Sign up for The Wire Newsletter!

Kinda rough so far

Taylor506

New Recruit
Driver
Offline
This life is rough. But I love it. I'm just worried that I wont be able to make ends meet...... I'm in a sprinter van with Bolt Express and I couldnt be happier. What was your first few weeks like? I would like to hear others peoples experiences. Did you ever have any doubt about weather this will work out or not? I have bills to pay and I'm worried I wont be able to profit enough to pay my bills for very long.
 

Turtle

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
Offline
It can be rough out here in a cargo van, because there are far more cargo vans than there are cargo van loads. About 50% of cargo van drivers are out of this business within 6-12 months because they find out it's not really the easy money they thought it would be. That's especially true of those who drive someone else's van.

Things are particularly slow right now due to COVID-19, but should pick up in 2-3 months.
 

RoadTime

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Did you ever have any doubt about weather this will work out or not?
After nearly a decade of doing this, the doubt never ends.
Rough times right now for sure.
Since you say you, "couldn't be happier", let that drive you to continue on.
Don't worry about what you can't control. The flow of Expediting is always changing.
You can go from slow to go go go in a heart beat. Try to judge how your doing longer term ie: Month to month over week to week or day by day.

Starting out new is never easy. You will be hit with the learning curve, it will level out but may take time as you gain experience. Still that may not be enough as many have failed.

Back in good times (many years ago), I did pretty good driving for a owner.
But those days are long gone, it was tough for drivers before all this 2020 mess. I couldn't image driving for a owner now. If I was in your shoes and wanted to continue with this...Do want you can to survive, stay out as much as possible, and work towards getting your own van.
 

sabbatinog

New Recruit
Researching
Offline
Taylor506....what agreement do you have with the van owner....as far as pay percentages...who,pays for gas, repairs, etc....and did you have to pay $300 for orientation? What is customary ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Taylor506

Taylor506

New Recruit
Driver
Offline
Taylor506....what agreement do you have with the van owner....as far as pay percentages...who,pays for gas, repairs, etc....and did you have to pay $300 for orientation? What is customary ?

60/40. I get 60. I pay for gas and tolls. He pays for repairs
Not sure who's paying for orientation. I think it's me.

What's customary??? I have no clue.
 

sabbatinog

New Recruit
Researching
Offline
This life is rough. But I love it. I'm just worried that I wont be able to make ends meet...... I'm in a sprinter van with Bolt Express and I couldnt be happier. What was your first few weeks like? I would like to hear others peoples experiences. Did you ever have any doubt about weather this will work out or not? I have bills to pay and I'm worried I wont be able to profit enough to pay my bills for very long.
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
I went through 4 orientations total and never had to pay for them, unless you mean hotel or something. Who is charging $300 for orientation?
 

blizzard2014

Veteran Expediter
Driver
Offline
This life is rough. But I love it. I'm just worried that I wont be able to make ends meet...... I'm in a sprinter van with Bolt Express and I couldnt be happier. What was your first few weeks like? I would like to hear others peoples experiences. Did you ever have any doubt about weather this will work out or not? I have bills to pay and I'm worried I wont be able to profit enough to pay my bills for very long.
I loved working for Bolt. Back in early 2010, when I first signed on with them, they ran me non-stop for six straight weeks. I think I grossed 16k in 6 weeks? It was something close to that. I took every load they gave me and it was a very good ride. I should have stayed with them, but I am hard headed and always have to mess with well enough. It will be harder to make money working for an owner, but you are also not locked into expediting. You can pull the plug without being stuck with a van and a van payment. I lucked out in 2010 when I bought a 2004 Chevy Express van for 5500 from a plumber who had given the van to his land lord in lieu of rent monies he owed. The land lord knew the van was worth way more money, but all he wanted out of the deal was what the tenant owed him in rent, which was the 5500 dollars.

The van had been well maintained. It had 100k miles on it and I got it up to almost 500k miles before the engine finally blew. I had no payments, but I had no credit. I only had 300 dollars in my pocket when I drove from CA to Bolt headquarters for orientation. One blown tire would have left me stranded and out of business. But some how it all worked out. In the other 40 percent on your loads, ask how much your own pays in payments and insurance and see if that extra 500 to 1000 a month in (net) income would make it worth your while to buy your own van and get into the game. Not having a payment makes a huge difference as you can survive the lean times much easier, but you need a newer van these days in order to get signed on. Also, I noticed in a cargo van, they loaded up the sprinter sized vans first in Laredo. There is a definite advantage to having a longer and taller vehicle. I just want to say Mark Hodges (spelled wrong possibly) is a great guy, great recruiter. He never blew smoke and Bolt is a wonderful company to work for. In my opinion "they make expediting simple and uncomplicated!" Their system is very easy to use and it doesn't take very long to figure out how to become successful there. Unlike some of the other companies who complicate the snot out of expediting. I hope you hang in here.
 
Last edited:

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
Bolt is a good company and I can agree Mark is one of the better guys around to work with. And yes, it's misspelled. :) I think it's something like Hedges but pronounced like Hodges. If I were going back in the business Bolt would be on my short list.
 
  • Like
Reactions: blizzard2014

Noname

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
US Navy
Offline
Some expenses related to orientation are really deductions for items that drivers get at no cost up-front but are still a driver expense advanced by Bolt. No out-of-pocket expense for those items, but they aren't free either. When I was there many moons ago some drivers got their PPE or other required items from Bolt then had deductions out of future income. Might also include costs of criminal background checks, drug screens, etc., but I don't know for certain. Recruiters will tell any prospect what those expenses are, and prospects should ask before getting surprised. I don't know if Bolt charges for the orientation itself, very much doubt it, but they aren't losing money on it either. It's good that a needy and responsible person can get an income opportunity with no up-front money. It's also what makes it too easy for a driver to walk away from responsibility to an owner. IMO.
 
Top