New Driver Intro

Topic 29620 | Page 1

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omapilot's Comment
member avatar

Hello,

Great information on this site! I finished my first week of CDL school and got my permit with all endorsements. I have several pre-hire letters (Werner, TMC, Schneider etc). There are also quite a few local companies here in the Omaha area that will take recently graduated drivers as well. After reading through all of the information I am thinking that the first year is your most important year in trucking. I have been an HVAC Tech for the past 10 years so my first thought was flatbed because that is the kind of work that I am used to. But after reading I am starting to think that going Dry Van Regional for the first year would probably be the best way to get this career going in the right direction. (I dont want to be back in HVAC this summer!). Werner has the Dollar accounts here along with some Bi-Weekly OTR routes. I keep hearing the words Minimize Your Risk. My hobby for many years has been flying, and I remember when I got my pilots license the examiner said this is your license to learn.. I think that the CDL can be taken the very same way. Keep the first year clean and see where the road leads. Anyway just wanted to jump on the boards and introduce myself and thank everyone for the information presented on this site.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum, Ryan. We're glad to have you.

Feel free to jump in on any of the conversations. Lots to learn here.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Ryan!

You are correct a bout minimizing your risk. I would not recommend any account with the word "Dollar" in it for your first year. Those are brutal. That's why they are needing drivers. You are also correct about a dry van regional gig being good. There is nothing wrong with dry van OTR either. Let me just add that I started out in flatbed. I had the same reason as yours. I was already familiar with it somewhat from a previous career. It does add some extra risks for a new driver, but if you were to go somewhere like McElroy, Maverick or TMC they will provide you with excellent training which will help reduce your chances of failure. Many of the flatbed companies can get you home on the weekends.

Feel free to join in our conversations and ask questions of your own. We don't bite. We are here to help you get a new career underway.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks for the replies! TMC is my first choice, home weekly appeals best for the family. I have heard more than once to stay away from the Dollar accounts. I think that getting quality flat bed training is key. Good skill to have and know we'll.

Jammer a's Comment
member avatar

I agree with old school flat bed would not be a bad way to start !!! Neither is dry van !! But as old school said this carriers will make sure you have the tools to do it Melton is another great company also

Welcome aboard Ryan!

You are correct a bout minimizing your risk. I would not recommend any account with the word "Dollar" in it for your first year. Those are brutal. That's why they are needing drivers. You are also correct about a dry van regional gig being good. There is nothing wrong with dry van OTR either. Let me just add that I started out in flatbed. I had the same reason as yours. I was already familiar with it somewhat from a previous career. It does add some extra risks for a new driver, but if you were to go somewhere like McElroy, Maverick or TMC they will provide you with excellent training which will help reduce your chances of failure. Many of the flatbed companies can get you home on the weekends.

Feel free to join in our conversations and ask questions of your own. We don't bite. We are here to help you get a new career underway.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Welcome !

My brother is about to start his 3rd week on his trainers truck at TMC. He has nothing but great things to say about the whole experience and process at TMC. He just retired in October after a 30 year career as a Marine officer (tanker) and if he is raving about TMC-it must be a solid company.

Thanks for the replies! TMC is my first choice, home weekly appeals best for the family. I have heard more than once to stay away from the Dollar accounts. I think that getting quality flat bed training is key. Good skill to have and know we'll.

omapilot's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies! That is great to hear about TMC and how well he is liking them! They are known for running an organized and disciplined operation.

I also agree that if you are going to do flatbed right out of school, going to one of the companies mentioned above gives you the best tools for success.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Not sure if you're aware of what "TMC" stands for or not.

Too Much Chrome!

Welcome to the Trucking Truth site.

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