What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver By Old School

Topic 21622 | Page 1

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Old School has written a stellar article called What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver and it's a must read for anyone who wants to make top dollar and thrive in this industry.

To be honest, there are a lot of drivers out there who have years of experience but somehow never figure out how to get to that top level. They're normally the ones complaining all the time, hopping from job to job, and spinning conspiracy theories about the office personnel holding us back or hurting us in some way.

The principles that Old School has laid out are each a critical piece to the puzzle. None of them seem like rocket science but only a very small percentage of drivers can achieve them all consistently. When you watch the approach that many drivers take it's clear they haven't figured out this formula for success.

For all of the new drivers that are coming into this industry I know you've heard that truck drivers are in high demand. If you have a CDL then a ton of companies would love to have you. Let me clarify this a little bit:

Top Tier Drivers Are In High Demand, not just any knucklehead with a CDL.

Having a CDL will get you an opportunity to prove what you're capable of. If you want great miles, fantastic equipment, special favors from dispatch, pay bonuses, and all of the wonderful perks that the elite drivers get then you're going to have to prove that you're a top tier driver and you're going to have to maintain that level of performance month after month, year after year.

You're only as good as your recent performance. It doesn't matter if you've been a Top Tier Driver for 10 years. If you suddenly stop putting in the work, become difficult to get along with, and show up late for appointments you'll lose those perks and privileges in a heartbeat. You have to prove you're capable of getting the job done at the highest level consistently over long periods of time if you want to be considered a Top Tier Driver and get all of the perks that come with it.

Now go read this article and learn what it takes to become a Top Tier Driver and make it your goal to become one of the elite drivers in this industry:

What It Takes To Be A Top Tier Driver

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.
Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

Great article as usual OS. I do have to say though (it's an opinion so take it with a grain of salt), I personally wouldn't take those CT runs in the winter either, simply because of the more hazardous weather. I understand that it has to be done, but compared to a veteran driver of many years, I don't consider myself ready to tackle the NE during the winter months.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I don't consider myself ready to tackle the NE during the winter months.

Then again, it's hard to learn by not doing, ya know what I mean? You kind of have to dive in and do it to become good at it. The key is knowing where to draw the line. When you get uncomfortable with the circumstances, you simply park it. Over time you get more comfortable with more difficult circumstances as you gain experience.

I'm starting a new endeavor myself - technical ice climbing. In fact, Saturday I'm taking a course called "Ice 101" and I'll do my first real vertical ice climbing. I'm going to take things slowly, stay within what I feel are reasonable circumstances for my skill level, and bail out if I feel I'm getting in over my head.

It's no different for driving a rig in the winter. Take it super slow and trust your instincts. If you start to feel like you're getting in over your head just park it and wait for things to clear up a little bit. You could handle it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Great article as usual OS. I do have to say though (it's an opinion so take it with a grain of salt), I personally wouldn't take those CT runs in the winter either, simply because of the more hazardous weather. I understand that it has to be done, but compared to a veteran driver of many years, I don't consider myself ready to tackle the NE during the winter months.

As someone who drives the NE, every day, I honestly don't see why it is hated so bad. Except New Jersey, I hate driving in New Jersey. Give me a snow/ice covered Interstate 88, vs a clear day anywhere in New Jersey.

Great article. I always look forward to these. They help me set benchmarks, and see how I am progressing.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Great article OS. I have seen it at every company I have dealt with. People are people no matter where they are or what they are doing. Thanks to all the insight I gained here in the beginning and continue to gain I have always been on my way too the top. When I have moved on too something better for me the companies tried their best talking me into staying because I had showed them I had what it takes. However for me they were stepping stones to a final end. I have always been the type to keep my options open. Never say never. I rec'd the greatest compliment a few weeks ago from my dept head. I walked by his office and he caught me in the hallway. He said you know we are looking for a couple new drivers right. I said yes. He said can you please go find me 2 just like you. I was amazed. He said it was because I get the job done, and done well and am just a pleasure to work with. I was stunned. So yes your always catching someone's attention whether you realize it or not. For my perk right now is extra home time with full pay because they don't have enough loads going out right now. Several reasons but it is what it is. They are giving me an extra 2 weeks off. I call that an awesome perk. dancing-dog.gif

Keith G.'s Comment
member avatar

Good write up for sure. Captures the true essence of being a good driver. I may be in the thankful minority, but my company so far does everything possible to get us good loads. I've already gotten a few dry runs that make dirt, but right after I'm handed a 10 placard'd load from the tip of FL to to upstate NE. The gravy train arrives for those who work for it. I'm easy to please though, I ask for a load #, pick/drop time, and contact. I get the job done.

P.S. I've got another flat...Go nails! 3rd in tire in three days. Hense all the posting! confused.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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