New to the forum but not to trucking, by any means. Here to get some information if you don't mind!
So my old man has had trucks for 30 years now. He never wanted me to set foot in a truck but something about it runs in my blood. I couldn't stay away. I got my CDL at 19 and am now 25.
That being said, I've put in my fair share of work but actually very little OTR. I hauled oilfield casing through WV and PA for about a year. I had my own truck (a 2000 KW W9) and borrowed one of my dad's trailers and hauled mining shields from 2013-2015. I'm now working for a company hauling lumber locally. I had my own authority and never hauled a single brokered load. When the coal mines fell off, that was it for me. I hooked to a dump trailer and tried to get by at the local stone quarry but it was a joke. That work is especially hard on a 15 year old truck. I got rid of the truck and we moved to TX in search of opportunity.
The reason I'm here is because I was making better money 4 years ago than I am now. I feel like I'm moving backwards. This is the first local company I've ever drove for where you're paid by the mile. I don't agree with it and I'm just getting by. I've called all over and the opportunity isn't here. With coal, oil, and gas all falling off, it's hard to find something local and make decent money anymore. My fiancé has never had to work in the time we've been together and I don't want her to have to start now.
We're looking for something different. She likes the idea of JCT but our 3 dogs are her life and she doesn't want to leave them. At the same time, she knows how passionate I am about trucking and will give them up to ride with me. She can tell I'm miserable like this. I can't keep sitting here and spinning my wheels and not get ahead in life. It doesn't sit well with me at all.
So here are my questions...
- How hard is the transition from paper logs to E-logs? Love them or hate them?
- Surely you don't get a brand new truck, do you? I loved my 2000 W9 but to have a brand new KW would probably make me cry. How does this work?
- How often can you really afford to take days off? Would a day or two every 2-3 weeks kill you? Can you get a load close to anywhere you'd like to take your days off at?
- I've always pulled flatbed/step deck. A little dump trailer. What is pulling a reefer like? How long does loading/unloading usually take?
- I think I read about a Qualcomm fee? What does it run? Is that a decent system as well?
- Are the health insurance options any good?
I know I've got more questions and I guarantee my fiancé does but that's all I'm coming up with at the moment.
Thank you in advance guys!
From your background I believe it will take a lot of adjusting sitting in grocery warehouses. It's like taking an outdoors man and putting him in a cubicle all day long. It doesn't work. Oh we can do it for a moment but the outdoors is in our blood. I haven't done the elogs but the sitting in grocery warehouses, I couldn't do it to much lost time. As far as the time off I couldn't go back to working 2 weeks & 2 days off. I hope you look at the person you are and you find the opportunity to fits you. I understand you have to do what has to be done for your family. I hope all works out for you.
Elogs make it easier to log but it 'm take a few weeks to get used to. Plus you can't really run like you used to.
Jct trucks are 2014 and newer. You get option of what is a viable at the time with an option to upgrade at after 90 days.
You could get away with that time off but most stay out 4 to 6 weeks then take a week off or so. Its easier to get home like that. Now if you leave near 10 or 40 you may drive by multiple times a week.
Qc fee is $3 a week I think. Its an ok system. Its getting better.
They have a health insurance broker but I don't use them as I am on my wife's as its cheaper.
Also jct has a pet policy .
Any other questions send me an im and ill get you my phone number.KWAddict Thanks this.
Hey man, I actually don't have enough posts to send you a message, is there any way you could shoot me one and I could text you?
You guys actually hit the nail on the head. Heavy haul would be a dream come true. It seems like it's a heavy hard field to get into at the moment though. It especially seems like it since the energy industries aren't so hot at the moment. I've hauled wide and heavy on a step deck but never a low boy.
With that being said, I don't think heavy haul would meet our goals though. My number one priority is making money. Her priorities are spending time with me and getting to see things we wouldn't get to otherwise. With heavy haul or as a regular company driver, I don't think there would be near as much flexibility with your routes and managing your time as there would be with JCT from others I've talked to. I think it would do me a world of good if I could try to plan a route once every couple weeks where we ended up stopping in a place where I could drop the trailer and take the fiancé to do something. Or call an uber even. Something as simple as just going to a movie theater or whatnot.
I'm not so worried about me. I could live on the road and make the best of anything for the mental comfort and stability money provides me. I just want to be sure she doesn't get bored enough to want to blow her brains out haha. She's joined groups and talked to other women on Facebook and it has only built excitement for her. She was unsure before but she is all about it now. I just hope she can keep that attitude.
I mean if you planned your routes/loads around Dallas/OKC/Tulsa/Phoenix/San Bernardino areas, those are our drop yards where you could drop your trailer since its secured then Line 5 drive somewhere, and since those areas are alos bigger areas they have Uber/Lyft. I mean you control your routes as long as you made on time delivery and pickup. Well other than I90 over the top of the US and I70 to Denver from Utah over the Winter.
And you can always tell planning you don't want a load for the next day or something after delivery if you wanted or needed to do something. So there is flexibility, but bills will always be due. But yeah, there is a lot of waiting in warehouses for loads to be loaded/unloaded. 4 hours in a Walmart DC is not uncommon at all. Hell I just spent 24 hours at Nestle in Michigan. But you and your fiancé would have probably enjoyed that one as there was a big festival going on about a block away that I walked through to kill time.
To each their own. Everything is what you make it.crxdc Thanks this.
Don't go to JCT. They pay a low rate per mile and haven't given drivers a raise in over a decade. Factoring inflation from then to now, you would be making less $. Let's not forget your truck will be worthless with all those miles on it at the end of 5 years.
I never understood that argument. At the end of any purchase agreement you end with a truck with a lot of miles. Its not like they roll back the odometer at the end of 5 years at Wells Fargo or something.
If your getting married. my advice is get out of trucking. To make any money today as a otr driver working as a company or lease you need to stay out 3 months at the minimum and then maybe 3 days off. otherwise your barley making any money to live. much less run the truck on a lease.