Charter Bus Does Not Count As Experience?

Topic 22244 | Page 1

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Matthew W.'s Comment
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I'm hoping this is just some annoying policy the staffing company I was going through has. I got my class B in February 2017 and I have been driving 56 passenger motorcoaches for over a year now. I was happy to find a local job close to home and home every night, only to be told by the staffing company that driving bus does not count as experience to drive straight trucks and they can't hire until I have straight truck experience. Is this industry standard? I've never heard of it and hoping it's some silly policy only this staffing place chooses to follow.

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately I believe most companies will feel the same way. They want recent experience operating the type of vehicle you'd be driving. In my situation I am a local foodservice driver. If I looked at switching to drive Over the Road my local experience wouldn't matter and I'd be forced to go through training with most companies despite having experience operating a tractor trailer. I'm sure somebody will hire you to operate a box truck as long as you're licensed, just know it may not pay the greatest and may need to go through a bit of training.

Over The Road:

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.

Kevin L.'s Comment
member avatar

I think you may have found one of those companies that does not want to accept any training other than their own. Class B motor coach drives different than a straight truck or a school bus for that matter. The is also a difference between OTR and local driving. Another thing to consider is driving bus your cargo loads and unloads itself unlike a truck.

I drove straight trucks for plumbing supply houses for years when I was younger. I left the industry for over a decade. It was not till last year I drove a school bus for about 6 months. Now I drive a flatbed class A truck. The pay is far better but you will work for every bit of it.

I would suggest you simply apply elsewhere and keep your head up you will find something if you don’t give up. If you want to become more marketable simply work on improving and protecting your CDL. The more you can drive the more valuable and versatile you are to business.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks for the replies guys. Appreciate it. I won't give up, just have to find some patience. I don't mind doing newbie, and less than desirable trucking jobs, as bus driving pays surprisingly low and I'm getting rather bored sitting for hours on end waiting for my "cargo" to return. Applied for waste management today. We'll shall see what happens. Haven't heard the best about them, but I'll take what I can get for more experience.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Matt, if your looking for box truck type jobs maybe look into Schwans if they're in your area. When I worked their warehouse 10 years ago they were always looking for anyone with a class B, didn't require any experience. The division I worked in the drivers just bumped grocery store docks all day delivering red baron, tonys, and freshetta pizza. At the time where I was (MN) they paid 17 an hour

Brian G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hmmmm,

A school bus and a box truck are darn near the same thing. My early 1980's school bus had the same parts as an International box truck. I converted it into a tent with wheels when I was in college. :) It was fun.

I will agree that a motorcoach and a box truck drive differently. You have a lot more leeway with a straight truck. It is extremely easy to high center or scrape the nose or tail of a motorcoach.

Depending on the unit you may have better or worse breaking. Some of the older coaches, which should not be in service commercially were known for being under-breaked.

Now the ride is a whole other thing..... most coaches ride like a cloud of air. The box truck I drove 2 weeks ago was like riding the business end of a jack hammer. I swore the axles were bolted to the frame. Every little crack, crevice or bump was a butt kicker!

Personally, I think driving a coach with passengers is far more taxing... that's just my opinion as someone who has owned 3 buses. 56 people who think you are going too fast, don't know how to drive, should turn here, stop there, or who want to chat with you from start to destination.

I don't mean any disrespect, I think driving a heavy truck requires your full, undivided and well rested attention. But a dry van of grain isn't going to chat your ear off or complain about your driving.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

I have driven pretty much all these sorts of vehicles....aside from tractor trailers, I've driven motor coach, box truck, etc.

I think the motor coach is the most challenging vehicle other than the 18 wheeler. If you can drive a motor coach, you can certainly drive a straight truck. Of course you would need some training in dealing with whatever cargo it carriers.

Trucking companies don't consider anything other than a big truck to be a CMV , and don't care about any other experience. But if straight truck driving is what you want, I think you will find such an opportunity if you keep looking around.

I'm hoping this is just some annoying policy the staffing company I was going through has. I got my class B in February 2017 and I have been driving 56 passenger motorcoaches for over a year now. I was happy to find a local job close to home and home every night, only to be told by the staffing company that driving bus does not count as experience to drive straight trucks and they can't hire until I have straight truck experience. Is this industry standard? I've never heard of it and hoping it's some silly policy only this staffing place chooses to follow.

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

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
told by the staffing company that driving bus does not count as experience to drive straight trucks and they can't hire until I have straight truck experience.

This is either a requirement of their insurance company or a requirement set by the companies who are hiring through your staffing agency. In all forms of professional driving it's common to find that companies require specific experience in their type of vehicle.

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