Survey: Your Biggest Worries And Most Important Questions

Topic 27138 | Page 3

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Sean A.'s Comment
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Well I returned to the country a week ago and due to the holidays I’ve only had three days to accomplish anything.. In that short time Ive obtained my DOT physical, my Texas CDL Permit, contacted my recruiter for Wil Trans and submitted the proof needed to set a start date of either the 9th or 16th of this month..

Going to get a little personal but knowing a little bit about the situation will give understanding for some concerns.. I have my ex wife asking if I found a job yet (having only 1 day at the time she asked to actually look for employment.. like seriously!! 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️) if you deal with Texas child support you’ll know what what bs im talking about..

So this brings me to my thought process.. can i bypass the school and otr job opportunity and find someone local to train the hands on I need while earning money quickly, or is it best I jump on a bus to Missouri knowing I wont see any form of income for 30 days while in school but have possibly income coming in at the point???

Im fearful atm as it brings alot of what ifs and of course falling slightly behind on child support is going to occur regardless of what decision is chosen..

I will say if I go to the school I will commit myself to the training and not worry about these concerns for the moment so i can be successful with learning a new profession but id like to hear what others thoughts are ... and what you might do in this situation.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
can i bypass the school and otr job opportunity and find someone local to train the hands on I need while earning money quickly, or is it best I jump on a bus to Missouri knowing I wont see any form of income for 30 days while in school but have possibly income coming in at the point???

Sean, that shortcut plan will never work. Nobody will hire you that way. You've got to get on that bus.

Also, as soon as you can you've got to catch up on your child support. I'm from Texas. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people put in jail for being delinquent on child support. What's even worse, in your case, is that they will very quickly suspend your driver's license. Then you don't have a job.

Get the proper training. Get on top of that child support. Do the right thing!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
What's even worse, in your case, is that they will very quickly suspend your driver's license. Then you don't have a job.

To make matters worse, most companies won't hire anyone who has had a suspension in the past 3 years. So it's not like you can get your license back and you're good to go. You'll find it very difficult to find a job.

Sean A.'s Comment
member avatar

Ive always tried to do right by my kids, ex is a royal pain not willing to work together at all..

Im with ya on trying to catch up the cp as fast as possible.. hence why i came to yall for advice..

Ive researched texas laws on cp and yeah this state is ruthless and don’t even care if u see ur kids or not.. secondly u are correct on license suspensions and of course im thinking if you take my license im not able to work so how much sense does that make..🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ Dumb ass state!!

double-quotes-start.png

can i bypass the school and otr job opportunity and find someone local to train the hands on I need while earning money quickly, or is it best I jump on a bus to Missouri knowing I wont see any form of income for 30 days while in school but have possibly income coming in at the point???

double-quotes-end.png

Sean, that shortcut plan will never work. Nobody will hire you that way. You've got to get on that bus.

Also, as soon as you can you've got to catch up on your child support. I'm from Texas. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people put in jail for being delinquent on child support. What's even worse, in your case, is that they will very quickly suspend your driver's license. Then you don't have a job.

Get the proper training. Get on top of that child support. Do the right thing!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

My biggest worry is whether I am making the right decision. I am making the career change because, like many others, I am burnt out in the corporate world. But will I like trucking better than the corporate world?

My most important questions are:

1. Health insurance. Prime's health insurance becomes effective 90 days after you're officially hired, so how do I cover the gap?

2. Will I get accepted to orientation? I want to work for Prime for several reasons. But I will apply at several companies.

3. Will I get a bad trainer? I don't see many posts about good trainers.

4. Will I survive the training phase, even if a get a good trainer?

5. Will I survive my first year without making a career ending mistake?

6. Will I like the OTR lifestyle? Being away from home doesn't bother me in concept, but I won't know until I experience it.

7. Will the OTR lifestyle put too much strain on my marriage? My wife is supportive, but we won't know until we experience it.

8. Can I handle the flatbed physical requirements and harsh weather?

9. Will I make a mistake that will get me fired?

10. Will I make the money I need without pushing my schedule so hard that I'm always stressed out? There are many posts about the lease ops and owner operators trainers who are always stressed out because they are always anxious about keeping moving. And there are other posts about the go go go pace.

11. Will I have time to do things other just drive, sleep, eat? I don't need a lot of time for my hobbies,

12. Will I be able to manage my schedule so that I can explore some of the places I travel?

13. Will something beyond my control like health problems keep me from driving? I am generally healthy, but I have read many posts where people have lost their medical card. What happened to Bruce?

14. Will I have good support from my FM and company?

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Fm:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Sean, we'd love to see you succeed as a truck driver. That's why we're here. One of the most critical traits for truck drivers is a fierce sense of personal responsibility. I'd love to see you step up to the next level and own your responsibilities. No excuses, no blame, and no settling for less. Be the rock that people can count on when it really matters. You've got it in you. You just have to raise your game to the next level.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

These lists have been fantastic! You guys are coming through like you always do. I have a master list of questions I'm assembling from this conversation and it's growing fast. Please, keep em coming!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Sean A.'s Comment
member avatar

Ill add something thats stays on topic.. ive read truckers truth explanation on truckers per diem as well as researched it elsewhere.. says after the tax reform company drivers don’t receive per diem UNLESS the company u work for has an alternate plan.. But it seems all confusing so can someone dumb it down for the newbies that don’t understand the jargon??

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

DMF's Comment
member avatar

Brett, once again I can not thank you enough for this forum and the CDL study material. I have been through it all once, and now just review prior to taking my exam on the 10th this month. It is my intention to test and obtain all endorsements short of public transportation. ( I did read where that endorsement came in handy for you, but for grins I spent a morning riding our Mass Transit, it is not for me. )

The biggest concern I have currently is managing HOS. What I thought would be a rather straight forward equation, in fact is not, or at least it is not in my mind just yet. The examples and samples provided here are excellent and present the material in a manner I can learn from; however, for the life of me they do not present these elements: Specified time of arrival or departure, weather, traffic, unexpected roadside inspection or the countless mishaps that occur in life. All causing delay or worse, being late.

Managing my time correctly is my biggest concern. From the outside looking in, there are a number of moving parts/players in getting a load from point A to B, and only a few that I can control personally. Doing my part correctly is what I am after. Not sure there is an answer to this, with the exception of time and experience. But it is a concern, to fit my task within the framework of someone else’s time table.

I do own an Atlas, and it is filled with a wealth of information. That being said, a Garmin is on its way to me. I am old enough that travel with a map was once the only option, but GPS, weather/traffic reports, and truck stops miles ahead are all types information I wish to know.

Again, thank you. I certainly would not have made it this far comfortably without this site.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hey Sean, I just realized that "do the right thing" comment may have sounded like I thought you were a lousy Dad. Forgive me, that wasn't my intent. I was really thinking of keeping the big picture in mind on getting your training done. Always think long term when making trucking decisions. You'll be way ahead of the game by sticking with Wil-Trans for your training and rookie year. Honestly, that was my thinking. I just didn't have the time to expand on my thoughts.

Hang in there - and welcome to Texas!

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

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