From .48¢/mile To A $1,600wk Salary

Topic 25635 | Page 1

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Pouges's Comment
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I thought I would make this post because I remember 3 years ago right before I started driving, I spent a good deal of time online trying to figure out how to make the most out of my CDL. I'm going to make the post I wish I could have read in one sitting, rather than spending multiple days searching for answers that were scattered across various forums, company reviews etc... I'll keep this short and simple. This is just my experience. 2 companies 3 years experience

After many hours of reading through forums and online job boards, what I learnt was, unless you know people/have good connections you can utilize, you won't make a lot of money as an owner/operater. Apparently in the old days, being an owner/operater was totally worth it. I've been told that the industry has changed so much, that it's kinda not worth it anymore. I've talked to probably 4-5 o/o's in the past few years, and I'm told they net on average $1,500wk-$1700wk. Which is decent, if you want to make the financial commitment of purchasing a truck, along with assuming all responsibility of maintenance. Personally I'm not interested. Seems a bit overwhelming.

Once I got my CDL , of all the recruiters that came to my truck driving school to talk to us, covenant transport stood out the most, because of how much they offered. My goal was to try and make as much money as I could, so logically, covenant seemed like the best choice. Covenant transport pays first year driver's more than any other company pays first year driver's. Also, they're all about safety. I know every company says they're all about safety, but covenant really is, probably because the owner is very religious. So naturally, they feel a sense of responsibility and conviction. Thus they feel they don't care what it costs, they make sure your truck gets what it needs when it needs it. They don't haul alcohol or cigarettes. They only do dry van and reefer. They are strictly an expedited transport team driving company. Most of my loads were Amazon. They have a weekly guarantee of $1,000. If you make more than 1k, you keep it. If you make less than 1k, they put money into your check so that you make 1k. That was nice. Only thing I didn't like about the company really, was that to communicate with your fleet manager , you had to message them via the Qualcomm , you couldn't call them... It was stupid. What would normally be a one minute conversation over the phone, would be an hour-long+ Qualcomm conversation.

After 8 months of that, I went online and started searching for ways to make more money. I came across a position with Schneider. It's the position I'm still working to this day. It's mainly for solo who don't have any obligations and are just interested in being out all the time and making money. My 8 months experience landed me a $1050wk base pay salary + bonuses; after 4 weeks out I get a $400 bonus in every check until I take time off. Once you come back from your time off, you're back on your base pay salary until you hit 4 weeks. Your base pay raises with tenure. I'm currently at $1200wk base pay, and I never go home, which means I make $1600wk. I'm content with it. My position is "first to final mile". The purpose of my position is to fill in for local accounts. If a local account is short staffed, they send me to that location/city for 1-3 months to work it until that local account can hire on more local drivers. Then on to the next city. Cities I've been to, Portland, Des Moines, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver. I go back & forth between those. Denver and Des Moines are the best. I love getting used to a city. I get weekends off, because local accounts do. The only thing I don't like about the company is probably the fleet managers, they're called DBL's. They aren't too keen on their people skills. But, just avoid calling in. Or call in at night. And the only thing I don't like about my job and being out all the time is dealing with depression. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Also, I think they offer the same salary for team driver's, though I'm not sure.

Sometimes I go online trying to find higher paying positions, and the only ones I've found are oil related. Though, company reviews are horrible with high turnover, and seems like you work 14+ hour days. Screw that noise. I don't mind hard work, but I really dislike companies that don't care for their employees.

Well, that's my experience in trying to make money with a CDL. I'd write more but I'm limited to 5,500 characters. If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me. Or if you're interested in Schneider, let me know, we can both get something out of it.

Maybe share your experience, it'd be interesting hearing what routes others have taken.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me. Or if you're interested in Schneider, let me know, we can both get something out of it.

We don't do Private Messaging here, and posts like this are part of the reason we had to stop it. We are here to teach people how to make it in this industry. We aren't trying to recruit drivers and collect money for our efforts.

If you can contribute to our efforts you are welcome here, but please drop the recruiting efforts.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

That’s really good they pay you 400 a week for staying out. Ive always thought it wasn’t fair for otr to not get paid resets. I bet a lot of guys don’t go home. To give up 1600 bucks would be hard to do just to have one 34 hour reset at your house. Let’s say you was near your house for a reset. Do you need to pretend like your sleeping in the truck to keep your bonus or how does that work.

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.

Solo's Comment
member avatar

I'm currently grossing 1800/wk as a company driver. I can't believe that there are O/O's making less.

That's criminal but reinforces where I'll be staying as it pertains to company vs O/O.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

So you really don’t think you would make more as an owner operator at tmc? Guys who can generate that type of revenue usually do good as O/O’s or so I been told.

I'm currently grossing 1800/wk as a company driver. I can't believe that there are O/O's making less.

That's criminal but reinforces where I'll be staying as it pertains to company vs O/O.

Owner Operator:

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

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
So you really don’t think you would make more as an owner operator at tmc? Guys who can generate that type of revenue usually do good as O/O’s or so I been told.

Not to start another debate but you heard wrong. Top drivers at OD get over 70 cpm I am at 65 cpm right now, I see places advertise for 1.00-1.10 a mile a lot. As a company driver I have 0 financial liabilities, I have 12 paid days off and good benefits. If my truck breaks down I hop in another one and am on my way.

After fuel and other expenses a O/O needs to bring in way more than 1,800 a week.

Owner Operator:

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

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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