Greetings, New Driver, Unusual Situation

Topic 29772 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings all,

Mike here. First and foremost thank you to everyone here for your knowledge and sharing of knowledge. I really do appreciate how well organized and thought out this site is and I have finally registered. I appreciate the passion and dedication to this career as well as helping others. Helping others is a passion of mine and I enjoy seeing other people happy.

With that said I would like to humbly introduce myself.

I am a full time professional firefighter and I work 24 on 48 off. Example: start Monday 0800 live at work, get off Tuesday 0800, off until Thursday 0800. This is repeated continuously. There are often times when I get 5 days off, and 4 days off consecutive as well. Driving experience is the fire truck at work, although it doesn’t require Cdl. This will come in to play later in this post.

I served 9 years active, honorably, USMC, as a radio tech, combat deployment, served as a drill instructor (where I got to live and share my passion of the Corps to hungry recruits/new Marines). I am now out , and a FF, but I stay physically, mentally, and emotionally fit and honestly enjoy learning things thankfully to this awesome career and schedule. Whenever I dive into something I treat it like a culture / society and I want to be able to “speak the language” with the people in it.

So I decided with the time off I have to better myself and learn a trade. I found a school that is 7 day course 4 hours a day , pay the money you go there they train you they test you, done deal. There were the other 100+ Hour Big name schools but it just didn’t work with my schedule. I would have either take 1 month off for the m-f class and of course pay out of pocket or use my GI bill benefits, or do the 2 month part time course and figure out about a dozen shift trades with other people. I chose the 7 day course as taking the time off for that was more convenient and it costed $1600. They are approved through the state DMV as well as a authorized third party test site.

Anyways I passed the test and now have my CDL A unrestricted with Haz, Tank, Double/Triple endorsements. Just printed out my mvd record report the longest one I could find it is 100% clean. What have I been doing since then? I’ve applied to any and all jobs I could in my area, dump , mixer, septic/vacuum, to name a few. Whenever I see a company truck I write down the name get home look them up and find out if I can work there. If I see a driver I politely ask if he has a minute and I’ll respectfully ask him a question if he’s or she ok with it. Im hungry and eager.

Of course some companies want 3-6 months class a verifiable experience. I still apply or call. There are also many that don’t. Of course every time we talk I have to tell them the story, “I’m a full time FF my schedule is XYZ and I’m off two whole days even more” they may say do you have driving experience to which I will say “yes I drive a fire truck at work” , to which they say “well does it require Cdl? No? Then it is not verifiable. “

Am I at a stale mate until I retire? Any other suggestions to get some seat time? Either way I’m glad I got my cdl, if something works out where I can find a side gig and get some seat time that would be awesome. If not, I’ll keep my physical and haz up to date and keep it in my cdl in my back pocket.

Mike

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Welcome to Trucking Truth!

How long until you retire? You may have to wait til then. I don't think you got enough schooling. Most companies (actually their insurance company) require 160 hrs.

Most of the guys will be around later and they can give you more specifics....I unloaded just a bit ago and now at my receiver getting ready to hit the bunk....the old brainpan is fried. I don't want to give you erroneous info, so will leave it up to others.

Laura

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, Michael, welcome to TT.

Keep your Leatherneck energy focused on What To Do Next. It's looks like you need a bit more information about getting into this industry.

Trucking Truth's focus is in helping interested people get into Over The Road trucking. We're kind of light in getting local jobs. As IDMtnGal points out, most trucking fleets want to see an accredited 160 hour course. Yes, that is possible at 28 hours/week, for 6 weeks. After that, many companies would love to talk to you about OTR. Also, OTR is the path to get experience even if you prefer local driving.

You might check out these:

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.

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.

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.

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your service. You are doing all the right things. However, unless a local company with some flexibility with their insurance provider its a steep climb. Keep your spirits up... Reminds me of when I started. 23 years military... change of career.. got CDL but everyone looking for experience.... I found a local trash company that was willing to hire started there. I had talked to a friend who happened to know someone that drove for an owner operator... I was able to find work there... I stayed there gained experienced and am now and owner operator. Best of luck to you.

Greetings all,

Mike here. First and foremost thank you to everyone here for your knowledge and sharing of knowledge. I really do appreciate how well organized and thought out this site is and I have finally registered. I appreciate the passion and dedication to this career as well as helping others. Helping others is a passion of mine and I enjoy seeing other people happy.

With that said I would like to humbly introduce myself.

I am a full time professional firefighter and I work 24 on 48 off. Example: start Monday 0800 live at work, get off Tuesday 0800, off until Thursday 0800. This is repeated continuously. There are often times when I get 5 days off, and 4 days off consecutive as well. Driving experience is the fire truck at work, although it doesn’t require Cdl. This will come in to play later in this post.

I served 9 years active, honorably, USMC, as a radio tech, combat deployment, served as a drill instructor (where I got to live and share my passion of the Corps to hungry recruits/new Marines). I am now out , and a FF, but I stay physically, mentally, and emotionally fit and honestly enjoy learning things thankfully to this awesome career and schedule. Whenever I dive into something I treat it like a culture / society and I want to be able to “speak the language” with the people in it.

So I decided with the time off I have to better myself and learn a trade. I found a school that is 7 day course 4 hours a day , pay the money you go there they train you they test you, done deal. There were the other 100+ Hour Big name schools but it just didn’t work with my schedule. I would have either take 1 month off for the m-f class and of course pay out of pocket or use my GI bill benefits, or do the 2 month part time course and figure out about a dozen shift trades with other people. I chose the 7 day course as taking the time off for that was more convenient and it costed $1600. They are approved through the state DMV as well as a authorized third party test site.

Anyways I passed the test and now have my CDL A unrestricted with Haz, Tank, Double/Triple endorsements. Just printed out my mvd record report the longest one I could find it is 100% clean. What have I been doing since then? I’ve applied to any and all jobs I could in my area, dump , mixer, septic/vacuum, to name a few. Whenever I see a company truck I write down the name get home look them up and find out if I can work there. If I see a driver I politely ask if he has a minute and I’ll respectfully ask him a question if he’s or she ok with it. Im hungry and eager.

Of course some companies want 3-6 months class a verifiable experience. I still apply or call. There are also many that don’t. Of course every time we talk I have to tell them the story, “I’m a full time FF my schedule is XYZ and I’m off two whole days even more” they may say do you have driving experience to which I will say “yes I drive a fire truck at work” , to which they say “well does it require Cdl? No? Then it is not verifiable. “

Am I at a stale mate until I retire? Any other suggestions to get some seat time? Either way I’m glad I got my cdl, if something works out where I can find a side gig and get some seat time that would be awesome. If not, I’ll keep my physical and haz up to date and keep it in my cdl in my back pocket.

Mike

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hi, Mike! Welcome to the t-squared!

My second career followed pretty closely on yours, I did 28 years as a copper, got my CDL the last year that I was working before I retired. If you don't find a job in 90 days after you get your initial CDL, 6 months at the outside, you may not find a job with many carriers. They view it as a stale CDL. I fought that battle long and hard, the best offers I could get from most companies were " go back through the training for 200 hours then come talk to us with a fresh CDL." Roehl and one other company graciously offered to let me go through their training school again, starting out fresh, and letting me work for them like I never had a CDL.

I chose to keep looking, and found a small Regional carrier that was considered a second chance outfit, they took me on, and I worked for them for almost a year and a half. It wasn't a great company, but they treated me fairly, and I got the experience that I needed to broaden my search. If you can talk to a human being in addition to an online app, focus on the self-reliance, self-discipline, and willingness and demonstrated ability to follow policy procedure laws and guidelines. That may be the edge that you need to get a legit second look. The experiences you have as an NCO and as a firefighter clearly set you apart from others in the ability to self start and self Direct.

Thanks for standing in the lines you did, and do. Good Fortune to you!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Mike, welcome aboard!

Honestly, I think all we can do for you is to confirm what you are experiencing. People hear about the high demand for drivers and they wrongly assume that a CDL is like an instant ticket to easy employment. The uninformed masses think CDL holders are rock stars who have the red carpet rolled out for them just because they showed up. It's just not so. There is high demand, but that demand is for people who have experience and can give 70 to 80 hours per week commitment. You fall short on both of those things. Plus your training is so short I don't think it served any of the purposes you intended. It has provided you with a license that does you no good.

I wish you had introduced yourself to us at an earlier point and we could have given you some good counsel for your situation. We would have said to hold off on pursuing your license until you could use it in a full time situation. There are very few part time CDL driving jobs available, and even fewer of them for inexperienced CDL drivers of combination vehicles.

If you persist in this pursuit until you find something, you need to realize that it may possibly be a small company who is cheating on their insurance requirements. If you get involved in even a minor accident, you will be kicked to the curb. If that happens, you may very well jeopardize your entire professional driving future. You would then be considered an inexperienced CDL driver with an accident on their record. That is the definition of a Pariah in the trucking world. Unfortunately very few trucking jobs consider local driving as experience. They want to see you put in some time as an Over the Road driver.

To be honest and fair with you, there are occasionally a few folks who get into this by taking a path like yours, but they are few and far between.

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.

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.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Wow thank you for the warm welcome and all the great information. I appreciate your feedback! This forum is a wealth of knowledge. Stay safe out there!

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

20 years

Welcome to Trucking Truth!

How long until you retire? You may have to wait til then. I don't think you got enough schooling. Most companies (actually their insurance company) require 160 hrs.

Most of the guys will be around later and they can give you more specifics....I unloaded just a bit ago and now at my receiver getting ready to hit the bunk....the old brainpan is fried. I don't want to give you erroneous info, so will leave it up to others.

Laura

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Michael,

I get the impression that you want to do your main FF job and do truck driving on the side. Unfortunately, truck driving is mainly a full time, all or nothing gig. It's 14 hours a day job that will take up all your scheduling.

If you do find something that is part time, it may be with a smaller outfit. With smaller outfits you need to watch certain things because a lot of them are shady operations. You need to be sure that you will be classified as a w2 employee. Which means your taxed on every paycheck and are offered benefits.

If they want you to work as a 1099, then go to another place.

good luck.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

You can't be a FF and drive truck at same time. FF would need to be logged as On-Duty so it will not work with your logs.

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More