Need Recommendations For Getting Started

Topic 27955 | Page 1

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Shiznitz D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks in advance for any input you industry veterans may choose to offer. I am looking to narrow down my list of companies to apply with for getting my trucking career started. I am 59, Desert Storm veteran, moving on from my previous civilian career. Based in Lexington, Ky. Preferences are: Companies with the best introductory packages for military veterans. OTR, refer or dry load (not really interested in flatbed or tankers), with opportunity to travel all 48 states or at least far West on a regular basis. Would probably need a company that has its own training program as I do not have a CDL yet. Companies that allow spouse and pet. Companies without driver-facing cameras. Trucks governed at least 65 mph. My short list at the moment based on my own research with the above preferences in mind is: U.S. Express Roehl Crete Carriers Swift (refrigerated) R.E. West Schneider Millis Wilson Again, thanks very much for any help offered!

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Mr Shiznitz and welcome top Trucking Truth. It sounds like you have been researching this potential new career a bit. Great! First, here is our "starter kit":

The High Road CDL training program will be your first step - it gets you up to speed on the Permit test. Veterans often do get a bit of a better deal. I went to Swift who offers vets free CDL training (the deal means you drive for them a year but no payroll deductions to pay back the tuition. (note: this was 5 years ago, things may be a bit different now.) Other bennies may be a bump in Cents Per Mile or added "seniority" on pay levels. Your recruiters will be able to fill yo in on any given company.

Here is a set of links to help Choose Your First Truck Driving Job:

Any more questions, just post them on the forum!

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.

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.

Remy E.'s Comment
member avatar

Just for the record Wilson company trucks are governed at 62. Lease operators can have it changed to 65. Our trucks do not have cameras but pretty much everyone puts a forward facing camera in for their own piece of mind. You can have other people on your truck but but you have to drive solo for a stint first and probably pay insurance on any passengers. We also allow pets with no size or weight restrictions. If I remember our rule is 4 heartbeats. 2 people 2 animals or 1 person 3 animals. You get the idea. Not trying to recruit you just giving some info for your short list.

Remy E.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh almost forgot. We also have the 1 year deal Errol was talking about at Swift. Not a perk for vets though, just the standard deal. Put in a year and school was free.

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