's about being home all the time. I know that I am likely to be out for 2-3 weeks at a time. I'm more looking for a company that I can be sure to make around $600 per week. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Hudsonhawk's Comment
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Working two jobs back home would be more stable.. Even if they paid minimum wage it would be more stable. The pay out here I really inconsistent.

John S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Hudson,

I am definitely switching just trying to find the best company that I can average $600 a week.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Working two jobs back home would be more stable.. Even if they paid minimum wage it would be more stable. The pay out here I really inconsistent.

Listen, we totally understand you're pretty disillusioned with trucking right now but please don't take every opportunity to tell people to stay away from it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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John, first year drivers in this industry usually average maybe $32,000-$36,000 their first year, about $40,000 your second year, and it normally tops out around $55,000 for most drivers. There are always exceptions of course, but those are numbers you can count on. So you won't have to worry about finding any companies where you can't average $600/week your first year.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks Brett

I'm really trying to find out the best companies out there for new drivers I know I want to be a driver. Just trying to set myself up to start a good career by picking the right company. If you could give me some ideas about good companies to work for I would really appreciate it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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We have all kinds of great stuff we've put together to help you decide which companies will suit you best. Have a look:

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.

John S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Brett

I will continue to research. Thanks for the article's.

Old School's Comment
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John, welcome to our forum!

The first response you got is a great example of why we need to have moderators in here. You titled your post as looking for advice from "real" truckers and what you got was far from that. With all due respect to Hudsonhawk, he is a rookie who is struggling at this career, and probably is not going to stick with it. That's not a problem, trucking may not be the best career choice for him, but for him to respond with what he did to your inquiry seems a little bit like he's got a burr in his saddle.

just trying to find the best company that I can average $600 a week.

Here's the new flash: There is no best company that can help you average $600 bucks a week. This career is totally performance based. You get paid what you earn, and you earn what you get by getting things done. Now the problem with that, and also the reason for Hudsonhawk to say what he did, is that it is not easy to get yourself established in this career. Anyone who is just jumping in here as a total rookie is going to have some issues and some problems for at least that first year. Hudsonhawk has not even gotten the hang of this stuff yet, and he's given you an answer based on his very shaky start in this business. John, I started my career at Western Express, a company that has a ton of terrible reviews online, and probably not a place where you would think you could average $600 a week. I've been getting letters in the mail recently from an attorney who is putting together a class action law suit against them from a group of truck drivers claiming that Western Express didn't allow their drivers to even earn minimum wage during the time period that I was employed there. Here's the funny thing about all this - I was earning around a thousand bucks a week as a rookie over there, while the malcontents were scraping by on less than minimum wage. If you can prove yourself and get things accomplished in this job you will make some decent money at it. The secret to success out here is being able to produce against all the odds that are against you, and you can tell from what Hudsonhwk had to say that there are problems associated with getting oneself established as a "mover and shaker" out here.

Personally I think it has very little to do with the company you choose. I've had great success at both places I've worked. I am now employed with Knight Transportation, making very good money, but still hearing the same old sob stories from the Knight drivers who just can't cut the mustard here. My advice would be to find a company that seems to suit you well as far as the pay rate and the home time policies and then jump in there with both feet and see what you can do. Prime will help you get your CDL , and pay something like 700 dollars a week during the second phase of your training. They don't pay you anything for the fist three or four weeks during that initial training period, but once you get past that you start making some pretty decent money even as a trainee. They will advance you a couple of hundred bucks each week at the beginning if you need it, but it will be deducted from your paychecks incrementally later when you are earning money. You can find some information about them and other similar training companies by going to:

As a new entry level person into this career you would be doing yourself a favor to learn as much as you can before you jump in. These are some of of the best resources I know of:

Take a look at those things and then feel free to bombard us with your questions.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Looks like Brett was already in here while I was formulating my response. Oh well, between the two of us I think we covered it.

Like I said, feel free to bombard us with questions, and we will do what we can to help you out.

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