Reefer Otr Driver

Topic 19975 | Page 1

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Mark O.'s Comment
member avatar

Im currently debating between reefer and flatbed..i kno flat bed is usually home on weekends but can someone tell me what hours a reefer driver usually works..im trying to avoid over night driving..thanks

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

I can't say this is the case with every company, but, I driver reefer with knight, and, we drive at any hour of the day or night.

With reefer, there is a good chance you will have to drive over night because we have to keep appointment times rather than delivery time windows.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Mark, if you want to do well at this you might as well get accustomed to doing what it takes to make that happen. I think every type of freight is going to require some driving at night.

I drive through the night a lot as a flat bed driver, but I'm the kind of guy who understands the competitive nature of this career, and I just have this bad habit of wanting to be the best I can be at whatever I'm doing.

The way I have discovered to make good money at this career is to do what the other drivers in my fleet don't want to do. One of those things is driving at night.

Reefer drivers will generally have the type of appointments that require a fair amount of night driving.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
My CB Handle is Frank's Comment
member avatar

Reefer will require night driving and also a rotating sleep schedule. I.E. you might have a 2am appointment one day and a 8am appointment the next day. What's more, getting used to sleeping with the reefer behind you takes some time. I'm near the end of my first year hauling reefer.

It can be rough and I will probably switch to flatbed at some point but for me, starting out with reefer was still a better choice. I was overloaded with everything I was learning during CDL school and the stress and responsibility of securing flatbed for me would have been too much at once at that time.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

I've been doing reefer for 5 1/2+ years. I often have to drive "at night," but rarely all night. By "at night," I mean I frequently have to get up in the middle of the night (anywhere between 2300 and 0200) to make a delivery or pickup appointment in the wee hours of the morning. Not my favorite thing in the world, but you get used to it after a while. In fact, I've gotten to the point where I can't sleep past 6 or 7 even at home, regardless of what time I go to bed.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Nacho B.'s Comment
member avatar

I personally love driving at night. But gotta tell ya, two days ago I was sitting in my terminal in Salt Lake City looking out the window of my air conditioned cab as a flat bedder spent over an hour tarping in 105 degrees heat in the full on afternoon sun. I just HAD to get out and shake his hand and make a joke about the hard work flatbedders do, only to have us reefers park next to them with our units running all night!

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar
I just have this bad habit of wanting to be the best I can be at whatever I'm doing.

OS, Wanting to be the best at whatever you do is NOT a bad thing IMO. If a company sees that you are doing your best wouldn't they want someone like that working for them? I know I would. You are by far one of the best Moderators on this site and we all LOVE your stories on here and LOVE listening to your wisdom and advice. Being the best at something is NEVER a bad thing. I know I may not be the best driver in that school, we have a couple in my class at NADTA with MORE experience than me and they have the same level of rust. It just takes a little time to come back. Then when it does, I will pass all of my tests and have that new CDL back in my wallet where it belongs.

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.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Im currently debating between reefer and flatbed..i kno flat bed is usually home on weekends but can someone tell me what hours a reefer driver usually works..im trying to avoid over night driving..thanks

In addition to what Old School said about night driving, I can assure you that running OTR flatbed, you will not be home on weekends most of the time. I ran OTR flatbed for a couple of years, and I generally got home every three to five weeks.

If you run regional , yes, you will be home weekends -- in fact, to me "home weekends" is the definition of "regional," just like "home daily" is the definition of "local," and everything else is "OTR" -- but you might be able to find a regional reefer job as well. I am not sure of that, though, since I have never looked for a reefer job.

It is true of flatbed, though, that almost all of your appointments will be during "business hours," generally a window with a start time of somewhere between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and an end time somewhere between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

But just because your appointments are during regular hours (which is nice, since you don't have to worry about appointments at 2:00 a.m.), that doesn't mean you won't drive at night. It just means you probably won't be picking up or delivering during those hours, but you might be driving hard overnight to get there before the other guy so you can be the first one empty and first one in line for the next load. That's what flatbedding is all about.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Personally I love pulling a reefer , I've been doing it for a year now, I usually drive at nights, I have found out it's easier n you don't deal with traffic jams, I never have parking problems anywhere cuz there is always space in d TS or RS, its cooler to sweep your trailer or warm d reefer if it's a chilly night, on the live loads/unloads I either take a nap do paperwork, or watch a movie, either way I get detention pay, I can really work my 70 HOS , it's a great job, I am able to never take short cuts, and really learn and maintain my skills, the only hazards at night are animals on the road, but staying focus helps me stay safe and recognize the potential dangers way ahead of the road, reefer life, I was born for it.

Im currently debating between reefer and flatbed..i kno flat bed is usually home on weekends but can someone tell me what hours a reefer driver usually works..im trying to avoid over night driving..thanks

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
reefer life, I was born for it.

That's a unique statement there...

I spent a ten hour break the other day in "Weed" California, a town which has got a whole new lease on life since the legalization of Marijuana, and I am pretty sure there were a good number of "old stoners" there who would express your same sentiments, perhaps for different reasons though.

Back on topic, I have friend who wanted to pull flat-bed at Prime, but when they found him a trainer it was a reefer driver. My friend loved the reefer job so much, that he never looked back. He still pulls a reefer years later now.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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