New Career Opportunities

Topic 22137 | Page 1

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Army 's Comment
member avatar

Hello and thank you for any replies. I am in the middle of finishing up my career in the military. After 18 years, you get anxious with changes, so the transition will be difficult. I am currently studying on this site along with a Barrons guide. I plan on heading back to Montana and starting my second career out there. I enjoying driving, and with kids grown and no spouse, I can do as much away time as necessary. Question, is the trucking community cut throat, meaning because I am a new driver will I always get the shortest loads or the least amount of miles etc? I understand the need for a pecking order, but I am just looking for a decent wage, and new experiences etc. I have talked to a few people, and they might be jaded, but just curious as to what this community thinks. For example, are there generally big gaps between jobs, or is it generally go go go....?

Thank you Chris

Jenny's Comment
member avatar

I am OTR. For me it has been a wonderful experience. I make decent money and am a top performer at my company, all it takes is a bit of time management, communication. (I have probably oversimplified this but that's the been the bottom line for me).

What do you mean by cutthroat? If you are a determined, safe driver there isn't much to be cutthroat about. Every company wishes their entire fleet was like their top performers, it's each drivers choice as to whether they are superstars out here or just steering wheel holders who whine about not getting miles.

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

No, new people get the same loads as everyone else. The better you get at backing and clock management will make it easier for you. Thaf only comes with experience. Loads are dispatched more by who is close enough with the hours to get it done.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum!

The best place to start is in the beginning with these 4 links:

Many, if not all of your questions can be answered in the first two informational links. By studying the content found in the 3rd and 4th link will provide a path of less resistance to passing the CLP exams.

Truthful, accurate and reliable information sources on trucking topics are scarce. We focus on helping folks like yourself get a really good start to a trucking career.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

I got my license with Swift/Central Refrigerated never got a bad load from them. Coast to Coast right at the beginning. Lots of miles and very little downtime unless I asked for it.

After 18 years in the military you hear the normal everyday complaints and then the ones that make the newspaper...

99% of the complaints you’ll here from drivers are fed by no one to talk to for 1,000 miles, they had that time to figure out allll the questions and answers for their complaints. Drivers man, stay away from the other drivers. I’m not saying be a jerk just don’t get involved in the journey their imaginations have sent them on.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Everybody experience is different. There is a pecking order, but it based less on seniority and more on the ability to 'Git R Dun'. I spent 18 years in the Army. I fully understand the nervousness that stems from living a highly institutionalized life than being thrown out into the chaos.

The first few months are the roughest. You learn to manage your clock efficiently. You have to prove you are the reliable sort that gets the mission accomplished. You learn to become better at routing and trip planning.

So much of an individuals experience will depend upon the relationship they build with their Dispatcher. Whether they are called a Dispatcher , Driver Manager , Fleet Manager is of little consequence. Their role is the same. It takes time to foster that relationship. It will not be instantaneous.

Just be rigidly flexible. Put your best foot forward, keep a mission first attitude and accept the first 6 months will be the roughest.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

Dispatcher:

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Army 's Comment
member avatar

Everybody experience is different. There is a pecking order, but it based less on seniority and more on the ability to 'Git R Dun'. I spent 18 years in the Army. I fully understand the nervousness that stems from living a highly institutionalized life than being thrown out into the chaos.

The first few months are the roughest. You learn to manage your clock efficiently. You have to prove you are the reliable sort that gets the mission accomplished. You learn to become better at routing and trip planning.

So much of an individuals experience will depend upon the relationship they build with their Dispatcher. Whether they are called a Dispatcher , Driver Manager , Fleet Manager is of little consequence. Their role is the same. It takes time to foster that relationship. It will not be instantaneous.

Just be rigidly flexible. Put your best foot forward, keep a mission first attitude and accept the first 6 months will be the roughest.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

Thank you for the reply and guidance. Thank you for your service.

Dispatcher:

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Army 's Comment
member avatar

I am OTR. For me it has been a wonderful experience. I make decent money and am a top performer at my company, all it takes is a bit of time management, communication. (I have probably oversimplified this but that's the been the bottom line for me).

What do you mean by cutthroat? If you are a determined, safe driver there isn't much to be cutthroat about. Every company wishes their entire fleet was like their top performers, it's each drivers choice as to whether they are superstars out here or just steering wheel holders who whine about not getting miles.

Thanks Jenny. I can make the best of a not so good situation, and I enjoy driving so, should be love at first site.

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.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

No, new people get the same loads as everyone else. The better you get at backing and clock management will make it easier for you. Thaf only comes with experience. Loads are dispatched more by who is close enough with the hours to get it done.

Thanks Scott. Like all professions, I am sure you always have that water cooler talk, and my goal will be just to focus on what I can control.

USMC AAV's Comment
member avatar

The one thing you have to remember when you come to trucking is this.

You are a new guy with a new company and you will have to prove yourself to that company. Trucking is for the most part, when you are new, the time to prove to yourself and the company you work, that you want to be here and want to learn. Staying positive is essential! The desire to do a good job helps out also, but remember that every time you have a bad day, is an opportunity to learn about how the environment works. Hell I've been doing this for 12 years and I still learn new stuff.

I was in the Marines for 14 years and when I got out I started doing this. So I know what it feels like to be in your shoes. Trucking isn't easy BUT if you can survive in the military then you can do well in trucking.

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