Do I Have What It Takes? You Tell Me.

Topic 22093 | Page 1

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ManInBlackTrucker's Comment
member avatar
  • I am in my mid 40’s.
  • My last accident/traffic infraction was in 2000, I banged up a UHaul truck by not seeing a low clearance sign at a hotel. Also, in 1998 – Negligent Driving 2 – I worked 65 hours that week. Going home, I feel asleep going into a turn and hit a cement mailbox.
  • My only “criminal” infraction was in 2002 – Reckless Endangerment – A cab driver deviated from taking me home from a bar. After reaching up and touching his shoulder, he was obligated to report it to his dispatch.
  • I have never been arrested (placed into handcuffs) for any reason
  • I have been granted a concealed carry permit twice in Washington state
  • I am currently in California, but am going home to the Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR area
  • I am about 6” and weigh 145 pounds
  • I have never had a serious illness. I’ve been to the hospital twice – to get stiches for a dog bite when I was about 7 and to get pain meds for two cracked ribs I suffered in the Bering Sea in Alaska
  • I am a fiercely private and enjoy long periods of solitude.
  • I am not married and have no children. Not even a girlfriend at the moment.
  • I have a professional appearance. Clean shaven, no tattoos, no piercings, etc.
  • I am unable to afford CDL school up front.
  • I have a verifiable and tested high IQ.
  • I am 100% unable to drive the truck – even with no trailer – to my home during home time. So terminal/drop-off/parking with my CDL training company has to take this into account.
  • It is my plan to go home very rarely once I go solo. I’d like to do 8 weeks out/7 days home.
  • I love a beer and a whiskey, but only plan on enjoying these during a 34 hour reset or during home time. Just not conducive to the truck lifestyle, like barbecue.
  • I truthfully do not do drugs of any kind. Not weed, hard, prescription, nothing except nicotine. And I am trying to quit that as well.
  • I am clean, organized and punctual and anyone who isn’t drives me nuts.
  • I live by the golden rule – I treat people like I want to be treated, with kindness and respect – until THEY give me a reason to downgrade them.
  • I have a 750 credit score.
  • I do not have a home mortgage. I rent a room from my best friend and his family.
  • I do not have a car payment.
  • I am skinny but years of throwing freight has made me pretty strong.
  • I require both manual and automatic endorsements for shifting and would like to get hazmat , doubles/triples, and tanker from school if I can.
  • As far as I know, I don’t suffer from sleep apnea.
  • The companies I am interested in are Roehl, Prime Inc. and Jim Palmer Trucking.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

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.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Living near a terminal is not as important as being in the company's hiring area. Many people leave there truck at a truck stop or get creative. With Paid CDL Training Programs your credit score doesn't matter. We always suggest people start here:

Good luck.

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Job history is important, especially to Prime and Jim Palmer.

Other options can be doing here:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

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.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

A. Nobody cares what your credit score is.

B. I wouldn't recommend consuming alcohol on a 34 hour reset unless you are at HOME.

C. Your citations are so old, they simply won't matter.

D. Apply to all the company sponsored schools who hire from your area of residence.

This information will help you get started:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Apply For Paid CDL Training

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

None of us really know the answer to that question Maninblack.

You listed a few qualifiers that although important to get you in the door, won't necessarily help you get into the game.

Desire, determination, focus, good listening skills and effort will get you through school.

While road training you'll need to add patience, humility, a cool-head and communication into the mix to achieve success in that phase...

Once into your first year...you'll need all of those things, in spades.

Brett recently published an article in the Blog section written by Old School. It's something you should read:

Do I Have What It Takes?

Good luck!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Welcome, as said most of the items you listed are going to matter much if at all too get you in the door. As said job history will be important. I’m taking a stab in the dark here, but I’m betting you are a type A personality. In this industry that can be a curse or a blessing it’s up to you to manage it. For as structured as this industry is it sure has a way of seeming like it isn’t at times. You have to be able to just roll with the punches and make the best of it when it happens. I’m also guessing you're a problem solver... You’ll have to learn the boundaries with your company. And that is not generally taught in school.

Best of luck in your search and journey

ManInBlackTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Hey guys -

Thanks for the replies and assistance. I mainly posted this to see if there were any glaring things that would get me turned down. The rest may not matter, but I believe responsibility for a concealed firearm, credit score, etc. is important to judge character in a person.

I did leave out job history. I worked the last year and a half as a subcontractor for a friend of mine's business. However, I really don't like California or the work itself. Prior to that, I worked at a very busy Pacific NW resort for 17 years over three separate tours. In between tours, I worked at UPS and Town & Company Markets in Seattle, where I became a journeyman grocery worker.

I understand the need for flexibility in this business, and it'll be the hardest thing to get used to, as I am indeed a problem solver and Type A personality. But I consider that a plus, rather than a detriment. I'd rather be overly concerned and attentive, rather than uncaring or distracted.

Prime Inc. has the best network due to their size, Roehl starts paying on day 1, and JP Trucking has a small class size and one on one instruction that appeals to me. After that, they are relatively the same. Regarding any of them, I approach the first year or two years as a learning experience with company support, NOT a quick money grab. I have some debt and back taxes, but not a staggering amount. It would quickly get paid once going solo, rolling a solid 2000-2500 miles a week, and no rent.

I am driven, motivated, humble and not a know-it-all who can't be taught despite my age. I take the act of truck driving a very serious and potentially very dangerous situation. If I were to hit someone at 35 mph in my Honda Civic, it probably wouldn't be fatal. An 18-wheel, 80,000 with god knows what amount of freight load moving at 65 mph is very different story.

I am just a little bummed right now and wanted to reach out to some fellow truckers for advice and encouragement. You guys have been great, thanks!

MIB Trucker

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Prime Inc. has the best network due to their size,

Please explain the above comment, What network?

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

If a 65 hour work week wore you out, trucking may not be for you.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Why are you bummed?

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