Retired Engineer Wants To Get Into OTR Trucking, But Having No Success.

Topic 26049 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

As far as the question of it being a starter company goes....it both is and isn't.

Given that they'll train you (and pay for the mistakes you're going to make in the first 6-12 months), by the strictest definition, it is. That being said, there are plenty of drivers who come to the Wilson family of companies with plenty of experience in the field

Those same remarks can be said of all these companies that people refer to as "starter companies." The term is a misnomer. Drivers created it and I'm sure it will be with us forever. There's no such thing as a trucking company who made it their business model to be a "starter company." Each of them has a core group of professional drivers who keep them on track for earning the slim margins the transportation business is known for. They gladly assist new drivers in the hopes of developing a few new professionals in the process.

Are Major Trucking Companies Nothing More Than Starter Companies?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I was out of work for about 3 years also, due to health issues. I got hired by Veriha Trucking out of Marinette Wisconsin. They are a good company and have different driving options, as far as how long you want to stay out on the road. They just added an entertainment division, where you go on tour with bands/artist hauling gear for concert/shows

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.
RichG.'s Comment
member avatar

So felt it's time to update my journey. Turns out there were a couple of companies willing to look at my entire work life and not just the last three years to decide if I was a good worker. I actually put down everything I've done since 1965 into that Driver Pulse app before submitting to a few companies. So the problem with no documented work history the last three years disappeared (no thanks to Prime or Rohle :) )

I've got a slot set with Swift in Richmond in Aug.; and a backup set up with CREngland. As a vet, they're supposedly providing a scholarship to the training. All sounds good. Most of what I've gleaned off of this forum and others preparing me...hopefully. Since I have my CDL permit and all paperwork done, should be starting out with pre-trip (if the recruiter is to be trusted, but seems overworked and not always remembering our transactions) at class.

NH is weird in that I can't get Doubles/Triples or Hazmat endorsements (or take tests) until I actually have my CDL.

Thing is I'm torn between this opportunity to go company sponsored, or go with a paid CDL school such as CDS in Roanoke. I've got the tuition and room/board covered, so.... either is in VA.

I am a quick study so don't need the slower pace of paid school. In fact, they'll have me out in the same three wk period since I've done the classroom stuff. I can recite the pre-trip already (my pilot experiences helped here), so really there's just getting in the truck and doing it, and of course trip planning, which I can't really start until I know which path to take and which company to go with.

I'm very used to small confined spaces both with mates, and alone from my blue water sailing time. OTR has to be easier since there' s actually stores and humanity around if needed...

Any drivers out there want to weigh in here?

Does Swift do physical endurance testing (recruiter says no, but old forum stuff says yes)... That could sway my decision to go with paid schooling as there's no way I'd agree to some of the stuff you have to do for the very antiquated thinking of the Workwell Physical Assessment. I'm not young and stupid; I'm older and wiser, so use mechanical advantage rather than brute force to move heavy stuff.

Anyway, thanks to the team here for providing encouragement to keep moving ahead. It's been a very busy three weeks.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I can assure you that Swift does NOT require any physical endurance testing.

I’ll be able to offer more later...

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

The only physical test Schneider required was the ability to climb in the back of a trailer and not fall on your noggin and to get in and out of the truck using 3 points of contact and not fall on your noggin. We were also required to stay awake while in the classroom. Grueling.

RichG.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, that's great info regarding endurance testing...

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I haven’t heard of any companies doing a physical endurance test. Some do a physical agility test, which is far different. Usually a flatbedder thing to make sure you can handle the tarps and not fall off a load. We do a form of agility climbing on and off a tanker, but nothing more.

Richard good luck in your journey and keep us posted how its going please.

B_Dawg's Comment
member avatar

Hello Richard! I work for Swift and can vouch for them as one of the best companies I have ever worked for in any field. I have gaps in my work history from taking time off to care for my mother and also while I went thru CDL school. If you have an opportunity with Swift I would highly recommend you take it. They have numerous accounts available once you get your training done. 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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Richard having gone through their Richmond Academy, I’ve been a Swift driver for over 6 years now. I am running Walmart Dedicated delivering groceries to North East Regional super stores and Sam’s Club. I love my job.

No plans to look elsewhere...God willing will retire here. Is it perfect? No, nothing ever is. However I’ve always been treated professionally, fairly and well compensated.

Good drivers; safe, efficient and hard working can be successful at most any company, including Swift.

Make a decision and don’t look back. 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.

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