Local To Start?

Topic 30065 | Page 1

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Michael P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi all,

Typical I'm old, hate my job, and want to be a truck driver when I grow up story.... More of when my daughter grows up I suppose, since she's the reason I need to start local. I'd prefer to find a company to sponsor me for my CDL , but I'm not sure where to start or if it's even possible.

I plan on starting to call places tomorrow to ask around, but does anyone know of companies that definitely will or won't sponsor a newbie for local driving?

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

Hi all,

Typical I'm old, hate my job, and want to be a truck driver when I grow up story.... More of when my daughter grows up I suppose, since she's the reason I need to start local. I'd prefer to find a company to sponsor me for my CDL , but I'm not sure where to start or if it's even possible.

I plan on starting to call places tomorrow to ask around, but does anyone know of companies that definitely will or won't sponsor a newbie for local driving?

Howdy, Michael P. and welcome to T T ~!!

A few of our drivers here, stand out to me:

Banks (apprenticed with FedEx...aka: STARTUP as you speak of....!)

Bobcat Bob (ODFL .. LTL/linehaul)

Papa Pig (via Werner / Dollar store accounts..which we don't recommend for beginners, but it worked for him!)

Rob T. (Foodservice for starters, and still AT it, with a very fine & young family!)

Daniel B. (lot of history in his young life... but worth the read about fuel hauling.)

Just look them up, where it says 'comments by members' .. and read ON! Dang, I'm sorry if I've forgotten any.

Also, here's this:

Best wishes~ read above!

~ Anne ~

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.

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

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Michael, it is rare to find a local driving job that will sponsor you for your CDL schooling - really rare.

Most local jobs require OTR (over the road) experience. There are some ways to start local, but most of them will require physical labor. Sometimes drink companies like Pepsi, Coke, and Budweiser will help you get a CDL, but you will be tossing cases of drinks around. It is definitely more a job for an eighteen year old man. Other places like Fed-Ex will have you doing dock work (loading/unloading) freight for a few years before you get in a truck.

It is just not recommended that you start local. I know it doesn't sound logical to someone who feels they need a local job, but there are a lot of things that you will learn more gently while being OTR. Your lack of experience will most likely make you feel pressured into making a mistake on a local job. It's not easy maneuvering a 75 foot long vehicle that bends in the middle in tight places, but that is what most local drivers do multiple times each day. A minor accident can put you right back on the streets in a futile search for work. The best way into any local driving job is to do one year of OTR. That is the golden standard. You'll discover that when you look for the requirements for most local driving jobs. There are always a few folks here and there who manage it, but for each of those fortunate ones there is a long trail of testimonies of those who failed at it and then could never get hired again. Once you get canned as a local rookie driver your chances at finding new employment driving a rig are just about null and void.

Here's an article that goes into some details of the argument against starting as a local driver. I hope you will take the time to read it.

Why You Should Not Start Your Career As A Local Driver

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Where abouts do you live? You maybe able to get on with a LTL company in their driver training program. Usually they involve having to work the dock for a few weeks or months not years. They pay you on the dock and pay you while you train.

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
Banks's Comment
member avatar

I started local at FedEx Freight. I got my CDL through their driver apprentice program and I have no regrets.

I learned a lot and they never put any pressure on me to do anything I wasn't comfortable doing. You'll find yourself in some tough spots, but you get better at handling them with time and experience.

They understand that you're new and they expect you to have issues and they're prepared to deal with them and to help you deal with them.

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.
Dan67's Comment
member avatar

I'm a local guy and I advise not to start local as a rookie. Local means tight space. Everywhere you go stuff is tight and little room to maneuver a long 53 ft trailer that you will have to back into multiple docks per day. You will be in a constant battle with your HOS to get stuff done quickly and safely as possible. There is no room for error. And I know many companies require 2 Years OTR experience just because how much insurance the company must carry.

Do a year or two as OTR or regional to get down the basics of time management and improve your driving and backing skills.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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