A Few Questions About Day-to-Day Life

Topic 29951 | Page 1

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Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Hi Everyone,

Bear with me if my questions seem obvious, as I'm relatively new to all this and exploring a career change. I've been reading the blog, forum posts, listening to the podcast, etc., but just a few things about day-to-day life as an OTR trucker I'm curious about:

1) As a company driver, do you generally have a truck that's "your" truck, or after your home time, are you usually assigned a different truck? I'm just curious how settled in you can get to a particular truck as a company driver, or if you're typically loading and unloading all your stuff each time, getting used to a different truck each time, etc.

2) What specifically are you able to do as you drive down the road? I know there's strict rules about touching your cell phone and sometimes driver-facing cameras for safety-sake. So do/how do you listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.? Or are you simply at the mercy of local radio stations or satellite radio if you have/can afford it? Just curious how you fill those hours when you're not glancing at the GPS, checking in on the CB, etc.

Thanks! This obviously isn't what I'll be basing my decisions on, but I'm just curious to fill out my picture of what daily life on the road is really like. For instance, I currently work as a librarian, and a lot of people think I spend my days reading, which is pretty much the *last* thing I get to do, lol!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

What's up, Matt,

1) Generally as an OTR driver your truck is your truck. Think of it as a home you get to drive around in. You can't make any permanent modifications on a company truck but you can add accessories and make temporary modifications that suit your preferences.

You can have a mini fridge, TV, microwave, etc. When you do switch trucks - about every couple years on average - just transfer all your stuff to your new truck.

2) Put on some headphones, ear buds, etc. and listen to whatever you want. Podcasts, music, audio books... it's up to you. You can even talk with friends/family using a hands-free headset if you want.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Hey Matt...

I concur with RD’s reply. Spot on.

Here is my home away from home.

0864160001617909187.jpg

No one drives this but me and occasionally a shop mechanic.

Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

RealDiehl and G-Town,

Thanks--and nice! I'm not sure where I got the impression that as a company driver you get put into a different truck for each run, but it's nice to know that's not generally the deal. I'm sure it's nice to get settled in a bit and used to your particular truck and set-up.

And good to know about the options while driving down the road. I know the hours get loooong... but so do my Zoom meetings and spreadsheets currently. Anyway, even apart from career decisions, I always find these kind of actual work life details fascinating... what people's jobs are *actually* like.

Rhino's Comment
member avatar

There are some companies that do that it’s usually in ltl jobs. It’s called slip seating.

RealDiehl and G-Town,

Thanks--and nice! I'm not sure where I got the impression that as a company driver you get put into a different truck for each run, but it's nice to know that's not generally the deal. I'm sure it's nice to get settled in a bit and used to your particular truck and set-up.

And good to know about the options while driving down the road. I know the hours get loooong... but so do my Zoom meetings and spreadsheets currently. Anyway, even apart from career decisions, I always find these kind of actual work life details fascinating... what people's jobs are *actually* like.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

RealDiehl and G-Town,

Thanks--and nice! I'm not sure where I got the impression that as a company driver you get put into a different truck for each run, but it's nice to know that's not generally the deal. I'm sure it's nice to get settled in a bit and used to your particular truck and set-up.

And good to know about the options while driving down the road. I know the hours get loooong... but so do my Zoom meetings and spreadsheets currently. Anyway, even apart from career decisions, I always find these kind of actual work life details fascinating... what people's jobs are *actually* like.

Just my 3cents;

Don (on here) and my other half, drive for an intrastate company. Local/regional, as you will. Assigned tractors are the norm...for quite a long duration of time...and when my guy has to take the 'spare,' he gets his regular tractor back in a small skoche. Then again, not much TO pack in a daycab; but the guys at his company are super awesome about their drivers' CB's and PPE's and any other peripherals, following.

Only thing he got 'missing' was a raincoat, probably by his OWN behest, haha!

~ Anne ~

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.

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

There are some companies that do that it’s usually in ltl jobs. It’s called slip seating.

Ah, yes, that's the term! Ok, good to know--thanks.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Mountain Matt's Comment
member avatar

Just my 3cents;

Don (on here) and my other half, drive for an intrastate company. Local/regional, as you will. Assigned tractors are the norm...for quite a long duration of time...and when my guy has to take the 'spare,' he gets his regular tractor back in a small skoche. Then again, not much TO pack in a daycab; but the guys at his company are super awesome about their drivers' CB's and PPE's and any other peripherals, following.

Only thing he got 'missing' was a raincoat, probably by his OWN behest, haha!

~ Anne ~

Nice that that's respected even in a daycab tractor. It would be quite a change from driving the bookmobile, where we currently swap the seat between *5* of us drivers! Needless to say I can't keep any of my stuff there, and the seat and mirrors are never where I need them. Then again, we're just driving a few miles around town at a time, squeezing down narrow village streets!

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.

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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