Foolish Mistakes

Topic 11810 | Page 1

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Dave S.'s Comment
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I have made some stupid decisions that I fear will prevent me from getting a truck driving job. A little over a year ago I went to school to get my CDL A license but as you know alotta companies are reluctant to take on a driver without experience. I made several phone calls and did find some companies that would but they were going to pay me very little plus I had to go over the road for nearly two months. Needless to say I decided to keep looking for a better deal and I never really found one so here I am a year or so later with no job. To make things worse my CDL was downgraded because my medical expired which I assume isn't a big deal because I was told once I retake my medical my CDL will be restored. But now I made a bad situation even worse because I needed money and started driving a box truck (non CDL) with the intention of only working there temporarily to save enough money and restore my CDL then bite the bullet and take the low paying job and eventually get my pay increases. I assumed even with no experience driving a box truck it would be easy since I did drive tractor trailers but I was wrong. As I was driving down a narrow street there were a few cars double parked and instead of simply stopping until someone moved I just kept going because I though I had enough room and ended up sideswiping two parked cars. Nobody was hurt but now that clean driving record that I worked so hard to keep is now gone. I fear that this extremely stupid mistake I made will now prevent me from getting any type of truck driving job because even If I had to wait a few years to get my license clean again who is going to touch someone with a CDL license going on 3 or 4 years but never found a job all that time. I really hope that this admittedly stupid mistake will not stop me from doing something that I have always wanted to do.

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.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I have made some stupid decisions that I fear will prevent me from getting a truck driving job. A little over a year ago I went to school to get my CDL A license but as you know alotta companies are reluctant to take on a driver without experience. I made several phone calls and did find some companies that would but they were going to pay me very little plus I had to go over the road for nearly two months. Needless to say I decided to keep looking for a better deal and I never really found one so here I am a year or so later with no job. To make things worse my CDL was downgraded because my medical expired which I assume isn't a big deal because I was told once I retake my medical my CDL will be restored. But now I made a bad situation even worse because I needed money and started driving a box truck (non CDL) with the intention of only working there temporarily to save enough money and restore my CDL then bite the bullet and take the low paying job and eventually get my pay increases. I assumed even with no experience driving a box truck it would be easy since I did drive tractor trailers but I was wrong. As I was driving down a narrow street there were a few cars double parked and instead of simply stopping until someone moved I just kept going because I though I had enough room and ended up sideswiping two parked cars. Nobody was hurt but now that clean driving record that I worked so hard to keep is now gone. I fear that this extremely stupid mistake I made will now prevent me from getting any type of truck driving job because even If I had to wait a few years to get my license clean again who is going to touch someone with a CDL license going on 3 or 4 years but never found a job all that time. I really hope that this admittedly stupid mistake will not stop me from doing something that I have always wanted to do.

Are you still employed driving the box truck or did they let you go? Either way if you want to get back into the game you need to get your CDL reinstated by passing a medical exam.

Beyond that, there may be companies that will take you on as a trainee. But realize something, your first year driving a semi is basically a paid apprenticeship. Every company pays about the same, so the focus needs to be on learning how to be a safe and effective professional truck driver, not on how much money you can make. That will come with experience and a safe driving record.

Trucking Truth has a significant list of Trucking Companies that may consider hiring you as an entry-level driver. Once you have your CDL reinstated I suggest you start to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs that will meet you needs for the first year of your career.

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.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.
The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

Man, hindsight is 20/20 isn't it? I know you've probably already thought about this, but imagine how different things might have been if you had just bitten the bullet back then and taken one of the "low-paying jobs."

I say this not to kick you while you're down, but to point out for others the lesson in your story. You fell into the "grass must be greener elsewhere" trap. Instead of taking the dry, brown patch of grass you were offered and watering & fertilizing it, you kept looking for greener pastures and ended up with a handful of barren dirt.

If you had taken a job back then, by now you would have over a year of experience, likely accident-free, and the ball would have been totally in your court. You would have had your choice of lucrative jobs.

I'm sorry, I know it must sound like I'm being mean, but this forum is designed to help new drivers avoid the pitfalls of this career, so I just wanted to offer a little explanation of what could have been done differently.

As far as the predicament you're in now, there is a link somewhere on this site which allows you to send out a mass application to many different companies. I would suggest you apply to as many companies as possible and just see who bites. You have nothing to lose and a career to gain.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Man, hindsight is 20/20 isn't it? I know you've probably already thought about this, but imagine how different things might have been if you had just bitten the bullet back then and taken one of the "low-paying jobs."

I say this not to kick you while you're down, but to point out for others the lesson in your story. You fell into the "grass must be greener elsewhere" trap. Instead of taking the dry, brown patch of grass you were offered and watering & fertilizing it, you kept looking for greener pastures and ended up with a handful of barren dirt.

If you had taken a job back then, by now you would have over a year of experience, likely accident-free, and the ball would have been totally in your court. You would have had your choice of lucrative jobs.

I'm sorry, I know it must sound like I'm being mean, but this forum is designed to help new drivers avoid the pitfalls of this career, so I just wanted to offer a little explanation of what could have been done differently.

As far as the predicament you're in now, there is a link somewhere on this site which allows you to send out a mass application to many different companies. I would suggest you apply to as many companies as possible and just see who bites. You have nothing to lose and a career to gain.

I sent him the link for applying: Apply For Truck Driving Jobs. Totally agree with PC here...it's almost impossible to get a start in trucking without first "paying your dues". No getting around it...

SouthernJourneyman's Comment
member avatar

If it makes you feel any better I left the road for 10 years. Finally decided to get back into a truck hauling logs. Did that for a couple months but it wasn't paying very much so I started looking around. Now I'm pulling a flatbed for Melton.

Not sure how bad the accident will hurt you, but don't lose hope. Use that link they gave you and get as many apps out as you can.

Dave S.'s Comment
member avatar

I did contact Werner since I had applied with them back in January and I was still on file they said to get my CDL restored and they can still bring me in on the training program but I didn't mention anything about my accident. I told them I would call them when when I get my CDL restored and I assume at that point they will ask me If I had any tickets or accidents and I will have to tell them then? I'm over not making big money I just want to get started I'm already 43 years old and I know I'm not getting any younger here. One other issue I have is that I do take blood pressure medication and I worry about getting my medication refilled while on the road since I will be gone for atleast a month at the beginning and I can only get 30 day refills at a 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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I did contact Werner since I had applied with them back in January and I was still on file they said to get my CDL restored and they can still bring me in on the training program but I didn't mention anything about my accident. I told them I would call them when when I get my CDL restored and I assume at that point they will ask me If I had any tickets or accidents and I will have to tell them then? I'm over not making big money I just want to get started I'm already 43 years old and I know I'm not getting any younger here. One other issue I have is that I do take blood pressure medication and I worry about getting my medication refilled while on the road since I will be gone for atleast a month at the beginning and I can only get 30 day refills at a time.

Walmart has a pharmacy...usually can park a semi-truck either behind or in front of the store. You can transfer your script from store to store, no matter where you are. No additional charge for this. It's easy...

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.
Dave S.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok stupid question but how often am I going to be able to stop at walmart when I'm always on the road and probably have to make a deadline so I may not have the time to stop and get a prescription refilled. I am aware that you can only drive 11 hours a day and work up to 70 hours a week before you have to take a 34 hour reset which I think is ridiculous but that's another story. I just assume I have to drive 11 hours straight and then stop at a truckstop until the next day

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ok stupid question but how often am I going to be able to stop at walmart when I'm always on the road and probably have to make a deadline so I may not have the time to stop and get a prescription refilled. I am aware that you can only drive 11 hours a day and work up to 70 hours a week before you have to take a 34 hour reset which I think is ridiculous but that's another story. I just assume I have to drive 11 hours straight and then stop at a truckstop until the next day

Not a stupid question. Trust me, you will have the time, plan for it. You get it refilled when you can...start looking for a WM 5 days before you run out of your pills. Don't over complicate this, you have no choice if you want to continue to take your meds. Many, many drivers are in a similar situation that requires a taking a recurring medication and it does not pose a problem.

The HOS rules are in place for a reason, safety. They are not ridiculous. If you learn to work with your clock, and manage it, the rules will not be problematic. Besides after working 6 days straight driving for up to 11 hours per day, especially in the beginning you will welcome the break.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dave S. assumes:

I just assume I have to drive 11 hours straight and then stop at a truckstop until the next day

I meant to comment on this previously. You cannot legally drive 11 hours straight.. You are required to take a 30 minute break before reaching the 8th hour of drive time. If you are on an electronic log system (which is a likely scenario) the system will count down from 8 to zero warning you to take a break when you get close. Again, you must plan for this. Instead of ducking into a TS, take the break at or near a Walmart so you can get your script refilled.

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