Go Melton? Or stay home??

Discussion in 'Melton' started by Dodgerfan82, May 26, 2014.

  1. Dodgerfan82

    Dodgerfan82 Light Load Member

    136
    35
    Apr 9, 2013
    Temecula, Ca.
    0
    Well.. I appreciate the truthful response. It's good to get both sides of the coin. My goal is to get some wheel time and eventually get in with one of the local jobs like fuel tankers or ltl companies that I know make the money I want to see.. And no matter what I will always be able to get a job as a tow truck driver again if need be.
     
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. ramblingman

    ramblingman Road Train Member

    1,153
    1,111
    Jan 12, 2014
    0
    I've created a fairly comprehensive resource for potential Systems Transport drivers here. They are competitive to all other major flatbed carriers, but this industry is kind of ###### up. I haven't left yet so I'm happy enough with them. Details can be found in the thread if you want to get into the Nitty Gritty.
    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/tr...ng-company-here/237731-systems-transport.html

    They will more than likely require you to go through truck driving school and everything else i previously listed. We have a yard in Bloomington,CA (East Los Angeles) that you can use to park your truck which will be helpful because Systems requires you to park your truck at the yard for hometime as a rule of thumb. Living where you live you won't be getting through the house except for hometime on the OTR fleet.

    This kind of nonsense is a major disservice to newbie drivers. On paper logs you could certainly make that work, but Melton and Systems and every other major flatbed carrier uses E-logs so that's really not relevant.

    Let me throw some reality into your perfect world...
    -On unload/load days you will be lucky to make 400 miles. We have 65mph trucks with E-logs just like you Melton guys.
    -You may get to the customer the day before, but they are closed. You will only drive 200-300 miles that day and sit waiting for them to open the next morning. You will need to do that because with E-logs starting that 14 hour clock will screw you.
    -You will be left to sit on weekends when circumstances work out the wrong way. It's not common at Systems, but it does happen.
    -You will drive through Snow storms and the road will be closed or you may have to chain up by law even if it doesn't seem neccessary because we regulate down to the lowest common denominator.
    -Trucks Break down and it takes time to fix them

    I could go on all day, but the proof in the pudding is 9/10 Melton Drivers you talk to will tell you that they are lucky to be doing 2500 miles a week and average 1800-2000. They aren't unhappy about this because their pay scale makes up for it to a certain extent, but 3600 miles a week as an average on E-logs with a governed truck with a average haul of 900 miles is completely Asinine.

    Starting out in Tankers would be a good move if you want the money IMO. You can go to the specialized tanker section of the forum to discuss that though.
     
    Dodgerfan82 Thanks this.
  4. Aireal

    Aireal Medium Load Member

    602
    326
    Aug 20, 2012
    Garden City, TX
    0
    Now I hate arguing, but I did put in "IF" and "possible". That is around the take home that my husband was making and yes their were week's that were better and some worse. His lowest check as $398 and that was us staying in a motel because the truck had some problems and took 3 days to fix. We all know detention/layover pay sucks.

    I hate giving people "worst case scenarios",... "like: 1st day waste 4 hr's waiting, securing, tarping load. U.S. Steel in Gary Indiana to vendor in ( give it a short run) hmm Allen Town PA. 680 to 720 miles depending on route. So About $217 + $45 ( tarp pay for coil {plus 2 hr detention pay IF you remembered to put in for it})... ... 2nd day... finish driving to Allen Town, waste 2 hr's waiting untarping.etc... go to next load Pick up steel pipe headed for Odessa, waste another 2 hrs...1793 to 1840 miles ( depending on route and how much driving 1st day) 3 or 4 days, $573 ( maybe tarp pay depends on what the vendor wants). So 6 days...$835 ( plus the extra $45 tarp =$880 plus the 2 hr's detention. (@.32 cpm)

    That is realistic.. that is a run my husband did...well he was getting paid more per mile, but still... realistic.

    El Paso (yard) to Baltimore over Christmas, ...even had Christmas day off and was pokey driving. 2k mile run, $640 plus tarp $45, plus the short run from Eagle Pass to El Paso 480 miles.. $153 so $1,138.. Baltimore was a 2 stop so he got extra for that, but I don't remember how much, so won't add. Again realistic run, we did it. I even cooked Turkey breast, ham, pinto beans, corn bread, stuffing, cranberries ( ok those weren't cooked) steamer fried potatoes...for Christmas dinner in the truck.

    Did he run into worse week's, well yes. The week we left BFE Nebraska after securing power poles in -5 degree weather with 35 mph winds and then broke down 50 miles from Souix City and had to wait 6 hr's for a tow and then 3 days to get the truck fixed only to get the $398 check.

    He makes more now in the Oil Field... but that wasn't the question.

    Yes if you are getting alot of 400 mile, tarp it and un-tarp it runs, waiting alot, it's going to suck. 400 miles @ 50 mph takes 8 hrs... so their is how much time left in a drivers day to wait, tarp, un-tarp, secure, unsecure...? 400 miles x .32= $128 + $45 tarp pay= $173 for the day with out the detention pay you should be getting for at least 2 hr's minimum. So 5 sucky 400 mile tarped load's in a 5 day period @ .32cpm = $865 before taxes.
    I would be asking for another dispatcher if I kept getting those kinda loads, constantly, cause someone don't likey the driver.

    If you really do the math, you should be able to get in at least 6 of those load's, probably 7...but for suckynesses sake, I'll stick to 1 a day for 5 days with a 32 hr reset on the 6th and 7th days of the week.( yes I know that's 48 hrs)

    I'm sorry for the length.
     
    Dodgerfan82 Thanks this.
  5. Dodgerfan82

    Dodgerfan82 Light Load Member

    136
    35
    Apr 9, 2013
    Temecula, Ca.
    0
    That was a very thorough answer. Thank you Aireal... I gave some thought into what exactly I need to make the move into trucking worthwhile, and this is what I have come up with.

    My family is accustomed to me bringing home between 650-750 a week right now. But I have more or less reached the ceiling.. im not going to make any more money and I am already working 60 hours a week at a minimum driving.. So short of never getting out of a tow truck, thats it. I assume that it would cost me about 150 dollars a week in living expenses on the road so as long as I can expect something around 750 dollars take home in fairly short order we will not be losing much as far as pay.. This is meant to only be temporary though.. I am aware of a few local jobs who require I have some otr time that pay the kind of money I am looking to get to eventually just need the wheel time.

    Benefits.. They pretty much suck where I am working now.. they cost a fortune and there is still alot of out of pocket expense.. other benefits I have never had but know are out there would also be nice..profit sharing, paid vacation.. crazy stuff like that, that I have somehow managed to make it to 32 years of age without ever getting... Whats a vacation again???? My biggest concern here is my kids.. sometimes I have to sacrifice such as not being home as much as I or they want in order to provide for them. Id also like to retire sometime before I am dead.. and where as 2 or 300 dollars more a week doesnt seem like much its still money in excess of what we are accustomed to which means it can be saved... especially since I will not be home to buy toys for myself....Poor Jeep :(

    As far as my personally I would just like to make sure I am making good choices as far as a first company.. I have heard some serious horror stories about companies like Werner and Swift and such.. I am aware that any company that hires newbie drivers isnt going to be the best but I want to do the best I can.. Things that are important to me are driver comfort.. i.e. APUs, inverters.. etc. I am not sure how any company could not be concerned with driver comfort but living in the southwest I really dont want to be trying to sleep in a 79 degree truck hoping the temp gauge ticks over 80 so I can idle and have some air conditioning.. for an industry so concerned with driver rest you would think that issue like that would be taken care of.. So I would say that a clean, well maintained truck with an APU\inverter are important to me.

    Training.. from what I have seen these 4000+ dollar schools dont really teach anything more then how to past the DMV test.. I have the unique advantage of having big rig tow trucks that I was able to learn on and practice with an 18 speed trans so a ten speed is pretty simple. But the last thing I want is to learn from a guy with 3 months experience on the road.. that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of... talk about being set up for failure..

    Overall if I am going to put alot on the line, be away from my family, and put myself through hell in hopes of finding a better place doing what I love which is driving big trucks... I just want to gather as much info as I can and make sure I am making the right choices the first time.. Id like to avoid being one of the Swift horror stories I read about.. My interest in driving a flat bed is partially because that kind of the what I have been doing for years as a tow truck driver.. and I enjoy.. and also because it seems to me that a person trained to pull a flatbed can hook up to and pull just about anything, but a person who is trained to pull a box cant pull a flatbed... seems to me like the more I can do the more marketable I am... but anyways this is turning into rambling.. Im just putting my thoughts out there.. respond if you like.. thank you again.
     
    Chinatown and Aireal Thank this.
  6. bnrobot

    bnrobot Light Load Member

    278
    97
    Jan 17, 2014
    So. CA
    0
    Hey dodgerfan

    I have recently joined melton, and you can find info about my experience at
    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/tr...22-orientation-w-melton-march-2014-tulsa.html

    Not sure if you read it, but i am liking it so far. I was with a 'newbie' dm for about 3 weeks after getting off my trainers truck, and have since been with my permenant dm. They have treated me good so far. I have been updating there.

    Your average is possible. Ive been in the 800-1000 range. Ive also detailed my average per week in that thread.
     
    Dodgerfan82 Thanks this.
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    57,618
    111,075
    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    0
    There's a Swift driver that posts on here that lives in Temecula [FONT=Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]and is on a dedicated account making good money. He went to Swift CDL school and ended up staying there. You do have a choice after completion of Swift school; you can stay with Swift or leave and they will bill you later for the school.

    Contact some good companies that have APU's on the trucks and ask if they accept Swift CDL school graduates. Ask Melton if they accept Swift graduates.

    System Transport and Melton both have APU's.

    Check with Tyson Foods and ask if they hire from your area. Great pay and benefits plus 70 mph trucks. Ask if they accept Swift CDL school graduates. Do the same with Schneider Bulk.

    If you go this route, get all the endorsements, tanker/hazmat & TWIC then after some experience, move to tankers; lots of tanker jobs in Bakersfield area.

    That's all I can think of right now.
    [/FONT]
     
    Dodgerfan82 Thanks this.
  8. bnrobot

    bnrobot Light Load Member

    278
    97
    Jan 17, 2014
    So. CA
    0
    I am also from southern CA. I park my truck at the truck stop and drive home. Melton doesnt have a yard in CA. If you can park youre truck at your house they will let you. I park mine at the truck stop because my neighborhood has nothing over 3 tons signs everywhere

    My plan is similiar to yours. Get experience and find something local.
     
    Dodgerfan82 Thanks this.
  9. Aireal

    Aireal Medium Load Member

    602
    326
    Aug 20, 2012
    Garden City, TX
    0
    Dodgerfan82,

    Apu's and Inverters are good things, do some research and spend the extra money on some "truck" cook ware. Average meal at a T/S is going to be $10+, if your eating 2 times a day $20 x 7= $140... and the food isn't that great. You can eat cheaper...meaning less or fast food. Their's a cooking in your truck thread, read up on that. Which ever company you go, it can save you a lot of money. Just drink's and snack's can save some.

    My husband thought I was nutty the first time I bought pre-cut Tomatoes, onions, bell-peppers and "salad in a bag", til he realized that cutting all that stuff up is a pain ( aka messy). Add pre-cooked grilled chicken strip's, crouton's, cheese and salad dressing and it's a great lunch or dinner. Take most of the same ingredients and put them in a folded up tortilla and press on a George Forman grill until your desired crispiness and another great lunch or dinner. 1/2 the cost of Taco Bell, if you divide up the cost per-meal. I even found a waffle maker that was 750 Watt's so the inverter would run it, pennies on what Waffle house charges for waffles and some sausage.

    I'm horrible... if your interested in doing that kinda stuff, read the cooking in the truck thread.

    BTW depending on how old the kiddies are Melton will allow you to take one along...nice bonding time with dad over the summer. I don't remember the age though and a lot of companies do the same.
     
    Dodgerfan82 Thanks this.
  10. Dodgerfan82

    Dodgerfan82 Light Load Member

    136
    35
    Apr 9, 2013
    Temecula, Ca.
    0
    You guys have been very helpful, I really appreciate the insight I have received from you guys and many others on this forum. I think in the long run trucking will be worthwhile it is just going to take some experience and effort to get there.
     
  11. ramblingman

    ramblingman Road Train Member

    1,153
    1,111
    Jan 12, 2014
    0
    You need to cut the fuzzy stuff with the "probably possible,Maybe,If the stars align etc..." when your talking to prospective drivers. They have a long and hard path ahead of them and they need to know whats actually going to come at them not what might happen if the 2 moons line up just right on a summer night. The worst possible situation is what they need to know so they are ready for it.

    Now i'm going to give you some Real #'s no Fuzzy S***.

    For 2013 I got 500 per week during training for 2.5 months since i went home for 2 weeks.

    Once i went Solo in 2013 i got
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl64"]weekly avg gross pay[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65, width: 83, align: right"]878.95[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl64"]Avg paid miles per week[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65, align: right"]2392.92[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl64"]# of weeks paid [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]13.27[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    Then 2014 ONLY TO DATE is
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl73, colspan: 3"]Overall Performance Evaluation 2014 YTD
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl69"]weekly avg gross pay[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl71"] $ 983.40[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl68"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]Avg paid miles per week[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]2428.17[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl68"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]Pay per mile
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl67"]$0.405[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl72"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]Calculated Gross income[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl66"] $ 44,400.37 [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl72"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]# of weeks paid[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]18.00[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl72"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    You got a tough road in front of you especially with a family. Tread carefully and look for what's going to happen not what could happen.
     
    Aireal and Dodgerfan82 Thank this.
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted