Trying To Break Into OTR With No Experience?

Topic 1578 | Page 2

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Starcar's Comment
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Orientation means ALOT of things. Sometimes its go there, look around check it out while they are checkin' you out, see if you want to work there. Orientation for cdl holders with no experience or no recent experience means taking paper tests, physicals, whizz tests, and then...maybe then...they will let you into one of their trucks to see if you can grind enough gears to get it around their road course.

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.
Steven B.'s Comment
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I think some were 18 days or more, so maybe they would let Mike have a go at it (not sure who he contacted).

Scott L.'s Comment
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Great Answer!

Well, as the title says, I'd like to get into OTR , but lack experience. Here is a little background on me. I'm 33, got my CDL back in '98 as soon as I turned 18. I have driven off and on throughout the years, oilfield, ready mix, and other local stuff. My family owned a small dump truck company, so I never went to a "truck driving school." (They retired and sold out while I was in the military). So far I've had zero luck even getting a company to look at me since I have no OTR experience and no school. What can I do? I have a clean driving record, and can handle a big truck without any issue. I do not know the paperwork side of OTR though.

Mike - As a Veteran you have a couple of additional options, Do you have any Post 9/11 or MGI Bill left? If so, particularly with Post 9/11 find a carrier that has an approved apprenticeship program (http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchInstitutionCriteria.do)which you can get some monthly income in addition to your company earnings. Or you can try Voc-Rehab.

Scott

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

SCOTT !!! that is outstanding advice !!!!! I hadn't heard of that program before !!! We need to get a list of these programs for vets, and regular folks who can use the WAI, or WIA..whatever it is...Maybe Brett could set up another link for possible CDL school funding...it would really help the vets who don't really know where to start looking...

BRETT ??????????????????

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
We need to get a list of these programs for vets, and regular folks who can use the WAI, or WIA..whatever it is...Maybe Brett could set up another link for possible CDL school funding...it would really help the vets who don't really know where to start looking...

I've thought about doing that but haven't done the research to really see what's out there. I know about the WIA funding and that's been mentioned a number of times on here but I really don't know what else is available for military personnel.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

I'm a vet myself and have looked into this quite a bit. Here's what I do know. WIA funds are from the fed's and for the military folks the only way to qualify is if you got discharged for reasons other than your own doing. The only possible scenario I can think of there would be downsizing reasons. If you were recommended to reenlist and choose not to then you won't qualify to my understanding. VA benefits are very different for different folks. IE; GI Bill was done away with for a period of time and if you served during that time you don't have it. Just depends on the service period, but most vets have a good understanding of their situation. Every county in this country has a VA benifit person stuck away somewhere. That can be a good resource. And Scott as a fellow Vet I too thank you for your service thank-you.gifthank-you.gif

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.

Scott L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks all, I got out Navy in '02 and work as a contractor for them. I am soo done with it. Every Oct and esp during recent years I don't know if my contract will be renewed. Such a stressful life, so been really thinking how I need to prioritize and re-budget to change careers to become a driver. And particularly since the first year of driving will be the lowest paid year, so I'm trying to come up with a plan that will allow me to use my Vet benie will going to driving school (while still being employed) and then use remaining for company with approved VA apprenticeship.

The VA database takes a while to search so it takes time to find the approved companies. Here are the ones I found to date: Conway, May, Anderson, TMC, Transam, Covenant, and Roehl.

If anyone would, provide me listing of companies and I'll search 'm. Building an excel document to provide info, as I'm one of those fellas that need to see it in order to make the best "tactical" decision for my future.

Scott

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Scott, Brett has comprised a great list of trucking companies on this site. I think from the main page of trucking truth there is a link for companies but I don't remember where for sure. It has a lot of information on each company that I found very useful.

Keep in mind companies change things all the time so once you find some with things you like call the company and talk to a recruiter to find out more. Then try to find some drivers from that company to confirm what the recruiter said.

Woody

Scott L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Hoosier...aka Woody (I'm from the great state of Indiana....license plate #86....also), thanks will do. Last time I dealt with a recruiter I kinda got screwed by the pooch (back in '90-Navy) so this time I am being careful of what they say.

Scott

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.

Woody's Comment
member avatar

It's a small world lol.

Yes you have to be careful with the recruiters, but fortunately I don't think they will be as bad as the last ones you dealt with rofl-3.gif

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