Trucking As A New Career.

Topic 26479 | Page 1

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Bernard P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone. Foremost would like to say hello to everyone in the community. I am a 31-year-old healthy male from Florida. However, I am particularly hard of hearing and I wear glasses and hearing aides too. I have no wife and no kids. I live alone. I am a good driver with a clean record. I've wanted to be a trucker since I was a kid but never did it because of doubt. I love to drive.

I passed the CDL permit exam on first try general knowledge, air brakes and combination vehicles. And I start school later this month. I have a few concerns, however...

I spoke to a "friend" who after the discussion wasn't much of a friend, anyway. To put it nicely, she advised I don't do trucking because I'll be "working at McDonald's after 6 months" and that she never saw more than $400 weekly as a trucker for swift and Werner. To be honest, I've never seen over 9 dollars an hour from a job. So her idea of big money and mine (as a minimalist) are two different things.

She also pointed out that companies are reluctant to hire people with corrective lens on their license. And will make my chances of finding work worse because I have hearing aides? I passed the DOT with flying colors. The doctor just told me to make sure I have enough hearing aides batteries for my trip.

Also because I live alone, I have a dog whose registered as a service dog to alert me of noises I wouldn't be able to hear while I am asleep without my aides on. Will trucking companies allow me to bring my dog with me to my OTR trips?

I know what I am in for and I want to do it. No family. No 'home" so to speak. Live the lone wolf life. So I'm ok with the distance. I just want to be given a fair opportunity after schooling.

Opinions are appreciated.

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.

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

DOT:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Amazing everything she said is wrong...

What are her credentials for her too make such bold claims?

If you prove to be even semi reliable you will have no problem beating 400 a week.

As for the glasses and hearing aides if you passed the DOT physical you should be ok most places a few companies might have stricter requirements but I do not forsee it bring a problem. With out my glasses I can not see let alone drive and I have had no problem getting hired by 2 good companies.

DOT:

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.

Bernard P.'s Comment
member avatar

She said she has a CDL A with x endorsement. The stuff she was telling me was off tho. Like you can only drive for 8 hours daily? I read it's 14 on and 10 off.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I have a CDL A with a X and T do believe me when I say thats wrong.

The rules are 14 hours on duty 11 of which can be spent driving. You have to take a mandatory break within the first 8 hours on duty maybe that is what she meant. And yes you have to have 10 consecutive hours off duty

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.
Bernard P.'s Comment
member avatar

Although it's tough finding work do you think I'll be able to find a company willing to work with my accomodations? I really don't need to see a whole lot of money to be happy. Just enough to live off of. So I wouldn't have problems sticking with one company that is willing to give me a chance.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Bernard!

Will trucking companies allow me to bring my dog with me to my OTR trips?

Yes, most companies will allow the dog, but not all. You'll have to discuss that with each company you consider.

she never saw more than $400 weekly as a trucker for swift and Werner

Bernard, one of the big problems people face when they're considering a new career, is finding good advice. That is why this website exists. There is an appalling amount of misinformation out there about trucking, and most of it comes from people who either don't have what it takes or aren't willing to do what it takes to thrive in this industry. Those types often believe that someone else or something in their environment is responsible for their poor performance or their subpar results. They never shoulder the responsibility for the outcome of their endeavors. They blame, complain, and criticize constantly. If they had taken responsibility for their own success they would have improved their skill set and found the motivation to perform at a high level.

Never take advice from someone that hasn't had a sustained level of success in their career field, nor from someone who didn't enjoy their work. If you want to be happy and successful, you need advice from someone who has found it themselves.

Here is a podcast I did about this topic:

Episode 19: You're Getting Career Advice From The Wrong People

Notice your friend even changed companies and still couldn't find success. Those are both elite companies, two of the largest and most successful in the nation. Doesn't it stand to reason that both companies had all of the tools necessary to turn big miles, make great money, and enjoy your career? Of course they did. Yet your friend couldn't manage to make it happen, even with the right tools and as part of a highly successful team.

Nowadays the average first-year driver makes around $45,000, with some making as much as $55,000. We have quite a number of drivers with a few years of experience that are in the range of $70,000 - $80,000. You can make fantastic money in this career, but it's a performance-based career and a lot of people fall way short of that mark. If you learn your trade and you're highly ambitious you'll be at the top of the pay scale. If you're unable or unwilling to perform at a high level you'll never make top money no matter where you work.

Go through our truck driver's career guide. That's a great place to start if you want to understand this career.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Bernard, I love guys like you that have a few disadvantages and yet still have a positive attitude and a humble spirit. By all means, if you get a CDL you will be able to find a job. Comparing truck driving to what you make working at McDonalds is a complete misrepresentation. As a rookie, I was on pace to make $50,000 my first year. Keep in mind that if you drive OTR , your living expenses can be drastically reduced. That's a whole topic all by itself. So that $50,000 or $60,000 or whatever, goes much farther. And it sounds like you have the qualities needed to be very successful and happy as a driver. Keep us posted as you progress!

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Bernard, just remember each company is going to have you go through their own physical. It's quite possible the hearing aids will be an issue with some of them. Just have a conversation upfront with them so they know you're using them. Somebody will hire you, but you are going to have some of them pass you over. Just keep plugging away.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

To give you a little hope, I have hearing aids for both ears. Although I can get along without them and rarely wear them. Just don’t ask me to find an air leak or any other high pitched noise. As a bonus, the sounds of trucks and reefers running is not so loud as some people claim, lol. More of a gentle vibration.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

As a suggestion you could give H. O. Wolding a try. You are technically outside of the hiring area, but there is plenty of freight going to Tampa and Sarasota areas. You just may need to do OTR instead of Regional.

H. O. Wolding does allows dogs after training is complete and you upgrade to solo. You just have to pay a pet fee. So boarding your pet for 4-6 weeks will be a necessity.

Wolding is a great company. The family atmosphere there is second to none.

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.

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