Starting With A Flat Bed Company At 55-Years-Old

Topic 29511 | Page 1

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Kurt P.'s Comment
member avatar

This website has been a Godsend for me and I learned ALOT from you all. I paid my own way thru a truck driving school here in Fresno recently and now have my California Class A CDL with all the available endorsements except buses. TWIC card, too, just in case. I need to be closer to my elderly parents in Las Vegas, though, so I'm looking for local or regional jobs there. But without experience it's been a lot harder than I thought it would be to find a job. I found a company in Vegas who wants to interview me - YES! But they're a flat bed company. Uh-oh. I hear that's a young man's job. I'm healthy and have always been athletic (save occasionally throwing out my lower back if I bend and twist wrong.) I know that, in the end, only I can answer this question, but I still would like to hear what you flat bed guys think because you guys know what's involved; is this a job a 55-year-old guy could physically handle? 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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Kurt, I started my trucking career as a flat-bed driver at the age of 53. I turn 61 this week. I have met flat-bed drivers in their 80's. You can do it, but I highly recommend you do one year OTR. I know you think that's not going to work for you, but it is the best way to get started at this. You already realize how difficult it is to find a local gig with no experience. Think about this scenario: You find someone to take a chance on you. Then three months in you have a little accident. Their insurance company doesn't want to cover you anymore and you get fired. (This happens - we see people in here begging for our help all the time) Now nobody will touch you.

If you get one year established over the road , you will have the experience to get hired locally, and you will already have your experience established. These large companies running OTR are self insured and will tend to have a little more mercy on a rookie driver when there is a mishap. That is the best way to go about this. You know your situation, but most newbies hear about driver demand and think, "Hey, if I get a CDL , I can get a job easy!" It's just not that way when it comes to local work. Those jobs are really demanding on our skills. They require excellent backing in multiple stops daily. That is really tough on new guys.

You aren't too old to do this, you are too green!

Here's something I want you to look at. It's an older conversation we had about an older flat-bed driver. He was 80 years old when I met him.

Trucking For The Long Haul

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.

Over The Road:

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.
Kurt P.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School you're EXACTLY the guy I was hoping would respond to my post! Thank-you! I have a couple cats but otherwise it's just me. I can do the OTR thing for a year to get the experience. I'll proceed with them. Thanks for the detailed response!

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

We love it when youngsters enter the market.

Never too old to start.

Jammer a's Comment
member avatar

You got this pay attention to detail on your rigging and tarring so you don’t have to keep fixing it down the road good luck keep us posted flat bed is where I hope to end up eventually

Old School you're EXACTLY the guy I was hoping would respond to my post! Thank-you! I have a couple cats but otherwise it's just me. I can do the OTR thing for a year to get the experience. I'll proceed with them. Thanks for the detailed response!

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.

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

I just turned 53 during my rookie solo year of flat bedding. Flatbed he can definitely be a challenge and there are some physical demands but if you're reasonably decent shape you can handle it.

Good luck. And welcome to the world of knuckle draggers.

Zach 's Comment
member avatar

I saw a flatbedder at Loves the other day that was old enough to be my Grandma, lady was well in her 70's. If she did you can do it. I also am wanting to switch over to flatbed some point soon

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.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I saw a flatbedder at Loves the other day that was old enough to be my Grandma, lady was well in her 70's. If she did you can do it. I also am wanting to switch over to flatbed some point soon

With all the 'broo ha ha' ... that might be the BEST thing for you, atm. Being young & all.. and having issues w/DM's. Just IMHO!

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.
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