Should I Be Afraid ? Or Am I Just Be Paranoid ? ( From Cargo Van Too Big Rig )

Topic 23123 | Page 1

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Hayden D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, I need some advice. I am thinking of getting my CDL a local company. They primarily run North Carolina area to California and back. Pay after a month or so of training is 800.00 week.pay is per run, not by the mile.

I used to drive cargo vans and 12 ft box trucks. On a trip to somewhere up north ( Michigan I think ) I came down a road to merge into a 6 lane highway with traffic moving at about 60mph, with very little room between vehicles. Because of the angle of the road, I had no way to see what I was driving into, until it would've been to late to stop without making a very sudden stop ( 40mph ) ....I would've expected a lane to run along side, level, with he lanes I was merging into, but no such lane existed. The vehicles I was merging into slowed down, creating a space, as did the vehicle behind me. This terrifies me because I was entirely dependent on the vehicles around me not to cause a wreck, and because if I had to it again, I don't know what I could've done to avoid being in that situation. If I had been in an 18 wheeler, i'm sure I would've either caused a wreck merging or stopped and possibly been rear ended. There were no road signs to indicate the situation or lack of a merging lane that I was driving into.

I received no training besides just driving my honda civic prior to this.

My real question here is. How do you handle situations like that ? In general the unexpected ? .....I know experience and thinking about that your driving into \ how you going to get out of any situation. Has anyone had a situation like this ? should I avoid getting a CDL ? is this kind of thing covered in most CDL classes ?

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.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

Learning how your vehicle performs and how to handle it helps. How will you get your CDL. Is $800 per week enough for you to gross? We highly recommend Paid CDL Training Programs as the best way to get your CDL and experience. Also you should check our starter pack first.

I live in Charlotte and was trained by and work for CFI. They are a great company to drive for. Of course Rainy D and others love Prime. Our Swift drivers love Swift. Patrick love HOW. The best thing is to find out what is important to you and finding a company that best fits your needs. 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.
Splitter's Comment
member avatar

$800 a week to run NC-CA round trip seems extremely low for me.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Splitter wrote:

$800 a week to run NC-CA round trip seems extremely low for me.

16 cents per mile is definitely, “extremely low.” Rookie CPM is about 32...I’d keep your options open and review/study what Bug Scott replied with and this:

Paid CDL Training Programs

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Hayden, as to your question on how to handle such situations. From what I understand, you were merging onto a sort of highway, is that correct? In almost every thread on operating a tractor trailer safely is multifaceted. One, since your higher than most other vehicles, you can see farther down the road. This is crucial. The farther away you prepare for an upcoming event the bigger chance you have to avoid that event. Creating space between the vehicle you’re following creates a cushion for you slow down safely. Watching both your mirrors for what’s coming up behind you, even if you’re in the right lane. I’ve had folks pass me in the break-down lane. Merging into traffic? It depends on the situation. You will always be on alert. Or you should always be on alert. The longer you do anything, the better you get. If not, your ruined DAC will disqualify you from being on the road. A healthy fear is a good thing. It helps you respect the machine you’re entrusted to operate safely. A paralyzing fear will make your life very difficult. Good luck !

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Agree with Splitter; situational awareness, space management and

Splitter wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

$800 a week to run NC-CA round trip seems extremely low for me.

double-quotes-end.png

16 cents per mile is definitely, “extremely low.” Rookie CPM is about 32...I’d keep your options open and review/study what Bug Scott replied with and this:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Good luck.

Sorry I based that on 5000 miles, 3600-3800 over a six day period is a reasonable expectation; about 21-22cpm, still really low.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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