Hello From TN ! Newbie Starting CDL Class Soon...... Overwhelmed !

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SilverBullet's Comment
member avatar

Hey ALL,

Newb from Murfreesboro, TN checking in. After much thought and consideration, I've decided to get a CDL-A and go for my 3rd Retirement. I am a Retired USAF TSgt. Served 1983 - 2003. As was a 4T071 (Medical Lab Tech). I go on with the VA after the USAF until Retiring "early" there the past August.

Anyways, I'm as green as you were when you were a Newbie and researching the ends of the internet all about the Trucking industry.

I start class this coming Monday in pursuit of obtaining a CDL-A. My career goal (at this point) is to eventually get a Local/Dedicated job. At this stage of my life, I'm not real keen on running a ton of miles OTR. Family reasons really. I'll do what I have to do though.

Any and all advice you can shovel my way would be more than appreciated.

-God Bless

ERIC

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.

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Eric,

Hello and welcome. Like you I to am a newcomer to trucking. I am planning on starting school next April. I have a desire to go over the road. My kids are all grown now and my wife works a lot and is supportive of me doing this. I don't have any advice to give you, but just know I'll be around to support you like everybody here will be. I wish I was starting sooner, but have to save a few dollars and get a few things in order around the home place. Anyway, good luck to you in everything you are setting out to accomplish. Thank you for serving our nation with your military service, it is much appreciated. God bless you.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Eric, Welcome to Trucking Truth. Thank you for your service.

This:

At this stage of my life, I'm not real keen on running a ton of miles OTR. Family reasons really. I'll do what I have to do though./blockquote>

Trucking isn't something you can really do halfway. It requires a lot of commitment and very long working hours. Local is even more demanding than OTR with your 10 hour break often being the only time you're at home, including any commute time. Some LTL carriers do hire fresh out of CDL school and some have "dock to driver" programs, where they'll help you get your CDL. Being in the Nashville area, LTL might actually be an option for you.

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

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Robert. The best advice I can give you to start with is to read everything you can here at Trucking Truth, and to get involved in the conversations. There's a wealth of information to be had.

Also, take a look at these articles:

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.
Don's Comment
member avatar

I second Turtle's suggestion.

Welcome Robert. The best advice I can give you to start with is to read everything you can here at Trucking Truth, and to get involved in the conversations. There's a wealth of information to be had.

Also, take a look at these articles:

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.
SilverBullet's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the warm welcome and advice ! I will have my head buried in this laptop reading and absorbing (like a sponge) anything I can about Trucking.

First question. Is there a size restriction on Avatars ? I can't seem to get one to upload. ??

TIA

JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

Hey bro... I live on the other side of Nashville along i24. There are plenty of opportunities in and around Nashville for local gigs. I will tell you that nashville sucks to drive through and to deliver in but I guess most big cities do. The learning curve is quite steep as a new OTR driver and will be much steeper as a new local driver. Not that you can't handle it but, it isn't the best method to getting your start in this industry. Not too mention many more local opportunities will be available to you if you complete your first year OTR. Regional companies that get you home on the weekends satisfy that requirement for many local companies. Goodluck!

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.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

I know Venture express is always advertising for a position going back and forth between their Springfield terminal and their terminal in the Nashville area. I think it is in Antioch, but don’t quote me. It would be one of the easiest local gigs that I see advertised in the Nashville area. If you are looking for local in the Nashville area I would also look at the LTL companies. Old Dominion, Saia, UPS and YRC to name a few. Besides Venture Express, look at Averitt, R. E. West and Penske. Those 3 also advertise for local or out n back type jobs as well.

Welcome to the forum and good luck.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

There is a large Old Dominion in your area, you might be able to work the dock and have them train you for your CDL while you get paid. Or if you go to a private school they approve of you can skip the dock work and go right to 4 weeks of paid training to either run linehaul like I do or do pick up and delivery (P&D). I would suggest linehaul because it is easier overhaul and pays better but it almost all over night driving.

As stated above LTL companies like Old Dominion, Estes, Dayton, USF Holland, Saia, Averitt, R&L, XPO, ABF. Would probably be your best move if you want to start local.

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

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

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

Linehaul:

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.
SilverBullet's Comment
member avatar

Thank man.

Who do you drive for ?

Yes, Nashville/M'boro traffic is a nightmare for sure. We transferred down here a year ago from the Dayton, Ohio area. Was not expecting is to be so freaking congested here. I heard a News report a couple months ago where this Region is expected to grow by an additional 1 MILLION people by 2040. Yea, 1,000,000 ! Given families normally have 2-3 vehicles I don't even want to think about what this area we be like then!

Hey bro... I live on the other side of Nashville along i24. There are plenty of opportunities in and around Nashville for local gigs. I will tell you that nashville sucks to drive through and to deliver in but I guess most big cities do. The learning curve is quite steep as a new OTR driver and will be much steeper as a new local driver. Not that you can't handle it but, it isn't the best method to getting your start in this industry. Not too mention many more local opportunities will be available to you if you complete your first year OTR. Regional companies that get you home on the weekends satisfy that requirement for many local companies. Goodluck!

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.

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