Port TWIC CDL Jobs

Topic 28020 | Page 1

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Paul T.'s Comment
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I'm just getting into researching CDLs with a major interest in short route port work. Airports, seaports, rail, etc. I'm on a path to get a CDL , TWIC , possibly a crane, hazmat , and refrigeration certification. I want to earn good money and leverage my reliability and a good driving record. I'm not that interested in long-haul OTR but I might have to suck it up to get some experience.

Are there any port crane operators or port drivers that can recommend a path for me? I'm jumping on a CDL-A because of it's overall usefulness, but I'm very curious about container handling cranes or heavy vehicles used in ports.

I know this is kind of an open ended question, but I'm just getting started and looking for a quick path to 65K or more.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

PackRat's Comment
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Welcome to the Trucking Truth site! Where are you located, and what timeframe are you considering a quick path to $65,000?

Paul T.'s Comment
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2 to 3 years in Atlanta. I’m considering moving to the coast. Norfolk, Charleston or Savannah.

Dan S.'s Comment
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I got my TWIC before getting hired, best decision I ever made. I was hired fresh out of CDL school @60 cents/mile with a 2300 miles a week guarentee, working out of the Philadelphia area. My company also has day cabs working the same account and pays $22/hour. The day cab drivers get 50-55hours a week.

We also have an account out of Wilmington, NC although the rates are lower. The money is definately in the North East.

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I know this is kind of an open ended question, but I'm just getting started and looking for a quick path to 65K or more.

Paul, that's a fair question, but it belies some misunderstandings of how one makes good money at this. Newcomers tend to think they've got to have just the right job (like short haul port jobs). Or they think they need to get on with just the right company. Maybe they consider the endorsements or certifications to be that elusive golden egg.

To be frank, none of those things will give you an edge. There was an entirely too lengthy article just a few years ago about the port drivers in California being cheated and unable to make money. You'll find tales of woe in every trucking sector, so that should tell us it's not just some sort of specialization that gives us a boost.

Trucking is famous for rewarding those who are good at it. That's where you want to focus. I've got a TWIC card and all the endorsements. None of those things have boosted my income like the simple straightforward way that I manage my time and produce results out here.

Productivity will always be your key to making great money in trucking. No matter what form of trucking you pursue, it's always going to be a commodities business. Straight up, you've got to be on top of your game to make those slim margins work in your favor. Be good and you'll do good.

I want to earn good money and leverage my reliability and a good driving record.

Forget about leverage. You don't have any. You will have to create that. It can only come from you producing a stellar record, and mostly people will want to see you do that in an OTR situation. That's challenging, but that's why it gives you leverage. Not many people are able to perform at that level. Top performers have that leverage. It's rare, but valuable.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

A port job is one of the quickest ways to $65,000+, but the skills mentioned above are necessary to keep the job.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
A port job is one of the quickest ways to $65,000+

Dan, what evidence do you have to support this statement? I recently saw a rookie OTR company driver's records who made 63,000 dollars his first year.

Honestly I don't see how we can single out one particular driving job and declare it to be the fastest way to being the most lucrative. The variables are unending. I understand that you are quite happy with your results as a port driver, but your experience is extremely limited. You don't even have a full year of experience yet.

We, of course, are thrilled that you are doing well, but telling someone such an emphatic line about how to get to the maximum pay rates quickly is very premature on your part. There's just way too many factors that will come into play for Paul to meet his goals.

We would always teach him to focus on building a solid foundation for his career. Shortcuts generally have the unfortunate results of cutting trucking careers short. I've witnessed that tragedy too many times.

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

This link may be informative for those interested in seeing potential incomes in trucking. These are actual payroll numbers shown with supporting photos.

Payroll Numbers For 2019

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

This link may be informative for those interested in seeing potential incomes in trucking. These are actual payroll numbers shown with supporting photos.

Payroll Numbers For 2019

I didn't post on the 2019 payroll thread because it wasn't a full year and I spent April-August working the dock and training. August-December I made just under 20K. January and some of February were decent, but it's been all down hill from there. I don't drive because I don't have the seniority to drive and I get a little over 30 hours a week on the dock. Right now I'm grossing about 750 a week to work on the dock and it's beyond frustrating.

I'm sharing this so you guys understand what old school is saying. There are a lot of different factors that go into how much money you make on a local gig, but a slowdown hurts a lot.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Fast and easy money in this industry (especially as a rookie) is neither easy nor fast. If it were, everyone would be driving a truck. Those with a CDL in the United States make up only 1% of the population.

Slow and steady is the best route to success.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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