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Twistedpairs's Comment
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Total newbie question I am sure, but the suspense is killing me. I am nearing the end of my truck driving school. Sounds like I have 1 more eval, then a road test if I pass the eval. I have additional "Professional Driver Training" after I get my CDL with the school that the other courses don't offer such as dropping and hooking, driving the different types of trailers and trailer wheel bases etc... the stuff beyond the "this is what you need to get your CDL" training.

I have a confirmed conditional job offer from Schneider, a promising email from a recruiter at Swift and then multiple applications at local carriers thru Glassdoor, Indeed and even Craigslist. I've even applied through "Driver Pulse" to 4 or 5 companies, which is kind of nice because it saves your info and just transfers everything it can to the next job application you fill out, as long as the questions are worded the same.

Here's my issue. I have companies that I want to apply for that their system will kick your application out if you are being honest and put you don't have a CDL (yet). So, obviously wait for my CDL, right? Well, then what happens if one of the offers I have received from the other carriers says time to make a decision, I pass, and the company that I have to wait to check "YES, I HAVE MY CDL!!!!!" puts me on a shift that doesn't work for me? (Oh, I should mention I am only looking for local right now, because I have custody of my kids and have to be there for them, so OTR doesn't work for me until they graduate high school, at a minimum.)

Right now I am leaning away from Schneider, due to having to be in another state for 3 weeks. I just can't do it with my kids... Swift, I have heard some very interesting things as far as accidents and safety record and even seen a lot of Swift trucks on YouTube bad driver videos. You can always use Google to see if a company is bad or good, depending on how you word your search. I checked the fed site on some of the local company's safety records. one was about 70% higher than the national average. Probably not going to look their way a second time.

Anyway, sorry for the long drawn out post, just looking for some solid advise from the people who have done this, not the guy with the 2 year degree in underwater basket weaving in the job placement department at school.

Thanks in advance, as well as for the already overwhelming amount of information on this forum...


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.


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 (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I think you will need to wait until the kids graduate to go into trucking. Even local driving as a single parent will leave you little time for them. Who will care for them while you are working 10 to 12 hours per day? Your schedule will not give you time.

We never recommend starting local as it is much harder work than OTR. Yes, many people start that way and it's possible. Swift is an excellent company. You have zero experience and no way to truly evaluate a company. You think you are learning what you need to do this job in school. You are in for a big surprise. Many local jobs involve more difficult backing, loading and unloading, climbing in and out of the trailer all day. Couple that with learning how to drive and manuver the truck through tight places with cars moving all around.

You should read this thread. Local food service as a rookie.

With all this said, if you are a single parent with young kids at home, now is not the best time to truck.


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

Welcome TwistedPairs.

I wholeheartedly agree with Big Scott. Unfortunately you seem to have received information from the most unreliable sources; You-Tube, various internet sources that are unreliable and never fact-checked.

I highly suggest reading the link that Big Scott sent you and then invest time in these links as well:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Local work is difficult. Even so it’s rare as a rookie you can pick the best job and set your preferred hours. Although you went to school your skills are raw, your knowledge is very basic and your experience is in a highly controlled scenario. Rose colored glasses...

Please read the information sent. I know none of this is what you want to hear. Come back after you’ve reviewed the material and perhaps we can help guide you through a better path.

Good luck.

Twistedpairs's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the articles, they were very informative and helped me with my decision. I went with a local company, they have a sand and gravel division, heavy haul division and otr. I was hired on in the sand and gravel division. Yes, the hours can be long AND you don't get paid for all of those hours either, depending on the job type, such as a county or state road job which requires a prevailing wage. I'm usually home by 5pm, which works for my kids. The bonus is I have driven side dump, belly dump, flat bed and 5 axle dump trucks in every condition that I could ever think of. I'm sure there's a lot more that are unimaginable to someone as green as me. I hope to get as much experience as I can driving with this company and with any luck, love it and stay with them. I love driving. Every where. City, interstate , gravel pit, off road in construction sites. I've learned how to control the fuel pedal while I'm being bounced all over the cab so my speed remains constant while in off road conditions. Each load handles differently because of how the load settles in the box. Dumping can be challenging when they want it exactly right there and not 6 inches over. The"best" was the paving supervisor who told me to dump the class 5 over there but don't hit any stakes. The lot looked like a pin cushion from all the stakes and I started laughing at him, which he didn't seem to like. I didn't hit a stake, backing, turning around or driving out. I loved it. I still hate round abouts. Thanks again for the help.


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.


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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