Rookie Truck Driver Miles

Topic 883 | Page 1

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Britton R.'s Comment
member avatar

What kind of miles can a rookie expect during their first year on the road? I know there are a lot of variables that will affect you from week to week, but I'm trying to calculate pay and don't know where to start. I plan on running fairly hard and not taking much home time. Also with a large carrier either reefer or dry van.

I was guessing around 2500 per week. Is that reasonable?

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

What kind of miles can a rookie expect during their first year on the road? I know there are a lot of variables that will affect you from week to week, but I'm trying to calculate pay and don't know where to start. I plan on running fairly hard and not taking much home time. Also with a large carrier either reefer or dry van.

I was guessing around 2500 per week. Is that reasonable?

That is such a difficult question. There are so many variables to consider about your miles. You can deal with breakdowns, repairs, delays, bad weather, the list goes on and on. Trucking is inconsistent. One week you'll get 1300 another week you'll get 2700. It's very tough to predict. The bottom line is your relationship with your dispatcher. You can either get 500 mile loads in the northeast or 1000 mile loads in the south. Your relationship with him/her will have a direct effect on your happiness with your company.

Ill give you my numbers. I started OTR in the middle of January and its now July. So far my income has been 16,500$. The money comes in slow in the beginning because you have yet to discover ways of increasing mileage. Ways of squeezing an extra load in. All this comes with experience.

Since you'll be running hard (easier said than done) and taking little home time you would probably be making a little more than me by now since I enjoy my monthly home time. But I would just predict between 30-33k or somewhere in that ballpark.

Another thing, trucking isn't about the money. It's been said many times, we work about 80 hours a week. And that's not an exaggeration. I spend hours each day doing thing that I don't log as on duty. You can work two full time jobs and make more money. Trucking is for the lifestyle and the amazing experiences you'll go through along the way, not to meantion the beautiful scenery you'll see. If the only thing you're thinking about is money than this wouldn't work out for you.

"I want to be running hard and not get much home time" - I said the same thing too when I was in your position. But it can be difficult to run hard when you're at a shipper all day long or when you keep only getting 400 mile loads. And if you have family at home you'll start missing them real quickly. This job is fun, but you can get burnt out. Brett ran hard and he got burnt out and left trucking to focus on other things in the beginning of his career and came back to it with a different perspective, if you will. Our friend David on TT went to Swift excited to be alone but he soon started missing his children and wife and got a local job. My point is, don't overwork yourself. Don't miss the "Just have fun!" part. That's why I decided to take monthly home time as much as I can, that way I come back to it refreshed and ready to run hard for a month then I rest again and cool off with the family.

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.

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.

Britton R.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm definitely not in it for the money. I'm just trying to get an idea about how many miles are average. I know no week will be the same with factors like waiting for a load at a shipper/receiver, weather, breakdowns, etc. I'm just looking for a ballpark number to consider. I make under $20, 000 a year currently working a job I hate. Even bad months in trucking will be making more than I make now with the added bonuses of doing things I enjoy like driving, travelling and being out by myself. The money nice but low on the list of why I want to be a driver.

As far as hometime I realy don't have a reason to come home often. I'm a single guy with a very small family and just a small group of friends. Coming home every month isn't that important. Seeing the country is way more important to me. After a year or so I plan on taking more breaks. Not really to go home but to visit cities I've always wanted to see.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Brett ran hard and he got burnt out and left trucking to focus on other things in the beginning of his career and came back to it with a different perspective, if you will

That's absolutely true. When you're new, you do everything the hard way because you haven't learned how to make life easier on yourself and you haven't adjusted to life on the road. So 2000 miles to a rookie might be a challenge, but after you've been out there for a year or two it would be awful boring.

To answer your question, expect about $32k-$35k that first year. Don't try to push yourself too hard. One important lesson I learned early in my career is if you push yourself to the point of exhaustion, it takes a lot longer to recover.

I used to drive straight through to the customers at night before sleeping because I was always afraid of being late. So a lot of times I would just be wiped out and then I'd go to bed for 5 or 6 hours and start a new day. Well 5 or 6 hours is plenty of sleep when you're used to living on the road and you're not completely exhausted. But it isn't enough when you've completely exhausted yourself and you haven't adjusted to the erratic sleep patterns yet.

So go out there with safety first and foremost in your mind, and try to enjoy yourself along the way. You have to work hard if you're going to get on that "A" list of top drivers and get the great runs and home time down the road. But know when to draw the line and don't be afraid to make conservative decisions, especially in the beginning.

I think shooting for 2300-2600 miles per week is a great start the first few months running solo. After I had been out there for a year or two I could safely turn about 3000-3200 without burning out. But not in the beginning. It takes its toll after a while if you consistently push yourself too hard.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

What kind of miles can a rookie expect during their first year on the road? I know there are a lot of variables that will affect you from week to week, but I'm trying to calculate pay and don't know where to start. I plan on running fairly hard and not taking much home time. Also with a large carrier either reefer or dry van.

I was guessing around 2500 per week. Is that reasonable?

double-quotes-end.png

That is such a difficult question. There are so many variables to consider about your miles. You can deal with breakdowns, repairs, delays, bad weather, the list goes on and on. Trucking is inconsistent. One week you'll get 1300 another week you'll get 2700. It's very tough to predict. The bottom line is your relationship with your dispatcher. You can either get 500 mile loads in the northeast or 1000 mile loads in the south. Your relationship with him/her will have a direct effect on your happiness with your company.

Ill give you my numbers. I started OTR in the middle of January and its now July. So far my income has been 16,500$. The money comes in slow in the beginning because you have yet to discover ways of increasing mileage. Ways of squeezing an extra load in. All this comes with experience.

Since you'll be running hard (easier said than done) and taking little home time you would probably be making a little more than me by now since I enjoy my monthly home time. But I would just predict between 30-33k or somewhere in that ballpark.

Another thing, trucking isn't about the money. It's been said many times, we work about 80 hours a week. And that's not an exaggeration. I spend hours each day doing thing that I don't log as on duty. You can work two full time jobs and make more money. Trucking is for the lifestyle and the amazing experiences you'll go through along the way, not to meantion the beautiful scenery you'll see. If the only thing you're thinking about is money than this wouldn't work out for you.

"I want to be running hard and not get much home time" - I said the same thing too when I was in your position. But it can be difficult to run hard when you're at a shipper all day long or when you keep only getting 400 mile loads. And if you have family at home you'll start missing them real quickly. This job is fun, but you can get burnt out. Brett ran hard and he got burnt out and left trucking to focus on other things in the beginning of his career and came back to it with a different perspective, if you will. Our friend David on TT went to Swift excited to be alone but he soon started missing his children and wife and got a local job. My point is, don't overwork yourself. Don't miss the "Just have fun!" part. That's why I decided to take monthly home time as much as I can, that way I come back to it refreshed and ready to run hard for a month then I rest again and cool off with the family.

Man, you are sounding like an old salty hand more and more.. smile.gif

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.

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.

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