Making The Most Money Out Of Your Cdl

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6 string rhythm's Comment
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I'd not suggest Central Transport or YRC (Yellow / Roadway merger). I"ve not heard good things about these LTL companies.

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Just curious what you have heard bad about YRC? I work for YRC and as with all jobs there are pluses and minuses but I am VERY happy with them. I planned on trying to take a pic later and make a post about the pay. I just picked up my check that has my totals from my first 6 months with them. I've grossed 32,000 in that 6 months. I do pay union dues, which my total for this year will be higher than normal because of the initial cost of joining, but standard dues are $50 per month. My families insurance is FULLY paid so I look at my union dues as the cheapest insurance I have ever had lol. I think the benefits package may depend on the local union so it could be different for someone else.

I'm currently at 85% of scale and will receive a 5% increase each of the first 3 years until I reach full scale.

Not trying to sell YRC on anyone, just hate to see someone not take a look at a company that has been VERY good to me so far based on hearsay.

Woody

Woody, I have my reasons for not suggesting YRC, and it is not based on hearsay. My best friend's dad started and ended his career with YRC, 40+ years. I've talked to more than a couple YRC drivers. I'm glad you are enjoying YRC, so what I said was not meant as a personal attack. For me, I wouldn't work for a company that takes a percentage of my paycheck, every paycheck, and I'm not talking about union dues or benefits. Why don't you explain the percentage YRC takes off the top from every driver? You know what I'm referring to, right?

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
Trucktographer's Comment
member avatar

David, that was one of the most epic things I've ever read! We've had over 42,000 comments in this forum in the past 18 months or so and we've had some real doozies. But that was as good as any I can remember. Seriously I'd love to figure out a title for that and post it as an article here on the website. People really need to read that. That is the epitome of the character and spirit you need to really thrive in trucking. Anyone can learn to shift gears and back into a dock. Those are just basic job skills. But it truly takes a special person to get out there and live it day in and day out. It sounds to me like you could be on the cover of a book about it!

smile.gif

Poor Brett, having to deal with two Littles at once.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Karl A.'s Comment
member avatar

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So LTL is basically long haul with multiple stops and not a full trailer? do I understand this right? Why does LTL pay so much more? is it simply bc of many more hours?

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LTL normally has freight for several companies on one trailer (or two we pull a LOT of doubles) so their combined freight fills the trailer. In LTL there are linhaul drivers and city drivers. The linhaul drivers, which is what sixstring and myself are, pull the freight from terminal to terminal then that freight is broken down and delivered by city drivers. This means I am never setting at a customers location waiting for them to unload my truck. Once in a while I may have to wait at a terminal for the dock workers to complete my trailer but I spend far less time setting compared to the short time I was OTR. I get paid for all my wait time and at a respectable wage.

When LTL is going cross county then it goes from terminal to terminal and is picked up by different drivers so the freight can keep moving. So a driver might take a load out of Indianapolis and take it 600 miles west to another terminal where he stops and goes to a hotel for his 10hr break. While he is on break another driver will take that load and keep it moving until it reaches its final terminal or he hits the farthest terminal he can. So its sort of like a team driving mentality, they try to keep the freight moving.

The higher pay is not because of more hours. Being a driver you only have so many hours in a day you can run no matter who you work for. Some may disagree with what I am going to say but one of the big reasons LTL pays more is there are still LTL union companies. This helps keep pay higher for all LTL workers since the non union companies are competing with the union companies for quality workers. There are other factors as well I'm sure, but this definitely effects the wages.

Woody

Thanks for the knowledge woody, very helpful.. So the better LTL situation would be linehaul instead of city driving? Does city and linehaul pay the same or is that a whole new can of worms? As for the unions, I grew up in florida only union I have ever seen was Disney lol.. but yeah I would like to learn as much about unions in the trucking industry as possible, suggestions?

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Woody's Comment
member avatar

Woody, I have my reasons for not suggesting YRC, and it is not based on hearsay. My best friend's dad started and ended his career with YRC, 40+ years. I've talked to more than a couple YRC drivers. I'm glad you are enjoying YRC, so what I said was not meant as a personal attack. For me, I wouldn't work for a company that takes a percentage of my paycheck, every paycheck, and I'm not talking about union dues or benefits. Why don't you explain the percentage YRC takes off the top from every driver? You know what I'm referring to, right?

The percentage you are talking about was a negotiated give back from the drivers to the company after the finacial crash of the country and the stuggles the company was going through. Basically the employees voted to take a 15% pay cut to help strengthen the company. Some will say it was needed some will say it wasnt but that is what it is. The drivers were making over 60 cpm when they agreed to the cut. At least they had a say in accepting the cut or taking their chances, when my wifes pay was cut during the downturn she had no say whatsoever. She is a nurse.

Why they show the giveback the way they do on the checks instead of just showing the current pay scale i do not know. Everyone gets paid the full negotiated rate that was agreed to, its not like the company is just keeping employees money. And the negotiated rate plus benefits is still strong for the industry.

Woody

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

Woody's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the knowledge woody, very helpful.. So the better LTL situation would be linehaul instead of city driving? Does city and linehaul pay the same or is that a whole new can of worms? As for the unions, I grew up in florida only union I have ever seen was Disney lol.. but yeah I would like to learn as much about unions in the trucking industry as possible, suggestions?

City drivers are usually paid hourly since they set at docks. They may also have to work the docks. It usually takes years to be a city driver as it goes by seniority.

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

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Woody's Comment
member avatar

BTW 6 String I didn't take it as a personal attack but I do appreciate you making sure it's clear. I meant nothing personal either just wanting to make sure your info was solid. You know how the trucking world is lol.

It's always tough reading words on a forum because you can't see expressions and know how things are meant. But again I took nothing negative personally from your comments.

Woody

Phillip H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Sarge! I to an a vet, Veitnam era. I will be attending Swift in a few months. Just saw your post. So your 62? Heck you could have been my little brother! I'll be 67 next month! Your right, don't take SS yet. If you do you'll be taxed one dollar for every three you make, on top of the normal payroll deductions. That means if you make just $30,000. , After various employee taxes deducted, when you file at end of the year, be prepared to pony up another 10k! Not fair but that's how it is. Unlike you, I did not chose a military career. Lost to many friends in VN, and a second trip scared me. I ended up as a sales director, traveled East to west, getting home few times a year, or stop on when I was in between ( duty stations). I'm like you, been active whole life, Great health with no issues. Have never drank, smoked or any drugs. Like yourself, I'm up for aast adventure. Wife gone, kids , grandkids grown, so why not? It did 6 years previously, reefer deliveries, but that was before CDL. I've not much to do other than a part time gig, so why not. The opportunity to maybe team with your son, is great! You and he will be a great asset to each other, versus solo, and the long hrs of a solitude existence. My prayers for you both Sarge, be safe, oh, and thank you for your service.

"We" spend a lot of time on the forum discussing $$$ and paying lip service to the fact that driving is a "lifestyle". Maybe we ought to spend more time considering what lifestyle we are actually after rather than just $$$. I've never made a lot of money, but I've never been stone broke either. I joined the USAF at 21 and gave them 20 years, retiring as a MSgt (E7). Enlisted folks don't make a lot, but I/we raised a family and bought a home on that salary. I lived in tents, got sent off for a deployment with 24 hours notice right after getting "home" from a leave, I've spent several months in the Aleutians courtesy of the USAF and US Navy, I've lived in tents at several scenic locations, all due to deciding to "do something" besides stay in my hometown area and work at a safe job. Since "retiring" I've done IT for about 20 years and never really made much more than I was making in the USAF when considering all pay and benefits. One nice thing is that I don't sweat healthcare coverage - 20 years in the military will do it for ya! so, my salaries have never had to suck up huge insurance payouts.

Now, when I joined the USAF there was a little think called Vietnam going on. I was blessed to NOT be sent to that theater, but it certainly could have happened. So, I measured the risk and decided to go for it anyway. It paid off big time. When you are young you shouldn't sweat the "I don't know if I can" and need to try on "how do you fire this sucker up!". I keep seeing comments on here about how nervous, scared, etc. many are about school, testing, mountains, load securement.... Come on! Where's the sense of adventure?

I'm 62 years old. I'm getting ready to "retire" again and am actually old enough for early Social Security - I'm not taking it since I really want to "do" something else and would rather continue building my "benefit". So, it happens my eldest son just started driving for Swift. He was not so much nervous and anxious since he'd been laid off and out of work for a while. He zipped through the written stuff and got all his endorsements and HAZMAT before getting to Roadmaster. We're glad he came home to take this chance and regroup - starting a new career is never easy. As he and we are learning more about trucking I let him know I'd looked at driving back in 93 but didn't go that route due to family obligations. However, we got to talking at team driving and voila! a new plan for my "retirement".

At 62 my plan is to go to Swift school since I qualify for their veteran benefit and may be able to use the scholarship with no up front costs. Also, Sean is already with Swift and should road test tomorrow following several weeks with his mentor. The plan is to talk Swift into issuing him a "team" truck so he'll already be using "our" truck while I'm getting through school and training/orientation. I am so blessed to have a wife (35 years!) that will let me take off on a new adventure when most guys my age are looking to slow down and play golf! I know I don't have a lot of good healthy years left, but I'm sure going to make them count. For me, this is quality of life. I've been slowly losing my mind the last 15 years working in IT. Two jobs have not presented the promised promotion potential nor the satisfaction I got in the USAF. Yeah, I'll admit that lifers don't do verywell in the civilian work force...at least most of the guys/gals I know chaffed under the metrics rule regimen.

So, start looking at yourself and asking what you actually want. Stability, the house, new car, 8-5 with paid vaca? Please, go for it. But, do not expect to find that in trucking...

OK, off the soap box. I love this site and realize I'm older than most. But, I'm looking for the same thing most of you are - but I kinda know what I want...I need a little adventure before I head for Top of the World or the Villages!

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

Dm:

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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