Experience...Does It Really Matter Anymore?

Discussion in 'Motor Carrier Questions - The Inside Scoop' started by Farmboi85, Sep 3, 2022.

  1. Farmboi85

    Farmboi85 Light Load Member

    Mar 31, 2022
    I come from a long lineage of drivers, and have almost 18 years myself. Got a family member that's entertaining offers. He has 26 years, and a spotless record. He's called several companies, but there seems to be a new consensus view. Anything more than 2 years experience, and you'll be at their "pay cap."
    My question is, when did having more than 20 years, or even 10 years of safe driving experience stop being important? That use to mean something to companies.
    Anymore, it seems like 2 years is all they look for. He's tried big companies, medium companies, and small companies alike. It's seems like everything's the same from 2 years experience to .....
    It's the same pay, same equipment, same benefits, same treatment, same everything.
    Like I stated before, I've been driving almost 18 years, and he's got 26. Did we really work this hard, for this long, to be treated the exact same as someone that started driving in 2020?
    The main contributors to this seem to be the companies that pay around .60 companies. I understand everybody needs to make more money nowadays with the cost of living being as high as it is, but nobody has to earn anything anymore. It's very unfair to us that have been at this career since the guys with 2 years experience were in Kindergarten.
    I don't know, maybe it's just me. I'm just wondering if anyone else has noticed this
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  3. Farmboi85

    Farmboi85 Light Load Member

    Mar 31, 2022
    . 60 cpm (I hate auto-correct)
  4. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Road Train Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    SW FLA
    I’ve always said they’re should be a sliding scale in a lot of businesses

    A new CDL guy maybe shouldn’t be able to run nights or ?? Type stuff and as that person proves himself then give a little more leeway

    I do think though that not all at 2 years and more are really at a the same pay
    Might be the same rate but a guy who can do more or has more experience might be getting runs that the new less experienced guy is getting

    Every company is going to have their Top. Middle. And bottom employees
  5. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2018
    That’s always been the problem with driving jobs

    you start out making good money and it never goes up much .
    There is NO room for advancement and no way to earn much more except buying your own rig .
  6. Farmboi85

    Farmboi85 Light Load Member

    Mar 31, 2022
    He talked to 1 company that based their cent per mile on how fast you wanted the truck governed. The faster the truck, the lower your rate. That's a good concept, but what about experience?
  7. MaineRoad96

    MaineRoad96 Light Load Member

    Apr 5, 2022
    Well yeah, it's like that in most other industries too where you work for somebody other than yourself. There's a capout, where unless you want to take on MORE responsibilities, then you are going to cap out at your market value. Some jobs sooner than others.

    Public teacher's salaries are one of the few exceptions to the profession, where your pay steadily increases until retirement. Unfortunately, public teaching salaries also start pretty low compared to what everyone else around you is making and when taking into account the cost of living. Would you rather trucking be like teaching, where the pay starts off really low and steadily goes up over a 30 year period, or would you rather trucking be like it is now where you start really low but you can basically shoot up to top pay within 2 - 5 years?

    Do you want to take 30 years to get to top pay, or 5 years to get to top pay?

    It's the same for someone who works at a bank doing mortgage loans. That person is going to get capped out at top pay unless they want to take on more responsibility and start managing a branch, rather than just having to worry about themselves.

    The only exception to these pay increases are during rare times like the past few years, where it's an employee market. In those cases you better take advantage of it and jump ship to raise your pay significantly (which you personally should have done these past few years if you didn't feel your pay was up to par with the industry standard).

    If you run OTR reefer or dry van, then you should know that you're going to make less money (gross wise) than someone doing fuel hauling, LTL, food service, etc. etc. It is what it is. If you want more pay, you have to take on more responsibility, which those 3 sectors of trucking require.

    With LTL you're going to need to keep those endorsements, including hazmat, up to date. You also might have to deal with constant city traffic if you're doing P&D or driving at night and going to sleep when the sun comes up everyday if you're doing linehaul. With fuel hauling, if you screw up, well then you're going to burn to death. With food service, you're going to have to work physically hard and get out from the seat. All these sectors of trucking have significantly more responsiblity than opening and closing doors in a reefer or dry van and bumping a dock every other day.

    I say this as someone who does OTR reefer and dry van work, so don't think that I'm trying to put you or anyone else in the sector down, that's not the case at all. But at the same time, this is capitalism and the free market, and the market says that OTR reefer and dry van drivers are worth around $0.60 CPM - $0.70 CPM if you are a W2 employee with 2 or more years experience (but most companies closer to $0.70 CPM you might have to give up on driver comforts like APU's). The free market says that more experience past 2 years really doesn't matter in this sector of trucking.

    It is what it is, but just like most other jobs if you want more pay, you're going to have to switch to something that requires more responsibility than what you're doing now.

    To answer your question, yes experience still matters, but so does responsibility and the work involved in your job.
  8. CamryXSE

    CamryXSE Bobtail Member

    Jul 2, 2021
    It's not rocket surgery. Take this trailer from here to there and don't break anything.

    I'm sure there are statistics that compare the performance of the 20 year driver and the 2 year driver. If the 20 year driver was that much safer and more proficient they'd pay for it.

    If the 20 year driver has been saving his money at compound interest (investing and reinvesting capital gains) THAT is his reward.
  9. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    I'm not sure why folks should expect l this money when the turnover is as high as it is. Sometimes I think the pay is based on the fact that a company is betting against a driver sticking around for the long haul.
    LtlAnonymous and tscottme Thank this.
  10. Farmboi85

    Farmboi85 Light Load Member

    Mar 31, 2022
    Why not put more emphasis on retention than playing right into the revolving door thing? Drivers that have multiple years of experience like to feel like all those are valued. I know I do. I don't expect a red carpet, but I do expect subtle differences in pay and treatment compared to a driver with 2 to 5 years. It's more of a respect thing, which itself seems to be lost on today's society
    Gearjammin' Penguin Thanks this.
  11. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    I think the company just looks at it from a logistic point of view. A two-year driver that has no incidents, he’s probably a decent driver. Most drivers have several incidents the first couple of years. If they get through those two years, the company deemed them as safe.
    That said, I agree with you and I’ve only been out here about 4 1/2 years. I’m making just a few cents less per mile than a guy at my company he’s been there 26 years. But where my experience pays off over someone who’s only got a year or two is that I’m better at my job and I make more money because I know how to operate more efficiently. I have secret places along each route that I can park if I’m in a bind. Just all kinds of little details that make the job easier for me versus someone who is new. I remember that first year. Stressing out almost every day over stuff that I don’t even think about now.
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