Experience Question

Topic 17882 | Page 1

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9Ether's Comment
member avatar

Are regional as useful as useful as local miles when it comes to applying to better companies down the road? Seems most local companies require at least a year or 2 of otr experience, but does regional experience count for anything?

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Regional is very much like OTR. If your doing CDL-A driving, then it's experience.

Yes, many local companies don't have the resources to train newbies, so they look for experience in their new hires.

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.

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm regional and run basically the eastern half of the us. Only difference is I get home weekly.

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.

9Ether's Comment
member avatar

Regional is very much like OTR. If your doing CDL-A driving, then it's experience.

Yes, many local companies don't have the resources to train newbies, so they look for experience in their new hires.

Ok cool! Thanks for the response.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Regional is OTR , whereas local is local and doesn't count as any experience.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
when it comes to applying to better companies down the road?

Just a reminder as we always like to do - get the idea out of your head that the companies that hire new drivers are "starter companies" you only get a little experience with before moving onto "better companies". These "starter companies" are the largest, most successful companies in the industry. I don't know what people think will be better about working for a smaller company with less money behind them, fewer perks, and fewer opportunities but somehow that's always been a fallacy that keeps being perpetuated.

Go into your first company with the expectations of staying there for years because you very well may. We have quite a few members that have worked for the large carrier that hired them for a number of years now. They're making great money, they've moved into special divisions normally reserved for proven experienced drivers, they get a lot of home time, they're driving brand new or nearly brand new trucks, and they're thrilled.

I think one of the reasons people think you have to move on from their first company for better opportunities is because they don't stick around long enough to qualify for the better job opportunities at these large carriers. Most of the drivers at these companies don't even realize these better opportunities exist. It's not something that large companies advertise. It's normally something you have to be selected for or you would have to get an endorsement from someone in operations to make it happen.

So people go to Swift or Schneider or Werner thinking that OTR will forever be their only option. That's far from the case. These big companies have local, regional , and dedicated opportunities from coast to coast. Put in 6 - 12 months at one of these companies, really learn your trade, prove yourself to be a safe and reliable professional, and all kinds of opportunities will be presented to 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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh, forgot to answer the "experience" question.

Most of the time a company will only count certain types of jobs as "driving experience" and it's normally the same type of job they're hiring for.

Hiring For OTR or Regional Work

If a company is looking for OTR or Regional drivers then they normally want drivers with experience running Interstate (from state to state) as opposed to Intrastate (staying within your home state). The lifestyle of running Interstate (OTR or regional) is quite a bit different than it is for people who get home every night so they want people that know what they're getting into.

Hiring For Local Class A Work

If a company is hiring for a local Class A 18 wheeler job they will normally count any 18 Wheeler Class A experience as driving experience. I specify "18 Wheeler" because there are Class A straight trucks that companies often will not count as experience because you're not in an combination vehicle (one that bends in the middle). I've driven Class A dump trucks in the past where we could gross 72,000 with 12 wheels (the standard 10 plus a two wheel helper axle).

So the bottom line is you want to get experience in the type of truck you'll be driving doing the types of routes you'll be running for it to count as experience in the eyes of future companies.

If you're really smart you'll explore every possible opportunity with the company you're at before moving on to another one. Remember, you're starting over at the bottom in trucking when you change companies. You're going to have to prove yourself all over again before the new company is going to trust you with their best freight or put you in their best equipment.

If you can find a better opportunity at the company you're already working for it's a huge advantage because you keep all of your seniority with the company and you know some important people already. So why not try to move up the ladder starting from the middle instead of changing companies and starting over from the bottom again, right?

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

9Ether's Comment
member avatar

Oh, forgot to answer the "experience" question.

Most of the time a company will only count certain types of jobs as "driving experience" and it's normally the same type of job they're hiring for.

Hiring For OTR or Regional Work

If a company is looking for OTR or Regional drivers then they normally want drivers with experience running Interstate (from state to state) as opposed to Intrastate (staying within your home state). The lifestyle of running Interstate (OTR or regional) is quite a bit different than it is for people who get home every night so they want people that know what they're getting into.

Hiring For Local Class A Work

If a company is hiring for a local Class A 18 wheeler job they will normally count any 18 Wheeler Class A experience as driving experience. I specify "18 Wheeler" because there are Class A straight trucks that companies often will not count as experience because you're not in an combination vehicle (one that bends in the middle). I've driven Class A dump trucks in the past where we could gross 72,000 with 12 wheels (the standard 10 plus a two wheel helper axle).

So the bottom line is you want to get experience in the type of truck you'll be driving doing the types of routes you'll be running for it to count as experience in the eyes of future companies.

If you're really smart you'll explore every possible opportunity with the company you're at before moving on to another one. Remember, you're starting over at the bottom in trucking when you change companies. You're going to have to prove yourself all over again before the new company is going to trust you with their best freight or put you in their best equipment.

If you can find a better opportunity at the company you're already working for it's a huge advantage because you keep all of your seniority with the company and you know some important people already. So why not try to move up the ladder starting from the middle instead of changing companies and starting over from the bottom again, right?

Good stuff, makes perfect sense! Thanks a ton for taking the time to reply in depth. Let me ask you, my ultimate goal is to pull tankers locally or regionally; to gain the experience to do so would you recommend staying at my starter company for a few years or transitioning over to a tanker company 6-12 months in?

better yet, know of any starter tanker companies other than prime and Schneider bulk?

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I don't know of any tanker liquid tanker companies that will hire rookies though there may be some out there. You wouldn't want to do that anyhow, even if someone were to let you. There are a million things you need to learn about handling a big rig before you start trying to carry around 50,000 pounds of sloshing liquid in a giant thermos bottle. It's super dangerous. Get one full year of experience in dry van , flatbed, or refrigerated first. Learn all you possible can about how to operate a truck smoothly going up and down through the gears, around corners, down steep mountain grades, in heavy traffic, and coming to a stop. It takes quite a bit of time to get the feel for a rig and learn to operate it smoothly under all different circumstances.

See, you can't make any sudden movements with a tanker which means you need some experience learning how to stay out of trouble in the first place, you know what I mean? Learn how to control the space around your truck, keep plenty of following distance, and tracking all of the vehicles you see in your mirrors so you can predict when problems may be lurking. Being a safe tanker driver doesn't mean driving like you'd see in a Hollywood stunt film. It means learning how to avoid having to drive like you're in a stunt film, and that's what a year's worth of OTR experience will do for you in a big way.

You could try getting on with a company like Prime or Schneider that has other types of freight to start with and then transition into tankers once you qualify but I wouldn't focus too hard on worrying about that. I would find a company that's going to suit you well for your first year in one of the other types of freight. If they also have tankers, great. If not, doesn't matter. You can find a tanker job when you hit the one year mark easily enough. But more importantly you might change your mind between now and then and decide tanker isn't your thing. So the first company you choose should suit you well for your first year. Then after that year is up you'll have the choice of staying where you're at if you're happy or moving on to something else.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Excellent advice, Brett. My codriver, after driving for more than 10 years OTR , thought he was going to try a tanker lol. He was on his road test with a tanker carrier and upon being pushed out into a thankfully not so busy intersection, he told the safety guy, that while he appreciated the opportunity, that he realized driving a tanker wasn't for him. The safety guy thanked him for his honesty. No harm, no foul.

I had the "opportunity " to pull a dry van loaded down with those liquid filled totes once. I'm still thinking I should have had a tanker endorsement. That load was CRAZY. I'm sure a tanker would slosh more, but the sideways sloshing going around turns, the surge back and forth when stopping was very unnerving for me. I was soooo happy to get rid of that load.

My dad drove a tanker for Exxon for years-- retired from them before moving on to another OTR dry van carrier to complete his 44 year driving career before he finally retired for good. It takes a very special kind of driver to pull a liquid tanker. I have as much respect for them as I do the spread axle guys backing up.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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