Helping Husband Research Getting Into Trucking

Topic 22895 | Page 1

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Wendy F.'s Comment
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Hi Everyone, Totally new here. My husband is looking very seriously at starting a career in trucking. It’s a long story, but the bottom line is he needs a decent paying job in a relatively short time, and he does enjoy driving. He’s not afraid of hard work. I am not overjoyed about the time he’ll be away but I know we can make it work. We are in Columbia, SC.

There’s a great school in our area (Sage) but we can’t pay out of pocket. We are so broke we can’t pay attention, LOL. So he is looking at companies that either offer the training themselves or will pay for it if he agrees to work with them for a year.

My question is this- how do y’all evaluate companies? Any way to know who is relatively honest and decent? Heard a few horror stories here and there. We understand it’s a tough business but also hoping to be treated fairly. What’s good to know early on to prevent nightmares later?

I’ve been helping him do research, but I think the best thing is talking to people who know from their own experience.

He’s considering Roehl because they pay during CDL training, actually working toward the CDL. He’s considering Schneider, Boyd Bros., possibility Cypress out of Jacksonville FL. He’s hoping for regional and of course some decent home time. We have a 12 year old son. Hubby knows he has to start where beginners start though.

Any ideas, suggestions, or info on any of the above companies or other ones he should consider? Any to avoid like the plague?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Wendy

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Wendy, and welcome aboard!

I understand your concerns about evaluating companies because the internet is chock full of horror stories about how some trucking company "did me wrong." People who failed at trucking often give disparaging reports of trucking companies describing them as "bottom feeders, starter companies, and even accuse them of slavery!"

There are a multitude of reasons why trucking is a tough job to break into. One of which is that it requires a lot of personal responsibility. Those people you see whining and griping about the way they were treated were completely unprepared for what they signed up for. Trucking is best approached with an attitude that says, "I'm in charge here, and whatever happens will be my responsibility to make it happen." No one holds your hand out here - your success or failure will be your own doing.

Those terrible reports about various companies you've seen can be summarily dismissed - they're useless because they are total fabrications by people who couldn't get the job done. Statistically about 5% of the people who attempt this career go on to be successful truck drivers. The other 95% seem to spend an awful lot of time creating lies and distorted information - I guess when you're unemployed you have nothing better to do.

We have many successful drivers in our forum who work for some of the same companies that are continually slandered online. Ask yourself, "How could a company ever stay in business and be successful when it treats it's employees like slaves?" The drivers are responsible for their success at this, not the company. These companies will give people a shot at it, but it's so different from the typical 9 to 5 job that gets paid by the hour, that most people don't ever lay hold of the concept of performance based pay.

Here's An Article about how successful truck drivers treat their job as if it were a business they were running. Check it out. I'm hoping it will help you realize how a person can make this into a rewarding career.

Also, you and your husband need to take a little time and read through our "Starter Kit." It should help you make some better decisions about how to start this new career with the right approach. The "Career Guide" will prove to be extremely helpful. Here are the links...

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

While your looking, look into CFI. They have a great home time policy and you or your son could ride with him. Think summer vacation your son gets to see the country. Also, CFI has a free training program which includes transportation, room and meals. You have to get your Dot medical and CDL permit before going to school, but they will reimburse that with your first load. Here is a link to my my training diary. While in that section have him read some other training diaries to learn what the training will be like. After he goes through some or all of the information given so far, he should join the conversation here. We have a handy search bar where he can put topics or questions in and get a plethora of info. Good luck to him.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Wendy F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you both Old School and Big Scott for the tips and advice. Hubby and I will definitely check all of this out carefully. The best advice is from people like y’all who know from experience. Hubs is taking his CDL written learners permit test tomorrow or Thursday and then I’ll get him on here. Great stuff here, and thanks again!

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi wendy. I just wrote an article for couples about life OTR. please take a look. This is not easy at first. The job itself can become easy over time, but the first year of training and mistakes is grueling.

Relationships OTR: Can they survive?

Any of tge training mega carriers xan be a great choice with little to no money down. Swift, prime schneider roehl. Be sure to check out the links above.

With prime you pay $155 upfront for paperwork and your permit. and nothing else for schooling if you stay a year. many companies are like that. other companies might be teaming only such as CRST where the trucks have 2 drivers and the truck rarely stops. their 10 hour beeak is taken while the other person is driving.

have a good look around the site. good luck

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.

Wendy F.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy that is a great article on relationships! Your background is interesting too. My husband has a masters in forestry but we were out of the country for a year and when we returned in 2008 there were no jobs in his field. He’s tried a few things since. He’s done some out of town work before. It sucked sometimes! At least now we only have our 12-year-old at home so a bit easier than having little kids by myself.

Anyway, great read - thanks!

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