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What if I only want to drive locally?

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Sambo's Comment
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Oh, forgot one thing....

/mic drop

rofl-2.gif

Daniel B.'s Comment
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My cousin was newly married and in the same shoes as you. He DID NOT wany anything to do with OTR. He hated the idea of being away from his wife and bed.

Eventually he concluded that he simply wont land a local job with no experience after months of trying. So he went OTR for 3 months and landed a job for local food distribution work.

Suck it up buttercup.

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.

Dan N.'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce,

It can be done, if you live in a good location for "local" driving opportunities (near a big city). However, you are going to have to take some initiative. Before you go to school, make sure that that the jobs are there for new cdl holders. Check LTL , food distributors, fuel hauling (yes, I know of one, at least). The most common way to get started is to go OTR , but "local" companies are hiring inexperienced cdl holders more and more. Some companies believe that hiring the inexperienced and then training them to do things "their way" can be better than hiring experienced guys who are set in their own ways and then trying to break them from their bad habits.

Find out who's hiring locally. Find out if they will hire and train a new cdl holder. Find out what school(s) they hire out of. Then make it happen.

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.

Dan N.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to add. The local companies that hire new cdl holders that I am familiar with are very selective about who they hire. You must have a clean record (driving and criminal) and a solid work history. And, you must stand out in cdl school and get a strong reference from them.

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.
Greg M.'s Comment
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Look for local Class B and C jobs. As long as you have the right endorsements you can do any of those jobs with a Class A CDL.

Where I live in SW Ohio road paving season is ramping up and operators are desperate for drivers and those jobs can gross will over $1200 week and you are home every day. Class B tri-axle dump trucks have the same engines, transmissions and brakes as a semi. You will gain valuable experience and make a good income. If you have a clean driving record and can get through a test ride without breaking anything most companies will give you a shot. During the summer you will work very long hours but you will be home.

Also school bus drivers are in high demand. Most districts around me are so desperate that they hire with no experience and pay you to go through training for a Class C with air brake endorsement. A year of experience safely operating a 66 passenger bus will open a lot of opportunities for upgrading.

These options may not be as "glamorous" as cruising the country in a big shiny freight hauler but they are achievable and most likely can done within a few miles of home. Once you prove that you can efficiently operate a large, expensive piece of equipment without damaging it or harming anyone you have put yourself in a very marketable position.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

One of the guys I went to CDL School with landed a local gig right out of school. He hauls grain 2 hours down the road and comes back. Starts at like 6 am and home by 4:30 - 5:00 pm. He averages about 500 a week, which isn't bad at all. But it was basically one of those things where he knew a guy that knew a guy or something like that. I asked if he could see if they needed another driver but they didn't. Then I was in my second week of riding with my trainer with my company and he called and said they had an opening but I choose to stick with this OTR company instead.

So my point is, there are local gigs that you could find. Even local concrete and construction companies need drivers. But I made a tough decision and decided it would be better in the long run to at least get a year OTR and then start searching for a local job. It's been tough especially on the wife and kids but I've learned more in 3 weeks of training than I ever would have starting out local. Sometimes you have to make a little sacrifice and think about where you want to be a few years down the road. Make yourself marketable and get some OTR experience and then you will be getting looked at before they look at guys fresh out of school or no OTR experience. They want reliablility not a liablility.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

500 a week is pretty low pay for driving job honestly.

Also bruce, McDonald's is always hiring. You'll be local and home every night.

Old School's Comment
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Greg makes an astute comment...

Once you prove that you can efficiently operate a large, expensive piece of equipment without damaging it or harming anyone you have put yourself in a very marketable position.

It also demonstrates what we have been trying to emphasize to the newbies who want to go straight to local jobs. If you do have an accident in one of these types of jobs (which is highly likely), it makes you extremely unmarketable.

What happens is that you now have zero experience as far as anyone is concerned. (because most local work is not considered as experience by the major trucking companies) You are also now to far out from your graduation date at school, which will require you to attend a school again. And on top of all that you have an accident on your record. You talk about one tough mountain to climb - that is the way to set yourself up alright, and we have witnessed it so many times that we try to warn folks about it. Unfortunately so many of the people who come in here wanting our help decide real quickly that they know more about it than we do, and it is those folks who we can't seem to help.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

500 a week is pretty low pay for driving job honestly.

Also bruce, McDonald's is always hiring. You'll be local and home every night.

That's another reason I didn't quit and go to that job $2,000 a month versus $4,000 a month? lol I want to make some money.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
They want reliablility not a liablility.

Beautiful statement Kirk! - Short and to the point.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Now, forgive my levity, but I will say that I could have spelled it a little better. We are not going to hold that against you though - I loved it!

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