A Trucker's Wife Is Baffled HELP

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Robin G.'s Comment
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Trucker's or Trucker's wives ANYBODY HELP!! I'm Totally dumb founded and clueless to a few thing. Friends and Family are telling me that somethings not right, So I decided to try and find out on my own and saw Truckingtruth and decided to take a chance that someone can and would be willing to help me understand what is going on, is it normal or is something shady going on? so here goes....... My Husband has been a OTR Truck Driver for 6 years he just got his hazmat endorsement this Month. He has been working for Chaser out of Anderson Indiana, We pay $157.00 a week for Insurance so that comes out right off the top each week. He is gone for up to 3 weeks maybe 4 weeks at a time out on the road and when he is home it is only for 2 or 3 days then back on the road First Question: His checks have been as low as $303.00 a week and as high of $900.00 but mainly they are always around $600.00 (unless he comes home then the $300.00 pops up that next week) He tells me He has No say in where they send him or how many miles he is given, He says he can only drive 14 hours per day (I hope i'm saying that right) He makes 52 cents a mile so am I missing something? Everyone I talk to says he should be bringing really good money home for being gone weeks at a time any advice? or could someone explain why he is only bringing around $600.00 home each week is that Normal for a Trucker who is over the road? Question #2 ... My Husband just went to pick up a load last week they wanted him to get it a day early because it was so close to the hurricane so He get's it takes it to where it is to be unloaded and he said They didn't unload until Monday so he had to sit there Friday,Saturday and Sunday I asked him if he got paid for that because thats 3 days and He said No He said Truckers get stuck like that all the time. He said you cant leave the load. I just can't see Truck Drivers out there busting their butts and having to sit somewhere for 3 days not making a dime and not being mad because they have lost 3 days of miles I'm really trying to understand all this It seems He could get a job where he would be home every night and make as much or more than he does now. Chaser deposits his check in our checking so He can't be hiding it, It just seems like so little for him to be gone all the time there is honestly tons of questions but I will post these two for now ...Be safe

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
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1. It’s easy to see what he’s being paid IF you look at a pay stub or (better yet) settlement statement. The settlement statements show each load, paid miles and what the total is. I’ve only worked for two companies and both gave me weekly settlements as well as pay stubs. This should give you better information.

Even if he’s only getting $.52/mile, 2,000 miles a week is $1,000 before deductions.

2. Both of the companies I’ve worked for pay detention if we have to sit. In the case you described, my company would’ve likely had me relay the load to another driver instead of paying me $100/day detention. However, if the hurricane was the reason for detention, that may change things.

I don’t know what taxes/deductions y’all have. But if I was only bringing home $500/week on average, after six years, I’d be asking my dispatch what I can do to improve. Heck, I’d have asked after three months.

Good luck.

Susan D. 's Comment
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First thing I would be asking (or checking on his pay statements) is how many paid miles he's getting each week. Paid miles x pay rate should equal his gross pay roughly unless he gets extra for multiple stop loads, etc. Paid and actual miles are sometimes different as some companies pay hub (odometer) miles and some companies pay zip code to zip code (hhg miles).

The next thing I'd be checking the pay statements for is deductions. Is he taking cash advances? Are they passing on the fees for the advances to him?

I'd also look at the tax withholding to estimate if that's correct and have him make adjustments, if necessary.

With 6 years experience and supposedly getting 52 cpm , he should be earning much more, unless he's getting really terrible miles. If that's the case, then HE needs to find out what he's NOT doing or what he needs to do to improve. HE should ask his dispatcher (not you ask his dispatcher.. that's a huge no-no). For example, an average of 3,000 miles per week, he should be grossing roughly $1500/week - taxes, insurance, and any pay advances he's taken.

I've had to babysit a load before.. I hate that personally, but generally my dispatcher throws me extra money for layover in the rare event that's happened.

Last but not least, OTR drivers generally earn 1 day off for every week out. Regional/home weekly drivers are generally home each weekend for a 34 hour reset.

Oh, he can only drive 11 hours, but once he goes on duty at the beginning of a shift, he has 14 hours to complete all work for that shift.

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.

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.

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.

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

Robin I would say you have some legit concerns. I have never heard of the company, therefore I know nothing about them. Company drivers normally get paid detention if they arrive in time and the customer holds them up. Getting stuck does happen sometimes. I just got stuck in ca for a week without pay because of a customer. And I don’t make a dime in those situations, because I own the truck. Look at his pay statements. It should have everything broken down. if he is getting good miles at .52 he should be making more. Your best source of information at this point will be those pay statements. I hope this helps a little. Best wishes for ya’ll

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hello Robin, and welcome aboard!

You've touched on one of my favorite subjects in trucking, so I'm going to take a stab at your curiosities. Let's focus on two things you said. First this one...

His checks have been as low as $303.00 a week and as high of $900.00 but mainly they are always around $600.00 (unless he comes home

Truck drivers don't have a salary, as you are painfully aware. They do have the potential to make some good solid money though, as demonstrated by his 900 dollar take home pay on occasion. That means before whatever deductions you have, he had a good solid week's worth of earnings on that check, probably upwards of 1,400 or 1,500 dollars. Now, think how wonderful that would be if he could do that every week!

But, there's a problem. You also say your husband had this to say...

He has No say in where they send him or how many miles he is given, He says he can only drive 14 hours per day

I'm completely unfamiliar with the company he's working for. Is there a reason you haven't mentioned as to why he's with this company? Will the large carriers hire him? Or is he maybe one of these drivers who think these large companies are not any good to work for?

He should understand that he has a lot of say in how many miles he runs. This whole business is based on driver performance. There are little tricks and insights the professionals use to get themselves unloaded or if the simply can't get unloaded they can drop off a load at a secure yard and get themselves moved onto another load so they don't have to sit all weekend. These things are much more easily accomplished at larger companies and by drivers who understand how to make things happen in their favor out here.

I'm hoping that both of you will read some of the materials here on our website. Take a look at these articles and see if they help you understand how you guys can improve your income.

Show Me The Money

Top Tier Drivers Operate Like Great Business Owners

Trucking Is A Competition

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

Remember we don't get paid for how long we stay away from home. We make money by being productive. It's a simple formula, but it somehow escapes many of us. Our dispatchers and planners do not treat us all fairly and equitably, but they do respond well to those who are consistently getting the most accomplished.

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.
Calkansan's Comment
member avatar

Average driver should be turning 2500 to 3000 miles a week. At .52 cpm= $1250 to $1500+ a week gross. Take home pay will depend on your tax bracket. Find out how many miles he is driving every day/week. When you are dispatched on a load with a lot of time on it, as a driver you need to be proactive. Talk to DM to drop in yard, switch with another driver low on hours, or move appointment time. If forced to sit on load, then ask for detention pay. Hopefully gtown, rainy, old school or big Scott will chime in soon.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I'm not the one to answer this, but maybe someone with more experience can.

Does this appear to be a company leasing trucks to drivers?

Chaser LLC

A couple of phrases made me think it may be:

"At Chaser, LLC our business has always depended on the experience of quality contractors & fleet operators like you who are committed to delivering our customers' freight on time, every time."

"Company supplied trailers for all tractors"

I could be way off base here, I'm not even a driver, or even a student yet, so don't take anything IO have posted to heart.

Calkansan's Comment
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Old school beat me by 3 minutes. Lolrofl-3.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Grumpy brings up something I hadn't even considered. Is your husband leasing a truck? That could be an issue here.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

This is a performance based industry. He may not be managing his time properly therefore he makes less miles and less pay. I know.drivers who live on the trucks and drive 1500 miles per week and are perfectly happy just surviving cause they are lazy.

My guess is you think he is cheating. And how long have you been married, cause if you were married the whole 6 years you would be used to this.

Hurricanes are a different story, yeah, you can get stuck with the load and get paid a lot.less than you would driving.

You assume he is busting his butt because he isnt home, but he could be "milking it" which is easy to do.

What you are saying is that you have no knowledge of the industry and no power to.change the situation, but you dont trust him. Think about that a moment. You came here to ask complete strangers about your husband....you trust friends and family and complete strangers over your husband. Im sure he will be happy to hear that.

you have bigger issues than his pay. And even if we told you "he needs to get with dispatch to fix the issue" you cant make him. his pay is something only he can fix.

The best thing to do would be to have him sign up here and we can point him in the right direction. But 6 yrs experience, he shouldnt need us.

we would be guessing without more information. you said he just got his hazmat , so.maybe his company reduced his miles temporarily to transition into hazmat. you didnt say how long the pay has been an issue.

heres an article about OTR relationships which might give some insight into the trucking lifestyle.

OTR relationships

You really need to talk to him. Ask him to join us and give us details. it might be that he isnt filing out paper work properly, or maybe he has other issues that caused him to take pay advances. i.can take pay advances to pay for food, clothing or truck upgrades (refridgerator, TV etc). Maybe he borrowed money for something and is paying it back.

so many reasons.

good luck

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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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