My New Career

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Noobie1217's Comment
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Are you serious? You already know how they should cut their recruiting expenses and put those funds into their payroll?

I tell you one thing in your post that really stood out to me. Your uncle didn't bother to tell you how you need a certificate of training to land a job in this business, and neither did the school that took your money just to show you how to drive in reverse! Yet you went on and on about how nice those people at that school are. They did you a disservice! I hope you realize that by now.

Usually people like you, who already know people in this business, have a really hard time making a start of this. Does that seem odd to you? Have you figured out why that is so? I'm hoping you have, but I can't tell for sure because there seems to be some mixed messages in the things you've posted.

Very nice!!! I must be coming off a little misunderstood..lol....seems I'm getting a little hostile feedback from you fine sir....I can be totally honest and tell you I'm just getting started out in this and don't have many high expectations and I'm learning a bunch of this as I go;) As far as the recruiting and all that jazz....I honestly believe there is a problem with the amount of turnover...I also believe if you treat people right and fair they stick around....that has nothing to do with the industry it has more to do with life, but that's just my opinion. Any industry that has that amount of turnover has an issue! Is it bad attitudes or bad business models IDK, or is it greedy companies that know if they keep churning people thru the system they can get freight hauled for cheap..IDK...but its something..

As far as no one telling me I would have a tough time getting hired without a certificate, I was told that..sorry I did not put it in my post...I also will stand by the statement that the people that own White Cdl school did me right...did exactly what I wanted...let me use there equipment to take the driving test and taught me how to back...I called a place in Kansas City for this same type of service and they wanted 450.00 just to use there equipment and take the test at there facility...learning to back was on my own...so the few dollars I gave the people at Whites was well worth it...and they were extremely nice people....

the mixed message part...I don't really have a message...just my thoughts on what I have been thru so far.."people like me"? Not sure what that means...hardworking people? Americans? what does that mean? ...I have had ups and downs getting into this industry like most people do I'm sure...by no means is anything I type meant to be hostile or meant to show I know anything what so ever...Just my observations...and I hope to learn and grow from all of this to be successful someday in this industry....but I will say I have lots to learn

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.
Noobie1217's Comment
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Btw....how would you get a part time job while driving 2500 to 3000 miles a week?

"i have yet to get paid but start on monday" makes me wonder if you exoected to get paid before even starting training? If so, please rethink yourself.

try to answer both your questions with a short reply....as far as part time job....My orientation was monday thru friday....was over at about 5pm...if I needed I could of went and worked evening shifts in the restaurant or whatever was available...During the training period while working with my trainers its only 5-6 days a week...leaves 1-2 days to fill in with other work..again I have some family I could fall back on and pick up restaurant shifts if needed....there is always work out there if you need it...me personally on my days off have went and written a few insurance policies with some old leads I had just to cover any bills and keep money flowing in..

On the pay expectation thing....As of today I have been thru orientation and one week over the road with my trainer...I think my first pay day is monday for the training pay...I did not expect any money up front..lol....also I will add that if I did need money the company I'm working with offers an advance you can take a couple times a week...I just put and estimate on what I think my paycheck would be for 5 days at 100 minus taxes....If that was all the income a person had and was expecting to feed there family on 325 a week take home I believe it would be pretty tough...holy cow i'm long winded..lol

Over The Road:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Noobie1217's Comment
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You have it all figured out, so good luck.

I wish I had it all figured out..lol....I have soooo much to learn....and even after that I will never have it all figured out..lol...Merry Christmas;)

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Noobie, I hope you survive your introduction to trucking, but I've got my serious doubts. You show all the classic signs of the typical noob who did tons of research yet somehow came up with a lot of bad information on how this whole "getting started in trucking" process works.

You've got all the buzzwords like "driver churn" in your first few posts here, and it's concerning. How did you manage all that research without ever making use of our vast resources here?

I also believe if you treat people right and fair they stick around....that has nothing to do with the industry it has more to do with life, but that's just my opinion. Any industry that has that amount of turnover has an issue! Is it bad attitudes or bad business models IDK, or is it greedy companies that know if they keep churning people thru the system they can get freight hauled for cheap..IDK...but its something..

Here's the deal. All these big trucking companies do treat their people right. The problem with trucking is that it is super challenging, and even more so for the rookie drivers. It is completely performance based, and it's super tough to perform at the highest levels required to be proficient at this. A lot of people try, and a few of them prove themselves worthy. The others either decide it's not worth it, or prove themselves too high risk to keep on the team. There's a lot of factors to the problem of driver retention, but none of it has to do with business models. It is an extraordinary job that requires extraordinary people.

Most people coming into trucking do not have any concept of performance based pay. They are accustomed to measuring their income by the amount of time they put into their job. Truckers work long hours, and the ones who learn to be proficient at this typically work the equivalent time of doing two full time jobs. They are passionate about what they do, and it shows in their results.

No one gets rich doing this, but a good driver can earn some really solid money for a blue collar type job. That is where the problem lies. It takes some special people to do this job. Many just don't enjoy it enough, or ever break through to being proficient enough to be satisfied with their results. I think it's that simple. You see how much trouble you've had already, and you haven't even gotten your first paycheck yet.

I've got a homework assignment for ya, and I hope you'll take it serious because it's going to open your eyes and help you a lot. Click on the three bar menu above and then click on "The Road Home" podcasts. Take the time to listen to each of those podcasts. Please do that and I think you will find yourself much more prepared for this new endeavor. This isn't like going out to find a new job or career. It is a complete lifestyle you're about to embrace. If you can't embrace it and love it, you're going to hit a brick wall and end up back door to door selling worthless paper to people.

While you're at it here's some more work for you to dive into...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Noobie1217's Comment
member avatar

Lots to read....thanks for pointing me in the right direction...I'm also a huge podcast fan so will load the podcast on my phone

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I read this thread a couple of times. Wow Noobie, what a "head-scratcher". Granted seems like your most recent reply is definitely a step in the right direction...

So..."People like you" refers to misinformed newbies....not meant to be offensive or accusatory. It's just many, many folks come into this business and forum chest-t******* with unrealistic expectations and a complete misunderstanding of truth and facts. Based on everything you have posted...I can understand why the statement was made...here are examples of what I mean:

You wrote:

Any industry that has that amount of turnover has an issue! Is it bad attitudes or bad business models IDK, or is it greedy companies that know if they keep churning people thru the system they can get freight hauled for cheap..IDK...but its something..

Spoken like a true seasoned industry expert...? An issue? The "issue" as you put it, is the unexpected degree of difficulty required overcoming a myriad of challenges, obstacles, and variables that are experienced during school, training and the first few months of 1st seat driving. Very steep, often underestimated learning curve. The bottom line, only a few drivers make it past the first year. I believe at the very heart of this statistical fact; a basic lack of knowledge, sense of importance/entitlement and lofty expectations most people have when entering into this. "Driving a truck; how difficult can that be?" Ask anyone here; first few months of a rookie's trucking life has reduced many grown men to tears. Read the recent Prime diary of "Paul".

Corporate Greed? Almost funny. The average operating ratio for the majority of our employers is 3%. Which translates to a 3 penny profit for every dollar earned. Hardly numbers that support a greedy corporate culture and windfall profits at the expense of the lowly drivers. For top-performing company drivers making 65-75k per year; this premise is not even in there thought process.

You also wrote this:

During the training period while working with my trainers its only 5-6 days a week...leaves 1-2 days to fill in with other work..again I have some family I could fall back on and pick up restaurant shifts if needed....

Most of the companies you mentioned will have you out with your trainer for weeks, possibly the entire duration without any home time. Furthermore if you work 7 days per week (training and PT work combined) and exceed 70 hours on-duty, technically and legally you are out of hours. If you are being honest with the system, you'll be required to take a 34 hour break before you can drive again during training. Hours worked regardless of trucking or "other", all accumulate against the 70 hour on-duty clock. Could you get away with it? Sure, as long as you don't get into any driving accident while training. All that said, how are you going to hold down a PT job while you are training? Again, unrealistic expectations.

So...not to be confrontational or mean but, the only thing you have written that is relevant and I agree with is the "IDK" disclaimer. You really "don't know" and seem to be hell-bent on trashing an industry based on what little knowledge you actually have. Please don't debate this...once and done for me, take it or leave it. My suggestion; drop-back, punt and share what happens during school and training. That we'll care about and respond with positive reinforcement and candid feedback. It will also be highly valuable to others considering a similar path.

Not sure if you have invested any time studying the two links Old School sent you, but you really should do that, and soon. It will put an exclamation point to the replies to your post. I sincerely wish you all the best and good luck.

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Noobie1217's Comment
member avatar

As the journey continues…After all the negative of my last few posts I figure I should just put my head down and work a while…but today I’m bored it’s been a few months and maybe I can post some helpful information and get some good feedback…or maybe just kill a few minutes..lol…First part of this just some randomness from the past five months…I will make a second post with actual numbers….miles money ect….I got started in my own truck the second week of January, the company issued me a beautiful Kenworth t-660, I made probably a rookie mistake and went out and purchased a bunch of stuff to fit that truck and make my life more comfortable, refridge, microwave, power invertor, fan, new bed cloths and electric blanket. Unfortunately I only had the T660 for a few months and was moved into a 17 T680…amazingly much smaller of truck, I don’t care what anyone says..lol…so now my fridge doesn’t really fit anywhere and my microwave does not fit the cut out;( but very hard to complain about the nice equipment…I do like the hydraulic clutch in the t680, much easier in traffic….One of my big concerns when moving into trucking was the sitting on my butt all day, that is why I chose flatbedding, read that it was much more work…I’m happy to report that I’m getting an average of 7miles of walking per day!! Some of the toughest days I have are in the bone chilling cold in north Dakota or lately the heat in and around Midland Tx, either way when the wind blows its makes folding tarps a nightmare!!! I have really enjoyed the new adventure, but the wind and tarps has made for some rough days…I’m a pretty happy and friendly person so even throughout training when I would see someone folding tarps I would always ask if they wanted help, I do the same thing when I’m out working during the week, whenever I see someone pull tarps I will stop what I’m doing to help them, really we are all in this together no matter what company writes our checks….it does amaze me how many drivers will just sit and watch people struggle with tarps, I mean really they are in that truck for probably 24 hours a day, why not get out and spend 5 minutes helping the guys around you..lol..I also figure regardless if people help me or not…I need all the good karma I can get;) The extra 5 minutes you spend helping someone fold tarps is really no work on you and saves that driver probably twenty minutes and in high wind a lot of headache. I will say like this posting board, most of the other drivers I have met out on the road are *******s, I will meet the occasional nice person but more jerks than not, I believe overtime the road has made most of these people very bitter! Regardless I stay happy, smile, hold doors for people and try to be friendly to everyone I meet….but maybe in a few years I will get the bitter, I know it all super trucker attitude…I really hope not! All the different places I have been seems to be my favorite part of the job!!! It does not seem like you get much time to stop and smell the roses but I have enjoyed driving throughout all the different places I have been…The other thing I really like about flatbed is all the different stuff I have hauled…equipment, lots of gypsum materials, coils, rebar and just all kinds of stuff…I did have to pull a dry van one week and just was not the same…I also did not get nowhere near the exercise the week I pulled the dryvan..As far as the driving goes that part has been fairly easy, I enjoy the time to listen to lots of podcast and have learned to listen to lots of different music..I also get lots of time to think, which is both good and bad..lol…The most stressful part of this for me has been Parking!!! Not only finding parking but backing into stalls…..I’m still horrible, I’m wondering if it just takes years to get good at or if I just suck..lol..I do believe the spread axle’s add a degree of difficulty, but I have watched people in the truck stops do it flawlessly, so I really need to work on that..On that note I try to find easy spots…pull thru’s and rest area’s being my favorite, unless my clock runs out early and I can get to a truck stop early before they get busy…I know I'm long winded....(cont)

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Dryvan:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Noobie1217's Comment
member avatar

I have been prepping all my food for the week on the weekends, my goal daily is to spend $0 dollars of my personal money at the truck stops…I do pretty good but seem to break down once a week and have fastfood…So far my favorite stops are Loves, they seem to be cleaner than TA and Pilots/Flying J, I have found parking is a little easier in most of the Loves as well, but that is just my opinion. The fuel points thing seems to be a pretty good deal…right now our company gets .10 cents per gallon at flying J/Pilot so I have been getting my first 1000 gallons in a month at Loves and then the rest at FlyingJ…although I’m not sure what I’m going to buy with all the points I have..lol....I do like having the unlimited showers at both places and Loves gives you 2 drink refills a day if your buying enough fuel…I have been drinking waaayy too much soda..My first five months I have made a few mistakes….no big wrecks but I did smack a deer going north on HWY 75 at 5 in the morning, I guess beings the company just swapped the bumper on my truck and there was only bumper damage that does not show up..but I still felt like an idiot, first deer I have ever hit in my life….I also broke my arm one windy day in Oklahoma…got frustrated and wrapped one of my legs around a strap and nose dived off my trailer…bet I looked like a fool..lol..broke my styloid process right off the ulna….good thing was they didn’t have to cast it and I didn’t miss anywork….Beings I don’t have any prior experience with other trucking companies I can just speak to the one I’m working with, I have enjoyed my dispatcher over the last five months, he seems to keep me moving, I don’t get home for as long as I would like but that seems to be the industry, I’m usually lucky to get home for about 34 hours it seems…I know it could be worse..I have only done one reset over the road and I picked a not so good place to do it…lol…was nothing around but the truck stop, no showers no laundry facility and the truck stop closed at 11…was very boring and not so good planning on my part….as of now I have only had to wait for my next load 2x’s, which I don’t feel bad about, once it was for 2 hours the other times was only 30 minutes, so I think he does a pretty good job…the rest of the company I have not been that impressed with, but after reading posts about other companies it seems pretty standard…most people are not very nice and most people I have met in the offices don’t even ask my name just my truck number….just as a test I have given two people at the office the wrong truck number just to see if they would ask my name neither did…both situations they said that can’t be right after pulling it up on there computers and said I needed to go look and double check the number on my truck…it amazes me how impersonal that makes my interactions with people at the company…I have worked there a little over 5 months and I don’t believe more than 5 people know my name….I bet less than 2 know if I’m married or have kids or anything like that..lol…crazy…as far as miles driven I feel like I have done pretty well….looks like I average well above 2300 per week….I have been as far east as New York, not very far west, all the way up to the Canadian border in North Dakota and as far south as Mexico ….really wanting to go to the pacific northwest and up into the new England states…hopefully someday! Overall the experience for me so far has been just what the doctor ordered!!! The biggest surprises have been how unfriendly everyone in the industry seems to be….Shippers and receivers for the most part are not nice…least to me they don’t seem that way….most wont have a restroom they allow you to use or they will send you outside to a port a potty ….which is crazy to me….I know you work 8-10 hours shifts and I’m sure there is a restroom in there..lol…I have met probably 5-10 shippers/receivers that seemed to be friendly and welcoming…the rest not so much…I’m sure over time truckers have done some things to deserve the treatment but I think its silly to punish the whole industry for the actions of a few..the money so far for me has not been great, but I will post money and miles next

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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.
Noobie1217's Comment
member avatar

So I don't know if your not supposed to talk about money and miles or what...but when I was looking into this I did not feel I could ever find what I was looking for when it came to actual pay...below I will list the miles loaded and dead that I have had along with what my checks are....If i keep the pace I'm running I should be able to break $70,000 this year....so that's not horrible....unless you figure in the amount of time away of home...but it is still pretty descent wages I think..as I get more experience I should be able to move this number up as well...One thing I put a bunch of thought into when I first started was how the companies pay....It seemed like everyone at my company was really pushing a person to go on percentage pay(25.5% for noobies like me)..at first I thought it was a great idea but as much as they was suggesting it I was becoming skeptical....the other option was .45cpm loaded and .42 cpm unloaded....well for the first five months I chose the percentage and wish I would of went mileage...I'm still on percentage but may make a change soon....any thoughts on percentage vs mileage would be greatly appreciated...so on my miles I keep an excel spread sheet every week of the places I go and what each load pays...as well as how much I would of made vs mileage and as well as O/O..any questions thoughts on how I can increase it or general feed back let me know..I could not figure out the best way to put all the information on here so sorry if its hard to understand..the mileage number at the end is what I would of received if I would of picked mileage pay

Jan week 1 (my first solo week) 1618 loaded miles 412 empty miles, 2925 load pay, 738 my cut, 40 tarp money, gross $778,mileage pay roughly 953 Jan week 2 1923 Loaded, 554 empty, 3958 load pay, 999.54 my cut, 143 tarp pay,gross $1142, mileage 1257 Jan Week 3 1897 Loaded, 367 empty, 3850 Load pay, 972 my cut, 105 tarp pay, gross $1077,mileage 1124 At the end of January I would of made $337 more on mileage than percentage

Feb Week 1 2302 loaded, 420 empty, 4495 load pay, 1135 my cut, 107 tarp pay,gross $1242, mileage 1332 Feb wk 2 2177 loaded,609 empty, 3897 load pay, 984 my cut, 80 tarp pay,gross $1064, mileage 1334 feb wk 3 2551 loaded, 296 empty, 5510 load pay, 1391 my cut,gross $1561, mileage 1451 why I only have 3 weeks in February I do not know..lol Feb would of made $249 more on mileage, for the year I'm down $586

Mar Wk11620 Loaded,302 empty, 2858 load pay, 722 my cut, 170 tarp pay, gross $ 891.58, mileage 1035 Mar WK 2 2148 Loaded, 567 empty, 4721 load pay, 1192 my cut, 200 tarp pay, gros $1392, mileage 1422 Mar wk 3 2254 loaded, 839 empty, 4227 load pay, 1067 my cut, 134 tarp, gross $ 1201, mileage 1525 Mar wk 4 3076 loaded, 431 empty, 5734 load pay, 1448 my cut, 100 tarp, gross 1548, mileage 1678 Mar wk 5 ?? 2853 loaded, 702 empty, 5720 load pay, 1444 my cut, 0 tarp pay, gross 1444, mileage 1600 well found that missing week in february for these 5 weeks I'm 784 dollars less on percentage than mileage, with a running total of about $1370...not looking good

Apr wk 1 2120 loaded, 92 empty, 4022 load pay, 1016 my cut, 40 tarp pay, gross 1056, mileage 1035 Apr wk 2 2473 Loaded, 444 empty, 5002 load pay, 1263 my cut, 40 tarp pay, gross 1303, mileage 1352 Apr wk 3 3295 loaded, 243 empty, 6891 load pay, 1740 my cut, 120 tarp pay, gross 1860, mileage 1712 Apr wk 4 2317 Loaded, 149 empty, 3954 load pay, 998 my cut, 212 tarp pay, gross 1211, mileage 1322 At the end of April I actually made $7.00 more on percentage than mileage, but for the year was negative $1363

May wk 1 2342 loaded, 382 empty, 5009 load pay, 1265 my cut, 50 tarp, gross 1315, mileage 1276 I have been paid for the 2nd week of may but have yet to update my spreadsheet....

so I feel like I'm getting in a descent amount of miles...and I'm getting home on majority of weekends...just need to push the percentage up or go to mileage or something..lol...any thoughts or suggestions aprreciated..Also for anyone thinking of getting into this....this is just my experience so far...I'm sure lots of people do better than what I have done...I'm getting old so probably can't put on as many miles as some folks....

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Noobie wrote this comparing people he has met, to us...

I will say like this posting board, most of the other drivers I have met out on the road are *******s, I will meet the occasional nice person but more jerks than not, I believe overtime the road has made most of these people very bitter!

Why post here then? Perhaps it's you who is the jerk.

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