Truckers Anonymous

Topic 22048 | Page 1

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Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

SO, my name is Grumpy and I'm a lurker.....

I've been doing engineering work for over 35 years now but, always wanted to drive a truck. I'm at the age where companies do the math on my resume and think "OMG (They're millenials, that's what they say), this guy is old enough to *Insert stupid comparison here*..

I did 20 years in the Air Force working in the Civil Engineering field and have got countless hours on just about every piece of equipment you'll find on an Air Force base.. Even got qualified on an Asphalt Paving Machine early in my career.

Now I present this idea to my wife who's an HR manager for a non-profit firm in Portland, OR and she doesn't think with my medical issues that I would pass the DOT Physical. This is where my question originates from.

Here's what I have: Sleep Apnea (Yes, I DO use the CPAP all the time) High Blood Pressure (Controlled by meds) Hypoactive Thyroid (Hard as heck to lose weight with that going on) Early signs of Pserosis of the liver (Never was a big drinker, it's just hereditary so they say) I don't do any illegal drugs I smoke a cigar just about every day

Does any of those problems disqualify me in a DOT Physical?

I could bring in my CPAP results, medical records, the works if that helps.

I know Swift has a Vet scholarship program but, closer to home is West Coast Equipment Training about 45 drive North of here. The VA gal at the job center said she has a few ways to get it all paid for by the VA.

I also heard that Swift now has a Dog policy. I've got 4 dogs and I talk to them more than I do my wife. I know which one I'd take along, he's a small guy. I'd love to take my female lab along but, she's 96lbs and I'd have to lift her all the way up into the truck all day long and help her out.

If I go through this and end up with a 2 or 3 day route, I'd definitely like to take my little buddy along with me. I wouldn't mind running a regional route maybe like Seattle to down in Cali somewhere as long as I can just drop and hook. Don't like Cali, never have, never will. It's bad enough living in Vancouver, WA, right across the river from Portland. Traffic there is a total nightmare.

So, what do you guys and gals think? Would I make it through the physical??

I thought about driving school busses but, being old, ya gotta pee a little more often and that's not an easy thing to do with a bunch of kids on the bus.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

We don't know if you could pass the physical or not but you don't have any automatic disqualifiers that you've divulged. All of your medications would have to be approved for commercial driving. Your CPAP machine would have to be the type that's able to upload data over the Web and they would want to see a minimum of 30 days worth of data. Some companies might require you to get a new machine for one reason or another, I'm not really sure.

If I go through this and end up with a 2 or 3 day route, I'd definitely like to take my little buddy along with me. I wouldn't mind running a regional route maybe like Seattle to down in Cali somewhere as long as I can just drop and hook.

Well in the beginning the new drivers normally won't qualify for any sort of gravy runs. You might land on a regional fleet which only covers a certain region of the country. You might have the opportunity to get home weekends. But none of that is usually guaranteed until you get a little time in with the company.

And when you say "a 2 or 3 day route," well there isn't many of those. You're normally out either for several weeks at a time if you're running OTR or you're out 5 - 6 days at a time and home weekends. There are some exceptions, depending on where you live and what accounts your company has in the area. But again, you might have to put in some time first before you qualify for the better gigs. Normally within a year they'll open up some of the better gigs to drivers that have proven they can perform consistently at a high level.

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.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info Brett, sounds a lot more convincing than what my wife said.. She's a HR type and they handle short busses for picking up seniors in the Portland, OR area and taking them to doctors, appointments, etc.

I've always had the idea of being a truck driver in my mind. When I was in the Air Force for 20 years, I was in Civil Engineering Squadrons and on one of my first jobs, I went along to do surveying of the site and act as on-site engineer.. I was done with my work one afternoon and saw an all terrain front end loader with a 5 yard clamshell bucket. Man was I impressed. The operator asked me if I'd ever operated one, I told him no and he said "Climb on up and strap yourself in.." He climbed up next to me, pointed at the controls and gave me a short explanation of how the bucket worked via those controls.

He climbed down and I said "What can I do?" He pointed at a tree stump and he said Roll your bucket down and open the clam shell as far as it'll go... Which I did.. Then he told me to lower it over the stump, then close the bucket around it. The bucked barely closed 6" but, I had the stump.. "Now what?" He just said "Raise your bucket." and then this massive.. and I mean MASSIVE stump just came right out of the ground..

He had me at "Climb on up." and everything else was just a bonus.

In my military career I took as much training as I could get and pretty much have several thousand hours of "stick time" using backhoes, Front end loaders, 20 yard dump trucks.. Even got trained on an Asphalt Paving Machine.. I did manage to get tractor trailer training at one time and had to move a VERY expensive satellite control trailer around our site and put it in position. The truck was way under rated for the weight of that trailer but, I was able to make it work.

I want to drive because I love seeing this country. I've driven the ALCAN 7 times and watching it change each time you went up or down it was very impressive. It's a nice highway these days. If I had a job running North and South on that road all the way to Anchorage, that would be fine with me.

Anyway, sorry for rambling on, I'll unkey the mike now and finish with a "Thanks" for making it seem like I can get into this career now. Be safe.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I work for Prime and we have a western 11 regional. We also have a shorter contract for veterans, only 9 months, in exchange for the CDL training.

they take nothing from your pay, you just pay $155 upfront for paperwork and processing. stay the 9 months and you pay nothing for school.

You probably go to training in Salt Lake City, but that is just orientation for a week, then you head out on the road with your permit and make deliveries. After you get the CDL, you team drive for 30k truck miles before going solo.

taking the dog of less than 30 pounds will cost $1000.... broken down as one payment of $300 then $50 per week until paid off.

hope this helps

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.

Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

WOW.. $1,000 to bring my little buddy along with me??

I may have you do some more searching on that one. I'd love to have him with me, we rescued him from a pound and I wouldn't give him up for $1,000 but, to pay that amount to have him ride with me is pretty steep.

Thanks for the info Rainy D.

I work for Prime and we have a western 11 regional. We also have a shorter contract for veterans, only 9 months, in exchange for the CDL training.

they take nothing from your pay, you just pay $155 upfront for paperwork and processing. stay the 9 months and you pay nothing for school.

You probably go to training in Salt Lake City, but that is just orientation for a week, then you head out on the road with your permit and make deliveries. After you get the CDL, you team drive for 30k truck miles before going solo.

taking the dog of less than 30 pounds will cost $1000.... broken down as one payment of $300 then $50 per week until paid off.

hope this helps

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

The pet deposit isn't lost. You'll get it back, as long as your pet doesn't eat the interior or soil the interior. It's just a security deposit.

Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

Well that's not too bad then. I had a shepherd/Husky mix many moons ago that ate the back seat of my Expedition. Luckily I found a guy on CL that had one the same color and he was just selling the seats. He was a great dog except for eating that seat.. Oh wait, he ate my Lazy Boy seat as well. He was still a great dog.

The pet deposit isn't lost. You'll get it back, as long as your pet doesn't eat the interior or soil the interior. It's just a security deposit.

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