Potential Californian Trucker

Topic 24126 | Page 1

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Christopher G.'s Comment
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Hey guys my name is Chris, I am from Bakersfield, California, (originally from San Diego) and I am 24 years old. I guess this is going to be the start of my journey to become a trucker. I suppose I should start with some back story, I have been working at a call center for the past 2 years or so, helping people with troubleshooting their iPhones Mac’s etc. for apple. It was an ok job, however I got tired of the constant cussing from customers and the constant fear of being fired (as turn over rate was 110). Not to mention during my time working there I had 1 family tragedy after another to the point my work literally thought I was making it up. In the two years I worked there, my house burned down my little brother, 2 grand mother’s, and an uncle passed away. So it eventually got to the point where I was thinking about my life overall, What was I doing, where was I heading. Was this job going to accomplish things I wanted to do, like traveling the country, buying a home etc. So I decided I was going to make a change, but I had no idea to what. I had no college degree, Little to no savings, and within Bakersfield having the highest unemployment rate in California it’s not like I would find a higher paying job anywhere else. So one day I was watching YouTube and found myself on some truckers channel and it ignited my interest, I had thought about trucking when I was 12 or 13 but I never really looked into it. So I started watching video after video of trucking and truckers, I started researching with google, and I eventually found this site. I’ll be honest I have been inspired to do trucking, it will allow me to see this country, and it’s something I can see myself doing for 20-30 years as I am a very low maintenance guy and cat this point don’t have much family to go back to now. Heck my biggest concern right now is how will I keep. Y gaming habit up on a truck as I assume you can’t get WiFi installed in A company truck! Haha... but obviously this is coming from someone who hasnt done it yet. I know there will be difficulties, there are some with every job, otherwise everyone would be doing it. I just hope I can make it work out, as there is only one way to go when you are near the bottom.

Anyway, that’s some background (and more I know I’m sorry). This is where I am at right now: being close to homeless and unemployed I am currently trying to study and get the money for my permit I have already passed the physical needed at this time. I am currently doing Uber/lyft to make money (as luckily the only thing I haven’t lost is my car lol) and I a. Hoping to save enough money for the permit test and everything I will need for a company paid training. I am hoping to start that training by some time next month but if I can’t get the money I may have to wait even longer. As of right now I have spoke. To many starter companies although majority of the ones I had in mind don’t hire out of California but of the ones that do prime seems the front runner right now. That is for the most part where I am at.

I do apologize for the unorganized post, as you can tell I am no writer or poet haha.. if Anyone has any questions, advice, etc. feel free to respond I will try my best to read/respond to everything posted here. I am still learning as much as I can from this site, YouTube, and google but I feel like this is one of those things that you have to go through to know anything for sure haha.. I hope everyone had a good Christmas, have a great New Years. Happy holidays, stay safe with all that snow going on right now.

Until next time!

-C.W.G

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pete M.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, Sounds like you are having a time of it, as they say. Personal tragedies are stressful and do have an adverse effect on one's ability to cope with workplace stress and everyday life challenges. Hopefully, for you, these are short term and by overcoming them you learn more about yourself and become stronger. Here's hoping you can improve your situation. Having said that, I think you should be applying to the paid training companies. Will Trans, Jim Palmer, Swift, Prime, USA Truck, XPO, just to name a few. The recruiters can help you decide if you need to take the CDL written tests on your own before starting class. Depending on the company, you could be in class in very short order. This may be a way to quickly improve your life situation. Good Luck with this effort. BTW, I think you should forget about the youtube vids and devote your time to exploring this TruckingTruth site and do all of the Training tests so that you are successful once you are in class.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Christopher G. Thanks for coming out of the shadows and making your first post.

Without going too much further it’s hughly recommended to thoroughly read these two threads:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

In combination the information included in those two pieces will ground your expectations in reality.

Once you’ve completed them and believe Trucking is the correct path for you begin your preparation by investing quality time in taking the High Road CDL Training Program. This exclusive Trucking Truth program enables a high degree of success in passing the CDL permit tests.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Christopher G.'s Comment
member avatar

I appreciate the advise and help I’ve gotten so far and I have been reading up as much as I can on this site when I’m not doing Uber or lyft. There is so much information to go over and learn and that’s not even including the stuff I’ll need for the tests! And yes It seems I am one of those people where “something” is always happening to them it’s been like that for awhile now, just my luck I guess haha. But I am still looking forward to this and do hope this will turn things around for me. I am on page 44 on the raw truth of trucking so far (great read so far), it both worries me and intrigues me I’m not sure how to describe it haha. But again thanks for the replies so far!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Chris,

I am also trying to get my foot into Prime, will probably go into the SLC program sometime in Jan. Good luck!

Christopher G.'s Comment
member avatar

Just a quick update, I got the money together for everything I need (mostly) and I have been non stop studying scoring an 85% or higher on my practice tests so I'm going to go and try my luck at the permit test this Monday. If all goes well I should be heading out to SLC next weekend! Let's hope I can pass the permit test first try haha.

Christopher G.'s Comment
member avatar

So here's an update

I went to the DMV yesterday, had not been so nervous for a test since high school! I went in and boy was it busy stood in lines just to get into other lines haha. Finally after 2 hours of lines I get onto a computer to take my test. Going through the test as nervous as can be till I finally finished the last one then it hits me I look at the clock only 20 mins passed by but it felt like hours! Looked at my scores and I passed all my tests first try. Nothing could have wiped that stupid grin on my face at that moment. 2 months of preparation between gathering money to studying and I had finally got my permit and everything ready for me to go. I wanna thank Brett for the awesome site and study guide made and anyone involved as it really really helped me out, as well as anyone who has been reading or following this so far. I am now just waiting for my recruiter to tell me when I am leaving and I'll be heading out as soon as possible. Now I'm just worried about actually getting behind the wheel worried about everything really from learning how to switch gears as a left handed trucker to stuff like going down mountains at some point. For now though I think I will try to just focus on one step at a time and start learning my pre trip and the little things I'll need to learn before I even step foot into a truck. All in all though I'm just excited to get this started and I can't wait for what comes next!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations man, you got that first step knocked out! Keep at it, you'll get there!

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Christopher G.'s Comment
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Quick update

I got off the phone with a few recruiters today to figure out who and where I'm going to go. Prime has always been a front runner for me so I was happy to hear if I get approved I could be out there as early as next weekend. However I also spoke to someone from Jim Palmer and they run a very similar training program as far as pay and everything goes with prime .45 cpm starting after training etc. Etc. so now I'm trying to figure out if I wanna go OTR with prime or 10 west state regional with Jim palmer. I was always told it's best to get PTR experience for future possible jobs so I'm leaning towards prime but Jim palmer has all automatic trucks ( which is nice since I'm left handed it would be one less thing to worry about going up and down mountains etc. While trying to figure out how to shift with my right hand) all trucks come with satalite TV and 24 inch hd TV and it's drop and hook dry van. So I'm just trying to figure out what I wanna do is OTR experience worth the trade off? I don't really know. Any help advise or tips would be appreciated!

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.

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.

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.

Christopher G.'s Comment
member avatar

Its been 4 days since i told my prime recruiter i was ready and got my permit for SLC and my work history apparently is still being verified. Im not sure if this is something that normal takes this long or longer but its got me a little worried cause i have heard you need 18-24 months of Work history in the past 3 years at least. I'm worried because i was with my previous job for 20 months while doing uber and lyft on the side and 2 month past me quitting this job. i am worried i may have quit too soon because my recruiter is talking about "exceptions" and stuff and im not feeling too confident or shes not sounding very confident. I could be worrying about nothing but i just figured i would ask if this is normal to calm myself down i suppose lol.

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