Getting into the business

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by sammccorison, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. sammccorison

    sammccorison Bobtail Member

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    Oct 17, 2012
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    Hello Everyone,
    I'm sure this has been a question that has been asked a million times but here it is one more time. I'm looking to get into the industry. Something I've wanted to do for years and with my recent layoff I'm not held down by a job. Though my situation like plenty of others is getting through the first year. I'm not so worried about abusive companies or dispatchers or anything like that. From what I've read its something that just will need to deal with. My concern is income. I know I'm not going to make a killing or even a reasonable income but I need to know the realistic expectation. I need to take home at least $500 a week(note i get some weeks will be worse and others hopefully better). What are you guess roughly making a week? I've been looking at the normal companies like PAM, CRST, and CR England. PAM seems to have the highest pay per mile. I'm looking at these companies because I can't afford to put myself through the schooling. If anyone knows of any other companies that are better please let me know and any insight you might have would be great.

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
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  3. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

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    Don't focus too much on the "published per-mile pay". Consider terminal location in relation to your home, their primary operating lanes, and the overall comfort-level feeling you get from them and various feedback you get here and elsewhere. 4 cents more per mile don't mean squat if you're getting jerked around at every corner, and kept Away from home for months at a time.

    Having said that, I'll also say take their self-praises and divide them by 2, and take their self-criticism and multiply that by 2. I.e., if home time policy is important to you, fine but don't expect them to honor their promises every week/month, especially in the beginning.
     
  4. sammccorison

    sammccorison Bobtail Member

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    Oct 17, 2012
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    Great advise and I'm seeing that information more and more from the posts I've been reading. Issue is all the companies that have sponsored cdl training all seem to have the plus's and minus's. I'm hoping to find drivers within these companies who can give me the best possible choices. PAM and CRST seem to be the best I've found. PAM has fairly positive reviews and the most common review is lack of communication between departments at dispatch. CRST seems good but has a lot of horror stories from what I've read once the drivers have been in for 6 months. The things i can say from the websites/speaking to recruiters. PAM is 17.5 cpm. I would pay back 1500 of the training and its a 12 month contract. CRST is 11 cpm but they pay 100% training but you pay the hotel and bus and all that for the training. CRST also has a loaning service for money if you are broke and will deduct from paychecks which is nice but I don't think I'd ever need that. Have a wife at home who does pretty well. Just i need to get into a company where I can take home at least 1.5k a month to pay the mortgage and car payments. She can handle the rest. As far as home time policy and all that I'm taking this to get away from home. Wife and I need some separation. We've always done better as a couple when we are apart as weird as that sounds. When I used to travel for work was the best. Now that I've been laid off for a little over a month we are at each others throats. Need to make a choice soon and get the hell out of here lol.

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Since you are being laid off, check with your local unemployment office & state labor dept. about the WIA - Workers Investment Act. This program pays for truck driving school.

    From my experience in this industry, you're best money as a newbie, would be to get with a reefer(refrigerated) trucking company. With reefer, your chances of larger weekly paychecks are increased; reason being a refrigerated trailer can haul dry van freight or refrigerated freight so your chances are better to keep rolling.

    If you choose a company training program you will probably sign a contract to work for them, but if WIA pays for your schooling, you can pick and choose. Two examples, drive4marten.com pays top @.445cpm & Navajo.com pay tops @ .40cpm & there are many others to study also. Most refrigerated companies have other additional pays such as detention pay, stop pay, per diem pay, layover pay, etc. On this forum I've read positive comments about Central Refrigerated & Knight's refrigerated division & I understand they also have training programs. lots of good remarks about transamtruck.com , they hire truck school grads.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  6. free2frog

    free2frog Medium Load Member

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    Don't know about pam but I did do 8months and 4 days at CRST had a great DB too trainer was cool. I had to different Co drivers I fired the first one after 2 months and teamed up with a guy That I went through training with, we had a system in place for driving and got along great. But even with a great Dispatcher are miles started dropping off at 6 months we were never late on p/u or delivery did a ton of conway and cat loads. My last Co driver sat for 3 weeks at a drop yard in IL. for 3 weeks after his first co driver quit with no notice and you cannot drive solo till you have at least 6 months in. they sent him a list of names every couple of days to call people but either they had already quit or were driving with some else already. We were told if you quit before your contract is up we would be charged 4500.00 for the training the funny part is about 2 weeks after I quit I got a letter congratulation on finshing your 8 month contract but we must inform you that your training was valued at 1500.00 and counts as income so we will be deducting to taxs owed from your next 3 or four pay checks.
     
  7. wildercorp

    wildercorp Bobtail Member

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    Oct 4, 2012
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    First and foremost whatever you do stay away from CR ENGLAND, that's a scam if I ever saw one. Next if you are laid off check with the unemployment office in your area and see if they have any FREE trucking training. These county sponsored Career Centers offer paid training, see if you can get into one of those programs. I'm new to the industry as well been internationa motor coaching it for 6 mos now I want to move on to the big boys.
     
  8. T...Street

    T...Street Light Load Member

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    Aug 19, 2012
    randolph co. NC
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    You should after your schooling/training period be able to meet your goal of 1,500 a month most months with no problem. Try and save any extra for those slower months too. 25,000 to 30,000 your 1st year or 2 is not out of the spectrum. As to schooling try and find a community college near your area that offers cdl training...you'll get better training and may be able to get tuition help through grants and the like. Most of these programs have job placement service as well . Good luck....
     
  9. wildercorp

    wildercorp Bobtail Member

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Chula Vista, CA
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    OH, oh, I think I'm in trouble 25-30K, my first year no, no I can make that as a cashier at Aldi, when I saw Sam say 1,500 a month I almost fainted. I'm trying to hit 1k per week. Now what do I have to do and who do I have to chase to get that much?
     
  10. chompi

    chompi Road Train Member

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    Deland, FL
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    Yes, realistically you are looking at $25,000, 28, 30 a year. 1k a week!?! No. Despite what you may hear from the super truckers on this site you are going to see 1k a week as a new driver. As an experienced team driver this can be obtainable. If you are paired with a good lead driver then you could possibly do 1k a week as a newbie. If you are a fairly fast learner and you aren't a slacker, meaning, you aren't afraid to hustle then ya I believe you can do 1k a week. Do the math.... As a team you can run 7000 miles a week. You will be paid between
    $.17 - $.20 a mile. Maybe a little more if they aren't hub miles. So you are looking at between $1190 - $1400 gross weekly. After a year or so and once you gain some experience you could be a lead driver and get bumped up to about $.20 - $.25 a mile. If this sounds like something that would interest you I would personally steer you into the direction of either air freight or expedite. Also Reefer. These are the top three avenues in which freight is run the hottest!

    Just remember what you are getting into. A team that runs 7000 a week is running hard! The truck never stops! You don't get to shower everyday! A team also typically doesn't go home as often as solo drivers. It will take a little getting used to learning how to sleep in a moving truck but I'm sure once you get worn down enough it shouldn't be a problem. I've always found jumping out of bed and behind the wheel in less than 10 min. a little more challenging than the sleeping part. Nonetheless, that's my two pennies!

    Good luck man...
     
  11. 123456

    123456 Road Train Member

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    If you are going to get in this game,

    and only make 25K your first full year..........


    Stay home, find something else to do.


    30K minimum and closer to 35 at least,

    or it isn'tworth it.
     
    OldDude50 Thanks this.
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