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One year of driving OTR. Thinking of change...

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Cyrus R.'s Comment
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Hey TT, (if you just want to jump straight to the point then head straight down to the last paragraph.) This website gave me some good insight in professional driving. It made my first year of driving OTR a little bit easier.

With the info I've read, along with hard work sprinkled in with some luck here and there, I was able to gross about $50k my first year as a driver. That's with a big name mega carrier. (Dryvans mainly but I also haul reefers too) With a military scholarship towards my CDL schooling, I didn't have to pay anything so I feel I came out ahead of most green horns. I feel if I don't add the pathetic first five weeks of training pay, I could have made over $50k. It's nice since I was able to get rid of my apartment and use my parent's address to avoid any unnecessary bills. I also saved a bunch of money of my car insurance by selling my car. I'm single so I took advantage of this.

I'm a huge car enthusiast but I love driving trucks as well. Ot's not quite fun like a sports car, but whipping around a long wheelbase cascadia with a 53 footer in tight streets is pretty satisfying to me. I've been through just about every single state. Experienced a lot of different things, most good, some bad. My golden rule was to survive and not take any unnecessary risks. Especially when it came to backing up in truck stops. I had a deep understanding about tractor trailers due to my father being an owner op with his own 379 and strangely video games and truck simulators.

A little background about me. I'm 29, prior military(USAF), former Firefighter and a few other hats over the years.. Becoming a state trooper is still one of my goals but at this time I'm loving driving overall so I don't want to walk away quite yet.

With one year under my belt, I've decided I no longer want to live inside a sleeper. I'm not knocking this lifestyle, but that's what it is, a lifestyle. Maybe someday in the far future I'll come back OTR. If I do, it'll definitely be with Walmart. For now, I want to focus on other things. My plans for this year will be purchasing a house. I miss all the little things that come with having your own place and having actual days off. I miss body building and making food on my own kitchen. Bottom line, I've decided to go with a local driving job to enjoy my off time. I just can't seem to think of a good place to work for.

I'm looking for some help and suggestions for outstanding driving jobs in the Spartanburg-Greenville, SC area. Local daycab driver (Raleigh Fayetteville is also a plan B for me if it's a great place to work) I know we all have different ideas on what the perfect job is but I'd like to hear from other drivers from these areas (or those with knowledge on a great place) I certainly don't to be known as a job hopper so this is why I'm staying put until I find something that makes sense for me. I'm looking for a job with a set time you arrive to work. Something that doesn't require me loading or uploading a trailer. Something that pays good of course. One of my favorite gigs was driving on a dedicated account for wal mart. I picked up pre loaded trailers from the DC, delivered to a few different walmart stores and drove back empty. With stop pay, dispatch pay and miles it was easy money. Maybe a backhaul here or there. I didn't enjoy it because it was the north east but if I found something similar to that walmart dedicated (as a local driver) down by Greenville/Spartanburg SC I'd be thrilled. Any thoughts?

Thanks for having me.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dryvan:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Cyrus R.'s Comment
member avatar

To be clear. The mega carrier I work for is Swift. They have a bad reputation online but they've been good with me. They gave me a brand new truck, they never asked me to run illegal or do anything uncomfortable. The pay is great overall but I know it's been due to hard work and the advice I've received here and online. I've switched terminals here and there. Never late and never damaged my equipment. No issues at all. I'm just ready to live 'normally' again with a local gig

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Cyrus reports:

{Swift} has a bad reputation online but they've been good with me.

Ooooh! You came close, there! But by immediately backing off ("..they've been good to me.") you saved yourself. There's plenty of very happy Swift drivers on this site! You can join that club.

To answer your question about local work,. Swift does that. Go to the local Swift Terminal and talk to a Fleet or Driver manager. I moved from OTR to a shuttle job within Swift. Home every day. I work a rolling 6 day schedule (4 driving, 2 off). Before going through the rigamarole of finding a new job and getting hired, check with the company you are already with. Also internal recommendations are way better than those from people outside the company.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Cyrus R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply and suggestion. That's a pretty neat schedule you have. It sounds like you're happy with Swift and that's good to see.

I've noticed a few successful Swift guys here before I joined so that proved to me it's not a bad place to work.

I suppose it doesn't hurt to try out swift locally. I'll see if there are any other suggestions but I don't see any harm in calling that terminal to see if they have an opening and see everything makes sense. Thanks my friend

Ideally there would be a walmart or target DC near me which is hiring daycabbers but sadly that's not the case in my area. I'm going to try and search for a publix or bi lo DC. Or something similar to walmart; delivering straight to the store and having them unload me.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Cyrus dreams:

Ideally there would be a walmart or target DC near me which is hiring daycabbers but sadly that's not the case in my area. I'm going to try and search for a publix or bi lo DC. Or something similar to walmart; delivering straight to the store and having them unload me.

Yes, ideally. But welcome to the real stuff. Most big retailers like WM and Target do hire their own drivers, but they're not messing with noobs. They pay very well, but they pay for experience. Without 2-1/2 years OTR , they will instantly "file" your application. I looked on Walmart's Driving jobs web site.

G-Town drives a Swift dedicated Walmart account. Search for his description of his job.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Chris S.'s Comment
member avatar

My dad drives for waste management. He's hauling coal ash from Asheville to Georgia. If it rains they don't work and snow they don't work but there guaranteed x hrs and paid by the hour so know need to rush. I believe he's outta Greer. My cousin is driving for landstar hauling containers to savanna outta Greer and Kingsport tenn Couple more local places there both home every night a sat every now and then.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

I would suggest to first do what Errol said and look within Swift. They have every type of trucking. You could probably find what you're looking for through them. Second, look at what companies are up and down 85 in those areas. Opportunity abounds. Good luck to you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Cyrus R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you gentlemen. All equally great information here and much appreciated! I like going into decisions with all my options on the table and going through I used to work wal mart dedicated in PA. Loved it.

Working hourly would be nice as well! My goal is to make more than I made last year but even if it's similar initially, at least i'll be home every night.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Look at this guy...nervous about admitting he works for Swift! Hahaha, you came to the right place buddy. We don't bash Swift here.

Like the others mentioned, try with Swift first. Don't just call the closest terminal though. Call multiple terminals and ask what dedicated or shuttle options they have, even if the terminal is in a neighboring state. Keep calling and talking to different people until you have a complete list of everything available in your area. With 100% on time, no service failures, no preventables...any dedicated/shuttle positions will take you if they have a spot.

I also work for Swift, just finished my first year. I live near a Target DC and they took me on as a yard driver part time but I still get to do a few local runs to stores each week to make up the extra hours. Home every night, switched to hourly pay, really fun and enjoyable work--can't complain! It sucks there's not a WM or Target DC near you, but there may be other stuff.

I've tried several dedicated accounts here, and it seems like no one I talked to had a complete list of everything in my area. In fact, there was a Walmart DC like 15 minutes from my house and I had no idea we worked out of it. One driver leader had actually told me we didn't work out of it. I didn't find out til much later that we did work out of it. I was in a terminal and ended up talking to a driver that had previously been on it. Also, some accounts are based out of a different state but deliver every day in your area. Like Costco in Salt Lake--If you ask Denver what accounts are available, they may not mention Costco since it's based out of Utah, but they deliver to Denver every single day. Pretty sure the same goes for the Home Depot DC in Dallas. That's why I say keep your eyes and ears open and call multiple terminals in your area.

Sorry I don't know what local stuff is available in your area. But...I did do a quick search on Google Maps. Dude, you live right near not one but TWO Walmart DCs!! Probably one is Grocery and the other GM. Find out if they have an outside carrier camping out in one of them doing half their loads (probably the Grocery DC is the better bet). If it's Swift cool. If it's someone else, you might be able to switch to the other carrier just for that account.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Sam the Wrestler's Comment
member avatar

Welcome fellow upstate SC driver.

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