How Many Drivers Stay At The First Company They Drove / Drive For ?

Topic 13779 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Butch S.'s Comment
member avatar

Just thinking again and was reading and seeing that is seems drivers make lateral moves a lot in this industry. I'm currently employed and have been here for 26 years with the exception of a few months ( family business so lots of crazy drama ) and as a post I posted a few days ago about " where do I stand " I'm really wanting to go OTR and I'm doing every bit of research as I can. I have even went as far as getting a TWIC card and all endorsements except passenger. This is how I am. I've been a hour early for everything my entire life. So to my question. How many of you have stayed at the same company you started with. I see a lot of posts saying " get a few years in then move to where they might pay you more" dont the big companies out there want to keep good safe drivers and wouldn't they pay you a fair amount if you were ? Or do you really need to switch companies to make more or enough money ? I'm leaning toward flat bed work or actually my dream is radio active super sensitive cargo with armed escorts driving but that may take awhile to get to. Thanks for any info.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dutch's Comment
member avatar

Butch, it's not just the trucking industry that will hold out raises on a veteran employee. Most companies play the pay scale like a card game, and will keep a employee who has been there over a decade, lower than a younger employee that they just hired. This is because in most cases, the veteran employee has no idea what the new guy is making, and the company has to compete with other companies pay scale when they are hiring in new employees. It can be harder for the trucking companies to do this, simply because they advertise their pay scale in their literature and on their website.

I can recall several instances over the years when I was a tig welder. A new young not so bright employee, would inadvertently reveal what they were making to someone in the shop, and before the shift ended, everyone in the shop knew what they were making. This would in turn cause so much trouble for the company, they would either fire the new employee, or threaten to fire them, if they ever again spoke of where they were on the pay scale.

The reason companies do this type of thing, is because when you do the math on all the money they are saving company wide, it can be a substantial savings. Lately, the trend has been to get 1 employee to do 2 or 3 peoples job, which can save the average company $30,000 to $60,000 a year. They can save a lot more money that way, than they can maneuvering single employees out of $1 an hour here and there. Trucking companies operate differently though, so if they are the type to cheat an employee, they will do it by cheating them out of mileage, detention, breakdown pay, etc.

When it comes to the trucking companies who have a major focus on training new drivers, most of them are getting major subsidies from the federal government when the new driver leaves their company and the training is completed. In reality, they can't afford for all their drivers to stay on the payroll, because they have so many new recruits coming up through the ranks, that they don't have enough equipment to issue to the new drivers, if no one moves on for a better job offer. In reality, this is what they expect most employees to do, who want to climb upward through the ranks of the trucking industry.

Think big picture. The federal government needs freight moved to keep the economy thriving. They don't care what the logo is on the side of the truck you are driving, just as long as the freight is getting moved.

Your question reminds me of what one of my welding instructors told me back in the 80's. He said "When someone offers you a dollar more per hour, take them up on it. That is how you climb the pay scale. In that line of work, it could take a welder 3 to 5 years to get a $1 raise, so I found his advice to be spot on over the years.

However, some folks like to stay in the same place regardless, because they don't like the uncertainty of change, in any area of their lives.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Butch, I started out in the industry at my dream job, being a linehaul driver. I don't plan on leaving unless they kick me out the door. I'm coming up on two years with my first, and hopefully last, trucking company.


Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Butch, I went to Swift's Richmond Academy about 4 years ago. Long story short, I continued working for them, for the past 3+ years as a Dedicated Driver on their Walmart Grocery account. I have always been treated fairly, professionally and with competitive compensation. No reason to look elsewhere.

The thing that seems to escape many new drivers is during the first year no matter who you work for, your income is limited by experience and the associated learning curve. It wasn't until about the 18 month mark that I really started to understand and leverage my experience to earn top dollar.

Drivers move to different jobs for different reasons. Without too many exceptions, the overwhelming recommendation is to stay with your first company for one year. That's why it's really important to make the right decision.

Good Luck.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Butch, one characteristic of a successful truck driver is that they are almost always very independent people. That independence can manifest itself in a lot of different ways, but one of those ways is to be a little "bull-headed." Trust me, you will know what I mean when you get out here among some driver's conversations in a truck stop cafe. Truck drivers are some of the smartest people on earth, at least that is what some of us think. That kind of thinking doesn't lend itself to settling in somewhere and making a life long career at one place. No, truck drivers see greener grass all the time, it just sort of comes with the territory.

There are exceptions to any rule. I recently met a flat-bed driver who started with Prime and has been there 24 years now. So, there are some folks like that out here, but by and large most drivers that you talk with will have had several different employers during their career.

As far as moving from company to company for more wages, I see companies raising wages sometimes just to entice some of the more experienced drivers into their team. A driver who has got some "road savvy" about him can make a really great employee. A lot of times the only way to find those people is to try and offer them something that will "shake them out of the bushes." The problem with that approach is that your competitors can try the same maneuver when they are needing good drivers. This is very much a cut throat business, and the big players do what they can to get the best people on their team. We are all players on a team, but sometimes with all this job-hopping around we end up just getting played.

I can't agree with everything that has been stated in this thread so far, but I will just say that a good driver with some understanding and savvy about him can do pretty good for himself at just about any of the major companies out here. I made almost fifty grand my rookie year at Western Express, and now I've got an attorney trying to get me to join a class action lawsuit against the company which claims they didn't even pay their drivers minimum wage! So, as you can see some guys are going to excel and do well at this while others are going to barely make it. Those folks who are barely making it will always be looking for greener pastures and blaming their employer for their lack of success. This business rewards performance - it is that simple.


Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.


Hours Of Service

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

Thank you for the advice and I will be checking in on this again for even more info. The info you four have given me is a great help and I hope it will also answer questions others in my place my have on this topic. Once again thanks and I hope to meet some of you one day out there and buy you lunch just to show how much I appreciate the advice and info.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Butch, I started with Schneider a little over a year ago and have no plans to leave.

I do look around occasionally, but Schneider does treat me well. I am doing EXACTLY what I applied for and what was promised by the recruiter. That helps. ' What I have noticed is that most of the big companies pay nice "sign-on" bonuses. Those get paid out over the first year in many cases. As an experienced driver, those sign-on bonuses can be $3,000-$5,000 or more. I'm sure that's an enticement. Also, any increase in cents per mile usually (at least from what I've seen) levels off after the first year.

What I haven't figured out is; why the companies don't pay "retention" bonuses. If it costs, say $5,000 to hire a new driver (and turnover is high), why not offer a $3,000 retention bonus to the experienced driver? The company would still save $2,000 (and likely more due to higher insurance costs of new drivers) and retain experienced drivers. These retention bonuses worked very well in the military.

Anyway, I hope this helps.


Hours Of Service

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

Their can be a a plethora of reasons why a driver would change companies. Here are a few reasons (more money, regional , more home time, local opportunities, miles, can't get along with staff, becoming an owner andoperater, and leaving the industry all together.)

Most people with ambition will always look ahead for greener pastures. What works for you today may not work for you tomorrow. If your not content with your current situation after gaining experience you have the right to exercises your options.


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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I spent 18 years at the USPS before going to prime in Sept to drive. I don't like change... I feel most comfortable when I know more than everyone else at soemthing lol so this was a huge chsnge. Initially my intent was to get my year in and then try for a local job.... or even driving tour buses. Then I decided that I love this company.. and as crazy as it sounds... a tad bit more money would not entice me to leave. I gave up my apartment to live on the truck so I have no overhead. I have my cat... I can take home time wherever I want.. I get paid high than almost all other new drivers at other companies. .. I was allowed to get the larger truck I stead of light weight.. and I l9ve my fleet manager. Why would I think about leaving?

Everyone situation is different. Homw time is not grwat... but I dot have kids.. so who cares lol


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Links On TruckingTruth

example: TruckingTruth Homepage

Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview



Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More