Best Coast-to-Coast Companies

Topic 23806 | Page 1

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Wanderlost's Comment
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Hi there!

I’ve been lurking for a few weeks and finally have a request of my own.

I’m looking for information about companies that travel coast-to-coast.

We’re giving up all the worldly goods and looking for something that will keep us on the road (regular home time not required).

My boyfriend is the driver and I’d be a rider for now. I always wanted to drive but my father squashed that. “Trucking is no place for a woman!” *eyeball roll* So I went into nursing instead.

Queue midlife crisis and the requisite career change. I’d like to ride and get a feel for the job and lifestyle before committing to getting my license. If it’s for me, we’d eventually like to run teams. I think. Maybe. If not,

Anyway, any information would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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I would suggest that you read Brett's book(Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving). Another is the (Truck Driver's Career Guide). (High Road CDL Training Program).

Of course the other vastly great information in the other trucking links on here.

Some of the Moderators will chime in soon.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
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Wanderlost's Daddy said:

My boyfriend is the driver and I’d be a rider for now. I always wanted to drive but my father squashed that. “Trucking is no place for a woman!” *eyeball roll* So I went into nursing instead.

Just wait till Rainy wakes up! There are many women holding that steering wheel. All "types". It's not a matter of gender but it is up to each person to know and understand the trucking lifestyle. In some ways it's not easy, but many will agree with this:

Some say it’s a fine trade to shun;
Maybe; but there’s some as would trade it
For no job on earth—and I’m one.

Modified from a poem: The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service

But anyway, my "heads up" for pairs of drivers who want to team: The Good news is you'll be together a lot. The Bad news is you'll be together a lot!

Old School's Comment
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Kristina, you will probably want to look into refrigerated carriers if you're wanting to do coast to coast runs. Freight has continued to become more regionalized just because of efficiency, but oftentimes refrigerated freight, like produce that can only be grown in one corner of the nation, is still eaten by folks in the opposite corner of the country. It has to get their quickly so it doesn't have time to spoil. There are other things that go coast to coast, but refrigerated freight will be your best bet.

Here's some great information to help you learn about what you're getting into...

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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CFI covers the lower 48. In the year and a half I've been out here the only states I haven't been to yet are North and South Dakota, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island. However, I have been to all those states by car. Since you plan to be his passenger, CFI has a very simple rider policy. If you then decided to drive, CFI would train you. Good luck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Wanderlost's Comment
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Just wait till Rainy wakes up! There are many women holding that steering wheel. All "types". It's not a matter of gender but it is up to each person to know and understand the trucking lifestyle. In some ways it's not easy, but many will agree with this:

I don’t doubt it! My dad also discouraged me from going into the elevator industry. What can I say? I’m drawn to tough jobs where your hard work actually pays off. I’m salary now. Busting my biscuits every day. On call 24/7/365 with the whole building resting on my license. Umm. No. I’m all set with this.

But anyway, my "heads up" for pairs of drivers who want to team: The Good news is you'll be together a lot. The Bad news is you'll be together a lot!

I lol’d. That is the DARN truth. And trust me, riding will be the test of whether this is not only for ME, but for US. I am fully prepared to end up stranded in some God-forsaken truck stop parking lot simply for looking at him cross-eyed on the wrong day. Thank you all for the recommendations. I love to read. :)

Rainy D.'s Comment
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I am fully prepared to end up stranded in some God-forsaken truck stop parking lot simply for looking at him cross-eyed on the wrong day. Thank you all for the recommendations. I love to read. :)

rofl-1.gifrofl-2.gifrofl-3.gif

Yeppers, moderator Susan and I can out truck most guys so screw that sexism stuff.

You joke about being left, but i have seen it happen twice. One couple started throwing things out of the truck and the cops got.called. lol

My biggest problem with team driving is sleeping in the rolling truck. And not killing each other....but lack of sleep can contribute to that.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
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I teamed with my other half for a short time. I love him dearly, but it just wasn't working. We have much more quality time together being solo drivers/trainers and just sharing home time. You'll see each other less than you might think.. maybe 2 hours a day tops, if you're both driving, because while one is driving, the other better be sleeping so they're ready to roll when it's their turn. The other thing about teaming with a significant other, it can stagnate certain skills, if you let it, because one driver may tend to get too dependent on the other driver for, backing, trip planning, navigation, etc. So that's something to watch out for as well.

Riding along is very very different than teaming and many companies require new drivers to wait a period of time before they can have a rider.. just something to consider. Also I believe Swift will let a driver train a spouse after a certain length of time. I'm not sure whether that would be a good or bad thing hahaha. My other half was my company trainer, and we argued like cats and dogs. It's a miracle we began dating later after I'd gone solo and even bigger miracle we're still together lol.

And yes, Rainy is correct.. she and I can out drive many drivers and I know plenty of women who drive that are excellent drivers with many years of experience. I worked in healthcare for 20 years. I was burned out and I wouldn't trade what I do now for anything.

Wanderlost's Comment
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Thank you all for your feedback. After doing lots and LOTS of reading (thanks for the recs) I’ve come to the conclusion that becoming part of a team is not for us. For all the reasons you mentioned.

So it looks like me and our dogs will be riding along side my significant other with Western Express. Reefers.

I’ll be giving my notice at work on Monday and now begins the mad dash to liquidate our apartment and belongings by Christmas.

Not sure if he’ll end up on one of their new trucks, but we will see.

This will either make us or break us. I’m not afraid to get left at a truck stop but also not afraid to drive through Vegas and make it official. Whichever way it goes, I’m ready.

Thanks again!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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

Best of luck. Enjoy the ride.

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