Career Change To Truck Driving

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Keith P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone! My name is Keith it is nice to meet all of you!

So I joined to try and get more information on what it means to be a trucker in today's industry and the in's and out's of what to expect. So far I have found ton's of helpful information that will really go a long way.

A little about myself. Currently I work for a Oilfield service company. I am an electrician technician at said company. Before that at the same company I was a frac hand. In that job I worked on the ground over 17 hours a day logging a whopping 250 hours a paycheck (every two weeks). As such I got a Class A CDL as a requirement for said job. I have my X endorsement for Hazmat and Tanker.

Currently my company is on a down turn and they are downsizing. I spent my entire past week wondering if I was going to have a job anymore. That stress was rough on my wife and myself as we also have a 9 month old daughter.

So I have decided to change careers and move into the trucking industry. After very much research and talking to recruiters all over I have decided to start my career with Crete doing OTR.

What they have to offer is what I am thinking will be a great fit for my first job in the industry. I'll be honest I really wanted to go with swift for my first job because of how much they train and doing OTR with them seem's quite nice. However, I have yet to hear back from them in any capacity so I have gone with Crete.

So hello everyone! Nice to be here and I look forward to chatting with everyone! Keith

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Keith! From your past 17 hour days, getting used to 14 hour days will be no issue for you! Welcome aboard and good luck with Crete.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the site, and welcome to OTR , Keith! Crete does plenty of training, same as every other major company you will see on the Interstates. I was leased onto Crete as an O/O before I came off the road awhile back. Plenty of opportunities for motivated professionals.

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.

Interstate:

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

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Keith, Will your wife have help with your 9 month old? Are you prepared to miss much of the child's growing while you are away? This is a huge decision. Here is our starter pack to help you in your decision.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Keith P.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and advice!

Big Scott. We have talked about this at length. We are relocating to Orlando FL where my wife's immediate family lives as we live in Colorado away from them. So yes to answer your question they will be there to provide support. To be honest I have already missed quite a bit doing 2 weeks on 1 week off as it stands we agreed that it's worth the time away for the security of a job that pays well.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Big Scott asked...

Are you prepared to miss much of the child's growing while you are away?

Keith please do not underestimate the perpetual impact associated with the above question.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar
I worked on the ground over 17 hours a day logging a whopping 250 hours a paycheck (every two weeks).

Those sound like some pretty serious paychecks. I'm sure there was plenty of double time pay in those checks also. Plan on making 40-50 K during your first year as an OTR Driver. By the time you hit year 3, 65-75K is realistic. But, unless you work your way in to some of the very specialized areas of this business, you'll never make Oil Field money. Good Luck!

smile.gif

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

G-town, I appreciate this. We are looking at all options regarding this change. As for the being away from my wife we were together while I was in the military and my being away from her for months on end isn't a problem. It's my child that is most concerning.

Our goal is to drive OTR for a limited amount of time before transitioning into something else such as regional or dedicated or at least that is the plan. However, we are discussing this constantly weighing all options before we commit.

Thanks everyone for the great advice and things to consider that we hadn't before.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

G-town, I appreciate this. We are looking at all options regarding this change. As for the being away from my wife we were together while I was in the military and my being away from her for months on end isn't a problem. It's my child that is most concerning.

Our goal is to drive OTR for a limited amount of time before transitioning into something else such as regional or dedicated or at least that is the plan. However, we are discussing this constantly weighing all options before we commit.

Thanks everyone for the great advice and things to consider that we hadn't before.

Big Scott’s question is about your feelings, adjusting and coping with the prolonged seperation from your child.

Please realize the loneliness factor of this job is often the single most difficult factor rookies deal with. It takes-down many people.

Good luck!

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Keith P., welcome and congratulations on the success you’ve had in the oilfield work. Also, THANKS for your service.

After you’ve gotten some driving experience, you might look into Robert Bearden Inc (RBI). I started with Schneider, now with RBI and plan to stay here. We’re a Southeast Regional company and run a lot of freight in Florida.

Good luck with Crete and your new adventure! Welcome aboard!

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.

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