Our First Weekly *Ask Me Anything Friday*

Topic 21032 | Page 7

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G-Town's Comment
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Can't find a tag for Insurance... so might as well ask you here.

I've been researching Paid CDL schools and the advice was that essentially no program is perfect; that said it's hard to 'move on' with less than 2-3 years of experience. The reason being that 18-24 months is statistically the riskiest time of a new Truckers career and thus companies have to pay more to insure them.

Any truth to this?

It's not enough to pick one and stick with it a year or so to finish the initial commitment...I'm basically stuck there until I pass the 'reckless stage'?

What does one have to-do with the other?

We recommend this as the best path:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Considering the stage you are at, your question about experience is a bit premature. However, if you manage to survive your first year with a relatively clean driving record and insist on looking elsewhere, you’ll have numerous opportunities.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

It's funny you say that, because other people drive on parkways, but not trucks, which I learned the hard way my rookie year. Parkways are for cars only. Read the story in my book (it's free to read here on the website):

Trucking In New York City

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Have u ever gotten stuffed animals or other things for fun in the road..

I never had stuffed animals but I used to decorate the Holy Trinity out of my truck on the inside for Christmas. I used to hang garland and lights and put up all sorts of decorations. It was ridiculous, and a lot of fun.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Brett do you ice fish in these beautiful mountains we live in

No, I don't really fish or hunt. I've camped a few times. I wouldn't mind fishing, especially if I could catch something I could eat! I love the idea of bringing home some fresh fish and grilling it up. I do a lot of hiking for fitness, I have a season pass for Whiteface so I ski a lot, and I'm into rock and ice climbing too.

Climbing is my big thing. I've taken a couple of climbing trips out West, one to Washington State and one to Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas. I'm planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies in April, and possibly Alaska in June. Eventually I'd like to hit the Andes mountains in South America, the Alps in Europe, and the Himalaya in the Middle East and Far East.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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It's not enough to pick one and stick with it a year or so to finish the initial commitment...I'm basically stuck there until I pass the 'reckless stage'?

You can switch jobs pretty quickly, but unfortunately you've been fed the same garbage that so many people have mistakenly believed over the years. One of the biggest (if not thee biggest) myth in the trucking industry is the idea that the largest, most successful carriers in the nation are only "starter companies". That somehow you'll advance your career, find better pay, and be treated better if you leave these companies and go find a smaller company somewhere.

In my experience, and believe me I've tried everything over the years, that myth is painfully false and it's a shame it keeps getting regurgitated so fervently. We've spelled out in podcasts and in articles some incredibly important reasons why the large carriers are the best companies in the nation to work for:

The Benefits Of Staying With Your Starter Company Beyond One Year

Episode 9: Are Major Carriers Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

Episode 4: Why Stick With Your First Company One Full Year?

Picking a company that suits you well and sticking with them for the long term is the best way to get top pay, great treatment, new equipment, and access to special divisions and other freight that most drivers don't even know exist. It takes time to establish an awesome reputation for yourself and strong relationships with the right people within your company. Once you do that you'll have it made. The last thing you'll want to do is change companies.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Why do sometimes I get the message that I have to have my comments reviewed by the moderators? Am I saying nasty things about someone or cussing??

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No, there are certain topics that are being moderated because they tend to make people go a little crazy. So any comments posted to those topics get moderated.

When I first started posting on the site, I got that message a few times, but now I don't get it anymore. I think posters have to gain trust that they will be positive and not poison the waters. New posters need to be patient, because Brett & G-Town, OS and a few others do not hesitate to correct us newbies. Even if it seems harsh at times, I've learned to listen and learn rather than letting pride get in the way. And I like the humor here, some of the comments make me laugh until it hurts. Can't get too much of that. But trucking is serious business and here we get serious advice from seasoned professional drivers FOR FREE! These guys and gals are paying it forward and I for one hope to gain experiences that I can post here to help others. And there's no shortage of encouragement given. Always a good thing.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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