Rookie Who Can’t Stand Otr Training

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Naj R.'s Comment
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I have a dilemma because I’ve graduated cd school this pass October. I’ve started with prime but the training process has Been tough especially being a woman . The 1st trainer I had was so rude to me and I dealt with him for 2 weeks and then had to wait at a terminal for 2 weeks for another trainer and my 2nd trainer quit because we got stuck in California for a few days due to a snow storm. So I’ve been home contemplating on if I should quit because I really hate otr all over the states and I would like to find something where I can go home every week. I know that it’ll be harder to get but I want to be happy and I’ve been miserable dealing with this training process especially dealing with trainers who are so tactless and mean. I don’t want to hate what I do just for the money and experience. I also don’t know what the next trainer will be like and I will take another chance going out with another person knowing I already have a bad experience with the trainers so I’m kind of over it. I know that I haven’t learned everything I need to know in just a few weeks of training so my only reason for going back would be cause of the money and experience. However I’ll be uncomfortable, and unhappy doing so. I don’t know if it’s worth it. Please give me some advice on what you think the beat option will be. Thanks

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.

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

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Nobody worth driving for is going to hire you with no experience. You will not immediately get into your wanted regional job driving right off the bat with no experience.

The only way to get experience is by driving, and as a brand new hire, you are required to go out with a trainer for a certain amount of time and/or miles. These are the facts.

Trainers are limited in numbers, so you may have to wait to get one. Switching trainers until you find "the perfect one" could eat up months. You need to also realize that the later winter months are going to mean slower freight plus weather delays.

Training for a few months is a very small amount of time, just as sticking it out with your first company for a minimum of one year. Prime is a great company to work for.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Naj,

Forget about the company or the trainers or your experiences so far and let's focus on you for a moment. What is it you really want out of trucking? Why did you want a career in trucking? If you could snap your fingers and do anything you wanted in trucking right now, what would it be?

I'm concerned that if you're so easily disillusioned then you really didn't know what you were getting into or you really didn't want to be there in the first place.

So what goals did you have when you decided to become a truck driver?

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar
I’ve started with prime but the training process has Been tough especially being a woman

Don't use your gender as an excuse. It's tough for everybody in the beginning.

Rick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I picked up a local job, hauling aggregate, right out of CDL school, with no experience. The pay is good, the hours are moderate, the overtime is great, and I'm home every day. When the weather turns nasty we take time off, so there's always breaks (at least in winter). Summer is real busy, apparently we'll drive to the legal limit, but I expect to make enough then to take next winter off.

I love the experience I'm getting. City and highway driving, challenging roads into and out of pits, construction routes constantly changing, steady requirement to change up between using the automatic and manual transmission modes of my truck, learning how to spread various aggregates, etc.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Rick C gets lucky:

I picked up a local job, hauling aggregate, right out of CDL school, with no experience.

PackRat stays realistic:

You will not immediately get into your wanted regional job driving right off the bat with no experience.

Both comments here are not contradictory. It all depends on a company's needs at the moment. Naj, you certainly might find the job you want. I started out driving for Swift as OTR because that's what they do. Within a few months I was offered a line haul assignment where I was home every day (and had 4 days on, 2 days off "work weeks" as well!

The trainer issue you need to work out as others have explained. But your best bet for any job assignment is most commonly through driving at least a few months OTR.

Patience and perseverance will get you whatever kind of work you are looking for.

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.

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.

Line Haul:

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.
000's Comment
member avatar

You are boxed in young lady. If you leave now, you in the hole for whatever amount is on your contract. If I'm not mistaken, Prime has a clause that says you can't drive for anyone else until you pay whatever balance it is, IN FULL!

I'm with you, this OTR is not for everyone. I tried to go regional with 2 different companies & failed miserably. They said I'd have to do OTR until a slot opened on the regional route. Didnt make nearly as much money as I do at Prime, I'm back at Prime on my way to WY where the wind gusts were 40-60 mph today. Yay!

You're got a tough decision to make. Stick it out & get those miles & nice money. Get the experience you need to get hired by a more suitable company that'll fit your needs.

Oh & if I can give you one last piece of advise. The grass is not greener on the other by coincidence, you still have to fertilize & work that grass to make it really green. Remember, no pain, no gain.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Naj R, I don't know your situation and I guess you gotta do what you gotta do but just be aware these licenses can go stale so if you don't get another Group A job within a certain amount of time it may be very difficult to get one at all. The vast majority of people I went through school with and/or went to orientation with either quit or were fired before they had two months on the job and the people I've kept in touch with tell me that after 3 months out of a truck staleness becomes an issue and after 6 months just about everyone they talk to, even the mega-carriers, consider their license to be stale. This is a problem because someone with no experience isn't really an attractive potential hire for many companies so 3 months may sound like a long time to not be able to find a gig but it's really not, unless you're willing to go into training for OTR with an different carrier which puts you right back where you are now.

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.

Naj R.'s Comment
member avatar

I wanted to make money when I decided for a career in trucking. I just don’t care for otr.

Hey Naj,

Forget about the company or the trainers or your experiences so far and let's focus on you for a moment. What is it you really want out of trucking? Why did you want a career in trucking? If you could snap your fingers and do anything you wanted in trucking right now, what would it be?

I'm concerned that if you're so easily disillusioned then you really didn't know what you were getting into or you really didn't want to be there in the first place.

So what goals did you have when you decided to become a truck driver?

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

Naj, very few people "enjoy" the training period. It's everyone's most memorable time of starting their career, and most of the time the memories aren't too good. I had a terrible trainer - he made the experience miserable.

I think you're confusing your training time with what it's like to be an OTR driver. Most people love this life after they get on their own and get to call their own shots. You need to pinpoint what it is that's bothering you.

I love what I'm doing now, but I couldn't have ever said that during my training.

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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