So Many Avenues, What Would You Do?

Topic 16154 | Page 1

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RepoRider's Comment
member avatar

Hey folks,

So I will give you a little history about myself and the field of work I currently work in...

About a Decade ago, I looked at OTR trucking and went to a company sponsored school, passed tops in my class, got assigned with a trainer OTR and after 2 weeks decided it wasn't the right choice for me at THAT time (In my 20's). Let my CDL Permit expire and started another avenue of work. Part of my job duties the last 8 years, and primary duty the last 2 years has been driving a 25,999 International 24' flatbed.

About 3 months ago my best friend and I moved to Midland Texas so she could be closer to her family. I wanted a change and to start a new career. So I started looking for a new job and most of what I found required a CDL-A. I flew back to my home state and I have passed my CDL Core, Combinations, Air Brakes and have my permit again. I scheduled a road test but I was unable to preform it due to equipment problem on my friends truck. However, the Instructor allowed me to perform my pre-trip & in cab air brake test, which I passed. So all I have left to do is my skills test and road test which I will be doing in 10 days with my 25,999 International pulling a 12k pintle hitch trailer. (new regs don't kick in here until 29th of this month about type of hitch restrictions).

I was planning to start hotshot driving back in Texas with a dually pickup with 40' goose neck trailer... However, I got the endorsements needed for my license that wont stop me from doing Tractor/Trailer if I so wished. I am open to driving over the road now, but I would need to work for a company that would have a rider policy, as I would only do it if I was able to take my friend with me (I am her caretaker).

Any advice, suggestions or ideas for me?

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.

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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, RepoRider. Welcome to Trucking Truth.

(What's in the name? You done repo before? I saw Repo Man (the movie) and decided that wasn't a career for me!)

Since you drove semis "a decade" ago, the experience won't count for much in geting a job these days. But it will make the driving school/ training easier.

All the CDL-A driving is done with semis now, not the pintle hook trailers. And even though you will have a CDL-A, you will not easily find a job, even if you expect to get back with the road training part. Nowdays you will still need to go to an approved school, and take 160 hours of classroom and backing practice. Without the school, hardly any of the larger companies will talk to you.

Trucking Truth focuses on the semi-truck career. O/O and hotshot are great options, but we don't get into them much, here.

For updates on the CDL freight business, you might check out these things:

The High Road Program can help you finish up the written CDL test, or add endorsements.

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.
RepoRider's Comment
member avatar

Hi, RepoRider. Welcome to Trucking Truth.

(What's in the name? You done repo before? I saw Repo Man (the movie) and decided that wasn't a career for me!)

Yes, I have been in the repo business since I came back in 2006. The "rider" portion is motorcycle related.

I know that pintle hitch isn't common, but I'm just taking my test using that combo since I have it available so I don't have to rent a tractor/trailer. In my home state there are no license restriction for using that type of combination until the 9/29/16.

So you think that a OTR company is going to make me school again since I already posses the correct license and have already successfully passed an OTR school?

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You will find that your employment opportunities will be very limited with the path you're taking. I'm not going to say you can't get hired, because you can pull that off if you don't care much about where you want to work. If you want to work with just about any of the top companies in this business they will require verifiable recent tractor trailer experience, or a recently obtained training certificate indicating 160 hours of training from a truck driving school. Those two things weigh more heavily in your favor than just having a CDL. The way you are trying to do this will give you a key to the career, but that key won't unlock the door.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

10 years ago, you didn't complete the CDL training. So you never actually held a CDL-A.

When you pass (hopefully) your skills test and get your CDL-A - it really doesn't have that much value in the industry.

EVERYONE wants to see DOCUMENTABLE EXPERIENCE with OTR Tractor Trailer. Even the local companies want to see some experience.

So yes - OTR companies ARE going to make you go to a school - either THEIRS OR SOMEONE ELSE'S.

And you aren't going to be able to bring a rider onboard, until your complete your time/miles with a trainer, and go solo. So if your responsibilities with your friend require daily caretaking - then chances are, there's no way to get into OTR driving without having to leave them behind for at least a few months during the training phase.

I'd say - go with the hotshot, as you stand a better chance of getting home often enough to care for your friend - and there won't be some extended training period involved.

Rick

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.

RepoRider's Comment
member avatar

Ya, well my whole purpose was just hotshot at first, wasn't really even thinking of T/T when I started getting my license a few weeks ago. However, I was just wondering what my options would be that I had a unrestricted Class-A is all.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Ya, well my whole purpose was just hotshot at first, wasn't really even thinking of T/T when I started getting my license a few weeks ago. However, I was just wondering what my options would be that I had a unrestricted Class-A is all.

There's another current thread here that says DOT loves to inspect hotshot trucks. Just make sure everything's secured right and your paper logs are very believable.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

RepoRider's Comment
member avatar

I have called 3 companies so far, all of them with higher me with my class-A without recent schooling. I just have to complete 200 hours OTR with a trainer and they will not make me go through school again. So I guess there are options for me :-)

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Repo Rider, that is very interesting to me. I wold love to know which companies you spoke with, and I would also appreciate it if you would keep us updated on your progress at landing an OTR job.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I would love to know which companies also. I would expect it to be companies with their own training programs:

Paid CDL Training Programs

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.
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