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TheyCallMeDave's Comment
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Inhale....annnnnd exhale. Ok! Here we go. "Hi,I'm Dave by the way" :)

I'll keep this as brief as possible. After searching for countless hours about 8 months ago and never taking the plunge, I'm back once again. Lurking several forums looking for answers so I figured why not give a shot and make a post, and maybe some of you guys and gals can throw me a bone.

Brief history, I'm 28 years old, married, ex musician, certified personal trainer, clock puncher at a dead-end 9-5 and soon to be first time father. No criminal history, and besides a couple of tickets when I was teenager my MVR is clean.

Just about as far back as I can remember I've wanted to drive a truck, but for some reason or another I never really pursued it. My grandpa was a trucker but sadly passed in an accident before I was born. Perhaps I got too entangled in everyday life and let it fall to the wayside. Being the musician I was and still am, and having the "self-employed" mindset from a young age I traveled around and pursued music and made enough to get by and also did smart things like getting a lot of tattoos in highly visible places like my hands and neck. Nothing "offensive" but even now so many years later I get passed up on "normal career" jobs even though I'm more then qualified. So after working odd jobs and ultimately this dead-end job I'm currently in, I started to revisit the idea of obtaining my CDL while daydreaming as a mill operator during long 12 hours days for little pay. When I say low pay, I mean BARELY breaking 20k for the entire year if I stay at my current place of employment.

I know of 3 ways to obtain your CDL. Paying out of pocket "ha year right", going to community college "not happening" while I work full time and having to drive 30 miles to the nearest CC that trains you, and lastly the most undesirable "company paid program". Obviously my go to option would be the company paid program with the inevitable signing of a contract to work a certain period of time. To be 100% honest, my goal is NOT OTR. But if it's got to be done just to get my CDL and experience to get to my ultimate goal, then so be it. My ultimate goal would be putting my required time OTR , then coming local and possibly getting on at Old Dominion, Estes, or ABF or possibly something regional or dedicated. I'd like to ultimately be home daily, or at least on the weekends. I have a couple of buddies that drive. One drives day cabs for HEB, and the other drives for OD. One got his CDL through gradually training with HEB but it took a LONG time to get to that position, becasue the line is long. The other was able to barrow the money from a family member to get his CDL through a private establishment and lucked into a position at Old Dominion.

So my question is, does this seem like a feasible plan? Sucking it, going OTR to gain the experience and obtain my CDL, and then going straight to regional, dedicated, or LTL work? Even something like tanker work intrigues me. Obviously I would have to obtain my hazmat endorsement. But I guess my real question would be, when in company paid school, if you're in a school that's say a few hours away from your home, are you able to come home on the weekends? When you're on the road with a trainer, are you out the entire 4-6 weeks? Or do you get home time somewhere in there?

When you're finally out there solo, how often can you REALISTICALLY expect to get home time? I've read various opinions on this I just want a ballpark figure, as this is something I want my wife to fully be aware of. I also know of all of the horror stories of the "megas" but I also know you can find the negative is just about anything, so I take everything I read with a grain of salt. Being positive truly is a mindset regardless of the situation. I've found that out the hard way over the years. If anyone knows of any companies that have company paid training in Texas I'd appreciate the heads up. I know FFE is based in Texas if I'm correct (probably not). Thank you all for the opinions and taking the time to read this extremely long post.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

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.

Charlie Mac's Comment
member avatar

Quite a few mega's that offer company sponsored training have opportunities (provided your on time & accident free) to upgrade to regional & dedicated positions within the first year.

Best wishes.

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

TheyCallMeDave's Comment
member avatar

Quite a few mega's that offer company sponsored training have opportunities (provided your on time & accident free) to upgrade to regional & dedicated positions within the first year.

Best wishes.

Thanks Charlie.

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Roehl is one company that comes to mind. Their training is in WI ( I know you were looking for Texas area) BUT it is 3 weeks of paid training to get your CDL. Their OTR training time is also relatively short (14 days I believe). Roehl offers the most options as far as home time. They have various different fleets with home time options such as 7 days on/ 7 days off, 14 on/7 off and a few others. I believe these options are available immediately after training. Their contract is for 75000 miles which is somewhat shorter than other companies. They also have a TON of regional routes that can fit your situation.

Try searching for Roehl and read some of the training diaries. They have a great training program and we have had a lot of people go through their program and be successful!

Best of luck to you and congratulations on the new arrival!

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.

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.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

I'm not sure about companies that train in Texas but I know that most companies will have regional opportunities that you can get into. My one buddy got a regional position right out of school, granted we went to a private school but there was one guy at the school that was going regional and Schneider was paying for his schooling from the same school I went to. So there are options they just aren't very well advertised. Honestly 1 year otr will fly by too. I'm 8 months into it and I feel like I just started a month ago. There is so much to learn and see that time will get away very easily if you let it.

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.

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.

TheyCallMeDave's Comment
member avatar

Roehl is one company that comes to mind. Their training is in WI ( I know you were looking for Texas area) BUT it is 3 weeks of paid training to get your CDL. Their OTR training time is also relatively short (14 days I believe). Roehl offers the most options as far as home time. They have various different fleets with home time options such as 7 days on/ 7 days off, 14 on/7 off and a few others. I believe these options are available immediately after training. Their contract is for 75000 miles which is somewhat shorter than other companies. They also have a TON of regional routes that can fit your situation.

Try searching for Roehl and read some of the training diaries. They have a great training program and we have had a lot of people go through their program and be successful!

Best of luck to you and congratulations on the new arrival!

Thanks Chickie, I highly appreciate the heads up. I'll give Roehl a look.

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.

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.

TheyCallMeDave's Comment
member avatar

I'm not sure about companies that train in Texas but I know that most companies will have regional opportunities that you can get into. My one buddy got a regional position right out of school, granted we went to a private school but there was one guy at the school that was going regional and Schneider was paying for his schooling from the same school I went to. So there are options they just aren't very well advertised. Honestly 1 year otr will fly by too. I'm 8 months into it and I feel like I just started a month ago. There is so much to learn and see that time will get away very easily if you let it.

Thanks Jake, I'll dig a little deeper into certain companies and see what else is available.

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.

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.

Philly Fan 's Comment
member avatar

They Call me Dave,

They call me Glenn, I am 45 and was in just about the same position as you 4 months ago. I went to Sage CDL school through a technical school, paid out of pocket which lasted about six weeks in Allentown Pa. Sage school. CDL school is manageable with a calm confident attitude. I passed and then choose TMC because of the home weekends and tuition reimbursement. TMC has 13 speeds and I did not do well and was not offered a job at the end of two weeks of orientation. TMC is no nonsense and not interested in helping you along if you struggle. So my second choice which should have been my first was Maverick, Maverick has been excellent! Professional attitude great safety and very driver friendly. I am almost done my time with a trainer, it is going well I feel confident they will give me keys in about a week. I am going to be with the Glass Division, which is not available to everyone depending where you live. They do have dedicated out of Corisicana I think. Glass pays 45 cents to start. They also have flatbed and Temp Control Division. I can answer anyone questions about Maverick. I look forward eagerly to being with them a long time. Private Message me and I can give you more details. Maverick has been a great decision for me.

Good luck Friend.

Glenn

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.

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.

Philly Fan 's Comment
member avatar

Maverick has a dedicated Glass division. They are very family orientated and try their best to get you home depending on the division you choose communication and positive understanding attitude go a long way.

I paid out of pocket and now maverick reimburses me $100 per week for as long as I work for them. No contract.

They do have a school but there is a waiting list. I did not go this route, I wanted to start making the money.

Call Marshall at the recruiting and give him my name Glenn Minnick. He can answer any of your questions. I can also give you more details of my experience.

Good luck friend.

Glenn

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.

murderspolywog's Comment
member avatar

Dave they call me mpw. First off I just want to say welcome. Second if your expecting your kid soon how is your family support for your wife. With you way on the road it is very much she will be like a single mother and having a strong family support systme will make things easier for her, and you. Your home time your looking at with most company's 1 day home for every 6 or 7 out. Rhoel has a home every other week I would look at if I was In your shoes. I used to work for Swift when I daughter was born over 2 mounths early they let me dh over 500 miles to get home and paid me for them. I think you should look at what is most important for you and your wife. Is it home time? Is it didcated work? What ever it is, talk to the diffenrs company's find out what they offer and go with the one that's fits you the best. Forget about the company name, it's just a name it's about what they offer you. the company that fits me the best, might not be the best for you. Good luck and congratulations.

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