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

Topic 21528 | Page 2

Page 2 of 3 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Splitter's Comment
member avatar

No need to apologize Patrick. I truly appreciate every word of input & encouragement & truth serum sent my way. To be honest, I’m not looking at home time at all. I’d like to take advantage of the newness of everything to motivate me to keep at it. Maybe 3 - 4 months out at a stretch. Also, I will have no physical home for the next 2 Year’s if I can keep at it. Just save as much as possible to help my daughter with her down payment & I can crash there when I need to slow down after those 2 years.

As to what freight? I will definitely stay with dry van for at least 1 year. Knight I believe is 99% drop & hook. That & their CPM have me leaning their way. Plus Swift recruiter told me that they’d have a hard time getting me home to FL since I’m moving there before I start training.

My reason for focusing on my initial pay is that I have a $1.1K car note every month. I’m going to save enough to carry it for 2 months while I train but I know that’s subject to my determination to pass everything on schedule. Anyway, I value everyone’s insight. You’ve all given me new criteria to ask when deciding with who to sign up. They all have great reviews so I just have to carry over my work ethic & use reasoned judgment better than when driving my 4 wheeler.

Thank you all. Happy New Year! Be safe & God bless!

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.

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

Reyn replied:

I will definitely stay with dry van for at least 1 year. Knight I believe is 99% drop & hook. That & their CPM have me leaning their way. Plus Swift recruiter told me that they’d have a hard time getting me home to FL since I’m moving there before I start training.

Couple of level sets here:

- every company will be challenged running home-time loads into Florida. At least with Swift I know of one very good option for you; Walmart Dedicated out of Winter Haven.

- 99% drop and hook? Knight is a great company, please realize they cannot guarantee that and won't guarantee it. Fact is, highly unlikely you'll get close to 75% drop and hook. For TL OTR work, the customers and the type of loads vary from one month to the next. I wouldn't hang your hat on that one...you'll be disappointed.

Something else to tuck away for reference; since starting with Swift my CPM has increased by 15%, quarterly bonus pay has also steadily increased. Your ability to "run-your-ass-off" and do it safely is the only way to make money at this game.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

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.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Florida is the black hole cul de sac of the trucking world. A lot of freight gets sucked in, but nothing comes out.

I believe I can honestly say it is one of the worst, if not THE worst, places to live if you're a truck driver. There is a reason why many companies do not hire out of Florida or at least limit the amount of Florida drivers they have.

ChrisEMT's Comment
member avatar

You should look at a company as a whole for what they offer their drivers.... the pay (cpm/% of load), benefits, home time, tuition reimbursements, bonuses (fuel, on time delivery, longevity, etc), to see what 3-6 companies suit you and your needs/wants the best.... then look at their dedicated accounts to see if any of the companies you are focusing on can help you narrow the list further, and ask the recruiters from those companies what additional pay they offer on those accounts (haz-mat, border crossing, stop pay, safety pay, stop pay, etc) on top of the mileage pay......

For example, the last dedicated account I was on, I got paid .37/mile, .02/mile safety pay, $15/stop, $20/$40 unload pay (depending on how much of the trailer I had to unload).... when it all averaged out, I made .60/mile and averaged 2200 - 2500 miles/week and I was home every weekend, and had every holiday off.....

Also, I had a very good dispatcher/fleet manager/route planner (all the same person, who was also a former driver/owner operator) who knew who he could trust, and I had a great relationship with and he also knew I could get the job done....

I hope this helps

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

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.

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.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

I'll try to keep this short. Since I started training pay in mid May of this year, I have grossed over $24,000 with CFI. I don't know what kind of car you have with that kind of payment, but I would try to get rid of that ASAP. My own car sits idle at the house because, it's a paid off POS. There are many more things to look at than CPM. It's best to find a company that fits you. To me home time is more important than CPM. With CFI, I am not limited in consecutive days home I can take. I also love our dispatch department. Short of switching to a local driving job, there is no amount of money that would get me to leave CFI. I am currently at 35 CPM. Below are links to info for choosing the right company.

From all the great info you have gotten on this thread to the info above, I will hope you can see that CPM should not be your first priority. Good luck.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

Swift is quickly mirroring Knight now so make sure you talk to the company before making a decision based off numbers found here.

For example students are now paid a minimum weekly pay, and then hourly after 40 hours on duty a week.

If home time isn't important right now then looking for a company willing to hire out of FL should work for you. Especially if you plan on staying out 3 to 4 months at a time. However you may find burn out setting in.

Best of luck to you.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Florida is the black hole cul de sac of the trucking world. A lot of freight gets sucked in, but nothing comes out.

Patrick, this made me crack up both times I read it. Maybe I’m just pushing my luck. It’s just that my not so little girl is psyched to know I’ll be seeing her more than once or twice a year once I find my groove in this field. I don’t really want to drive people around anymore & this is right up my alley so to speak. It’s driving but on a bigger & slower scale. Once I can “run-my-ass-off” as G-Town put it, I can find my niche. Being alone, waking up in a different state everyday might be a challenge for most but I have nothing keeping me here.

Big Scott, I wish I could dump this unpaid for POS. It’s so far underwater that you might as well call her the Titanic! 2 years old with 72K on the odometer. She pays for herself but as you can well imagine my overhead is quite high.

Big T, I did just that with Rebecca my recruiter from SLC. I’m guessing she’s off for the holidays since she didn’t respond to my email or the voicemail I left her. But I’d have to keep my NY address to remain qualified for Swift. Florida has no state income tax & with the new tax plan coming our way, every little bit will help.

ChrisEMT, of course it helps. There’s so much to take in and every bit of help is deeply & greatly appreciated. Right now, if I drive steady hours, 6 days a week, I can gross $1500/wk driving people around NYC all day long. That may sound like nice money but when you factor in gas, insurance, regulatory fees, maintenance, down time not earning, etc... Just the sheer aggravation alone is so out of hand that the money isn’t as appealing as it used to be. The money I can make trucking will be better earned cause I won’t be as stressed once I get the hang of truck & the systems in place.

Once I find my place & consistently prove my abilities & capabilities not just to the people over me but more importantly to myself, I know I’ll be happier trucking. Just the comraderie, professionalism & no nonsense approach of true trucking pros is something I want to be a part of. I know there’s plenty of knuckleheads, every profession has theirs, it’s just time for me to move on. I’m already obsolete anyway since Ford announced production line autonomous vehicles hitting their showrooms in 2021. It’s better to be proactive than to sit around waiting for the shoe to drop.

G-Town, I always appreciate your candidness & ability to balance my judgment as I make heads or tails of my next moves here. I take to heart not only these comments but the previous ones in other threads too. Since I won’t have a physical home for (hopefully) 2 years, I want to spread my wings across this great country while learning about & earning from this great industry. Once I get ready to set down roots, I can definitely reach out to Rebecca again if I don’t choose Swift from jump.

Thank you kindly each of you who took the time to respond. Will let y’all know how it goes. I’ll be taking my permit here in NYC & either transfer it to Florida (or retake it if that’s not possible) or keeping it & training at Swift.

Be safe, God bless. Happy & Healthy New Year to everyone & your loved ones.

TWIC:

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.

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

One thing I should mention is, you don't have to do "home time" at home. If you are truly going to live out of your truck, you can choose wherever to take your home time. Personally, if you are going to "move" pick a state without income tax. Tennessee as an example. All you really need is to utilize a mail service that gives you an address instead of a PO Box. Some mail places will give you an address using 'suite' instead of P. O. Box. It is kinda blatantly abusing the term suite, but having a suite is a legal physical address.

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.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

One thing I should mention is, you don't have to do "home time" at home. If you are truly going to live out of your truck, you can choose wherever to take your home time. Personally, if you are going to "move" pick a state without income tax. Tennessee as an example. All you really need is to utilize a mail service that gives you an address instead of a PO Box. Some mail places will give you an address using 'suite' instead of P. O. Box. It is kinda blatantly abusing the term suite, but having a suite is a legal physical address.

Already on it. That’s how I’m setting up my Florida residence. UPS store offers this exact deal. Plus I get 3 months free if I pay the year in full. If I need to switch it up later by “moving” to another state, I can jump that hurdle at that time. For now, Knight prefers Florida over New York & Swift is the opposite. I have 2 months to decide but all this input has given me a clearer direction than I had before I posted this question.

Never get tired of thanking all of you. I saved almost 9 grand by finding this site. 7-8 grand on Roadmaster School & another grand on a used manual car to “learn” how to shift. Both of which are fine for those that prefer that route but all of you showed me a better way forward.

As far as home time is concerned? I’ll be finding lots of homes along the way. My brother in Los Angeles, my buddy in Santa Fe, my daughter in Orlando, my siblings here in NYC plus all the amazing National Parks I can visit with a tent & sleeping bag!! Yeah, I’ll have quite a few homes.

Much gratitude & appreciation to/for all of you.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I totally agree with the others. At my company I'm paid a base rate of $.38 a mile, but because my company pays me for every stop my actual pay is closer to $.43 or $.44 a mile. I also run great miles at my company and get home every week for one to two full days--very consistent home time was important to me. Also, if you care about this, find out if the company you're interested in has APUs or allows larger inverters (like 1500 watts or more). Some drivers won't drive without an APU and others couldn't care less, so figure out what's important to you and go from there. And, like Brett said, look at types of freight and home time options. The vast majority of companies pay around $50k for the first year, regardless of the pay structure, as long as you're a decent runner. Since the pay doesn't vary too much from company to company for first year drivers (in most cases), your primary concerns should be hometime and type of freight. Home time is important for obvious reasons including keeping your sanity lol, and type of freight is important since different types of freight run differently. Think ahead--if you are interested in eventually driving tankers, start with a company like Prime or Schneider that has a tanker division you could try out at some point without changing companies.

I also want to throw this out there. Unless you want to just run otr your whole career, I think one of the most important things you can look for in a larger company is what type of dedicated accounts they have. I'm a huge fan of these, because they give you all kinds of experience and home time options because of the various ways they can run. For example, G-Town works on a Walmart dedicated account for Swift. Look up Walmart dedicated and you'll find all kinds of information he's posted about how his account runs. He has the option to be home several times a week if he wants to, or he can stay in his truck most of the week. He also gets tons of backing and close quarters experience, as well as city driving. I did a Target dedicated account, also at Swift. I also got tons of the same kind of experience, and I also had various home time options available to me as well. I could be home every night and work in the yard, home every night and drive in the city locally, or home once or twice a week and do deliveries to Targets in surrounding states. I worked on a Miller Coors dedicated account at Swift for about 4 months as well. The home time was every two to three weeks, but I got miles out the wazoo totally hassle free. It was almost exclusively drop and hook and the planners stacked loads on me constantly because of how flexible the loads were.

Another benefit of my experience on dedicated accounts is that it prepared me for what I'm doing now. I wasn't satisfied with my income on the particular local account I was on with Swift (the pay can vary from account to account), so I moved to a smaller company here in my state that paid better. I work at a furniture company now and we haul our own freight, so it's a little different than working at an actual trucking company. Oddly enough though, working here feels almost identical to working on a dedicated account at a larger truckload carrier. I have a routine, I rarely have to figure out where I'm going because I go to the same places a lot, and I work with a relatively small group of office staff and fellow drivers. Some of the dedicated accounts at larger carriers even have their own maintenance workers and load planners.

Sorry, that dragged on waaayy longer than I intended. I don't mean to overwhelm you with too much information. My point is, if running a certain area or having hometime at certain intervals (or in certain places) is important to you, I encourage you to seriously consider working for a company with a lot of dedicated accounts. Also, the type of freight you haul (i.e. tanker, reefer , dry van , or flatbed) will have a considerable impact on your day to day life as a driver--it won't affect home time that much, but it will affect things like what time of day you pickup and deliver, whether you regularly deliver on weekends, and how much drop and hook you get. Like the others said, figure out what's important to you and shape your decision around that.

Good luck!

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

TWIC:

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.

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.

Page 2 of 3 Previous Page 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

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