Truck Driving Job Without Experience?

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Kopan K's Comment
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Hi Im 22 i made decision to become truck driver. So I found school and im ready to go next week. But i will finish the school in 2-3 weeks and i started looking for a job and i havent found one company which is willing to hire unexperienced drivers, only 1 year experience or more. So how am i suppose to make the experience than? Do you know any companies which are hiring new drivers? I live in Florida, Lake Worth. Thank you

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Best Answer!
you cant change my opinion that being O/O its better then being just driver

That's fair. I won't waste my time or yours trying to then. Besides, there's only one way to find out for sure, right? Buy a truck.

About the big companies, I know that for sure because a friend who was driving for Prime quit because sometimes he'll be stuck somewhere and needs dispatcher help they will leave him waiting there with hours and hours and whenever i'm with my friend( the dispatcher) he always answer his phones to the drivers because its his company and he cares about the trucks and driver problem its his problem which is not the case in the big company where dispatchers are just employees.

Couple things. First of all, to say that all big companies don't care about their drivers because one friend of yours one time didn't get immediate help from one dispatcher at one company with one situation is overgeneralizing a bit wouldn't you say? I've worked for big companies and for little companies over the years. The larger companies had by far the better perks for the drivers.

They had nationwide accounts setup to make service, towing, repairs, fueling, and hotels a lot easier to deal with. They had hotlines you could call and speak with marriage counselors, psychiatrists, and registered nurses 24/7/365 to help you with any problems you might be having. They had gigantic recreational buildings at their terminals complete with a cafeteria, all sorts of games, multiple rooms with big screen televisions, showers, and bunks to sleep in. They had rental cars and shuttle buses you could take to get something to eat or go to the mall while you were waiting for repairs. The list of perks goes on and on and on. Ask your buddy if his little company has any of those perks for the drivers.

Listen, I'm just saying things aren't as simple and clear as they may appear on the surface. You're taking a few small examples of things and making broad, sweeping generalizations and assumptions. Dig a little deeper, especially with the owner operator thing. Everyone thinks owning a truck would be cool as h*ll. Everyone would like to be the boss and call all of the shots. But as they say if it was that easy we'd all be doing it and we'd all be rich.

Look at the change over the years in the percentage of trucks on the road that are driven by owner operators versus company drivers. It's gone way down. If owning a truck and hauling freight is so lucrative then why are fewer and fewer people doing it as the years go on? There are very good business reasons behind that trend.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Great Answer!
I wanted a job with a bigger and constant cash flow, at least like 1200, if i wanted 700-800 i would stay in a restaurant

I would not recommend leaving a job that pays $700-$800 per week for trucking just for the money. You can certainly make a little more than that, but trucking is a whole different world. It's really more of a lifestyle for most people than a job. Go through our Truck Driver's Career Guide from beginning to end and follow all of the links you come across. That will teach you what this career is like and what it takes to get your career off to a great start.

The paychecks in trucking are also not "constant". You'll have a huge week followed by a lousy week because you spent two days in the shop. Then you'll have two more great weeks and a lousy week because you took three days off. You can expect to make maybe $35,000-$40,000 your first year now that wages have come up a tick or two in recent months but the paychecks will fluctuate wildly along the way. Just be aware of that.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Great Answer!

Kopan, all I can say my friend is that your guesses and assumptions are pretty much coming out of left field or the clear blue sky, I'm not sure which. Maybe there's a clear blue sky in left field. I don't know. But I do know they're based on absolutely no real knowledge or experience with the subject matter and would fall under the category of wishful thinking or would be considered wildly presumptuous at best. I'm not trying to insult you. I'm just saying you're making things up in your head and then choosing to believe them because they seem plausible. For your own sake you really don't want to do that.

To say the profits in a business "should be really good" when you're totally guessing, or to say you won't work for a big company because "they are big companies and they don't really care" as if that's a proven fact is no way to make decisions about your employer or a business you're thinking of starting.

Do your research and use proven facts whenever possible to make decisions. Don't go buying trucks or applying at small companies because you think things might be a certain way. Dig deeper. Test your theories. Learn from the experience of others.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Great Answer!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I worked for a company with only 11 trucks for a year one time. I ran my brains out and averaged about 4,000 miles a week and a couple of times even hit 5,000 miles solo! It was borderline lunacy to do that but this guy was pushing us hard because he was going broke. I was young and figured what the heck? I'm making great money. So I ran two logbooks and ran and ran and ran.

Just as I was approaching a year with this guy I went home after six straight weeks on the road. I got home on a Friday and he called me Sunday and said he had a load for me to pickup on Monday going out West. I was like, "Have you gone completely mad??? I just drove 23,000 miles in 6 weeks and you're going to give me two days off? No way. That's just insane."

So he told me I could either go pick up the load or turn in the truck. I turned in the truck. He tried blackballing me on my DAC by claiming I abandoned the truck. I had already landed a job by that point and I disputed the claim. He didn't fight the dispute, the claim was removed from my record, and his company went bankrupt three months later. The fact that he was borderline bankrupt is why he pushed us so far beyond what was reasonable.

So if you're under the impression that small companies care about their drivers and big companies only care about their profits then how do you explain what I've told you about my experiences at large versus small companies?

That's why I say you need to dig a lot deeper before you draw conclusions. Don't just look at a few situations and make sweeping generalizations.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Old School's Comment
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Great Answer!
About O/O, I guess i just have different view of life, I always try to do better. I dont want to offend anymone i said but i think a lot of people dont have the g**ts to try it cause you have familys and lifes you dont want to put on risk.

Kopan, I've got all kinds of guts - I was self employed for thirty years, owned six big rigs all at the same time - I've spent most of my life being a risk taker, made and lost several fortunes multiple times - I get it.

Today's business climate is just not conducive to being a profitable O/O - that is why Brett brought up to you the very real statistic that there are far fewer owner operators on the road today than there were thirty five years ago.

An owner operator needs a specialized niche, and those things don't usually last long - you just can't keep a secret like that hidden for very long.

Take this scenario: You have got your own truck and you are needing to get paid 1.75 per mile just to be at the break even point so you can make your payments, and keep up your truck while taking home a little bit of scratch each week to pay your rent. Your broker is sending loads over to billy bob's trucking service because they can do it for 1.50 a mile - he is making more money every time he uses them, and then one day that shipper discovers that one of the big boys like Schneider will do it for 1.20 per mile, so they drop the broker completely! This goes on every day in this business - it is brutal out there. If you are going to purchase a truck you'd better make damn sure you have a good solid plan in place and a few back up plans also, because I promise you they will be needed!

If you are a company driver like I am today you will almost always be in a very nice new or close to new truck, you will have constant work if you can prove yourself able to handle it - you will have the chance to get your feet wet and learn a lot about the business while getting paid some really good money. I know several owner operators and only one of the seven that I am thinking of is making the kind of money I am right now. All of them are driving old trucks that are on the brink, because they simply are not making any profit that they can put away for their future needs - like a replacement truck so that they can keep at it.

When we give you industry wide established facts and statistics, you seem to think that your friend "Bubba" is a more reliable source. That is what is irritating about your responses. I'm seriously hoping you are smarter than that when you do decide to get into the owner operator business, because Bubba down the street, who once drove for Prime is not going to be able to help you at that point, but we will still be here, and still be able to give you some good solid advice.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Spreadneck's Comment
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Hi Im 22 i made decision to become truck driver. So I found school and im ready to go next week. But i will finish the school in 2-3 weeks and i started looking for a job and i havent found one company which is willing to hire unexperienced drivers, only 1 year experience or more. So how am i suppose to make the experience than? Do you know any companies which are hiring new drivers? I live in Florida, Lake Worth. Thank you

Do your homework. There are tons of companies that will hire fresh out of school with no experience.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Im 22 i made decision to become truck driver. So I found school and im ready to go next week. But i will finish the school in 2-3 weeks and i started looking for a job and i havent found one company which is willing to hire unexperienced drivers, only 1 year experience or more. So how am i suppose to make the experience than? Do you know any companies which are hiring new drivers? I live in Florida, Lake Worth. Thank you

Kopan, check out these Trucking Truth pages: Trucking Companies, How To Choose A Company, and our One And Done job application: Apply For Truck Driving Jobs.

There are many companies that hire "Recent Grads" (that's the code word to look for).

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.

Kopan K's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your time guys, i found a lot of companies, but my point was there arent a lot in Florida, and the few i found they have really low pay like 0.3, 0.33 per mile. The main 2 reasons because i chose this its because there arent a lot of people on your head telling you how to do your job and i wanted a job with a bigger and constant cash flow, at least like 1200, if i wanted 700-800 i would stay in a restaurant. Sorry, im not being arogant, just impatient, but time is flying and i need money after that so i have to start asap.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Florida is one of those areas that not many companies hire from or they have hiring blocks.

Say you work 2 months on and take a week off every two months, you're asking for $55,200/year and I'm not even calculating taxes yet. That is not the norm for rookie drivers just doing their first year of OTR. Maybe someone can chime in with options but, you might have unrealistic expectations.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Thank you for your time guys, i found a lot of companies, but my point was there arent a lot in Florida, and the few i found they have really low pay like 0.3, 0.33 per mile. ... i wanted a job with a bigger and constant cash flow, at least like 1200, if i wanted 700-800 i would stay in a restaurant.

Remember, Kopan, you're just starting out. If you say 0.33 per mile is "low", look at the calculations:

Suppose you average 2000 miles a week, which is a reasonable starting place. That's 2000 x 0.33 = $660 per week (gross). I've been with Swift for about 6 months. I'm making 0.36 CPM now. That makes our 2K mile example worth $720 gross.

If you're dreaming of $1, 200 weekly as a company driver, that's an impossible 3,636 miles in a week. Even at 0.40 per mile, to get that $1,200 you need 3000 miles.

A large majority of drivers start on the "ground floor".

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
I wanted a job with a bigger and constant cash flow, at least like 1200, if i wanted 700-800 i would stay in a restaurant

I would not recommend leaving a job that pays $700-$800 per week for trucking just for the money. You can certainly make a little more than that, but trucking is a whole different world. It's really more of a lifestyle for most people than a job. Go through our Truck Driver's Career Guide from beginning to end and follow all of the links you come across. That will teach you what this career is like and what it takes to get your career off to a great start.

The paychecks in trucking are also not "constant". You'll have a huge week followed by a lousy week because you spent two days in the shop. Then you'll have two more great weeks and a lousy week because you took three days off. You can expect to make maybe $35,000-$40,000 your first year now that wages have come up a tick or two in recent months but the paychecks will fluctuate wildly along the way. Just be aware of that.

Kopan K's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Thank you for your time guys, i found a lot of companies, but my point was there arent a lot in Florida, and the few i found they have really low pay like 0.3, 0.33 per mile. ... i wanted a job with a bigger and constant cash flow, at least like 1200, if i wanted 700-800 i would stay in a restaurant.

double-quotes-end.png

Remember, Kopan, you're just starting out. If you say 0.33 per mile is "low", look at the calculations:

Suppose you average 2000 miles a week, which is a reasonable starting place. That's 2000 x 0.33 = $660 per week (gross). I've been with Swift for about 6 months. I'm making 0.36 CPM now. That makes our 2K mile example worth $720 gross.

If you're dreaming of $1, 200 weekly as a company driver, that's an impossible 3,636 miles in a week. Even at 0.40 per mile, to get that $1,200 you need 3000 miles.

A large majority of drivers start on the "ground floor".

Why its not possible. I think i can drive 500 miles a day for 6 days a week, If they can give me loads all the time. Btw i have a friend in Chicago who started just 1 month ago and he is getting 0.44 with written promise of 0.48 after 6 months. Maybe i should consider moving. Thank you

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Kopan K's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I wanted a job with a bigger and constant cash flow, at least like 1200, if i wanted 700-800 i would stay in a restaurant

double-quotes-end.png

I would not recommend leaving a job that pays $700-$800 per week for trucking just for the money. You can certainly make a little more than that, but trucking is a whole different world. It's really more of a lifestyle for most people than a job. Go through our Truck Driver's Career Guide from beginning to end and follow all of the links you come across. That will teach you what this career is like and what it takes to get your career off to a great start.

The paychecks in trucking are also not "constant". You'll have a huge week followed by a lousy week because you spent two days in the shop. Then you'll have two more great weeks and a lousy week because you took three days off. You can expect to make maybe $35,000-$40,000 your first year now that wages have come up a tick or two in recent months but the paychecks will fluctuate wildly along the way. Just be aware of that.

I know every job is hard at the beggining but its not just about the money. Its more about freedom too. You just talk to dispather he is giving you load , fill some papers, and you are driving. Its not like you have someone on your head all the time. Plus i can do better buying my own truck, i know a lot of people from this forum are against O.O. but i think if you buy a truck and not lease it and work the right way you can do really good. Thank you for your time

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Kopan said,

Why its not possible. I think i can drive 500 miles a day for 6 days a week, If they can give me loads all the time. Btw i have a friend in Chicago who started just 1 month ago and he is getting 0.44 with written promise of 0.48 after 6 months. Maybe i should consider moving. Thank you

Sure you can! In a perfect world. You get 70 duty hours for 8 days. But you won't be on the interstate every mile of your trip. In a city at 4pm, you are lucky to make 15 mph, not 50. You know: reality rears its ugly head. My point above is you really have to work for it.

I've been driving for Swift for six months. Some of the 10+ year veterans will tell you your target (500 x 6) isn't all that easy. And, consider a move to Chicagoland.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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