Paying Your Dues

Topic 5112 | Page 1

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Thomas M.'s Comment
member avatar

Everyone talks about paying your dues and getting through the first year. There is really no way to sugar coat it, the first year sucks. The failure rate is huge and recruiters are full of s***. Reality is that a recruiter is nothing more than a salesperson and they will tell people anything to get them through the doors. Whether you go to a company school or a private school it does not really matter the job is the same. Anyone who has the false hope that you are going to start with high wages and be home every night fresh out of school is sadly mistaken. The reality is that until you have a few years under your belt you are going to struggle and the divorce rate is extremely high.

It took a long time but i finally got on with a small company where i am home every night and off every weekend. It was along road and i thought about quitting so many times that i lost count. In the end it all worked out and now my family and i are very happy. The best thing i can advise to anyone considering a career in being a truck driver is to just hang in there it will get better and you will get where you want to be if you just work hard and never give up.

MidnightCowboy's Comment
member avatar

Everyone talks about paying your dues and getting through the first year. There is really no way to sugar coat it, the first year sucks. The failure rate is huge and recruiters are full of s***. Reality is that a recruiter is nothing more than a salesperson and they will tell people anything to get them through the doors. Whether you go to a company school or a private school it does not really matter the job is the same. Anyone who has the false hope that you are going to start with high wages and be home every night fresh out of school is sadly mistaken. The reality is that until you have a few years under your belt you are going to struggle and the divorce rate is extremely high.

It took a long time but i finally got on with a small company where i am home every night and off every weekend. It was along road and i thought about quitting so many times that i lost count. In the end it all worked out and now my family and i are very happy. The best thing i can advise to anyone considering a career in being a truck driver is to just hang in there it will get better and you will get where you want to be if you just work hard and never give up.

Thanks for the friendly advice! Is it best to get wage and benefit agreements in an email with a recruiter? Isn't there also a final official contract drivers sign prior to starting with a company that may include these items as well? Thx

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Get all ya want from a recruiter in writing. And you will be told the recruiters are in the recruiting depart and have absolutely no say so in your employment. Your not going to get ripped off by the company. You will get what everyone else gets at your experience level.

Rolling Thunder's Comment
member avatar

I can't complain. My year was actually pretty good and I am in a much better, dare I say, dream position now. I think your experience with whatever company is your own and we can make the job harder on ourselves at times. There are way too many resources here to go into this industry expecting anything different than reality.

Just wanted to add my take on the subject.

crazy rebel's Comment
member avatar

Sounds bout right i did 5 stinkin yrs in otr , would still be doin it if it wrent for a mistake i made while thinkin i was being safe, but im hapier bein local now believe it or not i feel sorry for otr drivers that r out 3+ weeks at a time makin the same i do in a week and i go home every night.

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.

Doug 's Comment
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Dont feel sorry for me, I love it smile.gif

Chris L.'s Comment
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Sounds bout right i did 5 stinkin yrs in otr , would still be doin it if it wrent for a mistake i made while thinkin i was being safe, but im hapier bein local now believe it or not i feel sorry for otr drivers that r out 3+ weeks at a time makin the same i do in a week and i go home every night.

I'm loving OTR and I've only been home 1 day in 4+ months. I drove strait trucks local for 9 years was home every day and made more money than I make now, I'm OTR for the lifestyle and it don't feel like work to me.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Anyone who has the false hope that you are going to start with high wages and be home every night fresh out of school is sadly mistaken.

This statement needs qualifying. If you are referring to OTR gigs or job opportunities with truckload carriers, then yes, your statement is true. I'll take this as yet another opportunity to preach the LTL gospel. smile.gif

Truth of the matter is that depending on where somebody lives, and if the timing is right, a student driver can get on with a LTL company and be home weekly if not every night, and earn a living that includes better wages than any truckload carrier is offering. And usually where there is one LTL company terminal , there will be other company terminals, so you can have your pick. You have to be in a relatively major freight lane. Since a lot of people live in the NE, this would qualify a lot of people. A lot of freight gets moved in the NE. And, there are some companies that will let drivers basically stay out for 5 days at a time, especially if they are not close enough to a terminal to get home daily. These particular drivers will still be home more frequently than most OTR gigs, and will be earning a higher income than any truckload carrier could offer.

This is mostly a forum that speaks about OTR opportunities, because up until recent years usually just OTR jobs were available to new drivers - not so much anymore. You have to pick a good LTL company, but a lot of LTL companies are now hiring w/o experience. Times have changed. So while I understand the OP was probably speaking about the OTR world, I feel obligated to also let other prospective drivers know that there might be other opportunities available to you, depending where you live, and what you're looking for. Had I not known about my LTL opportunity, I would've been away for weeks at a time with a young family, earning close to half of what I earn now, even as a rookie solo driver. So I feel obligated to "pay it forward" in case there is another prospective driver out there that might have an LTL opportunity waiting and not even know about it. Some drivers want the OTR experience, some drivers merely accept being away while having a family at home. If you want better pay with more hometime, there are other opportunities for you as a new driver if you are in the right place - look into LTL companies.

Again, some drivers choose the OTR lifestyle and enjoy it. I'm happy for you drivers, and you have my respect.

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.

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.

Victoria M.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry I'm not a driver but thinking about a career change. What is an LTL company?

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
David's Comment
member avatar

I did a year of OTR , and being a rookie at the time, I failed a ton... Wife and I had our issues so I got a local job, home every night and off weekends.. Sweet.. It wasnt tell the 6 month mark with local I felt out of place.. I stuck to my guns, did another 6 months and at that time I felt I needed the open road. Wife and I researched company's together, most of them denied me due to the yr I spent local and due to a few incidents I had locally... But GTI took me, and I couldn't be happier.

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.

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