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Couple Weighing Megacarrier T/T v. Straight Truck Expediting

JWhite84

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My wife and I are looking for a lifestyle change, and have decided to give team truck driving an honest shot. We've been together for 17 years, are in our mid thirties, have no children, have careers in health care and as a chef, respectively, and just aren't happy. The nomadic life of truck driving appeals to us a great deal.
Having watched a number of videos on YouTube and gotten an idea of the process, though, I am left wondering whether we ought to get our Cdls through Prime and go that route or start talking to straight truck fleet operators.
See, neither of us wants to own or lease a truck right now.
We want to drive for somebody else.
Will we stand to make a comparable amount if we decide to expedite rather than drive a tractor trailer?
It seems that couples like us are sought after to some degree, and we want to get the ball rolling within the next 6 months.
We would appreciate any advice that is given.
 
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Ragman

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
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Something to think about... with Prime, you are an employee. Do what they say, when they want it done.
In Expedite, you are an independent contractor making business decisions.

Just something to ponder.
 

JWhite84

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Researching
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Honestly, the prospect of running constantly doesn't intimidate us the way it might some. We're accustomed to long hours and hard work. But, of course, we are human and would appreciate the freedom that seems to come with expediting... not to mention the lure of those straight trucks. But we don't want to gamble on financial well-being. We aren't under the illusion that we'll get rich, but we aren't going into this strictly for leisure. We want to use the opportunity of living on the road to help us save and get ahead a bit. We're nervous that expediting won't pay comparably.
 

JWhite84

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Will we only make slightly less, on average? Can we rely on having work?
I've heard the term lottery used. Is the industry saturated? Will we struggle to find enough loads? Is that a regular concern?
We ask in earnest. This is a big decision.
We're fine with staying out for months at a time. We are reliable. We are smart. We work hard.
Is that enough in this industry?
Should we start in tractor trailer and consider expediting later? Or is the work there, and do you think we'd regret not starting off in a straight truck?
I realize the answers are nuanced.
 
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RoadTime

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
If your looking to maximize your income, then hands down T/T team. Most company's can keep you as busy as you want.
More creature comforts with less potential income and more down time, step into a straight.
Think about the real reason same household teams are so desired for a straight,
There isn't enough money to split between the two drivers to keep them happy...for long :cool:

So it really depends on what you want to do. Both have their positives and negatives.
You can save up a boat load of money in a year doing T/T Team, then do what ever you want.

Just my 2 cents :cool:
 
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Grizzly

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
I have some advise but first I'm going to ask one question ....

What's on your MVR for the past 10 years? Both you and your spouse?

Without knowing that, whatever advise given may be inaccurate. Not all circumstances are black & white, there are nuances to this. Without knowing that piece of the puzzle we're all just tossing out ideas. There are companies that will not accept you based on your lack of experience. Doesn't matter how smart or hard working you are, some insurance companies will not allow you to go from being a cook to driving one of their vehicles.
 
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JWhite84

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No tickets of any kind on either of our records.
I've been a professional chef, a kitchen manager, since 2011. My wife has been a veterinary technician for just as long. We both have degrees.
But no jobs in transport.
I've driven catering vans, moving vans, and have never had my license suspended or revoked for any reason. My dad was a mechanic and I've been driving since I got tall enough to reach the pedals. But that's about all I can lay on the table insofar as experience is concerned.
 
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Grizzly

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
No tickets of any kind on either of our records.
I've been a professional chef, a kitchen manager, since 2011. My wife has been a veterinary technician for just as long. We both have degrees.
10 yrs - no tickets or accidents of any kind? OK ...

Your degrees don't matter .... much.

As mentioned there are expedited companies that will not accept you without min 2 yrs experience. You may think it would be nice to start out with Load1, Landstar, etc ... not gonna happen. If I were in your shoes, I would play the long game ... 4 yrs.

Year 1 - TT team - Gotta get your feet wet somewhere. Do your homework and try to be selective.
Year 2 - TT team - save $, save $, save $ ...
Year 3 - Expedited Str8 - Find a spot with a proven, reliable fleet owner on a top tier carrier. Two years in, you may think you're ready to fly on your own. Good bit of money saved, why not buy a truck? Even though you'll have proven trucking experience, expedited is quirky. Take the year to learn the business & save some more. You'll be able to learn better without the financial pressure of being an owner. Start looking for a truck.
Year 4 - Buy a truck and drive for whatever carrier you want.

It'll take awhile to get there but most good things do.

Oh, please keep in mind that at any point if you get a ticket or have an accident of any kind .. you'll be back in the kitchen.
 

TeamCaffee

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I am glad that we first experienced T/T with a Mega carrier and it was not Prime and we would not have gone with Prime. Do some research on companies. That time with the mega carrier taught us what to expect out here from showers, traffic, docks, and I hate to say it but how to be treated really really bad by not only the company but the shippers and receivers. It was bad enough we were ready to leave trucking. When driving team for a mega carrier get used to having no time together you will say Hi when you pass each other trading drivers and it will wear you out. It is a hard life and some people thrive on it and it crushes others. We had been married twenty years when we got into this and we did not want to get into trucking together to actually be apart trying to get enough sleep so we could drive again. So going forward a few years we find expediting and we buy our first truck as we were very confident we knew how to live on the road, we enjoyed driving, and we knew we would not be treated as bad as we were at the mega carrier. We were right and what a wonderful surprise to be valued not only by the company leased to but by the shippers and receivers as they were usually desperate for what we had on. The other problem is you will have your Class A CDL and if you go into a straight truck and really like Expediting in a pretty short period of time there are no major companies that will allow you to drive a T/T again without going back to school. So I am glad we started the way we did as we have a very deep appreciation for Expediting as we know how ugly it can be. If we had to do it all over again I think we probably would have gone straight into Expediting in a straight truck.

I could really go on and on about how much we like the straight truck and expediting but it is not for everyone.
 

JWhite84

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Thank you all for your responses. We appreciate it, honestly.
So, I suppose a straightforward question to pose would be:
Do you think that we would, as a team, make 60k our first year on a straight truck, expediting?
We know that even T/T won't pay as much year one. But we'd like to think that we can clear 30k a piece. If we could do that, starting off expediting might be feasible.
 
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Warrior

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Fleet Manager
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Yes, if you are White Glove with FedEx Custom Critical, which in my opinion is the only way to go for Expedite. The teams that work for me make over $100k per year staying out as they should, working hard when the work is there, and understanding that its all about end of the week, end of the month, end of the year numbers, as this business fluctuates and nothing is certain. If you want honest straight forward answers, just PM me.

I do not recruit from this site as I have people who only do that and we don't use the load boards. I am the Fleet manager so I can tell you about loads, trucks, living on the road, and what it takes to make it in the Expedite field.

I cannot give any clear answers on the Mega Fleet stuff as this is all I have ever done, but been doing this for years. In the end, some people are truly business people who truck, and others are truckers who are trying to be business people. The answer to that question has a lot to do with the best place for you. Expediting is mostly about lifestyle, and if it suits you, the money is there. Some people are not comfortable sitting for a couple of days, even if the next load pays a weeks worth of money, they just have to keep moving all the time. No right or wrong answers, but I may be able to provide some good info on one side of the business to help make your decision easier. Just let me know if I can help.
 

geo

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Owner/Operator
US Navy
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if your going to do this you need to have other things to do, write a book. sales things, I sold lap tops pc's, new and used trucks. gensets, mason shoes and other things
 
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