When I Finish School...OTR Or Dedicated ??

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Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, now in week 4 of school. My 90, parallel and offset are pretty right on for me as is shifting and double clutching. Should get out on the road this week. There was a large volume company recruiter who came out and gave his pitch. Seems like the OTR and dedicated were available to us rookies coming out of school. I planned on OTR and staying out many months at a time in the truck. Seems like the standard OTR is much lower pay than the dedicated (national account from Allentown, Pa. to southern Maine)...and I mean like 15K difference. Would staying out earn me much more generally, and should I even consider a dedicated ?

I'm not just in it for the money but that's quite a bit of difference. With that being said I am kind of on the down side of the mountain so I gotta git while the gitten's good !! lol What do you think ?

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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

How are you calculating that difference in pay? Allentown to Maine could be pretty brutal on a rookie. Are you confident you can make that happen efficiently? Who is the customer that's being served on that dedicated gig? Does it include unloading freight?

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Theres a lot to consider. for example, Prime gives 5cpm more ($6k annually) for a lightweight which you need for many dedicated routes. Is this the situation? can u live in a smaller truck?

They also give an extra 5cpm for the Northeast. this is because you get less miles due to shorter loads and spending more time at shippers, in traffic, and on slower back roads. Lightweights accumulate vacation time faster as well.

some compamies give a flat rate or guarantee, but you need a certain amount of availbility and truck revenue. sometimes you can do everything right a d not make the rate. also, if you live outside of their route, you might not get the rate for the home time you take.

However, the customers and roads are built for shorter trailers...and in cities, sometimes for horses, not even trucks. Think Philly and Boston and really old buildings.

Tight backing, tight turns, make a wrong turn and you coukd end up 30 miles away from the customer. Then think about winters and those small roads...small dark roads, especially in Maine. there is a major lack of parking up there which is more frustrating foe a new driver.

My personal opinion, get some OTR first...six months even. Learn how to control that trailer and get the time management down. if it was another part of the country, maybe...but im offered NE all the time being from jersey. the accident risk to a new driver is very very high...even with the most cautious of drivers. it only takes ONE second of inattention or drowsiness to end that career.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dan I have been running Walmart Dedicated NorthEast Region for many years now. It works for me; but it's not for most drivers, they either love it or hate it. Pay scale is adjusted for less miles due to the congested nature of the geography and the nature of retail "live-unload" multiple delivery per dispatch operation. The CPM difference between my rate and the OTR rate is 11 cents plus a flat dispatch fee and stop pay.

I started running this Account with only 3 mos OTR. It did NOT adequately prepare me for the demands of this type of work. My first month on the account was very difficult, basically was a whole different world from OTR, different challenges, greater frequency of close quarter maneuvering, 20% urban driving, and different clock management requirements.

Can you give us more information on the specifics of what you could be doing and what the account is? It will help us offer better, more specific advice.

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.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

And...is it an account where YOU unload the truck yourself? as a new driver, you will have stamina issues no matter how good you are. if you are expected to unload, i would definitely run to OTR lol My first couple months i would pull into rest areas and be asleep before i hit the bunk lol

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.

Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

How are you calculating that difference in pay? Allentown to Maine could be pretty brutal on a rookie. Are you confident you can make that happen efficiently? Who is the customer that's being served on that dedicated gig? Does it include unloading freight?

Don't have all the details yet Old School, he just gave generic examples of pay for different areas. The account was Dollar General. Until I get out on the road more I'm not confident about it at all honestly. I think you do have to unload the bins to the customer that are pre-loaded on the truck. I did deliver produce for 10 years into Ocean City, NJ so I do know some about the physical part of it.

Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Theres a lot to consider. for example, Prime gives 5cpm more ($6k annually) for a lightweight which you need for many dedicated routes. Is this the situation? can u live in a smaller truck?

I did ask him and he did SAY it was the same truck but didn't sound too convincing.

Tight backing, tight turns, make a wrong turn and you could end up 30 miles away from the customer. Then think about winters and those small roads...small dark roads, especially in Maine. there is a major lack of parking up there which is more frustrating foe a new driver.

Yea I can't disagree with you there. I'm feeling pretty good at school but I'm not over confident about it. I know it will be very different when actually out there.

My personal opinion, get some OTR first...six months even. Learn how to control that trailer and get the time management down. if it was another part of the country, maybe...but im offered NE all the time being from jersey. the accident risk to a new driver is very very high...even with the most cautious of drivers. it only takes ONE second of inattention or drowsiness to end that career.

Will probably road test within 2 weeks so I will have some time to think about that. Maybe the fact that I won't be asking for home time much will effect the pay in a positive way also I would think. Appreciate the input from you...as always Rainy

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.
Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Dan I have been running Walmart Dedicated NorthEast Region for many years now. It works for me; but it's not for mistvdrivers, either love it or hate it. Pay scale is adjusted for less miles due to the congested nature of the geography and the nature of retail "live-unload" multiple delivery per dispatch operation. The CPM difference between my rate and the OTR rate is 11 cents plus a flat dispatch fee and stop pay.

Yea G-Town, I guess it's tough to decide since I just don't know what it would be like. So thankful to have you guys to ask questions of. And since I'm not as young as I once was...maybe some of the drop and hook or OTR would suite me better.

I started running this Account with only 3 mos OTR. It did NOT adequately prepare me for the demands of this type of work. My first month on the account was very difficult, basically was a whole different world from OTR, different challenges, greater frequency of close quarter maneuvering, 20% urban driving, and different clock management requirements.

If I were to go with someone like Werner, don't know how long after orientation I would have until I had to make a choice where to start out. I will continue to seek your advice along the way for sure.

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.

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.

Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

And...is it an account where YOU unload the truck yourself? as a new driver, you will have stamina issues no matter how good you are. if you are expected to unload, i would definitely run to OTR lol My first couple months i would pull into rest areas and be asleep before i hit the bunk lol

15-20 years ago when I would load my own truck at the Philly Produce Market, unload to my warehouse, put orders together, then deliver it all, I could practically lift the truck off the ground. Have to get it through my thick skull I'm not a kid any more. I would probably guess that for someone who stays out for extended time, the pay would reflect that, as it should. OTR was always what I had in mind to start out anyway. Just found it interesting that he offered those routes to rookie drivers. Guess I'm also getting a little antsy to get moving on also though. Getting restless in my old age !! lol

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Dan, the reason they offer them to rookies is because they need butts in the seat. The injury rate on any physical unload gig is extremely high. For instance i received a message from our safety director today. It said that with 150 drivers we are at 60 days injury free. The terminal I run out of has been around for atleast 35 years and the "safety record" is 91 days injury free. Also there have been 5 incidents of hitting objects in parking lots, and 2 drivers took down power lines in the last week. I deliver to places that are tight like dollar accounts. The only benefit I have is I'm in a 28 'PUP, not a 53' like you would have.

Most experienced drivers that are willing to put in the work make the same, or more money by running OTR than they'd make physically unloading their trailer. If you end up doing that account I'd love to read a diary from you.

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.

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.

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