Dry-Van Vs. Reefer

Topic 27155 | Page 1

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Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

I'm strongly considering going with Roehl (GYCDL Program). My question is: Which mode gets more miles on average, dry-van or reefer (not interested in flatbed)? FYI: I want to run national fleet OTR.

Thanks for your input.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

Not an OTR Driver myself but from everything I've researched and heard Reefer generally does longer runs and will go coast to coast, especially CA . I dont know if it'll mean more miles overall as you'll do more waiting than dry van on average but when you run its usually longer .

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Cowboy.

You can make the same money in reefer or dry van. It doesn't make much of a difference, and neither earns consistently more than the other.

I wrote an article covering the differences called Choosing A Truck Driving Job Part VI: Dry Van and Refrigerated Companies. Check that out.

Also, type in "Dry van vs reefer" in the search engine at the top of any page and you'll find tons of conversations about it.

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.

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.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm strongly considering going with Roehl (GYCDL Program). My question is: Which mode gets more miles on average, dry-van or reefer (not interested in flatbed)? FYI: I want to run national fleet OTR.

Thanks for your input.

Like Brett said, either one will make you good money, neither has a huge earning advantage or everyone would do just that one. The biggest issue I would be concerned about is if you can sleep with a reefer unit running behind your bed, some can some cant, they are loud and vibrate the truck. Good luck.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Cowboy, this question comes up frequently. As newbies we all want to be able to turn those big miles and make that money. It's understandable.

We all think there must be some special division we can get into that will assist us in that pursuit. Some decide it's in leasing a truck. Others think it's hauling HazMat. One person swears by Dry-van another insists the money is in flatbed. The search for valuable information on the trucking career usually leads down into some really ridiculous advice.

The truth is that trucking is very much like being self employed. If anything happens in your favor out here it's because you put in the effort to make it happen. This career is performance based. The guys and gals who have that unique ability to capitalize on their knowledge of how things work in this industry are the ones making some great money at this. They come in all flavors. We've got professionals in this forum who pull many of the different types of freight available. I can assure you that there's nobody really standing out as making way more than the others.

Here's where you'll see the difference or the disparity in levels of pay. It will always be related to the driver himself. It's not going to be tied to the type of trailer or to the name painted on the truck's doors. Drivers can measure out their own pay in this business. Great drivers make great pay. Poorly performing drivers feel like they're being cheated. Truck driving pay is always relative. You will determine your level of pay by your level of productivity.

We use a phrase in here that you've probably come across. We call these highly productive drivers "Top Tier Drivers." Any driver manager immediately knows what type people we are referring to with that phrase. These drivers stand out as hyper productive, always safe, and reliably easy to work with. It takes a few years out here to establish yourself like that.

There are no shortcuts to success in trucking. Learn the ropes and respond to the issues that all truckers face with responsibility and determination. Take the time to develop yourself into a professional. Take the time to develop into a Top Tier Driver. That's how you'll get to turn the big miles and earn the top money.

Here's an article to help you understand the basics of What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Driver 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I did the GYCDL program with Roehl and am dry van National. I went solo the last week of February and am currently "officially" at just under 96000 miles, but have actually put in just over 100000 miles total on the two trucks I've had (40 some thousand on the first and 61000 on my current one). However, I stay out for a month or longer and run recaps. Two friends I went through the school with are about 10000-20000 miles less than me running dry van dedicated regional , but have 2 days off a week. I take a week off for hometime. The dedicated routes typically seem to run a steady average of 2500 miles per week, but can be higher with back hauls or filling in on other routes if you are a productive/efficient driver. For me, my weekly miles run from around 2400-3400. As I become a more efficient driver, my weekly mileage is staying more toward 2700 or higher, but I'm running my 14 hour clock out or down to less than two hours over 75% of the time.

As stated, flatbed and reefer typically run less miles but it depends on the drivers you're comparing, as Old School points out. That being said, I've confirmed by talking to both experienced and new drivers that in the end the pay comes out very close to the same regardless of the division you're in, as Brett points out. So if you're just asking about strictly logging miles, you have a better opportunity in dry van with this company, but that means taking people's advice off of here for being a top tier driver...which means long days, erratic sleep cycles, and a steep learning curve as a newbie. Flatbed and refer are the two divisions who will typically run over the rockies, dry van barely gets past the Mississippi as a company driver.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Brandon Kitts's Comment
member avatar

Just make sure you have the option. At the moment Roehl is pushing flatbed. They arrived trying to make their flatbed division as big as the others. When I applied that is what was offered.

The good thing with Roehl, if you are a flatbed driver you can also run dry van and reefer loads if needed or freight slows. Dry van and Reefer can not run flatbed until they pass the physical and take the training.

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.

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