New OTR Driver With Low Mileage Loads

Topic 22937 | Page 2

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Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

From October to March i had only two loads above 700 miles....one was 1200 miles from maine to chicago in a blizzard no one wanted to run. i got there 3 hours early without shutting down.

I've had tough weeks where customers delayed me and it ate into my miles. i just had a conversation with my FM and I'm back up in mileage the pass few weeks.

Sometimes appointment times are so tight i want to kill someone and other times they are so spread out i feel like i am not working. It's the nature of the beast for me.

good luck

Fm:

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.
Amish country's Comment
member avatar

I dont want to beat a dead horse but like everyone else has said, communication goes a long way. I dont get paid for miles so my situation is a little different. I talk to my DM a couple times a day. Usually when I finish my work and have extra time and finding out what the plan for the next day is. He knows that I always finish early and want to fill my day in so he has started to just ask me about the extra work early instead of waiting for me to call and ask. The extra hourly pay usually turns into an extra $50 or $60 on the day. For example yesterday I tested a truck that had work done pulling a loaded trailer transferring a part between shops. 3 hours of just driving around at $20+ an hour and it let me brush up on my shifting and this was after delivering a $200+ load. It has taken around 2 months to get to this point though and talking to him every day about doing extra.

On the flip side another driver at the same yard and same DM is complaining about his pay and how he just can't afford to stay. He doesn't want to work more then 10 hours and rarely finishes his second runs, doesn't usually stop up to work a weekend day or do extra. His calls are usually about not finishing instead of taking more. Therefore he gets setup with 1 short-medium run and makes maybe $100 for the day.

I guess that's more communication, work ethic and attitude in the end...

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

A few things from my experience:

At every company I've worked for I've always turned a ton of miles, as many as any driver there. I've gotten along great with my dispatchers and I always ran hard and got the job done safely and on time, and often times got appointment times moved up so I could get finished at the customer early. Yet I have always run into drivers at every company who had the same dispatcher I had but weren't getting anywhere near the miles I was getting and they hated our dispatcher, and often hated the company.

If I sat down and talked with those people, or more accurately listened to them gripe for 30 minutes, it always became abundantly clear why they weren't getting the miles I was getting. Either they would refuse certain loads, or refuse to run certain parts of the country, or wouldn't run at night, or hated running in the snow, and on and on. They always had a list of circumstances they expected to avoid, and a list of demands they expected to be met.

Like others have said, you have to run every load they give you as hard as you can. Get there early if you can. Always be on time for every single appointment time. Keep lobbying dispatch for more miles.

Everyone wins when a driver is turning big miles. Everyone. No one is happy when a driver isn't productive. So if you're not getting 2,500+ miles per week then trust me, you're not the only one that is unhappy with your situation right now.

There's no such thing as a company that doesn't have big miles available for their top drivers, but not everyone is going to get top miles, and that's because not everyone gets the job done equally well. If you want top miles you have to prove you're capable of turning top miles safely, efficiently, and reliably.

The fact that you've been out there for 7 months already and you're still thinking you can't make great money with short runs and you're wondering if you're with the wrong company tells me that you don't really get how trucking works just yet, and that's ok. It takes time. What all of us are telling you is that you have to step up your game. We've given you a long list of different ways you can do that, but we don't know enough specifics about your situation to tell you exactly what the problem is. But we your company isn't the problem. They have the freight available. If you leave this company and go elsewhere I can almost guarantee you're going to wind up in the same situation again.

Figure out why you're not getting more miles. To be more precise, figure out what you have to do to get better. Remember, everyone wins when a driver is turning top miles. No one wins if you're not. So it's in everyone's best interest to get you turning more miles. You just have to figure out what you can do better to make that happen.

If there's more information you can give us we can give you more detailed help in getting there.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I have been solo for 7 months in my new career. I thought I picked the right company to work for but I'm not getting the miles to make a living.When I first srarted I had some very good runs. Then the loads dwindled down to 27-300m per load. I met with my Asst. Terminal manager and my miles went up 1200m average. Now I'm back at the bottom again. Now they expect me to do a couple of low mileage runs just to get an average run. Again, I can't make a living this way. I've never been late on any load. I need to know, "Is this typical for the industry or am I working for the wrong company? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanksstrong>

Ask to be in a dedicated account or apply for a new job elsewhere. You will thank me later.

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Ask to be in a dedicated account or apply for a new job elsewhere. You will thank me later.

"You will thank me later" is not very compelling life changing and career changing advice that someone should take from a stranger. Why don't you explain your reasoning behind those two options so he can make an informed decision?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

Ask to be in a dedicated account or apply for a new job elsewhere. You will thank me later.

double-quotes-end.png

"You will thank me later" is not very compelling life changing and career changing advice that someone should take from a stranger. Why don't you explain your reasoning behind those two options so he can make an informed decision?

I am sure OP is not a kid and can figure out this by himself. If he is not getting the miles, ask to be on a dedicated account where the pay and mileage is more constant. Or if the dispatcher is screwing him around, just look for another job. I am sure there are plenty of megas offering bonus pay if he apply for a job there (Swift offers $3000 sign-on bonus, KKW pays $0.47/mile with 2100 miles min per week). And to make new recruits happy, he will get good miles for the next 6 months. So why not?

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
I am sure OP is not a kid and can figure out this by himself. If he is not getting the miles, ask to be on a dedicated account where the pay and mileage is more constant. Or if the dispatcher is screwing him around, just look for another job. I am sure there are plenty of megas offering bonus pay if he apply for a job there (Swift offers $3000 sign-on bonus, KKW pays $0.47/mile with 2100 miles min per week). And to make new recruits happy, he will get good miles for the next 6 months. So why not?

Tommy, are you serious?

What's laughable about your response is that I think you are!

Let's go through your responses one at a time...

I am sure OP is not a kid and can figure out this by himself.

We are quite sure you are not a kid, yet you haven't seemed to figure this out yet. Being an adult has nothing to do with being smart at this game. I know a lot of adults who haven't figured out how to succeed in trucking. Those experienced at this know how to make sure they are turning the big miles, and it has nothing to do with jumping ship or moving to just the right type of job. This is trucking, and no matter where you work or what type of account you are serving, you the company needs their drivers to be smart and responsible for doing what it takes to be top performers.

If he is not getting the miles, ask to be on a dedicated account where the pay and mileage is more constant.

I'm on a dedicated account and making a killing at it. But, there's not a week that goes by where one of our drivers quits because he's not getting enough miles, or not making enough money. Do you think they are treating me with special favor, while others are getting yanked around? Why would they do that? They need everybody here turning the big miles if they make any money on this account. There's a reason it's like this and if those who are not getting big miles can't figure it out then they are destined to changing jobs every three or four months for the rest of their lives.

Or if the dispatcher is screwing him around, just look for another job.

Can you give us one logical reason why his dispatcher would do that? There is only one proper answer to that question, but please, go ahead and give it your best shot.

I am sure there are plenty of megas offering bonus pay if he apply for a job there (Swift offers $3000 sign-on bonus, KKW pays $0.47/mile with 2100 miles min per week).

That's a smart move! I guess we should just all be changing jobs every six months to gather up some sign on bonus money! Never mind the fact that we can't seem to make this career work at any of the places we get hired.

And to make new recruits happy, he will get good miles for the next 6 months. So why not?

Oh, so that's what these companies do. They aren't really in this to make money, they are just hoping to keep a few drivers on for six month stints. So they are willing to treat them well for six months, and then start treating them like dirt after that. Now that defies any sort of logic, but I'd love to hear you break that down for us. Go ahead and help us understand how this strategy helps these companies make money. We are all ears, because we always want to learn how to be more successful at this.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks in advance Tommy for allowing us to give the advice from now on. You clearly haven't figured out this industry yet so please don't try to help others. As wonderful as it may sound to you, "You're an adult. Figure it out." isn't what anyone wants to hear when they come to Trucking Truth asking for help, but we're happy you think it is so we'll just give you a bit of your own advice. You're an adult. Figure it out.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

The key to making money is to keep your doors closed. Talk with your fleet manager ask what you need to do to get more miles. Then do what he says.

double-quotes-end.png

Indeed, keeping the doors closed (implies you are driving) is definitely important, but only one of several “keys” to making money at this...

I totally agree with everything Old School and Susan have said thus far. The relationship with your driver manager , and/or the person you report directly to is vitally important to your success. It’s a “process” that you must constantly work on and build upon. Do not underestimate this dynamic.

Good luck.

Hey G-Town. I actually start orientation tomorrow and am wondering about that initial meeting with my new DM and how they will go over things like that. I sure want to start off on the right foot.

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.

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.

Driver 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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dan asked?

Hey G-Town. I actually start orientation tomorrow and am wondering about that initial meeting with my new DM and how they will go over things like that. I sure want to start off on the right foot

The initial conversation requires that you listen to and clearly understand their expectations. Reinforce the fact you want to perform safely and efficiently. Most of your communication should be by way of the Qualcomm or other electronic device. The rapport you build is a process and will develop over time. You’ll get their attention by operating safely, being ready to go when you have the hours, making your deliveries on-time, and proactively reporting your availability.

Good luck!

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.

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.
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