Profile For Breydan W.

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    1 year, 3 months ago

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Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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What are your personal positives and negatives regarding jockeying a rig for a living?

Over my lifetime I've heard both good and bad things. Here are some of the things I have heard. To what extent are any of the following true? Please add anything you consider positive or negative about this line of work not listed here. Perception is not necessarily reality. Hollywood, TV, music, poetry, radio, the news media and the Internet can distort the raw facts about driving.

Truck Driving Perceived Positives

1. relatively handsome pay and benefits considering the minimum amount of hard physical labor required for the job duties; a man who worked in the building trades once told me truck driving was "for lazy people"... that was his own perception at least, it's not my opinion 2. being a "mega" driver has advantages: company drivers, though they have less freedom to be independent in their way of doing things, don't take on the serious economic risks that owner-operators take

Truck Driving Perceived Negatives

1. being away from home a long period of time 2. being exposed to unsavory people: violent people, corrupt people, criminal people, mobsters, racketeers 3. being at a high risk to encounter violent criminal elements 4. the lack of union representation for many company/OTR drivers 5. corporate greed truckers might have to deal with 6. lack of house-like living comforts and house-like living space over the road 7. keeping physically fit and thin can be difficult over the road 8. availability of hot, wholesome and affordable square meals can be limited; a barber of mine in 1985 once told me there was a time when truckers could find all you can eat ham and eggs for just $1.99 at roadside cafes; my barber used to stop at truck stop restaurants with waitresses for cheap and plentiful food while traveling 9. some truck stops have a reputation for being dirty (squalid) 10. living expenses out of pocket over the road can be high; some want to work and put as much money in the bank as possible, some don't want to work just to make truck stop owners rich 11. Uncle Sam and The Man make life difficult for truckers; too much red tape involved, log books, "chicken coops" and all that sort of irritating junk; do you inspect your personal automobile, or even your pickup truck towing a boat or travel trailer, before a road trip as meticulously as you inspect your semi truck? … some might think "it's just a stupid truck", not a sophisticated 747 jet plane or a NASA moon rocket after all so why all this mechanical scrutiny during pre-trips?? 12. OSHA might be too weak to aggressively protect the health and safety of working truck drivers 13. poorly-maintained roads and lack of truck-friendly infrastructure 14. speed traps and corrupt law enforcement in hick towns

What's so controversial about this? There is truth in all 16 points - some may be overblown a bit, but still true.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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New Article Now On TruckingTruth: Truckers And Guns

Does anyone know of a single instance where a trucker saved himself from harm because he had a gun on him? I've been in the industry for 27 years and I don't know of a single story. We've had tons of people say they'd love to have a gun on them and we've had over 16 million visits to this website over the past 13 years but I've never heard a single story where having a gun made a difference. I'm sure it has happened at some point, but so do lightning strikes and meteor impacts but no one seems to be concerned about those.

In 15 years of driving, I never had a problem. I was never robbed or harrassed, nor have I felt like I was in a truly dangerous situation. I've been through every dangerous area you can imagine over the years - East L.A., South Chicago, MOST of downtown Atlanta - but never a single incident or real concern.

I have no issue with people wanting to carry a gun. I don't care either way. I just hate to see people stressing over something that is so unlikely to ever be an issue. Naturally, you might say, "It only takes once" and to that I say, "Well that applies to lightning strikes and rattlesnake bites and meteor impacts, too, so why aren't you obsessing about those?" Do you lock yourself in the basement during thunderstorms? Do you carry a snake bite kit? Are you tracking near-Earth meteors and potential impact zones?

https://www.transportationnation.com/trucker-justified-in-killing-man-who-attempted-to-break-into-his-big-rig-police-say/

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Drivers pay

I've been paid by the mile and I've been paid by the hour. I prefer hourly. I get paid for everything I do at the same generous rate, from log in to log out. Getting loaded/unloaded, driving, sitting in traffic, fueling, you name it. When I was at Schneider, getting paid by the mile, I was only making money when I was rolling. It was like pulling teeth trying to get the accessory pay that I deserved. The driver managers had a list of excuses as long as their sleeves for why they couldn't pay detention pay in many situations. I spent many hours of that year on ridiculous searches for empty trailers, time that I was very poorly compensated for. These are just a couple examples of the drawbacks of being paid by the mile. Hourly pay takes a lot of stress out of the job and I have no problem staying motivated. The company knows how to reward their drivers that go above and beyond, too.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Questions about local driving

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Are local driving positions with carriers tougher to get than OTR positions?

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Depends on where you live. If you are near a large city then there are probably lots of local jobs available. The hiring standards for local driving jobs are usually higher than for otr jobs (as they should be, since local driving tends to be more challenging than otr). They usually require one year of class A driving experience (driving a tractor-trailer). So in that sense, yes they are tougher to get. However, local companies are, more and more, hiring inexperienced CDL holders and training them "their way." I had multiple offers from local companies when I finished CDL school.

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What is the typical work schedule of a LOCAL driver?

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I work 5 days per week, and average 11 hours per shift. I know guys that do four 12 hour shifts per week with extra work available if wanted. I would say 5 days a week and 55-60 hours is about typical.

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What is the greatest distance from home traveled on the job for a LOCAL driver?

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As far as one can go and return before their clock runs out. About 300 miles or so.

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I am now in my mid-50's and consider myself "too old" for that OTR s_hit. I consider life in a sleeper at my age to be a hardship. I would hope that some employers would be sympathetic to older people who might seek local driving due to age considerations and understand that the long-haul stuff/sleeper crap is generally for the young and the bold. Being a service Veteran I might get some slack there too. Yes, I would be willing to train the company's way to get preferential close-to-home employment.

You should look into YRC in Austin. Ther're always hiring it seems and they will take some right out of CDL school. Call the director of operations their and tell him your story and ask him what CDL schools they hire out of. Another thing, that you'll probably like, they're teamsters union.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Questions about local driving

You will more than likely need some OTR experience to land a local driving job. .

I was determined to land a local job when I returned to trucking after a 17 year hiatus and people told me just that - "you gotta have OTR experience to get one of those jobs." So I did some more research and found that none of the local companies I was interested (the big LTL's and food service companies) required OTR experience. Some will hire you with a CDL and graduate certificate from an approved school and some require 1 year of commercial driving experience (class A, tractor-trailer). No mention of over-the-road.

Of course, the lowest barrier route to getting that one year of experience is going OTR with one of the mega carriers, but that's not the only way, by any means.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Questions about local driving

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Are local driving positions with carriers tougher to get than OTR positions?

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Depends on where you live. If you are near a large city then there are probably lots of local jobs available. The hiring standards for local driving jobs are usually higher than for otr jobs (as they should be, since local driving tends to be more challenging than otr). They usually require one year of class A driving experience (driving a tractor-trailer). So in that sense, yes they are tougher to get. However, local companies are, more and more, hiring inexperienced CDL holders and training them "their way." I had multiple offers from local companies when I finished CDL school.

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What is the typical work schedule of a LOCAL driver?

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I work 5 days per week, and average 11 hours per shift. I know guys that do four 12 hour shifts per week with extra work available if wanted. I would say 5 days a week and 55-60 hours is about typical.

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What is the greatest distance from home traveled on the job for a LOCAL driver?

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As far as one can go and return before their clock runs out. About 300 miles or so.

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Some megas like Schneider offer local positions too, it's not just the local mom-and-pops. Some also offer dedicated routes. Not having to go all over the nation into unknown territory would seem more comforting to me. Sticking around southwestern states like Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Louisiana and Kansas doesn't seem to bad for regional. The weather is favorable most of the time. No serious mountain driving or severe winter driving usually. Being based in Texas and driving regional even would keep me out of the nastiest places in the Lower 48 to drive, Lalaland, CA and the Rust Belt. I gather regional usually doesn't extend beyond three state lines. There is still that nasty sleeper and those nasty choke-n-pukes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI9fq6XOkKM

Those mega local jobs usually go to drivers with seniority that want to come off OTR. I wouldn't be looking at "local mom-and-pops" but the big LTL's like YRC, XPO, Saia, and whatever else they got in Austin.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Questions about local driving

Aren't log books only required for interstate commerce? I figure many local jobs will be intrastate only.

Almost everyone uses an eld now. Why would you want to have to fill out a paper log? Eld is much easier.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Questions about local driving

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Are local driving positions with carriers tougher to get than OTR positions?

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Depends on where you live. If you are near a large city then there are probably lots of local jobs available. The hiring standards for local driving jobs are usually higher than for otr jobs (as they should be, since local driving tends to be more challenging than otr). They usually require one year of class A driving experience (driving a tractor-trailer). So in that sense, yes they are tougher to get. However, local companies are, more and more, hiring inexperienced CDL holders and training them "their way." I had multiple offers from local companies when I finished CDL school.

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What is the typical work schedule of a LOCAL driver?

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I work 5 days per week, and average 11 hours per shift. I know guys that do four 12 hour shifts per week with extra work available if wanted. I would say 5 days a week and 55-60 hours is about typical.

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What is the greatest distance from home traveled on the job for a LOCAL driver?

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As far as one can go and return before their clock runs out. About 300 miles or so.

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I am now in my mid-50's and consider myself "too old" for that OTR s_hit. I consider life in a sleeper at my age to be a hardship. I would hope that some employers would be sympathetic to older people who might seek local driving due to age considerations and understand that the long-haul stuff/sleeper crap is generally for the young and the bold. Being a service Veteran I might get some slack there too. Yes, I would be willing to train the company's way to get preferential close-to-home employment.

You might get preferential treatment for you military servive, but not for your age!

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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Questions about local driving

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Are local driving positions with carriers tougher to get than OTR positions? What is the typical work schedule of a LOCAL driver? What is the greatest distance from home traveled on the job for a LOCAL driver? Are there plenty of good Local Driving opportunities in Texas right now?

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Maybe I can help, I drive local with a mid-sized company of about 90 drivers.

Yes, most carriers want 2+ years experience otr.

I work 3am until I get done. Sometimes i get done earlier and sometimes later but I have to be parked and off the clock by 5pm.

All depends on my schedule for that day, anywhere from 300 to 550 miles. I am in either Atlanta GA or Charlotte NC and sometimes I am in both on same day.

Don't know about Texas.. Don't live there.

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What experience level do they want for entering a REGIONAL position vs OTR? Could REGIONAL be a good stepping stone to get to LOCAL for an old fart? I don't feel I have the stamina for OTR.

Regional is not much different than OTR. Keeps you closer to your terminal, so better home time than OTR, but you're still sleeping in the truck. The hiring standards for regional and OTR are no different, generally speaking.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

View Topic:

Questions about local driving

Are local driving positions with carriers tougher to get than OTR positions?

Depends on where you live. If you are near a large city then there are probably lots of local jobs available. The hiring standards for local driving jobs are usually higher than for otr jobs (as they should be, since local driving tends to be more challenging than otr). They usually require one year of class A driving experience (driving a tractor-trailer). So in that sense, yes they are tougher to get. However, local companies are, more and more, hiring inexperienced CDL holders and training them "their way." I had multiple offers from local companies when I finished CDL school.

What is the typical work schedule of a LOCAL driver?

I work 5 days per week, and average 11 hours per shift. I know guys that do four 12 hour shifts per week with extra work available if wanted. I would say 5 days a week and 55-60 hours is about typical.

What is the greatest distance from home traveled on the job for a LOCAL driver?

As far as one can go and return before their clock runs out. About 300 miles or so.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

View Topic:

Recommended place to get my CDL license

Hi, I'm a bit new to truck driving. I've recently decided to pursue a career in it and I've been saving up to afford buying my CDL license so I don't need to have it paid through a trucking school and getting signed up with one of their companies for a few years. I'm currently employed elsewhere so I'm in no immediate hurry, but I want to be prepared before I take the plunge.

Hopefully I can get some advice since it seems like there's a wide range of responses online to good trucking companies and schools to attend.

So, does anyone have any recommended schools you think are better then others for getting training? And companies after perhaps that are worth applying for?

I have entered the trucking industry twice. The first time was about 20 years ago when I attended a company school of one of the Mega carriers, Schneider (they used to have their own school, idk if they still do). I worked for them, over the road, for exactly one year, completing my commitment. Then I quit driving for personal reasons, and let my CDL lapse. The second time was about 5 years ago when I attended a local private cdl school. Upon completion of which I took a job with a local company that allows me to be home every day, and making significantly more money than I was with Schneider (double, in the first year!).

So, I have first person experience with both ways of getting a CDL. There are many variables, of course, but in my experience the private school route is better. The company school was fast-paced and relatively unforgiving. More than half of the students that started in my class washed out of Schneider's school. On the other hand, the private school made sure that every student in the class finished the course and received any extra attention needed to get them to pass the test. I think that private schools have more at stake in seeing that all of their students get a CDL because private schools succeed according to their reputations for student pass rates.

Lastly, going to a private school will give you options once you get your license. You won't be locked into a contract with a certain company, so you will be able to explore all of the possibilities that are out there.

Best of luck!

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