The Way I See It

Topic 26942 | Page 1

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Danny O.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok, I've been researching how to obtain a CDL intensively for a year now. The way I see it, I have 4 viable options

OTR mega carrier training school (under a contract, or pay the mega carrier off) Be a dock worker for around a year or so and then get trained and contracted (or pay them off) Obtain a class B and then transfer to a class A Go to a local trucking school and pay off loan

I've decided I don't want to go OTR but that leaves me with either working for some place such as XPO or YRC and being left on most likely some sort of year long wait list to obtain a CDL and then having to work for them under contract. Or, I could go through a school but that would impact me financially having to get a loan or fork out a few thousand dollars for a school. I guess my real question is, are my assumptions about dock to driver positions correct? Putting in a few months to a year or two on the dock and then getting hired as a driver under contract? Do local companies that train drivers right away even exist?

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

The way I see it is that anybody who has been "researching how to obtain a CDL intensively for a year now" isn't seriously interested in becoming a professional driver. It seems you've exhausted your research and couldn't come up with an easy way to get in the career without having some skin in the game. You don't want to make any commitment of money or time and you don't want to go OTR to develop a sense of how this career is managed.

You seem to just be hoping somebody will hand you the keys to their valuable 80,000 pound rolling asset, and trust you to do a good job with it.

Do local companies that train drivers right away even exist?

I don't know of any. There's just not an insurance company that's willing to cover new drivers doing local work like that at any kind of rate that allows the company to make a profit.

If you want to be a local driver you've got to have some experience. You don't seem to be willing to get the kind of experience they want. Unfortunately that year of intensive research got you nowhere. You could have spent that year getting your trucking experience established at one of the many Paid CDL Training Programs. You'd have one year of experience established and you could easily get hired on a local position. So, maybe you need to rethink your approach to this career.

Why You Should Not Start Your Trucking Career As A Local Driver

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
I guess my real question is, are my assumptions about dock to driver positions correct? Putting in a few months to a year or two on the dock and then getting hired as a driver under contract? Do local companies that train drivers right away even exist?

why wait a couple more years doing dock work before you even have a chance? A member here, Banks, did that through FedEx and hes been able to do a few runs but he primarily works the dock. Just take a year and do OTR. If you dont like it then try to find something local. You will be in a much better position to find a position where you meet the qualifications and have a solid foundation to help you improve. I started local and got lucky I didnt have any accidents. It isnt difficult to do when most of your driving is in urban areas with heavy traffic and trying to make 10-20 stops a day depending on who you drive for. I made it through my first year and a half unscathed and now have a super easy job making excellent pay. Turtle, one of our moderators, just got hired on by Walmart which is one of the best paying trucking jobs in the industry in part by keeping a clean record. You really should consider OTR for a year so u can start getting the experience needed to make yourself more desirable for a local company that fits exactly what you're looking for, if thats your goal.

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Right now our dock to driver program has a back log of people who got their CDLs through it, but due to freight being slower this year they are not filling all the driver openings right away. Once there is an opening they are not doing any outside hiring.

Not sure every company is having the same problem but call your local LTL terminals and find out.

If they are backlogged I would suggest doing a year OTR and trying again. There may be openings and you'd already have experience which would be a plus.

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.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Danno, with your negative attitude of being "forced" to jump through hoops just to get a CDL , I suggest you should find another line of work - one that doesn't require serious training in order to handle dangerous and expensive equipment on public roads.

There's a reason for this training, and since you really don't want to be saddled with the expense, try investigating some other career.

-> I <- might sound a bit negative, but if you are hesitate to take up responsibility for the training, it's not for you. If you had really "been researching how to obtain a CDL intensively for a year now", you would know what you need to do to get into this career, and what it takes to be successful.

Your desire to not drive OTR is a common one. But as a wet-behind-the-ears rookie, getting those OTR miles is the best training you'll get. Once you've proven that you can handle 40 tons and 70 get off vehicle, then you'll have a better choice in what you really want to do.

If you noticed, Old School, Rob, Bobcat and I are unanimous in pointing you toward OTR. And the most efficient way to do this is to sign up for a Paid CDL Training Program. And since there's no such thing as a free lunch, just drive for the same company to pay of the school tuition. You won't be disappointed.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

If you had gone to school and run OTR in the amount of time you've been trying to convince yourself not to do it, you'd be finished before the end of 2019.

Why procrastinate for so long? Get in or get out. There's no halfway in this profession.

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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