Two Year Anniversary

Topic 15096 | Page 1

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6 string rhythm's Comment
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I remember folks checking in with their one year or couple year anniversary when I first joined this forum, can't believe it's me now. My wife informed me last night that according to her timeline on her facebook page, it's been two years since I graduated from private trucking school and earned my CDL. And like everyone says, it's gone by so fast. In about a month from now, I'll have been with my first (and hopefully only) trucking company for two years. I love pulling doubles and being a linehaul driver. Most days I love my job, and the days that it feels like just another job, it's still the best job I've ever had! My wife and I spent a good deal of time (almost two years) researching trucking before we committed, and I'm glad we made the decision.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Rob S.'s Comment
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Congratulations and well done.

G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations 6 String, happy for you and best wishes for continued success and safe passage.

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations Six String!

It's not as fun as playing music, but it sure pays the bills better! Very Glad to hear of your anniversary!

FloridaBuckeye's Comment
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It's cool to hear something like that six string rythmn. Congratulations on ur anniversary, and finding something in life that makes you feel the way you do. You have something most people want, but few people find. Congrats!

6 string rhythm's Comment
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Thank you everybody!

Hoping we can meet for that meal someday OS. Looking forward to hearing about all your OTR adventures to see what I missed out on.

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.

Tractor Man's Comment
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CONGRATS SIX STRING!!!

Steve L.'s Comment
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Congratulations!

6 string rhythm's Comment
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After some thought, I figured I'd recap my journey for our new readers. I've seen a lot of new faces since I joined this forum almost 4 years ago, so some of you might not know my story. Not that my story is unique, but it might serve as an example of one of many ways to start in this great industry.

Almost four years ago my wife and I thought about having a career in trucking. We are both college grads, and I had my own business. My business was successful, but I simply became burned out with sales. She was pregnant with our first child at the time. We did our due diligence and researched the career of a truck driver. This website and forum was invaluable for us during our research, especially after becoming disillusioned with all the negativity that exists amongst truckers and certain trucking forums.

Having counted the cost, we were prepared for a life of OTR trucking, with my wife staying at home while I was making a living for the family. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to count the cost, and to do so with your family. Everybody needs to be aware that there is a sacrifice to be made. It took us about two years until we realized we wanted to go down this path.

I went the route of private trucking school and we financed it ourselves. I wanted to have options upon graduation. In my research, before I signed up for trucking school, I knew I wanted to be a linehaul driver. Everything about linehaul appealed to me: the routine, the hometime, the schedules, the monotony, the same boring roads, and of course the pay. I thought I would have to pay my dues OTR before I could get hired on with an LTL company. In fact, usually this is the case.

While I was in trucking school I learned that in my area opportunities abound for rookie drivers that don't exist in other parts of the country. Some of this also has to do with how the industry is changing. In certain parts of the country, you can land a local gig or LTL job without any prior OTR experience. In other areas, prior OTR experience is required. I was all but settled on Crete / Shaffer trucking or Prime Inc once I graduated from trucking school. Then we started getting visits from recruiters beyond the truckload sector. The linehaul manager from my local Old Dominion terminal visited my school, and the rest is history. I canceled my orientation date with Crete and went with Old Dominion after graduation, being hired as a linehaul driver right out of trucking school. I got my hazmat , doubles / triples, and tank endorsements when I went for my license, so I was all set to go.

And that's the beauty of trucking. There are so many opportunities - something for everyone. Granted, some opportunities are indeed limited by location, but you can live anywhere in this country and have a trucking job. It takes dedication, even as a local linehaul driver, but it's a great way to earn a living. Besides, how many people have the privilege of driving a tractor trailer for a living? I love being a linehaul driver, and the only thing I regret is not having experienced a little OTR first. But I don't regret going into linehaul right out of trucking school. It was the right decision for my family. And that's why I drive a truck - not for the adventure, but to support my family.

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

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations, 6 string! I remember reading your posts when I first came around here a couple years ago. I've done the OTR thing and decided it would be better for me to go regional at this point. I still run OTR sometimes so I can make a little extra from time to time. Since I was hired for regional, I don't have to do it all the time.

It's a long story, and not very interesting, but my family situation has changed over the last couple of years, which is a lot of what drove the decision to be home more often. I still recall some of the things you said regarding family and trucking, and they helped, so thank you!

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.

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