Solo Driving: Impossible To Make $?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by RiggerModus, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Scarecrow03

    Scarecrow03 Road Train Member

    3,411
    7,443
    Sep 27, 2006
    In Your Head
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    First of all, the salary figures recruiters give you are without taxes taken out. Secondly, I made a lot more than 400/wk during my first year, and I started out at 24cpm for the first 6 months, then went to 26. After a year I was at .27, and conveniently enough, two weeks later the company gave a 3 cent across the board raise.

    I would say that realisticly as a new driver, you should be able to make 35K a yr without much problem as a solo driver. Keep in mind, however, that this varies on what sort of driving you will be doing. Are you driving irregular routes, dedicated, regional, line haul, local? If you are an OTR irregular route driver you will most likely only be home one day for every 7 on the road. Dedicateds, regional, line hauls and local will get you home at least every weekend or, in the case of local driving, home every night. It's not impossible, but highly improbable that as a new driver you will get any of the runs with more hometime if you are working for a nationwide company such as SNI or Roehl, although Roehl does have that 7/7 plan. I personally don't like that plan as it requires you to slip seat (share a truck with another driver).
     
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  3. dstockwell

    dstockwell Light Load Member

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    Oct 11, 2006
    Georgia
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    No way $400 a week is worth that, I am looking for $600 min. Paperboy, he also said take home, after taxes, insurance if any, etc. Still low depends on his deduction rate also.
     
  4. Cynical Driver

    Cynical Driver <strong>"Eternal Cynic"</strong>

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    Aug 27, 2006
    Wisconsin
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    Keep in mind that they keep you busy, this does not mean that you'll run 3k+ a week.

    I am just starting out, no way are they going to give me a 1300mile run yet. I also live in Wisconsin, in the middle of it. This means that with $400 one week my rent is paid, and then some. Another week, my car and insurance, and other side bills - including cell. The other 2 are mine That's $800 a month to bank or blow. For me this is worth it. My last job left me with $150... On a good month! Working 45-50 hours a week, for $9.25/hr.

    If you're making that much delivering papers then you must be forgetting the cost of gas, and there has to be more than one route. Been there, done that. With 3 routes I was lucky to cover $200/week after expenses.

    IF I could run 3k, I would pull $1200 easy. However in my area it all goes to Chi-town, and that kind of area will severely decrease the miles you can cover in a day. It takes 2-4hrs to get through it depending on traffic.

    If you want $600/wk with no experience starting out, with current loads, and current demand... You're not going to do it.

    People complain about load #######, and layovers, and the like. That's because the industry is in a slump - no loads = no miles = no pay.

    Get the people to start buying stuff again, then maybe our business will pick up. Then maybe we'll get better runs. In the meantime, move the hell out of that $1300/month appartment.
     
  5. Scarecrow03

    Scarecrow03 Road Train Member

    3,411
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    Sep 27, 2006
    In Your Head
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    Anyone who's ever lived anywhere but the midwest can attest that $1300/mo for an apartment is considered the norm in some areas. Not everyone can live in a part of the country, such as the midwest, where rent is dirt cheap. The house payment I made on my house that burned in August was only $309/mo for 4 BR and two stories in a small town in southern IL where there is no work anymore, except for trucking.
     
  6. kc0rey

    kc0rey Medium Load Member

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    Jul 5, 2005
    Macomb, IL
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    Same here. I bought my house for $55,000 last March. A guy from Chicago came by and said my house would sell for $350 to $400K in Chicago.
     
  7. lostcause

    lostcause Bobtail Member

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    Oct 22, 2006
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    I remember when i first started.The first years were tuff. we didn't have schools then and to get expierence i worked for alot off sorry folks.hang in their and u will make good $ after a while. Trucking isn't 4 everyone I make good money now and have a good job.Look around I would try a big company with a good training program.
     
  8. Nuthinspecial

    Nuthinspecial Bobtail Member

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    Nov 19, 2006
    Salem, Or
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    Trick or Truck-

    Do teams make more than solos? Of course.....1+1 still =2, that part's easy. Now as far as 'decent money' being $400 a week....well, that's another story. For $400 a week I doubt more than a handful of hard up folks would leave their families at home. Shoot, for $400 a week I wouldn't leave my dog at home. That kind of money really is not the 'norm,' trust me. Now everybody has a differen't situation, married or not, kids or not, the list goes on........but even with no expenses at home I wouldn't drive for at least double that!

    As far as 2,3 or 4 hours (whatever the quote was) to go 40-50 miles....if you are logging that in anything over an hour.....you will not ever make money trucking. I'm not advocating people to falsify their logs, but come on, that's just common sense! The log book is nothing more than a tool (to the DOT) and a game us drivers are forced to play. You just have to know THEIR rules, and play by them. When you are good enough at the game, you will be able to master it and beat them at their OWN game. This is the part where you smile all the way to the bank. And yes, it takes much more than $400 a week to make 99% of drivers smile. :biggrin:
     
  9. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    There are ways to make money, but you have to take a close, analytical look at your situation and what you are doing to come out ahead. What you haul matters. If you haul cheap freight, whether as an O/O or as a company driver, there is simply less money around for you to get part of. A company that is running on thin proit margins is not going to be able to compensate their drivers as well as one that makes more money.

    The area you run in has an effect on your income. I live in a freight rich area, and rarely have to travel far empty to grab another load. That keeps me busy and ensures that i make a good income. I know some other people who live in more remote areas, and they make less because there simply isn't as much cargo in their area. They and their employers lose time, money and fuel, just getting to where the freight is.

    Some work is seasonal, and you hit seasonal downturns and slowdowns. You have to look for work that remains consistent year round to make the best money. Something that pays good money, but has slow periods leaves you out of the game until it picks back up.

    And, you have to get some experience in to be able to recognize what type of work and where to do it. You need some experience to be able to sit down and figure out where the money is, and you have to be the guy that they want to handle that work once you find it. It isn't easy, and takes some real effort, but it can be done.
     
  10. jneesy

    jneesy Bobtail Member

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    Sep 7, 2006
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    I made 400.00 a week in training, if your not making 600-700 a week after a few months solo your with the wrong company
     
  11. toolman

    toolman Bobtail Member

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    Aug 15, 2006
    Abilene, Tx
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    I mean no disrespect but $400\wk IS chump change. Don't get me wrong, we all have the occasional bad week but as a general rule, I average just under $1000\wk take home and am prob. one of the laziest drivers in the company. Heck, I usually spend $100\wk just on meals. I would suggest that you go to a truck stop and pick up several of the driver employment books-there are several companies that will train you to run solo and pay you enough to actually live on as well. When you are hauling freight, one of the biggest keys is keeping expenses down-get a cooler and microwave or portable oven and use them instead of eating in the truck stop all the time. Many people hate Wal-Mart but they are a truckers best friend-cheap and accessible in most cases.
    Make up a list of questions to ask the recruiter when you call. Here is just a guideline:

    1.Payscale-how much per mile and do they pay the same loaded and dead-head miles.
    2.Benefits-what are they and how much do they cost?
    A.Insurance-what types(health, life, accident, dental, vision) and is family included or extra?
    B. Are pre-existing conditions covered?
    C. How long before coverage kicks in?
    D. Is additional coverage available, what does it cost, and what does it cover?
    3.Home Time: What is the policy, how long are you out and how long are you off? What is the co. policy if you need extra time off?
    4.Rider Policy: Can you take your wife, girlfriend, or kids with you? How long can they ride? Do you have to pay extra for insurance? Is there an age limit?
    5. Equipment: What type of trucks\trailers do they have? Are they equipped w\communications? How fast do they run? What size sleepers do they have? Are they equipped with any extras like fridge, inverter, APS, does the co. pay for any thing like e-mails, Idle-Air, etc.? What type of maintenance procedures\scedule do they follow?
    6. Dispatch: Do you have designated dispatchers, what is the dispatch procedure?
    7. Extra Pay: tarp pay, stop pay, delay pay, etc..what, when, where?
    8. Family support: what is their policy if you have an emergency at home?
    9. Bonuses\Vacation: what, when, where?
    10. ANYTHING else that you can think of.
     
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