Question Of Which Job I Should Take!?

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Ron Wells's Comment
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Going to a mega would have been my last resort

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Can you give a reasonable argument for that. It makes no sense being that you have zero experience. Don't give us all the nonsense you've heard from drivers you know. Make a decent argument for your comment. I can't fathom how a total newbie thinks he has some sort of insight into this greatly misunderstood industry. Please... help us out here.

Hi , thanks for the input. I don't really have an argument. I would go to a mega last because I personally don't know of many people who went the mega route. Most guys I personally know around here in Seattle started with a smaller company. One of the few guys that did go to a mega was my Trainer in CDL school and he said he was happier at the company that the owner of the school also owns. The owner of the school I have met also and he offered me a chance to become a car hauler. I think my way of thinking is because Seattle has thousands of trucking companies.

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.
Ron Wells's Comment
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Boy, they suckered you in for an awful experience come tax time! You're going to be sorry and broke!

Here's a fact for you: since you are operating their equipment, they cannot consider you an independent contractor, thus what your new, awesome place to work is already breaking the law.

Run the other way now.

Actually I signed a w4 So I will be an employee.

PackRat's Comment
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Boy, they suckered you in for an awful experience come tax time! You're going to be sorry and broke!

Here's a fact for you: since you are operating their equipment, they cannot consider you an independent contractor, thus what your new, awesome place to work is already breaking the law.

Run the other way now.

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Actually I signed a w4 So I will be an employee.

Exactly! You can be one or the other. As an employee, they must take out taxes because you are not an independent contractor. That's who legally gets a 1099.

You didn't sign up to lease their equipment did you?

Ron Wells's Comment
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Hi Guys sorry about the misunderstanding. I signed a W4 form . However the question still remains . How much will a mega pay me to go OTr per day. I have a family to feed

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.

LDRSHIP's Comment
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Hi Guys sorry about the misunderstanding. I signed a W4 form . However the question still remains . How much will a mega pay me to go OTr per day. I have a family to feed

Your pay will be dependent on what company you go with as far a training period is concerned. I can almost guarantee that your “training” at a small company will be short and brief. They can’t afford for you to tag along for weeks on end.

After training you will get paid by the mile. Most of the big companies pay close to the same. Different types of freight pay differently. Dry van is the lowest pay and least additional work, Reefer pays a little more with more responsibilities, and Flatbed pays the most but has the most manual labor. So what it will boil down to is how well you “get it”. How ambitious you are. Your stamina to drive for long periods. This industry is performance based. After training bringing home $500-$800 a week at first should be no issue. By the 6 month mark you should be bringing home $700 - $1000 range. I’m sure there are plenty of people will say that my numbers are low. I’m mainly basing it on running dry van. Even then, it all depends on how quickly you figure this lifestyle out.

Honestly what you would probably make at the intermodal job is close to what you would make at a big company. But here is the catch. At the big company you will have benefits. You will be an employee and properly coded as such for tax purposes. That means your employer is paying HALF of your social security. You will have unemployment and Workman’s Comp benefits. Plus many of the big companies will do part of your pay as Per Diem. A legal way of lowering your (and the company’s) tax liability.

Working for a small company was an eye opening experience for me. The guy that owns the small company is an awesome guy and I will definitely keep in contact with him, BUT there are advantages to big companies. Like keeping your equipment up to snuff.

Honestly, I think you would be making a HUGE mistake by not going with a larger company. If the company doesn’t have a 100+ trucks, been around for at least a couple decades and is self insured, It would probably be a mistake to start with them. Learn the job where there is lots of support to help you.

If you noticed I didn’t say it had to be a mega with thousands of trucks, just a company that is big and stable. One that has been around awhile and has proven themselves successful in this industry.

Ultimately it is your choice. Choose wisely.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

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.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
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Great to see you back, Patrick.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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$175 per day and no benefits?????? McDonalds is looking like a better career opportunity for you, especially if you can make it up to assistant manager.

Jrod's Comment
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To piggyback on the replies (and the update from yesterday)... Go with a larger company to start (over).

Now I work for a "Tweener" type company. We're not a Mega, but we're not exactly small, either. We have 89 trucks (80 sleeper cabs + 9 day cabs for local work). We have full benefits, the company pays for the driver's health insurance, life insurance, rider & pet coverage for free as well. 401(k), dental, vision, supplemental insurance (AFLAC), and other benefits. We have new trucks and trailers and our own shop. We use Qualcomm/Omitracks, the Transflow app, and the trucks are well equip'd with APUs , inverters, fridges, etc... We like to say we are a smaller company with Big company perks.

But as the only recruiter here for the last 5 years, I could tell you all the stories about the applications I see each day. You know what recruiters and hiring managers like? Short applications with only a small handful of companies in the last 10 years to verify. Larger companies take about 5-10 minutes to verify. Smaller companies take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to sometimes weeks to verify. (technically, every former employer HAS to respond, but they have 30 days to do so - guess which places wait the full 30 days?) And that's if they even are open, or have the same name, or same phone number... So I can process and approve a driver like Old School's application in less than an hour, but with someone else who has worked for mostly small companies, 1099 companies, small AG companies, small Oil field companies - they are going to take a lot of time and a ton of work. They have to be complete rockstars to even make it worth my time or my companies time to take the labor hours of tracking down these companies. Plus, the safety department hates verifications from smaller companies too because if they don't have a specific Safety Department that actually tracks everything they are supposed to, the verifications are usually very incomplete. If I had a dollar for every DOT report-able accident (preventable or non-preventable) that I have seen on an application or MVR/PSP report that WASN'T on the required form from one of these small places, I'd have hundreds of dollars. When that happens, I have to bother that company again and have them fill out the paperwork AGAIN, and guess what? They aren't motivated to do more free paperwork for some driver that quit on them (or was fired). And my safety department scrutinizes those applications 10x harder because they are ASSUMING at this point that something is missing. So that more of their time as well. Those applications linger in my "To-Do" box for days or weeks while other drivers get approved, hired and invited to orientation. (And we use TenStreet/DriverPulse/Intelliapp - so the processing has been streamlined about as much as possible!)

Usually, when that happens and I FINALLY get everything processed and approved, I call to give the driver the good news. And... I am told they decided to take a job with "Chuck's E-Z Trucking IV" because they hired them on the same day they applied. Sure it's 1099, but they have to get back to work 5 minutes ago... ugh. Which is fine and good, I can't win them all, but I know (and the driver should know) they didn't process your application properly, they didn't follow DOT regulations, and now we're left guessing what other corners the fine folks at Chuck's E-Z Trucking IV are cutting as well...

Plus, and I can only speak for myself, it doesn't really encourage me to give drivers with that sort of work history my limited time per day.

TL;DR - Think of it this way - for hiring managers, verifying employment with Mega carriers is like a driver doing all drop'n'hooks with mint condition, pre-loaded trailers. Verifying employment with small companies is usually like dealing with understaffed Cold-Storage locations that just waste your entire clock while you wait for them.

Big picture stuff - but to ignore it would be to ignore reality.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

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.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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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.

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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!!!!!

I’ll second this. I called and spoke to the VP. He took care of my issue.

I don’t know everyone’s name yet, but I’m getting there. I am far from just a number.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Yes I am guaranteed 175 for the first 3 months. If I do more work I get paid more. Yes i will be 1099 independent contractor. So no benefits.

Boy, I hope you haven’t signed any type of contract.

Take a minimum of 30 to 40 percent off that pay to cover your taxes. And you will need a CPA to do your taxes, and health insurance.

My advice is to run (not walk) to a company with decent pay and benefits.

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