J.B. Hunt First Year Otr And The Struggle

Topic 26205 | Page 1

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BucketHead's Comment
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Ok guys i said the other day I’d post about my first year otr with jb hunt. So grab your glasses and a beverage or two this might take a while.

To start with I started local getting my cdl employer helped with that. Gave them 10 months as a cdl a driver three years total. I had enough moved on out in 5 apps one here jb hunt was the first to call. My 33rd birthday was an eventful day. Quit one job at lunch had another by quitting time. But that’s another story. But I quickly found out that everything in the trucking industry is fast paced. When all this happened mind you I had never been in. Sleeper truck or used an eld only seen them through the window when I was unloading trucks and the lumberyard. Yes I started at the very bottom loading trucks pulling orders not that’s a bad thing. It helped me unknowingly learn about weight distribution. The tues after mother’s day I caught a bus for orientation three days lunch and breakfast provided I lucked up got a room to my self. Passed the hair and pee test took my road test and smith training. Skip to last day we split up by accounts intermodal dedicated and truckload or otr out of 20 to of us were truckload. I got to see the eld went over a few thing got a buss ride home. Before I had left the buss terminal my fm called and had me a truck in Atlanta I hit the road in a rental the next day. Found my truck moved in took the rental back had to get directions to get out of the major city of an airport. And came the culture shock and one million questions. Like a cab cost 40 bucks to go ten miles. Of my precious last 100 that had to last till my first check. Thank god for ramen and pb&j. I didn’t even know if I could idle the truck that nite but it was hot so I took a chance and did.

Got my first load a beer load grabbed an empty with a flat put it back then got sent down the road for one. Got to the shipper down there got checked in did my drop and hook scales out for the next for hours couldn’t remember the weights didn’t really have a understanding of it neither but the gentlemen on the inbound side helped me out and who I I thank every time I’m down there. Drove 100 miles and shutdown had to call my mentor help!!!! 400 miles seemed impossible. We went over trip planning the whole night. Luckily I made otd the day after. They took it easy on me for a bit lots of open windows on drops to help me in the grove of things that first week I probably quit 1000 times and was more lost and lonely then I ever thought possible. But this website here that your reading this on is what helped me along from questions advice and sometimes just knowing that I’m not the first to make that mistake nor will I be the last. Like all the nasty people on the cb or going into the out of the truckstop and instantly feeling like the biggest fool in the world. I’ve even went in the car side thank goodness it wasn’t a busy road that was a back out situation.

Little farther down the road 3 months almost I’m getting a good grasp of things my fm moved on I’m floating around between whoever till I get another I’m on a rest area reset boy are those hours of service tough on a new driver thought I had recaps boy was I wrong. Phone rings hey we have an offer they were running a program where all I had to Day was give up dention pay layover short haul and mileage bonus for a base pay of 900 gross and if I broke 2000 mile I’d get .55 cpm for all miles I started at .44cpm so I was all over that because at this point I had learned that 2000 wAs an easy number and now had a goal of no less if humanly possible. Only this program I’ll also get paid for home time as long as it was earned home time anything else they asked I used pto. That was supposed to end in December I’m still getting it guess I’m doing ok.

Got an fm with the program and started building a relationship ship with him great guy miss him now but the good ones move on I still will message him from time to time just to say hi. Still struggling along 6 months in my backing is way better when I was local I pulled a 48 ft flat bed tandems back with a lift I could put that thing anywhere add 5ft sides and tandems that are some different every load it was like starting over but with a good idea of how things worked. At this point I had also learned that on 77 through west va that there is a Mtn that the way the road is cut into it looks like your going down and not up I thought I had broke my truck I pulled over checked things out watched other trucks crawl by and tried again it was when I released my brakes that I noticed I was trying to roll back and it clicked. Felt dumb again this was probably more like weeks two out but I’m trying here so bear with me.

I also learned that there’s not a lot of parking there and to find a spot you need and early start I slept next to a ford dealership on a side street because Walmart said no overnight and I was down to minutes. I also felt that if I did violate a dot officer would come from under the bed with I ticket the second it happened. Wrong again but I did find out that when you do you will get a very stern talking to about the dangers and costs of it if you do it again. See part two for the rest.


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.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


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.


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.


Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".


Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

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