Considering Making A Career/life Change To OTR Driving

Topic 12736 | Page 1

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Justin D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello I'm new here, and I'm grateful to have found the wonderful resource that this site is. I've been browsing it a lot of the last few days. I am unhappy professionally and I think driving might be a good fit for me and my situation. I'd like to know if someone would be so kind as to point me in the direction of some good companies to look into that might be a good place for me to start my career?

I would be looking to drive as a team (husband/wife). My wife and I are in our mid twenties. We're both pretty much hermits and don't enjoy a lot of social interaction in the work place (God help us: we're both in customer service oriented jobs at the moment). We have no real attachments keeping us tied to where we are. We both would like the opportunity to travel and see the county and hopefully set aside a decent amount of money over time while doing it. We get along great, so we have no worries about being around each other constantly as a team (we already are around each other constantly; been together 5 years).

We're hoping there's a company out there that would be a good fit for us. The optimal plan at this point is: for us to put most of our things in a storage unit, sell the vehicle and not have a physical address for a while. Then go to where ever we need to for training and start training. Not sure exactly how feasible of a plan that is, but it's what I have at the moment until someone wiser disillusions me of it's feasibility. We're looking for a good company that would train us as a team and then hire us on.

Stipulations: we don't have a lot of money so the company would need to provide the training for free (and hopefully lodging while training). Agree to hire us on at a decent rate after training us (as I said short on money and can't be sitting idle for long after we have our CDLs). Also we have a cat. Cat goes where we go, does just fine on drives, well trained, will walk on a leash (I kid you not).

Anyone know of any companies that could be a good employer for our circumstances? Any help is appreciated, thank you.

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.
MotherTruckerKen's Comment
member avatar

Hello I'm new here, and I'm grateful to have found the wonderful resource that this site is. I've been browsing it a lot of the last few days. I am unhappy professionally and I think driving might be a good fit for me and my situation. I'd like to know if someone would be so kind as to point me in the direction of some good companies to look into that might be a good place for me to start my career?

I would be looking to drive as a team (husband/wife). My wife and I are in our mid twenties. We're both pretty much hermits and don't enjoy a lot of social interaction in the work place (God help us: we're both in customer service oriented jobs at the moment). We have no real attachments keeping us tied to where we are. We both would like the opportunity to travel and see the county and hopefully set aside a decent amount of money over time while doing it. We get along great, so we have no worries about being around each other constantly as a team (we already are around each other constantly; been together 5 years).

We're hoping there's a company out there that would be a good fit for us. The optimal plan at this point is: for us to put most of our things in a storage unit, sell the vehicle and not have a physical address for a while. Then go to where ever we need to for training and start training. Not sure exactly how feasible of a plan that is, but it's what I have at the moment until someone wiser disillusions me of it's feasibility. We're looking for a good company that would train us as a team and then hire us on.

Stipulations: we don't have a lot of money so the company would need to provide the training for free (and hopefully lodging while training). Agree to hire us on at a decent rate after training us (as I said short on money and can't be sitting idle for long after we have our CDLs). Also we have a cat. Cat goes where we go, does just fine on drives, well trained, will walk on a leash (I kid you not).

Anyone know of any companies that could be a good employer for our circumstances? Any help is appreciated, thank you.

From what I have read Roehl can do all the things above, Pay you for your schooling and I believe lodging would be included and I know they have a pet policy downside is I don't think it's immediate I think you have to wait your first 60-90 days. But I think that would be your best bet.

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.
Shiva's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Hello I'm new here, and I'm grateful to have found the wonderful resource that this site is. I've been browsing it a lot of the last few days. I am unhappy professionally and I think driving might be a good fit for me and my situation. I'd like to know if someone would be so kind as to point me in the direction of some good companies to look into that might be a good place for me to start my career?

I would be looking to drive as a team (husband/wife). My wife and I are in our mid twenties. We're both pretty much hermits and don't enjoy a lot of social interaction in the work place (God help us: we're both in customer service oriented jobs at the moment). We have no real attachments keeping us tied to where we are. We both would like the opportunity to travel and see the county and hopefully set aside a decent amount of money over time while doing it. We get along great, so we have no worries about being around each other constantly as a team (we already are around each other constantly; been together 5 years).

We're hoping there's a company out there that would be a good fit for us. The optimal plan at this point is: for us to put most of our things in a storage unit, sell the vehicle and not have a physical address for a while. Then go to where ever we need to for training and start training. Not sure exactly how feasible of a plan that is, but it's what I have at the moment until someone wiser disillusions me of it's feasibility. We're looking for a good company that would train us as a team and then hire us on.

Stipulations: we don't have a lot of money so the company would need to provide the training for free (and hopefully lodging while training). Agree to hire us on at a decent rate after training us (as I said short on money and can't be sitting idle for long after we have our CDLs). Also we have a cat. Cat goes where we go, does just fine on drives, well trained, will walk on a leash (I kid you not).

Anyone know of any companies that could be a good employer for our circumstances? Any help is appreciated, thank you.

double-quotes-end.png

From what I have read Roehl can do all the things above, Pay you for your schooling and I believe lodging would be included and I know they have a pet policy downside is I don't think it's immediate I think you have to wait your first 60-90 days. But I think that would be your best bet.

KLLM and Henderson Trucking also would be a good bet

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift will train yo at a company school, and you "work off" the tuition over a year. They also have a program where one student is responsible for tuition and a Significant Other gets a free ride through training. Bad news: no pets allowed on the truck.

Justin D.'s Comment
member avatar

Roehl looks incredible. Almost too good to be true (the cynic in me is looking for the catch). Of course from the website they also give me the impression that they are somewhat exclusive and it's hard (competitive) to get into their program. I wish the website listed a recruiters office to call to get more information. I'm a little confused on whether or not they offer lodging. If they don't it may not be a deal breaker with them, as I see they have a school in Phoenix, AZ. My inlaws live near there and we could probable stay with them for a few weeks if need be. I like the fact that post CDL supervised drive time is only 3 weeks. I guess I'll wait and see if they respond to the form I submitted on their website to try to get some more info if they do.

I've requested more info from KLLM and Henderson as well. Thank you.

The situation with the wife and cat are seeming to complicate things on the surface so far at least. Preferably we'd prefer to stick together through all aspects not be reunited one day. Does anyone know of a company that would be willing to train us both together after we have are CDL's? Another question (a long shot, but experience is experience): If I knew an owner/operator that would be willing to take us on for training after we have our CDL's would a company allow that as long as we completed the necessary amount of supervised time/miles? Or does it need to be a company trainer?

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Miqote's Comment
member avatar

I wish I know someone to go on the road with :/

J Johns's Comment
member avatar

Justin, you have much the same questions and situation as myself and my partner. I'll only hit on a few points here.

As for training together, after reading around on this site I soon decided that when learning to drive an 80,000lb death wagon I'd rather my training be longer than not, and by the same token I could soon agree in spite of myself that it was probably best to train apart, gain a set of "best practices" from two different trainers, then compare and contrast those points when reunited with my team mate.

And as for company-paid training, I chose Prime Inc (I begin training within the hour, as a matter of fact) for driver satisfaction, a pet policy (three heartbeat rule), and competitive pay.

Good luck & keep us in the loop, we love that sort of thing.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Watkins-Shepard and Covenant will both train teams together (in the same truck), if that's something you're interested in. Your cat will most likely need to stay with family until you get assigned your own truck; I don't know any companies that allow trainees to bring pets.

sgtwilldog's Comment
member avatar

I would recommend get through the training and get hired first before you sell the car and go homeless. just in case the school or orientation doesn't work out for one or both of you.

Justin D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the thoughts and wisdom.

@ J Johns, time apart aside, Roehl's amount of time one on one with an OTR trainer doesn't look too short to me. Overall their schedule looks like a very good fit for me. Personally, I know if I am trained too long at something with someone hovering over my shoulder my results decrease. If it's something I know that I've already got down, it makes me nervous and more likely to make a mistake with someone watching me perform said task with a critical eye. Roehl doesn't just abandon you after your one on one supervised drive time is up. You have a manager their literally at your beckon call anytime you need help with something, or you need them as therapist's/bartender's ear on bad day (Joke). I really do think their program would be a good fit for the way a progress and learn.

I have an application pending with Prime as well. They also seem to be a company that would be good to work for and would suite my needs fairly well.

@ C.S., I looked into both Watkins-Shepard and Covenant after you suggested them. Watkins-Shepard doesn't seem to offer company sponsored schooling, that I can find; unfortunately that is something I do need. Covenant's atmosphere wouldn't be ideal for us. You are right they do both offer to train husband and wife teams together though and would be a good fit for someone with different particulars.

@ sgtwilldog, you're right that's possibility to consider.

Update: After much deliberation given our circumstances and the opportunities available it looks like my wife and I are going to go CDL one at time instead of simultaneously. I'll go first and be a solo driver for some time, with her as a ride along and she may at a latter time get her CDL. In the mean time she is pursing jobs that may be done as an OTR rider while I drive. She doesn't want feel as though she's not contributing to the 'household' income while we're on the road.

Anyone by chance know of a spouse along for the ride, also working just not as a driver? What do they do for work while on the road?

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.

OTR:

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.

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