Question Of Which Job I Should Take!?

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Ron Wells's Comment
member avatar

I am a new driver this will be my first job. I have 2 options I can make 175 dollars a day minimum doing local port containers in the seattle area I have driven with a trainer for a few days and think its pretty decent its mainly just going to ports and warehouses within 30 miles of seattle. My other job offer is making 275 dollars a day hauling apples (produce) from seattle port to yakima or vice versa. What job would you take and what job do you think I should take as a new driver. Some pros for each job the local one which pays 175 a day I will eventually get up to over 200 a day minimum . They do pay by drop , pick up ,live and what not but 175 is the minimum . I did it with my trainer and its pretty much waiting in lines at the port or at a warehouse waiting for an unload. Its not hard and a lot of sitting around and waiting. Pros from the Yakima job is that I only go to the port 2 times a day at most and that it pays better also the trucks are much nicer in my opinion. This job is a small company I believe they have 4 trucks but the equipment and trucks are very well taken care of they also have their own chassis so I can get into the port quicker. The downside is that I have to wake up at 3 am to go to yakima then go back to seattle to the port. The other lower paying job has regular hours sort of I would wake up at 6 am and work until 5 with trainer have been getting off around 2 or 3 pm. Guys I need your help , what is better? What would you do? Any advice or experience is welcome to be shared. Thank you

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Ron!

Personally, I don't think well of either of those options. I don't like to see new drivers starting their careers as local drivers. We've seen so many people do this and a very high percentage of them end up crippling their trucking career prematurely. It's also not a great idea to start your trucking career at a small company.

Local driving in a big truck is a tough way to learn for a new driver. The maneuvers in a big city require adequate skills and experience. It can be done, but few do it without having a few incidents of property damage.

Let's say three months in and you ding somebody's car while making a tight right hand turn in an intersection. The small company can't take that hit on their insurance rates so you get canned. Now you are a new driver with an accident on their record. You are also considered to have no experience by the big OTR companies and you've been out of truck driving school for so long that they consider your license stale. Nobody will touch you at that point. Your career has been aborted.

I always recommend one year of OTR driving before going to a local CDL driving position.

Here's some additional resources for you to consider...

Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Why You Should Not Start Your Driving Career At A Small Company

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.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Ron, what Old School said is sound wisdom. But let's say you have already decided to take one of the two jobs. Do the math and that extra $100 per day adds up to a lot of money over a years time. I'd go for the higher pay. How do you like those apples? Lol.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

My experience suggests you take the one with the more normal working hours. It is possible to harm and even ruin your circadian rhythm, the so-called biological clock, for life. Once you've done that then consistent, uninterrupted, restful sleep may become rare for you. And once that's the situation, blood sugar control and weight gain follow for most. To a young man those things might seem "far off, if ever"--they're not, time goes by fast.

Your body and brain don't care about the extra hundred bucks. Besides, I think you're going to work your way up the pay scale because it's apparent you think about things.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It sounds as though you would like the one that pays less but better hours. In truth you will get used to hours if they are steady pretty quickly. As for the stay away from local and smaller companies and go with a big company I disagree. If you have found what you like I would never go to one of those big companies. Not that there is anything wrong with them but in reality small and locally owned companies are what the trucking industry is built on and if you find a good one they will stick with you better than the big ones where you are just a number.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Bumping this..,

Welcome Ron!

Personally, I don't think well of either of those options. I don't like to see new drivers starting their careers as local drivers. We've seen so many people do this and a very high percentage of them end up crippling their trucking career prematurely. It's also not a great idea to start your trucking career at a small company.

Local driving in a big truck is a tough way to learn for a new driver. The maneuvers in a big city require adequate skills and experience. It can be done, but few do it without having a few incidents of property damage.

Let's say three months in and you ding somebody's car while making a tight right hand turn in an intersection. The small company can't take that hit on their insurance rates so you get canned. Now you are a new driver with an accident on their record. You are also considered to have no experience by the big OTR companies and you've been out of truck driving school for so long that they consider your license stale. Nobody will touch you at that point. Your career has been aborted.

I always recommend one year of OTR driving before going to a local CDL driving position.

Here's some additional resources for you to consider...

Why Small Trucking Companies Are Often A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Why You Should Not Start Your Driving Career At A Small Company

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.

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.
LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

It sounds as though you would like the one that pays less but better hours. In truth you will get used to hours if they are steady pretty quickly. As for the stay away from local and smaller companies and go with a big company I disagree. If you have found what you like I would never go to one of those big companies. Not that there is anything wrong with them but in reality small and locally owned companies are what the trucking industry is built on and if you find a good one they will stick with you better than the big ones where you are just a number.

I unfortunately must disagree. I have worked for both. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. The big company has the funds to keep their equipment in top shape. The equipment is newer and better cared for. As far as being a number I completely disagree. I can e-mail the President if H. O. Wolding any time I want. Actually, I e-mailed him personally to let him know of my return. His reply was the best news he had all week.

I personally prefer the larger company. Why I am going back. The main reason above all else that I missed working at Wolding is the FAMILY atmosphere. I know the mechanics, the dispatchers, the load planners, the training department, the safety department, fuel & logs department, load planners, operations and president ALL on a first name basis. They all know me by first name. Now tell me working at a large company that your just a number. I say BS!!!!!

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

It sounds as though you would like the one that pays less but better hours. In truth you will get used to hours if they are steady pretty quickly. As for the stay away from local and smaller companies and go with a big company I disagree. If you have found what you like I would never go to one of those big companies. Not that there is anything wrong with them but in reality small and locally owned companies are what the trucking industry is built on and if you find a good one they will stick with you better than the big ones where you are just a number.

I also have to disagree with this. A small company has 1 person worrying about their bottom line. That's their main concern, as it should be. This isn't beneficial to you. If you get hurt or have an accident, you're hurting their bottom line and it's an annoyance.

If I were to get hurt now, the president of FedEx would be indifferent. It's not a huge hit on their bottom line. HR and management at my hub would make sure bills got paid and my healing would be a be priority because now we have a personal relationship. We know each other and look out for each other. My medical bills have no effect on them. If I get into an accident, I'll get retrained and they'll take the steps necessary to make sure it doesn't happen again. The only time termination would be considered is if I try to cover it up because now it's an integrity issue.

My personal experience tells me to always go with the big corporation because the people you deal with will do right by you if you do right by them. Money is never a factor in their decisions.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Personally I would avoid small companies especially to start your career, a lot of times they have to do some funny business to get you on their insurance or maybe even skip covering you at all.

Old Dominion has 24,000 employees 11k of which are drivers, the CEO does not know me from a whole in the wall but the people at my terminal and the terminals I go to know me. They are the ones I see and interact with daily they are the ones who help you out when needed.

So if you prove yourself to the people you deal with on a daily basis you will be more than just a number quicker then you realize. Plus you will have millions/ billions of dollars in support and not have to worry if your fuel card will work or if your check will clear.

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.

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

Trust me - you'll earn that extra $100/day. Snoqualmie Pass in winter is no joke. You will throw chains often. You will be sharing the road with suicidal skiers going 70+ mph on icy roads with no concern about what's around the next corner. An inexperienced driver would be lucky to survive their first winter without a major accident.

The other gig's biggest negatives are the waiting and driving in Seattle's traffic. You're getting paid by the hour so who cares? I'd start there get a year under your belt and check out other options that pay better. True, you're not earning much but that experience will open up options you don't have access to right now.

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