Where's The Money At?

Topic 7991 | Page 1

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J.K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey guys,

I've got two options at this point. I've been approved for Maverick to pull flatbed and I've got an offer from Trans Am to pull reefer. Maverick offers the higher CPM but I'm wondering if since it's flatbed that's to compensate for the time I'm going to spend loading/unloading myself. Trans Am offers a flat rate for loaded and unloaded along with 50/50 drop and hook. Am I going to get more miles running reefer than flatbed? I need some advice on the matter.

Thanks!

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

The pay is going to be very similar in both arenas. It's way more important that you decide what type of freight you would prefer to haul. The lifestyle and job duties of a flatbedder is way different than that of a reefer , dry van , or tanker driver. Learn all you can about the differences between them and go with the one you feel suits you best. There's a lot to be said for enjoying your job out there on the road. It's so stressful and challenging all the time that the last thing you need is to dislike your core job duties and responsibilities. It could make things utterly miserable after a short while.

Here's a couple of articles:

Choosing A Truck Driving Job Part VI: Dry Van and Refrigerated Companies

Choosing A Truck Driving Job Part VII: Tankers and Flatbeds

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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 have pulled dry van and currently pull a refer. To me 50/50 drop hook on refer is scary. The shipper's/receiver's vary greatly on your wait time. You learn those fairly quickly. Although flatbed us not my forte I know alot of drivers and from what they tell me their wait times are generally much less than mine. I end up with about 80/20 and it generally works well, but there are those times you sit waiting. I know Maverick has both flatbed and refer. But I don't see them with many staged trailers where I go. In fact I haven't ever seen a staged trailer from them. Those articles Brett listed are very good ones to read through. We are all different and you gotta be happy with what your doing. I wish you well no matter your choice

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

JK, I agree with the others - the main thing is you need to enjoy what you are doing. I always encourage new drivers to not even get all tangled up in where the best money is. Here's how it works out in the real world: The folks who love what they are doing, and I don't care if it's reefer , flat-bed, dry van , or one of those stinky old cattle trailers, they are the folks making the most money out here. I've always been a top earner out here, and I try to educate other drivers when they are receptive. It always takes a little time at first for a rookie to get himself into the lifestyle, but once you get the hang of this thing we call trucking you can earn a good solid steady paycheck. There are no rich truck drivers, unless their wealth came from something else, but there are some very content drivers with one of the nicest paying independent blue collar jobs available.

The thing about this job is that you are able to create your own opportunities. It is very much akin to being self-employed - what I mean is that the creative folks who don't mind busting their tail and putting in the hours required, making the sacrifices necessary, and rolling with the punches without letting every unexpected twist knock them out of the game, can enjoy an unusual level of success.

I don't consider the higher pay for flat-bed work to be a compensation for your labor - that is a part of flat-bedding, but any successful flat-bedder does that because he enjoys the physical part of his job. We get paid just like everyone else - by the mile. The reefer driver doesn't get paid while he's sitting there waiting for that lettuce to finish growing, and the flat-bedder doesn't get paid for throwing those straps, but I'll promise you there are only a handful of reefer drivers whose miles can rival mine. If you can find a job that you enjoy doing and learn the tricks of the trade as far as managing your time for success, you will find where the money is.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

J.K.'s Comment
member avatar

I appreciate the feedback immensely! The articles were helpful, thanks Brett. I agree with what you guys have said as well. Even in other jobs I've done I've chased the money and ended up miserable and half the time even broker because I ended up quitting my job. With trucking I don't want to do that. This is something special to me and I don't want to throw it away. To start out I think Trans Am may be the place to go. I like the physical aspects of flatbed on the surface but realistically when it's pouring down rain or snowing like the ****ens I'm not so sure I would appreciate it as much. Home time is a big thing with me too and Trans Am may get me more since their terminal is a bit closer. I really appreciate the advice guys. Thanks for helping to put things in perspective more clearly!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I appreciate the feedback immensely! The articles were helpful, thanks Brett. I agree with what you guys have said as well. Even in other jobs I've done I've chased the money and ended up miserable and half the time even broker because I ended up quitting my job. With trucking I don't want to do that. This is something special to me and I don't want to throw it away. To start out I think Trans Am may be the place to go. I like the physical aspects of flatbed on the surface but realistically when it's pouring down rain or snowing like the ****ens I'm not so sure I would appreciate it as much. Home time is a big thing with me too and Trans Am may get me more since their terminal is a bit closer. I really appreciate the advice guys. Thanks for helping to put things in perspective more clearly!

Just a warning though, Trans Am's drivers are typically lease operators. They are primarily a lease company and from what I've heard, they like to push the lease onto the driver. Whatever you do, just don't lease with them. Stay a company driver. You won't make a dime leasing with them.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

James U.'s Comment
member avatar

Your right Daniel I have looked into them myself for the lease side and found that there lease opps don't get much per mile its under a $1 per mile.. There company side didn't seem all that bad. I agree with you stay on the company side.

J.K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the heads up! The offer I have is for company driver. I'm not interested in leasing whatsoever. I have heard a mix of things about Trans. I've heard their equipment is top notch though and they give some advanced training. I'd like to get on there and get my wheels wet and then re-access after a period of time. I've had other company offers but I need a little advanced training right out of the gate so that's my main reason for picking between Trans and Maverick. West Side and Schneider made me offers but Schneider I need more manual experience (I'm training on an automatic day cab , with a 28' flat bed trailer, that's all this school has to offer and NO I didn't have any luck with other company sponsored training) and West Side does a driving test on day one and I'm not sure about going from a 28' flatbed to a 53' van with no practice time whatsoever. After a little experience if it isn't working at Trans, West Side would be my next, and possibly last, stop. They have a driver mentor program too, so eventually I'd likely learn to drive manual there somehow.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

James U.'s Comment
member avatar

Your doing the right thing getting in get your wheels wet . Best of Luck !!!!!!

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