Flatbed And Specialized Questions.

Topic 14597 | Page 1

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Stickers's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, first post.

I am about to go to Truck Driving School in less than a month. I am former Military where I did a lot of driving tractor trailers (even in places where things go boom on the highway) and I also spent many summers between school years when I was a teen going out on the road with my Mom who was at the time an O/O. I have spent the better part of my twenties after the Military pursuing other career paths such as Welding/Fabrication, Trailer Mechanic, and as of last year I am a certified Motorcycle Mechanic. I am more than ready for a change. Driving OTR has been something that I have been wanting to do for a very, very long time and I am finally at a point in my life where I can do it with no other obligations to being home everyday (and my MVR has cleaned up too).

I am Interested in going to the Flatbed side of the industry. I have done some research, talked to recruiters, and I even worked as a mechanic for one the "big" flatbed companies. Regardless of the knowledge I do have so far I am curious.....

1. What flatbed Companies (or companies with a flatbed/specialized division) get to all 48 on a normal basis? How about Canada as well? I would like to travel around rather than be regional if possible.

2. Are there companies that mostly use stepdecks or RGNs that would hire drivers right out of school? I am aware doing over sized/over dimension is not something rookie drivers do. I am asking because I would be interested in LTL and or hauling Military equipment.

3. And the last question I have, which is slightly off topic. How are the guys with the decked out show trucks making that kind of scratch being owner operators? This question applies to the guys who are pulling vans/ reefers/ flatbeds. I grew up with an o/o so having an understanding of truck payment, insurance, heavy road use tax, etc make me wonder how the guys with the stretched, slammed Pete's with a billion lights and matching trailer to boot can afford to have such beautiful trucks. Livestock and farm commodities don't apply to this question.

I will try to remain as active as possible on the forums here as progress through my career.

Sorry for the long post, cheers.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.

Stepdeck:

A stepdeck , also referred to as "dropdeck", is a type of flatbed trailer that has one built in step to the deck to provide the capabilities of loading higher dimensional freight on the lower deck.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

I can answer question #3

The simple matter is that they live below their means and they do it a little at a time. In other words, they know how to manage their money. Personal lifestyle is one where they do not have to impress anyone. What little extra they make goes towards the truck. If you were to do all these things at one time it would floor you about the cost but if you save up for a couple of years it is easier to swallow. These guys did not start out with all that fancy stuff. Another thing that a lot of them do is work on their own trucks, thus saving the cost of labor to maintain their rigs. The only thing it costs them is time and parts.

I can't say about the other questions because I have only ever worked for a mom and pop shop.

Stickers's Comment
member avatar

I can answer question #3

The simple matter is that they live below their means and they do it a little at a time. In other words, they know how to manage their money. Personal lifestyle is one where they do not have to impress anyone. What little extra they make goes towards the truck. If you were to do all these things at one time it would floor you about the cost but if you save up for a couple of years it is easier to swallow. These guys did not start out with all that fancy stuff. Another thing that a lot of them do is work on their own trucks, thus saving the cost of labor to maintain their rigs. The only thing it costs them is time and parts.

I can't say about the other questions because I have only ever worked for a mom and pop shop.

Thanks for the reply! I have been a fan of the "BigRigVideos" Channel on Youtube and most of the guys he interviews with show trucks are usually in route to a load or coming from one. From my Understanding a lot of those guys build glider kits so its more of a ground up style build of their trucks. rather than "add one piece at a time" kind of deal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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