Questions On Getting On With A Company Sponsored Driving School

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David T.'s Comment
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Hello. My name is David. I am considering on getting into being an otr truck driver. However, I am having some issues. I have a felony on my background from 2007 and completed probation in January 2014. I also have a some things on my driving record. However the last ticket I got was in January 2015. The last incident I had was where I was rear ended in August of 2017. Other than that my record is clean outside of my work record. Can someone possibly give me some assistance or tips on this? The area in which I live is not really conducive towards getting on my own two feet with regards to jobs and, quite frankly, I'm getting the impression that the only way that I can get on my own feet and be totally self sufficient is being a truck driver. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I have applied to multiple companies and most of them have said I do not have enough work experience.

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.

CK's Comment
member avatar

Hi David, companies generally want to see a decent work history, with jobs held over the last three years especially. Due to federal security requirements, you'll need to be able to account for the last three years. Have you consistantly had employment over that term? It doesn't matter too much what job you worked, just so long as you did indeed hold a job.

The nature of a felony conviction also plays a roll. Some felonies are outright disqualifying, and others may be rejected by a particular company.

Good luck to you.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Dave, Trucking Truth has a load of information, including it's own Trucking Wiki. In the Wiki is this article: Trucking Companies That Will Hire Felons.

Also up at the top of each page is a search bar. I entered "work record". See what I got in answer here.

Finally, just above that search bar on the left is a three-bar menu starter. Check it out.

Finally, since you are. "considering otr" and this is your first post, here's our "starter kit" of 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.

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.

David T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi David, companies generally want to see a decent work history, with jobs held over the last three years especially. Due to federal security requirements, you'll need to be able to account for the last three years. Have you consistantly had employment over that term? It doesn't matter too much what job you worked, just so long as you did indeed hold a job.

The nature of a felony conviction also plays a roll. Some felonies are outright disqualifying, and others may be rejected by a particular company.

Good luck to you.

Over the last three years, I have had nothing but little side jobs like raking yards and such. And it was only when someone needed me. Never on a consistent basis. The only jobs I had during the last year were restaurants job that I would up having to leave of my Accord due to not making enough hours or pay for the 30 - 40 mile round trip between home and work. Also, along with that, my truck has been broke down since March of last year. As for the the felony, it was an assault with a deadly weapon charge. Mind you that I have kept my nose clean for the ten or eleven plus years since then outside of traffic tickets and such.

David T.'s Comment
member avatar

Now, I do have another question that is related to this. I hate to get into the trucking industry this way as it makes me feel like I'm cheating, which technically it is. Would it give me more of a chance to get hired by one of those companies if I were to get my CDL on my own time and worked as a log truck driver for at least six months?

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Would it give me more of a chance to get hired by one of those companies if I were to get my CDL on my own time and worked as a log truck driver for at least six months?

David, I think most people completely misunderstand the situation when they hear about the big demand for truck drivers. There are a lot of people applying to be truck drivers, and only a small percentage of them ever succeed. The demand is for people who can consistently perform this job at the highest levels.

Your idea of getting your CDL on your own leaves out a critical piece of this puzzle. Companies who hire inexperienced drivers are required to have a 160 hour training certificate on file as proof that you've had some proper training. They can hire experienced drivers without that certificate, but that driver needs to have some verifiable experience. Over the road companies do not usually accept local or log truck driving as experience.

Honestly your best approach to this is to make yourself a long term plan and goal. You need to land a real job that provides you with a legitimate W-2 at the end of each year, and build yourself some credibility that way. I know it's really tough with that felony, but it's going to do you a world of good to approach this like that.

Trucking is tough, and a willingness to stick with a tough plan like I just laid out will speak volumes for your ability to see this through. Get a couple of years in as evidence you can stick with a difficult situation and you will greatly improve your chances at this.

We've got a list of Trucking Companies That Hire Felons. You can look through that, and you should also make a point to contact CFI and TransAm. We have seen both of them train and hire ex-felons. Personally I think you've got to prove you've got the ability to keep a job. I might be wrong, but that would be my first step in my long term plan.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
David T.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok. I understand. My apologies. My only problem with that is the jobs around here are either part time of no more than 25 hours if that many at minimum wage or under that table. Granted now that I don't have a vehicle to maintain and repair, I could theoretically save money faster for schooling. However, with no transportation or my own, that makes it harder for me to get to work, unless someone I work with has their own mode of transportation and drives by my house. Hmmmm, you helped me answer my own question. One more question though. What should I do if I get a local job here and a trucking company I applied for agrees to send me off to school after I acquire a local job? To me, that would make me look worse than I already am. I just ask that question because I spoke to a recruiter at one particular company that said she would fight to get me on. Trust me when I say I know a pushy person when I see or hear one, myself included. And this person sounded pushier than my mom. And my mom is worse than I am.

David T.'s Comment
member avatar

Another thought. Could I get my CDL license while I work a local job? Just wondering on that. It would be like killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Another thought. Could I get my CDL license while I work a local job? Just wondering on that. It would be like killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Dave, there are plenty of companies that offer Paid CDL Training Programs, meaning you don't have to pay up front. However most of the hiring process happens before your school starts. This means you are all but hired when you get on the bus to go to school.

Taking a local job, even if you have a fresh CDL will be more of a waste of time than a way to get your foot in the door at a major trucking company.

From reading your later posts here, I have to ask you to take an honest look at yourself. A trucking life is not comfortable. It isn't something you do for a week or two then go home. It's possible for you to be working/driving any hour of the day or night, Monday through Sunday, in almost any weather - hot, cold, wet, dry. You'll be living in a small box right next to your "office" - the driver seat. The nearest bathroom might be 75-100 yards away in the truck stop building.

You'll most probably have a lonely life, since the only regular contact with people you know will be over the phone or texts. And the shippers and receivers you talk to may be friendly enough, but there's someone behind you who needs their papers signed, too. (It's all business).

If you can adjust to conditions like this, you just might end up with a job you can love. I'm a little harsh here, but many people come in all starry eyed, wanting to see the USA through the windshield of a big truck. You get that, certainly, but you have to put up with the whole nine yards.

Most of us on Trucking Truth have gotten to the point where we want to get into our truck, and hit the big road. And we want you to be able to enjoy the experience, too. Just be realistic about your choice.

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.

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.

Joe M.'s Comment
member avatar

Most log truck companies want at least two years of experience at least in my area

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