The Local Thread

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Don R.'s Comment
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I graduated from a PDTI certified school back in June of 2016 and personal reasons had to hold off applying for jobs. Now i can and waiting for the urine/hair drug test results, when it proves negative. Because of the time since I graduated Schneider is sending me to Minnesota to a trucking school for three day refresher then bus to Green Bay Wisconsin for 18 days training and orientation. I will know more about that later. I did try apply other company but because I have not worked in a while they didn't want me, have to show last three years of work history. Glad Schneider took me on. I told the recruiter my concerns as I have had three DOT physicals and each time had to go to a hearing aid center to use the sound field test booth because I could not hear the forced whisper test of the person behind me. he will ask the medical team my concerns. In the past I passed in the booth with my hearing aids, sometimes I think I should apply for a federal hearing exemption wavier? I have been single for many years and not concerned about "home time" and like the idea that Schneider is a big company with many kinds of routes to pick from & learn. Because of the refresher, I will have a 90 day contract to pay for this and while I work for a year OTR to get my experience and learn more about the company & others, decide if I want to stay with them until retire, or? So until I hear about the results of drug test, my start date is April 27th for refresher. From this awesome site, I learned to ignore negative posts on Indeed, Glassdoor & so on. amazing how much bashing there is about some trucking companies. Good luck everyone & thank you!

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Andy M.'s Comment
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I am a local drive and have been for all my driving career, a little over 2 years, and with the same company for nearly 20 years. We are a building material wholesale distributor. We drive a route each day monday thru friday and are off weekends and home daily. We have had a few otr drivers come drive for us,but they never last, at least not at my company. Reason being is that the pay is way less than what they made otr. Drivers would tell me they cleared $800-1000 per week otr, and liked the idea of being home daily and off weekends, but can't survive on $400-500 per week at a local job. And I completely understand that. The paycheck shock is something to be ready for if you make that switch. The second reason is that when we make a delivery, there is some physical labor involved. It's not just open back doors and bump a dock. We run curtain side 48' trailers that need to be opened and closed at each stop, which on a slow day may be 5-6 stops or during the busy time of year can be 15-20 stops. Now on a calm warm day, opening curtains isn't so bad, but on a windy day the curtains act like a sail and when its cold out, the rollers freeze. Many of our deliveries are made to places without docks and some, not all, but some are hand unload only. A small box of screws or a carton of flooring is not a big deal. But when you have to hand unload 20 squares of vinyl siding by hand, that can be grueling. I'm not in my 20ies anymore, and it can take a toll. Another issue is that we check off all material being delivered to a customer which can take some time. And when a new driver tries to check off material they have no idea what it is, well, that is another story all its own.

I am looking at going to an otr job personally. I would like to see more of the country and being out for 4-6 days and home maybe weekends is ok with me although my wife is not crazy about it. You just don't know unless you try, and life is too short not to take a chance. I hate the idea of leaving a company after 20 years, but the fact that I am topped out in pay ($21/hr), and if things are slow and they don't have enough work we are given the day off and can use vacation time or take it without pay, or can work the warehouse or in my case the office, but that gets old fast. I did not get my CDL to go from one desk job to another. I have come to the conclusion that the true reason I have stayed is the 5 weeks of vacation time. That seems to be the only thing keeping me here at least for now.

From other responses on this thread, it sounds like there are some good opportunities out there for local, you just have to look for them. I fully understand that no job is perfect, but each job is what you make out of it. Just something to think about...

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.

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

I personally am averaging $1250 gross pay weekly doing local intermodal. As far as pay for local drivers, I think it depends on the company and job you do. How much you're willing to work. I work 5 days a week, 10-12 hrs a day, 3-4 loads a day. Sometimes only 2 loads if they're both live loads. But I get detention pay then. When I drove Otr , I averaged $600 net a week or $800-$900 gross pay weekly.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I personally am averaging $1250 gross pay weekly doing local intermodal. As far as pay for local drivers, I think it depends on the company and job you do. How much you're willing to work. I work 5 days a week, 10-12 hrs a day, 3-4 loads a day. Sometimes only 2 loads if they're both live loads. But I get detention pay then. When I drove Otr , I averaged $600 net a week or $800-$900 gross pay weekly.

$1250 a week, 10-12 hrs a day, 5 days a week, local? Damn son! That's one hell of a gig you've got.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Matt 's Comment
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Awesome thread

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

I've been thinking if finishing my year out, then looking for a local job. I have my hazmat and tanker endorsements and live in the Dallas area, so opportunities should be decent.

I came into OTR with my cdl already, so I don't have any payment due to my company, but I wanted to get at least a year of experience first before looking at other opportunities. Will see how I feel once I finish my full year, maybe I may want to do more than that or another year, just depending on how I feel my experience is coming along.

I still feel there is much for me to learn, and local driving is a bit more difficult than OTR die to a lot more city driving and more backing.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Recently I took a job that is local. (By "local," I mean home (almost) every night and every weekend.) I pull open decks, mostly stepdecks, but occasionally flatbeds and an RGN. Others here have described their local jobs, including LTL , Walmart, beverage distribution, gasoline tanker, and other jobs. Pat M. has posted pictures of his local open deck job, which was mostly heavy haul and OS/OD loads up in Montana.

What is different about this job is that it is not for a trucking company. I am one of two drivers for a local manufacturer. They make utility poles and communications towers. Most of their loads are hauled by third-party trucking companies, including two flatbed outfits whose names anyone here would immediately recognize. But it is cost effective for my company to have two trucks to haul some of their loads.

Most of my loads are to and from a plant about 100 miles away. A lot of days I will haul four loads in a day, one down, one back, then repeat. Some days I will take a load to a different plant that is a little further away. (Usually the other driver takes those loads, but not always.) Some days my backhaul load will be from a different plant about 50 miles further on from my usual plant. And then some days I deliver finished product to job sites or laydown yards, which can be just about anywhere in a 300-mile radius.

This job also has quite a different feel from working for a trucking company. Like any great trucking company, the equipment is top notch. The benefits are stellar. Pay is hourly, and I only get paid for the hours I log, so I never go off duty unless I'm on my 30-minute break. I'm on a 7-day, 60-hour clock instead of the OTR clock (8-day, 70-hour clock). I'm working about 20 hours a week less than I did when I was OTR for roughly the same pay. And I'm home every night. (It's still feels a little weird, actually.)

My boss is in charge of making sure all of the companies loads get delivered on time. One of the functions we two drivers fulfill is to ensure that any really hot load gets done on time. Sometimes that might involve being out overnight, but that has only happened once in the first month that I've been there. It also means that very often I know what I'll be doing a day in advance, and sometimes almost a week in advance.

Another aspect of the job that I really like is I know all of the forklift operators who load my trailers. They're very experienced and know exactly how to load the truck. And they're fast. I never have to wait on either end of my daily journeys.

There are definite benefits to being a regular. I have been working hard to build up good relationships with everyone that I work with, which is something I learned before I became a truck driver. It is often preached here, and for good reason.

For example, little things like remembering something personal someone mentioned in a conversation go a long ways toward building good relations. That might just make your day go a whole lot better if you ever make a mistake. I don't know about you, but I make mistakes more often than I'd like to admit. With this job, since I deal with the same people over and over again, I can use some of those things to really help make my life (and hopefully theirs) a lot more pleasant.

That was one thing about OTR that was a little more difficult. It can be hard to build an instant rapport with the folks whose help you need to make your job easier. With a local job, you can work at it, so that even if you're a bit socially awkward like myself, you can really have a positive impact on how your day goes just by being friendly and reliable.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that my company doesn't even own any tarps?

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Flatbedders! Not every local job involves unloading a truck into a dollar store or hauling dirt to construction projects! Think outside the box and look for local manufacturers who have flatbed freight. Maybe there's a job there for you. Remember, Old School was once the guy who hired drivers to haul his stuff around. You might find someone like him to give you a job and be your boss. How great would that be?

I found this job by searching craigslist and the local paper and a few other job sites. It took a while, and the job description didn't paint the full picture of how awesome this job is. The process I used was to write down the phone numbers of every job that sounded like a possibility, then calling every single one of them and asking them questions. It helped that I knew what I wanted, and it helped even more that I had over two years of OTR flatbed experience to offer them. Most every company I talked to seemed to be interested in me as a candidate.

This may not be advice for newcomers to trucking, but there are plenty of folks who started here and are wondering what to do after getting through that initial time of getting established in the industry. There may be others who are wondering how it might go in the long run. Hopefully this will help someone.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

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.

Stepdeck:

A stepdeck , also referred to as "dropdeck", is a type of flatbed trailer that has one built in step to the deck to provide the capabilities of loading higher dimensional freight on the lower deck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

My financial goals have been met and I am slowly looking at a place to live, most likely in Phoenix. Hoping to get on a shuttle run. Eroll is it still cpm? Or did they change it to hourly?

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Kiwiwandering's Comment
member avatar

Great Thread! I started in June, 2017 right out of school driving local heavy haul container loads to Seattle and Tacoma ports. I had my TWIC card from a previous life. I had approx 5 hrs of training/driving the truck back from Seattle. My orientation was 2 hrs. I have been driving 2 - 3 days a week ever since. I get paid per load. It's about 526 miles round trip. Talk about a shocker. Basically they handed me the keys and said be careful.

My first load was 2600 lbs over weight on my drive tandems! The company paid the ticket but it was up to me to sort out getting it right before hitting the road so the scales officer said. I explained that it was 1st day of ever driving a truck. I have to hand it to the officers at the scales. They were very helpful and let me go over the scales as many times as I needed to until it weighed out right. I didn't really know anything about drop axles on a 4 axle trailer but I learned real quick. I love a challenge!! So I maxed out my drop axle. Over the scales I went. Still 900 lbs over one the drive tandems. Next maneuver was to slide the fifth wheel. It was basically rusted in place. With no lubricant on site I found a can of Lysol in the truck and sprayed the hell out of the locking pins. I dropped the landing gear on the trailer, let the air out of the suspension on the tractor, pulled on my trial brakes, hit the fifth wheel slide button on the dash and gave her hell back and forth till it broke loose. All the while calling the truck boss and texting the safety manager. They were telling me to do the things I had already done. Next time over the scales I got a green light. I was on my way. Whew!

When I got back to the yard I told the safety manager that we needed to have a more comprehensive training session on weighing my truck before I leave on another trip. We spent 2 hours at the yard scales with a loaded truck till I got it right. No more over weight tickets!

The way I look at it is this company took a chance on me and for that I am grateful. Hauling 95000 lb loads straight out of school is not to be taken lightly. (No pun intended.) I stepped up to the plate and took on the challenge at hand. I thought it through every step of the way. I asked questions alot. I didn't care how stupid I looked. I rather look stupid asking the question than looking stupid later when something bad has happened. I stopped every time I thought there might be a problem with the truck and made sure there wasn't. When I stop at a rest area I do a walk around, look under the truck and trailer and thump the tires. I do a thorough pre-trip and post-trip every time without fail! I never fudge on my logs. I also carry a can of WD 40, some basic tools, and window cleaner now.

Even after this short time I feel confident in what I do. But I remain cautious and careful. My mantra is "No scratches, No Tickets!" In other words my goal is to have a safe trip every time, not hit anything, and drive with in the speed limit. After all, it's my license, my livelihood. Do I want to do OTR? You bet! Next year I'll have 6 months in and will explore that option then.

As Flatbed Chick on YouTube says, "Drive safe, Wear your seat belt, and enjoy the ride" :-)

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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