People looking for a career change, unemployed people and others see the numerous advertisements for truck driving jobs and begin to consider the possibility of a truck driver career. Advertisements promising large salaries, benefits and even bonuses for truck drivers are prevalent. As a result many people begin to consider trucking as a good career option.
Although the huge salaries quoted are for experienced drivers those viewing the ads think they apply to all drivers. Sadly this is not the case. New drivers will earn salaries at the bottom of the pay scale. Furthermore, new drivers cannot pick and choose the trucking company they will work for. Instead, they will likely be limited to being offered employment by one of the companies known as starter companies.
The pay you will receive as a new driver will be much less than the numbers listed in the ads. Truck drivers especially the over the road drivers will be required to drive 70 to 80 hours each week. You will not be paid for the hours worked. Instead you will be paid based on the number of miles you actually drive. You will be expected to give away at least two hours of your time at loading docks. You will not be paid for weekend layovers at truckstops. You could potentially lose 30 to 40 hours of time, all of it uncompensated. The exception to this is if you are a unionized worker. For example, drivers that are members of the Teamsters Union are paid for all hours worked.
One driver told of his first experience on a truck driving job. He was hired by a nationwide trucking company and looking forward to beginning his truck driving career. He lived in Georgia so the company booked him on a flight to New Jersey to pick up his assigned truck and trailer. The reason he has to pick up the truck in New Jersey was because the truck was being repaired at a New Jersey truckstop. The company had just fired the driver of that truck due to an accident that he had been involved in.
This driver left his home town on a Friday afternoon on a flight to New Jersey. However, when he arrived to pick up the truck and trailer they were not ready. An unanticipated problem had been discovered during the repair process and it took longer than expected for the repairs to be completed. The repaired truck and trailer were not ready until Sunday afternoon at which time the driver was finally dispatched on a load.
Was he paid for his time spent Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday for taking care of the trucking company’s business? Absolutely not! Did they put him up in a hotel? Of course not! Did they reimburse him for food expenses while he was taking course of their business? Definitely not! Well he spend all of that time waiting for the truck and trailer to be repaired for his employer. Surely they paid him something didn’t they? Perhaps in his dreams! Such was his introduction to the world of trucking.