Hello Everybody!

Topic 21449 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Jeff W.'s Comment
member avatar

I looked a bit for an intro thread but didn't find one. So feel free to roast me if I didn't look hard enough. :)

I'm Jeff, and after spending the past 18 years working in information technology, I've found myself unemployed after the company I was with for the past 14 years went bankrupt. After being gone 21 years, I've decided to try to make lemonade out of the lemon and move back to my home state of West Virginia. There's only one problem: There's not a whole lot of demand for system administrators and network administrators in this state, and most of the jobs I see that need my skill set require a security clearance (that I do not have.) Furthermore, I don't really know if I want to do this any more.

Back in the mid 90s I went to a local truck driving school, got my CDL , and drove very briefly for a now-defunct refrigerated carrier based out of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Does anybody remember CDS Lines? I can't even find pictures of their trucks online. I have no idea now why I chose a refrigerated, primarily team company when what I really wanted to do was solo flatbed, but I did. Nowadays I find myself thinking about giving up on the desk job and putting on my training wheels again. However, I have a whole bunch of questions:

How much has the industry changed since 1995?

Is there still a lot of steel and aluminum moving between Pennsylvania and West Virginia out to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois? I remember seeing truckload after truckload of it on I70 back when I drove. Most of it was going to auto part manufacturers in Indiana.

Y'all have automatic transmissions now? Do you like them? How do they work on steep grades?

I seem to recall Prime trucks being some of the fastest fleet trucks on the road back in the 90s. Now I get the impression that they're some of the slowest? What happened?

What kind of goodies do most fleet trucks come equipped with nowadays? We didn't even have Qualcomms at CDS, much less APUs or inverters.

I used to see a lot of covered wagons on the road. Now they're rare as hen's teeth. When did this happen? What happened to them?

Ideally I would like to find a flatbed carrier (with a training program) that a) Has a good bit of traffic up and down I77 and I79 so I can get home. b) Doesn't do forced NYC and c) Will let me bring a girlfriend without being married to her. I had some other stuff that I was going to put down here but now I've forgotten what it was.

Also, I'm having trouble finding an "official" point of contact with my last employer to verify my last 14 years of employment. I do know that these trucking companies aren't going to like that. However, I do have contact information for both of the people that were my direct bosses during those 14 years. Will that be enough for trucking company HR departments?

Hopefully I'll remember the other questions I was going to ask in due time.

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.

Covered Wagon:

A flatbed with specially fitted side plates and curved ribs supporting a tarp covering, commonly referred to as a "side kit". Named for the resemblance to horse-drawn covered wagons.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Here is our introductory package.

After you go through those you can try these.

Paid CDL Training ProgramsApply For Paid CDL Training

That should keep you busy for a while. Everything here is free. We tell it like it is. The search bar at the top of this page is a very helpful tool. Put your topics or questions there and you will get lots of answers. Good luck to 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, Jeff. There's no "intro" for newbies, just poke around, and join in.

Here are a few things I'll try to answer.

Your CDL is from the past century. If you've been driving a desk instead of an 18 wheeler, it's Square One for training. But like riding a bike, you can do it easily.

Had the industry changed? I dunno, I started driving in 2014. But I bet, as I said, you have a lot of learning ahead. It's more complicated. I'm sure you saw that coming.

Auto-shift is the future. It's not an automatic like in your Jeep Cherokee, but the shifting is computer controlled. Some people whine about loss of control of their driving (they want to choose when to shift), but it has spoiled me.

Most of the Bigs have their fleet speed governed between 60 and 65. It's a maddening race between snails sometimes.

If you have W2 from your previous company, you should be good. Companies will pay much more attention to your driving record and possibly recent drug use. You'll need a DOT physical. This includes deciding whether you have sleep apnea and need/use a CPAP machine. (Using a CPAP is ok, they just need to know about it.)

When those other questions surface, check out the other resources. Click the three bar menu on the top left. The TT Wiki has lots of detailed info.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I started driving in '93 and the industry has changed very, very little. A few tweaks to the logbook rules and a few more electronic gizmos in the trucks. That's about it. Otherwise, it's still trucking. The days are long and challenging, city traffic is awful everywhere you go, ice is still very slippery, and the limits are still 80,000 pounds gross and a maximum 53 foot trailer.

You're definitely starting the training from scratch, no question about that. Don't sweat it, that's just how this industry is. We normally recommend checking out the Paid CDL Training Programs. That's an excellent way to get started.

I can tell you that TMC Transport is an awesome flatbed carrier that hires out of West Virginia and can get most of its drivers home on weekends. I don't know what their rider policy is, you'll have to look into that.

You can apply to TMC Transport and a bunch of other Paid CDL Training Programs right here on our site:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

There's no obligation but you'll get a chance to speak with a bunch of recruiters to learn more about what they have to offer. It's certainly worth looking into.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Jeff W.'s Comment
member avatar

I started driving in '93 and the industry has changed very, very little. A few tweaks to the logbook rules and a few more electronic gizmos in the trucks. That's about it. Otherwise, it's still trucking. The days are long and challenging, city traffic is awful everywhere you go, ice is still very slippery, and the limits are still 80,000 pounds gross and a maximum 53 foot trailer.

You're definitely starting the training from scratch, no question about that. Don't sweat it, that's just how this industry is. We normally recommend checking out the Paid CDL Training Programs. That's an excellent way to get started.

I can tell you that TMC Transport is an awesome flatbed carrier that hires out of West Virginia and can get most of its drivers home on weekends. I don't know what their rider policy is, you'll have to look into that.

You can apply to TMC Transport and a bunch of other Paid CDL Training Programs right here on our site:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

There's no obligation but you'll get a chance to speak with a bunch of recruiters to learn more about what they have to offer. It's certainly worth looking into.

Yes TMC is definitely one of the companies under my radar, along with Cypress, Roehl, Boyd Bros., and Prime.

I understand that paper log books are completely going away after 12/31, right?

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Nope the date for the end of paper logs is TODAY!!! 12/18. That's right guys and gals, if you are pulling out a pen and graph paper, you're wrong. I wonder how many job openings there will be come tomorrow?

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Nope the date for the end of paper logs is TODAY!!! 12/18. That's right guys and gals, if you are pulling out a pen and graph paper, you're wrong. I wonder how many job openings there will be come tomorrow?

I hope that new drives will still be trained on paper logs. WHEN the ELD malfunctions, and it will, because that is the nature of things electronic, a driver better know how to keep accurate paper logs.

Jeff W.'s Comment
member avatar

Nope the date for the end of paper logs is TODAY!!! 12/18. That's right guys and gals, if you are pulling out a pen and graph paper, you're wrong. I wonder how many job openings there will be come tomorrow?

Awesome. Because I definitely don't miss that part of the job.

I remember reading a forum post somewhere (not on this site) where drivers were complaining about e-logs saying that they couldn't make any money because of them. I guess it's harder to fudge your HOS with them but that's okay with me.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: http://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More