Advice Please

Topic 21215 | Page 1

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Robert F.'s Comment
member avatar

Wanted to ask opinions from people on here about what to do as regards a job offer. Got my Class A CDL in July. Shortly after I secured a driver position driving reefer trucks delivering foodstuffs to grocery stores. Great employer but only worked a few weeks due to postal worker job I'd applied for much earlier becoming available. Been working at the post office, it's a good job, delivering mail in the countryside but quite simply the hours aren't there and there are zero benefits. Did think about asking for the previous driving job back, they are advertising again and I left on good terms but the big drawback is that it is too far away and the hours aren't great. During the past few months I kept my fingers in the CDL pie, looking for suitable positions, I also got my HAZMAT endorsement. I have very limited recent experience (have military tractor trailer experience but that was a long time ago), consequently most job opportunities I see for someone in my position are for OTR drivers with the big companies. I want something where I am home every night or 90% of the time, and I do not want to work nights, more of a 9-5 job if you like. To this end I'v been offered a job with a local company, driving a route delivering gas from a tanker unit to businesses and residential homes. The hours are great, 730 to 430 M-F with overtime opportunities. Full training, uniform and other benefits and I will be able and I will also gain HAZMAT experience. The pay isn't great, starting at $17 an hour but is negotiable. The only fly in the ointment is the job requirement is for a Class B driver. My concern is that if I took this job and then in the future if I went for another driving job, would the Class B driving experience count towards me getting a Class A driving position or would it just benefit the HAZMAT side only? My only realistic alternative Class A driver job prospect here in rural PA for me right now, is hauling milk, but the hours aren't great. Any advice would be appreciated.

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.

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

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Honestly if you want a 9 to 5 job and home every day, maybe trucking really isn't for you.

In this job we routinely work 60-70 hours a week, even for local jobs which typically are well above the skill level that an inexperienced driver has. We work many nights too, because sometimes you just have to in order to make your appointment times.

OTR is the industry standard for gaining experience. We typically recommend sticking with your first company a minimum of one year. After a year of safe driving often more opportunities will open up, IF YOU AREN'T A JOB HOPPER.

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.

Robert F.'s Comment
member avatar

OK, thanks for taking time out to reply

Tom W.'s Comment
member avatar

Take the hazmat job. The amount of class A job credit you have right now is about the same as you will have even years after driving with a class B truck.

The companies that want class A experience usually require at least a year, so it will not be any different then than it is now. The couple weeks driving experience is the same as no recent experience at all.

Go ahead and take that job, do not worry about what a class B truck will look like on your record, $17 an hour is even better than some class A jobs pay. The hours are exactly what you are looking for. That milk job will still be available to you I am certain for years to come.

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

Tim F.'s Comment
member avatar

I’d haul the milk. Here’s why. The few weeks you drove will NOT be considered enough to get a quality Class A job in the future. Most companies will require recent Class A experience in order to hire you. Driving a class b truck IS NOT the same. The more experience you have in ClassnAnthe better off you will be in the future. If there is nothing available around you...consider moving. You have the class a license...don’t waste

Good luck I

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Respectfully, you are putting a lot of restrictions on your earning potential. But it sounds like you answered your questions.

Home everyday, benefits, $680/week plus overtime.

Here’s the rub; are you willing to “settle” in some areas to benefit in others? In other words; prioritize, then decide.

Good luck! You’ll make the right decision for you.

Robert F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the further responses. I really want to make the right decision because I'm now 50 and keen to find something I can do for the next few years or even take me through to retirement so finding the right job with a good company is very important. Sometimes I wish I started trucking earlier when I was younger and fitter, and single and without kids as going down the road seeing different places would have been awesome, but I do believe there is a truck driving job to suit everyone but my requirements restrict me somewhat. Thanks again, your opinions do help, even if they do vary!

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