Leaving A Contract Early? Advice

Topic 28396 | Page 1

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Jessica B.'s Comment
member avatar

(I rambled im sorry lol) Hi I just want to share my situation and see if I can get any advice. I'm not usually ever on forums, ever but I'm desperate. My husband became a trucker in late March early April so has only been at it a couple months. He did not do his research before hand and went with a company that a friend referred him to. I had did some research and told him that alot of reviews and such said that this company paid very poorly about 300 to 400 a week for the first year or so. Long story short sadly that is exactly what has happen. He's gotten maybe 1 600 check and 1 800 check but most weeks its 400 to 350 a week. Its hard for him to come home on days he requested and usually because things happens it gets pushed back by days. This has caused us to not see each other on his visits home.

I didnt want him to be a trucker but he did so I was trying my best to support him. But his low checks are getting to us both especially for the amount of time hes not home. He also is really starting to miss us he says. We have a young daughter thats 2 and its just hard on us all and with the holidays this winter I honestly dont think he's going to make it.

I think he got in over his head personally and he wants to just flat out quit. I asked him to wait and find out about paying back the class and see if anyone would even hire him. I was trying to do so research on all of this and I read some threads on here which is how I even got here lol. Id like him to stay and suck it up but man these checks just dont seem to be even worth it.

So the acutally question. What happens if you break your contract with a company?? He said we'd owe the company all the money back? But I didn't know if they'd just allow us to make payments or if they'd ask for the whole sum? Also idk if this will effect anything else?

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Well Jessica, your husband may have got himself into a little pickle, but there is a way out. He needs to double his efforts right now to become the best driver he can be.

Every driver starts out a little slow in the beginning, so short checks are nothing new. But as he gets better at managing his clock and becoming more efficient and productive, the money will follow.

As for leaving the company, he signed a contract and should follow through on it. Leaving now would only create more financial stress, as well as put a black mark on his record that will be difficult to overcome. Many companies won't hire someone who breaks a contract. Exactly what will happen will depend on which company he's with, and what the terms of the contract are.

My suggestion is for him to stick it out. Although it may be difficult now, the potential benefit will outweigh the difficulty you're facing at the moment.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Paychecks can fluctuate alot in trucking. Even more while you're still getting the hang of things. How many miles is he running a week? Is he running his 70 clock down to 0? Is he making appointments on time?

What company is he with? We truly believe that the large carriers are all wonderful places to work if you prove yourself. We have members here for most of the large companies that are doing quite well with them.

Is it possible for him to create an account so we can help coach him? I've been on this forum for about 5 years and over that time have seen other moderators here mentor a ton of drivers. We've seen this situation before and our very knowledgeable and experienced community has helped them see what they were doing wrong or who to talk to for things to change. Leaving now will only make problems worse as Turtle pointed out. My advice is as tough as it sounds he needs to stay there for 1 year. If he's able to do that and do it safely while making appointments on time he can land nearly any job he wants AND not have to repay several thousand dollars for his tuition. At that point he would have the skills needed to likely land a local job where he can be home every day. There's still long hours involved in most local jobs but atleast he's guaranteed to be off work for 10 hours.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to our forum Jessica!

You guys are in a tough position. Your husband is experiencing what most rookie drivers go through. Don't be so quick to lay full blame on the company. There's just not a group of "bad trucking companies" out there that don't pay well. I can say that with some authority. I worked for just such a company that was slandered unrelentingly online by the new drivers trying to establish their careers.

In trucking your paycheck is a measurement of your productivity. That's why we get paid by the mile. We measure out our own pay by being productive. It sounds simple, but it's not as a rookie. There's so much more to being productive other than being able to stay awake and drive. Communicating effectively with dispatch, managing the HOS rules and clocks is critical.

Rob is dead on. Your husband needs some help. He needs some gentle mentoring. I promise you he can do this. His biggest problem right now is that he doesn't understand how to be successful at this challenging career. Would 50 grand a year make him feel differently about the career? He could do that. I've seen plenty of rookie drivers do that, and there's some who do better than that. A few years on and he could be earning 70,000 or better. Plenty of the drivers here do that.

I can't think of a time we've encouraged someone to break their contract. It's simply too early in their career for them to burn those bridges. We teach people to succeed. That's what your man needs. He just needs some success. No company succeeds by cheating their employees. Your husband's company desperately needs successful drivers. Don't believe that internet nonsense that says you chose the wrong place to start your career.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
I didnt want him to be a trucker but he did so I was trying my best to support him. But his low checks are getting to us both especially for the amount of time hes not home. He also is really starting to miss us he says. We have a young daughter thats 2 and its just hard on us all and with the holidays this winter I honestly dont think he's going to make it.

Just one more thing Jessica. It's possible trucking just isn't the best career choice for you guys. There's no shame in that and any truck driver can understand that. Still, I would encourage you guys to complete your contract. It's an obligation - an agreement you've entered into. You can't go wrong by keeping your word.

At this point you need to realize that being a rookie comes with disadvantages. The only way to get past that point is to persevere and commit to excelling at this career. Otherwise you may just want to hit the reset button after completing your contract. I wish you and your young family the best. We are more than happy to help you guys if we can.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
What happens if you break your contract with a company?? He said we'd owe the company all the money back? But I didn't know if they'd just allow us to make payments or if they'd ask for the whole sum? Also idk if this will effect anything else?

You are going to owe them the money. I can't say if they will accept payments. You should always get a copy of any contract you sign. The details are in the contract. More than likely they will demand the entire sum. If you don't pay the money then it will go to collections. It will affect your credit score in a negative way.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Is the company he had his CDL training at also the same company he drives for now?

If so, if he breaks the contract and does not pay back all the billed costs, they're not going to send him his certificate of training completion. Without this certificate, chances are most companies will never hire him.

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.
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

(I rambled im sorry lol) Hi I just want to share my situation and see if I can get any advice. I'm not usually ever on forums, ever but I'm desperate. My husband became a trucker in late March early April so has only been at it a couple months. He did not do his research before hand and went with a company that a friend referred him to. I had did some research and told him that alot of reviews and such said that this company paid very poorly about 300 to 400 a week for the first year or so. Long story short sadly that is exactly what has happen. He's gotten maybe 1 600 check and 1 800 check but most weeks its 400 to 350 a week. Its hard for him to come home on days he requested and usually because things happens it gets pushed back by days. This has caused us to not see each other on his visits home.

I didnt want him to be a trucker but he did so I was trying my best to support him. But his low checks are getting to us both especially for the amount of time hes not home. He also is really starting to miss us he says. We have a young daughter thats 2 and its just hard on us all and with the holidays this winter I honestly dont think he's going to make it.

I think he got in over his head personally and he wants to just flat out quit. I asked him to wait and find out about paying back the class and see if anyone would even hire him. I was trying to do so research on all of this and I read some threads on here which is how I even got here lol. Id like him to stay and suck it up but man these checks just dont seem to be even worth it.

So the acutally question. What happens if you break your contract with a company?? He said we'd owe the company all the money back? But I didn't know if they'd just allow us to make payments or if they'd ask for the whole sum? Also idk if this will effect anything else?

Jessica, it sounds like he just wants to quit trucking altogether is that correct? The hard fact is not everyone is cut out for the life of a truck driver. If he quits he will be on the hook for the entire cost agreed upon in the contract, some companies will and some won't allow payments. If he is only making $350-$400 per week the bigger question is what is he doing wrong. Most first year drivers have to try...hard, to consistently make so little. If he just wants out I get it but if he tries to stick it out he needs to reflect on his performance to figure it out. If he goes to a different trucking company without fixing the problem he will still be in the same boat just with a new company. The company he works for has a lot of money invested in him between training, equipment payments, benifits, insurance on both him and his truck etc. If he is not turning enough miles they are losing money on having him working. It's not usually the company causing small checks as it's to their advantage to have him run as many loads and miles as he can handle.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

1. How much time is left on that agreement? If less than a year, plan to stick it out, but go to question #2.

2. Can you make it, financially, on his current pay until the contract is satisfied? If yes, stick it out, make a list of your (as a family) preferences, have him concentrate on becoming a top tier driver, research companies so that he can make a move AFTER contract period is up.

If you cannot make it on his current pay, he needs to concentrate on being top tier and getting guidance from his company on how to improve his pay.

I started with Schneider and some people say they’re lousy. They were great to me, I did two years there and for the past 3+ years I’ve been with a southeast regional company, getting home weekly, or more, with good pay.

The two best jobs he’ll have are his last job and next job. Let that sink in.

If he becomes a top tier driver at his current job, think how happy y’all will be when he lands a position getting him better pay and home time.

I hope this helps.

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.

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