Finally Went Otr

Topic 22944 | Page 1

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BucketHead's Comment
member avatar

Hey guys I finally went otr. I sighed on with JB HUNT couldn’t be happier. I was just reading over old schools post about not starting local. That’s what I did a year ago just noticed I have had my cdl a year. I have been signed on since may. But he couldn’t be more right about that from my standpoint. I’ve been following along on here for a while researching otr. And boy do I wish I had started out otr but at the time the offer was on the table for the building supply I was working at. I QUICKLY found out that I was in for a rude awakening. But I am learning quickly. They only require me to stay out 14 days min but so far I’ve stayed out 28. I’m wrapping up my second trip out tomorrow.

Quoting old school here but I read somewhere one here look at training like boot camp. And I’m doing just that. But they also didn’t send me out with a mentor they put you through orientation have you complete Smith system training road test you and send you on your way with a mentor book onc book and some phone numbers. Guess this approach works. It’s working for me but it’s not for the faint of heart I had never pulled a van on flatbed not seen on obc till orientation. I bet I quit 100 times that first day but I remember what Brett said and that was if you don’t give it a year you never really gave it a chance.

I have been working at it I’m getting better every day and my time management skills are slowly getting better. No preventables so far hope to keep it that way. But that first week was the hardest time I’ve ever had in my life everything was hard parking going in and out of the truck stop backing in some of the tiniest spots and to top it all of trying to figure out where to shut down. I lived off of pb&j and got stuck in some odd spots for the night. Like I didn’t know parking would be a big deal in West Virginia at 9 pm I thought I’d just pull in a rest area. I slept on a side street next to a small car dealership. But it’s getting better I still struggle ALOT but I almost hit 3000 miles last week 21 short. But they keep me busy and we communicate well i take every load I can make and have got a couple appointments moved up. Thanks for that advice Brett.

Even hit Wally World a couple times for the night a restocked wouldn’t have know that was possible with out reading Rainy's post. So I guess what I’m getting at is really just a thank you to all of you guys for the great advice to help me know what I was getting into. And what I hope to be a long career in trucking. I love otr it’s different everyday and a new challenge. It’s hard on they family but we spent a year talking it out and planning my kids know what’s going on and they understand. And I just read an article the other day by Rainy I think it was about otr relationships and that has helped my wife and I understand each other a little better. And technology helps tremendously.

Also if anyone has questions about Jb hunt I will answer to the best of my knowledge. I know I didn’t mention all of the moderators on here but am great full for you all I just can’t remember everyone’s names. Thanks again guys!!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Do you have the Trucker Path app on your phone. It can help you find parking. Good luck on your continued OTR success.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey, glad to hear you're out there making things happen BucketHead. Your rundown really is a great example of how many complexities there are to this career. Nothing comes easy, especially in the beginning. You have to learn a million different things and deal with a constant stream of challenges every single day.

It will get a bit easier as you gain experience, though. A lot of the little things you have to focus on right now will become more automatic. A lot of the mistakes you're making now are just from not knowing all of the little details that make life easier out there and you'll pick up on those as you go.

Those first six months especially are just an endless stream of lessons learned the hard way. That's true for every driver in America. There's no such thing as learning this trade the easy way. Experience is the best teacher.

Quoting old school here but I read somewhere one here look at training like boot camp

That really is the way to look at it. Here are a couple of things:

Trucker's Podcast #1: The Bootcamp Approach To Trucking

The Boot Camp Known As Company-Sponsored Training

Stick with it. The Golden Rule is simple - don't hit anything. As long as you follow that rule the rest of the problems are just temporary learning experiences that will often make for the best stories down the road.

Glad you came back for a visit and an update. We'd love to see you stick around and stay part of the group. You've already contributed a lot of helpful information.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh, you mentioned how hard it is to start as a local driver. No question that we believe it's best to start as an OTR or regional driver. Local driving is just too demanding for an inexperienced driver without the proper skills. Here is an article from Old School:

Why You Should Not Start Your Trucking Career As A Local Driver

Here is a recent article about relationships by Rainy that BucketHead mentioned:

Over The Road Relationships: Are They Possible?

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.

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.

BucketHead's Comment
member avatar

Do you have the Trucker Path app on your phone. It can help you find parking. Good luck on your continued OTR success.

Yes sir a friend of mine told me about it and it has been saving my behind ever since. I like to pair it with google maps. I DO NOT USE GOOGLE MAPS FOR DRIVING. But it’s nice to bring up the satellite view and get a good look at how to get in these places. And I am also glad to see that there are some drivers out here and help you get in a tight spot. Because I will jump out and help a guy or gal back in in a heartbeat. It’s always nice to talk to some of the experienced drives and get a few pointers or just chew the fat.

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.

BucketHead's Comment
member avatar

Oh, you mentioned how hard it is to start as a local driver. No question that we believe it's best to start as an OTR or regional driver. Local driving is just too demanding for an inexperienced driver without the proper skills. Here is an article from Old School:

Why You Should Not Start Your Trucking Career As A Local Driver

Here is a recent article about relationships by Rainy that BucketHead mentioned:

Over The Road Relationships: Are They Possible?

And you guys couldn’t be more right about that. I was solo the day after I got my license. I have ten months of horror stories. It wasn’t all bad there were a lot of good times but having to drive through sub developments and other parts of town that weren’t meant for trucks was a hard schooling. But my only mishap was a mail box. Trailer kicked in the culd-sac turning around. I replaced homeowner was happy boss was happy but I was a nervous wreck. Anyway now that I’m getting better at time management I will try to post and comment a little more often. I’m setting my wife up on here tomorrow so she can read along also. I talk about you guys on this site like y’all live down the street. But for now y’all stay safe out here!!

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.

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.

Dan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats BucketHead, hopefully I will have that same positive attitude about my experiences too. I love the support from the seasoned vets here but its guys like you who I'm following also to get that perspective. Keep it up.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

BucketHead's Comment
member avatar

No problem glad I’m helping. It’s rough the best thing you can do is stay positive. Try to find the good in every situation. Like when it took you 45 minuets and 100 pull-ups to hit that dock yeah you lost a bunch of time. But you also learned to. So far the hardest thing I do is backing and learning the hours of service. It will get easier before you start backing look at your situation plan it out turn the cb off and GET OUT AND LOOK every single time things change fast. I’m still really green and I struggle a lot but that positive attitude goes a long way. Find the best no matter how small and it will make the difference. Like I was taught when backing set your self up for success. If there is any way I can help let me know. Stay safe out there you got this.

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your great stories and emphasizing having a positive attitude, Buckethead. They will serve me well as I get ready to transition away from my trainer soon.

Continued Success and Stay Safe, Colin

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