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Dropping Some Pro Tips For Drivers

Understanding the economic fallacies that drive the decision making of most drivers will help you to elevate your driving career.


Drivers tend to set a daily earnings goal. As they grow close to their daily goal, they tend to drop off the platforms for the day. An example would be a driver who sets a goal of $200 for the day. If they make $185 during the morning, they will probably drop off the app for the day. External forces, like a rainy commute, could cause the earnings to come very quickly, in which case most drivers will simply end their day early, rather than continuing to drive despite a higher earnings potential.

During the summer months, when it is busy, drivers tend to drive shorter shifts, as they achieve their goals quite quickly. During the winter months, when earnings are slower, drivers tend to work longer shifts as they drive in desperation to make their daily goals. What you are feeling now is the miserable realization that no matter how many hours you spend in your cold car, you should have worked harder during the summer when the money was easy. Every extra hour worked during the summer can be worth hours, if not whole days, during the winter.

The fallacy lies in this above set of behavioral economics. (study here: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/loewenstein/NYCCabdrivers.pdf) There is a lot of chatter on the internet about this study. It was an epiphany to me and had a severe upward effect on my overall earnings.

The following is geared towards full-time drivers who rely on this as a main/sole source of income:

1. During the summer months, when it is busy, you should be driving as much as possible. Do NOT set a daily goal, just drive as much as you can. If you did not do this, you have only yourself to blame. If you survive the miserable winter months, remember how much it sucked to sit in your cold car every morning and not get any runs. Remember how much it sucked to have to work late into the crappy bar crowds just to make enough money to pay the bills.

2. Pay yourself a weekly salary that is less than your average gross weekly earnings. This will allow you to save money from the busier summer, and apply those funds to your slower winter weeks. I pay myself a set salary every week. $750 in the winter, and $1250 in the summer. My weekly breakeven for all costs, including my salary is very close to $1300/week on an annualized basis. I have developed this breakeven number based on five years of driving expenses/experience. Note that I do operate two cars, so my expenses will be quite different than most drivers. In the summer, when weeks are $3k plus, the extra monies go into my business account. Then, in the slow winter, I am driving less, more targeted hours, in an effort to control expenses. Many weeks I will just barely reach break-even, and that is just fine as my breakeven includes my set salary. There is no sense in working 80-90 hour weeks during the winter when there is almost no business to press in to. Save your energy.

3. Control your expenses in the winter. Simply don't spend money during the slow periods. Don't drive around looking for business that is not there. Sit in your spots. Try to reach your breakeven. Some days will yield nothing... knowing that ahead of time is what will allow you to beat the metal game that takes out so many new drivers. Turn off your car, use a blanket to stay warm.

4. Stay away from the dying ants. They are going to be desperate and in that desperation they are going to make a lot of bad choices. From aggressive driving, to working fatigued, they are going to "crash out, not cash out". There is no need to place yourself in the middle of that. Fish your holes, work your angles. Your opportunity costs are so low this time of year that you can afford to branch out into the fringes. Just do so in a way that protects your expenses. Don't drive out to the Boonies in your SUV looking for business, but maybe work an area you have never worked before.

5. Take advantage of market forces. Darkness is your friend. Cold is your friend. Rain is your friend. Anytime you can combine these with an event, you have a golden opportunity to earn.

6. Business intelligence is key. You need to spend time learning the ebb/flow of the major companies in the market. I am not going to divulge any secrets here, but you should actively be farming information online/offline at all times. Just one good lead/trend can turn into $100s, if not $1000s of dollars in much needed winter earnings. I spend considerably more time farming information/data, then I do driving. Yet, my earnings are more than most drivers.

Tl;dr: Work your ass off when it is busy, pull back when it is slow. Pay yourself a salary. Control your expenses. Do your research. Winter sucks.
 
Last edited:

Comments

Amos69

Well-Known Member
334314.jpg
If you journal daily ( that's what I am doing right now) then you have leads to other things you have noticed. Opportunities you might "think" are reproducible but have never tried to verify. I have had this exact thing happen to me this Awfultober, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the reliability of those results. I came across this reading notes in my journal looking for answers to my Failure to launch issue.

Thanks Dex for writing this up for everyone to read.
 

John McYeet

Active Member
Understanding the economic fallacies that drive the decision making of most drivers will help you to elevate your driving career.


Drivers tend to set a daily earnings goal. As they grow close to their daily goal, they tend to drop off the platforms for the day. An example would be a driver who sets a goal of $200 for the day. If they make $185 during the morning, they will probably drop off the app for the day. External forces, like a rainy commute, could cause the earnings to come very quickly, in which case most drivers will simply end their day early, rather than continuing to drive despite a higher earnings potential.

During the summer months, when it is busy, drivers tend to drive shorter shifts, as they achieve their goals quite quickly. During the winter months, when earnings are slower, drivers tend to work longer shifts as they drive in desperation to make their daily goals. What you are feeling now is the miserable realization that no matter how many hours you spend in your cold car, you should have worked harder during the summer when the money was easy. Every extra hour worked during the summer can be worth hours, if not whole days, during the winter.

The fallacy lies in this above set of behavioral economics. (study here: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/loewenstein/NYCCabdrivers.pdf) There is a lot of chatter on the internet about this study. It was an epiphany to me and had a severe upward effect on my overall earnings.

The following is geared towards full-time drivers who rely on this as a main/sole source of income:

1. During the summer months, when it is busy, you should be driving as much as possible. Do NOT set a daily goal, just drive as much as you can. If you did not do this, you have only yourself to blame. If you survive the miserable winter months, remember how much it sucked to sit in your cold car every morning and not get any runs. Remember how much it sucked to have to work late into the crappy bar crowds just to make enough money to pay the bills.

2. Pay yourself a weekly salary that is less than your average gross weekly earnings. This will allow you to save money from the busier summer, and apply those funds to your slower winter weeks. I pay myself a set salary every week. $750 in the winter, and $1250 in the summer. My weekly breakeven for all costs, including my salary is very close to $1300/week on an annualized basis. I have developed this breakeven number based on five years of driving expenses/experience. Note that I do operate two cars, so my expenses will be quite different than most drivers. In the summer, when weeks are $3k plus, the extra monies go into my business account. Then, in the slow winter, I am driving less, more targeted hours, in an effort to control expenses. Many weeks I will just barely reach break-even, and that is just fine as my breakeven includes my set salary. There is no sense in working 80-90 hour weeks during the winter when there is almost no business to press in to. Save your energy.

3. Control your expenses in the winter. Simply don't spend money during the slow periods. Don't drive around looking for business that is not there. Sit in your spots. Try to reach your breakeven. Some days will yield nothing... knowing that ahead of time is what will allow you to beat the metal game that takes out so many new drivers. Turn off your car, use a blanket to stay warm.

4. Stay away from the dying ants. They are going to be desperate and in that desperation they are going to make a lot of bad choices. From aggressive driving, to working fatigued, they are going to "crash out, not cash out". There is no need to place yourself in the middle of that. Fish your holes, work your angles. Your opportunity costs are so low this time of year that you can afford to branch out into the fringes. Just do so in a way that protects your expenses. Don't drive out to the Boonies in your SUV looking for business, but maybe work an area you have never worked before.

5. Take advantage of market forces. Darkness is your friend. Cold is your friend. Rain is your friend. Anytime you can combine these with an event, you have a golden opportunity to earn.

6. Business intelligence is key. You need to spend time learning the ebb/flow of the major companies in the market. I am not going to divulge any secrets here, but you should actively be farming information online/offline at all times. Just one good lead/trend can turn into $100s, if not $1000s of dollars in much needed winter earnings. I spend considerably more time farming information/data, then I do driving. Yet, my earnings are more than most drivers.

Tl;dr: Work your ass off when it is busy, pull back when it is slow. Pay yourself a salary. Control your expenses. Do your research. Winter sucks.
You know what is also my friend? The ability to cut Uber and lyft out of a ride and charge the rider myself directly :smiles:
 

John McYeet

Active Member
Morning, Both Dex and I carry commercial insurance, and have private clients as well as our RS clients. It certainly is a way to go, just be sure you are operating legally.
Most definitely. I signed up with a company a couple months ago that cuts Uber and lyft out of the ride and the driver gets 95% of the fair. Not quite 100% but close enough. Better than U/L! Just wish I would have figured that out sooner.
 

Fuzzyelvis

Well-Known Member
Understanding the economic fallacies that drive the decision making of most drivers will help you to elevate your driving career.


Drivers tend to set a daily earnings goal. As they grow close to their daily goal, they tend to drop off the platforms for the day. An example would be a driver who sets a goal of $200 for the day. If they make $185 during the morning, they will probably drop off the app for the day. External forces, like a rainy commute, could cause the earnings to come very quickly, in which case most drivers will simply end their day early, rather than continuing to drive despite a higher earnings potential.

During the summer months, when it is busy, drivers tend to drive shorter shifts, as they achieve their goals quite quickly. During the winter months, when earnings are slower, drivers tend to work longer shifts as they drive in desperation to make their daily goals. What you are feeling now is the miserable realization that no matter how many hours you spend in your cold car, you should have worked harder during the summer when the money was easy. Every extra hour worked during the summer can be worth hours, if not whole days, during the winter.

The fallacy lies in this above set of behavioral economics. (study here: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/loewenstein/NYCCabdrivers.pdf) There is a lot of chatter on the internet about this study. It was an epiphany to me and had a severe upward effect on my overall earnings.

The following is geared towards full-time drivers who rely on this as a main/sole source of income:

1. During the summer months, when it is busy, you should be driving as much as possible. Do NOT set a daily goal, just drive as much as you can. If you did not do this, you have only yourself to blame. If you survive the miserable winter months, remember how much it sucked to sit in your cold car every morning and not get any runs. Remember how much it sucked to have to work late into the crappy bar crowds just to make enough money to pay the bills.

2. Pay yourself a weekly salary that is less than your average gross weekly earnings. This will allow you to save money from the busier summer, and apply those funds to your slower winter weeks. I pay myself a set salary every week. $750 in the winter, and $1250 in the summer. My weekly breakeven for all costs, including my salary is very close to $1300/week on an annualized basis. I have developed this breakeven number based on five years of driving expenses/experience. Note that I do operate two cars, so my expenses will be quite different than most drivers. In the summer, when weeks are $3k plus, the extra monies go into my business account. Then, in the slow winter, I am driving less, more targeted hours, in an effort to control expenses. Many weeks I will just barely reach break-even, and that is just fine as my breakeven includes my set salary. There is no sense in working 80-90 hour weeks during the winter when there is almost no business to press in to. Save your energy.

3. Control your expenses in the winter. Simply don't spend money during the slow periods. Don't drive around looking for business that is not there. Sit in your spots. Try to reach your breakeven. Some days will yield nothing... knowing that ahead of time is what will allow you to beat the metal game that takes out so many new drivers. Turn off your car, use a blanket to stay warm.

4. Stay away from the dying ants. They are going to be desperate and in that desperation they are going to make a lot of bad choices. From aggressive driving, to working fatigued, they are going to "crash out, not cash out". There is no need to place yourself in the middle of that. Fish your holes, work your angles. Your opportunity costs are so low this time of year that you can afford to branch out into the fringes. Just do so in a way that protects your expenses. Don't drive out to the Boonies in your SUV looking for business, but maybe work an area you have never worked before.

5. Take advantage of market forces. Darkness is your friend. Cold is your friend. Rain is your friend. Anytime you can combine these with an event, you have a golden opportunity to earn.

6. Business intelligence is key. You need to spend time learning the ebb/flow of the major companies in the market. I am not going to divulge any secrets here, but you should actively be farming information online/offline at all times. Just one good lead/trend can turn into $100s, if not $1000s of dollars in much needed winter earnings. I spend considerably more time farming information/data, then I do driving. Yet, my earnings are more than most drivers.

Tl;dr: Work your ass off when it is busy, pull back when it is slow. Pay yourself a salary. Control your expenses. Do your research. Winter sucks.
I've never understood why drivers will stop driving because they're making good money and they've hit a goal for the day. If you want to work Less hours for the same money you work when it's busy not when it's slow. If I'm making money and it's flowing in I stay out. If it's slow as hell then I'll generally go home. Of course that's why I barely ever do any Uber Lyft anymore because there's simply no money to be made in my market. The attitude has been around for a long time though. Even delivering pizza drivers will say oh I can take my time now because I've made my money for the night. Again never understood that.
 

Syn

Well-Known Member
During the summer months, when it is busy, drivers tend to drive shorter shifts, as they achieve their goals quite quickly. During the winter months, when earnings are slower, drivers tend to work longer shifts as they drive in desperation to make their daily goals.
WTF? Its completely opposite where I live (Wisconsin). Summers are slow, winters are very busy. During summers people walk more, use bus, scooters, etc, school is out so many students leave town, there are a lot more drivers on the road ... During winters there are many less drivers on the road and nobody is willing to walk anywhere.
 

7Miles

Well-Known Member
What fantasy book is this from ? $3K a week in summer?
The reality is $10 per hour . You work 10 hours, you get $100 . $15/h on a good day. Unless you guys got a pay raise which I doubt. I drove for Uber 2014-2019 and my wife described it as a deflating rubber boat. You still afloat but every month boat loses air.
 

Crosbyandstarsky

Active Member
Understanding the economic fallacies that drive the decision making of most drivers will help you to elevate your driving career.


Drivers tend to set a daily earnings goal. As they grow close to their daily goal, they tend to drop off the platforms for the day. An example would be a driver who sets a goal of $200 for the day. If they make $185 during the morning, they will probably drop off the app for the day. External forces, like a rainy commute, could cause the earnings to come very quickly, in which case most drivers will simply end their day early, rather than continuing to drive despite a higher earnings potential.

During the summer months, when it is busy, drivers tend to drive shorter shifts, as they achieve their goals quite quickly. During the winter months, when earnings are slower, drivers tend to work longer shifts as they drive in desperation to make their daily goals. What you are feeling now is the miserable realization that no matter how many hours you spend in your cold car, you should have worked harder during the summer when the money was easy. Every extra hour worked during the summer can be worth hours, if not whole days, during the winter.

The fallacy lies in this above set of behavioral economics. (study here: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/loewenstein/NYCCabdrivers.pdf) There is a lot of chatter on the internet about this study. It was an epiphany to me and had a severe upward effect on my overall earnings.

The following is geared towards full-time drivers who rely on this as a main/sole source of income:

1. During the summer months, when it is busy, you should be driving as much as possible. Do NOT set a daily goal, just drive as much as you can. If you did not do this, you have only yourself to blame. If you survive the miserable winter months, remember how much it sucked to sit in your cold car every morning and not get any runs. Remember how much it sucked to have to work late into the crappy bar crowds just to make enough money to pay the bills.

2. Pay yourself a weekly salary that is less than your average gross weekly earnings. This will allow you to save money from the busier summer, and apply those funds to your slower winter weeks. I pay myself a set salary every week. $750 in the winter, and $1250 in the summer. My weekly breakeven for all costs, including my salary is very close to $1300/week on an annualized basis. I have developed this breakeven number based on five years of driving expenses/experience. Note that I do operate two cars, so my expenses will be quite different than most drivers. In the summer, when weeks are $3k plus, the extra monies go into my business account. Then, in the slow winter, I am driving less, more targeted hours, in an effort to control expenses. Many weeks I will just barely reach break-even, and that is just fine as my breakeven includes my set salary. There is no sense in working 80-90 hour weeks during the winter when there is almost no business to press in to. Save your energy.

3. Control your expenses in the winter. Simply don't spend money during the slow periods. Don't drive around looking for business that is not there. Sit in your spots. Try to reach your breakeven. Some days will yield nothing... knowing that ahead of time is what will allow you to beat the metal game that takes out so many new drivers. Turn off your car, use a blanket to stay warm.

4. Stay away from the dying ants. They are going to be desperate and in that desperation they are going to make a lot of bad choices. From aggressive driving, to working fatigued, they are going to "crash out, not cash out". There is no need to place yourself in the middle of that. Fish your holes, work your angles. Your opportunity costs are so low this time of year that you can afford to branch out into the fringes. Just do so in a way that protects your expenses. Don't drive out to the Boonies in your SUV looking for business, but maybe work an area you have never worked before.

5. Take advantage of market forces. Darkness is your friend. Cold is your friend. Rain is your friend. Anytime you can combine these with an event, you have a golden opportunity to earn.

6. Business intelligence is key. You need to spend time learning the ebb/flow of the major companies in the market. I am not going to divulge any secrets here, but you should actively be farming information online/offline at all times. Just one good lead/trend can turn into $100s, if not $1000s of dollars in much needed winter earnings. I spend considerably more time farming information/data, then I do driving. Yet, my earnings are more than most drivers.

Tl;dr: Work your ass off when it is busy, pull back when it is slow. Pay yourself a salary. Control your expenses. Do your research. Winter sucks.
Lol who do you think you are? Look if you were worth listening to you wouldn’t be an Uber driver.
 

Disgusted Driver

Well-Known Member
This also works for past times, my motto is work the best hours of the week, not as many as you can. If it's a busy Saturday night I might work 10 hours, in the summer which is our slow time I might only go out from 1 to 3 in the morning. My goal is to get at least $30 an hour which is hard in this market. I don't want to work the crappy hours that only pay 10.
 

OG ant

Active Member
Understanding the economic fallacies that drive the decision making of most drivers will help you to elevate your driving career.


Drivers tend to set a daily earnings goal. As they grow close to their daily goal, they tend to drop off the platforms for the day. An example would be a driver who sets a goal of $200 for the day. If they make $185 during the morning, they will probably drop off the app for the day. External forces, like a rainy commute, could cause the earnings to come very quickly, in which case most drivers will simply end their day early, rather than continuing to drive despite a higher earnings potential.

During the summer months, when it is busy, drivers tend to drive shorter shifts, as they achieve their goals quite quickly. During the winter months, when earnings are slower, drivers tend to work longer shifts as they drive in desperation to make their daily goals. What you are feeling now is the miserable realization that no matter how many hours you spend in your cold car, you should have worked harder during the summer when the money was easy. Every extra hour worked during the summer can be worth hours, if not whole days, during the winter.

The fallacy lies in this above set of behavioral economics. (study here: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/loewenstein/NYCCabdrivers.pdf) There is a lot of chatter on the internet about this study. It was an epiphany to me and had a severe upward effect on my overall earnings.

The following is geared towards full-time drivers who rely on this as a main/sole source of income:

1. During the summer months, when it is busy, you should be driving as much as possible. Do NOT set a daily goal, just drive as much as you can. If you did not do this, you have only yourself to blame. If you survive the miserable winter months, remember how much it sucked to sit in your cold car every morning and not get any runs. Remember how much it sucked to have to work late into the crappy bar crowds just to make enough money to pay the bills.

2. Pay yourself a weekly salary that is less than your average gross weekly earnings. This will allow you to save money from the busier summer, and apply those funds to your slower winter weeks. I pay myself a set salary every week. $750 in the winter, and $1250 in the summer. My weekly breakeven for all costs, including my salary is very close to $1300/week on an annualized basis. I have developed this breakeven number based on five years of driving expenses/experience. Note that I do operate two cars, so my expenses will be quite different than most drivers. In the summer, when weeks are $3k plus, the extra monies go into my business account. Then, in the slow winter, I am driving less, more targeted hours, in an effort to control expenses. Many weeks I will just barely reach break-even, and that is just fine as my breakeven includes my set salary. There is no sense in working 80-90 hour weeks during the winter when there is almost no business to press in to. Save your energy.

3. Control your expenses in the winter. Simply don't spend money during the slow periods. Don't drive around looking for business that is not there. Sit in your spots. Try to reach your breakeven. Some days will yield nothing... knowing that ahead of time is what will allow you to beat the metal game that takes out so many new drivers. Turn off your car, use a blanket to stay warm.

4. Stay away from the dying ants. They are going to be desperate and in that desperation they are going to make a lot of bad choices. From aggressive driving, to working fatigued, they are going to "crash out, not cash out". There is no need to place yourself in the middle of that. Fish your holes, work your angles. Your opportunity costs are so low this time of year that you can afford to branch out into the fringes. Just do so in a way that protects your expenses. Don't drive out to the Boonies in your SUV looking for business, but maybe work an area you have never worked before.

5. Take advantage of market forces. Darkness is your friend. Cold is your friend. Rain is your friend. Anytime you can combine these with an event, you have a golden opportunity to earn.

6. Business intelligence is key. You need to spend time learning the ebb/flow of the major companies in the market. I am not going to divulge any secrets here, but you should actively be farming information online/offline at all times. Just one good lead/trend can turn into $100s, if not $1000s of dollars in much needed winter earnings. I spend considerably more time farming information/data, then I do driving. Yet, my earnings are more than most drivers.

Tl;dr: Work your ass off when it is busy, pull back when it is slow. Pay yourself a salary. Control your expenses. Do your research. Winter sucks.
lol horible advice, but thanks anyway!
 

DexNex

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
What fantasy book is this from ? $3K a week in summer?
The reality is $10 per hour . You work 10 hours, you get $100 . $15/h on a good day. Unless you guys got a pay raise which I doubt. I drove for Uber 2014-2019 and my wife described it as a deflating rubber boat. You still afloat but every month boat loses air.
i drive a black Suburban in a very busy summer tourist market. $3K is a normal busy summer week. Seattle also has some of the highest rates in the U.S.
 
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