Current Class B Driver Considering A Class A Career

Topic 27689 | Page 2

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PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Almost everywhere I've worked has been more than 250 miles from my home terminal.

The only concern is your hone if record being within the company's hiring area.

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.

RWD's Comment
member avatar

Ahh ok, well I guess I have some more research to do if I decide to go with a company agreement. Small world too, Gulfport is the neighboring city to where I live. Knight was also recommended to me from someone here too. Thanks man.

Jay F.'s Comment
member avatar

RWD

I have an auto restriction as well. Our fleet is over 100 trucks and all are auto. I had basically zero experience, I applied for hundreds of cdl B jobs. I live in charlotte nc and the area is booming. Most of them all pay 18 plus an hour. It doesn’t have to be cement. Check out indeed and other job boards.

One other thing is like to touch on is private school. I went against the advice of this group and went to private school. I understand why they recommend company training. A lot of people don’t do their homework go to private school, and have some sort of record that keeps them from getting hired. I have a clean record, and didn’t want to commit to a contract. Which brings me to my next point. All these guys give great advice but one thing I don’t understand is they readily admit 90-95 percent fail at OTR , why push people into something where if and when they fail they will have a 6-7000 dollar bill hanging over their head.

I paid 2850 for my schooling. There was a kid that was in school with me that was signed up with Stevens transport. They paid for his schooling. He lasted 4 weeks, and the very next day after quitting he had an email wanting 7,600 dollars for his schooling. I have the email he sent it to me. I didn’t want that. I found out that OTR wasn’t for me, but 2850 is a lot better than 7600. I also wasn’t bound by a no compete clause and could go to work with my current company

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.

Dm:

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

RWD

All these guys give great advice but one thing I don’t understand is they readily admit 90-95 percent fail at OTR , why push people into something where if and when they fail they will have a 6-7000 dollar bill hanging over their head.

I'll give you one of the biggest reasons why people quit in the first three months. It's because they spend more time researching a few cents per mile difference, or the color of the trucks, or how many days a week they can have off, or if they will have to train with someone that may not give them a hug every single time the trainee does what he or she has been told.

What these same wannabes should be doing is soul-searching, asking good questions on here, listening to those that know what we speak of, and being honest with themselves as far as the trucking lifestyle (not a job) will truly affect them.

Those that don't do adequate research, those that don't do the TT High Road Training Program, those that don't read Brett's book, and those that jump into this on a whim without committing everything to success are the ones that are most likely to fail.

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.

Dm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

RWD

All these guys give great advice but one thing I don’t understand is they readily admit 90-95 percent fail at OTR , why push people into something where if and when they fail they will have a 6-7000 dollar bill hanging over their head.

double-quotes-end.png

I'll give you one of the biggest reasons why people quit in the first three months. It's because they spend more time researching a few cents per mile difference, or the color of the trucks, or how many days a week they can have off, or if they will have to train with someone that may not give them a hug every single time the trainee does what he or she has been told.

What these same wannabes should be doing is soul-searching, asking good questions on here, listening to those that know what we speak of, and being honest with themselves as far as the trucking lifestyle (not a job) will truly affect them.

Those that don't do adequate research, those that don't do the TT High Road Training Program, those that don't read Brett's book, and those that jump into this on a whim without committing everything to success are the ones that are most likely to fail.

I worked on a cruise ship. I did a lot of reading, but it didn’t prepare me for it. When I was training on land for 3 weeks I asked workers that had worked on board questions they would simply respond ship life. I could try to explain it to you now, but until you experience it all I can say is ship life.

I feel the same way about trucking. You can read all you want, but until you drive the truck. back the truck. wait To get loaded. wait to get unloaded. try to find parking. Deal with weather. Deal with dispatchers. Etc etc etc you won’t understand. All I can say is truck life. You gotta be out there to see what it’s like, and let’s be honest it takes a very specific type of person to do the job. Its definitely not for everyone. I’d just hate to see someone be on the hook like my buddy from school is.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

Dm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
All these guys give great advice but one thing I don’t understand is they readily admit 90-95 percent fail at OTR , why push people into something where if and when they fail they will have a 6-7000 dollar bill hanging over their head.

First off that high percentage of failure is not related to OTR. It's just related to truck driving in general. Jay, you have only your own limited experience to go by, and it's extremely rudimentary. You've done a lot of things we don't consider as "best practices" when starting this career. So far it's working for you, and we are glad of it.

I would never recommend starting out driving a concrete truck, or a dump truck. Those jobs have killed a lot of trucking careers. As soon as a minivan full of little kids slams on the breaks in front of you while you've got 10 yards of mud loaded, you'll understand why I think those jobs are terribly dangerous for rookies.

We teach best practices. You took a shortcut to what you wanted. That's fine, but please don't be thinking you've got some super secret formula for success that needs to be shouted from the roof tops. So far you've been fortunate. I hope that trend continues.

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.

Dm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks Jay for your input on the matter. I'm honestly still on the fence whether to do private school or join a company. Unfortunately I didn't receive a call back from the recruiters I applied for today, but I'm sure they will come. Unfortunately where I live in Mississippi, pay is pretty low. Most concrete, class B jobs pay $15 or less. Trust me I've checked indeed for awhile, even previous to my last job, it's about $15/hour or under. If I could get $18, i may go for it but I figure I could make much more money with a class A here. I mean anyone here can say what they want, but at the end of the day I know people here straight out of TDI making more way more than $15/hour so I know it's possible.

The only reason I am considering company sponsored training is because of the advice from members here. Before I felt like it was a trap, but I'm read their replies carefully and am taking that into consideration. I try to be open minded, not stuck in my ways and get into arguments with the experience folks here about how I'm right. Ultimately they know more than I do and I'm taking that into serious consideration.

At the same time, I have high recommendations from friends, one that's been doing this for 5+ years, speaks highly of our private school here and once again, it's right by my home. I really like the idea of being able to do my training and going home to my own house at night, especially when after all is said and done, I'll need to hop on a truck for several months with a driver mentor. I feel it makes the whole learning process a lot easier than going to a company, staying in their motel possibly with another student, sharing a room, then straight after hopping on a truck with a trainer for several months. I just like the idea of being able to have a bit of an easier ride in a private school and being able to go home every night. At least it takes 3 weeks off the bill of staying in motels with other people and the inconvenience that comes with it. Like I said before, I'm a lone wolf type, like to be on my own. I know I gotta do my time with a trainer in the truck, but if I can minimize the inconvenience with a private school by being able to travel from home to school each day easily and feel a bit more comfortable, that is actually important to me regardless of what people think.

All in all, I am taking serious consideration what the experienced guys here have said, as well as you Jay. I'm on the fence, going to wait until these recruiters call me back and see what they have to say. Yes, I'm aware recruiters will say almost anything to recruit you, but hey, I need to see who is willing to take me on before I make a decision anyways. Once again, thanks for all the advice and replies, and hopefully I make the right choice in the end.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

RWD's Comment
member avatar

I mean, honestly I don't think your example of why not to start Class B concrete truck is completely true. I mean, the same could happen in any vehicle, a semi, a 4-wheeler or even a motorcycle which I enjoy riding. When you take the Class B CDL tests, you're taught proper following distances, you're taught the basic safety procedures just the same as any other license. It's on the driver/rookie to abide by these precautions to avoid the situation of having that van full of children slam on the breaks and ending their career. I mean it makes no different than a rookie driver straight out of Class A school having to pay attention to the same thing and abide to a proper following distance to avoid this situation when they're hauling a load.

So basically I don't agree that someone shouldn't start off as Class B concrete driver due to a minivan full of many kids slamming on the brakes with all due respect to your experience. I base it solely on the driver, their tendencies and how well they abide by the things they have been taught in order to get their CDL. I don't disagree that those jobs are terribly dangerous for rookies, I just don't see how it could be any more dangerous driving a fully loaded semi-truck in the same situation, without proper following distance or care and precaution to avoid the situation. I feel like if a driver slammed into a minivan full of kids and ended his/her career, the same probably would have happened in a semi truck anyways considering they probably weren't following protocol included with receiving their license. Obviously **** happens on the road, I get it, but I don't think the type of truck you're driving matters as much as portrayed here.

double-quotes-start.png

All these guys give great advice but one thing I don’t understand is they readily admit 90-95 percent fail at OTR , why push people into something where if and when they fail they will have a 6-7000 dollar bill hanging over their head.

double-quotes-end.png

First off that high percentage of failure is not related to OTR. It's just related to truck driving in general. Jay, you have only your own limited experience to go by, and it's extremely rudimentary. You've done a lot of things we don't consider as "best practices" when starting this career. So far it's working for you, and we are glad of it.

I would never recommend starting out driving a concrete truck, or a dump truck. Those jobs have killed a lot of trucking careers. As soon as a minivan full of little kids slams on the breaks in front of you while you've got 10 yards of mud loaded, you'll understand why I think those jobs are terribly dangerous for rookies.

We teach best practices. You took a shortcut to what you wanted. That's fine, but please don't be thinking you've got some super secret formula for success that needs to be shouted from the roof tops. So far you've been fortunate. I hope that trend continues.

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.

Dm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I don't think the type of truck you're driving matters as much as portrayed here.

We aren't trying to convince anybody that driving an eighteen wheeler OTR is the only way to be a truck driver. On the contrary, the beauty of this career is that there are a ton of different types of jobs available that suit the many differing needs of drivers. I think I stated this earlier - we teach best practices concerning getting your trucking career started. The best way to do that is usually by making a one year commitment to an OTR job.

We have repeatedly seen the results of people starting their careers in local trucking jobs. It often doesn't end well. It's got so many more challenges to it, and way less forgiveness. Your confusing types of trucks with types of jobs. We only want to help you guys succeed. That's our only motivation. I get nothing for my willingness to help you. It doesn't affect me if you crash a truck at a local job and then find out nobody's interested in you after that.

We give you the truth. We can't force you to follow the best path. When we see a new person survive jumping from an airplane with no parachute we're impressed. When they start telling others to try the same approach simply because it worked for them, we speak up and start trying to make people think a little.

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.

Jay F.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

All these guys give great advice but one thing I don’t understand is they readily admit 90-95 percent fail at OTR , why push people into something where if and when they fail they will have a 6-7000 dollar bill hanging over their head.

double-quotes-end.png

First off that high percentage of failure is not related to OTR. It's just related to truck driving in general. Jay, you have only your own limited experience to go by, and it's extremely rudimentary. You've done a lot of things we don't consider as "best practices" when starting this career. So far it's working for you, and we are glad of it.

I would never recommend starting out driving a concrete truck, or a dump truck. Those jobs have killed a lot of trucking careers. As soon as a minivan full of little kids slams on the breaks in front of you while you've got 10 yards of mud loaded, you'll understand why I think those jobs are terribly dangerous for rookies.

We teach best practices. You took a shortcut to what you wanted. That's fine, but please don't be thinking you've got some super secret formula for success that needs to be shouted from the roof tops. So far you've been fortunate. I hope that trend continues.

First off I’m not shouting it from the rooftops. This gentleman is a special example. He has truck driving experience. Here in charlotte driving similar style trucks pays well, however he lives in a rural area, and the jobs aren’t as plentiful. At the time I didn’t know that. Now I do.

As for private vs sponsored school. Regardless the failure rate is high. Everyone in this group pushes hard for sponsored school.(makes me think the referral/recruiting fees from these links are pretty high) the thing I don’t see mentioned is hey while this is a great route, if you fail to complete it. you will be on the hook for a substantial amount of money. It’s not like only 2-3 percent are failing because they went to a company sponsored school. We both know it’s still really really high.

As for me. I know I’m extremely fourtunate. You’re right cement trucks aren’t easy to drive. (They have the highest rollover rate in the industry) I have way less braking power for almost the same amount of weight. What I do know OTR wasn’t for me. I’m glad I did it my way, because I was able to pay for school out of pocket. And 2850 is better than 5-7000 no matter how you slice it.

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.

Dm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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