I'm Out...OTR Not For Me.

Topic 20824 | Page 2

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Robert F.'s Comment
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Truck driving is a tough gig, especially OTR , and clearly isn't for everyone. I have made a similar decision. I recently got my CDL (Class A), and I briefly worked for a local haulier and was offered another driving job, but have since started working at the USPS as a rural letter carrier. Money and hours are OK, and although it will take a few years to become a 'regular', my wife is a doctor so I'm in a fortunate position where I don't even have to work, but like someone said on this forum, I think it is important for a man to do work of some kind! Good luck to you!


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.


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.

Sno-boy's Comment
member avatar

Yes, there's not a career out there that is for everyone, nor will you be the first or last to try driving and bid it adieu. I have an aversion to Chicago and recently drove thru there at rush hour 3 evenings in a row. It confirmed I do not want a route that will take me into Chicago. I will make sure I go south, west or stay regional from my Iowa base and stay away from Illinois as I explore my job options. Someday your feelings about OTR (like mine about Chicago) might change and you can try this again. Best of luck.

Hey Tim, the solitude gets a lot of people. I was surprised by the amount of solitude you experience out there myself when I first started. I wrote an article about it one time:

Solitude Becomes Every Truck Drivers Heaven Or Hell

I realized right away I had two choices: either learn to enjoy myself and embrace the solitude or find a new way to make a living. I learned to enjoy the solitude so much that it really became an integral part of my life from then on. I've pretty much always lived alone, and when I wasn't on the road I've lived way out in the middle of nowhere.

I'm an avid hiker and climber. I live in the Adirondacks and I go hiking or climbing quite a bit. Unfortunately there are 10 million people that would love to make a living taking people hiking. I hope that thought wasn't much of an influence on your decision to leave trucking because for every 10,000 people that would like to do it, one makes a meager living at it. Without extensive hiking experience and a way to tap into a large base of clients there isn't much chance of making any living that way at all.

In fact, while you're dreaming, let's not forget how many of us would like to make a living golfing or fishing or laying on a beach in Florida. But hey, if you can find a way to make a career out of hiking, that would be awesome.

I'm considering the possibility of raising and training wilderness dogs. I have a German Shepherd that's been hiking with me for years and I can put a harness on him and belay him up and down steep rock. He's also great at trail finding, he knows to be mellow around other dogs, he's in incredible shape, and he knows a dozen or so commands now like how to unwrap himself from around a tree, stay, choose a different route, etc. Just like it takes people a long time to build up their fitness level and learn how to navigate the mountains safely, it takes a ton of work for dogs to learn the in's and out's of wilderness and mountain travel also.

So I think there might be a market for raising and training dogs for hiking companions, wilderness protection (bears, wolves, moose, etc), and search and rescue. I may take a shot at that one day as part of my farming business. I'm currently looking to buy a farm now but haven't found the right place.

So best of luck to you in your next endeavor. And I don't think you should view it that you were wrong about this profession. You just won't know what it's like until you try, and you gave it a great effort. There's nothing wrong with saying that trucking isn't for you.


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.


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.


Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.


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.

Greg H.'s Comment
member avatar

Ha ha, uh, yeh, I agree with Brett.... I hope your not dreaming to much. I'm not blaming you for it, we all do it. But, there is a realistic approach to life, and there is the dreamers choice. And quite honestly, looking back at my short truck driving career back in the 90's, I tend to believe that I took the dreamers road, instead of the right one. I mean, don't get me wrong, there have been many blessings I believe throughout my life, and I can't honestly say that the learning experience that I have now hasn't made me the person I am today. But, you know, the question here would be, who do you ultimately desire to be or to become. Like Brett pointed out, there are 10,000 other people who are thinking the same thing as you are. Anyway, it's something to seriously think about. I'd like to say, think about *more* than you already have.

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