I Messed Up BAD

Topic 26916 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
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Charles, just a few days ago you were saying things like this...

I am very passionate about truck driving; I just made a big mistake. I am willing to work my way from the bottom to get back into the trucking industry

Now listen to yourself!

You're accusing recruiters of lying to ya and your talking about the company tricking you and probably not willing to "give you the miles" you need to pay your bills! What happened to that guy who realized what a bonehead he'd been and just wanted a chance to prove himself? Somebody gave you a shot, and you're a few days into orientation already looking for the door!

Good grief man, slap yourself back into reality. Get yourself to work showing this new employer you know what you're doing and prove yourself to them. They are putting the ball in your court. They are willing to give you a shot. You are about to get that chance you claimed you wanted so badly. Don't blow it Charles!

After four years you should have figured out how you get the big miles. They don't just hand them out like candy to kids on Halloween. You earn them. Get in there and be competitive and productive. That's how you keep them loading you up with miles.

If you keep this going with your current approach your always going to be frustrated and complaining. You've already proven to yourself how that approach keeps you on the verge of wanting to quit. Nobody enjoys a job that they are always wanting to quit. Why put yourself through that?

I work at a large trucking company (Knight) with a bonus structure based on miles. Last month I ran well over the 11,500 required for the highest level bonus pay. There's no reason you can't do that too. They want you to earn the highest pay you can consistently safely produce. That's how they make money. They don't make money by oppressing your ability to turn miles. Here's a screenshot of proof of my miles from this past month.



Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Charles, we care deeply about helping others understand this industry, enjoy their time on the road, and make fantastic money while they're doing it. We want to to see that happen for you, and I have a few thoughts that will help.

Let's start with the recruiters. There is a golden rule for working with recruiters or doing business - get it in writing. If you don't have it in writing, it doesn't exist. You believe they said you would make 41 CPM. It's entirely possible he worded it carefully to include the bonus, like "you can make 41 cents per mile." That would mean you have that potential. That's isn't lying. That's the truth when you include the bonus. Now you might say, "No, that isn't what they said," but no one remembers conversations word for word the way they believe they can. You said you talked to recruiters for hours. It's easy to walk away from extended conversations like that with misconceptions or misunderstandings.

You had the same issue with the transmission:

My recruiter said that getting me a manual truck wouldn't be a problem at all

It's also possible he said, "It shouldn't be a problem at all" or something similar. Those recruiters aren't fools. They're crafty. If you mishear or misunderstand one word of the conversation, it can change the meaning entirely. You believe the recruiter, "just said whatever he thought I wanted to hear to get me to come to this company." I'm guessing he told you the truth but worded it in a crafty way. People often hear what they want to hear or assign their own meaning to things they're told. We all do this, and salespeople know it. They design their pitches with this in mind. Recruiters are in fact salespeople. They're crafty. They don't just blurt out anything. Everything they say is crafted carefully.

From now on, always get important agreements in writing, which includes email and Qualcomm. In fact, whenever you're discussing something important with dispatch, make sure you're doing it over Qualcomm so there's a record of it. Then there will be no confusion. Here's one additional tip; when you're wrapping up the conversation, repeat everything back to the recruiter in very clear wording. Say something like,

"So you're guaranteeing me a base salary of 41 cents per mile for all miles driven?"

"You're guaranteeing me a standard transmission truck right from day one?"

Make it perfectly clear. You'll still need to get it in writing afterward, but make the person commit to the agreement using your own clear terms. Be wary of their phrasing.

Regarding that five cent per mile bonus:

do you really think they are going to give me over 2800 miles a week to actually get that number?

I certainly do! Charles, trucking companies must utilize their trucks efficiently to operate a successful business. The more freight they haul the better chance they'll turn a profit. They may need their trucks to average 2,300 miles per week across the fleet just to break even. Maybe turning 2,500 miles per week or more puts them into profitability. They're willing to pay you a share of that profit as a bonus. If you're a pretty good driver they'll pay you 37 cpm. If you're an outstanding driver they'll pay you 41 cpm.

I believe you're skeptical because you don't understand the difficult position your company is in or why the bonus exists. They need motivated drivers to keep that company profitable, so they're willing to pay the better performers more money. You've been driving for four years now. You know those numbers are easily achievable. So go out there and make it happen. Grab that bonus and prove to them you're one of the strongest performers in the fleet. If you'll prove that consistently it won't be long before they're raising your base pay and throwing extras at you from time to time.

Prove you're an elite performer. That's how you make the big money in this industry. The best performers make the most money. It's as simple as that.

My cost of living in the City/State that I live in is pretty high. I need 2500 a week just to pay my bills. That's based on the .37 CPM rate without the bonus but still.

Then you have a fantastic incentive to reach the same goal your company has. That's perfect! You need 2,500 miles per week to pay your bills, and so do they. Develop a strong relationship with your dispatcher and make sure those miles are available to you. Then do your part, turn those miles safely, and you both reach your goals together. It's a win-win situation. That's the best situation to be in.

Charles, there are people here in our community that have less time behind the wheel than you do but they're going to make more money than you will this year. I want you to understand the reasons why that's happening and how to fix it:

1) Make smart decisions. You abandoned your truck. I don't have to come down on you for that. You understand what that means. If you continue to make poor decisions you'll never reach the level of happiness and success that the top performers are having. A great life is built on a foundation of good decisions. Start today. Promise yourself that you'll make good decisions like the professional that you are.

2) Do business the right way. Always get important agreements in writing. I strongly suspect they never lied to you, they simply worded things in a crafty way. But we'll never know for sure, will we? Never let that happen again. Repeat things back to people so you know you're on the same page, then get it all in writing afterward. That's how you do business.

3) Understand the business side of trucking. You're under the impression that your company doesn't want to pay you that bonus. That's not true. They do want to pay you that bonus. They have the same goals you do and they're giving you the incentive to reach those goals. I would encourage you to speak with people at your company like the operations manager or the terminal manager. Let them know that you'd like to understand how the company operates and how their business model works. Ask them things like:

  • How many miles do our trucks need to average in order to make a profit?
  • What are the average profit margins?
  • Where do we get our freight from?
  • What is the process for distributing freight to drivers?
  • Why did you decide to pay a bonus for reaching 2,500 miles? What's so special about that number?

The better you can understand the trucking business and how your company operates internally the better you'll understand what you can do to maximize your earning potential by helping the company succeed. Those who help the company make money become important players to the team. They command a higher salary and more perks, just like in professional sports where the best players get the bulk of the playing time and make the most money.

Raise your game to a higher level Charles and before long you'll be at the top of the performance charts with the big dogs earning top dollar.


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.


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.


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.


Cents Per Mile

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


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Brett put that so well. Thank you sir!

Anytime you're getting mileage pay and/or bonus pay you shouldn't ever think of it as a way for the company to oppress your wages. If there's anything they want it's to have their drivers turning big miles. That's how they make money.

Always consider a bonus as an incentive. Think about the structure of the bonus pay. How is it structured? It's structured so that you obtain it by reaching a certain benchmark. It's designed to motivate you, not to suppress your ability to make money.

So many truckers shoot themselves in the foot by getting this all twisted around thinking the company is trying to keep them down. It's crazy! I can only think of one month in the past two years that I didn't get that extra five cents per mile for all the miles I drove. I still got an extra four cents that month, but I had a couple of camera events that kept me from getting the full amount.

ChrisEMT's Comment
member avatar

Hello, I was wondering, is that 36 cpm + 5 cpm bonus for OTR or on a dedicated account. I know with the carrier I was with, the dedicated drivers made more than OTR drivers before bonuses and such. for example, the carrier I worked for paid the new OTR drivers 26 cpm, no safety bonus, no fuel bonus, no stop pay, nothing. Most of the dedicated accounts they have pay between 36 - 50 cpm, + safety bonus + unload pay + fuel bonus + mileage bonus + border crossing pay. Obviously not all accounts pay those, but most do. My average pay every week was between 57 - 63 cpm and I averaged 2200-2500 and I was home every weekend, so if you do the math, I was averaging 1100-1300/week, and that was as a company driver. It all depends how fast your DM learns to trust you and how they can preplan you to maximize your clock.


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, 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.


Cents Per Mile

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


Hours Of Service

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

You are always going to get excellent advice from Brett, Old School, G-Town and the rest. Listen to what they are suggesting.

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