OTR Drivers Stop Wasting Your Time And Effort!

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Big H's Comment
member avatar

To all those OTR drivers out there who work for the big fleets like Schneider, Swift, Warner,C.R England etc... STOP letting them use you and stop fooling by thinking you have a great career! I started my trucking career back in 11-2013 with Schneider national as an OTR driver. I stayed with them for 6 months they were getting me stuck up in northeast for weeks at a time! as soon as I got a 3 cents pay raise they started to lower my miles which I'm pretty sure most of you familiar with that crap. if I stayed for one full year I wouldn't be making more than 35k but then I came to the North Dakota oilfield now I'm making 72k a year! that's right 72k year... and it's all paid HOURLY anything over 40 hours counts as over time! I get up to 60 hours a week, some people gets up to 80 hours a week! not to mention my health insurance is covered by the employer 100% there are no weekly or monthly deductions. most oil companies out here also pays you up to $600 for travel allowance if you live more than 300 miles away. basically you work 6 weeks and get 2 weeks off or 4 weeks and get 1 week off (depending on the company you work for) So... those of you are single (like myself) and want to make some ca$h I encourage you to come up here and make some REAL money! we have oil drivers they make up to $35 an hour and $50 an hour for over time! my advice to you is stop letting those companies use you! don't waste your time, effort and age with them!!!

Feel free to ask any questions my fellow professional drivers :)

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Big H, I'm glad to see you so enthused over your new discovery of the oilfield work, but it's hardly justification to accuse the over the road companies of using their employees. I would dare say if you knew how much money the oil company was making off of you then you might think you were the one getting "used". Look this is what free enterprise is all about - somebody figures out how to provide a needed service and those who need it are willing to pay the price to get it done. Yes, there happens to be a big boom going on right now in the oil fields, but I've been around long enough to see two or three of those booms come and go. Enjoy it while you can, but just so everyone knows those OTR jobs will still be around when all those get rich quick oil field jobs dry up one day. It has proved itself historically several times in my short lifetime.

There is nothing wrong with getting to enjoy seeing this beautiful country of ours from one coast to the other through the windshield of a nice clean and shiny big rig while delivering the goods that even the oilfield workers need and are unfortunately paying three times the price for. Of course they are making so much money at their jobs they don't even seem to notice that they are getting gouged every time they get out of the truck for a meal or a place to lay their weary body. Twice the pay and four times the expenses doesn't always add up in the end.

I hope you can do real well there, and I'm sure you can if you can figure out how to control the expenses. I grew up with an acquaintance who was "Oilfield Trash" as the say - he mad a fortune for the four weeks that he worked and then spent it all during the two weeks he was home. He had a problem with wanting everyone to know how well he was doing by spending money all over the place. He would always head back out to the field broke until he could get his next check.

The only reasons that an over the road driver's miles would be falling off are that freight has slowed down temporarily, or the driver is just not getting it done in a way that can be depended on by the planners. Personally I got a huge raise this year and I can't even keep up with the miles they want me to do. Those big companies both want and need their drivers moving freight. This foolishness about them trying to keep people down so they can't make any money is just that - foolishness. Why do you think they would invest all that money into the equipment it takes to move freight just so they could have drivers sitting around in it picking their noses? No, if your miles are dropping off you need to figure out what the problem is, and usually if it's not a slow down in freight (which we will all experience every once in a while) there is something that you can do about improving your miles.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Can anyone else comment on the allegation of decreasing miles upon getting raises?

I agree with Daniel - that is totally false. After years in the industry and being at top pay for the companies I worked for I couldn't beg for a break. I always ran hard and had tons of miles anywhere I went.

What about getting 'stuck' in the NE?

Again I agree with Daniel. Once in a while you'll get into the Northeast and you'll get stuck running a couple of loads up there. It might last 3-5 days and then it'll be time for them to get you a load somewhere else.

Both of these issues are normally issues that arise between a driver and dispatcher. It could be that one of them or maybe both are to blame. Maybe the driver has a terrible attitude, is lazy, or isn't reliable enough to earn the big miles and special favors the others are getting. Maybe the dispatcher is making a new driver prove themselves. Maybe the dispatcher isn't paying attention and didn't notice the recent poor miles or several runs in a row in the Northeast. Maybe the dispatcher simply doesn't like the driver and doesn't care.

But that kind of stuff is nothing to worry about from any company. Once you've proven yourself to be safe, reliable, hard working, and professional you can get great miles & fair treatment at about any company in the nation. But you have to know how to go about it. You have to learn how your company is structured. You have to get to know your dispatcher and at least two levels of bosses above him. You have to know how to talk to people so you don't make enemies instead of progress every time you ask for something. But most importantly you have to develop a solid working relationship with a decent dispatcher. That's the key. Your dispather is resonsible for making sure you're taken care of. He/she is the one who will speak up to the load planners and let them know if a driver is getting shorted on miles or getting stuck in the Northeast. They are your point of contact and they will take care of things inside the offices for you most of the time.

If you're hard working, safe, reliable, and professional you can do great at pretty much any company in America. Several companies I worked for over the years had a pretty bad reputation and a lot of miserable drivers. But I always had tons of miles and they took great care of me because I always worked hard and got the job done out there. I made sure that if there was a critical load of any sort that I would be the guy they'd want on it.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

BugSmasherOne (Paul K.)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

In my first nine months I've gone from 28 to 40 CPM and my monthly miles have gone from 8500 to 11000 per month. Started in one of the oldest trucks in the fleet and in April, got the keys to a brand new truck.

Prove your worth to the company you are with and they will reward you. If not, get your year experience (which in itself is extremely valuable) and move on.

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
Great Answer!
Schneider is the best of the wors! it's only good for 6 months to year just to get your training. you will be pretty much a local driver up in the crazy traffic in NE! been there done that. if you are looking for something long term I suggests you try a smaller company. I was based out of Indianapolis I spent most of my time in NE. infact I have a friend he was based out of Dallas and he still spent most of his time in NE! they give NE to the rookies because the experienced drivers refuse to go up there. and that's where the lack of miles come!

Okay, I'm gonna give one last stab at countering this misinformation, and then I'm done with this one. I really wish we had more independent thinkers in this industry. If anyone reading this is interested in Schneider and is being swayed by these silly remarks about them, please try and use some critical thinking skills instead of just falling in line with one malcontent's very limited experience with them.

Schneider is a huge company, to claim that they will keep you in the North East so you can't get any miles is absolutely ludicrous. If all the Schneider rookies were stuck in the North East we would be seeing nothing but orange on the highways up there - they are that big. I spend a lot of my time in the North East, it's not because I'm being punished, it happens to be because there is a concentration of the population up there, and therefore there is a concentration of freight there - those two factors go hand in hand. To claim that the experienced drivers refuse to go there is also nuts - experienced drivers understand what I just said and they do their fair share of time in the North East. I've never had any problems getting plenty of miles when I'm in the North East. Sure it's more challenging than running across Wyoming, but this is the stuff that separates the men from the boys in this business. You've got to be able to handle it all when you are an OTR driver - it's the kind of stuff that shows who the professionals are - the cream is always rising to the top.

Here's another little bit of common sense that flies in the face of these disparaging comments against Schneider or the over the road trucking industry. Do you not realize that trucking companies make their money by turning miles with trucks that are loaded with freight? You can not come up with a single rational reason to support this idea that they are trying to keep you from getting any miles unless you first look in the mirror and figure out what it is that you are doing wrong. If there is one thing these trucking companies want happening it is that they need those wheels turning. We get messages on our qualcomm all the time encouraging us to get our loads in early in the morning so we can get a good re-load, there is freight all over the place sitting there waiting to be delivered and they want to be able to give you something good, and if you think Schneider is just sitting around twiddling their thumbs and leaving miles on the table you are very misinformed about the way this works.

Let me clarify that I don't work for Schneider, but I do know how all this stuff works, and I also know what happens to the drivers who just don't seem to understand the way the game is played. Producers get rewarded, they get raises, they get more miles than they know what to do with. I don't care what trucking company you work for, if you have been "getting er done" in a way that is making a real difference for you employer there are people there in the planning department that know your truck number and are looking out for you to keep you moving. This is true no matter where you work, including Schneider.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Six String, I don't necessarily disagree with most of what you just said. I think you have got to realize that your situation is quite unique due to your location. There is a tremendous volume of LTL work in your area. That is why I would pretty much disagree with this statement:

Better opportunities exist besides OTR jobs for drivers that want to maximize their income and also be home as frequently as possible. And that's actually not just my perspective, that's a fact.

While that may be a fact in your area, it certainly is not the case in most parts of the country. I'm thrilled for you to have gotten that job, but you have got to realize that most rookies with zero experience can not step right into that type of opportunity - it's just not available to them. You have a tremendous volume of LTL work in your area, and because of that the demand for drivers is very high. Those stubborn old laws of supply and demand are in your favor in your location.

We just simply try to point new inquirers into the most well established and predictable path to get their foot in the door of the industry, after that the door of opportunity is wide open to them.

Your comments on perspective are right on. I happen to love the over the road lifestyle, and having already made and lost several fortunes in my lifetime, I'm doing what I do for much more than just the paycheck. When one has the option of doing what they enjoy without having to be so consumed with the concern of how much money they are taking in I find that they can and usually will end up getting compensated very well for what they do in spite of the fact they are just out there having a great time.

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.

Over The Road:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Schneider is the best of the wors! it's only good for 6 months to year just to get your training. you will be pretty much a local driver up in the crazy traffic in NE! been there done that. if you are looking for something long term I suggests you try a smaller company. I was based out of Indianapolis I spent most of my time in NE. infact I have a friend he was based out of Dallas and he still spent most of his time in NE! they give NE to the rookies because the experienced drivers refuse to go up there. and that's where the lack of miles come!

I agree 100% with Old School in countering this. It's 100% BS. It's not that I don't believe Big H was stuck in the Northeast all the time - that's easy to believe with his lousy attitude toward almost everything. I very much doubt you had a great relationship with dispatch and I'm sure it was fun for them to keep you pinned up there in the Northeast until you finally moved on to another company.

I drove for several large carriers over the years and I always had tons of miles and went all over the country. If I wasn't getting the miles, dispatch took care of it. If I was pinned in the Northeast for a few days dispatch would take care of it.

And in fact the larger companies are the ones with all of the perks, not the smaller companies. The large companies have the big national accounts for everything, big financing behind them, fancy equipment, and benefits like having a medical practitioner to speak with or even a marriage counselor free of charge. So to say you should look for a small company for something long term is total BS. Just ask the hundreds and hundreds of drivers who have their picture on the wall at Schneider National with millions of miles and decades of experience with the company. They'll tell you a large company can be a great place to spend your career.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Big H, I'm glad to see you so enthused over your new discovery of the oilfield work, but it's hardly justification to accuse the over the road companies of using their employees. I would dare say if you knew how much money the oil company was making off of you then you might think you were the one getting "used". Look this is what free enterprise is all about - somebody figures out how to provide a needed service and those who need it are willing to pay the price to get it done. Yes, there happens to be a big boom going on right now in the oil fields, but I've been around long enough to see two or three of those booms come and go. Enjoy it while you can, but just so everyone knows those OTR jobs will still be around when all those get rich quick oil field jobs dry up one day. It has proved itself historically several times in my short lifetime.

There is nothing wrong with getting to enjoy seeing this beautiful country of ours from one coast to the other through the windshield of a nice clean and shiny big rig while delivering the goods that even the oilfield workers need and are unfortunately paying three times the price for. Of course they are making so much money at their jobs they don't even seem to notice that they are getting gouged every time they get out of the truck for a meal or a place to lay their weary body. Twice the pay and four times the expenses doesn't always add up in the end.

I hope you can do real well there, and I'm sure you can if you can figure out how to control the expenses. I grew up with an acquaintance who was "Oilfield Trash" as the say - he mad a fortune for the four weeks that he worked and then spent it all during the two weeks he was home. He had a problem with wanting everyone to know how well he was doing by spending money all over the place. He would always head back out to the field broke until he could get his next check.

The only reasons that an over the road driver's miles would be falling off are that freight has slowed down temporarily, or the driver is just not getting it done in a way that can be depended on by the planners. Personally I got a huge raise this year and I can't even keep up with the miles they want me to do. Those big companies both want and need their drivers moving freight. This foolishness about them trying to keep people down so they can't make any money is just that - foolishness. Why do you think they would invest all that money into the equipment it takes to move freight just so they could have drivers sitting around in it picking their noses? No, if your miles are dropping off you need to figure out what the problem is, and usually if it's not a slow down in freight (which we will all experience every once in a while) there is something that you can do about improving your miles.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mr M's Comment
member avatar

Get a couple years experience and you can make 70k driving hazmat tankers OTR which is a hell of a lot more glamorous than man camps and an oilfield.

Why not PA or TX why did you choose ND? Going to be brutal there over the winter

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

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.

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.

Big H's Comment
member avatar

Dear Old School, I somewhat agree with you and you have much more experience than me for sure, however regardless if I work for an oil company or an OTR company in my opinion if I work 70+ hours a week and live in a truck stop, I deserve a better paycheck than taking home $500 a week! large fleet company trucks are governed at 55 or 60 mph and they're on e-log which means you can only get a maximum of 2800 miles a week at the MOST. it comes up to around $800 to $1000 per week versus up here you can make up to 1800 a week! and not mention you will be at your company paid housing every night rather than living in a truck stop. as a driver I can work up to 70 hours per week so might as well make the most money out of it by working in the oilfield than getting paid 35 or 36 cents a mile, yet getting screwed at the shippers or by dispatchers for hours on daily basis (been there done that). As for those people who waste all their money during their time off, this job wouldn't be a right choice for them. thank God I'm not like that haha! as far as I know this boom in ND will last for at least an other 10 years. so if I work here for 3 years @ 75000+ per year, I better have some real savings by the end of the 3rd year otherwise I'm just a looser...

Thx for the reply and stay safe out there

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.

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.

Big H's Comment
member avatar

Get a couple years experience and you can make 70k driving hazmat tankers OTR which is a hell of a lot more glamorous than man camps and an oilfield.

Why not PA or TX why did you choose ND? Going to be brutal there over the winter

You are right the winter is ugly out here! but more opportunities are out here in ND and wages are higher than in TX or PA although I've been thinking about transferring to our Sand division in PA. they haul sand to the frac sites but I haven't decided yet :)

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

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.

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

Um. 2800 miles in 70 hrs on elogs . I think your math may be a tad off. I have consistently ran 32-3500 a week in a 63 mph governed truck and never had any violations. There is money to be made but its not handed too you . I 'm glad you found something that works for you. That may not work for someone else. I have a nephew doing similiar too you in Texas . After the first year he isn 't quite as high on it as you are, but he is home more to spend time with his family than when he drove for a big company . This all comes down to personal choice . Best wishes too you

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Now before everyone hops on a plane to North Dakota to get rich in the latest oil craze......consider everything. There is good money to be made up there but the expenses are super high also. The job is monotonous and often times they require some physical labor - but not always. The conditions can be tough.

It's definitely a job worth looking into and it's great for the right person in the right circumstances.

Nick G.'s Comment
member avatar

What kind of trailer do you pull. what endorsements do you have. if a company is looking for driver what kind of experience do the look for and how much.

MidnightCowboy's Comment
member avatar

Ok, now I am just getting into trucking. Schneider looks good. Can anyone else comment on the allegation of decreasing miles upon getting raises? What about getting 'stuck' in the NE? This news is making me re-think my career move. Thanks

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok, now I am just getting into trucking. Schneider looks good. Can anyone else comment on the allegation of decreasing miles upon getting raises? What about getting 'stuck' in the NE? This news is making me re-think my career move. Thanks

I feel obligated to answer.

Decreasing miles upon a raise is complete bull. They wouldn't pay you X amount if you weren't a profit. They're a business, and like all businesses, they're there to make money. I assure you this is completely false.

Jeff, some weeks in trucking are great, some weeks are just good enough and some weeks are bad. What sucks about the NE is that the distances from city to city is small so the loads aren't as long. Not going to lie, you will get NE loads here and there, but you'll usually just do a couple and leave. Maximum time you'll be "stuck" is for a week. It's not like you go there and you're there for months.

Jeff, I would strongly suggest you don't read a single sentence written by that knucklehead. His numbers are embarrassingly wrong so that tells me he has no experience and doesn't know what he's talking about. 90% of what he's said is horsecrap, yes I've read all of it.

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