April 04, 2016
Why Dedicated Routes Should Be Part of Your Future
Truckers know the good and the bad of over-the-road (OTR) trucking. The freedom of being out on your own, seeing the country. But with that type of driving come days, weeks and even longer away from home. Where you’re a 20-year-old and just starting out, there’s nothing cooler than OTR trucking. But as you mature, marry and have a family, priorities change.
That’s when some truckers turn to dedicated driving on dedicated routes. There is no substitute for walking through your own front door of your own home to a welcoming family that cares about you. When you do, you feel like a professional, not just a journeyman living from paycheck to paycheck.
What Are Dedicated Routes?
What do we mean by dedicated routes? This is a topic of hot debate among drivers, so let us help try to explain.
- You drive the same routes each day.
- You run loads for the same customer and run a variety of lanes.
But all revolve around two simple principles, consistent home time and consistent pay.
In our business, you are the face of the trucking company; you are building relationships with the company reps you meet on the other end of the route. You dress the part, walk the walk and talk the talk. You are the expert for transporting goods on that route.
How Does Pay Work on Dedicated Lanes?
If you’ve compared salaries on dedicated vs. OTR routes, you’ve probably wondered why they are all different, some higher and some lower than another. You might think if dedicated driving is such a great thing, shouldn’t it pay more? In most every case, it does. But, look at it from a practical standpoint. There are a lot fewer out-of-pocket costs if you driving a dedicated route. You are no longer eating and living on the road for weeks at a time. Many dedicated drivers pack a lunch and are cutting their costs substantially compared with OTR drivers. You will easily spend $150.00 week for meals, hot showers and the like. That’s nearly $8,000 a year. With dedicated routes, you’re not traveling out-of-pocket as much.
Understanding your REAL Needs in a Paycheck
As drivers, we are so focused on the cents per mile. And if you are looking at an OTR position, you would be correct. But in real dedicated work, it is your take home pay. As an OTR driver, you may need to make $65,000.00 a year to make ends meet. But that is before ANY road expenses.
Then you call in to a dedicated recruiter and hear comparable or slightly higher wages are being offered. Before you say you need more, do you really? Let’s do the math.
- Let’s say you’re an OTR and make $1,200 a week gross, but spend $150 to $175 in OTR living expenses. Your real wages are about $1,000 per week and that’s even before we talk taxes and benefits. You have to ask, is that even enough?
- In the dedicated world, you generally make $1,200 to $1,400 per week. And yes, we have increased your yearend earnings by about $2,500 to $5,000. But after you figure in your actual spendable dollars from having no or few OTR expenses, your real take home pay is more like $10,000 to $15,000 more that you and your family can really use.
- And think about the intangibles that money can’t buy. Family time, hobbies, friends, furthering your education. These are all priceless and you can never put a dollar amount on that.
So look closely at your real wages, real needs and real take home pay. We are willing to bet that even a modest increase in your w-2 makes all the sense in the world at the end of the day.
Check Out Your Options
If you’d like to learn more about dedicated driving, check out CRST Job Board. You’re bound to find a route that works for you and your family!
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