A New Career

Topic 27972 | Page 1

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Greg P.'s Comment
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Over the New Year's holiday, I had the opportunity to help my friend move to Florida by driving her stuff down to Florida. I really enjoyed it and after having been questioning my job, I'm wondering if it's time for a change. I know one time for fun isn't representative of a career, but I want to learn to more if it might be a good fit.

I'm 34, single, no kids, no pets, I do own a home though. I've always liked traveling and driving, so in that sense, the OTR role appeals to me, esp if I could get some work driving between the South and the west. I think I would be pretty comfortable with the downtime aspects as well. I also don't mind working weekends. While the OTR role does appeal to me, I'm not really interested in team driving, although I do know and accept that it's part of the training process to operate with someone.

Couple things I'm curious about if expectations are unrealistic.

I know there are hours of service rules that require rests and resets. Is it possible to set it up so you could take these while away from home and thus be able to do some sightseeing while on my rest days?

Since it sounds like owner-operator isn't an option to start, (and I've seen videos about how bad lease-own is) how much can you customize your truck from a company, in terms of things like adding a tv, microwave, or even one of those small chemical toilets?

Doing some reading, it looks like it's possible to be able to shower at least once every two days while. This is something that's important to me.

It's a big decision, but it's something that has been on my mind since January.

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.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Couple things I'm curious about if expectations are unrealistic.

I know there are hours of service rules that require rests and resets. Is it possible to set it up so you could take these while away from home and thus be able to do some sightseeing while on my rest days?

Yes you can. You just need to work it out with your load planner/dispatcher/driver manager.

Since it sounds like owner-operator isn't an option to start, (and I've seen videos about how bad lease-own is) how much can you customize your truck from a company, in terms of things like adding a tv, microwave, or even one of those small chemical toilets?

Depends on the company. They put in an inverter and I have a Family Dollar coffee pot and a Hot Logic slow cooker. Next time I get the truck washed, I'm putting on Air Force Veteran 12" decals. My company allows pets with no restrictions but a lit of companies restrict size and type of pets (no snakes, birds, etc.)

Doing some reading, it looks like it's possible to be able to shower at least once every two days while. This is something that's important to me.

You can shower every day if you want and have the shower credits (50-75 gals earn a shower) or you pay for it. Being old with driver skin, I shower every 2-3 days in winter and 2 days in summer. I pull a reefer with the same trailer, so not as much work for me.

It's a big decision, but it's something that has been on my mind since January.

Answered in the comments

Laura

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.

Driver Manager:

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to Trucking Truth, take a look at these links especially Brett's book to get a better idea what you're getting into.

I know there are hours of service rules that require rests and resets. Is it possible to set it up so you could take these while away from home and thus be able to do some sightseeing while on my rest days?

absolutely, as long as your company has freight that runs through there they'll get you where you want. You typically just submit the zipcode you want to take it and they'll get you a load that goes that way. you're able to spend a weekend in Vegas, catch a Nascar race or even just take a week to relax on the beach.

Since it sounds like owner-operator isn't an option to start, (and I've seen videos about how bad lease-own is) how much can you customize your truck from a company, in terms of things like adding a tv, microwave, or even one of those small chemical toilets?

many people here would agree that O/O is very rarely worth it. It likely depends on the company but often times you're not allowed to drill any holes in the truck but your maintenance shop may do it. Some drivers also use the top bunk for storage for microwave and refrigerator.

Doing some reading, it looks like it's possible to be able to shower at least once every two days while. This is something that's important to me.

others with OTR experience will hopefully chime in but from my understanding that isnt unreasonable. Some drivers prefer sleeping at rest areas or even the shipper/receiver to be able to maximize their clock. In that instance they're most often using their mandatory 30 minute break in the middle of the day to grab a quick shower.

We often say trucking isnt a career. It's a lifestyle. I hope you stick around to get a good look at what we deal with to help make a better decision. If you decide to move forward we highly recommend you check out a Paid CDL Training Programs. Brett wrote an awesome article Why I prefer paid training that's worth the read.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Have a follow up question on this.

I found out my local community College does weekend classes so I could keep my day job while getting my CDL.

I was at a national park and I saw a semi without a trailer at the park visiting the sites. Im guessing it was his day off and he decided to see the park. If you are a company driver, who pays for the fuel for that?

Or is that only something owner operators can do?

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Depends on the individual company policy.

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