Am I Getting Ripped Off?

Topic 19004 | Page 1

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Ted R.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay! So I am starting trucking school in a couple weeks. The school said I would be making 600-800 per week my first week on the job.

With that in mind, I sign up for the school. Get a date a few weeks from today to start. I'll be in school for 3 weeks at 12 hours per day, only able to work 2 days per week. So for those 3 weeks? I will be without an income, floating on a credit card. I was alright with this, Surely if I made even 500 per week, I would be able to recover my losses. All is good, right? Wrong...

The list of companies I was offered were shot down by a friend of mine who has been in the trucking job for years, He narrowed the list down from 5 to 2. It came down to Covenant and Stevens Transport. I ended up going with Stevens Transport.

After a bit of research, I learned that I will only be making about $350 (up to $450 if I help load and unload trucks) starting out for 6-8 weeks. Crunching a bit of math, I quickly realize I'll be making about $500 less than what I am making right now at my current job. In this situation, The job starts out worse but gets drastically better after those 6-8 weeks. I'd be driving reefers for starting out at 0.30 CPL.

The problem? During this 6-8 weeks I really won't be able to afford everything due me only making $350 per week. To put it in a different perspective, I will be working 70 hours a week as a trucker on a salary of $350 per week for 6-8 weeks while driving with a trainer. Right now, I am making $450 per week only working 40 hours a week.

In this situation.. What would you guys do? Thank you all for you time and input.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Ted asks an "authority":

The list of companies I was offered were shot down by a friend of mine who has been in the trucking job for years.

So does your "friend" believe there are only two trucking companies worth working for? It seems thousands of drivers disagree. There are several Swift, Prime, and other company drivers active on Trucking Truth who do disagree. If you want to do some research, check out our more impartial Trucking Company Reviews.

Also, keep in mind that in training, you are focused on learning, and not so much on earning. You have calculated you can't relly have a job during your CDL school. Once you get in a truck as a trainee, you will be paid. More than the $zero you got in school, but less than a "first seat" driver.

Here's more reading material for you:

The High Road program will help you ace the CDL written test.

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.

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.

Flatie C.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay! So I am starting trucking school in a couple weeks. The school said I would be making 600-800 per week my first week on the job.

With that in mind, I sign up for the school. Get a date a few weeks from today to start. I'll be in school for 3 weeks at 12 hours per day, only able to work 2 days per week. So for those 3 weeks? I will be without an income, floating on a credit card. I was alright with this, Surely if I made even 500 per week, I would be able to recover my losses. All is good, right? Wrong...

The list of companies I was offered were shot down by a friend of mine who has been in the trucking job for years, He narrowed the list down from 5 to 2. It came down to Covenant and Stevens Transport. I ended up going with Stevens Transport.

After a bit of research, I learned that I will only be making about $350 (up to $450 if I help load and unload trucks) starting out for 6-8 weeks. Crunching a bit of math, I quickly realize I'll be making about $500 less than what I am making right now at my current job. In this situation, The job starts out worse but gets drastically better after those 6-8 weeks. I'd be driving reefers for starting out at 0.30 CPL.

The problem? During this 6-8 weeks I really won't be able to afford everything due me only making $350 per week. To put it in a different perspective, I will be working 70 hours a week as a trucker on a salary of $350 per week for 6-8 weeks while driving with a trainer. Right now, I am making $450 per week only working 40 hours a week.

In this situation.. What would you guys do? Thank you all for you time and input.

It all depends with the company but sometimes you need to start lower. You can't just earn money right on the spot. If you need to earn that to start making the big money then be it. As soon as you get experience that will change :-)

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

My suggestion is do your own research. There are companies out there that start higher, even give you food money advances. People don't always choose companies for the CPM but the home time, location, equipment or division.

If your main concern is money, then look to Prime or Swift that pay higher like 30-40 CPM rather than a company like CR England that starts at 27cpm.

The other thing I noticed is that you are looking at hours instead of pay by the mile. This industry is performance based not hourly. If you and I worked together at your current job and I'm a bum and you are busting your butt. We would still be making the same amount of money. However in trucking, if I'm a bum and you are busting your butt, then you are making good money and I'm poor.

I'm curious as to why you would rely on a school to determine which companies you should apply to. And asking a friend is a start. But what criteria is he using to determine a good fit?

Check out the links provided in the earlier comment and some of Brett's articles about hour vs performance pay.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

Garth M.'s Comment
member avatar

I can only speak from my experience but the company training period after getting your CDL is paid as a lower training wage. Two of the companies I've checked out so far that offer a 6-8 week training period and 85-100 dollars a day pay and then after completion your up to full wages. The company that offered $100 was quite proud of the fact and I am budgeting for the crunch. In my case the school is 6 weeks and I will have no income for that period so the $100 for the next 6-8 will much appreciated by then.

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.
Garth M.'s Comment
member avatar

I can only speak from my experience but the company training period after getting your CDL is paid as a lower training wage. Two of the companies I've checked out so far that offer a 6-8 week training period and 85-100 dollars a day pay and then after completion your up to full wages. The company that offered $100 was quite proud of the fact and I am budgeting for the crunch. In my case the school is 6 weeks and I will have no income for that period so the $100 for the next 6-8 will much appreciated by then.

I should have added those are Canadian $ so 30% less lol

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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