TO DRIVE OR NOT TO DRIVE

Topic 22987 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Michael H.'s Comment
member avatar

I have a business I sell advertisements and have been for going on 30 years I work out of my house it is paid for I am 54 years old I can realistically sit at home work from 9-3 mon thru Thursday and make some weeks 1500 to 2500 other weeks work same hours and after paying business expenses be lucky to make 300 for the week I owe over 25000 in back taxes because I always file but have to be on a payment plan so I have very little to none paid into social security I have no health insurance no savings I do have my house though I'm thinking if I can go and go otr for 6 months to a year if I can get a local home daily job where I can take home at a minimum of 1000 per week I have spoken with local cdl school I can take classes for 10 weekends so I can keep working till I get my cdl I need money coming in till I can start making money driving also I am married but have a very strong marriage been married for almost 30 years and have worked away from home in sales sometimes for months at a time with only coming home on weekends please any suggestions advice guidance will be greatly appreciated and taken to heart thanks so much in advance

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

My advice is to make sure there is something sustainable motivating you to become a truck driver. I read through your initial post and didn’t read anything that would indicate how strong your desire is.

You also must be 100% committed to this, void of any distractions. This is like nothing you have ever done and will challenge you in ways that you cannot imagine.

I also suggest investing some quality time reviewing the Trucking Truth Starter kit:

It will assist in building a knowledge base and setting realistic expectations. The High Road Training is a must and will give you the fast-track necessary to pass the CLP and a precursor to things you’ll be learning once in school.

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.

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.

Chip Bagg's Comment
member avatar

Make sure you're doing it for more reasons than just the money because like G town said you didn't indicate much. This will be a drastic life style change for you when you mention you work from home everyday. Although you did say you've been away for months at a time. Definitely look at the links that G town posted that will be a good first step. Also the podcasts are great as well by Brett.

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Michael H., Listen to the great advice from G-Town. If you are not 100% into wanting to drive OTR you probably won't make it. This is an occupation that requires commitment and desire to be on the road and not 6 months out of the year and then work local. The fact that you indicated the amount of income you have but no savings or health insurance or Social Security payments to look forward too you might be in for a drastic outlook especially being you are 54. Good luck in your decision but just be cautious in what you are anticipating.

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.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Michael, where do you live? Do you see many local drivers where you live. For example, I live in Charlotte, NC. When planning this career to eventually go local, there is every major LTL carrier within a 10 to 20 minute drive of my house. People who live further from metropolitan areas tend to have a harder time finding local work. With that said, you should plan on a minimum of one year out here before looking for local. Learning to handle a 70 foot long, 80,000 pound vehicle takes a bit of time. Local jobs often require, more traffic and tighter backing. Dealing with those things takes time to learn. Also, companies who offer Paid CDL Training Programs and tuition reimbursement usually require you to work with them for one year or more. I was unemployed when I went to CFI's training. I have now been with them for over a year. I highly recommend them as a company to start your career with. 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.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Michael H.'s Comment
member avatar

I thank all of you for your responses I think I need to be clearer I have totally lost my motivation to sell anymore I really do want to do this I live in Bracey VA and we have lots of trucking companies very close Richmond Danville I have talked to a few truck drivers and have talked to the cdl school am supposed to start 3rd week in august I went in and talked to a local company in Richmond I want to do this but I want to know if after I stay on road for 6 months to a year driving local is it realist to take home 1000 per week I have been studying the cdl book I'm planning to take my cdl learners permit Monday or Tuesday im very excited about driving my wife tells me she tired of hearing about it because I talk of it quite often for the past month or so but I do not want to go out and not make money I can from what I know which is not anything but I think I can say I would be willing to do a year otr if I could get home ive read where some companies work 3 to 4 weeks and off a week I think I would love that also I want to make money but I also want to have time to spend it but anyways I thank you all for your comments and am going now to check out the truck driving starter kit

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Re: taking home a minimum of $1,000/week. If you're going to have health insurance and 401k deductions, I think it's unrealistic to think you'll average a minimum of $1,000/week AND get home every week IF YOU ARE ONLY RUNNING DRY VAN.

I've been dry van for 3+yrs and I average the kind of money you're talking about. But my health insurance is through my Wife's employer. And I get home at least once a week, sometimes as much as three times. Another driver, for our company, rarely takes home a paycheck over $750, but he's paying for health insurance. He works every bit as hard as I do, sometimes more.

We probably can't answer your question definitively. The company you choose may have very expensive health insurance. You may be willing and able to haul flatbed loads all day long for a small company in your area, that pays you a percentage pay, using their equipment and you could take home $1,200/week like a friend of mine in South Georgia. By the way, this friend quit at least six companies over three years before finding this job. We'll see how long it lasts. You might prefer the less physical work of dry van, no touch freight. This usually doesn't pay as well as the more physically demanding jobs. But hey, some of us aren't quite the spry young pups we once were.

I'd plan for a little less than $1,000/wk average and then bust your butt to exceed the $1,000. It can happen, but there are many variables. You can ask the companies you're considering, to show you (with personal information deleted, of course) examples of actual drivers earning the money they claim. I did that.

I hope this helps.

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.

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.

Michael H.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you very much for the info you are quite right about not wanting the physical work but im hoping if I can stick it out with a big company I see the us express has lots of local routes or even dedicated if I can get home for weekends the first year if not at least every other weekend I went to dmv today and took my general knowledge part of cdl learners and passed with flying colors have been checking out info on here was going go tomorrow and take air brakes part but the lady said ny and nj have something on the national drivers record I contacted ny dmv after being on hold I talked to a guy he says it happens a lot so I have to fax him the front and back of my va license and say I am requesting a its not me letter and the will disassociate me with this guy so I guess I will have to start calling nj dmv first thing in morning I was thinking of going to local driving school but I read that its better to go to big companies that offer cdl training any thoughts any way I tank you for comments and appreciate any input thoughts you guys might have number 1 question is it realistic to think that after a year or so I can bring home at a minum of 1000 per week and get a local route being home daily or at least more than 2 days a week 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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

I live just a little south of you near Burlington, NC. And if I were looking for a gig like that I might be tempted to first get my CDL and that first year out of the way. And after that you might find you enjoy OTR. But if you still wanna be home I might look to food grade dry bulk. You'll need to hook up a hose and swing a hammer. But in that area you'll find lots of bakeries and other food type places. I deliver liquid to several of those places and I often see the same guys and gal everytime I go. Just a thought.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
my number 1 question is it realistic to think that after a year or so I can bring home at a minum of 1000 per week and get a local route being home daily or at least more than 2 days a week thanks again

Michael, you're asking a question that is difficult for us to give a definitive answer to. All truck driving pay is performance based. Even those jobs that are paid hourly will be expecting you to really be getting a ton of work done or you won't last long in their employ. Just check out Rob's Diary, to get an idea of how hard he works in an hourly paid local trucking job.

you are quite right about not wanting the physical work but im hoping if I can stick it out with a big company I see the us express has lots of local routes or even dedicated if I can get home for weekends

One of the realities of local truck driving jobs is that they involve a lot of physical labor - that's why they are local. You're making deliveries to small businesses, places that don't really have docks or dock workers. Most local drivers hand unload, or are involved in the process. These jobs also carry an inherent amount of risk. You're maneuvering a 75 foot long truck in and out of incredibly tight situations. There are a lot of reasons We Never Recommend Starting Your Career As A Local Driver.

When you see those jobs at U.S. Express, they are going to be physically intensive. Most of them are Dollar Store accounts. They are brutal, and way beyond your expectations of a "driving job." Please don't make that rookie mistake.

In truck driving, each driver measures out his own pay by the amount of work he gets done. It's a rather unique situation where each of us actually gets what he deserves. Our pay is merit based. It's designed to be a powerful motivator for those unique individuals who like to excel at what they do. I've got some fellas on the same account as me that my dispatcher says take home half of what I do at the end of the year, yet we're all making the same rate of pay.

For us to tell you (a person with absolutely no track record in trucking) that in six months you can switch to a local driving job taking home $1,0000 a week, would be irresponsible. Is it a possibility? Well maybe, but doubtful - real doubtful.

Here's the deal, with some brutal honesty thrown in there with it. You're wanting top pay without putting in the effort at learning the craft. I know it sounds like being a truck driver should be a walk in the park, but the statistics and the internet tales of woe are really telling on how difficult it is to make a decent start in this career.

Have guys done what you're describing? Yes, but they are usually line haul drivers, who really got lucky due to their location. The other thing that those guys do is have a job where they drive all night - usually are at work for eleven to 12 hours, then try to sleep during the day while they are at home just long enough to shower, eat, and rest before doing it all over again.

The way you make good money at this career is to be good at it. I think your plan is short sighted, simply because you don't understand the difficulties of getting started at it, nor the nuances that make for success at it. It will take considerable Commitment to get to the point of consistently taking home $1,000 dollars per week.

We believe in teaching "best practices" here. One of those best practices is to commit to one year as an OTR (over the road) driver. Even that first year really barely scratches the surface, but it will help you tremendously if you want to eventually move into local work. Just don't rush yourself into something local. Those jobs have a lot of issues that go with the territory. There's already enough issues in trucking without adding exponentially to your burden of learning the craft.

If you want to do this, don't rush it. Make a good plan and follow through with it. Personally, I don't think your current plan is feasible.

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.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More