Having Difficulty Starting A Driving Career. Need Advice Please

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Bruce K.'s Comment
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Two sides

I’m driving with Schneider and highly recommend the entire program. Any info I can provide, just ask.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Two sides

I’m driving with Schneider and highly recommend the entire program. Any info I can provide, just ask.

Thanks Bruce. I did talk with Schneider in the beginning but like Stevo mentioned, the pay turned me off. .45 CPM seems kinda low even for an inexperienced driver. Would take 6 months just to get to .47 CPM.

But here are some questions I do have.. Did you wait long for a trainer? What area are you running? How many miles do you average a week? They told me about 2500 but I hear that's not always the case. Are you home as promised? Or do they make you stay out?

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar

TwoSides11, There's not a reason in the world for you to expect these companies to tell you how many miles you are going to be running. That is going to be your responsibility. I would not be asking about things like detention pay and layover either. So much of that is going to be in your control. Rookies are unfamiliar with how to deal with the issues truckers face. I think the lack of information you are getting from recruiters is partially your own fault. You are wanting things that they can't always give.

You were unaware that CRST was a team operation and you told them you wanted a solo position. That's why they gave you the six months experience answer. You wanted a starting rate from Knight but you didn't clarify if you wanted to be flatbed or dry-van. Now you are posting that you think 45 cpm is too low a pay scale for you! Good grief man, what are you expecting? You have zero to offer. You are an ill equipped rookie with absolutely no value. I'm not being critical of you. I'm trying to get you to face reality. Do you know how many rookies come and go at these companies? They have no reason to offer you some high pay rate until you can prove yourself worthy of it. And brother that will take you a couple of years to accomplish.

What you need right now is a start. You have already found out how quickly things can go south. I had the same experience. In fact I got sent home by the same folks that sent you home. Shake it off and get back on the bull. You got thrown once, but you have got to determine that you will conquer the beast. Don't be looking for the greatest opportunity or the highest pay. Look for a chance to start and establish yourself. Both Knight and Schneider would be excellent places to do just that, but you are rejecting them for petty little reasons. Why do you expect these recruiters to know every little detail. You may be talking to a rookie recruiter. Sometimes information changes daily at these companies. You cannot judge a trucking job by the recruiter. That is a huge mistake.

By the way, I started at 27 CPM. I made fifty thousand dollars that year. I also learned a great deal that year. That is what your rookie year is all about. It is about educating yourself how to succeed at this challenging career. About 95% of the people who attempt this job never make it into a career. The ones that do face the facts and the troubles with a tenacious approach. They don't blame recruiters or any of the many other problems they face. There is no easy path to success at trucking. Strap yourself on this bull and ride it out. Make it happen. You are the only one that can do that. Nobody will do it for you.

By the way. I made great money at Knight last year - really great. My DM told me I was the highest paid flatbed driver in their national fleet. There is no way they could have told me how much I would make or how many miles I would run. I control those things. I had other drivers in my same flatbed fleet who earned less than half what I earned. There are no salaries in this job. It is all performance based. The way you make money is to be a top performer. You cannot be a top performer while sitting on the sidelines speculating about detention pay, layover, and CPM rates. You've got to be a player on the field if you want to make money.

Dm:

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.
TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Hey Old School thanks for responding. This is exactly why I'm here asking questions about how to get started. Apparently I'm doing something wrong. I read the diaries and posts from others and it seems like they are having a better starting experience than I am. I read and try to learn from this site then apply it to my situation.

What questions should I be asking recruiters??? The reason I'm asking questions about average miles, detention pay, cpm and such is because this site recommended to ask recruiters those types of questions. If I had not read it here I would not know what to say. Honestly I wouldn't know what to ask or look for if it wasn't for this site. Am I misunderstanding this site? Is this site more for drivers with 1yr experience than recent grads?? ​

Lol, yea maybe I am being a bit uppity towards Schneider. You are right, I'm an inexperienced candidate with nothing to offer. It's just other companies I spoke with are .50-.60 cpm starting. That's why I say Schneider is on the low side. I was expecting to make more money than I did when I owned my landscaping company but at 45cpm and if and only if I can do 2500 miles per week, every week that would be the same amount I paid myself. Anything lower in miles would be less pay. Honestly, I did not factor in that starting a new career would mean taking a pay cut for a year or 2 or 3. I have been working for myself for so long that it's hard to get my mind out of "owner" mode. I think that is part of my problem. I have no experience in this field and nothing to offer these companies. I did the same when I hired inexperienced workers. I have to realize I am on the bottom of the totem pole. It's a very humbling experience.

But what do you recommend I ask recruiters? What do you think my next steps should be? I do not have a preference with doing flatbed or dry van. Im willing to do anything. Flatbed sticks out to me only because I'm accustomed to moving around and being active. But I can't say I like one over the other.

I appreciate your responses Old School, I tend to have blinders on when I'm searching and your posts make me see things I'm over looking. Thanks for being patient with me lol

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

This site is geared toward helping rookie drivers. You will find all kinds of advice on here because there are a lot of different folks in here.

I think you should make a decision on which type freight you want to haul. I just assumed you wanted flatbed since you tried TMC. You would probably enjoy it because you are already accustomed to loading equipment on trailers. If you make a decision on which type of freight then you can narrow down your search. That makes it easier on you.

The reason I don't recommend asking about detention or layover is that you are going to work all those things out with your driver manager. There are very few companies that don't pay things like that, but you have to understand how it all works as a driver. I know drivers in my fleet who complain about not getting layover pay or detention. The problem is they have never bothered to learn how to use the proper macros to make those things happen automatically. It is simple at Knight, but you have to follow the procedures. Those x-pay items like that are a very minuscule part of your pay. Don't sweat the small details right now. As far as what to ask right now... When can I start? What is going to be my starting pay rate?

I think you are going to do very well at this. You've been a contractor most of your life. That will work to your advantage. Don't worry about being at the bottom of the totem pole. I teach people to embrace it. Trucking will allow you to be creative and will honor your work ethic. There are a lot of drivers in my fleet who could be earning a lot more money. My driver manager recognizes those who have a good work ethic but just aren't breaking through to the higher levels of productivity. He will tell them to call me and sometimes just a brief few minutes of talking will help them see ways to improve their results. Trucking is challenging. You will create your own opportunities out here. You are accustomed to that type of working environment. Nothing is given. You will earn each step along your way.

The main thing right now is get hired and get started on your own personal journey. You will make it get better as you get better at it. By the way... Knight has a flatbed account out of their Carlisle, PA terminal. I bet they would hire you in a heartbeat. The only problem is that you will constantly be in and out of the Hydro plant in Cressona. That place can drive a person batty on it's good days. I've spent a lot of time there.

Keep in mind you are just learning this business. It will be like nothing you have ever done before. There are no shortcuts. You will struggle at first. It doesn't matter how smart you are - you will struggle as a rookie.

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.

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.
Mark O. ~MiNi-Me~'s Comment
member avatar

This site is geared toward helping rookie drivers. You will find all kinds of advice on here because there are a lot of different folks in here.

That's the truth in TT. I have been a sponge on here for months, reading and making decisions. People like you OS have helped in so many ways just from your input and no nonsense, shoot from the hip advice. I cannot thank you enough for all you invest in complete strangers.

Keep in mind you are just learning this business. It will be like nothing you have ever done before. There are no shortcuts. You will struggle at first. It doesn't matter how smart you are - you will struggle as a rookie.

Because of this site, this wealth of experiences and advice shared I won't struggle as much. Thanks to each and everyone who has contributed over the years. No rose colored glasses here, I know exactly what I am about to embark upon....Monday morning at 6 sharp!

Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

CRST doesn't require ANY experience. If you have your CDL , it should be a walk in the park. BUT You do realize they are mainly a TEAM driver company? The Only "Solo" Regional is with their sister company they bought out in 2016-17, "Gardners"...

No. CRST Expedited, the division you drive for, is only one part of a much larger company, CRST International. The parent company has several other divisions that are all run very differently.

CRST Malone CRST's flatbed division. They don't train drivers because they don't employ drivers. All Malone drivers are owner ops or lease ops.

CRST Dedicated Requires a minimum of 6 months OTR experience. They do drive teams (and solo). Due to CRST's anti-poaching rules you're not allowed to go directly from Expedited to Dedicated UNLESS the dedicated account specifically requests you by name. This is rare and usually only happens if your FM is the FM for a dedicated account and gradually works you into it. Been around since '93, so they predate the Gardner acquisition by a couple of decades.

CRST Specialized Transport Basically, a 53' trailer with a lift gate. Experienced drivers only. Handles freight in residential, retail or anyplace that doesn't have a loading dock.

CRST is a large and diverse company. Those are just the their three largest other divisions, there are others. Here's a text I received from them a few days ago that best sums it up.

"Did you know? The 'New CRST' has MORE to offer YOU * Yes * SOLO * Dedicated * Increased PAY * Home Weekly ...More than OTR Teams!"

As far as the OP's issues with his CRST recruiter. It sounds like he got a new recruiter. They hire telephone sales/customer service reps for those positions NOT CDL drivers. As you can imagine that's quite a learning curve.

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.

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.

Fm:

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Two sides

I’m driving with Schneider and highly recommend the entire program. Any info I can provide, just ask.

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks Bruce. I did talk with Schneider in the beginning but like Stevo mentioned, the pay turned me off. .45 CPM seems kinda low even for an inexperienced driver. Would take 6 months just to get to .47 CPM.

But here are some questions I do have.. Did you wait long for a trainer? What area are you running? How many miles do you average a week? They told me about 2500 but I hear that's not always the case. Are you home as promised? Or do they make you stay out?

Cents per mile is not the whole picture and .45 is pretty standard. I was paired with a trainer immediately upon completion of school. I’m OTR and have been all over the states east of the Rockies. I just go where they send me and I’ve never been idle waiting on a load. I do between 2000 and 2500 mi per week, no sweat. My truck is my home but other drivers I know want to be home every weekend and Schneider gets them there. They don’t “make” me do anything. I stay out for long periods by choice. Schneider seems very happy to accommodate my style of driving. Excellent company.

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.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Good luck on Monday Mark O!

Thanks for the response everyone. I appreciate it.

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