One Year Mark Decisions

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Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all,

I am coming up on my one year mark with my company and I had a few questions regarding potential decisions.

So I'll start with: I really really like my company. They are a mid sized carrier, my DM is great, the team is great, the equipment is great, and I genuinely do not want to leave. They also have a heavy haul fleet that does dedicated runs along the corridor my house is on. So I could, one day, get OTR miles / Per diem / no touch freight but with a semi local home most days setup.

That said, I am currently sitting at .42 per mile. One of those pennies is a safety mile. We do get slight mileage bonuses if we hit 12k in a month and the miles are good. But..... I do this because I want to ensure my wife and kids are cared for and taken care of. After one year, is .42 cents a mile decent? What is a general median rate after year one? What is a good earning potential bracket if you had a safe and productive first year?

I only ask because, while I have nothing but love for my company, I am out here to make money. So you can see the moral dilemma.

On a side note, I only ever had two jobs before this. Spent 11 at one and 6 at the other. And the only reason I left that second job was because I moved from WA to ID. So I do enjoy earning stripes and gaining seniority. But I also know trucking is very different when it comes to personal politics and job hopping. Thoughts?

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

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.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

There's a lot to balance out more than just cpm , and it's a person decision. On one hand I could say it seems low but ultimately the question is are you making enough money to justify staying for the other reasons you stated you like it there.

For me personally, coming up on 2 years, I constantly contemplate seeking more. Our bonus structure ranges between. 01 to .08 cpm. I usually average .57 cpm on full months. But, I know how to max my potential earnings daily, weekly and monthly. I consistently perform safely and reliably so that I get maximum miles. The only thing that holds me back is me. If I choose to I can work more and thus generate more money.

It's a long way of asking, are ypu producing all that you can at your present rate? If so, and it's not enough, then perhaps it's time to look elsewhere. Also comes to mind, can you ask for more money?

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

If the company is out of Idaho, that's a fair wage for your first year. I have driven for Idaho companies except two, this one and basically the same company but under different ownership. When the investors folded, the original owner started up the one I'm with now. They start all new hires at 54 cpm , regardless of years of experience and everyone gets one cent raise in January and July. They are in West Jordan Valley UT and require two years experience....so not much more than what many companies in Idaho pay.

The company I got let go from, a sister company to Giltner, has raised their wages from 42 cents to 55 cents over the past year. When I was let go (covered the driver facing camera), I had just gotten a .02 cent raise two months earlier.

Idaho companies do not pay very well compared to other States. I believe it's because it's a "Right to Work" or at will state. If it's to make money, I would talk with them about getting a raise that is at least 50 CPM. Let him know that Idaho companies are trying to be competitive with out-of-state companies and many have raised their rates. After I got fired in May, I talked with a number of companies in Idaho and most were 48 cpm to 55 cpm for experienced drivers.

I saw you sitting in Idaho shortly after I left out from my home time around Christmas. I didn't zoom in to see where you actually were. Where are you living in Idaho?

I live in Buhl, a small town south of the Snake River and west of Twin Falls by about 15 miles. The husband and I moved there in October 2008.

Laura

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I know someone who left CFI for a smaller company that pays more CPM. This driver can't make enough most weeks to pay the bills. Getting repairs there is very difficult.

I don't know where CFI currently starts students out. By the end of my first year I was at 42CPM. I'm currently at 52 CPM. I have other perks. I love CFI for many reasons. Some of our perks are, many terminals around the country with showers, shops and wash bays. We get reimbursed for showers and parking. We earn PTO time as we drive. They get us home on time and so much more.

If you're happy where you are, stay another year.

Good luck.

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.

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

Drew, you didn't even mention how many miles you're averaging weekly, or how much of your 70 you are burning through. At your one year mark that's where I would focus my efforts. Those are numbers you can have your own influence on. You can improve those numbers without having to ask for anything.

I personally never give much thought to my pay rate. I do commit myself to producing the kind of numbers that make my pay where I like it to be. In a situation like yours, where you like everything about your company, I would stay and work on improving my results. The devil you know is often a better companion than the one you think you want to know.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I recently went through my own "should I stay or should I go," and the conclusion that I reached is that unless I were to move to another company where I am doing something substantially different from what I am now, OR I moved to a company that is assuring a substantial increase in pay, it's not a risk wirth taking. As with you, I really like the place where I work. I was losing sight of the big picture because of recent short-term annoyances in the way the industry works sometimes.

Whether you stay or move on to something else, just be sure you have carefully considered what you are doing in either making or not making the move. With that said, it can't hurt to float your application out there and talk to recruiters. Keep your "too good too be true" meter on high, if you do. I put applications in with a bunch of companies, and it actually helped me to realize that I am good where I am at. As I talked to recruiters, I realized that I wouldn't be getting much of a bump in pay (actual paychecks), if any at all and I would still be doing what I am doing at my current company. Why throw away the time invested toward more paid time off and other perks, as well as the solid working relationship with my DM for something that MIGHT be better?

I wish you the best in whatever direction you go.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

A year already?!?!?

Times flies by indeed!

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Drew,

In all my work experiences, trucking and otherwise, nothing beats working for a company that treats you well and does the right thing for you. That's a two-way street, and you're doing your part too. Also, trucking experience aside, companies don't just pay sign-on bonuses; they also pay retention bonuses as well. But they don't always advertise that they do.

Congrats on reaching the one-year mark. Keep on trucking.dancing.gif

BK's Comment
member avatar

Pay is a complicated issue because there are so many other factors involved in job satisfaction. Your CPM rate does seem on the low side. When I started my first job 4 years ago, I started at .48. Now I’m at .56 and about to go to .60 in less than 2 months. Miles driven each week is the big factor. I like my job because the CPM is good and I get lots of miles. For me, every extra penny per mile translates into approximately $100 per month in income. If your CPM rate is something that bugs you, then no one could blame you for looking elsewhere.

The other factor that matters to me is that I don’t, at my age, want to jump ship and then have to learn a new system at a different company. My comfort zone is worth a lot to me.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

's Comment
member avatar

Yes, time flies fast

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