Nearly 6 Months Experience Not Sure What To Do Next

Topic 33551 | Page 1

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Aj 95's Comment
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So my BF and I have been teaming for transam for almost 6 months now. Fresh out of school they scooped us up and we live in FL so orientation in tampa was easy.however We were thinking after our lease is up next month we wanna find better because transam isnt cutting it. theres little home time and the only way we could team was to do the lease and its not a good one! The money is pretty bad. Although i knew we had to start at the bottom,I think we've earned a bit better. squeaky clean records for both of us. No accidents or tickets in the past 3 years and no drug fails or refusals ever. I dont need to be home weekly but a few days a month would be nice. At least 1k a week each plz! Even with hitting over 5k miles sometimes we havent made that yet..any ideas or suggestions?

BK's Comment
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Aj, welcome to the forum.

I’m going to put in a suggestion that you contact the company I drive for, JS Helwig and Son out of Terrell, TX.

They only do reefer and not much in Florida so that might be an issue. We are about 300 drivers strong and almost all solo drivers. However, they do accept teams and I know they have at least one husband/wife team right now. Very good company with driver friendly policies, .55 CPM to start and really nice, well maintained equipment. 1K per month for each of you should be no problem. Even with freight being slow, I still am getting over 3000 miles per week. Last week was almost 3800.

It sounds like you would be very much in demand because of your team driving and good record. I guess you could apply to multiple companies from this site and see who would be the best fit.

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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.

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.

Old School's Comment
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any ideas or suggestions?

First... congratulations on your clean record for your first rookie six months. That's a great accomplishment. Keep it up.

Second...remember that trucking rewards the folks who can manage to accomplish the most. I know you guys are new to this, and you obviously have figured out something is wrong with your current situation. I can empathize with you. I started my career with a company that had terrible online reviews. I still managed to do well there. You're convinced you need a change, so let's go with that.

Don't do another lease. If another company lies to you, claiming that's the only way they can put you in a truck, just walk away from the offer. You got fooled once. Don't fall for it again.

Both Knight and Swift have terminals in Florida. Also Cypress runs a good operation from Florida. I'd contact each of them to check for team opportunities. I only mentioned those three because of your location.

Most trucking companies don't want to hire Floridians. Otherwise I'd say contact companies that focus on expedited freight requiring teams. CRST comes to mind, and maybe contact Covenant. Many companies hire teams, but I'd try to land something where they are more focused on team freight.

You might want to look at some LTL companies like Estes or Old Domion - maybe Saia. They pay very well, and often have team opportunities. It's probably not going to be OTR necessarily, but it could be long haul work possibly or just repetitive work in a particular region.

At least 1k a week each plz! Even with hitting over 5k miles sometimes we havent made that yet

Okay, here's some brutal honesty. That statement bothered me. Of course I'd love to see you making more money. That's understandable. What bothered me is it sounds as if you seldom see that 5,000 miles mark. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it sounds like you guys are having a hard time being highly productive.

My experience in this business has taught me a few lessons. One of them is the high producers get special treatment. They get the best loads and go home when they request it.

Do you think it's TransAm's fault for your low miles, or do you see ways your team could function more efficiently? I continually try to improve my performance out here. For years I've taught folks that we determine our own income in trucking. After a million miles I'm even more convinced of that.

I'm fine with you switching to another company. I just want you to focus on how you can make improvements in your results. That's where you will make progress in this business. Be a force to reckon with.

Always set goals and try to do what you can to reach them. Once you're reaching certain levels of performance then try improving your results. You can be very successful at this, but you can't fool yourself by blaming your employer for keeping you poor and hungry.

Trucking companies make money the same way their drivers do. That's why the most productive drivers get special treatment. They've established their dependability and street smarts. They are savvy and wise. They know how to get a lot done. Therefore they are trusted to get the most work.

We wish the best for you guys, and hope you'll let us know how things turn out for you.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Aj 95's Comment
member avatar

"it sounds as if you seldom see that 5,000 miles mark. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it sounds like you guys are having a hard time being highly productive"

Hey i definitely see that your right about the lease! Its a no go. Also i see your concern with the mileage. If we get loads for 1800 miles but with 3 days to get there. we split it and Each drive 450 a pop at around 60 mph (gov'd at 70) and that takes around 8 hours barring obstacles. We get to the shipper in less than 40 hours were gonna be sitting there or at a loves. we manage our clocks and arent sitting doing 34 HR resets unless its inevitable such as stuck at a shipper or loves because were early or waiting for TA for some reason. We've talked to TA and they say well get u guys good loads all the time but sends us wat they send. Weve suggested relays so we can keep rolling but it normally doesnt happen. Weve also gotten emails commending our professionalism and efficiency. Talking to other TA drivers they arent getting even 2500 miles. Company starts at 30 cpm and we make 1.07 cpm but with the lease payment and fuel...yeah lol were not perfect and have a lot of growing to do but i know were also a great team so far and work as hard as theyll let us. Ill be looking into those companies you guys listed for sure! Thanks for your knowledge :)

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

What are your guys' long term goals in trucking? Your location and current state of the economy may make that difficult to land at the moment but always try to move forward. If your hope is to at one point go local check out the LTL companies and see if they have team runs down there. When I lived in the Tampa area I frequently seen Old Dominion and Estes sleepers. I'm not sure if time spent running teams counts towards seniority but it'd be a great way to bank a ton of cash to buy a home and a great savings to eventually land a home daily run.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
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