Going To Become A Rookie Driver:

Topic 21350 | Page 1

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Hman's Comment
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Hi Trucking Truth Members! My first post.

I have recently graduated from a truck driving school with 160 hours of training and all of my endorsements. I ended up with a GPA OF A 99. I did this on the weekends while holding down my regular job that I have been at for over 20 years.

I am still working at my regular job. I know that its going to be hard to leave after that long and get into a completely different career and a lifestyle. I can only imagine that this is like going into the military. But I have got to the point that I do not enjoy my job anymore.

I have looked into other jobs before looking into trucking, but I keep coming back to trucking. I have been researching the trucking industry for a couple of years. I know its a lifestyle change and my first year will not be easy. There will be ups and downs. I am in no way saying that I know it all. I learn something new everyday. I believe that I am a problem solver and I like a challenge. I always go about something that there is no room for failure period. I want to be a driver that the company can trust and call on when they need a job done. They will know that I will take care of their equipment just like it is mine.

I am looking into several companies. I am looking at dry van. I really would like to do flatbed. I like to work and be outside, but I do not think I can handle climbing up on a load and tarping it. Afraid of heights. Getting on the trailer would not be the problem, it's if I would need to climb up on top of the load. Maybe I am over thinking it. I have applied at several companies and I have got invited to come to orientation on the ones I applied too. I think I can do very well no matter where I go. I get along with people very well. I have worked with the public more than not. What ever company I decide to go with, I will represent them 110%. I do know that communication is one of the biggest factors in this industry.

I have rambled on enough for now. I will be asking questions along the way. I appreciate any and all advice.

Thanks for a great forum.

Harold

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Welcome aboard Harold! You sound like you have the right attitude and the right approach for someone entering the trucking industry. I would expect you'll do well.

If you're not sure whether you want to pull flatbed or dry van you could look at companies that offer both. There are quite a few. That way you could switch between divisions without leaving your company to do so. Sticking with the same company for a long period of time really has its advantages for sure.

Flatbedders tend to be pretty hardcore people. They love the challenge of it and they really wouldn't want to do anything else. But if you're really not into it, tarping loads in the weather is going to wear on you. If you're not sure which way to go I would recommend dry van to start out with and take a shot at flatbed down the line if you think it might suit you. There's plenty of time to do both.

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.
C T.'s Comment
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Brett pretty much covered it, but I'll add to it. As I've told others like you, we rarely have to actually climb on to high loads to do the tarping. Steel loads are typically low profile and lumber loads usually have either a tarping machine or harness system we use. Drivers falling off of trailers is a big liability issue and some plants won't even allow you on the trailer. That said, some places don't care and will have you actually climbing and tarping. I've only done that 2 or 3 times this year.

Turtle's Comment
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It's funny that this post just came up. Brett & CT are right, we don't often have to climb up on high loads. But just today I found myself in that very position.

The back-woods lumber mill I picked up at today loaded me outside, and of course it started raining halfway through the process. Long story short, I had to climb up on top of the max-height load to spread my tarps, with the trailer on a slight incline, and the wind blowing. No tarping machine, and the tarps are very slick when wet. In the pouring rain, I had to actually slow down considerably just to be safe. Good times. But now that it's over, it's fun to talk about.

It isn't often this happens. But it does happen. I get off on the challenge, but if you have a genuine fear of heights, flatbed will test your strengths.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
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Whatever you choose, keep that positive attitude, embrace the excitement of a new adventure and enjoy the ride! πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

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.

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