New Guy...Dumb Questions

Topic 30322 | Page 1

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Nick H.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings all,

Yes I know that there really isn't any dumb questions in life, but how about questions your haven't heard yet (if that is possible).

First a few things about myself. My name is Nick and I am 46 soon to be 47 (like three weeks). My youngest child just recently graduated from high school and I am now an empty nester. I will be divorced by the new year if all the paper work goes through and I am looking for a new career. I am currently the minister of my church, which is closing due to lack of attendance and a GIS Analyst with the county. You may ask what is a GIS Analyst...I make maps. I have been doing this for 20 years now. I started in the US Army in 2001.(I was in DC on 9/11 in school) My first duty station was Fort Hood Texas. I learned how to drive a military tractor trailer.(M1088) Through the years I have lost my military drivers license and record of any training on it, so I know and look forward to starting from scratch. I spent 10 years in the service and loved it. Deployed to Iraq in 04 and Afghanistan in 06. The last three years of my military career were spent teaching new privates how to do my job of making maps.

I have always loved driving. As a child I was the one signaling the truckers to blow their horns. Before I joined the military I worked for a local food delivery company at Penn State. I would deliver to all the local restaurants in the area, although I drove an Econo-line van was home every night I enjoyed the freedom of the job. In '95 my best friend and I took a road trip across the country. I would love to get paid to do that now.

Now to my questions of the day...

1. What type of foot wear do you wear driving? Cowboy boots, work boots, sneakers, moccasins, etc? 2. I love Spotify on my phone...What type of radio do you listen to Sirius XM, Pandora, Spotify, local, etc? 3. How and where do you vote? I am very political and have voted in every election since '92. 4. Could I "live" in the truck, as in not have an apartment somewhere I was paying rent for? 5. Are OTR drivers in more demand, thus receive higher per mile pay generally? I know it is what you make it and I have some goals in mind, just a curiosity, I guess. 6. Do you see an increase in demand for OTR drivers in the coming years or do you think environmental regulations will decrease the demand? 7. I am still trying to understand the regulations for driving hours. Has anyone developed a spreadsheet to better explain it?

I have read Brett's book and read many of the posts in the forum. I have also watched several of the "Truckin Along with Kearsey" videos on YouTube.

Thank you for all your responses...Be safe out there and keep truckin'!

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Nick asks

questions you haven't heard yet

Well, in this forum we have heard all these. And answered them. Maybe you haven't heard answers to these questions!

Welcome to the Answer Place! Your best way to explore Trucking Truth is by using the menu button at the top left - touch on the three bars to get quick access. Follow "CDL Training Materials" to get to the High Road CDL Training Program and ace the CDL permit test.

I've been a map geek for quite a while, buying the old USGS Topos just because they were cool to stare at. But, moving on ...

1. Foot wear: whatever is comfortable. But no open toed shoes (flip-flops, sandals) for doing your work. Some people suggest steel toes, but I've never figured out why. Absolute best recommendation from me: ankle high hikers.

2. Radio: trucks have the usual AM, FM , as well as NOAA weather radio. Some have Sirius capability, and some companies subscribe for you. WiFi/internet sources may be spotty in some places.

3. vote? Plan ahead. By definition you will always be out of town, so plan ahead.

4. Could I "live" in the truck? Yes you can. Make arrangements for a street address - a relative or friend who can pick up the mail and even forward it to where you will be tomorrow if necessary

5. Are OTR drivers in more demand? Do bears go to the bathroom in the woods? You betcha - the driver shortage is reaching a critical state. For you, driver, that means extra on-board comfort items like refrigerators and even TVs. Also there may be a bonus in your first checks. Many companies offer vets things like adding military to seniority, or bumping your CPM a bit.

6. Do you see an increase in demand for OTR drivers in the coming years or do you think environmental regulations will decrease the demand? See question 5.

7. I am still trying to understand the regulations for driving hours. A spreadsheet is not necessary. It only sounds crazy now because you don't live by it. Soon after you start driving you'll understand the meaning of "Doing my 10", "Making it a 34", and what the True Initiates call "The Split Sleeper". Patience, my little cricket.

Your post sounds like you're the driver several companies are looking for. Heck, many of them will finance your CDL Training Program in an easy way. A few will cover the whole tab once you put in a year 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.

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.

Fm:

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Nick, welcome to the forum.

1. Socks, I drive in my socks. I dont wear shoes inside of my truck. Once at the customers I usually wear leather tennis shoes. Sometimes I wear flip flops at a truckstop but never while "on the clock" and a couple customers require steel toe boots, I have some sand colored Bates boots (not steel toe) I got off of Camp Robinson in Arkansas. They had extras from Iraq/Afghanistan so I got them for $10 and the customer doesn't check the toe so they're all good.

2. I listen to regular FM radio. Theres usually always something in range and I like almost any kind of music. I've considered getting satellite radio as I like talk radio as well but tend to find a fair amount on FM.

3. You can be routed to wherever you normally vote. You're required to have a physical address on your CDL so whatever address you use will probably be where you vote.

4. Absolutely, I've lived in my truck fulltime for over 2 years now. I also have a 54 pound pitbull terrier with me.

5 & 6. Drivers with a clean driving record are always in high demand. You make whatever you and the company agreed on per mile however how much you make rests on you, they can pay you for all miles but they cant make you run hard hence driving the miles.

7. It all sounds complicated but once you start doing it all of it makes sense. Someone will chime in explaining they hours better but basically you have 70 hours to work in 8 days. 14 hours max on duty per day. 11 of that 14 can be driving. You must take a 30 minute break withing 8 hours of driving. A 10 hour break resets your 14 hour daily clock. A 34 hour break resets your 70 hour clock.

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.

Fm:

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

Howdy, Nick & Thank You for your Service !!!

The guys got ya hooked up with answers to all your questions; just wanted to share some cool links with ya; especially the 2nd one down. The site owner's published (awesome!) book, for free here. Also, our training program, which is 2nd to none!

Sounds like you've had quite amazing adventures in life; 9/11.... wow. (My late brother was in NYC that day; but not nearby the towers, TG.) Hope to see you around these parts often, as you navigate the future!

Best wishes;

~ 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.
Bush Country's Comment
member avatar

Nick,

Voting - remember that we Texans have in-person no excuse early voting that starts 17 days before November elections and 12 days before May elections. This is how I've voted for several elections. It is also possible to get a mail in ballot, which I've not done since college days, '76 & '80 elections. Hope this helps!

Mackerel (Mike D.)'s Comment
member avatar

Physical address vs. living on the road. I wanted to go full Nomad, but all statesrequire an address. It took me a few weeks to figure it out, I tracked down an old friend/former Navy shipmate, and now have a permanent address and cheap rent (that really feels like not paying rent after leaving my last apartment). It can be done. It takes some paperwork but it can be done.

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

Footwear, what's comfortable. For me, sneakers.

Voting, I schedule hometime for that.

There will always be a demand for truck drivers.

Many companies, like CFI, will train you. CFI provides SXM radio. I can also use Bluetooth from phone to radio to listen to books or podcasts.

Jump in. It's a lifestyle more than a job.

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