Pre-trip Inspection Help Please

Topic 23813 | Page 4

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Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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Why not find a company who will pay for it in exchange for a contract? Some are as short as 9 months. If you hate the company, you can always pay the contract off and move on.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Problem is they only pay 36 cents a mile

Man, what a problem to have!

So just what do you think you're going to be worth as a total greenhorn rookie with absolutely no knowledge of how to run a truck successfully? Have you any idea of how many people bomb out of this career thinking they'll be an instant success merely because they know how to drive a car? They get that CDL in their wallet and they are somehow elevated to superstar status, thinking every trucking company out there will be rolling out red carpets and offering them thousands in sign on bonuses.

Just for the record, I started at 27 cents per mile. That wasn't all that long ago either. I learned how to maximize my efforts and efficiently got things done while honing my practices and improving my performance records. Your CPM rate is a very minuscule part of the formula that leads to higher paychecks out here. You will need to focus on the things that will help you become a True Competitor Out Here.

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.

Brent R.'s Comment
member avatar

That’s a great Pre trip video I’ve seen about everyone one of them, the APex one is good as well thanks for sharing that.

If you want a great video to teach you the proper language look up "pre-trip for Missouri CDL test youtube". It will bring up a video from C1 truck driver training in Springfield Mo. The video is 17:18 and is the prefered and recommended by the Mo. DOT inspectors. No matter what state your in you cant go wrong with the wording on this video. Hope it helps.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi David... the responses you received were more about frustration and dread. We have seen time and time again new posters wanting an easy or cheap way to do this with no commitment. Most fail. Then post to us 3 mos later asking what to do now...that they got a CDL with very little training, got hired by a shady mom and pop company that never put them on the insurance and when the new driver had an accident they not only got fired but never got paid their last 2 weeks or whatever. Because they have an accident on their record and no formal training, no one will hire them and they expect us to fix it.

This is a common occurence and we want you to succeed. we dont want anymore posts like that.

There is great pretrip help.here from Daniel B as well as a youtube video by Apex driving school. those helped me with pretrip.

i went to prime. i paid $155 upfront and never paid a dime for schooling. i passed my written exams on day 2 of orientation thanks to the high road. the next week i was driving OTR with my permit one on one with an instructor. three weeks and 10k miles later, i passed the CDL exam. After 30k team miles i went solo. that was 3 years ago and i wont leave cause its a great company. we all think our companies are great or we would be elsewhere.

The words ARE important, not just knowing the item. "thats a brake chamber" isnt going to work.

as stated in another post...

Everything is "properly mounted and secured"

CCB anything metal is "not cracked bent or broken"

ABC anything rubber is "No abrasion, bulges or cuts"

know which parts can leak, whether fluids, oil or air

something might be all..like an airbag..its metal...but also rubber and has air so "properly mounted and secured, not cracked bent or broken, no abrasions bulges or cut and not leaking".

the brake test is an auto fail if you do it wrong, so watch the videos on that.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Rainy and one other post that is on a different page so I can't get your name, that's exactly what I was looking for. As for school, as I said, I'm going to school, soon. I'm going to foot the bill and check around for jobs. The good thing is I live about 10 miles from I-94 and about 20-25 miles from I-69 so there should be some opportunities around. I talked to a company today that pays new drivers 36 cents a mile. I have seen bigger numbers but from what everyone is telling me here that's pretty good to start. I also liked the fact that it's a reefer and regional. The guy I talked to said I should probably be out overnight 1 or 2 nights a week. I'll check around and talk to the folks at the school to see what else may be out there. I also read Brett's book tonight so I'm tired and going to bed. smile.gif

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Keep in mind...another reason we push company sponsored so hard is that companies will reject drivers that schools wont. There are plenty of posters here who went to school spent thousands of dollars and for whatever reason, no company will hire them. often people think that DUI , failed drug test, or 20mph speeding ticket from a couple years ago wont matter. they do! the schools brush that stuff under the rug. even prescription medications that are DOT compliant can be rejected by the companies. One poster here was just told he needs to switch his Rx for at least 30 days before being considered by the company. Therefore many drivers find themselves having wasted time and tons of money. by the time they get those things straightened out, a few months could have passed. then we hear "i went to school 8 mos ago, but my wreckless driving ticket is preventing a hiring" or "they told me to work a job for a whole year because of my poor work history, now my 160 hour certificate is old and they want me to train all over again".

with the company sponsored, you know upfront of any issues and can take care of it before school, saving time and money.

as far as the pay, that is average. different divisions pay differently so you cant compare dry van to reefer. reefer gets paid more in general, but we sit longer for set appointments where dry van can often drop and hook. dont get hung up on the cpm because say you go to CFI with an average starting cpm of i think 35cpm. after a year, you might be up to 40cpm. if you go to prime that starts at 44cpm in reefer condos and 49cpm for lightweight, you arent getting that bump in one year. it will be more like 1 or 2cpm increase. So what if you manage your time well and get more miles running harder at CFI than you can the set appointments at Prime?

also, keep in mind, although people have this "gotta run hard and max my hours every day" it doesnt have to be like that to make money. you only have 70 hours whether you drive it quickly or spread it out. Driving 400 miles per day is 2800 miles per week...easy peasey and good pay.

and, it sounds like we are picking on you but.... local jobs and some regions like the northeast are HARD for new drivers. tight turns, hard backing and lots of back roads that prevent you from going full speed so it causes accidents and latenesses. so only out 1 to 2 night a week is going to be hard for a newbie.

usually local.jobs pay less and they dont hire newbies because of the insurance. make sure it is a reputable company. you usually have to max out your 14 hour day, i rarely do. sometimes you have to work 6 days to make up the pay difference between local.and OTR. Often local/regional is less miles because of more stops so they often get a flat rate or a higher cpm to offset that. find out hoe many miles drivers there are running.

there are plenty of threads here about local driving for newbies and none of them say it is easy. as brett stated, most drivers dont last a year on the easier route of OTR training, so starting local has even less.

we never want drivers to set themselves up for failure.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh and when you see "starting at 55cpm to 70cpm" those ads are for fully trained experienced drivers and sometimes include team pay. so the team makes 70cpm and splits it.

one company put on their site "starting up to 67cpm flatbed" but that includes securment pay, not the mile rate and 15 years driving experience but that is the hook to draw you in.

this is all stuff you learn with experience. and i am always going to encourage drivers do a full year of OTR to gain that knowledge and experience before making any career jeopardizing decisions.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

There are plenty of posters here who went to school spent thousands of dollars and for whatever reason, no company will hire them. ….. Therefore many drivers find themselves having wasted time and tons of money.

I am currently paying for private school, because the company I wanted has no company school. Had they not given me a pre-hire letter (which doesn't mean a whole lot) I would have signed up for company school.

Sage, from everything I saw on line, is a well respected school. I will have paid around $7,000 for school and lodging by the time I am done. So far, my impression is that they don't have a clue, and are extremely disorganized. They never entered me in the system, so they never scheduled a DMV test, so now I am attending class, going home for around 2 weeks, then going back for driving practice and taking my road test.

Class consists of sitting around bull****ting, watching videos, listening to the instructor read sentences from the book that contain answers to the test at the end of the chapter, and then taking the test, out loud, so it is impossible for anyone to fail. If someone came in off the street with no knowledge, they would learn nothing except how to pass the test.

I don't think company school would be like that, but others here would know better. So far, private school doesn't seem like it is worth more than company school.

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

David D.'s Comment
member avatar

Well the good thing is that I have a school about a half hour or 45 minutes from my house so lodging won't be an issue. The advertised cost is $3,995 and yes I'm sure that all they will do is get me a license, that's what they get paid to do. I also have an email into them right now asking is that is the full cost of the class, funny how they like to spring surprises on you at the last minute. I fully understand that I will learn to drive, as opposed to operate a truck, on my first job. What I don't know is how trucking companies feel about the particular school I'm looking at. I will ask around and see what I can find out. I'll keep everyone updated.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

David, you may find this article helpful.

Busting The Free Agent Myth

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