Possibly New To Trucking. Should I Do It?

Topic 27150 | Page 1

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Michael B.'s Comment
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Need to make a career change. Im thinking about getting my CDL-A. I want to find a local delivery job to be home every night. Its looking like Ill have to sign on with a company sponsored school and owe them time after. I get that. But after completing my contracted OTR time with that company, how likely would I be able to find a local job? Beer distributor or something...

Mike

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

Welcome Michael! Going through Paid CDL Training Programs is the best way to enter the industry. After a year you shouldn't have a problem landing a local job such as beverage or food delivery. Those jobs are very physically demanding and have trouble keeping people. Myself and another remember, yuuyo, began our careers doing local food delivery. I was hired by Performance Food Group (PFG) as a driver apprentice where they put me through school in exchange of a 1 year contract. Yuuyo went through a community college and went to Sysco. I was fortunate to make it through my first year without hitting anything. With beverage delivery they have different divisions. You can see the guys 2 wheeling product into restaurants, then the more senior guys bumping docks delivering pallets to grocery stores. In my area, 2 wheelers are paid hourly and grocery store side is paid around $1100 a week salary. From the guys I've talked to both aspects paid about $55k a year. My first year doing food service I made about 85k. If you want to learn more about the foodservice side of local check out My diary of my first year. There are also local jobs that aren't as physically demanding such as linehaul. Linehaul drivers can make much more than the food guys. It is possible to skip the OTR step but it isnt advised. I went against the advice of our knowledgable, experienced moderators here and was very lucky I didnt have any incidents. OTR helps give you the skills and confidence needed to maneuver a semi in areas you're not designed to be in. Imagine trying to maneuver your rig at sometimes 20+ stops a day AND needing to physically unload 18,000 or more pounds of product using a 2 wheel dolly and ramp.

If you keep your record clean and dont job hop you shouldn't have problems landing something local. Good luck, please stick around and keep us updated on how things go.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I agree with everything Rob said ^^^ it of curiosity where do you live?

Michael B.'s Comment
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Bobcat Bob, I now live in the Bangor, Maine area. Just got her from Phoenix, Arizona

Michael B.'s Comment
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Thanks Rob T. Good info. Ill be reading your diary!

PackRat's Comment
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Bobcat Bob, I now live in the Bangor, Maine area. Just got her from Phoenix, Arizona

Good grief! That's a change in scenery, Michael B.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
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Michael B. That was a switch! I have only driven in Maine twice about 30 years ago. I took those loads because I was stationed at Loring AFB back in 72-78 and wanted to see how much the area changed. It really hadn't. Last time I was in Maine was 2009 when we buried my dad in Biddeford. It was June and really nasty cold. :-P The Reny store owners are a 3d cousin to me. Quaint little stores.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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