Entering Trucking After 6 Yrs Public Transit

Topic 20481 | Page 1

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Ryan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all. I've been following this forum since before I decided to get my commercial license/attended trucking school. I went to trucking school about 7 years ago and got my class A license. I was working another job, in my early 20s and wanted to start a career in trucking. Shortly after I got the license, I was offered a job driving public transit, the job had great pay, and top of the line benefits, and obviously I was able to be home every night. I jumped at the opportunity. Fast forward 7 years and I was laid off in January of this year.

So I never got any real life experience behind the wheel of a big rig, aside from my schooling. I've been working for my family in the food industry the lasted six months while laid off, spending time with the kids this summer. I've decided I want to get back in the seat, but I do not want to work in public transit again.

I'm looking for some advice as to how/what I'll need to do to break into the trucking career field, I still hold the Class A license, but with no experience driving anything besides passenger vehicles (busses). Any advice/ideas would be appreciated.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Do you want to go local or OTR? If you've been around a while then I'm sure you understand the challenges of OTR with a family, especially a young family. You don't have your location listed so I can't offer any specific advice, because if you wanna go local, I'll need to see at least what state you're in to offer any specific advice for local opportunities. Of course if you wanna go OTR, it doesn't really matter where you live. What kind of trucking do you wanna do?

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.

Ryan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Do you want to go local or OTR? If you've been around a while then I'm sure you understand the challenges of OTR with a family, especially a young family. You don't have your location listed so I can't offer any specific advice, because if you wanna go local, I'll need to see at least what state you're in to offer any specific advice for local opportunities. Of course if you wanna go OTR, it doesn't really matter where you live. What kind of trucking do you wanna do?

Still working on setting up my profile :)

I'm in central Massachusetts. There's quite a few companies with offices in my area. I'd prefer to be home at least weekly but I know that may not be possible based on my experience.

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.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Do you want to go local or OTR? If you've been around a while then I'm sure you understand the challenges of OTR with a family, especially a young family. You don't have your location listed so I can't offer any specific advice, because if you wanna go local, I'll need to see at least what state you're in to offer any specific advice for local opportunities. Of course if you wanna go OTR, it doesn't really matter where you live. What kind of trucking do you wanna do?

double-quotes-end.png

Still working on setting up my profile :)

I'm in central Massachusetts. There's quite a few companies with offices in my area. I'd prefer to be home at least weekly but I know that may not be possible based on my experience.

Schneider has an intermodal terminal in Shrewsbury if that interests you. Idk much about it, but I believe they are home daily.

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.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

...I'd prefer to be home at least weekly but I know that may not be possible based on my experience.

Location is more important than experience in regard to opportunity. Some locations offer lots of local opportunities for those without traditional OTR experience. Other locations offer nothing in the way of local trucking. You might be able to be home daily. If local is what you're looking for, you've basically got LTL , food service, intermodal , construction, and fuel delivery.

Here's a thread that showcases types of local jobs.

The Local Thread

Figure out what kind of local work you wanna do, and go from there. If local is what you're striving for, or you're particularly interested in LTL or fuel delivery, you're gonna need certain endorsements. Tank, hazmat , and doubles / triples is required for most LTL gigs. And obviously tank will be required for fuel or food tanker jobs.

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

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

...I'd prefer to be home at least weekly but I know that may not be possible based on my experience.

double-quotes-end.png

Location is more important than experience in regard to opportunity. Some locations offer lots of local opportunities for those without traditional OTR experience. Other locations offer nothing in the way of local trucking. You might be able to be home daily. If local is what you're looking for, you've basically got LTL , food service, intermodal , construction, and fuel delivery.

Here's a thread that showcases types of local jobs.

The Local Thread

Figure out what kind of local work you wanna do, and go from there. If local is what you're striving for, or you're particularly interested in LTL or fuel delivery, you're gonna need certain endorsements. Tank, hazmat , and doubles / triples is required for most LTL gigs. And obviously tank will be required for fuel or food tanker jobs.

The endorsements shouldn't be an issue, I've been studying for about a week now. In going to see a recruiter tomorrow at shneider so hopefully they'll be able to shine a bit more light onto what I'll need to do. I'd like to be home weekly at least. I don't particularly want to go OTR as I've got three young children. But I'll do what I must to get some experience and better opportunities should present themselves. The local thread was a good read, thanks for that.

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

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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