Thinking About CDL And OTR Trucking..

Topic 24058 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Joey H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone, First I’m have to say I’m so glad I found this site as it has a ton of information.

As the title says I’m interested in getting my CDL and becoming an OTR trucker. Now for some of my background, reasons why I want to get into trucking, and life goals..

Background: first and foremost I love driving and always have. My current job is for a global car parts supplier where I’m driving a 25’ box truck, do a route that covers anywhere from 260 miles to 400 miles south east of Austin, TX. It’s an hourly job ($15h) and currently doing 10-20 hours over time every two weeks (biweekly paychecks) which comes to $37k (net).

I have experience being in the road for two to three months straight as I was a touring bassist from that age of 16-30 (I’ll be turning the big 4-0 in March), I’m single, no kids, and live alone..

Reasons why I want to get into OTR: Frankly I love driving and it seems trucking is the next step to achieving my long term goals. Plus I love being on the road, driving and all of that..

Life goals: frankly I need to start saving money for retirement (as I have nothing saved), I want to have a lower cost of living to start investing some money annually, and hopefully be more secure financially for down the road.

I love my current job so much but am worried they’ll cut overtime at some point and I’m able to support myself fully because of the OT. Now we have 20 drivers and I’m in the top 3 ranking drivers there. I know it’s baby stuff compared to real trucking.. and I have no idea how I’ll do with OTR.

What is some advice you guys and gals can give someone looking to make that next step in their driving career?

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

If you won't mind being gone for longer periods of time, I'd highly recommend applying to Prime. Their training pay is amongst the higher paying companies and their starting pay is too.

Rainy can tell you more about it since she drives/trains for them and I don't. Yeah their trucks are a little slower, but a solid company driver there is laughing all the way to the bank.

Had my situation, when I got started, been different, I'd have ran to Prime. But I needed to be home a bit more often at that time due to older teens still living at home.

Joey H.'s Comment
member avatar

If you won't mind being gone for longer periods of time, I'd highly recommend applying to Prime. Their training pay is amongst the higher paying companies and their starting pay is too.

Rainy can tell you more about it since she drives/trains for them and I don't. Yeah their trucks are a little slower, but a solid company driver there is laughing all the way to the bank.

Had my situation, when I got started, been different, I'd have ran to Prime. But I needed to be home a bit more often at that time due to older teens still living at home.

Susan thanks for the suggestion on Prime I’ll be doing my research on them.

As for being gone long periods of time. That’s what I’m actually aiming for.. to be out driving two to three months at a time.

IKnowImAwko's Comment
member avatar

Hi Joey

Getting into trucking is surprisingly easy.The good/bad thing about most big starter companies like Swift,Prime, and C.R. England is that they will take anyone with a pulse for the most part. When I applied with Prime I was amazed at how easy the process was.I was thinking it took a lot to start driving a tractor trailer. When your ready start talking to recruiters ask about the company paid training,home time,pay,and what you need to get started.The process will go faster if you are prepared. I might be biased but Prime has a good training program and better pay than most starter companies.Of course that depends on your trainer,i've heard horror stories. If your concerned about the life of being OTR check out YouTube.You can find a few bloggers who share their experiences.But the gist of OTR at Prime is drive,eat sleep haha. As Susan said they're not very big on home-time.If you choose refer you'll have a decent amount of downtime at shippers/receivers to watch TV,play video games,read,workout what ever you need to do with the 2-3 hours your stuck to that dock.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck to you, am welcome. I might suggest Millis Transfer in Wisconsin, but they have schools all over, I know they are in Texas. Students start at .43 a mile and can work up to .47. I have looked at a lot of companies and hope to go with Millis in April. If for some reason I don't get accepted I will probably apply with Prime. I've heard a lot of good things about that company.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The good/bad thing about most big starter companies like Swift,Prime, and C.R. England is that they will take anyone with a pulse for the most part

Do you know why that is? Because a huge percentage of the people who take a shot at this career fall flat on their face almost immediately. 50% of the people who show up at these programs don't even manage to get their CDL and another 50% of those who remain never complete the training and go solo. So 75% of the people who walk through that door on day one thinking "it's just trucking" wind up back home with their tail between their legs.

So they'll give a lot of people the opportunity to prove they have what it takes to make it in this industry, but unfortunately not many people do.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Doug C.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, I got a question. When people go to any or most of these companies and fail do they wind up paying back the cost of schooling even if they don't finish?

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More