Road To Trucking

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Luke A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello strangers, Luke here.

I'm new to the forum, this being my first post and all, however I think there will be many more following this one. As you could probably deduce by now I'm interested in becoming an OTR trucker, very much interested. Thus I've decided to join this community and soak up the information y'all are generously sharing. I've read a fair deal of what you've written in the past 3 sleepless hours and I intend to read more. I found an old post about some guy complaining about BBQ sauce from a DART orentation and how he failed. I laughed out loud. Then I watched as the moderators tore him apart with a "no-nonsense" attitude which immediately told me I was in the right place to learn this trade.

I heard on the radio once that truck driving was the #1 way highschool educated men made their money. But YouTube showed me a more focused look into OTR and I was immediately hooked. First off I'm the only person in my family whom graduated highschool. So it seems a natural pick for me, especially when college ain't an option. Poor life choices always kept my people down or the lack of a choice did. My Old Man drove a truck when I was growing up but for some reason I always thought driving a truck would be giving up in a sense. Or maybe I just didn't want to be like my father. Only now do I realize trucking may just lead to my salvation, as corny as that sounds.

I quit smoking weed because I heard the big mega carriers now do a hair follicle test. Which can detect THC all the way up to 90 days. So unfortunately my plan to be a trucker will have to wait for at least that long, just to be safe cause I really don't want to mess up my chances of obtaining a CDL. But at least I knew they drug test before I went up there else I'd have been screwed. Additionally I've slowed down on drinking so I could study a bit more during my free time. Basically I'm trying to cut the dead weight I've been carrying around with me for so long.

I've also decided that once I hit the 90 day mark in going to call PRIME INC, I hear they have a good training course and besides, you can't beat free schooling. Hell, I actually think they'll pay me 700 bucks A WEEK. Which I know probably aint much for you truckers reading this but for me, a young dishwasher and cook, 700 bucks sounds damn nice. All I'd have to do for them to train me is simply give them my word that I'd work for 'em for a whole year. Which I mean hell, I'm gonna have to start somewhere and why not settle for a guaranteed job? I simply don't have the money to pay for an independent CDL school and I utterly refuse to ask the government for a grant or loan. So a CDL for a years obligation sounds reasonable. What's Charlie Daniel's say? "A rich man goes to college, and a poor man goes to work." :)

Plus the freedom and solitude I'll eventually have after training. That's the real gift. Your telling me I don't have to settle down in one place? I move place to place, making money by the mile, a nice bunk to fall back into when I get to tired. Money in my pocket by weeks end. Maybe visit a new girl in a new state lol (forgive the thought but a young man's mind will eventually drift towards women, mine included!) What more could I want though? Or need? I ain't got no woman to tie me down, no kids, my family's all back up in Missouri. This **** sells itself.

My apologies reader, I've seriously been stuck on this trucking idea for about 2 weeks now. To the point I've written this at 5 A.M. It's literally possessed my mind and I'm glad it did. I want a good life for me and whatever family follows me. If any.

Welp, I'll be around the forum. Probably gonna ask y'all for advice/tips/pointers when I eventually get on the road.

Thanks for the free information gentlemen, much obliged.

- Luke Appleberry

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Luke - welcome to our forum!

As much as you've been reading you've probably already seen some of the following information, but here's some links to some great information to get you started...

Trucking is a great career for a single young man with an adventurous spirit. You seem like a great candidate. You can learn a lot from the helpful folks here in this forum, and we're always here to help. Ask any questions you come up with. We take them all - there's no dumb questions.

Prime is obviously a great choice, but don't put all your eggs in that one basket. For whatever reason we sometimes just don't get chosen on our first application we send out. You really want to apply to several places at once and see who bites. Then you can narrow your choice down to get started.

You have obviously been devouring the content of our forum. Your reference to the "BBQ sauce guy" tells me you've been digging deep. That's great - you can really learn a lot from going through the old conversations in here. There's a treasure trove of interesting and informative teaching in here. It's quite voluminous.

Again, let me welcome you - it's great to have you in here!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Luke Appleberry.

You wrote "As you could probably deduce by now I'm interested in becoming an OTR trucker, very much interested". Since this is your first post I don't see how we could have deduced that. If I am wrong forgive me please but I suspect you name is perhaps Todd?

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.

Luke A.'s Comment
member avatar

Well thanks for the kind words and warm welcome! I will certainly read through the links Old School provided me, much appreciated by the way. I think I'll find the High Road CDL training program very helpful. Also that's good advice, not putting all my eggs in one basket, and I should've already known better. To be honest I don't care which company takes me so long as one does. I reckon I'll start with Prime Inc and go from their. I've heard to many horror stories about C.R. England, especially on YouTube, so

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If I am wrong forgive me please but I suspect you name is perhaps Todd?

That was my first thought, but the tracker location was different.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

If I am wrong forgive me please but I suspect you name is perhaps Todd?

double-quotes-end.png

That was my first thought, but the tracker location was different.

Not quite over the top enough for Todd. Sounds like a real guy.

Luke,

As you can imagine, some trolls comes to this forum. One of whom is a regular annoyance. Entertaining, but still annoying.

I am at Prime, in the TNT phase, flatbed division. I have no regrets choosing to go into trucking and choosing Prime.

Looking forward to hearing about your journey.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

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.

Luke A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you to the both of you two for the warm welcome, it's much appreciated. Old School those links you sent me will come in handy, I suspect I'll go through that High Road CDL training ASAP. I'm glad you think I'd be a good candidate as well, I'll just have to take your word for it though Old Timer. ;)

You're right about not putting my eggs all in one basket. To be honest I should've already known that. I reckon I'll start with Prime Inc and see what they tell me. If that goes south then I may apply to Swyft. However I've seen to many horror videos on YouTube to apply to C.R. England. All of this is a bit down the road though, because I still have to be able to pee clean.

As for you Mikey, thanks for the welcome. I reckon my logic is a bit flawed, with this being my first post and all it may be hard to "deduce" my being interested. At closer study though you could understand that maybe people wouldn't sign up to a trucking site if trucking didn't spark some kind of interest in them. Let alone type a mini-novel right out the gate!

And of course all is forgiven Mikey, but why'd you think my name's Todd? My names Luke, 22, Missouri born but currently in San Antonio. Regardless, my first truck, due to this blunder Mikey, will be named Todd. Thanks!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar
All of this is a bit down the road though, because I still have to be able to pee clean.

Most of the large companies do a hair follicle test as well as urine. They use an inch and a half of hair cut at the scalp which shows roughly 3 months in the past. If bald, they use body hair which can show use as far back as a year. Unfortunately, since you just stopped smoking, 3 months will not be long enough to test clean. You’d be better off waiting to apply until you are sure you can pass both tests. A failed drug screenIng will make it extremely hard to ever get started

Luke A.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

All of this is a bit down the road though, because I still have to be able to pee clean.

double-quotes-end.png

Most of the large companies do a hair follicle test as well as urine. They use an inch and a half of hair cut at the scalp which shows roughly 3 months in the past. If bald, they use body hair which can show use as far back as a year. Unfortunately, since you just stopped smoking, 3 months will not be long enough to test clean. You’d be better off waiting to apply until you are sure you can pass both tests. A failed drug screenIng will make it extremely hard to ever get started

Thank you for the advice, It's much appreciated! I reckon I'll just study up and plan for it all in the mean time. Maybe bug y'all when I'm bored.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Try buggin us... i dare you... that is when things get really interesting around here hahahahha welcome

sorry... I am a sassy jersey girl... and Prime trainer. been at Prime 5 years... and love every minute of it. There are some bad days, but i could never regret my decision.

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