Some Basic Questions About How One's Area Of Residence Affects What Companies They Can Work For.

Topic 20868 | Page 1

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RealDiehl's Comment
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I've decided to go for my cdl but, I'm not sure what companies I'd be able to work for because their terminals are all pretty far away. I live in the Philadelphia area, and some of the companies I'm interested don't have terminals anywhere near me (at least not that are listed on the maps on their websites). Now, I know that the schools provide rooms while training but, what about when all the training is done? For instance, let's say I'm home and it's time for me to go back on the road...Am I going to have to drive my personal vehicle 5 or 6 hours to the nearest terminal to pick up my truck? Or, are there places the truck can be left nearby so I don't have to commute so far? Probably sounds like a silly question; I just haven't seen this topic discussed or seen any info about it.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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That's not at all a silly question.

Companies will let you take your truck home or they will have you take your truck to a nearby customer if you don't live near a terminal. Most people either leave their truck and trailer at a nearby truck stop, make arrangements with a local business to park the truck and trailer there, or drop their trailer at a truck stop and bobtail home with just the tractor.

In 15 years of driving I never once worked for a company that even had a terminal in my home state. That makes no difference whatsoever. As long as a company hires from where you live you're good to go, which is really awesome because it will give you a ton of choices.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Tim F.'s Comment
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It really won't affect you at all. I used to run for Roehl. They had a drop yard in Bensalem at the truck stop. Alot of drivers left their tractors there during home time. I live in upstate NY. Roehls closest terminal is either Gary Indiana or Atlanta Ga. in closing, don't worry about a companies terminal location. As long as you have a safe location to park your truck during home time. You'll be ok

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.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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I live in Tennessee and the company I work for has a single terminal. It is located in Amherst, WI. I park my truck at the tire shop we use as a drop lot or at the Walmart near my house where I used to work. As long as the companies let you take your truck "home"; where there terminal(s) is(are) at is of little consequence.

The main worry is whether you are in their hiring area. Also how much freight they have going to a certain area. Best advice is go to the nearest industrial park(s) and see what major carriers you see. If you see certain carriers repeatedly that is a good indication that they have freight going thru your area.

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.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Thanks for the replies... No way?! They let you take the truck home with you? Not only does that open up some more options, it alleviates some other worries I may have had concerning a commute. Patricularly, leaving my car in some lot for weeks at a time. It sounds like keeping the truck with you could give someone a greater sense of responsibility about how he/she maintains it. What kind of general maintainance are drivers responsible for?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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What kind of general maintenance are drivers responsible for?

None at all.

Now most drivers will do little stuff to save time and keep that truck rolling. They'll change headlights or mudflaps, change some burned out marker lights on the trailer or replace a rubber gladhand seal - little things like that. But even that isn't required. Nothing is required as far as maintenance. The company handles all of that for you.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Read through our Truck Driver's Career Guide if you haven't already. It has tons and tons of awesome information.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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What kind of general maintenance are drivers responsible for?

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None at all.

Now most drivers will do little stuff to save time and keep that truck rolling. They'll change headlights or mudflaps, change some burned out marker lights on the trailer or replace a rubber gladhand seal - little things like that. But even that isn't required. Nothing is required as far as maintenance. The company handles all of that for you.

Required no. But far quicker than having a shop at a truckstop deal with it. I just get the item charged to the company or do a purchase order for reimbursement and change the small stuff out on my own. Beats wasting hours for a shop to deal with it.

Then again I do have some mechanical inclination. Spent 13 years as a rotary wing aircraft mechanic, lol. I worked on 6 million dollar aircraft. I am pretty sure I can figure out basic stuff on a 150 thousand dollar truck. Although I must admit I am disappointed with the job done I have see on safeties. Cotter pins not properly installed and such. Makes me twitch every pretrip. But, I remind myself this isn't aviation and they don't have to be perfect.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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Mike in addition to what was already said; I can assure you that many terminals are only a two hour drive from Philly.

Schneider is in Carlisle Pa., Prime in Pittston Pa., and Swift in Jonestown Pa.

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.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for your replies. Too often on internet forums you get responses from people who, it seems, are more interested in making a person feel like an idiot rather than being helpful. I'm glad that's not the case here.

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