Having A Hard Time Finding Local Work As A New CDL Holder.

Topic 1386 | Page 1

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Nasim W.'s Comment
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I will try and keep this simple and to the point. First all hello to everyone I'm new to the forum and have already found some great information. Here is my dilemma. I recently graduated from trucking school with the hopes of going cross country. My wife and mainly my daughter have had a change of heart and don't want me to go cross country until my daughter graduates high school. She had this year and next year. I have been trying to find something local in the meantime but everyone wants from 6mo to 2yrs experience. I feel like giving up but my financial situation is what is keeping me from doing so. I have a class A with TX endorsement. Is there anything I can do or am I just SOL for 2yrs. Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Honestly, your best bet would be to search on Craigslist. 95% of local companies require you to have at least a year of experience before they'll even consider you. So it's no surprise that you're having a difficult time.

If you would drive, what is the maximum time being away from home will your family be ok with? You could apply at Roehl. It's OTR but you they have options where you can be home very often. Work 7 days and then 7 days off, or work 14 days and 7 days off. Those working days you won't be home at all. And it would give you that 1 year experience all those local companies require.

To be completely honest and I don't want to be negative. But I think your SOL unless your family can accept for you to maybe be gone a week or two. It's extremely difficult to get a local job with no experience. If I were you I wouldn't abandon ship just yet. Try to see how they will feel about you being gone for maybe a week or two at a time. And if they're ok with that then look into Roehl. There's no better hometime package than they offer. As for a local driving job, the only ones you might be able to land is a delivery driver for a warehouse like Lowes or Home Depot. They have Class B trucks. But besides that I'm sorry man but it'll be extemely difficult.

I hope I helped.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Also check out TMC. They get you home almost every weekend. McElroy is another that gets you home every weekend. Those types of companies are probably your best bet. But don't give up hope on local companies. Just search as much as you can. When I was doing my search there were quite a few food service companies that hired new CDL grads. They were pretty small local or regional companies. So look around and make phone calls. Sometimes the smaller companies will post on their website they want 6-12 months of experience, but if you call and ask they might need a driver or two immediately and will consider a new grad.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Nasim, everything Daniel said is right, and I'm just gonna add a few things.

First off the reason that it's tough to get a local job is because the insurance companies providing the coverage for these local jobs just don't allow inexperienced drivers to be on their policies. The industry standard for experience in trucking is over the road experience. You may be able to convince your wife and daughter that you will need to work over the road for the first year and then you will work on getting a local job. There will be some of the local employers glad to see you then.

The other thing I want to warn you about is that if you don't hurry up and get a job there will be many companies that say you've been out of school too long and they will require you to take a refresher course before they can hire you. Here again the insurance companies dictate the hiring policies. I was out of school 90 days before I could get a job due to some medical issues and there were people who wouldn't take me because of that lapse in time.

These insurers have their reasons for all of this based on the track records of new driver claims. I understand it, but it doesn't make it any easier to accept.

It's always better to start off with the over the road experience first, because then it is easy to go to a local job, but if you start off local I don't know of any over the road companies that will accept that as experience.

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.

Nasim W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks to all who replied. I guess I'm going to have to resell the cross country idea again to my wife and daughter. One other thing though. I'm in Miami FL and it seems a lot of big companies don't hire from here. The only 2 I have found are CRST and Knight. I have already looked at reviews on both and they don't look to well. I love driving. It's a passion of mine, but I also want to be successful. Thanks again.

Jason C. aka Pirate Truck's Comment
member avatar

Check out Cypress. I know there are bad reviews on the inter web but most are older than 2009. They revamped the work and I have heard nothing but good from them. After I put a year in I am going to be looking at them, but I hear they may take newbies. It is flatbed and it's a family biz so you are home most weekends and I think they start 30cpm. I live in Jacksonville where the home office is but they have a depot in south FL also.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Nasim, your area is very tough to get an over the road company to hire from, I didn't realize you were located in Miami. But please, don't hinder your search by giving any credibility to internet reviews on trucking companies. It is a futile waste of your time. There are so many people who think they want to be truck drivers, and then when they jump in and realize they're just not cut out for it they blame their failure on the company's policies or ruthless unfair practices. Haven't you noticed when researching that you seldom see positive reviews on any trucking companies?

Nasim, trucking companies are all trying to accomplish the same objectives with the same equipment on the same roadways. There is nothing that sets one company apart and distinguishes it as exceptional over the others, other than maybe their orientation toward service. Personally, I work for a company that I was a little scared to start with because there was nothing positive about them anywhere I looked, in fact it sounded like the devil himself was in charge of the operation from the reviews I read from former employees. Guess what? I couldn't have found a better place for me to work if I had searched high and low. I love my job, I have a great relationship with a hard working dispatcher who keeps me rolling, and I am making really good money. I've been in 46 of the lower 48 states in the first four months of working here.

The people who love this job are busy getting it done day in and day out. They don't spend their precious spare time on line writing reviews - they have a life!

We have people on this forum who work at CRST and Knight - they are all positive about their employer. The main difference between those two companies is going to be that CRST will insist on you being a team driver. That's a tough way to get started, so a lot of people fail because they just didn't know what they were getting into. I'd suggest you look very seriously into Knight, they are a good solid company and they will treat you right.

Remember your positive attitude and strong work ethic will carry you through the difficulties of getting started in this career. Commit yourself to being positive and tackling the job head on no matter what it throws at you, commit to a full year of safe driving with your first employer, and you will learn so much during that first year of what it takes to be a professional driver. Brett has an online version of his book here on the site that you can read for free, I highly recommend you read it. Also take a look at the Trucker's Career Guide link.

I wish you the best and would like to hear how things turn out for you. Feel free to jump in here and ask us any questions that arise.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Old School thanks for the great info. Yeah to be quite honest I didn't find anything positive about any trucking company while looking at reviews so I stopped looking lol. So I was able to convince the wife. My daughter was a little harder to convince but she does understand that this is something I have to do so we can better ourselves as a family. So now I'm looking into which company will hire me out of Miami and which one will better suit my needs. I do want to work as much as humanly and legally possible with some home time in between. I will keep you guys updated and thanks again for all the help.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School thanks for the great info. Yeah to be quite honest I didn't find anything positive about any trucking company while looking at reviews so I stopped looking lol. So I was able to convince the wife. My daughter was a little harder to convince but she does understand that this is something I have to do so we can better ourselves as a family. So now I'm looking into which company will hire me out of Miami and which one will better suit my needs. I do want to work as much as humanly and legally possible with some home time in between. I will keep you guys updated and thanks again for all the help.

Remember, it's just for a year. After that a whole new world of opportunities will open up!

Nasim W.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Old School thanks for the great info. Yeah to be quite honest I didn't find anything positive about any trucking company while looking at reviews so I stopped looking lol. So I was able to convince the wife. My daughter was a little harder to convince but she does understand that this is something I have to do so we can better ourselves as a family. So now I'm looking into which company will hire me out of Miami and which one will better suit my needs. I do want to work as much as humanly and legally possible with some home time in between. I will keep you guys updated and thanks again for all the help.

double-quotes-end.png

Remember, it's just for a year. After that a whole new world of opportunities will open up!

The thing I'm most afraid of is that might actually fall in love with driving OTR.

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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