Starter Company Recommendations

Topic 24703 | Page 1

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Billy Bob's Comment
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I'm looking to start an OTR trucking career but not sure which company to start with... I don't have a CDL yet but am almost ready to pass the learners permit exam. I live in Fort Lauderdale, FL (near Miami) but wouldn't mind going to another state for the training if the company's worth it. I'm looking for a thorough but not excessively long company sponsored CDL training (don't want to wait 6 months to bring my kitty on board). A pet policy is a must for 1 or maybe 2 cats and decent starting pay. Newer trucks with an automatic transmission, APU , fridge and good equipment is a big plus. I'm still researching but see mixed reviews between live load & drop and hook. which is better? Pros vs. cons? Dry van vs. reefer? I'm in this for the long haul and want to be sure I'm headed down the right road from the start. Any helpful advice is appreciated and if I missed anything else I should take into consideration then please advise. Thank you!

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Tractor Man's Comment
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Billy Bob, look at the post that is currently below yours. Starting a career at 59. All the info you need. Welcome to the forum

Billy Bob's Comment
member avatar

Billy Bob, look at the post that is currently below yours. Starting a career at 59. All the info you need. Welcome to the forum

Thanks Tractor man! Those companies either don't provide CDL training or don't allow pets though :( but I definitely need to dig further into that career guide and read Brett's book.

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.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Billy Bob, I know that Prime provides paid training,( some of the best in the business), and they allow cats too. Rainy is one of our moderators and has her kitty on her truck. She will chime in and give you specifics. Good luck!

G-Town's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Billy Bob, look at the post that is currently below yours. Starting a career at 59. All the info you need. Welcome to the forum

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks Tractor man! Those companies either don't provide CDL training or don't allow pets though :( but I definitely need to dig further into that career guide and read Brett's book.

The companies listed in this link...

Paid CDL Training Programs

...definitely school/road train, and many have liberal pet policies.

Check-it our. And the Starter/Company reference? I started with Swift 6 years ago and happily continue driving for them. I could work anywhere now.. I’ve yet to see a good reason to seek employment elsewhere. We have many drivers who continue working for their so-called starter company past the first year of solo operation.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Here are the companies that provide training: Paid CDL Training Programs.

You can apply to a number of these right here on our website and you'll hear from recruiters within the hour sometimes, on weekdays anyhow: Apply For Paid CDL Training

I'm not sure which ones allow pets but we do have a list of companies and their pet policies here: List Of Trucking Companies That Allow Pets

You'll also want to read through our starter guides and test preparation materials if you haven't already:

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.
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