Greater Spokane Area, WA
Life is a dance you learn as you go ... whether you feel like it or not.
Slower shows more control.
Posted: 5 years ago
Who to work for when you just start driving.
Greetings to you, Joe. I was highly encouraged by a friend (who had left an office position where I was employed formerly) to start with Schneider National. And I did. It was a great Company to work for in starting out as a New Driver. Their network is extensive and their system is super Driver-friendly while you learn the ins and outs of Truck Driving while you get paid. Honestly though, the best money I ever made with them is by staying out OTR for extensive times (up to 8 weeks at a time). But because of my commitment as well as endorsements on my CDL, I had many opportunities to run long miles.
I also worked as a Driver Trainer for Schneider. Good organization, but like any other it has it's own pros and cons.
Posted: 5 years ago
Think I want to be a trucker!!!!
Anything is possible. But as others here have stated, you may find some opposition to obtaining a CDL Driving job which might be a good "fit" for you with Reckless Driving types of incidents. However, I can attest personally that I had some driving infractions over the years (speeding, reckless driving, fleeing an officer, using a cell phone while driving, etc.) which DID NOT affect my being accepted into Driving School nor obtaining employment as a Driver.
Check the specifics with your potential school - they should be able to give you hones answers regarding your situation. But if you don't try, surely nothing will happen........
Be encouraged. Driving as a CDL holder is a prominent job with High Expectations as well as Requirements that MUST be met. But also be aware that there are always "exceptions" to the rule per se. Anything is possible!
I have lived it and am doing so now.
The Driving field is very much in need of Professionals.......find out if you can pursue it and if you can, do it whole-heartedly. And be prepared to do whatever is necessary, whether it is waiting 3 years or moving forward now. Many specifics are involved and each has work-around possibilities often that are not readily obvious. You MUST confirm (take action) before choosing either way. Peace to you.
Why do you think there are so many driving jobs available?
verb: confirm; 3rd person present: confirms; past tense: confirmed; past participle: confirmed; gerund or present participle: confirming
1. establish the truth or correctness of (something previously believed, suspected, or feared to be the case).
Posted: 5 years ago
Disappointed but Now Experienced and Rewarded
Greetings to all, the Experienced Drivers - The Inexperienced Drivers - and those considering being a Truck Driver
I have been away from the Forum for quite a while as I have been literally driving my life away over the last 3 years. It's been disappointing in many ways, yet also I have gained quite a bit of experience which finally has become rewarding in a sense. For those of the Forum who are Experienced, you will find this post truthfully in reality. And for those who are considering Driving as a career, I hope you find some insight into finding your fit in the CDL industry.
Truck driving school was disappointing for me in many ways as I was expecting a clear-cut "here's how you do the work" type of training, which obviously it wasn't ..... because as anyone with Experience knows there are too many variables depending on the Driver path you choose. In school you are provided the very basic foundational skills of how to operate a tractor in driving a trailer. It's like when you were in basic high school and you are taught the basics of mathematics, English, history, etc. which you then can take and build skills towards a career of your choosing - being a Doctor, Psychologist, Lawyer, Accountant, Mathematician, or even a Professional Truck Driver (which truly is a multifaceted job that engages in all of those fields daily).
Doctor - the Driver must constantly assess and treat his or her body daily for optimum function (eating, exercise, rest, treating minor injuries). Psychologist - the Driver is given time to think about everything to the extreme (especially OTR for long periods). Lawyer - the Driver needs to know the laws regarding Transportation (weight limits, Hazardous Materials, load securement). Accountant - the Driver should accurately calculate how much money is spent as opposed to how much is earned driving (cost vs expenses). Mathematician - the Driver has to calculate his or her time accurately based on the load assignment (HOS regulations, ETA, NAT).
Of course those are rudimentary basics of each, but you get the picture. Let me now give you an overview of the life of a Driver as I have experienced it in various career-divisions. Local - I spent 7 months as a Switcher Driver at a manufacturing facility processing Inbound trailers to and from 65 dock doors for 8 hours a day and then home daily (bonus with good wages, but rather challenging as I was doing 2 things constantly which I never liked to begin with - backing and driving in the dark hours). OTR (lower 48-States) - Most of my driving time has been OTR living in the truck basically for 4 to 8 weeks at a time driving as far NW as Canada, as far SW as Mexico, as far NE as Maine, and as far SW as Miami, FL with every State in between with the only shower at a Pilot or other truck stop. Regional (Western US - Mountains) - I have driven in the Pacific Northwest for deliveries within a 5 State region with both a Straight-Truck and 42-foot Trailer Combination utilizing lift gates and electric pallet jacks rated at 80 k. I have driven on Dedicated Western accounts for Target with 53-foot Trailers rated at 80 k and Anheuser-Busch with quad-axle trailers rated at 110.000 k. I have pulled Hazmat hopper double-trailers and pneumatic tank Trailers rated at 105 k. Additionally I have functioned as a Driver Trainer showing New Drivers how to successfully do the jobs. Now I have a gig where I am running 53-foot Intermodal Containers to and from a local rail yard where I am home 99% daily and every weekend!
I have used Paper Logs, Qualcomm, and PeopleNet systems. And all with the tools of the CAT Weigh My Truck and Trans Flo applications.
Be it known that the Qualcomm is truly the most Driver-friendly.......in my Experience. And if you haven't used the CAT weighing and Trans Flo applications (and you utilize those tools) then you MUST check them out for their time-saving benefits (after all as a Driver, time is critical to your success and your employers - which essentially means you will get the driving opportunities).
Here's my 2 cents per se on it all. Find your "fit" as a Driver (what are you looking to achieve in life). Each facet has it's own limitations as well as opportunities to earning a substantial amount of money (and we all need that). But to be successful you MUST find your FIT (what works for you) in order to be successful at it. For example, a good-looking pair of shoes which are 2 sizes too big for your feet will only cause you grief in the future because it will adversely affect your posture, your work productivity, your success, and your life in whole. Find what "fits" you, as an individual.
Why do you think there are so many Truck Driving jobs? Because it's a shoe that many just simply cannot fill and subsequently they find something else to do.
Be encouraged - there is much money to be made as a Professional Driver. But first be sure to get every feather in your hat which you can (Doubles/Triples, Hazmat, Enhanced Driver License, etc.) so your options are many. Driving a Truck is a lifestyle and you have to know how to live it successfully in order to be successful at it.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me and I'll be straight with you in response. I don't have time for games, life is real and Driving is a Profession that only few can do truly well.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago
I need some advice. .. I have been turned down by 2 schools because of 2 medications. The first one was because of a sleeping pill that i had not used for 3 months prior to school and the other is an antidepressant I have and currently have been on for 5 years. This medication has worked wonders for me! No depression or anxiety since I began using it! Are there any ways to appeal medicals decision? By the way, I am a RN looking for a new career. Thank you for any advice!
Medical clearance is something that is mandated per DOT regulations with all companies. Have you attempted to work with your medication subscription provider on the issue? Maybe there is an alternative medication.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago
That was good advice! I didn't really wanna do that for the same reasons u stated. I can tell u how to get the job done on the outside but I get inside and it's a new game. Having only 1 turn per day really puts a damper on things and now apparently the instructors have given up on me, so they no longer tell me what I'm doing wrong. They ignore me and wait til I'm so frustrated that I get out as I know others want their 1 turn as well. They too paid what I did. Regardless if this is a dog eat dog job, it seems the right thing to do, so everyone gets that 1 chance to practice!!
Keep it simple. Do not overthink yout turns. You know what to do in order to bring the trailer tandems where your drives are considering the few feet of difference in the path. You operate the tractor to drive the trailer.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago
Congratulations! I have been working with Schneider National since graduating CDL Training over 2 years ago. And my shifting / clutching needed much improvement after I passed the CDL exam for the State. Schneider has a very reputable orientation where they not only hone your shifting skills, but they teach you how to skip-shift for maximum fuel mileage! Great program that I highly recommend for new drivers. What you do not know, they will focus on and teach you readily! Great Company. But be realistic about your expectations financially. Schneider will benefit from your driving for a little less money than many competitors at the first....while you learn.....but once you grow and understand the metrics that they use Company-wide, you can can earn a good wage. I earned about $30 k my first year and $50k my second. Currently I am going on $60 this year already. However, I am unlike most drivers as I stay out 6 - 8 weeks at a time. Although that gets me more miles (and I am paid by the mile) I get less home-time.
Dedicated accounts (I have run) make a little more, but they are micro-managed (for obvious reasons) and I like having the freedom to run when I want instead of when the Company wants. : )
Again, congratulations on your new skill. I recommend you find your "driving fit" quickly. And Schneider will allow you that option. I have experienced it personally.
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago
I need assistance ASAP please
I have not been here in a while as I have been OTR for months with hardly any TAH. Currently I drive for Schneider at a considerably less CPM than offered with Heartland Express based out of Iowa. And, even more importantly, I am being offered TAH every week with no S California tuns. And just in that, I like it! My pay can be over $500 a week lesss just by spending 3 days a week in the lower LA area.
Any experienced offers of insight would be very appreciated.
But what does anyone know about driving for Heartland Express please? Schneider only offers me less money for less miles if I want TAH.
My home life and stability as a Driver as well as my very existence are suffering due to the inconsistent pay and lack of time with my family. I need immediate resolution with a family in mind.
Posted: 6 years, 3 months ago
New here and Made the decision!
Drifter, I am Rod. Welcome. You state you have been coming here and looking at the postings. Good decision. This site and the people posting here have lots of information worthy of consideration.
Think about the following things as you begin this journey as a truck driver.
- why are there always so many truck driving jobs? (It is a challenging lifestyle to say the least)
- there is much beauty across this nation on the highways (most of it is seen as you drive past it as stopping to take in the view simply is not possible)
- money is to be made (by keeping the doors closed and the wheels rolling)
- to be successful you must manage your time, your thoughts, your emotions, your health (truck driving requires your full attention to everything all the time)
- find your fit before you quit (if you find yourself unhappy, learn how to make the job work for you and what suits you best - OTR 48, Team, Solo or Local)
Most importantly, keep your self and ypur truck safe!
All in all, it is just a job that requures work!
Posted: 6 years, 3 months ago
I am hoping for something that will get me home on the weekends, and am considering a contract with Schneider for Wal-Marl (I think), that has you on the road Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (pays well apparently due to losing weekends). I was just curious if there are openings with companies that have similar home times, are there companies that are better then others for newer drivers that I should watch out for? (I live in Wilmington, DE and plan on staying here).
I considered many things after graduating CDL school (my career plans, the carrier credentials as well as their viability for different options, and subsequently I chose Schneider because - 1) recommended by a friend 2) had Worldwide coverage (not only Nationwide) 3) there were multiple driving options
You mention the Dedicated Wal-Mart account and having driven on that account out of PA, I can tell you it is a great driving option for the new driver. You are always going to the same places (all at different times in a month, etc.) and it gives you an opportunity to remain focused on expounding on your driving skills. And it is consistent regarding TAH (Time at Home) options. But remember that any Dedicated account (Wal-Matt, Target, Anheuser-Busch, etc.) will generally mean you are required to pick up and deliver within one 14-hour day (same day).
Whatever you choose, as others have said, stick with it and commit to it (at least one year) if possible. Yet, if the path you choose is simply not working out for you, do NOT quit without talking first to your DBL, the Operations Manager, or someone in the Company before you quit. Exceptions are always possible if you are reliable.
May your career be successful.
Posted: 5 years ago
Started CDL School yesterday !!
Hi Dan. As a former OTR Driver with years of experience "LIVING OUT OF THE TRUCK" I can tell you a couple of things that may be of benefit to you. I used to stay out 4 to 8 weeks at a time in the truck.
1. Your life with revolve around your job (let's be honest, when you are living out of the truck then the truck runs your life while you are in it). But use it to your benefit (make the most of it).
2. Invest in your success. Buy a good Truck GPS Mapping Tool (I spent $400.00 three years ago on a Rand-McNally 730 with a 7-inch display which I still use today that has it's own quirky behavior in Routing, but is easy to learn and see).
3. Get your own coffee-maker to go in the truck (I purchased one in Pennsylvania at a TA to park for the night) and it ensures hot coffee or tea anytime.
4. Buy a Road Pro oven (looks like a lunch box) and you can have a "hot meal" anytime while you are out.
5. Get an Igloo cooler for icing cold drinks, etc. (or invest in a fridge if you can see the monetary benefits).
6. Keep your mind on something positive (give up your regrets of the past).
7. Buy groceries and supplies when you are at home (I usually spent $120 - 150 every 4 weeks at a local home store for the month).
Living out of the truck is exactly that. The truck determines when, where, and how you stop as well as when, where, and how you go. So just go with it and make money. Make it work for you not work you personally.
OTR is exactly what it is - you live out of the truck.
Keep it real and in perspective at all times.