Experienced Local Driver Considering CRE OTR Dollar Tree Position

Topic 33852 | Page 2

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Papa Pig's Comment
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I didn’t do dollar tree but did dollar general. But I know a few people that did dollar tree.i worked for Werner and do not really know what the pay package is like with cr England. But I do know that with Werner it is possible to make that type of money if not more after you get through the learning curve.

Personally I wouldn’t like the dollar tree/ family dollar account because you have to set up the rollers. You can be working really fast but are reliant on how fast the store employees can empty the roller on the bottom. Or you may have to wait on them to get a crew there to receive the load which can kill your time/ how much revenue you can make that week. You have to be fairly precise with the backing because the rollers have to be set up just so.

You will do some city driving but will be doing a lot of small towns. Going around shopping centers in not so great areas

Go visit a few stores . Find out when they are expecting trucks. Talk to a few drivers that are doing the job. See what they are making .and be honest with yourself about your backing abilities. I am not going to join with the others saying definitely don’t do it. But definitely put some thought into it. I was successful partly because of luck and partly because I had a very good trainer.

There is nothing wrong with normal trucking. Flatbed, dry van , reefer.

If you decide to go a touch freight route. Personally I would pick dollar general. Or food service.

Whatever you decide I wish you luck and if you ever need advice or help I will try my best.

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.


A refrigerated trailer.

Harvey C.'s Comment
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My perception when Michael worked at CR England was that Werner handed off some of the inferior Dollar General routes to CR England. I expect it would be the same with Dollar Tree.

Also, though Michael worked for CR England, he once had a trailer with brakes that were locking up and he was told to work with Werner road service to deal with it but Werner didn't seem interested in handling it since he wasn't their driver.

Larry T.'s Comment
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Used Werner breakdown 6 or 7 times in the past 2.5 years and each time was a good reasonable experience driving for Schneider. But they get tons of loads so that may be a reason, still its DG s equipment, probably someone having bad day.

My perception when Michael worked at CR England was that Werner handed off some of the inferior Dollar General routes to CR England. I expect it would be the same with Dollar Tree.

Also, though Michael worked for CR England, he once had a trailer with brakes that were locking up and he was told to work with Werner road service to deal with it but Werner didn't seem interested in handling it since he wasn't their driver.

Larry T.'s Comment
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First off I need to move to that area. They list a million reasons that could effect pay. Tenure pay, fleet performance, mileage, hard working, being best friends with fleet manager to always get great loads(lol) etc. They show 2-4 loads a week 900-1200 miles. 91k-129k is a HUGE gap.

I've been at the DG dry account for 2.5 years. First full year made around 105k, We lost the Dakotas to Blair last year and made 92k last year due to fewer miles. DG fleet shows top drivers can make up to 95k a year out of Blair Nebraska. So it does depends on where you are located. I LOVE unloading. I love the freedom. Since Im a top driver i rarely talk to my fleet manager. I'm left alone.

I agree with Papa Pig food service would be my choice. With DG it depends on where you live. A friend did it for a couple months and was only grossing around 1100 a week. They wouldnt give or had no loads for him at times and he quit. Like papa said you have to get through that learning curve so even with Dollar Tree it may be pretty hard to even hit the 1500 gross for a couple months or so.

I have a couple of older buddies that did Family Dollar(roller system) for 10+ years. They said it never was a big issue with stores. I guess you adapt to some stores are faster and some slower. I could never do it, I would lose my mind dealing with slow clowns.

Head on a swivel, GOAL, and expect 4 wheelers to do stupid crap. That worked for me. I had a perfect first year but did tear off my bumper on a boulder at a store in the 14th month. A couple weeks ago some clown pulled in behind me while doing a blindside right into my arc at night. Slammed on my brakes and corrected. The issue is the fatigue from unloading and then doing hard backs at night watching out for the 4 wheeler clowns. But yeah I agree with most on here it can be an easy way to end your career before it even starts.

So I’ll start with this; I’m 28 years old, i worked as a tire/lube tech for 3.5 years out of high school before getting into trucking in 2018. Living in a small town it’s been mostly agricultural stuff. Got my CDL in 2019 and got on a construction gig for a couple months. Local stuff dried up in 2020 but got back into it starting in 2021.

Moved to Boise mid-2022 and I’ve been in construction (the manual labor side), overnight gas station attendant, currently delivering pizza in the evening. Drove a few months of night construction back in August-October last year.

Anyway, delivery isn’t paying the bills so I’ve been back on the job search. I have no OTR experience so there’s a fair amount of driving positions I’m not eligible for. I don’t have a solid history but cumulatively I’d say I have 4 years of truck driving. Lots of miles and lots of hours but only local. I’ve been on Indeed the past few months applying to every driving job I qualify for. Finally been turning up some leads in the last couple weeks.

The one that’s grabbed my attention the most is a Dollar Tree route for CR England claiming $91-129k per year which comes out to around 1700-2400 per week. I’m just starting out so i figure I’ll fall on the lower end of the scale and honestly I’d be happy with 1500 a week. They’re saying hourly wage is $30 with time and a half after 40. Not sure about unload/stop pay or any of that.

I watched a training video demonstrating the work involved and it doesn’t look all that bad. I’ve unloaded trailers full of tires, loaded trailers full with junk tires in the heat and the cold. It’s not fun but I was only making 15-17 at the time; it was also only once per week and not multiple times per day.

At the moment i believe if i can actually take home more than 1500 a week then the work might be worth the money. I’m just on the fence about the time away, I have 3 kids and their mom works during the day and I’m not trying to leave her without another set of hands around to help.

On the other hand neither of us are financially well-off or even stable and even 6 months on this job, a year, or even two if I could swing it, would be enough to put us in a good spot.

So idk I guess I’m still weighing my options here. I got an offer to attend training/orientation in Utah where I’ll take the driving test as well. This is all assuming I can pass the driving test I guess. I haven’t done a whole lot of city driving but I’ve done a fair bit of technical driving.

I was just doing some reading on the experiences from other drivers on this forum about this route and they’re basically all bad. I was wondering if there’s anybody that’s run the route more recently, or specifically the northwest route through Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana that could weigh in on their experience. Also any advice to somebody just getting started in OTR truck driving.


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.


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.

Fleet 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.
Dilrod's Comment
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I've been on a Family Dollar account for the past 4 months, and plan to stay 2 more, so I can get on a particular local opportunity in my area that needs the experience.

I don't really have much to add, the negatives already mentioned are all true, but if you go in with the right attitude, and are careful about backing and sharp corners, it's fine.

I'm one of those guys who suck at backing, but if it wasn't for the practice I get on this account, I'd be much worse. Being aware of the career ending risk others have discussed keeps you frosty.

The rollers are ok if you keep them lubed and bring some extra things, like wood blocks and coke crates to get the right slope, so the boxes flow.

Yes, some store staff can't be pleased or depended on to do their jobs with any sense of urgency, but I've developed great relationships at many of my frequently visited stores, and they are always happy to see me. Communication and being careful with their freight is key.

The only drivers I would advise not to try this account are older people. I'm 55, an ex-farmer, ex-Marine, in half-way decent shape, and figured I had a few years of hard labor left in me. Turns out it was only a few months. My arthritis in my hands has gotten worse, and I've developed tendonitis in both elbows. One load a week is the most I can do, with a backhaul or two thrown in. If I was 40 or younger though, I'd tackle the job with gusto. The money is yours to earn.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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