first year

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by wifi_guru, Feb 25, 2024.

  1. wifi_guru

    wifi_guru Light Load Member

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    Feb 22, 2024
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    I am wondering what i can expect in my first year??? i am hoping that it flies by also so that i can move onto better things.
     
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  3. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    Doom, despair, and agony on you,,,put it this way, 50% of all new drivers quit in the 1st 6 months, and half of the remaining don't make it a year, so the odds are clearly against you. I'm not sure how that compares to other jobs, turnover is high everywhere. The good news, things have never been better for new drivers, with support from places, like this site, us old timers never even dreamed of. Spring is around the corner, so hopefully weather delays won't affect you, and you will more than likely get the "bottom of the barrel" with loads, but not all bad. You learn the industry that way. You may not make the money promised, but patience is the key. I think companies give new drivers a test, of sorts with that. Not sure what you mean by "better things", be advised, once a truck driver, always a truck driver. Good luck.
     
  4. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    It depends on where you work & what you do. ALL of your power to decide or change anything comes before you make a choice. You aren't going to dictate conditions to the company. You find out the working conditions, etc and then pick what conditions you work with. You cannot rely on "average" conditions or procedures for the industry. You get the pay & conditions at the one company you work for and they are not changing to make you happy. You need to speak to current working drivers at the companies you want to know about. If your search is online only it's unlikely you find a good match for your needs. Ask the trucking company to have current drivers contact you. Ask those drivers how much do you make per week? What schedule do you work? How many miles did you drive last week? Whatever you want to know, ask them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2024
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  5. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    high plains colorado
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    Years ago, that's how I did it. Sadly, I think that has gone the way of the CB radio, our main source for a different job back then. I'm not sure that works today, as it seems most drivers have some problem with their job, it's the American way. Saying they hope the year "flies by", is a red flag right there.
     
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  6. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    I thought you posted somewhere that you want to be an 0/0.
     
  7. Ex-Trucker Alex

    Ex-Trucker Alex Medium Load Member

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    I guess it all boils down to how much 'wanderlust' you have. When I was in my mid-20's, I wanted nothing more to go EVERYWHERE, and didn't really care if I stayed out for a month or more at a time. I had no real responsibilities, had a friend living in my house who could take care of it, had set up with my bank branch a manager who would take my ComChek numbers over the phone, and so paid all my bills from out on the road. I loved it. But, after 5-6 years, after seeing every loading dock in every Podunk town at least 4 times, I decided to go regional. Then, once even THAT got boring, I went local part-time while going back to school.
    Made a lot of money, but also spent a lot on the road. Today, my SS account is pretty well stuffed, partly because of all the money I made in that decade, so it also pays off at retirement. Had some lean years while finishing my degree, and then getting established in a dying local economy, but I really don't regret my choices.
    In the immortal words of Groucho Marx; "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana..."
     
  8. wifi_guru

    wifi_guru Light Load Member

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    Feb 22, 2024
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    after i get my year in. would rather concentrait on how to operate a cmv responsibly first
     
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  9. lual

    lual Road Train Member

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    Oct 22, 2020
    SW Georgia
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    Generally speaking, the job market for new CDL holders right now is kinda bleak, actually.

    You may well encounter a tough hunt for that first gig.

    Many carriers that normally hire brand new CDL holders....now instead require 3 - 6 months experience elsewhere.

    Why?

    After several quarters of poor financial returns....due mainly to excess freight capacity...they have simply cut back on hiring newbies. :(

    Not sure when this trend will reverse, either. :confused:

    -- L
     
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  10. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    Dec 18, 2011
    Michigan
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    You do mean after you get 5 years in, right?
     
  11. omaharj

    omaharj Bobtail Member

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    Omaha
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    Wifi-
    Congrats on getting into a business that can support you in a middle class lifestyle.
    You are right to assume the first year is a game changer to get through. Just get through it. At least 6 months, heheh. Six months experience on a newbie gives you a few options at least. One year is better.
    Going OO after one year is pretty ambitious. Your knowledge of the industry will still be on the very low side and good opportunities for OO is a difficult search. For every decent (decent, not good) company, it seems there are twenty horrible ones.
    My advice would be-
    Get your year in.
    Go LTL as a P+D.
    After a year of P+D at a good company, see if what you are making (probably >$60k/yr ) and regular hours is good enough. Money should be going up a bit also. There's a lot to be said about sleeping in your own bed every night and regular hours.
    At this point, the world is your oyster. If you want to be an OO, take some of your savings, (you did save some money?) and BUY a used tractor. DO NOT LEASE A TRACTOR!!! You can finance some of it, but you need to put some down and pay it off as quickly as possible. Your credit should be in the 700's or else you will need a much larger emergency fund (trucks need work done on them). Before you buy a truck, you should have options that aren't pie in the sky where you sign on. Check with other OO.
    Please be patient. Someone mentioned statistics about people who fail in this industry. Being cautious about almost everything will increase your odds by a ton. From backing up at night into a tight space when you're tired, to taking advice from broke people about money.
    GOOD LUCK!!!
     
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