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12 FAQs Truckers Ask About Driving With Freight X

12 FAQs Truckers Ask About Driving With Freight X

We get a lot of similar questions when new drivers call into Freight X. If you’re interested in driving for us, here are some answers to questions you may have!

#1: How much money will I make?

To make things simple, a solo company driver can expect to run about 2,700 miles per week, which brings you right around $1,200 per week gross.

That’s the simple answer, but we wrote a lot more about pay in this article, so check it out: Should I Be a Company Driver or an Owner Operator?

#2: Can Drivers pick their own loads?

In general, no, but it’s not because we want control – it’s because our dispatchers are incredible at what they do. After drivers work with our dispatchers, they tell us they don’t want to pick their own loads.

Our seasoned dispatchers are booking loads every day out of different areas. Freight can be somewhat seasonal, and what might be a great rate going to Colorado today might be not a great rate next week. In other words, just because a load is paying really well going in doesn’t mean you won’t be deadheading out.

We have the tools and experience to make sure what looks like a great rate is actually a great rate. Dispatchers are looking to maximize your weekly revenue – not just the revenue going out to a location on a particular day.

On top of that industry knowledge, our dispatchers make sure you have a scheduled appointment that’s confirmed so you’re not sitting around and waiting all day. You want our dispatchers looking out for your best interest.

In addition, we have a lot of customer freight, which means no matter how high or low the market is, our freight is reliable and steady.

With all that said, we take our drivers’ preferences to heart. A lot of companies don’t care what you want or where you want to go – we’re quite the opposite. We listen to every driver and honor their requests. We also take home time seriously. 

Our dispatchers also go above and beyond to ensure drivers don’t get burnt out by building in needed breaks at home. They make sure you’re doing well both financially and mentally. We really take pride in how we treat our drivers – like family.

#3: What do you offer for teams?

We really have the ideal setup right now for team drivers. The combination of high compensation, light loads, and dedicated lanes is a team’s dream.

Here are the highlights:

  • Each driver gets 30 cents for all miles the truck travels per week (even when you’re sleeping!)
  • Dedicated lanes/routes
  • Dedicated light loads under 10,000 pounds
  • 90% drop and hook – no sitting around, about 15-minute load and unload time
  • In and out of Florida
  • Cash bonus if you run 3 round trips per week, which most teams take advantage of
  • Each team driver consistently grosses up to $2,200 per week

Send us an inquiry if you’re a team interested in this offer.

#4: Will I be home daily?

It’s pretty rare to be home every day, but it depends on the lane. In some instances, yes. 

If you’re a Florida-based driver, we do have some mail runs that are home every day, but they’re all taken right now. With that said, the lanes we have are constantly changing, so if you’re interested in driving for us, send us an inquiry and we’ll get back to you if we have a good fit for what you’re interested in.

#5: What makes of tractors are available for lease?

We’re currently leasing 2015 and newer ProStar Internationals.

#6:  Do you have driving jobs in my city/state?

It depends on the contracts we get. We always have driving jobs in Atlanta, Miami, and Orlando. We typically go as far west as the Mississippi.

As far as regionality, we’re heavy in the southeast and go up the eastern seaboard.

#7: What type of freight do you pull and in what kind of trailer?

We do FAK (freights of all kind) in dry vans.

#8: I have careless driving on my Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) – can you hire me?

As you probably know, insurance companies frown upon careless driving on your MVR. Hiring safe drivers is our top priority, so we feel most comfortable with at least 5 years since the last incident. We handle careless driving from the last 3-5 years on a case-by-case basis.

#9: When can I start a lease purchase contract?

If you’re interested in becoming a lease purchase owner operator at Freight X, you must be a company driver for at least 90 days first.

#10: If I’ve been driving for many years, do I still need to be a company driver for 90 days?

Yes. During the 90-day period, you have a chance to get familiar with us, the type of freight we haul, etc. We also get more comfortable with your reliability as a driver. We have a lot of risk when doing a lease purchase agreement, so we also appreciate the extra time to get to know you as a driver.

If you know from the beginning that you’re interested in lease purchasing, we’ll start you out in the truck you want to eventually lease. You have the opportunity to try it before you buy it, and we also repair anything that’s wrong with the truck as you do your DVIRs (Daily Vehicle Inspection Report).

This helps you get comfortable with us before we go through all the paperwork of a lease.

#11: After 90 days do I just automatically go into the lease?

After the 90-day period as a company driver, you can choose to stay a company driver or you can choose to lease purchase the truck. As long as we’ve gauged you’ll be successful in the lease purchase program (not everyone is a good fit!), then we’ll put together a contract.

You’ll pick a truck (if it’s not the one you’re already driving), we’ll settle on the price, the payments, etc. We help you with everything – plates, insurance, fuel discount, and more.

#12: What are you doing for COVID-19?

Drivers can rest assured that Freight X has a robust continuity plan. We have prepared our office with remote work capability, so your dispatcher can continue serving you from home if need be. Our phone system is equipped to transfer to our cell phones seamlessly, and we have a secure way of connecting to our information with a VPN. 

Our drivers are also prepared to face the challenges. We know finding meals can be the biggest challenge as many restaurants are closed, but nearly all Freight X trucks have fridges in them. We’ve also given all drivers a credit to purchase hand sanitizer, and we’re ready to offer additional support to our drivers in any way we can.

We mean it when we say we are prepared for anything. We know drivers are our everyday heroes, and it’s during a crisis that they get the much-needed attention they deserve. Thank you to all of our drivers – and the drivers across our great country – for being true front line heroes.

Learn more about driving for Freight X:

Should I Be a Company Driver or an Owner Operator?

Should I Be a Company Driver or an Owner Operator?

In most cases, truck drivers have two career paths to consider: become a company driver or be an owner operator. Each career path has its pros and cons – it just depends on what you’re looking for in a trucking career.

In this quick guide, we’ll go over company drivers, owner operators, and which option might be best for you and your situation.

become a driver

What Is a Company Driver?

company driver is an employee of a trucking company that drives a company truck. Company drivers are paid by the mile or the hour, and they typically receive benefits like any other employee.

Paid By the Mile vs. Paid By the Hour

So, is it better to be paid for every mile you drive, or does it make more sense to be paid for each hour you work? The short answer is it depends.

In general, shorter haul loads don’t offer enough miles to make per-mile payment worth your while. For example, if a load is only 97 miles each way, you’re only running about 200 miles per day. If you were paid by the mile, that’s less than $500 per week!

Most drivers aren’t going to work for only $500 per week. That’s why drivers who run local freight are typically paid by the hour. We call these “hourly runs.”

Guys and gals that are on the road doing 500-600 miles per day prefer a per-mile rate because it’s going to pay them more than an hourly rate.

You can really get in the weeds with the math here, but the gist is if you’re hired for a local job, it’s probably going to be an hourly position. And if you’re hired as an over-the-road driver, you’re probably going to be paid by the mile.

Sidenote: There’s a little bit of a push in the trucking industry to pay all drivers by the hour. Some believe paying drivers for every mile they run encourages speeding. This isn’t a massive push by any means – more of a gentle nudge if you will.

In our opinion, this line of thinking isn’t going anywhere because today’s technology is so advanced. For example, there are truck devices that don’t allow you to speed, even if you wanted to.

What Benefits Do Company Drivers Get?

Company drivers are employees, and as an employee, you receive valuable benefits like contributions towards your health insurance, workers’ compensation, and even access to a 401(k) retirement plan if your employer offers it.

Company drivers also have the advantage of reliability. In general, you know what your earnings are going to be (or can be), and you don’t face any unexpected expenses. Company drivers are not responsible for paying for their truck, truck maintenance, or fuel.

Here are some major things company drivers don’t have to worry about:

  • Fuel costs going up and down
  • No earnings if your truck breaks down (you get breakdown pay)
  • No earnings if your loads are too spaced apart (you get layover pay)
  • No earnings if you have to deadhead to get a load (you are paid by the mile or hour)

That’s all pretty reassuring to those who prefer the predictability and reliability of a steady job.

How Much Can You Make As a Company Driver?

Company drivers typically make between 38-52 cents per mile. This is all dependent on your experience and the distance you’re willing to drive. Regional positions pay less, for example, and drivers with a lot of experience are paid more.

Average hourly rates can span from $15 to as high as $25 per hour. The biggest factors here are where you’re driving and any endorsements you have. For example, drivers up north are paid on the higher end, and drivers with HAZMAT and Tanker endorsements are paid more.

As a company driver, the more miles you run or the more hours you work, the more you’ll obviously make, but you are capped to a certain extent. It’s unlikely you’ll ever earn more than about 52 cents per mile driven, and you can only work so many hours in the week.

Additionally, some companies won’t want you to get into overtime, and some driving jobs only pay straight time no matter how many hours you work.

Typical company drivers can expect to make between $35,000-$70,000 per year. Some of our very own Freight X company drivers are even earning upwards of $90,000 per year, so it really can depend.

Drivers with a lot of motivation who are out on the road more often tend to earn on the higher end of that range, while drivers who prefer to have more home time will be on the lower end. Needless to say, the pay is fantastic, especially since you don’t need any advanced degrees.

If you prefer predictability and don’t want to take on the risks of owning your own business, being a company driver is an excellent career path for you.

What Is an Owner Operator?

An owner operator is an independent business owner that teams up with a trucking company for back-office support. Owner operators lease or own their own trucks. If the owner operator is leasing the truck, they’re referred to a lease purchase owner operator.

Read more: 7 Ways to Avoid Getting Screwed Over on a Lease Purchase Agreement

If an owner operator has other drivers working under him or her, they’re referred to as a freight agent.

Read more: Why Becoming a Freight Agent Is the Best Way to Grow a Small Fleet

In any case, when you’re responsible for your own equipment, it means you take on the risk of any business owner. On the bright side, you are entirely independent and have the pride of being your own boss.

Are Owner Operators Considered Employees?

Owner operators are not considered employees. In most cases, owner operators are 1099 independent contractors.

Since owner ops aren’t employees, it should be said that taxes are not automatically taken out of their earnings, so please, please, please! save a portion of your income for tax time. You do NOT want to be like many owner operators who owe the IRS and don’t have the ability to pay them.

What Do Owner Operators Have to Pay For?

Owner operators are running their own businesses, and while they make a lot more money on the freight they haul, they also have a lot more expenses. Some expenses you can plan for, while others can come out of the blue.

The main expenses of an owner operator include:

  • Truck maintenance costs
  • Truck breakdowns
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Other Unforeseen business expenses

Sidenote: Most trucking companies don’t supply health insurance for owner operators. There may be a few exceptions, but in general, that’s the standard.

While all of these expenses can definitely add up, there’s a reason why truckers decide to become owner operators, and that’s the income!

How Much Can You Make As an Owner Operator?

Owner operators have the potential to make significantly more money than a company driver. While company drivers make between 38-52 cents per mile, owner operators typically make about 70% of the load, which would be $1.75 on a load paying $2.50, for example.

Here at Freight X, we pay 74% of the line haul and 100% of the fuel surcharge. We should mention that some trucking companies advertise a higher pay percentage, and that can be deceiving. Always distinguish between the line haul and the fuel surcharge – you should be getting all of the fuel surcharge.

You can read more about that here: 5 Key Reasons Truck Drivers Switch Trucking Companies

As an owner operator, you have the power to choose your own destiny. An owner operator’s annual earnings can range from $78,000-$156,000.

If you’re out on the road diligently, you’ll be on the higher end of the range, and if you continually turn down loads, you’ll be on the lower end.

Don’t forget that owner operators are responsible for their own business expenses, but on the bright side, expenses are tax-deductible. You just have to keep track of them!

What Do Trucking Companies Offer Owner Operators?

You’re making about 74% of the load, so why are you giving up 26% to the trucking company you’re running under?

That can depend on the trucking company, so you really want to do your homework here. You want to be sure you’re partnering with a company that is supporting your growth and is offering top-of-the-line trucking solutions. Don’t give up that 30% to just anyone!

Here at Freight X, we offer best-in-class software, great customer relationships, a shop with incredibly skilled mechanics, and so much more. In fact, here’s a quick sampling of the benefits we provide to owner operators:

  • Pilot/Flying J agreement – fantastic fuel discount!
  • Experienced in-house mechanics that are paid by the hour, not commission
  • Best-in-class tech – Dossier, McLeod, and Transflo
  • More opportunities – drop and hook, trailer pools, customers
  • Free subscription to DAT and Truckstop
  • Great dispatch and load planning support from staff with decades of trucking experience
  • Fueling location optimization to save you money on fuel expenses
  • We file your IFTA
  • ELD provided and monitored

These are just some of the highlights of what we offer to owner operators, but as you can see, that’s a ton of value. We’re able to offer all of this because of the volume we do.

However, we still maintain that small, family-owned company feel. When you call us, you’ll be greeted by your name, not a number. It’s truly the best of both worlds!


How Much Does an Owner Operator Truck Driver Make After Expenses?

Expenses are pretty unpredictable – as are many aspects of trucking! However, many trucking companies (including Freight X) assist owner operators by offering optional maintenance accounts.

You can request to automatically put in part of your earnings into the maintenance account until it reaches an amount you’re comfortable with. That provides you some insurance, so to speak, if you run into any major maintenance or breakdown issues.

Once your maintenance account has a good amount of padding in it, you don’t have to worry about unforeseen expenses coming out of your check.

Your expenses and income are going to range greatly, but we know you probably want to see some kind of example, so we came up with one.

Assuming you run 100,000 in a year, you should plan for about $74,500 in annual expenses. Also assuming you get $2 per mile, which is very reasonable, you would make $200,000 that year.

In sum, an owner operator who runs 100,000 miles annually can expect to make about $125,500 after expenses. And again, expenses are tax-deductible.

Here’s an example of what expenses look like if you run 100,000 in a year:

  • $24,000: Fuel (at Freight X, you get a fuel card with a fuel discount)
  • $16,500: Food and drink while on the road – this is called “per diem” and is major for your taxes – you can deduct $66 per day in 2021)
  • $15,000: Truck maintenance
  • $13,000: Insurance
  • $5,000: Tires
  • $1,000: General administrative expenses (accounting, for example)

Fuel is going to be your largest expense, but it’s not as bad as it sounds since it’s factored into the rate of the load. Owner operators at Freight X regularly bring home between $2,000-$3,000 per week, and that’s after fuel expenses.

Owner Operator vs. Company Driver

One option isn’t inherently better than the other – it just depends on your personality and which option fits your needs the best at this time.

You’re probably better suited to be a company driver (for now) if you agree with the majority of these statements:

  • I’m relatively new to truck driving.
  • I’m not financially prepared to be on the hook for tractor repairs or maintenance costs.
  • I like predictability.
  • I don’t generally like to take on risk if I can help it.
  • I’ve never really had the desire to own my own business.

On the other hand, you might be better suited to become an owner operator if you agree with the majority of these statements:

  • I’ve been driving trucks for several years (or more).
  • I’m financially prepared to handle tractor repairs or maintenance costs.
  • I don’t mind taking on risk when there’s a potential for upside.
  • I’ve always wanted to own my own truck.
  • I’ve always wanted to start my own business.

If you want to be an owner operator but you’re not financially prepared for unexpected costs and you don’t know how to own your own truck, consider becoming a lease purchase owner operator.

Read this first, though: 7 Ways to Avoid Getting Screwed Over on a Lease Purchase Agreement

Conclusion

If you have any questions about becoming a company driver or owner operator here at Freight X, be sure to visit our Become a Driver page. If you think being an Owner Operator with us is right for you, check out our Owner Operators page.

You can fill out the form there to get in touch with us, or just give us a call at 352-629-2042!

13 Reasons Why You Should Become a Truck Driver

13 Reasons Why You Should Become a Truck Driver

Have you been thinking about becoming a truck driver?

Whether you’re interested in the high earning potential or you want to experience the beauty of our country’s landscape (while getting paid), we have 13 reasons why you should consider getting your CDL (Commercial Driver’s License).

1. Earn a 6-Figure Income

You’d be hard-pressed to find another career out there that allows you to make so much money without a college degree (more on that in the next section).

While we have drivers who make as little as $50,000 per year (not exactly chump change!), many of our drivers earn over $100,000 per year. A couple of our highest-earning owner operators even make as much as $150,000 per year.

If you’re willing to run for two weeks at a time before coming home for a long weekend, it’s very feasible to make a 6-figure income.

Our big earners love going out for long periods of time, and they are also owner operators. This means you own your own truck, which allows you to make more on the load.

The downside to being an owner operator is that you are responsible for your truck’s maintenance costs, but we set up a maintenance account for our owner operators to help prepare for those expenses.

We also pay for trailer repairs, which is something a lot of other trucking companies don’t do.

All in all, becoming a truck driver is one of the few ways to earn a 6-figure income without needing years and years of education.

2. No College Degree Necessary

In the United States today, 60% of college graduates have student loans. According to Student Debt Relief, the average debt per graduate is over $37,000 (as of 2016).

That’s a lot of money to owe before you ever even start making any!

As a truck driver, you don’t need higher education. You actually don’t even need a high school diploma. All you need to get on the road and start making money is a CDL, or your Commercial Driver’s License.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains that in order to get your CDL, all you need to do is:

  • Pass a skills test
  • Pass a knowledge test

There are additional certifications you can get, which include endorsements for:

  • Driving a truck with double or triple trailers
  • Driving a truck with a tank
  • Driving a truck with hazardous materials (Hazmat)

We have a select few drivers who have their Hazmat certification, which allows them to haul loads that pay significantly more.

Getting your CDL is as simple as a 4-8 weeks of training and training fees of just a few thousand dollars.

3. Be Your Own Boss

As an owner operator, you have the opportunity to be your own boss. When you own your truck, you own your own business.

Alan Geiss, a lease-purchase owner operator here with Freight X, has created his own LLC, “God’s Way Logistics, LLC.”

Become your own boss as a truck driver

It can be liberating to know you’ve created something that you can build and pass down to your children.

As an owner operator, you have a say in the types of loads you want to run, where you want to go, how long you want to be on the road, and so on.

You still get access to all the back-office support – just like company drivers – but you run your own show.

That being said, that also means you have more responsibility. As a business owner, you want to make sure your company is insured, and you want to be prepared in case your assets – or your truck – breaks down.

You are responsible for maintenance costs as well as potential accidents, no matter how severe.

You will make a lot more money, which puts you in the position to save and put money in special emergency accounts. Our team here at Freight X assists you through that planning process.

Inquire about becoming a driver at Freight X

4. Job Security

As long as people need things, truck driving jobs aren’t going anywhere.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of tractor-trailer truck drivers is expected to grow by 6% over the next 7 years.

The American Trucking Association goes even further, explaining that there’s actually a massive driver shortage. The ATA says that currently, the trucking industry as a whole is about 48,000 drivers short of what is needed (latest numbers as of 2015). That number is expected to grow to nearly 175,000 by 2024.

A few reasons for the massive truck driver shortage include:

  • The average age of truck drivers is 49 – many are retiring, and no one new is coming up to fill their place
  • There is a very low percentage of women truck drivers – women account for only 5.8% of all truck drivers
  • Motor carriers are very selective with the drivers they hire due to safety and professionalism priorities

This brings up an important point – just because there’s a shortage doesn’t mean there aren’t truck drivers without jobs. There’s a demand for drivers with excellent driving histories, driving experience, and other important factors.

As of 2012, 88% of all trucking companies said that most driver applications were simply not qualified for the job.

That being said, truck driving jobs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the trucking industry needs to hire an average of 89,000 new drivers per year to keep on track with the loss of older drivers and industry growth.

If you want to become a great truck driver, it’s easy to say you’ll be in high demand.

5. It’s a Great Option for Veterans

Truck driving is actually a huge opportunity for veterans.

Many insurance companies have special programs to get veterans back in the workforce (ours included). Veterans with CDLs are given credit for the time they spent driving in the military and for so graciously serving our country.

We love hiring veterans, because they are reliable, respectful, and they are truly some of the best drivers and employees we’ve ever had.

Our company values the training and positive attitude instilled in our military.

6. Travel the Country

There’s something so American about being on the open road and experiencing the beauty of our country. Many of our drivers have a collection of trinkets showing all of the states they’ve been to.

It’s eye-opening to see how diverse our country’s landscape is, from the mountains to the prairies – sing it with me – to the oceans white with foam!

There aren’t a lot of careers that allow you to sit back, relax, and take in the beauty of nature.

While the great pay might be the reason you join the trucking industry, many of our drivers say that it’s the ability to see our country that makes them want to stay.

7. Retire at a Young Age

Because there’s such an opportunity for making a great salary, it’s very feasible to be able to retire at a young age as a truck driver.

The more you work, the more you earn, so you do have to be motivated in order for this to be a realistic plan.

However, we’ve known drivers who were able to make over $1 million in less than 10 years. If you can force yourself to live on a meager salary for those 10 years, and you save everything you can, retiring early is a real possibility.

Most careers don’t have this kind of option, but because you have the ability to work as much or as little as you want, hard work really can pay off in a big way.

8. Travel (and Get Paid) With Your Spouse

Team driving as a husband and wife is certainly not unheard of!

You get to travel the country together while making double the income. As a team, you can travel more miles, and you can also demand a higher rate per mile.

Team driving is also a great way to minimize some of the cons that come with truck driving, such as loneliness, depression, or boredom.

Couples who fit the following guidelines generally make a great truck driving team:

  • Don’t have enough saved up for retirement
  • Don’t have kids
  • Don’t own a house
  • Aren’t tied to any one place to live
  • Want to travel with your spouse but don’t have the money to do so

While these aren’t requirements by any means, these are some points that husband/wife teams sometimes adhere to.

Heck, if you love your spouse and want to make great money while traveling together, truck driving can be a perfect fit!

9. Training Is Low-Cost and Fast

You do need your CDL, but the good news is that it costs very little, and you can get it very quickly.

There are a lot of truck driving “schools” out there that can help you get your CDL in as little as a month or two.

While you don’t technically have to go to one of these schools, we recommend looking into it to make sure you’re prepared for the necessary exams.

Often times, your local community college is a good place to start, as they often have truck driving training at a very affordable cost.

10. You Love Trucks

Do you have a love of trucks? It might sound cliché, but why not have a job where you’re around trucks all day?

We love our drivers who geek out over the latest and greatest models, and it’s just a fun environment when you’re around people who love what you love.

Trucking is really a family, and at Freight X, we love talking trucks! We have over 75 drivers currently, and it’s always a fun time when we can share a love for something as simple as a truck.

11.  Benefits Are Offered

Depending on what truck driving position you’re interested in, there might be benefits available.

Potential truck driving benefits include:

  • Workman’s Compensation Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision and Dental Insurance
  • AFLAC
  • Paid vacation time
  • Paid resets on the road
  • Detention
  • Break-down pay
  • Layovers
  • Company swag

It’s always nice to earn a great living and get additional benefits on top of that.

At Freight X, we’re proud to offer all kinds of great benefits for our valued drivers!

12. You Have Truck Driving Options

Not all truck driving positions are the same, which means you do have options when it comes to working as a truck driver.

There are company drivers, who get paid by the hour. If you don’t want any financial risks, being a company driver is a safe and secure career to have. We love our company drivers!

There are also owner operators, who get a percentage split on all the loads they haul. They have the opportunity to be their own boss, but there is some risk. For example, if their truck breaks down, they’re responsible for repairing it. However, they do earn more money per load than company drivers.

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry. There’s room for everyone!

13. No One Day Is the Same

Unless you’ve worked out a deal where you’re running the same loads – and you like it that way – no one day in the trucking industry is the same.

It’s always something different. You’re traveling somewhere new, hauling something interesting, meeting new people… the trucking industry is constantly changing.

We love that no one day is the same, because it keeps things fresh and the work day never lags.

When all is said and done, the trucking industry is full of wonderful benefits to its drivers.

We’d love to chat about why driving for Freight X is better than any other company. Simply click the link below to learn more about being a Freight X driver.

Become a driver at Freight X