I Made $18k My First Year

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by LetUsKing, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. LetUsKing

    LetUsKing Bobtail Member

    Mar 28, 2021
    I drove for PAM my first year driving a truck because they paid for the CDL school and I signed a 1 year contract. I made $18k in 12 months. A lot of the people in my CDL class quit PAM LONG before their 1 year was up and they simply found a different job instead. Part of the reason PAM's pay is low is because the detention pay and other accessory's are low or non-existent. For example, my particular truck was prone to needing to go to the shop and PAM only pays you about $30 per 24 hours while your truck is in the shop. So there was about an entire month where my truck was in the shop when you combine all the times from last year together. So for an entire month I was only receiving $30 a day. Meanwhile I believe that Marten pays $20 per hour?? When your truck is in the shop?

    Anyway my year with PAM is up and I'm considering any truck company that pays guarenteed minimal weekly amounts.

    So far I have found Marten, K&B Transportation, and a company that has a Dollar General Account.

    These are the weekly minimums:
    Marten pays ~ $1150
    K&B pays ~ $1530
    Dollar General account pays ~ $1250

    Marten is a Georgia-Pacific account. It's close to home. And actually PAM already has me running a Georgia-Pacific account so I would literally be getting triple the pay for the exact same job that I'm doing now.

    K&B is a reefer lane where I transport mostly meet and some produce. The money is insane but I've only been driving for a year and I am afraid that delivering to little mom and pop grocery stores across the mid-west is going to provide me with lots of challenging backing scenarios. Anyone have any input on that?

    Then the Dollar General account is just a nope from me atm because Dollar Generals seem like they are designed specifically by a group of people who don't like truckers because those parking lots are built like miniature golf courses a lot of the time. I'm not sure if the extra $100 is worth it over the Marten offer.

    So right now I'm leaning Marten because it's minimum pay is way better than what I'm making now and it's a route that I'm already taking as I type this in the PAM truck. And they have nice detention/accessory policies.

    Any input on this. I'm making a decision soon. Leaning Marten but an extra $300 dollars from K&B looks nice too.
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  3. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    Where is home?

    Every company that offers a minimum pay will have some sort of “catch” that will disqualify you from the minimum that week. You did not mention them. Find out before you pull the trigger.
    Coffey, tscottme, drvrtech77 and 7 others Thank this.
  4. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

    Sep 1, 2017
    Forget reefer. Schedule is insane.
    Besides... Reefer drivers get used to the noise. Then they can’t sleep at home. So they have to buy one of my super deluxe reefer teddy bears.
    You shouldn’t have any problem taking home over a thousand a week.
  5. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    Let's just say I use a lot of the same players as much as possible.

    We do follow the money. And as I'm sure you already know, certain freight is like mining, and you hit veins, and you ride that horse to glory until it pans out.

    This is pretty much all I do. I keep myself aware of what's going on all over.

    My main philosophy is to hit for average. Then the pitcher's going to leave some out over the plate from time to time.

    Like when the virus started. Some dude crops up in my backyard with $6 mile loads. Hey, let's be friends.
    One agent I've done a lot for over the years had a commodity that BOOMED, so we've done REALLY well there.

    It's no picnic at times. It's a lot of work. Landstar is very strict. I have 9 ( 3x3 ) csa points for a recent chaffed air line on a trailer, and now I'm the worst driver in my own fleet.
    Coffey, Bumper, Vic Firth and 12 others Thank this.
  6. Atlaw4u

    Atlaw4u Medium Load Member

    Jun 8, 2018
    Chinatown Thanks this.
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Great Plains Transport | Truck Driving Company | North Dakota
    Great Plains Transport | Truck Driving Company | North Dakota
    Great Plains Transport is a North Dakota trucking company featuring refrigerated freight, cargo, and dedicated transportation services while offering long haul OTR truck driving jobs in 48 states.
    Their newest pay raise is "Guaranteed $1250.00 plus bonuses."
    Up to $1,000 Per Month in Additional Bonuses
    The pay is guaranteed even while you take home time off.
    Rider/pet/68 MPH trucks
    NavigatorWife Thanks this.
  8. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2017
    In trucking, your first year is about getting the experience. Your second year is when you start getting paid.

    You're on the right track. And by sticking with a carpy starter company for a full year, you've gotten your resume off to a decent start too.
  9. LetUsKing

    LetUsKing Bobtail Member

    Mar 28, 2021
    Thanks for the information guys. Home is Mississippi. But honestly I've been driving through 25 states this entire time from California to New York. They put me everywhere. So I would be willing to go where the money is at. But the recruiters must think it's better to higher local people so that's why they told me they had the Georgia-Pacific account at Marten. I think I will hold off on the reefer stuff for now. I'll ask them about catches on the minimum pay but they pay 54CPM and at PAM I was getting 34CPM and only recently got that bumped up to 40CPM so whether there is a catch or not on the minimum it's still a big pay raise.
  10. Lunatic Fringe

    Lunatic Fringe Light Load Member

    Oct 1, 2016
    I know guaranteed weekly pay sounds good considering what you've experienced so far. Trust me, there are better options out there. As others have already stated - there are loopholes in those guarantees big enough to drive your truck through. With one year of solid OTR experience you've got options. I'd look at LTL or dedicated for consistent high pay and maximum home time.

    I run dedicated. I leave Monday, drive my 3,000 miles and come home on Friday afternoon. Every week. I NET about what the jobs you have listed GROSS. There's no waiting for dispatch - the trailer's loaded and ready to go at the same time every Monday. There's no waiting at the receiver - I drop, I hook, I turn and burn. Never wait at a truck stop for my next load. Never take a 34 at a parking lot in BFE. Never have to request home time weeks in advance.
  11. TokyoJoe

    TokyoJoe Road Train Member

    Feb 10, 2015
    Holy #### are you serious? 1500 bucks a month?

    You probably would have made more doing a paper route.
    Coffey, Bumper, drvrtech77 and 5 others Thank this.
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