When To Know Its Time To Go.

Topic 11665 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Ivory M.'s Comment
member avatar

So just start driving solo. It'll be a month now come Sat. Problem is I would rather start driving in the south to avoid mountains, passes & combo of snow & ice. I guess since I got my CDL in the Pacific Northwest, my DM or the company sends me to the areas that have mountains like MT, WY, ID, ETC. Should I change terminals since mine is based in Seattle to get to avoid some of these areas or just maybe leave the company all together. I know I'm new so I know I gotta take the loads less desirable & earn my way up the ladder so to speak but a baby has to crawl before walking. Just seems like to me they would keep me away from this until I get my feet wet. What's your thoughts on this? Please be honest!


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.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I had some of the same concerns early on, but I live in the southeast. For a while I was going through WV mountains every day. One day east, next day back west to Ohio or Indiana. If you live in the northwest and that's where you're based, I would think that's the general area you're going to run through.

If you're with a national company, certainly they may have opportunities in other parts of the country, but you usually have to have a little time to transfer. However, if their need is great enough, they might be willing to do it.

On the bright side, you'll go into winter knowing how to handle the mountains better than most.

Good luck!


Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Everyone wants to run in the South to avoid everything you mentioned. Unfortunately, if the only region you run is the South then you're restricting your length of haul tremendously. As you know, you must do your time to get the gravy runs. You're still "doing your time" and will be for many more months from now, but going to a different company won't change things - it'll just force you to start all over once again.

You've already gotten your feet wet, thats what training is for. You're now a solo driver who can do the job well and doesn't need a hand holding. There is no nurturing process, they throw you right in.

Listen, what you're going through is totally normal. But there's a few things I want to reach out to you about.

First, you're stressed badly. You may not realize it but youre worrying about everything. Relax, instead of stressing about Idaho why not relax and enjoy the beauty? Spend more time everyday for yourself; walking works wonders as does stretching.

Secondly, every driver goes through what you're going through. Don't doubt yourself, dont doubt your skills, respect the mountain but don't fear it. There's a million people who would love to be in your shoes (including my student) so enjoy where you are in life and don't think that your current company is doing wrong to you.

Also, ya know, the South isn't perfect. When it rains there it can be the most dangerous place in the world. Not to mention the traffic in some of those cities. I would rather be cruising along on I80 in Wyoming rather than being in stop and go traffic in humid Houston.

I personally think you have it good, very good! Usually people are upset that they're constantly "stuck" in the Northeast but youre primarily out West. The grass certainly isn't greener on the other side, you just have to learn to enjoy your blessings.



Hours Of Service

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

Well, I hate to bust your bubble. Daniel is right, I can count on both hands how many times I have been out west, before and after driving for the company I'm with now. The snow and ice on the flats is just as dangerous if not more coming across Ohio, Indiana, NY, PA, IL and the lake effect, but I enjoy driving on it, guess I'm just weird. The reason I say more dangerous is out west you expect there to be snow, ice what have ya.

But on my way home I had to run I-64 it was cold, windy and I slowed down because of the wind, but I went over the over pass started up a little hill and my tach was slowly climbing but I was not speeding up. I was wanting to go home and was being lazy, many a times out east in PA I would be spinning going up some of the hills.

I don't put this stuff down to be like oh he did that, or what ever. It's just yes, I realize the mountains are nothing to play with especially on the east coast and it's no fun when there is snow and ice involved and there are times coming down them are far worse. It's just when drivers are saying "ah it'll be alright driver" and then there's a jack knife moving at 55 mph on the interstate.

Most importantly, relax, and if you get to the point where you start to feel uncomfortable or an over whelming feeling shut it down, walk clear your mind, talk with dispatch, what ever you have to do and then start all over again. It's been awhile for me and don't really know how drivers are on the radio anymore, I know back then most would help someone out with situations like that, but that could be bad advice on my part being I don't have a radio hooked up yet.

Leaving the company after a month though I wouldn't recommend, talk to people first, the next company could be doing the same thing. But learn it, and if nothing else if you have to chain up ask another driver there to walk you along, heck I had to ask someone how to put the chains on and then when they asked if I had bungy cords, the next question was what for?

If you are already dealing with the mountains, snow, wind, ice. Your already on your way to getting through your first winter and next year you can help someone through there first.


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

Matt W.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok I'll ask, when chaining your tires what were the bungy cords for? I from San Diego, snow is a mystery to me.

Steve_HBG's Comment
member avatar

Ivory: Don't quit... Give it some time.

When I drove from 1981 - 1987 (seven full years, even though it looks like six), I was scared to death when I got my first load from Pittsburgh to Richland, Washington, in January, while it was snowing, and I needed to chain the tractor and the trailer to cross U.S. 12. Afterwards, the PNW was the only place I wanted to run.

Since then, I have watched the entire Eastern Seaboard grow to the point that I can't wait to get away from it when I resume my trucking career.

Once you're seasoned, I think you'll look back on these times as a learning experience.

Good luck to you, and stay safe.



Operating While Intoxicated

Michael's Comment
member avatar

They take out the slack, but I have seen people driving with them(bungy cords on)and still the chains look like there gonna fly off the tire. Put them on in a cross pattern.

Matt W.'s Comment
member avatar

Good to know. Thanks. That's what I love about this forum, I keep learning things I wouldn't even have known to ask.

Ivory M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys! I do enjoy the scenery but just wanna take this with baby steps. At least I can say they do make sure the roads are clear for the most part. Do matter what season hopefully they'll send me out east. At least I can visit family & friends along the way.

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

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

Links On TruckingTruth

example: TruckingTruth Homepage

example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
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

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



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