School Options For Seeking Work Close To Jacksonville, FL

Topic 28471 | Page 1

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Cody M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey y’all, I’ve been seeking a stable career now for a few years. And with the disruption lately knocking out the office work I was doing, I’ve came back to delivering around here in Jacksonville, FL and can’t put it down again. I’ve considered driving a truck in the past and this has confirmed it.

I am looking for regional or local work that I can be home at least 2 or 3 times a month, but I figure that might be unrealistic with no experience. Hourly jobs with delivery like Sysco are okay though. I’m currently applying to Roadmaster here and my credit isn’t great, so I’m getting the impression that this job placement process will help qualify a loan to help cover the — 7k —price tag. The recruiter said they would help with any type of work, but job placement has made it sound more OTR nationwide. Maybe got sold too much on that.

The community college offers an 8-week course for only $2500, no aid so I feel I would be in the same boat as to financing. I did apply to Cypress but didn’t hear back yet.

Of course 2.5k is waaay less than 7k, but am I missing something as to going with Roadmaster? Also, any thoughts or advice is very appreciated. Thank you!

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
The recruiter said they would help with any type of work, but job placement has made it sound more OTR nationwide. Maybe got sold too much on that.

Cody, welcome to our forum!

We always try to teach best practices here.

One of the best ways to get started in trucking is to do an OTR job for one full year. There's a lot of benefits to that approach. Foremost is that it's something that most trucking companies look for in their hiring process. Another great benefit of it is that the OTR jobs are the best way for a rookie driver to absorb the steep learning curve that comes with trucking.

Local delivery trucking jobs are not only physically brutal, they are also oftentimes career ending jobs for rookies. They have a lot less leniency for the inevitable rookie mistakes. If you get let go from a local delivery job for an accident, then nobody wants to touch you. Other local jobs can't hire you because their insurance company won't underwrite you. OTR companies won't hire you, because they don't consider what you've been doing as "experience." And to add insult to injury, they consider your CDL as "stale" because you've been out of school too long without establishing any type of "experience."

Your location is somewhat limited also. I would seriously look into Swift or possibly Knight were I you. They've both got terminals in Florida. Swift would be my first choice because I know they cover a Wal-Mart account down there. You could get on board with Swift as an OTR driver at first, then once you establish yourself start working on getting switched over on their dedicated Wal-Mart account. Knight probably has some local work, but I'm not familiar with what that may be.

Look into that possibility and let us know what develops.

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.

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.

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.

Cody M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the advice. That definitely sounds like the best choice. I know it will go fast. I have two young ones at home that I really need to make a change financially for, and the sacrifice will be worth it. The time sounds right to get it out of the way.

Live like no one else, so that later you can live and give like no one else.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Cody. I completely understand about wanting and/or needing to be home while raising a family. Hopefully you and your wife can understand how important it is for you to get yourself established well in this career. It can be very rewarding in many ways, but we see a lot of people disgruntled with it. I think it's really important that you get a good start. You want to build a solid foundation for success at this.

We've seen a few newbies make a go of it as a local driver right from the start, but by far, they've been the exception. You might want to try looking into some of the flatbed companies like Maverick, TMC, and McElroy. Many times those three can have you at home briefly almost every weekend. I'm really not familiar with their hiring areas, and that's something that's subject to change. Those jobs are more regional , which helps them to get you home more often. They are still considered as OTR , and they involve some physical work.

I wish you the best, and I hope you'll hang around with us keeping us posted on your progress.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Just like you I chose to get into trucking to help provide a better life for my young family. I went against the advice of our very knowledgeable community and went local. I started at Performance Foods doing the same type work as Sysco. Trying to maneuver a truck as a greenhorn into some of the places I needed to was brutal. The unloading everything by hand was even more brutal. I got very lucky and made it through my rookie year without hitting anything. We have a member, Yuuyo, that started at Sysco fresh out of school. He also got through his first year without hitting anything. It's by far a much more difficult way to get started and your body will go through hell. You may be home every night but all you're going to want to do is kick back and relax to get ready for the next day. You won't have much meaningful time with the family, atleast I didn't.

Commit to one year OTR or regional and you'll have a better idea of the kind of job that fits your situation best. Many of the flatbed companies can get you home every weekend. Take a look at my Food service diary of my first year for a peak. I included pictures of some places I had to deliver, problems I faced with the way the truck was loaded and product stacked on my wheeler to run down the ramp.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

You should look into LTL companies, linehaul out of Florida is different since you can only go 1 way but you should get home for at least 2 days a week maybe even a few days during the week.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Cody M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the advice. I have taken into the picture everything y’all have said. Since I am still waiting to start school, I’m starting to feel the burden that would happen being away most of the month. I’m 25 with a 2 year and 2 month old, and now seems like the time to get it done. Anyone have their account of how this went?

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Have you checked out the Training Diaries section?

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