New Guy (which School To Choose)

Topic 30149 | Page 1

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Sean C.'s Comment
member avatar

So i'm prior military, looking to do something different with my life. Always been interested in trucking. I put my info into truckingtruth, and my email inbox just exploded... Also have gotten calls from 2 different trucking companies so far (CRST and Prime). I don't have kids or a wife. I don't mind being gone for long periods at a time.

How do i figure out which company to choose? Is there a list someplace that compares things like pay rates, teams vs solo, contract lengths, etc etc? Other than the 2 that have called my cell so far, the truckingtruth email also suggested a few others (TMC, Wil-Trans/Jim Palmer, Roehl, and Veriha).

I apologize if i posted this in the wrong forum.

Sean Crees

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.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Sean, and welcome to our forum!

How do i figure out which company to choose?

Here's the first step. Start familiarizing yourself with the trucking industry. We have made that easy for you with our "Starter Kit." Here it is...

Those are some links to special information here at our website. Each of them is designed with you in mind. They are packed with information that should help you learn some of the basics about the trucking career. Getting some of that reading material under your belt (especially those first two) is a great way to get started.

Now, let me give you some specific advice based on what you are asking. One of the first things you want to consider is what type of freight you think you might be interested in hauling. That decision will help you narrow down your search. Let's say you want to haul flat-bed freight. That will help you eliminate a lot of companies which don't have a flat-bed division. Maybe you are interested in hauling refrigerated freight. Once again that helps you narrow down your choices to those companies that haul that type of freight. Okay, I think you've got that idea.

The next thing you want to consider is what part of the country you want to drive in. Maybe you want all 48 states. Maybe you just want the Western eleven states. Once again that will probably help you determine which company is providing what you are looking for.

The third thing is how much home time do you want. You don't seem to mind being out on the road a good while from what you are telling us, and there again is something that will help you see what fits you best.

Once you have read some of that material I provided above, you should be able to come up with the answers to some of these questions. The information in those links above will help you to formulate some ideas about what appeals to you, and of course you can ask all the questions you like right here in our forum. There are drivers from every different type of trucking job in here and most of them will be very helpful to you.

One thing I would suggest is that you forget the idea of being a team driver as a rookie. This is just my personal opinion. I think new drivers really benefit from being a solo driver during that rookie year. Teaming is very demanding and can be exhausting for a newbie. I just think it is better to start as a solo driver. If you think you want to team with someone, then it is best to know that person well and for both of you to have some experience under your belt before taking that plunge. There is a commonly held myth that claims you will make more money as a team driver. That may be true if both of you are highly experienced drivers who know how to keep a team truck on the move all the time, but otherwise it is just not true. Trucking has challenges in all it's forms, and teaming has just as many problems to it as any other part of trucking, maybe even more.

Feel free to keep asking us questions. There are no dumb questions. That is what we do here. We help new drivers. Our mission and goal is to be as helpful as we can. We will do our best to empathize with you, encourage you, and hopefully inspire you. Keep on trucking, and thanks for your service to our great country!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Sean C.'s Comment
member avatar

I've read through most of what you posted. Some of it didn't seem relevant to me, a lot of it just seemed like common sense. (though the older i get the more i realise its not so common after all) I see a lot of information on here about getting home, or back to family, or time off.... I feel like i have the opposite issue, and i didn't see it listed at all.

I don't really care if i ever get back "home". Hell, if i could just live in the truck and not pay rent on a place i'm rarely at, i'd take that option. I'm currently just sharing rent with some friends on a house, and i'm not on the lease. So i can literally just pick up and go, anywhere, at any time, and never go back if i choose. Also, i don't really have a "home". No place where all my family lives, no place where i grew up where i can go back to.

Any recommendations or advice for someone in my situation?

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You can live in the truck. It's a great way to save some serious money. Brett, the founder of this website, did exactly that for years. He could put everything he owned in a couple of duffle bags. Trucking can give you that freedom. You'll need some sort of permanent address, but you can be somewhat creative with that.

I stay out on the road for extended times, and enjoy taking a break at places I find interesting. You can tell your dispatcher , "Hey, I'd like you to work me over toward Palm Beach. I want to take a few days off over there." Or you could request Vegas or Yellowstone National Park.

If you live in the truck you just tell them where you want to go for a few days off. They will work with you and try to keep you motivated. Remember to take a break now and then. All work and no play makes for a dull life. We don't want you to burn yourself out.

Dispatcher:

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.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

I don't really care if i ever get back "home". Hell, if i could just live in the truck and not pay rent on a place i'm rarely at, i'd take that option. I'm currently just sharing rent with some friends on a house, and i'm not on the lease. So i can literally just pick up and go, anywhere, at any time, and never go back if i choose. Also, i don't really have a "home". No place where all my family lives, no place where i grew up where i can go back to.

Any recommendations or advice for someone in my situation?

Once you get done with training and have your own truck, you CAN do that. You just let your DM know when you want off and where and they will try and accommodate that, especially if you're one of their drivers they trust and like.

While I have a home in Idaho, my 70th birthday is in July. Since my company doesn't go into Florida, I don't get to see my son and his family. In July, he is coming up to Wyoming to visit his dad and take his kids to Cheyenne Frontier Days. So I have put in for three days off to celebrate my birthday, his dad's birthday and to see all of them. I will have a load probably to Greensboro NC and will deliver it after those 3 days off. I will be doing that again whenever my 5 brothers can get together in Crossville TN.

Lots of drivers do that. Just remember it's good to get off the truck once in awhile and relax even if you just get a motel and veg out in front of a TV.

Laura

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I've read through most of what you posted. Some of it didn't seem relevant to me, a lot of it just seemed like common sense. (though the older i get the more i realise its not so common after all) I see a lot of information on here about getting home, or back to family, or time off.... I feel like i have the opposite issue, and i didn't see it listed at all.

I don't really care if i ever get back "home". Hell, if i could just live in the truck and not pay rent on a place i'm rarely at, i'd take that option. I'm currently just sharing rent with some friends on a house, and i'm not on the lease. So i can literally just pick up and go, anywhere, at any time, and never go back if i choose. Also, i don't really have a "home". No place where all my family lives, no place where i grew up where i can go back to.

Any recommendations or advice for someone in my situation?

Howdy, Sean C. and I second the welcome to Trucking Truth~!!!

One of our long time members, Millionmiler24 , has an incredible diary of exactly what you speak of. You can either search his threads by pulling up his name, or look here:

Millionmiler24

He started with CRST. Lived in the truck out of necessity at first, but was (and still IS) an impeccable example of such.

Additionally, our resident female 'star' moderator, started out the same; gave up all her 'stuff' in New Jersey, and lives in her Prime truck.

Truckin along with Kearsey

She's also got an amazing, educational, YouTube channel; where she covers the above, and SO MANY things that come up, for new (and seasoned!) drivers. Check it out here:

Kearsey's YouTube Channel

I hope some of this helps; and as well, I thank you for your service.

~ Anne ~

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.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

We have drivers who do that. Some use Joplin as a "home" base. They keep a car at the terminal. Have their doctors there. They can always get you into Joplin. Home time can be taken anywhere. You just need a place to park the truck.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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