Considering The Career - Starting In Portland, Oregon

Topic 20410 | Page 1

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Jake W.'s Comment
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Hey folks,

Brand new to the forum, account's only a few minutes old, and saying hi. I finished reading the "Raw Truth..." online and I'm wondering a couple things: 1) If I'm reading right, the book was written in 2007. I imagine most of the content is still applicable today, but I also imagine that a great deal has changed in the past 10 years in such a way that "to take the plunge or not" has a few extra factors in it. Am I right?

2) Assuming I'm right, are there any recommended schools / companies I should look into out here if I would like to learn more?


Brett Aquila's Comment
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I also imagine that a great deal has changed in the past 10 years in such a way that "to take the plunge or not" has a few extra factors in it. Am I right?

Welcome Jake!

No, actually a great deal has not changed in the past 10 years, and in fact a great deal hasn't changed in the past 30 years. Most major companies have electronic logbooks now and they've made a few changes to the logbook rules themselves, but none of that changes trucking fundamentally at all.

The trucks have a few more gadgets on them now and more of them are going to automatics now, but again, that really doesn't change the fundamentals of trucking at all.

Basically, everything that mattered the most in trucking 30 years ago still applies today. To really thrive at trucking it takes a special type of person with an exceptional work ethic, a tremendous amount of tolerance and patience, and the ability to get along well with people. You need to be fiercely independent and a fantastic problem solver.

You'll still have to adjust to erratic sleep patterns, terrible traffic, highly unpredictable weather, super tight schedules, and an appalling lack of truck parking.

In the end, trucking really hasn't changed much at all.

Quite honestly I've thought about updating that book only so that the date is newer. That's the only reason. There isn't a whole lot to add to it or anything at all that I can think of that doesn't apply equally well today as it did 10 years ago, or 30 years ago for that matter.


A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Jake W.'s Comment
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I generally like gadgets (and automatic transmission) so that's generally good to hear.

As for the type of person, the only thing I am unsure of is the "problem solver" requirement, mainly because of being mostly ignorant about the problems being solved. I like to think I'm pretty good at finding workarounds for different situations but this is a totally different animal from 95% of the things I've done before.

As for the rest, I'm former Navy (Deck Dept. into Ops Dept for those who also served) and currently make a living dealing with all kinds of people (I work on the phone). I tried a different type of driving a few times (Non-Emergency Medical Transportation) and would still be doing it if a) it paid more than $11 / hr and b) I had more time to myself. 34, no close family to speak of, you can probably see why I'm looking into this :)


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris L.'s Comment
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Check out IITR in Clackamas Oregon. They have a weekend class, 10 weekends and DMV tester comes to the school for CDL test. Cost about $5000. I did the weekend class almost 5 years ago so price may be different now.

Anyway I had a great experience and would do it all over again.


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.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Jake W.'s Comment
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IITR, good to know. I'll be reaching out to them later on. Also, just as a side mention: Having looked into some of Chris's photos, i'm actually kind of excited about the space availability. (Having what looks like a stove in the truck breaks my brain). Semirelated, when I was military I had what amounts to being a twin-sized bed and about 3 feet of room from the bottom of the mattress to the overhead. Given that I'm 6'3" you can all imagine how this went but hey, I made it work, living there for about 6 months at a time.

I'm guessing some kind of built in locker space, but I'm going to ask anyway: Where do you keep your clothes?

Chris L.'s Comment
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There's a small closet area where you can hang up shirts and such. Also other cabinets for food, more clothes or whatever. I use the upper bunk for storage as well. The bottom bunk lifts up for more storage space as well.

You tube has some good videos of truck tours that show sleepers in detail.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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The room I have in my truck is about as much room was mine during my deployments. I spent 17 years in the military. I have a bed, a couple closets/cabinets. It is what you make of it. I have pretty much all my clothing. I have a cabinet that I use as a pantry. I have a tv, a DVD player, which by the way I have the sound going thru the truck's speakers. Free theater surround sound. Awesome!! I have a hot plate, a crockpot, a coffee pot. Just the other morning while sitting at a receiver, I made breakfast. A cup of coffee and pan fried corn beef hash. Dinner was sauerkraut and polish sausage that evening.

I love this life. After serving as long as I did in the military, I don't do "normal". If you ever watch J Cannell's video titled the ugly truth about trucking. It really fits me. I just don't do normal. Punching a clock drives me insane. Yes I work probably 80 hours a week. But this isn't work. I live my life on my terms. Sure, I get told what my next load is. But that is it. I do receive fuel stops and a suggested route. I take it as that. A suggestion!!! As long as I am at my appointments on time in a safe manner. Well, I haven't heard any complaints. My job is to move freight. As long as I have another load by the time I am finished delivering my current one, what do I have to worry about. I will have my next mission/tasking order. Time to get the job done.

Sorry about the long winded post. Can't help myself. I love this "job".

Drive Safe and God Speed.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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Sorry title you f J Cannell's video is: The No BS Truth about trucking. Give it a watch.

Jake W.'s Comment
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Hey folks,

Just a quick update - I've been researching (youtube posts, forums, web investigation) and I'm going to do the thing. As of a few minutes ago I've submitted to the VA to see if the timer on my GI Bill has run out (Montgomery, for those in the know. If it has, I know the post-9/11 bill still applies) and once that gets resolved, it's on.

IITR definitely looks like the best option for training in this part of the country and looking even further ahead, I hear some good things about Schneider as far as "first year of driving" goes. Any recommendations there?

Apparently my requirements for "home time" are less than most people so that's a good thing. My ideal is a day and a half off at a semiregular interval (1st and 3rd Sat, 2nd and 4th Fri, something like that). The way I look at it this is essentially like being deployed (I'm prior Navy) with better pay, better scenery, a more relaxed dress code, and about the same level of oversight/regulation ;)


Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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