From Oilfield To OTR. Questions And Concerns.

Topic 27834 | Page 1

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Allen V.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings Trucking Truth folks. Over the last year or so, I have been contemplating a career change from the oilfields to OTR driving, but, I do have questions. First off a little about the noob here; I have had my A CDL for quite a few years, (X endorsement) always maintain a current med card, no accidents/ citations/ OOS violations on my record. The vast majority of my paycheck come from when my wheels aren't turning, a complete 180 from the OTR standpoint, therefore although I do drive a tractor/ trailer I don't accumulate very many miles, don't trip plan, in the sense of what y'all do, etc.

I guess my questions are, someone that has CDL, but, has no experience OTR, what companies would be a good fit for training? I would not feel comfortable just hopping into a tractor and taking a load to wherever because I don';t have that experience. I would really need some sort of orientation/ training into OTR driving. Don't get me wrong, I know how to pre-trip, drive a tractor, the basics, but, what I have done with my CDL is night and day different than what the professional drivers do on a day to day basis. Hopefully that makes sense.

So far I have spoken to two companies with complete different answers. Company #1, told me that I would start with them, just like any new student obtaining their CDL. I would sign a contract and have to work for them for a year, while my schooling is paid off. Please don't get me wrong, because I'm not looking for entitlement, but, I really don't see why I would go through another school to obtain my CDL, because I already have it. I'm just looking for some on the job training, ride with a traininer for a bit and whatnot. Is that how most of the major companies do it in my case with little experience? If I'm wrong, I'll accept it, but, I hate to pay for something I already have.

Company #2, They need team drivers and can start me in as little as a week. That kind of offsets what I'm looking for as far as a little bit of training, because my co-driver would be asleep while I drive and vise versa. Nothing to really gain there.

I'm just seeking some guidance on a career change, and hoping some of y'all seasoned veterans can give me some advice.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings BACK AT YA, Allen V. ~!

I'll say this: you've come to the BEST place for advice, and I'm sure some of the veteran drivers of the forum will reply shortly...myself, I just wanted to welcome you!

Some companies DO have what they call a 'refresher' course, which is more/less orientation for perhaps a week, and then out with a trainer. Not sure of costs and such...but I'm pretty sure someone who knows, will chime in. Schneider had this program a while back, for one, probably still does, as do many others. As far as teaming; that's an individual preference; one that many don't care for.

Use our search bar at the top of the page, or go through the BLOGS on the main page, regarding team training and driving, for more info in the mean time. I just wanted to say:

0507231001584654343.jpg

Jeffry T.'s Comment
member avatar

I believe because you have no otr experience or recent otr experience most any company is going to want you to have the required 160 hours of training to satisfy the insurance companies. When I attended cdl school through the roehl driver training program there were 2 people from your circumstances in our class. While they already knew how to operate the tractor trailer they were both still able to learn new things. It's not all that bad anyway a one year commitment isn't a very long period anyway. In this industry you are still very green after a year and it is highly recommended that you stay with your first otr employer for at least that amount of time anyway.

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.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Allen, welcome to the forum. I hope I’m able to help you out. I can only speak for Schneider, as they’re the only company I have experience with. If you were to join our tanker division, your training would last about 10-12 days. Orientation as an experienced driver would take about two days, driving tests one day, and training on their process of offloading liquid chemicals would take about a week. If you were to join their dry-van division, I would expect that time to be a few days less. As an experienced driver, of which you would need to provide references, you would not spend time training/retraining for your CDL , nor would you spend time driving with a trainer. Hope this helps, and best of luck with your new OTR venture.

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.

Allen V.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the responses so far and Pete B. that is really what i'm looking for. So, many companies are out there, I don't even know where to start. There are so many things that professional drivers do, that I've never had too, or, just done very differently. (E-logs for instance, we run our logs significantly different than pro drivers) I have been searching the threads, watching a lot of YouTube videos, etc. trying to get a little more insight. Definitely appreciate everything so far.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Allen, I suppose running OTR might be a huge change from what you’re used to, but don’t overthink it. The more ‘research’ you do on the internet webs, the more conflicting and confusing information you’re likely to get. Whatever company you choose, they’ll train you on the ELD during orientation. You probably already understand the concept of the Hours Of Service; logging your hours on an electronic device won’t be that complicated. Your biggest decision here may be what you want to pull... dry vans, refeers, flatbeds, or tankers... then what companies are hiring from your area, home time, sign-on bonuses, etc.

I’ll save you some time: quit the YouTube videos, internet searches.., I did it all for four months, and ended up reading the heck out of the material found right here on this website. The reviews are honest, there’s no negative BS from disgruntled or disillusioned drivers, and you’ll find a plethora of experienced drivers who are more than happy to share their insight with you. Good luck, and please let us know how things turn out.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Allen V.'s Comment
member avatar

Again, great advice, thanks Pete B. I did a lot of searching Trucking Truth, and found the trucking companies review section and that was a goldmine of info for me. I plan on contacting Prime, Maverick and Schneider (based on proximity to where I live and reading posts about those 3 companies) and will continue looking at other companies as well.

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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