The following post reflects the most recent search engine results relating to the trucking industry. I created this Q & A session to address the most commonly used search terms readers have used to find articles in this blog.
Q: IS US Xpress a good company to work for?
A: I thought this search result was quite interesting. I get quite a few hits from people looking for different companies to work for and I thought I could answer this question well. I spent 4 years as a driver for US Xpress, two years as a company driver and two years driving for an Owner Operator company (Swift Enterprises, Inc.). As a driver coming out of an established, vocational trucking school, I felt I had all the tools to become a successful company driver. I was hired by US Xpress right away and found that they were very professional with every aspect of their operation. The only drawback was the three initial trainers I was placed with when I first started. The third trainer was very patient and explained what I needed to do in a clear, concise manner. I only wish he started out to be my trainer from day one. As for working for US Xpress, they are a well established company with plenty of freight, the right equipment and a genuine concern for their drivers. I would recommend and solo or team driver just starting out a career with US Xpress.
Q: Explain how Team Drivers get paid?
A: Team drivers pay is determined by the truck rate per mile. A team, consisting of two CDL drivers, split 50% – 50% the pay for total miles driven for their truck. Hence, a truck rate per mile of .44 cents per mile would pay .22 cents per mile, per driver for every truck mile driven. If a truck drives 1000 miles per day and each driver contributes 500 miles of driving time per day, each driver would receive $220. dollars.
Q: Disadvantages of having a CDL license?
A: The disadvantages of a CDL license really depends on whether a driver is a local, regional, or OTR driver. The worst disadvantage of having a CDL license is how it relates to the OTR driver. A local or regional driver might be home every night or several nights a week, an OTR driver might be out on the road several weeks at a time. It was my experience as an OTR driver to be away from home, family and friends for almost 4-5 weeks at a stretch.
Q: What are the new log book rules? * Note: #1 Search Term
A: The latest rules from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), dated October 1, 2005, contain the latest information on the Hours of Service (HOS). There have been many rumors and false information about the change in the HOS law. There may be several pending lawsuits regarding the rules, but the latest rules are still in force and may be viewed at the FMCSA Official Website by clicking here.
Q: What are the current pass or road conditions?
A: In the right hand frame of the Trucking Blog, you will find a drop-down menu that links to most of the DOT websites in the western United States. Here you will find road conditions, travel weather, traffic cameras, pass conditions and current construction information for that state. I have also placed a few static mountain pass cams and a current, looping weather satellite/radar image.
Q: Good companies to work for with little or no experience?
A: Almost any truck stop, ie: Pilot, Flying J, TA or Petro, have “magazine racks” full of booklets advertising truck driving career opportunities. Most companies will offer you the world, claim to pay the highest mileage and promise to get you home. Do your homework very carefully and look for other benefits such as paid medical insurance for the family, retirement programs or other benefits not offered by other companies. Your best bet is to find a company based near your home! Regional and national carriers often pay the same and offer a lot of the same benefits. The benefit of working for a company that is based or headquartered near your home is because you will almost be guaranteed great home time. A good time to schedule routine maintenance or repairs is when you can get to the main terminal and have it done during your off time. Many larger companies are now offering free CDL training, but you must drive for them after graduation for up to a year.
As I get more search results and interesting topics I find people are searching for on Google and Yahoo, I will be sure to include them in this Q & A session.
If you would like to contribute the Q & A session, please leave a comment in the comment section of this post and I will consider using it in the session.