Texas Noob With Questions About Intrastate

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Brian G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you. That would be awesome.

From the research I've read new drivers are better off on the highway than in the city.

Although, I am very comfortable driving large vehicles in the city. I've driven lots of box trucks. I also have owned two bus-conversion RV's and a School bus conversion when I was in college.... one a 35' and the other a 40'. They all required some charm to coax into small spaces safely.

I always tell my friends and coworkers, safety takes a second - accidents are instant.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Brian provides more information:

Although, I am very comfortable driving large vehicles in the city. I've driven lots of box trucks. I also have owned two bus-conversion RV's and a School bus conversion when I was in college.... one a 35' and the other a 40'.

I honestly don't believe I've been "very comfortable" driving anywhere in a tractor trailer. Especially true within city limits or suburbs of any NorthEastern urban center. High pucker factor... These beasts have a way of humbling a driver when least expected. "Parked on a break" is when I am very comfortable.

Not trying to dampen your enthusuasm or confidence. Trying to ground your expectations and help reduce the frustration in your future.

At 80,000 pounds max., a 72' long combination CMV is our office on wheels so-to-speak. The vehicles you have driven and experienced will only help a little bit. For the most part an apples and oranges comparison. Backing, stopping, turning, maintaining a safe speed, and lane control is very different. Add-in other variables like construction zones, traffic congestion, weather and hilly terrain it then gets very, very different. Try to keep an open mind and humble yourself to the reality; this is unlike anything you have ever done and likely ever will do again.

And yes indeed; safety is the highest priority. Great thought to keep in the forefront of your mind.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Brian G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi G-Town, I'm sorry if I came across wrong. I was just simply trying to show that I've driven vehicles heavier than a passenger car or pickup truck. I expect tractor-trailer combinations to be different with their own limitations and gotchas that need to be managed. I do think in some ways that trucks have much better backing maneuverability compared to other vehicle types.

With what I have driven I've learned to watch the road ahead and try to anticipate potential issues.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Hey Brian...

You didn't come across wrong, all good. Just trying to offer my perspective on truck driving and insight into what you should expect.

Brian G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you.

So I have been working on pre-hires. So far I'm batting zero. Everyone wants you to be interstate qualified which does not seem possible under the vision waiver rules.

From what I can tell the process is very easy to get a waiver in Texas (doctor's note) at which point you can get your CLP and take and pass the CDL.

I have had good conversations with: Roehl, Swift, CRST, and JB Hunt.

I did not follow up with Driver Solutions / PAM because they really seem to be pushing an in-house training program which isn't what I'm looking for. I want to be respectful of their time.

What kinds of companies are more likely to have intrastate driving positions?

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I did not follow up with Driver Solutions / PAM because they really seem to be pushing an in-house training program which isn't what I'm looking for.

Why not? That's the kind we actually recommend. Here's an article I've written about it:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

What kinds of companies are more likely to have intrastate driving positions?

You can check our truck driving job listings - there are pages and pages of them. Scroll down near the bottom and type in your zip code on this page:

Truck Driving Job Listings

So I have been working on pre-hires. So far I'm batting zero.

That's why I'm hoping you can get around that waiver and just get cleared straight away. It's going to be very difficult for a new driver to land a local job like that which stays near home. Most of those jobs require some experience first.

Have you looked into the oil fields? I don't have any information on those companies unfortunately but that might work. Also, there might be opportunities hauling feed or produce for farms in the area.

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.

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Why not? That's the kind we actually recommend. Here's an article I've written about it:

I checked them out and for a number of reasons did not feel like it was the right fit. I think for my situation I need to take my training in Texas so that I can ensure I have a Texas CDL and vision waiver. I also do not like the concept of being contractually stuck to a company for a year in return for the training. I prefer to pay for the training and have the ability to search for the right company. This is a big jump and I don't want to feel or be trapped if for some reason I decide it's not right for me.

That's why I'm hoping you can get around that waiver and just get cleared straight away. It's going to be very difficult for a new driver to land a local job like that which stays near home. Most of those jobs require some experience first.

I 100% agree. I am having dinner tonight with a good friend who retired after 21 years of OTR.

Have you looked into the oil fields? I don't have any information on those companies unfortunately but that might work. Also, there might be opportunities hauling feed or produce for farms in the area.

I have. Not exhaustively, most of those seem to want 1 to 2 years of experience or Tanker experience. I have not written that area off. There should also be alot of intermodal here. Port Houston (Formerly the Port of Houston) is a huge container port and it's nearby. While the midwest stuff should go rail, the regional stuff should be truck.

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.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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