OTR Ride Along Training Question

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FATMAC's Comment
member avatar

Hello All!

I have been trying to dip my toes into the world of CDL training info and I have to admit it can be quite overwhelming. I have a million questions on hundreds of topics but I have a huge question that will help me make my next decision.

A little backgrounds on what I think I want my end goal to be.. I want to be an OTR (o/o is the true end goal) driver because I really don't have much holding me here in Indy and I would be fine with working as many days as I can fit on the calendar. Maybe, IF i ever get enough experience and everything works out, I think i would be cool to haul oversized loads or airplane parts. Like I said, I'm just getting started on my research so I'm just playing around with ideas in my head on possible options for my career path.

I have one major question that I can't find an answer to yet. If I am understanding the CDL training correctly, to become an OTR driver you will need to have experience with a trainer who you will ride with in their own truck on runs. Am I understanding this correctly? If I am, is there an alternative to doing an OTR training? Without going into too many details, I wouldn't and I doubt the driver would be comfortable with that temporary living situation.

Thanks in advance for all your help.. and for reading my ramblings :)

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.

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.
King Pin's Comment
member avatar

In main menu, type in company sponsored CDL training. There’s wealth of info you can search. I’ll give you an starting point.

Hello All!

I have been trying to dip my toes into the world of CDL training info and I have to admit it can be quite overwhelming. I have a million questions on hundreds of topics but I have a huge question that will help me make my next decision.

A little backgrounds on what I think I want my end goal to be.. I want to be an OTR (o/o is the true end goal) driver because I really don't have much holding me here in Indy and I would be fine with working as many days as I can fit on the calendar. Maybe, IF i ever get enough experience and everything works out, I think i would be cool to haul oversized loads or airplane parts. Like I said, I'm just getting started on my research so I'm just playing around with ideas in my head on possible options for my career path.

I have one major question that I can't find an answer to yet. If I am understanding the CDL training correctly, to become an OTR driver you will need to have experience with a trainer who you will ride with in their own truck on runs. Am I understanding this correctly? If I am, is there an alternative to doing an OTR training? Without going into too many details, I wouldn't and I doubt the driver would be comfortable with that temporary living situation.

Thanks in advance for all your help.. and for reading my ramblings :)

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.

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.
King Pin's Comment
member avatar

Oops here you go. https://www.truckingtruth.com/paid-cdl-training/

In main menu, type in company sponsored CDL training. There’s wealth of info you can search. I’ll give you an starting point.

double-quotes-start.png

Hello All!

I have been trying to dip my toes into the world of CDL training info and I have to admit it can be quite overwhelming. I have a million questions on hundreds of topics but I have a huge question that will help me make my next decision.

A little backgrounds on what I think I want my end goal to be.. I want to be an OTR (o/o is the true end goal) driver because I really don't have much holding me here in Indy and I would be fine with working as many days as I can fit on the calendar. Maybe, IF i ever get enough experience and everything works out, I think i would be cool to haul oversized loads or airplane parts. Like I said, I'm just getting started on my research so I'm just playing around with ideas in my head on possible options for my career path.

I have one major question that I can't find an answer to yet. If I am understanding the CDL training correctly, to become an OTR driver you will need to have experience with a trainer who you will ride with in their own truck on runs. Am I understanding this correctly? If I am, is there an alternative to doing an OTR training? Without going into too many details, I wouldn't and I doubt the driver would be comfortable with that temporary living situation.

Thanks in advance for all your help.. and for reading my ramblings :)

double-quotes-end.png

Hello All!

I have been trying to dip my toes into the world of CDL training info and I have to admit it can be quite overwhelming. I have a million questions on hundreds of topics but I have a huge question that will help me make my next decision.

A little backgrounds on what I think I want my end goal to be.. I want to be an OTR (o/o is the true end goal) driver because I really don't have much holding me here in Indy and I would be fine with working as many days as I can fit on the calendar. Maybe, IF i ever get enough experience and everything works out, I think i would be cool to haul oversized loads or airplane parts. Like I said, I'm just getting started on my research so I'm just playing around with ideas in my head on possible options for my career path.

I have one major question that I can't find an answer to yet. If I am understanding the CDL training correctly, to become an OTR driver you will need to have experience with a trainer who you will ride with in their own truck on runs. Am I understanding this correctly? If I am, is there an alternative to doing an OTR training? Without going into too many details, I wouldn't and I doubt the driver would be comfortable with that temporary living situation.

Thanks in advance for all your help.. and for reading my ramblings :)

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.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Mac, here's the way it works. You go to school first. Typically that is four weeks, and you obtain a 160 hour training certificate and your CDL. Basically they get you to the point where you can pass the driving test in a tractor/trailer. Then you get a job. They will assign you a trainer. Typically that is a four week time period of you staying on their truck with them. They are training you for the job. It's an essential step in the process.

This job is way too complex to just turn a new driver loose on the interstates with no training. It would be completely unfair to you, and absolutely irresponsible of the company to throw you to the wolves like that.

You've got some research to do before you decide if this is for you. Here's some links that should help you.

Schneider has the absolute shortest training period, yet it is thorough. If this is just an insurmountable issue, you might consider them. I don't want you to be so short sighted in your approach to this though. The training period is a very small time period when considering your career. It's a small blip on the screen. Don't let such a short sighted view keep you from enjoying a rewarding career. I believe Schneider is one week training/orientation in a classroom followed by one week on a truck with a mentor.

Check out these two articles...

Are You Scared Of That Creepy Trainer?

What Should I Expect To Learn From My Trainer?

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

FATMAC's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your quick reply. I guess for the information I am looking for I will need to check each school. Everyone I have looked into so far has had at least 10k miles of cross country training. I was hoping that someone would know if one exists that didn't

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Well unless there's some medical issue or something seriously impeding your ability to live with someone else you're going to have to tough it out. We've all been there before, some have had better experiences than others but you push through it. At least one year of otr is recommended before moving on to something else, especially o/o stuff which is another story.

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.

FATMAC's Comment
member avatar

Old School-

Thanks for all that helpful info! Those are some great articles, especially the creep trainer one! For the record, I am 100% all for comprehensive training! It would be a lot easier if I were able to just tell you my concern. It's a medical issue that I prefer to involve as few people in a possible

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Mac, it's fine if you prefer to keep the subject quiet, but you'll have to discuss it with recruiters. We can't help much if we don't know what we're dealing with.

I don't know of any companies that don't require you to ride/drive in a truck with a trainer. These trainers have seen it all, and are making considerable sacrifices to invite new drivers into their living space. I am sure you can work it out, but you are going to have to discuss it with a recruiter before getting a job.

FATMAC's Comment
member avatar

Mac, it's fine if you prefer to keep the subject quiet, but you'll have to discuss it with recruiters. We can't help much if we don't know what we're dealing with.

I don't know of any companies that don't require you to ride/drive in a truck with a trainer. These trainers have seen it all, and are making considerable sacrifices to invite new drivers into their living space. I am sure you can work it out, but you are going to have to discuss it with a recruiter before getting a job.

Thanks a ton Old School! You have been really helpful and thorough and I really appreciate that. I don't really want to post specifics on a public forum (and I don't see any private message options) so I am sorry for the frustration that may have caused you trying to help me but again I really do appreciate it.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Mac, we've had some other people with similar concerns. You'll get it figured out, but you're gonna have to spend some time with a trainer. Schneider may be worth looking into simply for the shorter duration of actual time shared in a truck. Sometimes they can provide a local trainer who gets you back to the terminal each night. In that case it's possible the trainer goes home for their ten hour break while you sleep in the truck. Somebody will work with you. Try looking into Roehl and Knight also. I think both of those companies have a few trainers that are local drivers. I'm not guaranteeing anything, just giving you avenues to explore.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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