Trucking Gadgets, GPS , Telephone Headset, Music ???

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Dennis R.'s Comment
member avatar

I am going to get my CDL and think I have a job lined up so I am wondering what are some of the best and user friendly electronic gadgets you all are using. I sort of want to buy things ahead of time because I will work at my present job until I retire in December.

Do some companies provide GPS etc...… or other things.

Thanks

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

Dennis most of the major carriers have Trucker GPS integrated with elogs and communications systems. Qualcomm/Navi-Go is one such system, one that I’ve used throughout my career at Swift.

My suggestion is to focus on those “gadgets” that enable efficiency and safety; first and foremost a reliable CB and antenna setup. A hard copy if the Rand McNally Trucker’s Atlas (essential) and possibly a backup GPS like Garmin. I’ve been driving for over 6 years and have only a CB. I use my phone GPS (Google) to supplement Navi-Go and that’s “ONLY” to see traffic flow on the Interstates & highways, when things are backing down or accidents.

Beyond that? Save your money until you are fairly sure this is something you can handle and want to do longer term. Few drivers make it past their first year; about 25%.

Not sure if you have read any of the content in these links...

...if not, no time like the present. As a point of reference, this is my second career; started school at 54, I’m 60 now. Many stories on here like mine. It can be 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.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Interstate:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Both the trucks I drove had lousy radios. I bought one of those little round (but big sound) JBL Bluetooth speakers. I put it in the compartment right above the driver's head in my Freightliner and the compartment acted like an acoustic enhancer. Then I used my phone and Pandora to play anything I wanted. I got into listening to podcasts and learned all sorts of neat stuff. It was like getting paid to go to school while driving. One driver on here (Dave?) uses an Alexa device to listen to music, ask questions, get information and probably to have meaningful conservations with Alexa. Lol.

G-Town mentioned the Trucker's Atlas. Get the deluxe, laminated one. Well worth the extra money, in my opinion.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Decent Smartphone (Android or Iphone) - decent provider & data plan is going to cover most of your needs. Quality Bluetooth Headset - I like the Blueparrot (though some companies don't even allow voice calls when moving).

There's some stuff you might want for your truck (TV, microwave, etc.) but since you're not getting in for quite some time, and you'll be in someone elses truck for awhile during training - it's not something you should worry about.

Start boning up on the written tests - using the link to the High Road CDL Training Program that G-Town linked to above.

Best of luck - keep us posted...

Rick

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.
Dennis R.'s Comment
member avatar

Both the trucks I drove had lousy radios. I bought one of those little round (but big sound) JBL Bluetooth speakers. I put it in the compartment right above the drivers head in my Frightliner and the compartment acted like an acoustic enhancer. Then I used my phone and Pandora to play anything I wanted. Got into listening to podcasts and learned all sorts of neat stuff. It was like getting paid to go to school while driving. One driver on here (Dave?) uses an Alexa device to listen to music, ask questions, get information and probably to have meaningful conservations with Alexa. Lol.

G-Town mentioned the Trucker's Atlas. Get the deluxe, laminated one. Well worth the extra money, in my opinion.

I have a Bose blue tooth speaker , that might work out okay and I also bought a deluxe laminated Truckers atlas but that was a few years ago , probably need to upgrade. It would be nice to ask Alexa to play any song I want and it starts playing with some great sounding speakers :)

Maybe Dave will join in here :)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Dennis most of the major carriers have Trucker GPS integrated with elogs and communications systems. Qualcomm/Navi-Go is one such system, one that I’ve used throughout my career at Swift.

My suggestion is to focus on those “gadgets” that enable efficiency and safety; first and foremost a reliable CB and antenna setup. A hard copy if the Rand McNally Trucker’s Atlas (essential) and possibly a backup GPS like Garmin. I’ve been driving for over 6 years and have only a CB. I use my phone GPS (Google) to supplement Navi-Go and that’s “ONLY” to see traffic flow on the Interstates & highways, when things are backing down or accidents.

Beyond that? Save your money until you are fairly sure this is something you can handle and want to do longer term. Few drivers make it past their first year; about 25%.

Not sure if you have read any of the content in these links...

...if not, no time like the present. As a point of reference, this is my second career; started school at 54, I’m 60 now. Many stories on here like mine. It can be done.

Good luck.

Great info G-town, I bought the trucker atlas a couple years ago when I was 62 and going to retire , but decided to stay working here in South Korea until 66 which will be in December. Been researching all the trucker websites and taking all the cdl test etc.....

Planning to be in the US mid-December and attend a school in Indiana and have checked with Carter Express and they seem like a good place to start. Still checking.

These trucking websites and YouTube have a lot of great info !!!!!!!!

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.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Interstate:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Decent Smartphone (Android or Iphone) - decent provider & data plan is going to cover most of your needs. Quality Bluetooth Headset - I like the Blueparrot (though some companies don't even allow voice calls when moving).

There's some stuff you might want for your truck (TV, microwave, etc.) but since you're not getting in for quite some time, and you'll be in someone elses truck for awhile during training - it's not something you should worry about.

Start boning up on the written tests - using the link to the High Road CDL Training Program that G-Town linked to above.

Best of luck - keep us posted...

Rick

Are the written test similar in all states , I will be in Indiana ?

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

Dennis can you show a prospective employer 12 consecutive months of current US driving experience?

They might want to see this as a minimum if you’ve been living overseas for a long period of time.

Dennis R.'s Comment
member avatar

Dennis can you show a prospective employer 12 consecutive months of current US driving experience?

They might want to see this as a minimum if you’ve been living overseas for a long period of time.

I don't know for sure ??? I have kept my Indiana drivers license up to date and visit there every year. But I have been working here in South Korea for 14 years. I have a house and hangar in Indiana and I work on airplanes for a living and my Airframe and Powerplant license, and Inspection Authorization is all with my Indiana address. I am also a pilot with my address in Indiana. I never really thought about proof of driving in the states. I have a Korean drivers license, we have a home in the Philippines and have a Philippine drivers license, I have a international drivers license , all I need now is a fishing license :)

I have been chatting with a recruiter from Carter Express and she told me they work with Sage driving school in Muncie , IN

School is around $4700 and Carter will pay me back $50 per week up to $5000

Training with Carter Express is 6 weeks , 1st week $350...… Next 5 weeks $400 If I quit before 1 year I have to pay $1000 for training.

Then when I go solo it is $0.375 per mile which seems low from what I see but they have nice equipment , no touch freight, running car.

Anderson , IN Romulus, MI Vandalia, OH Laredo, TX Andersonville , TN

They say home every weekend and some through the week, Laredo be gone around 4 days , no biggie as long as I get home for the weekend.

They have around 800 trucks and a lot of cookouts and stuff like that.

They also have a drawing every 90 days with all the drivers who stay safe and give away a Harley :)

There is a guy that worked for them name is Craig Ryan and he has some video's posted on YouTube while working there and seemed like he liked it a lot. He is a retired school teacher.

So far this seems like the best deal at this time with no experience. The school is 60 miles from my house so no big deal driving that for 4 weeks.

Carter Express is 49 miles from my house again no big deal just going to add some driving time to my already long day. But if I am off weekends and home a night or two through the week I can live with that.

Was looking at some of your pics, I think Swift would be okay if I got a dedicated route from the start and a lot of home time.

I have been gone 14 years so I need home time lol

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Dennis, I found it interesting that you are a pilot. When I think about flying compared to truck driving, the old saying comes to mind: "Hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of complete panic"

Sounds like you have thought this through and have a good plan. You should do very well at driving.

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