Career Advice/direction

Topic 25858 | Page 1

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Keith A.'s Comment
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I've logged just about a year and a half OTR accident free with Knight and I'm not sure it's my cup of tea in that I don't particularly want to do it anymore. I think I'd still like to drive A-class but I'm having a difficult time finding something that might work with my desire to go back to school eventually. I can't afford to not work, and nothing else out there will pay as much with my skillset as commercial driving.

Anyone have recommendations for companies or types of driving I can do A-class? Most of the local positions I've found in Denver are either going to eat too many of my hours in a day for me to be sure I'll have enough time for school, or I can't get good information on their wages and payscale. Or am I reaching too far/asking for a little too much here? Failing finding something driving tractor-trailer I was planning on making my way to driving a trash truck again.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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While I was reading that I was actually thinking about driving a garbage truck or dumpster roll-off.

Unfortunately most schooling is full time and most local driving is full time or more. It's just such a time crunch trying to do both at once. You might be able to do some of the schooling online at your own pace for a while. Then at some point you might have to find a way to commit to the schooling full time and find something part time to make some money while you finish school.

Commitment to a particular path is really the only way to get anywhere with it. It's not that you can't do more than one thing at a time, but you're certainly going to limit your potential if you're limiting your commitment to any given path.

That's going to be a tough juggling act. My first thought is to try to get as much schooling done online while you're driving full time and try to save up some money. Then when you get to a certain point just take out a bunch of student loans, commit to the rest of the schooling full time, work part time to make a few extra bucks, and make it happen.

Jeremy's Comment
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Construction industry is a possibility driving triaxle dumb or pulling equipment from job to job although i think alot of those companies even look for as much as 5 yrs experience have you looked into regional otr in your area thats what i do and im home every weekend maybe weekend courses im not sure just offering ideas

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Have you thought about linehaul? It may be hard to get a schedule ironed out but you could make over 100k in 2 or 3 years. And should have 2 days off a week.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Rubber Duck's Comment
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Shnieder offered me a job a while ago working either 3 or four days a week. I can’t remember if it was 3 or 4 days though. I think it was hauling stuff to Walmart’s. It was only if you lived within a certain radius. From what I remember it was considered part time but you would make decent money. I never found out how all them days off worked. If they was in a row or split up or if you got to pick your days. US Mail trucks work weekends and seem to be desperate at all times to keep their trucks moving. A weekend guy would probably help them out a bunch.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Keith that’s really great that you want to continue your education. Although there are many detractors who suggest that a secondary education doesn’t guarantee career enhancement; it’s something that once you have it, no one can take it away and nothing can replace the experience. The value of an education is priceless.

What you are considering, I actually did 40 years ago. Times were different then, but like you, I wanted to goto college, but needed to work so that I didn’t take on the burden of a fat loan. I did not take the easiest path because I worked for a construction company part time while going to school full time, from fall to spring. During extended breaks, I worked full time. This job included driving a variety of dump trucks from single axle to tri-axle and performing basic shop activities like oil changes, greasing, belts/hoses and my least favorite; “fixing flats.” I was also performed grass cutting and other property maintenance. I learned a ton about the infrastructure and operation of a medium sized construction company. My lifelong love of trucks began there.

It was a grueling 5 years...sleep deprivation became common and I would always have my head in a book during breaks. I was totally committed to the “process” and kept my eyes on the end goal. Leveraging youth is key. The physical experience I gained, mental toughness I learned and “life” experienced along the way, actually surpassed the end result of the degree itself. Again priceless.

Make a plan, expect adjustments along the way. Think through your approach and clearly understand your limitations; like chronic lack of sleep, periods of high intensity (studying for exams) and your ability to mentally jump from two completely unlike activities, both requiring laser focused concentration. For instance; thinking about classroom subject matter while driving is a possible distraction with the potential for disaster.

My final thoughts. Don’t rush into this. Make sure you have support of your family, friends and if possible your employer. I was very lucky that my employer at that time was 100% behind what I was attempting to achieve and offered unlimited flexibility with the expectation when I was at work; 100% effort was required. No exceptions.

Good luck and please keep us posted. Happy to help and provide input when appropriate.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Right now I've got a line open with a local trash company, and a tractor-trailer end-dump job (that the employer will pay for training)

I'll be able to take all of my general studies online, but I'll be living close enough to the campus that I can try and squeeze in some physical classes for cost & I think it'll also help me do a little better. Job wise I may have to, if I can't find an employer who has part time work or can modify a schedule, consider moving into warehouse work or something similar and work part time like Brett suggested, since the degree I'm going for isn't very online friendly yet.

Right now it seems like all the resources are there, but it definitely will not be a short order to make it happen, even given it's going to take me more on the order of six years to do this.

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

So! A true update! I had gotten a job offer from a trash company, called my terminal manager to give him my two weeks... and got offered a local position that another driver had just quit and vacated. So now I'll be starting that when I return home from this OTR run, and I'll look at starting to take classes this fall or spring.

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.

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.

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

I also have to say that part of being offered that local is thanks to this forum-- I've tried to make myself very valuable and productive and without the information and advice here I don't know if I would have been half as likely to get this spot the way I did.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

That's great Keith - glad to hear it!

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