How Good Or Bad Is This Work Offer?

Topic 32500 | Page 3

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Pacific Pearl's Comment
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What do weekends off mean? After you've used up your 70 hours (or most of them) dispatch will route you home for your 34 hour reset. It's almost never two full days off, usually just the 34 hours. If you break down, get caught in a snowstorm or an earthquake you'll do your 34 in place and not see home until you've used up your next 70 hours.

I-5 isn't your best choice as a new driver. I-5 has worse traffic and better weather than most of the country. Instead of the usual cpm rate x miles turned math you'll be doing something more like (70 hours - hours spent parked on I-5 in stalled traffic) = Total Hours for sale = (California hours @ $29.15/hr) + (OR/WA hours @ $34.45/hr). Driving across Portland from mm 288 to mm 308 it can take 20 minutes or 4 hours depending on the time of day. You have very little say about that though. Delivery appointments are generally 8-5 m-f, which will be closer to 4 hours of traffic than 20 minutes. Seattle, Sacramento and LA are all WORSE.

Usually you will only see snow and ice between Ashland and Red Bluff. Even then you can drive YEARS without having to throw chains and most years you won't see I-5 closed unless there's a serious accident or a forest fire. Why do you care? If you decide you want to go OTR later companies will say you have no winter driving experience since you've only driven on I-5- similar to a driver with years of experience driving in Florida.

On my regular route to MD I get pulled into just TWO weigh stations - the one outside Hood River and one in WV. Going South there are SIX between Portland and Sacramento and I can get called into all of them. Depending on what they've got going on you can spend HOURS at a scale house while making $0.

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.

Nick S.'s Comment
member avatar

What do weekends off mean? After you've used up your 70 hours (or most of them) dispatch will route you home for your 34 hour reset. It's almost never two full days off, usually just the 34 hours. If you break down, get caught in a snowstorm or an earthquake you'll do your 34 in place and not see home until you've used up your next 70 hours.

I-5 isn't your best choice as a new driver. I-5 has worse traffic and better weather than most of the country. Instead of the usual cpm rate x miles turned math you'll be doing something more like (70 hours - hours spent parked on I-5 in stalled traffic) = Total Hours for sale = (California hours @ $29.15/hr) + (OR/WA hours @ $34.45/hr). Driving across Portland from mm 288 to mm 308 it can take 20 minutes or 4 hours depending on the time of day. You have very little say about that though. Delivery appointments are generally 8-5 m-f, which will be closer to 4 hours of traffic than 20 minutes. Seattle, Sacramento and LA are all WORSE.

Usually you will only see snow and ice between Ashland and Red Bluff. Even then you can drive YEARS without having to throw chains and most years you won't see I-5 closed unless there's a serious accident or a forest fire. Why do you care? If you decide you want to go OTR later companies will say you have no winter driving experience since you've only driven on I-5- similar to a driver with years of experience driving in Florida.

On my regular route to MD I get pulled into just TWO weigh stations - the one outside Hood River and one in WV. Going South there are SIX between Portland and Sacramento and I can get called into all of them. Depending on what they've got going on you can spend HOURS at a scale house while making $0.

Hey there Pacific Pearl,

Thank you so very much for the abundance of information that you have provided to me. What you have provided is a big help and I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share as much as you did. The information you have provided is very, very helpful. I really do appreciate learning some the “day in the life” issues that come up and how it is handled in regards to getting home and time off (the 34 hour reset).

Most off all, it is really great to learn what I could expect being a regional driver on the west coast. This is exactly the type of information I was needing and looking for. Before I moved to the Palm Springs area, I used to live about 12 minutes from the Los Angeles Airport . . . yet from time-to-time, our local radio and TV traffic reports would talk about the shutdown of the Grapevine (on interstate 5, the stretch of road kinda in the middle of Los Angeles and Bakersfield), due to snow/icy conditions (in the fall and winter months). Yet since I’m 55+, I only want to be a truck driver for about 6 to 7 years and then fully retire. Thus I’d rather stay away from areas in our nation with regular seasonal snow, which is why I really want to stay on the westcoast and mainly avoid the many other parts of our nation where there is seasonal snow, tornados, and flooding problems. I’m not sure where I will end up, but at a late date, I might go with a company that only does deliveries between Southern California and the southern parts of Arizona, once I have got at least one or two full years of driving experience. I figure once I am settled into this new career, I can then try to find something that will keep me closer to home, as I do have a family and would like to try to be with/near them as much as possible.

Thanks a MILLION for all of your help!

Please be safe out there, and happy travels.

Kind Regards,

Nick S.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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