What if I told you:

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by Airbrakes, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    This is for those of you thinking about becoming a driver. It's time y'all learn the truth about this industry, before you waste thousands of your own hard earned dollars getting a CDL.

    What if I told you:

    The pay scale is not stagnant. The standards of the industry have not declined in the last 15 or so years nearly as much as expectations have risen. That's right. Pay has kept up with inflation. Barely, but it has. Here's the problem: do not think you're going to get rich driving a truck. You will NEVER get rich working for someone else, no matter what industry you work in. In essence, do not think you're going to own a 750LI and a Taj Majal style mansion. It won't happen. Hollywood may portray such, but this is reality and no the movies.

    With that being said, less address the "students can earn up to 50,000 a year" advertisements. Can you make 50,000 a year within your first year? Yes you can, however you'll NEVER be home. Do the math. If an employer pays 28 cents a mile, that truck needs to be rolling 24/7/365 for you to make 50,000 a year. And this is gross pay, not net pay. If you've already been working another job and make close to 50,000 a year on a 40 hr weekly schedule, DO NOT BOTHER DRIVING A TRUCK, BECAUSE YOULL HAVE TO WORK TWICE THE HOURS TO MAKE WHAT YOU MADE BEFORE!

    Truck driving is a trade, even though the department of labor says it isn't. Because it's a trade, you're going to start off at the bottom of the pay scale. No company pays top dollar for new hires..... Ever.... This holds true for any company in any industry. You work when they want you to work. Not when you want to work. Also, just because having that CDL in your pocket doesn't mean you're entitled to drive a CMV. It's the same as having a college degree. Neither a college degree or a CDL will guarantee you that you'll have a job, much less a good paying job.

    There is no freedom in this job. That's one of the biggest fallacies of this industry. You will always be watched by someone. Your dispatcher, the customer, the DOT, the FMCSA, special interest groups, etc. Your dispactcher and customer will try to push you to run outlaw to get that load there, and you'll have the DOT, FMCSA, and special interest groups watching you like a hawk waiting to catch you slipping and nail you to the wall.

    As new drivers experience the job for what it's really like and drop like flies because the job doesn't meet their unrealistic expectations, other drivers are standing by waiting to fill the seat you vacated.

    Welcome to the reality of trucking. If you're lucky enough to make it passed your first year, congratulations! You accomplished what many others before you couldn't do. However, you still do not have enough experience to land a job with the better employers.

    Let's say you made it one divorce and 3 years later. You kept your records clean, and submitted an application to UPS to drive a feeder. UPS hires you. Guess what? All that hard work and determination from your OTR days are now gone out the window. You're with a new company now, who doesn't know you. Once again, you find yourself at the bottom of the barrel. All that OTR experience did was get you in the door at UPS. Now you have to prove yourself all over again. Yes, you're driving a daycab with the big boys now. Yes, you're no longer a bottom feeder driver. However, you're just a casual worker. You're working rotating shifts doing nothing but fillin in for the regular drivers on vacation and/or sick leave. It may take you up to 5 years to have a permanent run, if you're lucky enough to survive the 90 day probationary period. If you think driving OTR was demanding, buckle up you're seatbelt Dorthy, because Kansas is going bye-bye.
     
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  2. jmsconstantino

    jmsconstantino Member

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    Wow
    From an experienced driver I couldn't agree more here, after being in this for 20 yrs I actually discourage most from getting their CDL because I also feel it's a trap. Just enough $ to have a few beers on the weekend (after bills paid....maybe). But on a brighter note I was able to support my wife's college degree with no loans from behind the wheel and now she makes a heck of a living and we are still together. Although now I really don't have any desire to learn something new, to me its all about how much $ I can put into my retirement accounts and Kids college accounts. She covers the bills now.
     
  3. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    I won't lie, I have a good job. I'm one of the lucky few who landed with a decent employer who pays me enough to live comfortably. I thank God every day for my life and job and family. I'm very happy with my career move, and I would never even think about quitting here.

    However, jobs like mine are rare in this industry, and becoming harder to find every day. It isn't impossible to land a job similar to mine, but it is hard. It wasn't an easy road to get here either. I paid my dues and went bankrupt in the process. I will never tell someone "Yeah, you can also one day drive for Walmart, UPS, ABF, or my employer" because all it takes is just one or two blemishes on your record to prevent you from driving for the better employers. Those employers who pay 65k or more a year only want the best drivers on the road. This job is hard, and the path to get to one of those employers is even harder.
     
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  4. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    I forgot to address something, which is a hot topic for new drivers.

    Lease purchase programs

    Every one of the lease purchase programs are scams. They are meant to benefit the company, not the driver. Here's why I say this:

    I did a 6-month demo lease for CR England. When you lease a truck through a company, you're going to have weekly truck payments instead of monthly. And these payments aren't cheap either. I had a 2010 Cascadia, and I was paying $550 a week for it. That's $550 a WEEK. Then you have fuel, taxes, permits, supplies such as chains, etc. It's going to cost you about $1,000 a week to run a lease program. When I drove for England, IC pay was .94 a mile, subtract the .14 cent variable for a pay of .80 cents a mile. Sounds good right? Let's factor in our weekly cost of $1,000 to run a truck. At .80 cents a mile, you need to drive 1,500 miles a week JUST TO BREAK EVEN. A solo driver will average 2,000 miles a week. So, you would make $400 a week BEFORE TAXES. This is a good week. Sometimes you're going to have bad weeks and finish the pay period in the hole. Trucks break down, you're going to have layovers, etc. Then you're going to have times where you drop a load on the east coast on a Friday. Next load doesn't pick up till Monday, and it's a SoCal load that delivers on Friday. Trip packs for England are due on Wednesday nights. Guess what? You aren't getting paid next week at all. In fact, you're gonna be $1,000 in the hole just for that week alone.

    Not very appealing, is it?
     
  5. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    Here's another thing:

    Let's say you signed a 3 year lease through England, and got a 2010 Cascadia at $550 a week. Guess what? At the end of the 3 year lease, you paid $80,000 for this truck, AND YOU DONT EVEN OWN IT.
     
  6. Magoo

    Magoo You don't have to be Einstein to figure it out

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    Capitalist pigs working us like modern day slaves
    The man has his thumb on us













    :stirthepot:
     
  7. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    And you wonder why so many companies are pushing lease purchase programs on new drivers. They are making a KILLING.
     
  8. Magoo

    Magoo You don't have to be Einstein to figure it out

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    When I started I was doing Flat bed for a company and they were not generous at all if you know what I mean.
    I was delivering my load of drywall to a building supply and they had ordered a lot of loads so we had ample time to chat.
    I talked to this guy who leased a truck with another company and he was giving me the details, I was thinking to myself that on a good week he can make about $50-75 more than me after they take all the stuff out.On a bad week forget it.
     
  9. pilot87

    pilot87 Well-Known Member

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    I guess I was "lucky" I started as an owner operator and then sold the truck and Drove for a Company for another year before getting a Job with Decent Union LTL carrier and stayed with them until retirement...and like you Mr Airbrakes, I too have been grateful for the standard of living it provided for myself and my family and the opportunities that it has made possible for me now......It is a sad thing to see, but your correct that opportunities like this are becoming scarce to non-existent these days..... I'm so glad that I'm not just starting out in the workforce today.....in any field of endeavor..
     
  10. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    I started out with DHL, as I was grandfathered in from Airborne Express. I was lucky to start off with a teamsters job. I then drove for England. What a mistake that was. 3 years of hell. Now I'm with the Post Office. I will NEVER drive for an outfit that isn't union.
     
  11. pilot87

    pilot87 Well-Known Member

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    You were lucky to start with a teamster Job.......3 years with England? ........that's a long time for anyone to be with them... Glad your in a good place with the Post Office. I have known several people over the years that worked in various capacities within the Post Office, including Drivers, and have not once had any of them tell me they would rather have worked elsewhere....
     
  12. Airbrakes

    Airbrakes Super trucker

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    I stayed that long because I knew who I wanted to drive for before I even got into an England truck for the first time. Working for DHL exposed me to Post Office tractor-trailer operators, and not a single one of them complained about their job. Now that I'm working here, I can see why they didn't complain. You would literally be a fool if you quit here. We actually have a bunch of ex-Walmart drivers at our DC as well. I think about 40 of us came from Wally World. You know you have a good job if drivers will quit Wally World at the drop of a hat to work here.

    The one thing that helped me get through England was that I knew there were better employers out there, and I knew how to get in the door to those employers. I agree with your earlier statement. I wouldn't want to start driving a truck now, especially if I didn't know anything about the industry. Maybe that's why so many people drop out within the first year. They assume it's the same crap everywhere.
     
  13. Cerberus_Kelpie

    Cerberus_Kelpie Wings Over the World!

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    For ALL NEWBIES (NOOBS) as it still applies, just reduce pay scale a little each year as well requirements for driving.
     
  14. othertrucker2001

    othertrucker2001 Professional Flummoxer

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    Well said.
     

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