Am I Wrong To Just Look At CPM In Deciding Which Company To Sign On With?

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Splitter's Comment
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So I was bummed that was I disqualified from Prime, my fault but bummed nevertheless. That prompted me to reach out to these 3 companies and have been security cleared for all 3. Very happy about that!! Below you will find the numbers that I'm using to make my decision. The Swift number are from this sites company training review section. So am I wrong to base my decision just on numbers alone?

Knight: - Paid Training for recent Graduates - 100% full tuition reimbursement - No Contracts! - Start out at .35-.44 cpm - After you reach 30,000 miles, get an automatic pay increase to .40-.49 cpm! - Quarterly bonuses up to $6,000 a year! - Full medical, dental, vision, 401k, and PTO!

Swift: How much will I make when I go solo? Starting pay is $.36 cpm , plus bonuses. When will I receive pay increases? Drivers will receive an increase to $.38 after 1 year, and then get increases every year up to 15 years. Do you offer a fuel bonus? Swift offers a mileage bonus, as well as on-time and safe driving bonuses. Quarterly bonuses could be as much as $.08 cpm (a potential of around $2800 per quarter.)

CFI: · Students 7,500 miles minimum with finisher - $0.26 per mile then upgrade to company truck and earn $0.33. · 60,000 miles - $.35 per mile · 90,000 miles - $.37 per mile · 120,000 miles - $.40 per mile

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't just focus on cpm , there are so many other factors that may be of importance. Home time policy, Rider policy, pet policy, APU/Inverters, etc...

You have to weigh everything in its entirety. Go with the company that most closely matches what you are looking for. Remember, there are no perfect companies, just find the company that is perfect for you.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I think CPM should be one of the later factors you should use to make the decision.

First look at types of freight they have available. Make sure you're hauling the type of freight you'd like to haul and then see if they have other options available in case you'd like to make a change down the line.

Next look at home time options. Make sure you can get home on the schedule you want, and see if they have other options in case you'd like to make a change down the line.

I would also ask about what they have for specialized or dedicated divisions, again in case you'd like to change to something else.

At this point you might find that one company really stands out. In that case it might be worth a few CPM less to work for a company that suits you better. You might find that several suit you perfectly well so you can use CPM as one of the tiebreakers.

I would not use CPM as the deciding factor unless it was a difference of at least 5 CPM, and I would make sure you pay attention to what you'll be making after 6 months and after 12 months. Those first 6 months most drivers don't come anywhere close to reaching their potential for 3,000 or more miles per week. You have so much to learn at that point and you've yet to adapt to life on the road. So the first 6 months you should focus on learning your trade and keeping that safety record clean. Your miles should be much better at the 6 - 12 month mark, and by the 12 month mark you should be able to consistently turn 3,000 miles per week, especially if you're running OTR. So that's when the mileage pay is going to make a bigger difference in your paycheck.

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.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

I agree with Patrick completly. You have to look at the full package. CPM is important however what is the cost of health insurance. Those vary alot from company to company. Also the bonus figures, are any tied together?? I worked for a company that touted a tidy fuel bonus. However it was tied to their safety bonus. Bottom line is you stood a chance of missing out on it from 2 angles instead of 1. If your pulling alot of heavy loads, you will most likely not see a fuel bonus. The equipment varies also. All the major carriers turn their trucks over anywhere from 3-5 years, but how is it spec'd. I'm not sure if it matters much to you, but what is the truck goverened at??? Makes a difference how you drive it, espically in traffic. One other area I would look at personally is the percentage of live load/unload to drop and hook. It certainly makes a difference. The more time your sitting to load/unload the fewer miles you will turn that week. Hopefully the industry can pressure these customers to get more diligent, but I have my doubts. I have had folks at very large compaines flat tell me they don't care if the company pays out large amounts of detention time it's cheaper than hiring more warehouse folks. Just my thoughts

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

CPM was not a factor in my choice of who to drive for when I started out. The company that I went with offers one of the lowest training pay and starting pay of almost any company I've heard of. They don't even offer their own school or tuition reimbursement.

What I will say is that after I upgraded to solo my pay was bumped up rapidly and I was given excellent miles based on performance. I made easily over $50k my first year.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

CPM was not a factor in my choice of who to drive for when I started out. The company that I went with offers one of the lowest training pay and starting pay of almost any company I've heard of. They don't even offer their own school or tuition reimbursement.

What I will say is that after I upgraded to solo my pay was bumped up rapidly and I was given excellent miles based on performance. I made easily over $50k my first year.

Old School has the same story with a different company. Started at like 25 cpm and wound up making around $50,000 his first year.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

West Side Transport started me at a measly $70/day in Company training (and that's still what they pay) and 32 CPM to start. Now I think it's 36CPM on upgrade. A little less than 2 years in, my base rate is 43 CPM but my average CPM due to bonuses/accessorial pay averages 55-56 CPM. We get paid more for shorter runs and specialty loads like forklifts, multiple stop loads/glass etc. and I get quite a few of those loads, so my base rate really doesn't mean much. Old school has been around longer than me, for sure, but yes CPM or the name on the truck just doesn't matter. If you're a producer, your company WILL take good care of you.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
CPM or the name on the truck just doesn't matter. If you're a producer, your company WILL take good care of you.

Amen to that! It's a shame that so few people ever seem to figure this out. Even drivers with years of experience still spout off the same old negative garbage about "starter companies" and all that.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Some folks will just never be happy. No matter what they will find something to complain about. There is something for everyone in this industry if they choose to go after it.

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.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Just as an example I will use the company I drive for. TBH, their pay is meh. Not the lowest, but far from being the highest. Miles are ok. Their high mileage bonus is easy to make. The reason their miles are only ok is that they have lots of Regionalized freight that delivers to food distribution centers. Yes, we are a dry van company. But our main client we haul for is SCA (Essity). They make paper products. Mainly napkins, paper towels and toilet paper. Food places also distribute those items. So that is a lot of deliveries to McLane, BUNZL, PFG, RFS, GFS, US Foods, etc...

The point is you won't get rich driving for Wolding, but the other benefits far outweigh the pay. I can't think of a company that works with you more on your hometime and how you want to run. Roehl is probably the next closest with hometime options, but even then those options are kinda set. From mid December to mid January is our slow freight time. I am supposed to be out this weekend, but due to where I am at they don't currently have anything that will keep me running. So I get a load that picks up tomorrow in Cherokee, AL and delivers Tuesday in Louisville, KY I am just going to grab it and head for home for a couple days. I live in Clarksville, TN. If I truly wanted to stay out, I know they would find me a load (brokered if need be) to keep me running. But, I missed last New Years and my wife would like to spend New Years with me. I wasn't specifically told to take it home; however, it is not so very far out of route to go by the house. My Dispatcher already knew when I didn't ask to keep running, that I was taking it by the house. Kind of a given. I guess the point is, if they don't have something readily available to keep you running, they will set you up to head by home. On the flip side, I have had emergencies come up where I had to go home. They will find something headed that way, if need be they will even have you run deadhead or bobtail. As another example there is a married couple that runs team. They live in clarksville as well. They stay out 3 weeks, than spend a week at home. No turning in the truck, no muss or fuss. That is how they want to run, so that is what they do. Truly that simple.

Their trucks are very well maintained. All Freightliner Cascadia with a 72" RR sleeper. They have a passenger policy (absolutely free), a pet policy, they allow inverters, some trucks have APUs , all trucks have opti idle. All trucks have a lubecore self lubrication system. All trucks have oilers to keep the engine filled with oil.

They feel much smaller than they actually are. You WILL meet the owning family and interact with them. If I didn't KNOW that they keep 300-350 trucks in their fleet, I would guess they only have 50 - 100 trucks. They truly care for their employees. You feel like part of a family. There is a long standing tradition that Wolding drivers wave at each other as you pass each other.

You can ask anyone, I love driving for Wolding. The ONLY reason I would leave them is to try something different freight wise. But, If I am pulling a dry van, than I will be pulling for Wolding.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

p.s. Sorry for the long rant.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Regional:

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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