Is This Normal To Make This Little Money?

Topic 19953 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Z's Comment
member avatar

I spent lots of time researching trucking here and elsewhere. I studied with the high road training program and got my CLP. Trucking seemed like something I'd enjoy and be able to make money at. I went to The Swift academy and felt the same way. I went out with my mentor for a month, and felt the same way, but my mentor was on the target dedicated account. He said he thought is be great at this, and that I should be able to make 700-1000 bucks a week OTR.

Now I'm out here solo OTR , and I'm running as hard as I can, not turning down loads, and I'm making like 350 a week. That's less than the hourly pay I made as a trainee. What am I doing wrong?

Half of college graduates can't find work in their field, and I'm one of them. I'm drowning in student loan debt and I needed a job with decent pay. Before this I was working as a front desk clerk at a hotel and living at home. I could barely pay my bills.Now all my stuff is in storage and I basically live in the truck.

Sorry to ramble I'm just really frustrated with this, and feel like I bought a pig in a poke. Even if in were to decide to leave trucking I don't really have anywhere else to go. Is it normal to be making this kind of money at the beginning?

OTR:

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

murderspolywog's Comment
member avatar

Is that your gross pay or net pay? How many deductions are coming out of your check? How long have you been solo for? How is your time management? Are you burning hours sitting waiting to get loaded or are you saving as much for driving? It's not uncommon for you to need to prove your self to your dm so to really help you we need more info please.

Dm:

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.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, we need more info; and yes, you can definitely make more than $350 per week driving a truck for Swift, so don't give up yet. Tell us more.

Z's Comment
member avatar

Ill admit its only been two weeks, but still, my bills don't care. This is net, and they only thing they've taken out is the money to repay my academy tuition. I signed up for health insurance, so now they'll start taking out 35 for that. I dont burn my clock at shippers. I go off duty whenever possible. I keep getting these short low velocity runs. Like the run I'm on now was only 350 miles, but Ill be sitting here with the walls closing in for 17 hours before I make my delivery tonight. I tried to see if I could deliver early but it was a no go.

I talked to a friend from the academy and he is getting two long loads at the beginning of the week, then gets a few short ones to run out his 70, does a 34 hour reset, then does it all over again. He said he makes about 700-1000 a week doing this. Which is the same as I was expecting to make.

I talked to my driver leader about all this, and she tried to assuage my fears, but I fear she is just blowing smoke.

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.

Dm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Two weeks isn't very long. You just started, barely on their radar.

Are you using all of the available Qualcomm Macros indicating and documenting your status (empty call)? Setting your PTA accurately, requesting the next load? Are you proactively calling your DM in advance of completing a delivery, requesting a pre-plan? Review all of your Macros and understand how to best utilize them to your advantage.

When you talk to your DM; reiterate your desire to keep moving and ask the question what must you do to improve, be considered for longer runs, etc. Let them know in frank yet professional way that it's difficult to meet your financial commitments clearing $350 per week. Keep the conversation positive and express gratitude for your job (even though you are frustrated). When ever you are at your home terminal , go out of your way to talk with your DM. This is a learning process...learn to work on that relationship. Remember, they are getting paid to keep you loaded and moving.

It takes time to get visible and establish a solid, professional relationship with your DM. Way too early to panic. Just keep working the system...and maintain a positive attitude. Take a moment to review the contents of this link for further information that can help with your situation: Building a Relationship With Your Dispatcher

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

Dm:

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.
Z's Comment
member avatar

Two weeks isn't very long. You just started, barely on their radar.

Are you using all of the available Qualcomm Macros indicating and documenting your status (empty call)? Setting your PTA accurately, requesting the next load? Are you proactively calling your DM in advance of completing a delivery, requesting a pre-plan? Review all of your Macros and understand how to best utilize them to your advantage.

When you talk to your DM; reiterate your desire to keep moving and ask the question what must you do to improve, be considered for longer runs, etc. Let them know in frank yet professional way that it's difficult to meet your financial commitments clearing $350 per week. Keep the conversation positive and express gratitude for your job (even though you are frustrated). When ever you are at your home terminal , go out of your way to talk with your DM. This is a learning process...learn to work on that relationship. Remember, they are getting paid to keep you loaded and moving.

It takes time to get visible and establish a solid, professional relationship with your DM. Way too early to panic. Just keep working the system...and maintain a positive attitude. Take a moment to review the contents of this link for further information that can help with your situation: Building a Relationship With Your Dispatcher

Ok thanks for the info. I'm doing good on the macros, and ill start calling like you said. Ill also review the link. Thanks for the help.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

Dm:

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.
murderspolywog's Comment
member avatar

Z what the others have said is, correct. You want to be remembered in a good way with your DM. Right now you have not had time to show them how good you can work. So they don't know you, here is what I did when I drove from Swift. They would give me a load that had way too much time on it so first I would let them know my eta to the 90 then I would show up at the 90 on that time or before. Then I would send my arrival macro and check in, see if they could work me in early. If anything it shows them you can do what you say you will do. When you show this constantly your DM will know they can give you more and you will not let them down. The relationship with your DM is a 2 way street, if you perform poorly/good it reflects well on them there boss is not chewing their ass out so then they look kindly on you. Remember **** rolls down hill. You are able to make way more then what you are making now. Don't panic, talk to your DM and show them what you can do. Also I don't know where you are but there are some parts of this county wear Swift does not have a lot of freight and your DM might be trying to work you out of there and into some place with more freight. Also remember anytime you want to go home your miles will drop as well.

Take deep breaths and good luck

Dm:

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.
Last Shadow's Comment
member avatar

I spent lots of time researching trucking here and elsewhere. I studied with the high road training program and got my CLP. Trucking seemed like something I'd enjoy and be able to make money at. I went to The Swift academy and felt the same way. I went out with my mentor for a month, and felt the same way, but my mentor was on the target dedicated account. He said he thought is be great at this, and that I should be able to make 700-1000 bucks a week OTR.

Now I'm out here solo OTR , and I'm running as hard as I can, not turning down loads, and I'm making like 350 a week. That's less than the hourly pay I made as a trainee. What am I doing wrong?

Half of college graduates can't find work in their field, and I'm one of them. I'm drowning in student loan debt and I needed a job with decent pay. Before this I was working as a front desk clerk at a hotel and living at home. I could barely pay my bills.Now all my stuff is in storage and I basically live in the truck.

Sorry to ramble I'm just really frustrated with this, and feel like I bought a pig in a poke. Even if in were to decide to leave trucking I don't really have anywhere else to go. Is it normal to be making this kind of money at the beginning?

Z, that is not normal at all bro, you should be making at least $700 a week and that's on a bad low mileage week.

OTR:

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Z, what terminal at Swift are you out of? If you and I were out of the same terminal, we may have had the same DM.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dm:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Absolutely awesome advice from everyone. You guys are gold.

Z, that advice came from drivers who know how this industry works and I can't even really add to what they've said. I just want to say that you will absolutely be able to make the kind of money you're hoping to make and it shouldn't be long if you'll follow the great advice you've been given. Just keep it positive, be super reliable with your appointment times, be safe, and keep pushing your dispatcher for more miles.

At most jobs the boss will just throw a pile of work in front of you every day and say "do it". And you do it. But trucking usually isn't like that, especially when you're new. Often times a dispatcher is going to break you in slowly and feel things out a little bit. They want to make sure they can count on you. They want to see what type of driver you are, and what type of person you are. Because they can usually tell pretty quickly if you're the type that's going to jump ship as soon as there's a problem, or if you're lazy and needy, or like in your case if you're ambitious and eager to take on a strong workload.

So definitely keep it positive, make all of your appointment times, and keep lobbying dispatch for more miles.

Now this might be a little old school for ya, but for some reason I always think of the song "Centerfield" by John Fogerty when I think about lobbying dispatch for more miles:

Oh, put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
Look at me, gotta be, centerfield

You just have to keep after it in the right way, ya know what I mean? Make it clear to them that you're eager for more work, you're ready to prove yourself, and you want them to challenge you a little bit. Be that guy that just won't stop lobbying until you get the miles you need. And of course, most importantly, you have to produce when you get your chance. Always, always safety first, of course, but you have to make your appointment times and get the job done if you want to be in the game with the big dogs.

Hang in there. And please, keep us updated. We're glad you came to us with this. We'll make sure you're able to figure out how to get the miles you need.

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.
Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

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

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
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
Done
Done

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

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Dispatcher Issues Time Management Truck Driver Salary Truck Driving Stories
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

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