Getting In Gear For A New Lease On Life

Topic 21269 | Page 1

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Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

I am a 55 year old male from NYC in the for hire vehicle industry (fancy way of saying private taxi driver). I’ve worked neighborhood, corporate & private. I often drive 10-14 hours daily. Just did a 2 month cross country road trip & got the “over the road” bug. I’ve been trying to leave NYC since ‘14 but it hasn’t gone well trying to stay in the same industry. Driving cross country with a 5x8 attached to my ‘16 Suburban gave me a great appreciation & new found respect for the trucking industry & the great people I encountered being on the road for 2 months. I plan on attending Roadmaster School in Orlando, Fl with the intention of having WorkForce foot the bill. Am currently paying off my credit cards (3 done 1 to go) which will be done next month. After that, I’ll be working my tail off to put together 4-6 grand as I set off on March 1st for a new lease on life.

Here are a few questions. If I get me CDL permit in NY state can I use it in Florida @ Roadmaster but receive my actual license in Florida as I plan on moving there permanently? Florida does not charge state income tax but will I have to pay state taxes if the trucking company is from another state to that state?

I was planning on buying a manual car for under 1k to get up to speed on feeling for the clutch sweet spot & shifting up & down the gears. I read this may not be such a good idea, I’ve only driven manual a few times in ‘06 & the trucking school I almost signed up for here in NYC stated they would have me drive a manual car for 3 days prior to actually putting me in a truck. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

About the school I almost attended here. It’s called Ferrari driving school which has been around for many years but offers classes in cars trucks buses & motorcycles. I say but because it’s not specialized in CDL as are the ones I’ve read about here. They offered to give me an app with all the answers for the test if I paid $100 which would then go towards my tuition if I enrolled in their program. The full program is $5.5k but only consists of 40 hours of actual seat time driving the rig. After reading most schools on here take nearly a month to complete, I felt that 40 hours I way too short to develop a proper understanding of what it takes to pass the CDL test.

I went to their “open school night” which only consisted of an introduction by the workforce rep who left tons to be desired in the charm department. She hated being there & it was completely obvious. She sat us I an configuration which would have me be the last to be interviewed having been the first one there. I made her aware of this & her response was that I shouldn’t worry that she would do the others quickly. WTF? I promptly went to the school rep & their response was that they knew she was rude & tough to work with but that their hands were tied & that there was nothing they could do. A blessing In disguise. I proceeded to walk out.

I want to thank Brett, all the admins & all who contribute to this treasure trove of real world, hands on, non sugar coated, no punches pulled, source of insight & testimonials on what it takes to do what you do. I was always intimidated (still am) by the prospect of handling such a large piece of machinery but feel I could manage that fear into a daily healthy respect, with the proper schooling of course. A healthy respect that I never want to take lightly while behind the wheel of any vehicle, most especially a 40 ton truck!

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.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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 to the forum Reyn.

You asked:

If I get me CDL permit in NY state can I use it in Florida @ Roadmaster but receive my actual license in Florida as I plan on moving there permanently? Florida does not charge state income tax but will I have to pay state taxes if the trucking company is from another state to that state?

Yes you can use it but ultimately you may need to also take the CDL test in NY State and then transfer it to Florida. To be sure, check with Florida DMV. For the most part state income taxes are withheld based on your state of residence. I work for Swift, based in Phoenix AZ and reside in PA. They withhold PA income tax for me.

I was planning on buying a manual car for under 1k to get up to speed on feeling for the clutch sweet spot & shifting up & down the gears. I read this may not be such a good idea...

What you read is correct. I know this sounds odd, it's easier to learn how-to shift a heavy, un-synchronized, multi-range truck transmission without any experience in a car. There are no bad habits or preconceived notions to unlearn and forget.

They offered to give me an app with all the answers for the test if I paid $100 which would then go towards my tuition if I enrolled in their program. The full program is $5.5k but only consists of 40 hours of actual seat time driving the rig.

A couple of things here, don't waste you money. The whole idea is to learn the material... I suggest using Trucking Truth's High Road CDL Training Program for a proven path to passing the CLP exams.

Any school whether private, community college or Company-Sponsored Training only teaches enough to pass the 3 CDL tests. Nothing more. The company you hire on with will continue training you for about a month or more (depending on the company) before they will promote you to a first-seat driver.

You might also check these links out to help establish a realistic set of expectations:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Truck Driver's Career Guide

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.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Rob's Comment
member avatar

Just want to throw this out there, I'm not sure if you've looked into Company-Sponsored Training Programs but many members here have taken advantage of the "free" training, with completion of their 1 year contract. I know you're planning on "workforce" fronting the bill but how does that work with u residing in NY and schooling in Orlando? When I lived in Tampa I looked into Roadmaster and dang they're expensive. They wanted 7,999 in cash, or 8,999 to finance it in house.

Just something to think about if workforce won't cover it.

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.

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.

Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you G-Town & Rob! I didn't realize that Roadmaster would be so far out of my price range, even if Workforce foots the bill, & realistically speaking, I trust the tried & true industry people advice on here. Rob your numbers are a sobering wake-up call for me! Thank you!!

G-Town, I'm finishing a personal project for my spiritual community on my laptop with the intention of digging into all of the resources you've posted links to as soon as my project is done. I have my NYS CDL handbook & will use that in my downtime between jobs & all the resources here when at home. After reading your (much appreciated) advice, I believe going with company paid training is the most prudent route for my future. I was looking for a way to start with a sign on bonus to supplement whatever I can save until I'm earning a steady weekly salary or a steadily increasing salary. It would be easier if I didn't have the burden of the car note but no use in crying over spilled milk. I deeply appreciate the positive attitudes shown to the newbies here, all the first hand knowledge shared openly & freely, all the sobering realities to be encountered, on & on!

For now, my goal is to save as much as possible before my taxi insurance expires on my Suburban on Feb 28th. Loading all my gear & headed to Florida where my daughter & 1 son lives. Getting all my papers in order down there for residency, so no NYS permit for me, but plenty of cramming in the meantime to be well prepared for the road in front of me.

Will research the company sponsored training information on here with more intensity than I've used thus far. I've read most of them along with the diaries many have shared in this forum. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Reyn, a rookie sign-on bonus is uncommon. I am not aware of any company (that hires entry-level drivers) offering a rookie sign-on bonus. With a year of safe and proven experience? Yes, bonus money is indeed offered.

And also an additional point of clarification; Over The Road (OTR) trucking is typically paid a "cents-per-mile" rate. Rookie average is between .32 & .36; equates to about 38-40k first year compensation. A flat salary is very rare.

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.

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.

Amish country's Comment
member avatar

The only company I've seen with an "inexperienced" sign on bonus is Schneider. This could just be because on my area though and the amount of freight that comes though it. Majority of the time this has been offered on dedicated accounts as well.

Reyn R.'s Comment
member avatar

Reyn, a rookie sign-on bonus is uncommon. I am not aware of any company (that hires entry-level drivers) offering a rookie sign-on bonus. With a year of safe and proven experience? Yes, bonus money is indeed offered.

And also an additional point of clarification; Over The Road (OTR) trucking is typically paid a "cents-per-mile" rate. Rookie average is between .32 & .36; equates to about 38-40k first year compensation. A flat salary is very rare.

Understood. I guess I should clarify myself. I know about the cents per mile rate, the avgs out there & the chance for bonuses added onto that. Me calling it "steady income" comes from the fact that I'm an independent contractor & if I don't have a passenger, I don't make money. So it makes it difficult to budget as well as I would like to. That said, it used to be very lucrative here in NYC with an avg gross of 2K per week but then came Uber & they've decimated the industry. In NYC they have over 60,000 drivers. When I started with them in '14 they only had 14,000 drivers which is comparable to how many yellow cabs operate here.

As far as rookie bonuses? I've seen only a few on craigslist & indeed. I'm sure it's as they say, "the devil is in the details". I'm letting go of my initial plan & going with your advice along with many others on here. I want to learn how to be a professional not just a fly by night knucklehead. Reading so many accounts of how little time folks spend actually doing the research to understand the gravity of this life/career? makes me that much more determined to listen, listen, listen. Thank you very much for your time & effort in helping us along this path. Blessings to you & yours along with all the others on here who've shared their experiences with us rookies.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

The only company I've seen with an "inexperienced" sign on bonus is Schneider. This could just be because on my area though and the amount of freight that comes though it. Majority of the time this has been offered on dedicated accounts as well.

Yes, like the "Dollar" accounts. Avoid those. Very difficult for a rookie driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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