Looking To Get Into The Field As A New Driver

Topic 20995 | Page 1

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Amish country's Comment
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Hey guys,

I've been going through this blog like crazy reading and learning everything I possibly can ahead of time. Would like to say it's a great setup and everything I have seen has been extremely helpful and I feel like I've just scratched the surface.

I need to switch careers early next year and a life of driving sounds enticing. I love to drive, scenery and keeping busy. If I'm going to be staring out a window at least make it out doing something. I'm in the central PA area so there are a lot of opportunities available. I am also planning on attending DCS school in February to get my cdl and training.

Any advice on who hires new drivers? I was looking at xpo and don't mind working a dock to be able to get some drive time, need to start somewhere. OTR doesn't appeal to me because of my family, can't be gone for weeks at a time.

Thanks guys and gals

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Companies that hire drivers with no experience; all here:

Trucking Company Reviews

And this:

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Starting out local or dock to driver are very difficult to get. Lot's of competition. However, it does happpen. If that doesn't work, and you have to start OTR , different companies have different opportunities. For example, Swift and Schnider have many different types of driving opportunities as well as types of routes. I drive for CFI and one of rhe things I like about them is their hometime policy. Some companies have regional and dedicated routes. You are doing right to do your research. Talk with your family. We are here to help.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

Amish country's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info. I've been going through all the job postings to see what kind of work is available in the area and there is a lot of local opportunity. Most say they require 3 months experience. Is that typically a solid requirement or is there some room for a possible new driver?

Also, does anybody know about J.B. hunt? They were not on the list of companies. And what about intermodal work (railyard)?

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.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

I have a friend who worked a few months with Covenant and just got on with JB Hunt. He likes them so far. I think he's on a dedicated route.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Amish country.

OTR doesn't appeal to me because of my family, can't be gone for weeks at a time.

Ok so what you'll want to do is focus on dry van , flatbed, or LTL (less than truckload).

there is a lot of local opportunity. Most say they require 3 months experience

Yes, most local companies will want at least some OTR experience, or at least some Class A local experience first. The reason for this is because most local work requires a lot of driving in heavy traffic, a lot of backing up in very difficult spots, and you're on a tight schedule. Someone who is fresh out of school is going to have a very rough skillset, and by rough I mean terrible!

smile.gif

Within a few months of driving your skills will improve considerably and that's when local companies figure you have enough skills to do what they'll require you to do.

You are in a pretty good area for hiring, though. You may find a local opportunity straight out of school. You just have to keep digging around to see what's out there. Otherwise you might have to go on the road for 3 - 6 months before anyone will hire you locally.

We highly recommend that you get some time at least driving regional where you're home on weekends. I totally understand you don't want to leave your family. But if you take a job and get in over your head, you could easily get in a few fender benders and get fired. Now who is going to want to hire you? It's going to be very difficult to find work if you get in a few quick dingers and then get fired. So when it comes to getting your career safely established on solid footing you might want to consider at least taking a regional job that gets you home weekends so that you can spend more time driving on the open roads, do less backing in really tough spots, and be on a little bit more of a relaxed schedule.

There will be several flatbed and dry van carriers that can get you home on weekends. Refrigerated carriers rarely offer these opportunities, unfortunately. I would consider this early in your career, at least for 3 - 6 months. Then a local position will be something you should be able to handle a lot better than you would coming out of school.

Just some food for thought.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Amish country's Comment
member avatar

Not against running regional if I could get home a couple of days or weekends. Realistically I know that I'm going to have to put some time in first. Are there any regional companies you would recommend? I was looking at schneider for their dedicated accounts but want to take the time to look into all options.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

There are quite a few companies that hire from your area. The best place to get ideas is from our Truck Driving Jobs. Scroll down past the form and you'll see "Option 2" which will let you punch in your zip code to see companies that hire from your area and some job descriptions.

You can also fill out our form to apply for company-sponsored training and it will go to several companies at once. It will only be forwarded to the companies that hire from your area. You'll get a chance to speak with their recruiters to find out what they offer, but you're under no obligation to work for any of the companies. You can find that form here:

Apply For Company-Sponsored Training

To be clear, there are no companies to avoid in our opinion. All of the major companies that hire inexperienced drivers can be great places to get your career underway. It's just a matter of picking the one that suits you well, the one you're most comfortable with. That's why it's a great idea to speak with recruiters from the various companies to find out what they offer and see if they're a good fit for you.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Dean63's Comment
member avatar

Amish country's post is almost identical to the one I was working on, except I "am" interested in OTR. I'm recently divorced and my kids are grown and on their own.

I've been watching numerous YouTube videos and reading the forums here on TT, but now seem more confused than ever. I guess the conflicting stories I'm seeing/reading are the following:

Lack of sleep Lack of proper diet Lack of hygiene Income for newcomer .. just to name a few.

I know "any" job is not for everyone and it seems that most post what they dislike most than what they like,

I appreciate any advice Many Thanks

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Amish country's post is almost identical to the one I was working on, except I "am" interested in OTR. I'm recently divorced and my kids are grown and on their own.

I've been watching numerous YouTube videos and reading the forums here on TT, but now seem more confused than ever. I guess the conflicting stories I'm seeing/reading are the following:

Lack of sleep Lack of proper diet Lack of hygiene Income for newcomer .. just to name a few.

I know "any" job is not for everyone and it seems that most post what they dislike most than what they like,

I appreciate any advice Many Thanks

You’ll be able to stay healthy and get regular showers. I dare say some of the showers are nicer than many drivers have at home. Plus, they’re cleaned after every use.

Amish Country, I ran a little dedicated for Schneider out of Pennsylvania and it was a great crew to work with. If you can handle driving a big rig in Pennsylvania mountains and those narrow towns, you can drive anywhere.

Good luck!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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