Career Update

Topic 4784 | Page 1

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PJ's Comment
member avatar

Hi all, been awhile since I have had very much time to be on here. I have always lurked a bit , and stayed in touch with Daniel. After 7 months at Roehl Transport I got pretty good at the basics of my new career. A few hiccups here and there but ovrrall things went very well. I spent 6 months running a dedicated route from the south to Canada and back. Got to be a good routine 11 on. 3 off. Only one good size problem. The pay. At 32 cents a mile and running a consistent 3200-3400 a week it started making me think abit. So I started researching other avenues. Most of you folks are gonna blast this, but I said what the hell, I'll give it a shot. I left Roehl and went to KLLM and leased a truck from them. They put me through 1 week of orientation and turned me loose. I got a 2013 freightliner cascadia with 239k on it. Its very clean and in great condition. So I just finished my first month. I started in otr because i didnt have hazmat. I passed the test last week and they moved me to se regional. I have not set the world on fire, but I have all the bills paid and am making more money at little more than half the miles I ran for Roehl. I get paid percentage of load and have after 1 week shown my dispatcher I can turn the loads around . He was kinda suprised. He is all worried about telling me what each load pays before telling me the important thing. When does it pickup and deliver. He asked where I didnt want to go. I told him bankruptcy court. I told him if it pays and doent interfere with when i want home time i'll do it. He and I seem to get along well, of course dud loads exist as well as shippers/ receivers that dont care about your time. I seem to attract those types. All in all its been a great experience and for me its working. Just thought I 'd catch ya'll up on my exploits. Oh and no more Canada. Darn the bad luck!!! Lol. I'll try to check in more often.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Dedicated Route:

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."

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I guess someone needs to hold my hand through changing my profile pic. I 'm not a high tech redneck.

MRC's Comment
member avatar

Wow, good for you! There has to be some good luck stories out there (leasing) and yours might as well be one of them. How are we going to recognize you on here if you change your picture? Best of luck, Keep the grease on the truck, not on your hands. MRCgood-luck.gif

MRC's Comment
member avatar

Wow, good for you! There has to be some good luck stories out there (leasing) and yours might as well be one of them. How are we going to recognize you on here if you change your picture? Best of luck, Keep the grease on the truck, not on your hands. MRCgood-luck.gif

Didn't know if you caught it right off, I'm sure someone read my last post and said "What?" Regarding recognizing you. Same you, New pic, just playing with yah!rofl-3.gif Best to you.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey P.J. been wondering about ya!

Now I know, you had a secret and you didn't want to tell us. shocked.png

Hey, we're not going to blast ya - we'll support ya, but you know how we feel about it already. It's not for everyone, but it just might work out for you - if it doesn't you can always jump right back in the seat of a company truck somewhere. We all understand the desire for better pay, and we certainly understand wanting to be home more often or regularly. I just can't seem to see that the reward is commensurate with the risks involved.

I wish you the best, and I've got a feeling if there's a guy who is willing to give it the best shot he can, it's you.

The one thing that concerned me in your post was this statement:

I have not set the world on fire, but I have all the bills paid and am making more money at little more than half the miles I ran for Roehl.

I would think you ought to be running the kind of miles you were running at Roehl if you want to come out on top of this thing. I certainly don't know the particulars of your arrangement, but usually the guy who is his own boss has to out work everyone else if he makes a go of it. Just keep that little tip under your hat.

I loved the way you put this, and it tells me a lot about your willingness to work hard to succeed:

He asked where I didnt want to go. I told him bankruptcy court.

That's classic! Hang in there my friend and bust your tail - I'm hoping you can prove us wrong.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Thanks old school. The miles will come. I'm the FNG so they are feeling me out I'm sure. Seeing what I'm capable of. I already told them chapter and verse. I'll keep you fully informed and in turn you keep me moving. They have assured me that will happen. The proof is in the pudding. Time will tell. This week is startin out with a bang so hopefully the trend continues. I will keep ya'll updated. Your very right and I can always walk away from this lease no harm no foul and go back to being a company driver. I set aside in a seperate account for maint . And another for estimated taxes. I have had my own small business in the past and learned some of those ropes . Sometimes the not so gentle way. Lol.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

We're definitely pullin for ya! We think you're crazy and you'll be a company driver again soon enough, but we're pullin for ya!

smile.gif

Listen, at this point you're in it so go for it. Here's a few suggestions:

1) run, run, run! - forget about home time, think miles. You'll need to be shooting for that 3200-3400 miles a week if you want to take any money home. Otherwise everything you make is pretty much going into truck payments and fuel tanks. You can't make money on 2,500 miles a week. Remember, you have to make enough to have some left over so you can survive the breakdowns, slow times, and time off. That's what gets people.....they think they're doing well because when times are good they're turning a profit. So they coast along on cruise control. Suddenly three bigs things go wrong in a row and they're begging the bank to show them some mercy and allow them to stay in business. Turning a profit doesn't mean you're getting ahead. Turning a profit consistently over a period of years does.

2) Know thy numbers!! There are two types of business people in the world - those who know their numbers, and those who go bankrupt. You should start tracking everything immediately. Every nickel in and out, every mile turned, every light bulb you change on that truck - track it all accurately. Use those numbers to figure out your operating costs as quickly as possible. Then you'll know if a load is worth hauling when they offer it. If it pays a little less than you need, ask for something better if you can get it.

3) Get in really good with the people in the offices. Chances are you're going to need some favors at some point. If you get in good with the office personnel, especially the ones who can pull strings, you'll have a much better chance of doing well.

Old School has been a business owner most of his adult life and I've been one myself for a number of years. I'm also a bit concerned that it sounds like you're hoping to make as much or more money on fewer miles than you were running before. That's not going to happen. Not in the long run. You'll have some good weeks and maybe even some good months but you're also going to have your fair share of setbacks. It doesn't matter how much you're making when things are going well. What matters is how much you make over the long run - several years. If you want to survive the downturns you have to make a lot of money when things are going well and save it up. Even the large publicly traded companies which have been around for decades and have every possible advantage you can have in the industry don't make money consistently. Look at their financials. Most of them not only have quarters where they've lost money, but years where they've lost money. That's what you have to be prepared for.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

PJ good luck man. We will miss you at Roehl. I got your text the other day. My headset broke and I have not been able to make any calls to friends lately. I did finally get to actually talk to the legendary Old School. I think I scared him away thought with my ramblings. ROFL! Anyway, hope you are well and I will talk to ya soon.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone. Brett your advice is very welcomed. Some of which I am already doing. The tracking is critical. I have spread sheets setup and every penney gets logged. Whether incoming or outgoing. Also i put 11 cent per mile into a maint escrow besides the others I setup. My fiancee is also in business and we keep the information flowing so we both can examine it. She's much better at that stuff anyway. My biggest problem this far is getting the loads. The very first week was great. I burned my clock in. 6 1/2 days. But after that it dropped out the bottom. It wasn't me, but i went from a senior dispatcher to a boot rookie. The senior took a promotion. Great for him, but didn 't do me any favors. I worked 3 weeks under the newbie and tried giving him the benifit of the doubt, but he said the right words, but didn't deliver results. Me being the shy individual I am, lol I finally took it upstairs. His boss assured me it would turn around and I gave him a week to show me or I had to do something else. I went home got my hazmat and tanker endorsement and switched fleets. So we'll see if they deliver. I talk to alot of drivers here who all say miles are no problem and they will give you all you can handle. I still am waiting to see the proof of that. I hope it steps up, otherwise I will be in the office for another one on one . We had one the other day. It seems to have worked somewhat, but time will tell. I know there are going to be ups and downs . I'm prepared for the roller coaster ride . First time in my life I have had to ask for more work. Usually its the other way around . I haven't had any negative problems of any kind, no late deliveries that were my fault, or any other reason to cause them concern . I manage my time wisely, usually arrive early, and get along very well by all appearances. I am optismitic it will get better.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Josh E.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone. Brett your advice is very welcomed. Some of which I am already doing. The tracking is critical. I have spread sheets setup and every penney gets logged. Whether incoming or outgoing. Also i put 11 cent per mile into a maint escrow besides the others I setup. My fiancee is also in business and we keep the information flowing so we both can examine it. She's much better at that stuff anyway. My biggest problem this far is getting the loads. The very first week was great. I burned my clock in. 6 1/2 days. But after that it dropped out the bottom. It wasn't me, but i went from a senior dispatcher to a boot rookie. The senior took a promotion. Great for him, but didn 't do me any favors. I worked 3 weeks under the newbie and tried giving him the benifit of the doubt, but he said the right words, but didn't deliver results. Me being the shy individual I am, lol I finally took it upstairs. His boss assured me it would turn around and I gave him a week to show me or I had to do something else. I went home got my hazmat and tanker endorsement and switched fleets. So we'll see if they deliver. I talk to alot of drivers here who all say miles are no problem and they will give you all you can handle. I still am waiting to see the proof of that. I hope it steps up, otherwise I will be in the office for another one on one . We had one the other day. It seems to have worked somewhat, but time will tell. I know there are going to be ups and downs . I'm prepared for the roller coaster ride . First time in my life I have had to ask for more work. Usually its the other way around . I haven't had any negative problems of any kind, no late deliveries that were my fault, or any other reason to cause them concern . I manage my time wisely, usually arrive early, and get along very well by all appearances. I am optismitic it will get better.

I got a buddy doing southeast regional at KLLM, been OTR for 6 months I think and just switched. He said the miles are there, so I wouldn't worry too much about getting them. Do they try to talk new guys into doing the lease purchase? I talked to a recruiter that said I could do southeast regional at $.35cpm, which isn't too bad. But it seems like KLLM is more geared towards lease drivers and O/O, would you agree?

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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