Help A New Guy Figure Something Out

Topic 22293 | Page 1

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Connor T.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay so I'm 20 years old and I'm really looking to get into trucking. I want to drive tractor for UPS one day (I'm currently a part timer there), but I'm looking to get some experience before then. I have a friend who owns his own trucking company and said that if I got my license he'd have a job for me. I would be driving a dump truck, but he also has a tractor and trailer that he said I might be needed for once in a while. I was going to get my Class B license so that I could start sooner and not have to spend as much money, and then work on getting my class a at another point in time or just wait until UPS trains me. I have experience as a yard jockey for the past 3 months or so and I'm fairly familiar with how it all works. That's another reason I think it would be a lot easier and faster for me to just get my Class B because a dump truck is waayyyy easier to drive than an 18-wheeler. Thank you to anyone who can help!

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

If you are going to pay for and/or spend your time in a driving school, I think it makes the most sense to go for the Class A so you don't just have to go back and do most of it all over again. I think you'll need to be 21 to get very far...check with your state, etc. After you get the license, it is of course fine to drive the dump truck temporarily, just know that such experience won't be considered commercial driving by semi-truck companies Your situation as a current UPS employee looking to drive for them one day may impact all this though. I would speak with someone in HR and/or a transportation manager at UPS and get their input, since you currently work there and wish to drive for them one day.

Meanwhile, there is also a big wide world out here outside of UPS, and you may want to consider numerous possibilities. There is lots of great info on this website.

Okay so I'm 20 years old and I'm really looking to get into trucking. I want to drive tractor for UPS one day (I'm currently a part timer there), but I'm looking to get some experience before then. I have a friend who owns his own trucking company and said that if I got my license he'd have a job for me. I would be driving a dump truck, but he also has a tractor and trailer that he said I might be needed for once in a while. I was going to get my Class B license so that I could start sooner and not have to spend as much money, and then work on getting my class a at another point in time or just wait until UPS trains me. I have experience as a yard jockey for the past 3 months or so and I'm fairly familiar with how it all works. That's another reason I think it would be a lot easier and faster for me to just get my Class B because a dump truck is waayyyy easier to drive than an 18-wheeler. Thank you to anyone who can help!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Connor thinks something:

That's another reason I think it would be a lot easier and faster for me to just get my Class B because a dump truck is waayyyy easier to drive than an 18-wheeler.

Connor this is not a prudent attitude to have in regards to driving a dump truck.

The weight is on top of you, and top heavy. My trucks weight is spread out over 72' with 10 brake sets helping to stop the 80000 pound truck. A tri-axle dump running in NJ is legal at the same weight of 80,000 pounds with 2 less brake sets to stop it and the weight supported by a frame 26' - 28' in length. Does that sound easy?

Do not underestimate the difficulty or risk driving any vehicle weighing in excess of 30 tons.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

It doesn’t look to me like you’re going to get the kind of experience UPS is looking for in a driver. If I’m a transportation manager for UPS, looking to fill a driver position, I’m looking for drivers with experience driving 18 wheelers, not dump trucks. Now’s the time for patience and maturity; turn 21, then go get your CDL-A. Get a job & experience driving tractor-trailers. Then use your contacts and previous work history w/UPS to facilitate your working for them.

And starting out driving dump trucks? Terrible idea. There’s a young lady on this forum whose first job was driving dump trucks… She crashed hers because she was unfamiliar with driving a great big commercial truck. Re-read G-Town’s response: dump trucks are actually much more difficult to drive than tractor trailers.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I agree, be patient. Don't rush. The dumps are easier to roll over, a career ending accident. You said UPS will train you? How long would you have to wait for that? That could be a great option. You can't drive OTR in a CMV before you're 21. Would you like to see the country? If so, wait until you are 21 and then look at Paid CDL Training Programs. However, start here:

Now is the time to start learning all you can about trucking. The High Road Training is the best way to prepair for your permit test. Good luck. We're here to help.

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.

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
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring and agree with the others. Dump trucks are extremely difficult to drive and getting a Class A is definitely the way to go. Most people that settle for a Class B regret it, and many go back to get their Class A.

Wait until you're 21 and get your Class A. Talk to UPS first, though, and find out what opportunities they'll have or what they recommend as far as a career path to driving their trucks.

TZ's Comment
member avatar

Depending on your job at UPS, the way to become a CDL driver is by being a dockworker on the UPS Freight side (LTL, Longhaul-overnight between hubs) & getting trained as a yard jockey, full time dockworker w/ CDL & moving up to full time driver or being a feeder driver (UPS Package side).

From what I've been told, the way to become a feeder (CDL driver going from hub to hub, day cab position, overnights in a hotel if necessary) is by being a package delivery driver first if you work for Brown.

It also depends on when the union bids on the next contract; if there's an open spot as a driver (there should be, seems less people want to drive for UPS that already work for UPS) & your level of seniority in your current position. Your union shop steward would have more info on this.

On the Freight side, 2 drivers were just hired w/ 1 year of OTR experience each, both got LTL jobs w/ UPS-Freight starting at $17/hour. Takes 4-5 years to max out at $35/hour. Feeder & Longhaul get paid per mile & I don't know the current rate but its competitive w/ other LTL companies.

The above has been my experience in Northern NJ, it's possible it's different depending on what region you live/work in.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Depending on your job at UPS, the way to become a CDL driver is by being a dockworker on the UPS Freight side (LTL, Longhaul-overnight between hubs) & getting trained as a yard jockey, full time dockworker w/ CDL & moving up to full time driver or being a feeder driver (UPS Package side).

From what I've been told, the way to become a feeder (CDL driver going from hub to hub, day cab position, overnights in a hotel if necessary) is by being a package delivery driver first if you work for Brown.

It also depends on when the union bids on the next contract; if there's an open spot as a driver (there should be, seems less people want to drive for UPS that already work for UPS) & your level of seniority in your current position. Your union shop steward would have more info on this.

On the Freight side, 2 drivers were just hired w/ 1 year of OTR experience each, both got LTL jobs w/ UPS-Freight starting at $17/hour. Takes 4-5 years to max out at $35/hour. Feeder & Longhaul get paid per mile & I don't know the current rate but its competitive w/ other LTL companies.

The above has been my experience in Northern NJ, it's possible it's different depending on what region you live/work in.

Do you drive for UPS, TZ? If so, I may have a couple of questions for ya.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

handloader's Comment
member avatar

Before OTR I had previous experience driving rock truck and class b foodservice delivery. Harder to stop, top heavy and if loaded asymmetrical by a inconsiderate loader; potentially dangerous on side grade or unbanked turn. (already covered by others). It's how I started. I didn't die ....obviously? I didnt wreck and I learned the ropes. I just used it as a stepping stone. If you are that focused on driving you should have read your states CMV testing booklet. I would be amazed if your jurisdiction didn't allow INTRA-STATE CDL. Look it up. I used company paid training to re-enter after 20 years of other career. It's been well covered by Brett and others why this advantageous. At 20 it's a tough search for one who will do this, it's the only reason I would consider a school. I personally would never consider a company option where I paid them....anything. The early departure penalties are reasonable given the outlay of investment, but once I started driving I was keeping all of my CPM's. And I started OTR, solo and flatbed.

It's great! If I was younger without mortgage and two smallish car payments I would be setting myself up for a great lifestyle. 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.

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.

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

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

TZ's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-end.png

Do you drive for UPS, TZ? If so, I may have a couple of questions for ya.

Nope, I don't drive for UPS. I'm just observant & have talked to several drivers (package & freight) in multiple facilities that I have worked in. Info from management, HR, & drivers all seem to be consistent with what I've heard but I'll answer what I can if you want to ask.

Usually UPS drivers that I've met at truck stops or on deliveries don't seem to know much about current hiring practices or they will know what it was like back in the day. Going by them alone, you would think you need 5+ years OTR experience before UPS would consider you but that's no longer the case in NJ at least. It looks like UPS is losing drivers to non-union competitors.

Fedex CDL drivers supposedly start at $24/hour.

It's possible the next union bid will increase starting CDL wages to $24/hour on the Freight side to match Fedex, but it ultimately depends on the collective bargaining process. I don't know if it's the same union in each facility or if they are different depending on location or subsidiary.

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.

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