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Mark M.'s Comment
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I received my CDL like 2 weeks ago

I am 49 yrs old and looking to get into something that will help me and my body. I was a telecommunication worker that climbed poles every day and that has taken its toll on my body.

I am looking to buy a truck

I have a few dumb questions.

1. I am looking for local routes. I between Sacramento and San Francisco 2. Should I buy a tractor and do load-outs? 3. What board should I use to do this 4. What to expect ( any knowledge will help)

Thank you

Mark

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Hire on with a company and work for them, buying your own truck is a horrible idea when you have 0 experience. Plus it will be almost impossible to find a insurance company to cover you with zero experience.

Mark M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for that information

I have been kicking that around for a bit

My problem is that companies want 6 months to 1 year of experience

Where do you think I should start

After getting experience do you think later on to get a truck or totally cross this out

Thank you

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Mark

First and foremost forget buying a truck. You have jumped into a very complex industry you know nothing about. You also appear to be in Ca. The most unfair and unforgiving state to own a truck. That pains me to say because I lived in the central valley for 40 years. My best friends dad owned a small trucking company in Corcoran for many years, doing heavy haul.

Apply to the big companies. They take recent grads, which you are. Get on and learn, learn, learn the job and industry. Once you get a couple years in you will have much more options.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I would basically totally cross it off I looked into it extensively a few years ago and you can earn as much if not more being a company driver without all the headaches and worry. There are a few O/O here who can add on when they stop by.

Apply at the large companies that offer training and go from there.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

PJ is faster than I am!

Also you should do it ASAP if you wait to long ( some places as little as 60 days) your CDL will be considered stale and you will have to redo school.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

In 1988, at almost 37, I got out of the Air Force to drive truck. After school and driving for a couple companies I decided being an Owner Operator was not for me. The husband (married after I'd been on the road a couple years) had owned trucks and explained what all went into being an OO. We got off the road so we could work on cattle ranches. He had 2 Traumatic Brain Injuries and I took care of him for the next 18 years. Needing to work after he died, I went to an independent school to get my CDL.

Except for 5 mths (managed a goat dairy), I've been driving since. Now, more than ever, I won't be an OO and more importantly, not a FLEECE owner. The cost of trucks and their repairs is just ridiculous. While I realize you are 20 yrs younger than me and have more time to pay on a truck, I bet I make near as much as some OOs....with less headaches.

Instead of going to an independent school, go thru the links above and apply to get company training. You will drive for a year for them to pay for your education. I wish I had done that when I came back on the road.

There are some OOs on here. Hopefully they will chime in.

Laura

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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.

Mark M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the awesome advice

I am looking for a company ASAP to work with

Any recommendations you can share with companies

Thank you

Mark

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Mark M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Laura for your great advice

I wish I would have done first but now I am looking for a company to start with no experience

I am sorry for your loss as well.

I found a company that a friend of mine owns. I am going to see him tomorrow. He said he's willing to train me if I can get hired on with them

So wish me luck tomorrow.

Thank

Mark

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Mark be very very careful looking at small companies. Most insurance companies require drivers to have a minimum of 2 years experience before the will insure them, and even then the costs are sky high. That is why we recommend the big companies. They are self insured.

Steve and Daniel B live out there and can probably make better recommendations. Roehl has a flatbed terminal in Fontana, Knight has one in Tulare, Ruan is out there, but in the central valley it is tankers. Hopefully they have a box division there somewhere also. I imagine swift and the other big players are out there too.

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.

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