Moving On After 6 Months Experience Suggestions?

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Jammer a's Comment
member avatar

Fully understand about the pay if your losing your lively hood working for them speaking for myself I get start losing your house and vehicle I get it!!! But getting self dispatched picking what you want to do and earning 1 day off for every 6 good luck especially on 4 months experience!! You could prob find a better paying driving job but they’re not gonna pay you to run less imo

I failed my first road test but passed on my 2nd.

I'll be approaching the 6 month mark in March... just thought I'd start research now.

I've been doing fine w/ OTR and relationships...

Want to move to a different company since Transam was more of a starter company for me.

Current CPM is really low, so why wouldn't I move to a higher paying company?

It's not like they are going to compensate me apart from what their pay structure is, no matter how good of a job I do.

From my research thus far, I don't think the 160 hr certificate matters, as long as you have verifiable experience.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm brand new to this whole thing, got my Class B with a transport school bus co. and A JOB , now getting ready to "private school" to get my Class A, so I can have a solid backround. Have learned alot from reading threads on here from the experienced folks. I owned a restaurant for years prior to this Virus thing. ( which is why I m exploring a new career ) Used to have "chefs" with 18 months of culinary school apply to work and then tell me how they were ready for it all, but had a hard time meeting the demands of the industry to help make the Place a success, while wondering when their pay was gonna increase or weather they should go look for another golden opportunity....Just sayin... no matter where you work or what you do, you only get out of something as much as you re willing to put in. ... in any case Sounds like ya picked an appropriate handle there...

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Current CPM is really low, so why wouldn't I move to a higher paying company?

It's not like they are going to compensate me apart from what their pay structure is, no matter how good of a job I do.

Godsgift, let me ask you something. Do you think there are some drivers at TransAm who are doing better than you? If so why? What makes the difference between them and you?

So far your remarks have said a lot about your misunderstanding of how this business works. Just above, Brian M gave a great example of a performance based field that he is coming from. Professional Kitchen Chefs have to prove their worth every day, every meal, every customer. It is a very competitive field. The pressure is always on to produce the most and the best product. It's no different in truck driving. We are expected to produce. We have to be efficient, timely, safe, easy to work with, and extremely productive. That is where our income gets measured. It has way less to do with how many cents per mile we are getting paid than you think. I started at twenty seven cents per mile. I made 50,000 dollars that year. What kind of rate are you working for? Surely you can endure a year making fifty grand?

A chef who can consistently produce a record of cooking a high quality product while maintaining proper food cost levels and keeping a decent kitchen staff proves that he is worth more money. It's no different in trucking. You honestly don't get it if you think your statement about pay structure is true. When I started at Western Express I was told we would get a raise at six months and then one raise annually. We were all told that. I got my first raise at 3 months. I questioned my driver manager because I was concerned that someone in payroll had made a mistake. I was concerned I would be stuck having to pay the money back after some corporate big wheel caught their mistake. "No mistake my friend," is what the driver manager said. Then he elaborated, "You've been such an outstanding driver that we bumped up your pay based on the numbers you have been producing for us. We don't get too many drivers in here that can accomplish the kinds of things you have been doing. Keep up the good work and we will be keeping your pay at a level that is commensurate with your productivity." Every three months during that first year they bumped my pay up a little. That was not according to the pay structure they laid out for us. It was based on something else. That's how it works in trucking.

We measure out our own pay. It is all performance based. I found it interesting that you mentioned wanting more miles too. Don't you realize that TransAm wants you turning more miles? That's how they make money. It would not serve their purposes to keep your miles low. You are the one who is responsible for increasing your mileage. You have got to show them you understand how the game is played. They need your assistance. Your understanding of the log book rules, and how to manage them along with your communications to your dispatcher , will be key in helping them develop a strategy to help you be more productive. I promise you they have drivers turning three thousand plus mile weeks on a regular basis. What is the difference between those drivers and you? These are serious questions that we all have to face in our trucking careers. I caught on to this stuff early in my career and took the steps that I thought would help me increase my pay. None of those steps had anything to do with switching to a higher paying company.

Here's a small example of how I changed the dynamics in my rookie job at Western Express. I started contacting my customers and moved my appointment times up to something that made my trip more efficient. Often I could make a few sacrifices and get there a day ahead of schedule. As soon as I got the appointment changed I would message my dispatcher with a new ETA and then give him my new PTA. That way he could go ahead and work on setting me up with another load exactly when he knew I was going to be available. Strategically setting things up that way was on me. I did it because I could see how it would help them keep me moving and busy. They loved it and rewarded my efforts with generosity. I could sometimes get another 1,000 miles on my paychecks that way. The point is that I took the initiative. They are busy handling a lot of drivers. Most of them are new and don't know what they are doing. Anytime they had a self motivated mover and shaker they loved it.

I promise you that you can do a lot better at TransAm than you are doing now. They are in the business of moving freight. They love efficient drivers who can prove to get the job done. The people who are always looking for greener pastures are the people who don't understand how to fertilize the pasture they are in. I know you were looking for suggestions of "better companies," but you have got to figure out how this career works before you can expect to be raking in the big bucks. You still have a lot to learn. You make that obvious with the remarks you make. We want to help you be a professional trucker. We aren't here to help you find the best company. We can help you dig deep and be the best you can be at this.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

OS you hit the nail squarely on the head. At 4 months the op still has no clue and isn’t looking to do better at transam. He has a wants list that I believe is probably unattainable at this point. I know if he/she applied to me I sure would not hire him/her. I see someone who wants to be placed at the top without earning the right to be there.

When I came back to QC they started me out 3 steps higher than someone at my experience level, because they had the records from when I worked here the first time. It was offered, not asked for. To hit top pay should have taken another 3.5 years. I was bumped up to top level within a year. I too thought it was a mistake and asked. My terminal manger told me it was no mistake, I had earned it. Was quietly done but none the less my performance was noticed.

OP here just needs to foscus on learning and doing their best everyday. The rest will fall into place.

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.

Scratch2win's Comment
member avatar

Dang that is a lot to ask for without a proven track record.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I failed my first road test but passed on my 2nd.

I'll be approaching the 6 month mark in March... just thought I'd start research now.

I've been doing fine w/ OTR and relationships...

Want to move to a different company since Transam was more of a starter company for me.

Current CPM is really low, so why wouldn't I move to a higher paying company?

It's not like they are going to compensate me apart from what their pay structure is, no matter how good of a job I do.

From my research thus far, I don't think the 160 hr certificate matters, as long as you have verifiable experience.

Hay you!

Still around?!?! Did you stay with, or leave Trans Am ?!?

Just curious if you found your 'niche' companywise; hope all is well; it's been awhile!

Wish you well,

~ Anne ~

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Self dispatch? LOL

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
It's not like they are going to compensate me apart from what their pay structure is, no matter how good of a job I do.

This comment had distracted me for quite a while. How do you get "compensated" outside the pay structure? So the boss calls you into the office to tell you how good a job you are doing, and there's $50 bill laying on his desk. Then you are dispatched through Las Vegas with three extra days on your route?

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif rofl-3.gif

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I'm approaching my 6th month of OTR... and looking to switch to a higher paying company.

Does anyone know of any OTR companies that may include as much of the following as possible:

+High CPM and miles per week/weekly minimum

+Services 48 states... (like to run coast to coast)

+Able to accumulate home time... for example, can earn 1 home day for every 6 days out w/ no cap on accrual

+No/low touch dry van or reefer

+Newer equipment w/ APU's.

+Self dispatch or no forced dispatch

Thanks for your input...

I have all that with Wolding. I can take off whenever and for as long as I want. But if you aren’t working you aren’t earning, and if I take more than 30 days I have to do a road and skills test before I can drive again. Not that I take 30 days.

If you don’t have an APU , you have optiidle to stay cool and a webasto bunk heater for winter.

I’m not force dispatched but if you constantly turn down loads you will probably find yourself not getting as many loads, just like any company.

I’m regional hourly but we also have OTR guys paid by mileage.

But just like any company out there, you’re not going to walk in with 6 months experience and be king of the hill. You’ll have to prove you can get the job done.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

APU's:

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.

Leeva804's Comment
member avatar

I'm approaching my 6th month of OTR... and looking to switch to a higher paying company.

Does anyone know of any OTR companies that may include as much of the following as possible:

+High CPM and miles per week/weekly minimum

+Services 48 states... (like to run coast to coast)

+Able to accumulate home time... for example, can earn 1 home day for every 6 days out w/ no cap on accrual

+No/low touch dry van or reefer

+Newer equipment w/ APU's.

+Self dispatch or no forced dispatch

Thanks for your input...

Shaffer trucking and Crete pays really good for otr drivers. I think it’s .59-.65 cents a mile and maybe 2500-3000 miles a week. I have read stories of drivers who have reported making 75K-85K+ first and second year driving. Some even saying 90K.

I jumped four times my first year so you’ll be fine if you make the jump. But definitely don’t do more than two. Research and be very careful.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

APU's:

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.

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