What does experience get you at big carriers?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by HogazWild, Aug 4, 2022.

  1. HogazWild

    HogazWild Light Load Member

    May 18, 2022
    It seems at big carriers that people just out of school get almost what experienced company drivers do. What does someone with ten years zero accidents get that a new driver doesn't besides .05-.10 more CPM or 25.00 instead of 20.00?

    Does such a experienced driver basically have to lease or buy a truck to break out of the 40,000-70,000 solo pay scale?
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  3. Antinomian

    Antinomian Road Train Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    What experience gets you is a higher likelihood of being hired by other than a big carrier. Usually it doesn't buy you much at a big carrier. You might get out of having to ride with a trainer, or you may only have to do it for a short time. And you might start a few CPM higher. Seems to me the whole point of working for a big carrier is to get the experience so you don't have to work there anymore.

    These are always exceptions, but as a rule, yes. And by "lease" I hope you don't mean a lease purchase from a carrier.
  4. Last Call

    Last Call Road Train Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    They don't want people with experience at those big Companies..
    Because they can't screw you and Intimidate you like they do the Greenhorns .. and your not indebted to them for your CDL
  5. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    Memphis, TN
    Cpm means so little. What experience gets you is a nicer paycheck at the end of the week because you know how to work. You'll prove yourself more reliable and available to get bigger money loads. I also 2nd the post about being able to get hired at companies that aren't the megas. The more experience you have, the more the industry is your playground for finding work.
  6. sevenmph

    sevenmph Road Train Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Pinellas county Florida
    Sometimes that experience will get you down time. If you and a couple of newbies are waiting and a low margin load comes in it goes to a newbie. Less cost for the carrier. I've seen it, experienced it, been told that.

    DRTDEVL Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Austin, MN
    Stop looking at the CPM and start looking at the overall compensation.

    On the face, fresh grads would "make more money" at some megas than experienced drivers at other companies, but only if you look at their cpm as the basis for comparison. If that newbie is only getting 2200 miles a week at .65, they only made $1430 gross. But take that experienced guy and put him in a truck here at a base rate of .55, let him run his way, and he'll probably turn in 2800+ miles/week. But that means he hit our .1 mileage bonus, so he just made .65 for those miles plus any other accessorial pay, thereby grossing a minimum of $1820. Accessorial pay generally represents about 20% of a driver's paycheck here, so that week would likely be at $2,184 gross.

    This is the norm for most places. Once you get out of the CPM mindset and look at the overall compensation, you will see that CPM is only a portion of the total compensation package anywhere. This is where the megas prey upon the ignorance of those fresh to the industry... they see .65 and think "I will probably drive 600 mile a day for 6 days every week, so I will make $3600/week!" Anyone truthfully looking at the industry knows this is not going to happen. The newbies will get the crappy short runs and longer layover times between loads. In addition, we all know health insurance is expensive (and is usually covered 50% by the employer), 401(k) company matches are "free" money toward your future, detention pays can add up (especially when missing), and payroll taxes effectively add 15.3% to your actual compensation.

    Look at the big picture, not the cpm.
  8. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    The customers paying the bills are only going to pay a certain amount for the freight to be moved, based on their costs and the alternatives to trucking. So if you apply with 20 years experience to move that freight, your pay can only be marginally more than a driver with 1 year's experience. The customer isnt paying more, but the trucking company may pay more because you aren't costing them as much to operate with your taking care of equipment, etc.

    Trucking is a commodity, like growing corn. If your "corn" is the same as every other "farmer" you get the commodity price. Switch to tanker, flatbed, oversize, something other than generic OTR and you can earn more if you pick a company that provides more.

    What if the truck stop charged you more for coffee or food simply because their cashier or cook was passing some anniversary as a cashier or cook? You don't just get more because you have done it longer than the CR England driver parked beside you at the fuel pump. Pick a company that is more efficient or has better paying customers, etc.

    Lots of new drivers think they can get generic pay & conditions working for a generic trucking company. Choose wisely and go where the money is. It might mean moving or switching into other parts of trucking, or even leaving trucking.
  9. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    Big carriers= micromanagement and a truck full of cattle prods PLUS the coveted sunshine injection in Uranus.
  10. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

    Sep 16, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    And the last thing they want is those drivers around educating the last bus load of new recruits. Cap their wages and drive them off. Their problem recruiting and retaining experienced drivers is rooted in them not wanting them. They cost too much money.
  11. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Williesburg, Virignia
    In my case, I was making about 6 CPM more and was given a nearly new tractor. The downside was I kept getting requests to train. I was even asked by safety if I would give a green driver some log training.
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