Starting A New Career.

Topic 24830 | Page 1

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MrTechit's Comment
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Howdy everyone. After 6 years doing cable.... I am done. The pay is horrific, the customers are worse.

After much consideration I have chosen life on the road. DOT exam and CLP test Monday and then SWIFT driver school in Indianapolis the following Monday or the one after that.

I have been a lurker here for a few weeks now. And it seems the money can be decent, and the trade can be challenging at times.

Question for anyone: How is first year pay for new OTR drivers, and: Do most people stay with their first Trucking company or do they switch after the contract?

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Julian the Cable Guy. Having your company pinned down is a good thing and with a great company from all that I hear.

As far as pay, it depends a great deal on the individual driver, even during the first year. My take home pay so far during my first 8 weeks is averaging a little north of $800 per week. That's $40,000 take home my first year if I work 50 weeks and I maintain that average. And keep in mind that is not GROSS pay, it's NET pay. So I'm thrilled that the reality is meeting the expectations I went into this with. And the company, Schneider has been faithful to everything they told me going in.

I keep in touch with a driver I graduated with and he drives a dedicated type route and stays mainly in the southeast and no further up than Pennsylvania. His take home has only averaged about $600 per week, so like I said it varies from driver to driver and many factors come into play.

What are your expectations at this point? Others here can tell you how realistic they are.

MrTechit's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Julian the Cable Guy. Having your company pinned down is a good thing and with a great company from all that I hear.

As far as pay, it depends a great deal on the individual driver, even during the first year. My take home pay so far during my first 8 weeks is averaging a little north of $800 per week. That's $40,000 take home my first year if I work 50 weeks and I maintain that average. And keep in mind that is not GROSS pay, it's NET pay. So I'm thrilled that the reality is meeting the expectations I went into this with. And the company, Schneider has been faithful to everything they told me going in.

I keep in touch with a driver I graduated with and he drives a dedicated type route and stays mainly in the southeast and no further up than Pennsylvania. His take home has only averaged about $600 per week, so like I said it varies from driver to driver and many factors come into play.

What are your expectations at this point? Others here can tell you how realistic they are.

Well, its between Swift and Roehl. Also, as a cable guy my take home has been roughly 400 a week.... so, anything more is a great start. It is awesome to hear you are taking home 800 a week NET. That has been my bi-weekly pay for years... My expectations are simple. 1- to make enough money to save and get a house within a few years. (I plan on not needing to pay rent for a few years as I want to be driving mostly and a family member is letting me use their address as my own. 2 - To work. I am not lazy, and want to earn money. From what I hear, I can in this industry. and 3 - Meet new people.

A question though- Can one simply drive all year without taking home time?

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

A question though- Can one simply drive all year without taking home time?

Man, one of the moderators would have to answer that question.Is that what your plan is? I don’t know if companies allow that kind of schedule because I think most drivers would burn out. It is regularly pointed out by the seasoned drivers that this is a long distance race, not a sprint, and pacing yourself is a critical skill to learn.

I’m sure you will soon hear from the veterans on your question and I’ll be as interested as you in hearing their advice.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

I mean you can literally live out of your truck, and be on the road however long you want too. We have some drivers here on TT, that live in their trucks. The company I work for Schneider has us request our days off, so we can stay trucking for every long we feel like it and when we want to go off, we'll send in a request for it. Although it has to be a reasonable amount of time, so they can get you home. That's in normal conditions, they will try their best to get you home asap if it's an emergency.

I've heard some stories of companies allowing some drivers to deadhead 100s of miles during a family emergency.

Anyways enough of that rant, but a more simple answer. You can work however long you wish to work, as long as you're following the DOT regulations and what not of course.

Deadhead:

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

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

I should read my posts before posting it, quickly typed that up and hit submit. rofl-1.gif

But hopefully you get the point.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

MrTechit's Comment
member avatar

Cant wait to hear their thoughts. Thank you for yours!

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

You can stay out as long as you want, but you’ll get burned out after awhile. If you can imagine living in a space the size of a king size bed, that’s about the useable space in a tractor with a standard sleeper.

MrTechit's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the replies. I understand a little more now! It is good to know, that if I want to work, I can.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Lots of “homeless drivers”, being those without a physical address, choose to take their days off in interesting locations. Go to an amusement park, attend a concert, take in a pro football game, see the exhibits at a museum, attend a NASCAR race, etc. Park nearby at a truck stop for a few days and use Lyft or an Uber. You could even rent a car for a few days. Some hotels offer truck parking for big rigs, too. There’s a bunch of things to see and do out there, and most of it is not close to an Interstate.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

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