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Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

Old Nov 20th 2012, 8:50 pm
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Default Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

Hi all, first post here, and I see there are lots of questions about making the move, and I seem to see quite a bit of misinformation, I hope to clear up.

First off, I have been driving truck over here for 25 plus years, I'm starting to lose count. I have done most things anyone could imagine in this industry. I have never been "across the pond", but I would like to someday, I have even considered trying to drive truck over there. But I am guessing there is a reason why everyone wants to come here.

The misinformation I want to clear up is how hard it is to make a living here. It's no picnic, and don't let any recruiter tell you different. It kind of irks me how some of these carriers can immigrate so many drivers on the basis of misinformation.

One man's trash is another man's treasure, and the reverse is also true when it comes to driving over here.

Currently I am a reefer driver. Been doing that for 15 years. I have done oilfield, city P&D, construction and just a tiny bit of flatdeck. I prefer reefer because the hours may be long but the work is really easy, and that is a lot easier on my body. Plus, I can have a better schedule than any of the others, I have very good hometime, usually 8 days out and 3 home.

Here's the nuts and bolts. I currently make .42 a mile. Compared to other companies, this is a very good rate for what I do. I haven't found too many that pay more, lots pay less. On top of the rate, I make roughly $200 a month on other items, pick and drop/border crossing/wait time, ect.

I roughly run about 11,000 miles a month, 8 out 3 in. At .42 mile plus $200 additional revenues, I make about $4820 a month, $2410 semi-monthly. After taxes, EI, CPP, that means I take home about $1700 twice a month.

$3400 net.

I have two kids and a wife. And a yappy dog.

Now this personally isn't my housing costs, becuase I pay more than this (mortgage), but typically your can find a three bedroom house for about $1200 (I am in Regina, Saskatchewan). Everything else is my monthly bills however.

Rent - $1200.00
Power - $168.00
Energy - $68.00 (this is natural gas. Only needed if you don't want to catch a nasty case of death in the middle of winter.)
Water - $74.00
Phone/Internet/television bundle - $200
Grocery (famiy of four) - $800
Gas for car - $250
Car Insurance - $80
Cell phone - $70
Car Payment - $225

So after a $3400 net cheque, that leaves $265 left over. Notice I didn't mention other expenses, like entertainment, ect? And keep in mind, my wages are probably just a little bit better than lots of others.

Very very tight living.

In my case, my housing costs a month are closer to $1700, since I own my home, pay property tax, house insurance, ect.

My wife works as well for the city of Regina, so in our case, it's not so bad. But if someone wants to come over and give it a go on just a single income alone, this is no small feat.

I hope this helps someone here making the decision. Not trying to discourage anyone, but I am somewhat appalled by some of the recruiters and the bull whip they are telling some people. I do know several British drivers over here, and I have heard the songs and dances. Having said that, many are very happy here, but I think they had their ducks in a row long before they ever came over. Be prepared to dip into your nest egg when you get here, and be prepared to not contribute a lot to it once you do.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

Fair comment but take away the car payment , halve the fuel and the cost of your tv/phone/internet provider and the sums look slightly better .
You must be content with your job because as we both know there are a lot better paying driving jobs to be had in the area , even Evraz pay $30 an hour for driving around the site and obviously home every night , Coop tankers pay fair money with a variety of shifts , then there's always the GTH . Horses for courses but the well paid work is there if you want it .
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

yes, there are others that pay better, but not in reefer work, at least I have yet to find them.

Like I mentioned, I worked oilfield and construction, and I have witnessed probably 4 boom bust cycles. Right now, the west is going through a boom cycle, because everyone else is in a bust. Construction is going through a huge phase right now because tons of money is being dumped into the projects. These are short term. All the gravel haulers at some point will be looking for work. Same goes for oil. I have been laid off from both in my years. More than twice. I've lived in this province all my life, and I have seen this before. Don't get me wrong, people in these industries need to maximize their earnings as much as possible, but they also need to be prepared for the inevitable. Too many drivers I know think that their oil/mining/construction job will last forever.

Just Google "Weyerhauser Prince Albert", this is what I mean.

I would say besides reefer and van work, flat deck would be the next most secure, and of course better paying. But me personally, I'm not into tarping in a -30 wind.

But please keep in mind, this is just my opinions. Reefer and dry work for me.

Bulk fuel, your right is pretty good. Little tough to get on, but decent paying work.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

wow hydro costs a fair bit more in Sask as in Manitoba .We pay 150$ on a average monthly payment scheme across the yr. for all hydro,/heating for us same size o house .
Car insurance seems slightly cheaper than MB.
But all in all lets people have an idea before they arrive.
jimmy.

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Old Nov 21st 2012, 4:47 am
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Default Re: Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

Originally Posted by acrossthepond View Post
yes, there are others that pay better, but not in reefer work, at least I have yet to find them.

Like I mentioned, I worked oilfield and construction, and I have witnessed probably 4 boom bust cycles. Right now, the west is going through a boom cycle, because everyone else is in a bust. Construction is going through a huge phase right now because tons of money is being dumped into the projects. These are short term. All the gravel haulers at some point will be looking for work. Same goes for oil. I have been laid off from both in my years. More than twice. I've lived in this province all my life, and I have seen this before. Don't get me wrong, people in these industries need to maximize their earnings as much as possible, but they also need to be prepared for the inevitable. Too many drivers I know think that their oil/mining/construction job will last forever.

Just Google "Weyerhauser Prince Albert", this is what I mean.

I would say besides reefer and van work, flat deck would be the next most secure, and of course better paying. But me personally, I'm not into tarping in a -30 wind.

But please keep in mind, this is just my opinions. Reefer and dry work for me.

Bulk fuel, your right is pretty good. Little tough to get on, but decent paying work.
Fuel hauling is easy to get started on, check Kijiji Regina there's always ads with good shifts , lots of work for Plains on crude paying 350/400 per day , and let's be honest there's more than enough work in the oil patch to see us through to retirement .
Don't moan about low wages then limit your options to the lowest paying work , eyes open and see the big picture
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Old Nov 22nd 2012, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

Originally Posted by flat to the mat View Post
and let's be honest there's more than enough work in the oil patch to see us through to retirement .
I promise I'm not trying to sound like a dick here, but exactly how many times have you personally seen the patch go through this? And I have heard this statement lots. Usually from a 25 year old with a new Chevy 4X4 with a lift kit and chrome. I was a victim in the late 80's of this type of thinking in the patch, and again in the mid ninetys. And this is happening again. Unless of course, you are 61 years old and retiring in the next 4 years, then I see where you are coming from, but if you are suggesting that this type of work is an endless rainbow for the next 30 years........wow...how can I even debate you if you don't have an open mind to past history. I guess I have no argument against your beliefs, but I'm telling you, this is nothing new to me. Been there, done that, bought the postcard.

Here's an article that's a good read.

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/...8-372a4b0a4774

Last edited by acrossthepond; Nov 22nd 2012 at 7:17 pm.
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Old Nov 23rd 2012, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

Jeez you're Mr Negative .If I was laid off tomorrow (again) I'd be straight down to Estevan hauling LNI for Carson , Canyon or Rocksolid earning well into six figures on a decent shift pattern for as long as it lasted ,if it all went tits skyward after a while so what ? Would have money in the bank and go to Loblaws as a trolley dolly if it came to it .
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Old Nov 23rd 2012, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Dollars and cents (sense?) of Trucking in Canada

I came out here with a decent chunk of change, so have a reasonable mortgage and no other financial commitments apart from the usual bills.

The philosophy we adopted was to be able to pay for everyday living on my worst case scenario wages and then any money I earn over this and my wife's wages would allow us to live a very comfortable life.

To do this I spent nearly two years over here on my own, so we had a definite answer to all the questions, rather than finding out as we went along, it was a difficult thing to do, but it was definitely worth it as it would've been very easy to over extend ourselves and end up working all the hours on earth just to make ends meet.

Like the OP, I do reefer and van work, my mileage pay is the same, but I get more in extras and I also do more miles, I get home most weekends and if I have a really decent month I tend to take my foot off the gas towards the end of the month, sometimes I'll have the last week off if things have gone really well, I could go out and earn more money, but you have to strike a balance between the two, chasing dollar bills is a one way trip to misery.

I'm quite settled where I am and as long as they don't have other ideas, I intend on staying there for the forseeable future, the oilfields are very tempting though, I could get stuck into it out there and box off the mortgage in three or four years. then get a local job on the gravel trucks and go to Arizona for the winter and learn how to whack a golf ball around
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