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The fight for drivers is becoming intense as wages go up to attract talent. With salaries over $80,000 being promised by some carriers drivers are starting to perk up and look for work else where even though they may have been happy at their existing carrier.
I was reading a question the other day in an article where a spouse was looking for suggestions from other drivers as to whether her husband should move from one carrier to another as he was the sole income earner for the family. He was working for a good carrier, home every night, had seniority, Union support, benefits, etc. I won’t say the name but it is a well respected carrier in the industry.
As a single family income he of course is looking to make as much money as possible and feels he has reached his income potential with his current carrier. He is seeing the big offers by other carriers, applied for the job, and received an offer. His dilemma now, does he take the job? The new carrier is offering an over the road job and requires him to be away 5-6 days per week. The family is okay with that but will he really make more money?
This is an important question that people don’t always think through because the salary potential gets in the way. We see the dollar signs and that can cloud our judgement causing us to make the wrong decision. Let’s break it down a bit more.
First the salary you see in an advertisement is often an average or above average salary of what is possible for a driver. If all the stars align you could make “X” number of dollars. It is against the law to put out false advertising so you could make that income if everything is right. The world of transportation doesn’t work that way however and each driver has their own work pace. Some drivers are slower, some have more experience, some have better travel lanes, some have certain equipment, so there are many variables when it comes to how much income a person can make even in the same fleet.
Delays are the next variable that can really hurt the income stated by a carrier. If you get delayed for long periods of time that can affect your earnings. Expenses on the road can take a large chunk of income from a driver. Like the driver above he was home every night, slept in his own bed, showered at home, and possibly took his lunch to work each day. If he takes the job over the road he may now have to pay for showers, buy meals on the road, and buy personal items and equipment for his truck. These are all expenses that many times comes out of the drivers own pocket and income.
If you leave one carrier to drive for another carrier that may give you a raise of $10,000 but if you have to put out more money for expenses you really aren’t ahead of the game. You’re just taking that money and giving it to the truck stop or other vendor. Do your homework if looking at new opportunities as they may not always be what they seem. It’s what you want for a career that’s important, not just the money!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com
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Hard on the heels of the Conference, I was involved in giving a presentation to the Peel Goods Movement Task Force last Friday, and I now know that we, as a group (TTSAO) through CHET are accepted as a stakeholder in relation to Training. A big plus for the Association to be among such an elite level of planners, logicians and academics in transportation. To view the information check out the link below.
The TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) had their 4th annual conference at the end of February with a lot of good information shared with attendees. There were new awards, many great discussions around truck training and how schools or carriers can work closely together. Check out the conference recap here.
A panel discussion led by Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight and consisting on Leanne Quail of Paul Quail Transport, Matt Richardson of Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists Inc, Garth Pitzel of Bison Transport, and Philip Fletcher of Commercial Heavy Equipment Training talked about carrier and school relationships and how it affects students coming into the industry. One of the areas that I thought was interesting about the panel discussion was the fact that relationships between carrier, school, and student were extremely important in the success of a student becoming a professional driver.
Schools are working closely with carriers and developing strong relationships because they understand that carriers are playing a major part in truck training even if they don’t provide it. I have always said to new drivers that their first point of contact should be with a carrier of choice to find out what type of training they require and if they work with certain schools. This allows a student to get training knowing they are able to be hired once they graduate from the school.
Good certified schools also understand that truck training is more than just passing a test and that training is a foundation for your whole career. Having that relationship with a carrier allows a school to prepare that student for the carrier style of operation so the student is successful at the end of the training.
Carriers are investing in a student when they sign on and much of their orientation is focused on competency and skills training when a new driver starts with the fleet. The carrier’s job is to groom that driver once they have the basic skills and working with certain schools is offering that comfort that a new driver has been trained to certain standards. Although many carriers have formal mentor programs they know that mentorship and training happens best when it is a natural fit between the new driver and trainer. Many of us can remember our mentor or trainer when we got started hopefully as good memories. Carriers realize this and are focusing on soft skills and the customer service side of the improving a driver. Trust is a main factor in a relationship between a school, student, and carrier. Careers, safety, and the future depend on it.
As a new student or driver it is important for you to spend time building that relationship with a school and a carrier. Go to events and meet the recruiters. Call carriers and find out which school they work with in your area and why. Talk to the schools about their training programs and which carriers they work with to evaluate what job types are available. Start that relationship before you even choose a training provider and it will help streamline the process of becoming a truck driver. Not only will that save you time, resources, and money, but will also fast track you into a quality carrier right from the start. If you need help getting started then www.ttsao.com is a good place to start.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com