TMC Flatbed Advice For A Rookie

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TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Hello Drivers, So I talked to a TMC recruiter today and got the following info:

It is a non dedicated regional position. Not sure what region. It is not classified as an entry level position. Pay is 30% of haul, which she said averages out to be .61cpm. Averages about 2400 miles a week. She wasn't sure about detention pay or sign on bonus. Per diem is factored into the check. Tarp pay is $30 for steel, $40 lumber. Training is 2 weeks orientation 4 weeks in the truck $650 a week. Paid lunch but mentioned nothing about breakfast or dinner. Said no more than 2 people per trainer in truck. Home time is weekly. I also will be responsible for truck and trailer parking on my days off. They do not reimburse me if I get charged for parking of the vehicle.

Now before I fly my butt all the way to Iowa, just wanted to know yall thoughts. I'm very green and know nothing, just trying to find the best situation without being taken advantage of or putting myself in a nightmare scenario. Im from Philadelphia area and I've talked with Schneider also which training location is 2hrs away. I'm all set up with Schneider just have to confirm orientation date but the thing with TMC that attracted me is they have manuel trucks available. Home time is the same. Schneider is dedicated regional north east. 2500 miles a week, .45cpm after 6 months moves up to .47, .3cpm performance pay dry van all drop and hook. I have read other posts on here about flatbed and that is something I am willing to do.

With the information I provided about TMC does that sound like a good deal? Are there any questions I did not ask the recruiter that I should have? Is there something left out that I should have knowledge on about flatbeding before getting started?

Thanks for reading and thanks for your advice!

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I'm very green and know nothing, just trying to find the best situation without being taken advantage of or putting myself in a nightmare scenario.

TwoSides11, Part of being green is this notion that you are going to make a huge mistake by starting with a company who is bound and determined to take advantage of you. The internet is full of tales from people who feel they got taken advantage of and put in a nightmare scenario by a trucking company. It's all hogwash and nonsense. It cannot be trusted.

Trucking is a very challenging career to get started in. Most people underestimate it and take the approach that they are just starting a new job. Anybody can start a new job. In trucking we are literally starting a new lifestyle. We don't just learn new habits or work skills. We learn an entire system of living and working that are joined together with no schedules or routines. Everyday is a new challenge or adventure with all new experiences and a constantly changing environment. Most people are not prepared for it. Many people lose their sense of confidence after a few minor mistakes and then go on to make bigger mistakes. Trucking is a delicate balance of peaceful driving and moments of terror and stress. You will be challenged with extreme swings. You will find yourself waiting at times unnecessarily. You will want to blame all the issues that arise on your company taking advantage of you. In the end you will realize this is just what trucking is. It is a constant challenge in which you are the one responsible for understanding the challenges and how to come up with ways of dealing with them that will help you become efficient and productive. It will not be the company helping you or teaching you how to develop your career in the right direction, but it will be you overcoming the issues that all of us face as truckers.

There are plenty of people who quit TMC because they felt like they were being cheated. There are just as many who did the same at Schneider. Both companies run great operations and have many successful drivers. The drivers themselves are the ones who choose and determine their destiny in this career. Your story will be the same. The company won't write your story. You will. Everything about your success at this will be determined by you.

It's going to boil down to which type freight you really think you want to handle. Do you want to pull dry-van freight or are you up to the challenges of open deck freight. Schneider offers the first while TMC offers the latter. Both jobs are regional with weekly home time. TMC offers a little higher pay, while you may be able to turn more miles doing drop and hooks at Schneider. Both jobs are going to require you to hustle if you want to make some money. Don't put any confidence in their average mile statements. You don't ever want to be average in this business. It's even worse when you are below average. Those are the folks who feel they were cheated and taken advantage of.

Rookies don't want to rush themselves too much at this job. The problem with getting ahead of yourself as a rookie truck driver is that you put yourself into an accident prone mode by doing so. You will struggle at first on either job with trying to make good money. As you develop into a professional it will get better. At first you will have to settle for less money and be satisfied that you didn't damage anything or anybody. Later on you can earn more money by your increased efficiencies and productivity.

Whichever job you choose, you want to have two goals for your first three months...

1) Don't Hit Anything

2) Always Be On Time

Anxiety, fear, and discouragement can have compounding effects on us. Try to enjoy yourself a little. Don’t overwork yourself unnecessarily. Make sure you take some time for yourself and relax a little. You will get to where you can accomplish more. Don’t get disillusioned by the challenges. Your struggles don’t mean you started with a bad company. You are a rookie. That is why you are struggling. It gets better as you develop into a professional. Once you get through that first three months you can add some more goals to that list. You can add things like...

  • Conquer any bad attitudes that start developing.
  • Stick with your first choice of a company for one full year
  • Strive to be a Top Tier Driver

At this point your more important choice is not between Schneider or TMC. You've got to choose which type driver you will be. That decision will have far more impact on your driving career than the name on the doors of your truck. I put little importance on where we start as rookies. I started at Western Express. They had terrible reviews and even worse morale among the current drivers. None of that had any effect on my ability to be a successful driver there. In fact my experiences with them built the very foundation of my successful trucking career. Pick whichever type freight you think you will enjoy the most. Make your decision and stick with it. Your approach to all this will be the determining factor in how you make out.

I wish you every success!

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Old School, thank you again for your advice and words of wisdom. I needed to hear that. Your right it's not which company is the better choice, it's what type of freight I want to haul. The answer to that is I'm not sure. And to be honest I'm nervous about both dry van and flatbed. Tbh I'm just nervous about starting this career. I understand this is a challenging career and I'm approaching this with the utmost respect for it.

TwoSides11, Part of being green is this notion that you are going to make a huge mistake by starting with a company who is bound and determined to take advantage of you. The internet is full of tales from people who feel they got taken advantage of and put in a nightmare scenario by a trucking company. It's all hogwash and nonsense. It cannot be trusted.

I have been reading too much into the horror stories of many drivers. I have read too much of drivers saying they were taken advantage of. Maybe I'm just reading too much... I now realize I'm stalling. My excuse for not joining a company yet is because I think there is something better. As you explained, both companies are good choices. It is up to me as a driver to make the best out of it.

Anxiety, fear, and discouragement can have compounding effects on us.

I'm going through that now and I haven't even hit the road yet. I have talked to about 10 recruiters so far and still a month later after getting my CDL I'm not with a company yet. It's the fear of failing as a rookie and I'm making excuses for why I should keep looking for something better. They both offer what is important to me right now and that is weekly home time. As for the type of freight, Flatbed looks fun and seems to allow me to physically move around and get more exercise while being out on the road.

Thank you again Old School I really do appreciate your response to all my posts. I will let yall know how TMC goes from here. No more posts about which company to choose, I promise lol.

Stay safe out there!

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.

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

We all understand what you are going through. The internet is a valuable source of information. It is also a wasteland of idiots who mislead and confuse. I went through all the same drama when I was getting started. My situation ended up being somewhat unique in that I could not get accepted by most companies I tried. To this day I don't know what the hang up was, but I had to take the only opportunity offered to me. I quickly learned that there are winners and losers at this career. The losers held grudges and were not embarrassed to tell on themselves online. The reason for their lack of embarrassment was that they had thousands of other knuckleheads willing to validate their foolishness by agreeing with them that their company wanted to take advantage of them.

There is a lot of confusion about this career. It's main source is that of rookie drivers who failed at it. They don't understand why they failed, but they sure think they do. They post some of the most ridiculous stuff online. It lives on in infamy because they all blindly agree they were blameless in their pursuit of a career that demands personal responsibility. They lay blame everywhere but on themselves. They are blind to their own faults. The only result of all their efforts is that they instill fear and distrust in the rest of us who want to make a career of this.

Always remember you will be held accountable in this career. It is a performance based career. You are the captain of the ship. You will determine the outcome. It will be challenging. The greatest challenges reap the greatest rewards. But they have to be faced and conquered to realize those rewards.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

2Sides,

If Schneider dedicates you to the Northeast area, you might want to think about that aspect of driving. Schneider sent me to that region a lot, but never to NYC. I went to Connecticut, Rhode Island, upstate NY, New Jersey. Those trips were not bad, but not many miles. Now if you drive for TMC you may get to roam farther and wider. Plus you get to train in the most scenic state in America, Iowa! No need to bring any downhill skiing equipment and if you golf all you need is a putter.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Bruce, New England is beautiful in the fall but I have been to the Northeast a few times. You sold me on the most scenic state in America! lol I do ski, I don't golf. Plus I might as well take advantage of seeing Iowa for free right!?!? I do enjoy to travel and TMC could send me places I've never been and probably wouldn't go to. Seeing this beautiful country is one of the perks to this job that I'm very well looking forward to!

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Bruce, New England is beautiful in the fall but I have been to the Northeast a few times. You sold me on the most scenic state in America! lol I do ski, I don't golf. Plus I might as well take advantage of seeing Iowa for free right!?!? I do enjoy to travel and TMC could send me places I've never been and probably wouldn't go to. Seeing this beautiful country is one of the perks to this job that I'm very well looking forward to!

Just PLEASE remember this gem; it's NOT a joke... pretty sure it's part of their vetting processes ....

0641330001631141353.jpg

They really seem to be great people, Semper Fi !!! (Were I younger, I'd jump on (no pun!) with'em also.)

~ Anne ~

ps: I water ski and jet ski ..still have two (grew up in FL) but NOPE to snow skiing!! Dang lifts..NOPE!

Golf ??? I'll caddy for ya, haha! I'll even putt your green..that's IT! :) Me & driving ranges are NOT pals.

William L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys I am also trying to start a new career in trucking after talking with Schneider recruiter one thing that bothers me is I was told I would be reimbursed for tolls that could really add up in a week is this the normal

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Hey guys I am also trying to start a new career in trucking after talking with Schneider recruiter one thing that bothers me is I was told I would be reimbursed for tolls that could really add up in a week is this the normal

Different companies do it different ways. My first company would advance me $200 when I had a load going into and back out of Batavia, New York and coming back out. All I had to do was pay the toll person and get a receipt. The boss would show the advance on my pay statement and the receipts would zero it out. My next company didn't run tolls very often, so I would pay out of my pocket, get a receipt and be reimbursed the next week. The PrePass was not the fancy dancy one and did not pay the tolls...it just let me bypass weigh stations. This company I am with now has the fancy dancy prepass and it pays all tolls that has PrePass or DriveWyze at the toll plaza.

Schneider will tell you in orientation how they want you to pay tolls.

Laura

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
Hey guys I am also trying to start a new career in trucking after talking with Schneider recruiter one thing that bothers me is I was told I would be reimbursed for tolls that could really add up in a week is this the normal

Depends on the company, at West Side we had to pay out of pocket and turn in the receipts to be reimbursed. In can add up quickly too since truck tolls tend to be expensive. Then we had to write the po number and tape the receipts to a piece of paper and scan it in, was more work then there should be in my opinion.

At OD I just roll through and they are paid with the prepass.

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