(Old) New Guy

Topic 21224 | Page 1

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Paul A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone, my name is Paul, i'm 55yo and been unemployed for a while. I'm in the New England area. I come from a manufacturing background and the thought of going back in a shop until I retire doesn't appeal to me all that much at this stage of my life, i'm seriously thinking of giving trucking a try. The kids are now adults and the wife would be ok with me going for a career change although I admit it is a bit intimidating.(not the wife, the change ) I just read a member's experience with Jim Palmer training school (almost all of it), I was impressed by his good experience with it. I know there is a lot of info here but i'm sure you all understand how overwhelming it would be to pick a cdl school.

My goal would be to get a cdl and get hired by the same company, a year commitment is nothing from my point of view, I get a new start , training for free and a career that will eventually take me to retirement. Being able to be home every couple of weeks won't be so bad I think, i'm more worried about adjusting to hygiene, sleeping and eating habits. I would just like to do it right from the start, I understand that I won't get rich but pick the right school and not been taken advantage of is all I ask. I forgot, I learn how to drive (cars) and drove with manual transmission til a few years ago, it's not new to me, I understand a truck is a different beast but i'm not completely new to mt. (probably one of the last things to worry about right?) Ok, enough for now, thanks for reading and keep in mind English is not my native language so sorry for the goof ups here and there. Paul

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.

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
member avatar

Welcome Paul.

Welcome to the forum. Yes, you are correct there are adjustments to be made, fact is Over The Road truck driving is a life style requiring numerous adjustments and resilience.

I highly recommend investing quality time with the following links:

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

The bane of many a rookie's existence is lofty and unrealistic expectations. This above everything else contributes to most failures and is the root cause of high attrition rates.

As far as shifting...try to forget what you know about shifting a car. Put it out of your mind. Experience shifting a car or light truck is actually a detriment and will impede the learning process. It's like night and day.

Let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help. Good luck!

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Paul A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you G.Town, i'm going to do some research.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Read through many training diaries as well. They will show you the similarities between schools. I went with CFI and love them. My tainer lives in New Hampshire and has no problem getting home. Here is a link to my training diary. I love CFI. I hope this helps.

Paul A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Big Scott, that's what i'm doing now and i've also read the training schools' reviews.

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
member avatar

Good luck to you... I drive "with" Jim Palmer Trucking and went through their training. They have been more then good to me. P.S. Spent my 50th birthday out here on the road..lol...Never too late. In fact, I believe approaching this lifestyle with a few years under the belt is a HUGE advantage when dealing with the many challenges that present on a daily basis.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

OTR Escape Artist wrote:

Never too late. In fact, I believe approaching this lifestyle with a few years under the belt is a HUGE advantage when dealing with the many challenges that present on a daily basis.

Man, oh man I couldn't agree more! Totally on-point.

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.

Paul A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the comments I really appreciate it . I've been reading different material on this site and what I understand is that Company's CDL schools are more challenging than I though but the right approach can help a lot. There are things I can't find an answer for so i'll ask here from time to time if anyone can comment on it.

CDL schools are not that different one from the other so choose the school of the Company you want to work for. But if you don't get accepted there you need a plan B, so this is why you need to apply to more than one Company at the same time?

How does home time works for OTR drivers? I see that companies have terminals in just a few locations so, do you get sent in the general area where you live and take the truck home for a day or two after a delivery?

Thanks for your time, Paul

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Home time policy for OTR is typically 1 day of home time for every week out, on the road. Although this varies from company to company, it's advisable to stay out for at least two-three weeks at a time. And "yes" most companies will dispatch you on a load that gets you close to home when it's time. Most allow you to park near your home so proximity to a terminal is a non-issue.

Keep in mind, the longer you stay out, the more valuable you are to your dispatcher and company. It's a fine line, one you'll learn how best to manage with time and experience.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
Paul A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you

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