Starting In Trucking

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Metalhead 's Comment
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I recently got my CDL last week. The next step is finding the right company to start with. I would appreciate any advice! I'm 21 years old, from middle Tennessee. I know I have to pay my dues before I can land my dream job. But I would like to be home every week. I know it's hard to find out there, but I have important obligations at home. I would like to run either a dedicated or regional run. Thanks in advance for any input!

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Metalhead 's Comment
member avatar

I recently got my CDL last week. The next step is finding the right company to start with. I would appreciate any advice! I'm 21 years old, from middle Tennessee. I know I have to pay my dues before I can land my dream job. But I would like to be home every week. I know it's hard to find out there, but I have important obligations at home. I would like to run either a dedicated or regional run. Thanks in advance for any input!

I would also like to add, I have a prehire from H.O Wolding. And have been accepted from Averitt Express. And have applied to Celedon, U.S Express, Werner, and Prime Inc.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I recently got my CDL last week. The next step is finding the right company to start with. I would appreciate any advice! I'm 21 years old, from middle Tennessee. I know I have to pay my dues before I can land my dream job. But I would like to be home every week. I know it's hard to find out there, but I have important obligations at home. I would like to run either a dedicated or regional run. Thanks in advance for any input!

I would also like to add, I have a prehire from H.O Wolding. And have been accepted from Averitt Express. And have applied to Celedon, U.S Express, Werner, and Prime Inc.

double-quotes-end.png

Your best bet for the hometime needed, from my research, and what i have seen spoken about here at TT, would be Roehl, Schneider, McElroy, and a few others that have just slipped my mind.

Also, welcome to TT. A good read, that will help you prepare for the life that is trucking, is Brett's Book, and How To Choose A Company

Oh, and congrats on obtaining your CDL!!!

Stay safe

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Metalhead, welcome to the forum!

What you need to be looking at is the flat-bed companies that offer their drivers to be home every weekend. I think it is going to be really tough to find a regional job like that right out of school as a dry van or reefer driver. The reason flat-bed jobs work like this is that so much of the type freight they are hauling goes to places that are only open during the work week.

Three companies that come to mind are TMC, Maverick, and McElroy. All of these guys have set up their logistics software to keep drivers in a certain range or region from their home so they can route them home each weekend. You need to understand that it is not like a regular job where you will get home by 4 or 5 on Friday and not start back to work till Monday morning. More than likely you may get home late on Friday night and then need to leave out really early Monday, or maybe even really late Sunday.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Metalhead, welcome to the forum!

What you need to be looking at is the flat-bed companies that offer their drivers to be home every weekend. I think it is going to be really tough to find a regional job like that right out of school as a dry van or reefer driver. The reason flat-bed jobs work like this is that so much of the type freight they are hauling goes to places that are only open during the work week.

Three companies that come to mind are TMC, Maverick, and McElroy. All of these guys have set up their logistics software to keep drivers in a certain range or region from their home so they can route them home each weekend. You need to understand that it is not like a regular job where you will get home by 4 or 5 on Friday and not start back to work till Monday morning. More than likely you may get home late on Friday night and then need to leave out really early Monday, or maybe even really late Sunday.

Prime has a Texas regional in flatbed that will allow you to do the same thing as well. I'm running Texas regional now, though I live in Colorado. I get home once a month and stay out of the snow and ice (mostly) that way, but almost everyone in Texas and Oklahoma gets home every weekend in this region.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Bud, he's in middle Tennessee.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

And... he wants to be home every week.

SamTon's Comment
member avatar

Look at maveric. Go to you tube and find Dale clay he works for them and shows what it's like to work for them. He gets home on weekends

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

And... he wants to be home every week.

Good points, Old School! I'm so bamboozled by my student's failure on the road test today that I'm not paying attention like I should.

Sorry for the noise, Metalhead!

Newbie78inpa J.'s Comment
member avatar

If i lived in Tennakey i would go to Knight transportation. There is more then a few guys on youtube that document their experience and they seem to be really happy. The one guy is 22 and he takes home close to $1,000 a week and he started 6-7 months ago. He shows proof too.

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