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What if I only want to drive locally?

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Bruce B.'s Comment
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I am trying to figure out what is becoming a puzzle to me... I want to be a local driver. I don't want OTR work. I just want to drive locally, a "regular" shift and come home. I know it won't pay 100K+, and that is fine (I'm not looking for $10.00 hour either - lets not get crazy...). Problem is I keep running into these "companies" who want to have you doing overnights, weeks, even month long runs and I am NOT interested. I had this one company ask me when I was available to work. They got all happy when I said immediately - and THEN drop a bomb on me, telling me I had to go to Utah for 3 weeks (I'm in Georgia). I still have to get my CDL A, which I don't see as a problem, but then there is the physical training. Obviously I don't have a big rig parked in my driveway so I'm looking at places to get all that training, and endorsements (I had a lot of great help in my other post, btw). But now the problem is expectations from these companies providing "training". If they all expect me to drive cross country for them, even though that is not my goal by any stretch of the imagination - then maybe I'm in the wrong industry? I hate to think that, but unless someone can tell me better - how can I get all of my required skills and endorsements without being forced, at some point, to drive for days or weeks at a time??? That doesn't help me get where I want to be at all.

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.

Matt 's Comment
member avatar

Check out "local thread"

Old School's Comment
member avatar
That doesn't help me get where I want to be at all.

Bruce, that is exactly what gets you to where you want to be.

Daniel B, on of our Moderators does a local driving job, and makes good money at it. How did he get that local driving job? He did an Over The Road job so that he could get the practical experience he needed. Almost all local driving jobs are going to require you to have OTR experience, that is what we teach people all the time in here... Where have you been? Surely you have seen these discussions!

Now, occasionally folks will get really lucky and land a local job first, but it is very unusual for that to happen. Are you aware that those local jobs can be really demanding, and often times when a person starts out on a local job they end up in an accident due to their limited experience at maneuvering a 70+ foot long monster in tight places with crazy four wheelers buzzing all around them? Guess what happens to their driving career after that? More than likely they will really struggle to get hired anywhere at that point. They have nothing that is considered experience by any of the major trucking companies, and they also have an accident on their record.

That is a very tough way to get started.

The traditional path to success at this is to get some experience as an OTR driver - at least one year - then those local opportunities will greatly be increased for 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.

Over The Road:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

This post reminds me of the time I told a Ford plant employee I'd love to get a a job there and "I'd be willing to sweep floors." He laughed and said; "no way! That job goes to guys who've worked hard for years."

I went through CDL school with a young man who went to work for Coca Cola straight out of school. He's home everyday and makes decent money. However, his day starts around 4am and it is physically demanding. There are guys slinging beer cases (and kegs) who make great money, but gotta work every "festival" or special weekend event that comes along.

I drove OTR for two years and now make the same money with a regional company and am home every week. I doubt I'll get a "daily" gig, but you never know.

It's amazing what comes your way when you get rid of your limitations.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
It's amazing what comes your way when you get rid of your limitations.

Well said Steve!

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce, the things you are looking for are a common thread among new drivers. However, the companies that do most of the newbie training are OTR outfits, with those multi-week runs.

It's not that these companies don't care about your situation, but you should consider that they want people who can help out their nationwide business.

You might check with your local Georgia community college to see about dumb school. Then, as mentioned look for local companies that will hire recent grads.

One of our members recently started this thread: The Local Thread.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I don't want to target anyone's specific reply so I'll just make this new one. The first post I made inquiring about ways to get started and trained, was very supportive and lots of great advice. Now there is this post. Sure, I'm being told the reality - but the reality that I am being told... well, for lack of a better term - stinks. Sounds like I am told I have to play this little game if I want to work the way I need to work. And since YOU had to suffer you want everyone else after you to suffer too. Like I said, perhaps I'm pursuing the wrong industry, if people are being forced to make this "rite of passage", having to to a job function they are not interested in at all. Just because these companies are doing that doesn't mean it is right, or fair, or should be "acceptable". That is being forced on drivers, and I am sure there are plenty who would rather not have it that way. I can tell by some of the tones that some of you are telling me how it is, but you don't like it either.

I am sorry but being forced to do a job that is nothing like the one you are interested in for a year doesn't sound like it makes you "better". It sounds like it makes you better at THAT job. I might be new but I know that local driving and OTR driving are two completely different disciplines. Lets be real and just say that is what companies are doing to drivers - not make a weird leap in logic and state that it makes you some kind of "better driver". If that were the case why are there so many OTR drivers causing so many accidents? Accidents are avoided by good, attentive driving, not a year of OTR driving.

In a strange way you guys let me know something - your not in control of your working situation. When you are first inquiring about driving that's the lie you are told. But if you cannot apply for a certain type of job unless you've done something totally unrelated I don't see how that is "independence". I'm not trying to be a driver to play games, and I'm not here to suck the cohones of some company. I don't care about this "newbie" philosophy either. I could care less what a "lot of newbies think". I look for work that I want to do, I'm not some "patriot" for the company. The fact is, I only want a local job, and that is it. if that's not possible then I can accept that this is not my industry of choice. Now, I will go to the local section, and converse over there. Thank you all.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Do you think we've never heard this before? I'll put it to you in a different way, fresh out of CDL school you do not have the skill or experience required to handle the close quarter maneuvering and tight backing typically associated with a local job. We have seen many failures in the exact scenario you are wishing for.

OTR companies willing to hire trainees are well equipped to finish train a student driver. CDL school teaches you just enough to pass the tests...nothing more. Companies willing to hire rookies for local work are few and far between, and many do not adequately train.

Best bet, might be to look into LTL. The driver who started the Local Thread, 6-String works for Old Dominion as a line haul driver, basically out and back same day. Pose same question on that thread.

The other possibility is running Dedicated for Scheider, Werner, Swift, Prime, US Express, etc. Many Dedicated accounts will get a driver home more frequently, on a regular basis, and sometimes every day. Just avoid any Dollar account.

That's the truth...good luck.

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.

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.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Oh Geeeez!

You are so out of line! We thought you wanted some help and advice on how to achieve your goal. Unfortunately we were mistaken, but we did our best anyway. We gave you the simple truth, and you misconstrued everything we said with your own little childish temper tantrum.

The fact is, I only want a local job, and that is it.

No, the fact is you don't want it very bad at all. We showed you a clear and logical path to meet your goal. If you can't see the logic of how we've tried to protect you from a major failure... Well, frankly we can't help you.

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

I think we're being trolled here. I have a hard time believing anyone who is old enough to get a cdl would have this kind of attitude toward something like this.

However, in case I'm wrong...

Bruce, these folks are not trying to make you suffer because they "suffered".

What they are saying is, yes, it is possible to get the kind of job you want, fresh out of cdl school, but it is very uncommon.

There is a reason for this. Just like you have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run, like you have to go to med school before you can be a doctor, or you have learn how to operate the fry cooker at McDonald's before they turn you loose on it by yourself, you have to learn the basics of trucking, and gain experience in it before most companies will turn you loose in the heavy city traffic.

You are right, OTR and local are two different animals, but, good, solid experience doing OTR will help you develops the skills needed maneuver in heavy city traffic, and lots of backing situations. We're talking exposure here. Exposure that will help you become familiar with things you'll experience when you do go local.

Try not to rub against the grain here and just listen to them. I don't think they are out to get you. Truth be told, if these guys wanted you to suffer like they did, this site wouldn't even exist.

The high road program here makes getting your cdl easier. Does that sound like something someone would do if they wanted you to suffer through it?

Nah, this site exists so that people don't make the same mistakes that the older generation made....so you wouldn't have to suffer...

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.

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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