Truck Driver Pay....Your Missing Point

Topic 892 | Page 1

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guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Lately here on the forums the subject of money have came up a lot. I don't blame rookies for asking that. I have done that. But you are missing the bigger picture. I know you don't want to get ripped off but that job is already being done for you. We,as in Trucking Truth, would tell people if there was truly a bad company out there ripping people off. There are not any or at least not any that would hire rookies in the first place. Most starter companies including those that have there own schools a driver can make at least $28k to $33 the first year. What other industry can you only pay out $3500 to $4000 and start off making $28k to $33k the first year? I would say none. With no experience you are now making more than most people after 5 years of experience at a stay at home job. The top 35% of the country only makes $30k to $35k or more a year. SO with very little money you are now making more than 65% of the country makes.

SO what if you are not making top pay at the company. You have zero experience. In the first year you are learning the ropes so to speak in trucking. The first 6 months are the worst due to several factors including but not limited to sleep schedule,pickup and delivery,traffic,weather driving and how to control your own bad attitude when things don't go the way YOU think they should go.

The 2nd 6 month period will get easier as time goes on cause you are learning to do things more efficient. Hopefully by this time you have done a good job and you have a great relationship with your dm/fm and are getting good miles.

The first year you not only are you making more than most other people at stay at home jobs but you are also gaining invaluable experience that will take you further in your career. Because of being more efficient the 2nd year you will make more money and the third year you should be up around the max people can make in the industry without going into specialized training and/or more schooling for going into company office.

Now lets add in another aspect of trucking.....FAMILY. If your a single father or mother then that is a different story ad this next part is not for you. If you have a wife and kids or just a wife at home that you are trying to support then you can easily be done. If you are the only one working it will not be easy and no you will not have a lot of extra money but it can be done. People do it everyday. Now if you want to have a stress free life on the road and have extra money to do stuff with like vacations or even by a house or new car then continue reading.....

One thing we see time and time again are people coming into trucking wanting to know what company to go with so they can support their family.

Gone are the days where the man alone goes out and earns a living while the woman stays home and takes care of the kids. One thing people should know is that since the late 1980's early 1990's with our volatile economy and with stuff getting more expensive and the cost of living getting higher we,as a society, have not been a one income family since back then. Now it takes at least two people in the household to bring in a paycheck to provide the needed stuff for the house.

So if there are at least 2 adults in the house there should be enough to more than make ends meet. Truck drivers ,even at rookie stage, will be making at least $2000 to $2500 dollars a month. And the other adult in the house can bring in,even if super lazy, at least $1000 a month. Now that is $3000 to $3500 hundred a month. Who can not live off of that? $2000 to $2500 a month for a single person is plenty to live off. If you can not that means you are living far beyond your means and need to look into cutting a few things back. And if married,sorry, this is not your mom and dad's generation and it takes two people to make it now a days.

Sure $30k to $40k is enough for two people to live on. A lot of people do it but if you throw kids into the mix at least two people need to be working.

I will end this by saying that you can make a very good living in trucking if everyone does there part including those at home meaning if your an adult you need a job to help bring in at least some money. The 2nd person with the job does not have to bring in a lot of money but every little bit helps.

Now if you are reading this and are saying I don't know what I am talking about.....that is your right to have a different opinion and you have every right to be rofl-1.gif wrong..

But seriously every ones situation is different and only YOU know how your family works but for the most part the above text will help give you some understanding of what kind of pay you can expect.

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.

Fm:

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.
Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

Excellent post, Guyjax. Really puts it in perspective. After being unable to get work in my lifelong career for two years, I went to trucking because: 1. I've always been interested and 2. As you said, the upfront investment in money and time is relatively low.

One thing I've seen stated other places is that the shortage of truckers is a 'lie' and the number of rookies coming into the field just drives down the CPM for all drivers. I'm interested to hear the experienced truckers here respond to that, because I trust you guys a lot more than on the other places.

My wife and I's long term goal is that when our Grandson (who stays with us) graduates next year, she'll get her CDL and we'll team drive for the next 10 years or so. By then, with the pay and the low expense due to being on the road together, we should have a decent amount set aside for retirement.

Of course, lots could happen between now and then.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

PR aka Road Hog's Comment
member avatar

Thanks guy, this is some of the info I have been looking for. I'm not expecting to get rich, but I am looking to pad the retirement account, and of course travel this great country of ours. I miss the road, and look froward to getting back out there, this time in a rig. I have already lived the lifestyle, and my only regret then, was not being able to take a few moments along the way to 'smell the roses' at it were.

With big rigs, stopping often is part of the routine.

Well, back to the High Road CDL Training Program

Peace

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
One thing I've seen stated other places is that the shortage of truckers is a 'lie' and the number of rookies coming into the field just drives down the CPM for all drivers. I'm interested to hear the experienced truckers here respond to that, because I trust you guys a lot more than on the other places.

Well, as far as driving down the pay, that's just a by-product of a soft economy with very few good-paying blue collar jobs and the lack of pricing power that the trucking companies have in this environment.

As far as the shortage of truckers being untrue, it's hard to argue with the fact that 99% of the trucking companies in the U.S. hire 24/7/365, even during the crash of late 2008. Trucking never stops hiring. So I don't know how people figure it's untrue. I've heard people say that also, but I've never heard it explained in a way that I thought proved anything. I guess as long as there are plenty of jobs available, we're ok.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Most pay starting out will range from a low around what 25 or 26 cents a mile to around a high of 32 to 34 cents a mile. As others on this site have stated, try and avoid being a job hopper. Try and find a company that has decent pay per miles and the miles to back it up. If you are ON TIME consistantly, a good company will continue to give you the miles.

Dave

Traffic Jam (SunnyWalker.'s Comment
member avatar

Yip, I agree. Now I just graduated Trucking School and am waiting to be hired. However, from talking to my instructors and others I feel the way to make money is get out there and work, hustle and be a professional driver. Get the load there on time/early and let dispatch know you are available. Don't gripe or complain, build relationships in the company, plan on staying 1 year at least (me its two years in same company). Just sayin', that's all.

-Traffic Jam

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