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

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SilverBullet's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your input. Are you a Vet as well ??

I actually talked with Venture Express up in Smyrna a couple days ago.

I'm seriously pondering going the Yard Dog/Switcher route at the Nissan plant there.

There's 4 Trucking companies (Venture Express, Averitt, Prime, Universal Logistics) that have contracts there and a few viable opportunities with decent pay/benefits.

I am very aware that driving switchers will NOT count towards OTR time. That is a huge downside. However I will get to sleep in my own bed every night and will get 1-2 days off per week. Maybe.

Of the Switcher companies at the plant, one hires CDL-A drivers straight out of school. All the others require at least 1 year OTR I believe.

Where are the trucking jobs listed/posted for this area ? The main job sites (Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor... etc) are a complete joke.

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.

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.

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

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.
JuiceBox'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!

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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!

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I just finished up my first year OTR with Melton truck lines. I filled out some apps with some of the LTL companies, suburban propane, and a local tanker job hauling cryogenic something rather. All jobs paying very well IMO.

I have wanted to haul cars since the start of all this though so provided my training goes well, I will be driving for US Auto Logistics home weekends and during the week here and there. They require 2 years of OTR experience or 1 year with flatbed I believe.

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.

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.

SilverBullet's Comment
member avatar

Thank for the tips.

We're paying for school ourselves. I will be looking for companies the do Tuition reimbursement. That is a major issue.... of course.

I'm not sure what " linehaul" means just yet. Gimme time, I'll get. :>)

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.
JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

Thank for the tips.

We're paying for school ourselves. I will be looking for companies the do Tuition reimbursement. That is a major issue.... of course.

I'm not sure what " linehaul" means just yet. Gimme time, I'll get. :>)

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

GI bill? Or has it been too long?

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

I just finished up my first year OTR with Melton truck lines. I filled out some apps with some of the LTL companies, suburban propane, and a local tanker job hauling cryogenic something rather. All jobs paying very well IMO.

I have wanted to haul cars since the start of all this though so provided my training goes well, I will be driving for US Auto Logistics home weekends and during the week here and there. They require 2 years of OTR experience or 1 year with flatbed I believe.

Cool. Did Melton require experience to start driving with them ?

Yes, I hear hear car hauling can be quite lucrative.

When I went up to Smyrna a couple days ago. I was checking out all the trucking companies up there associated with the Nissan plant there. Cassens (car haulers) was one of the companies I stopped in to talk with. Yes, they also required 2 year OTR as well.

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.

SilverBullet's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Thank for the tips.

We're paying for school ourselves. I will be looking for companies the do Tuition reimbursement. That is a major issue.... of course.

I'm not sure what " linehaul" means just yet. Gimme time, I'll get. :>)

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

GI bill? Or has it been too long?

Would you believe I missed the cut-off of Eligibility by 7 months ? Get this. We Vets have 15 YEARS to use the GI Bill program. I Retired from the USAF 4-1-2003 !! Talk about being ****ed !

We're fortunate to be able to pay cash for my CDL class. Financing CDL school is a nightmare scenario for folks here. Schools tack on an extra $1000 to the bill and want 19% interest on top of 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.

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.
JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

Yea I thought it was somewhere around the 15 year mark. I was still active duty when I went to school and used the GI Bill to pay for it. Sorry to hear about your situation.

Melton hires new grads and i believe they sponsor students but you have to go to the school out there in Tulsa, OK. They only reimburse up to 2,400 for school and its paid out over 2 years. That may have changed since a year ago though. They also want you out 2 weeks in between home time. Great company but probably not a great fit for you.

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