New Guy From California

Topic 30432 | Page 1

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Harry N.'s Comment
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Hey guys, I'm Harry, 28, from the Bay Area; North, California. I'm only 5ft tall, weigh under 100lb. I'm interested in truck driving cause I don't like going to school, I thought about joining the military but don't like that there's a contract and I'm tired of working min. wage jobs. I feel like this could really change my life. It's crazy to even see women doing this as well and they're in their early 20's. I'm in the process of getting my CDL-A but is it physically demanding? Is the job like working in a warehouse? There's a lot of variables when it comes to driving a truck, what if the truck breaks down or something?

I also got a friend that's interested, he was telling me that he wants his CDL to be paid for. So, he's trying to go thru Amazon but I think they don't train you. Also, I heard that if you do get it paid for, then your pay will be lower. Is there a company, that will fly you out, train you and pay you but also keep the pay rate standard as if you went to a local CC or local training school and got it that way? Thanks!

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to our forum Harry!

I heard that if you do get it paid for, then your pay will be lower. Is there a company, that will fly you out, train you and pay you but also keep the pay rate standard as if you went to a local CC or local training school and got it that way?

There are a lot of training companies out here who will indeed pay your way to their facility, house and feed you, and train you. They don't cut your pay for doing that. Your pay will be whatever you make it to be. That's how trucking works. This is a performance based business. Having a CDL certainly doesn't make you into a trucker. You will still be a rookie that is as green as the grass. That is the only reason your pay will be low. You will get paid for what you accomplish. You may not accomplish much. That will greatly reduce your pay. It has nothing to do with who paid for your training. I spoke with a rookie driver just the other day who made almost 78,000 dollars his first year. He was a fast learner and very committed to being the best he could be. His company paid for his training. Here is a list of Paid CDL Training Programs.

I thought about joining the military but don't like that there's a contract

Why do you think there is a contract? How in the world do you expect everyone to commit to your success and pay your way without expecting something in return from you? Imagine someone surprising you with a gift of making an investment in YOU. That’s exactly what happens in these company sponsored training programs. They take a look at you before they ever commit to putting you through their program. Most of them are fairly picky about who they select. They want to see safe driving records, and steady employment records. They want to make sure you are a responsible adult who takes care of their business. If they like what they see, they will offer to pay your way through their training program. They make an investment in you, hoping you will prove to be a productive member of their team. They need help and are willing to pay to get you to the point where you can contribute meaningfully. They will even pay you a decent wage while you are training.

Have you heard the phrase “having skin in the game?” That’s what these trucking companies do. They put some skin in the game for your benefit. They don’t want to train you and then let you go. They don’t do this so they can collect the money you owe them. They are not in the loan business. They are in the trucking business. They need drivers, and they are willing to pay to set them up for success.

Let’s assume you are struggling with some aspect of your training. They have every reason to spend a little more time on you to polish you off. They don’t want to lose what they have put into you. There is no question these programs are done in a rush. They need to get you out of the classroom and into a truck as quickly as possible. They are not going to waste too much time or money on a bad investment. If you are proving to make progress and seem committed to the effort, they will work with you and help you get to where you need to be. You will have a contract to fulfill. That is only reasonable when someone lays out their money for your sake. You are not entitled to their benevolence. Show a little gratitude and fortitude. You will never make a trucker without those qualities.

what if the truck breaks down or something?

Your company will get it fixed promptly. That is their asset by which they produce revenue. They aren't going to allow it to sit idle. I have broken down twice that I remember in the last eight years. The first one was a major repair. They put me in a hotel for two days until they found me another truck, then they had one of their drivers pick me up and take me to a nearby terminal where they had a new truck waiting on me. The other time it was a minor repair and I stayed one night in a hotel while my truck was getting repaired. This is their business. They know how to handle it. Both times I got what we call "breakdown pay" while I was not working.

is it physically demanding?

If you can do a couple of push ups you ought to be able to handle it. Don't get me wrong, this job can be taxing. I think the mental toughness required is something that throws a lot of folks right out of the game. You already don't seem to like the commitment to a contract, so that speaks volumes about what's going on in your head. You will need to work on that part.

It's crazy to even see women doing this

I'd like to comment on that, but I know when it's best to hold my tongue. I have got a good many female friends right here in this forum who I am confident can work circles around you. I will gladly let them respond if they like. Whatever type of plumbing you have will have no effect on your success or failure at this. good-luck.gif

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.

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thank you for the information! But yeah, I'm willing to be committed and do everything in my power to make this work! As far as the schedules goes, I heard you do about 10-12hr days, as long as I get 8 hrs of sleep and since I'm getting paid more than someone with a 4 year degree I think its worth it!

If you can do a couple of push ups you ought to be able to handle it. Don't get me wrong, this job can be taxing. I think the mental toughness required is something that throws a lot of folks right out of the game. You already don't seem to like the commitment to a contract, so that speaks volumes about what's going on in your head. You will need to work on that part.

I understand, the more you work, the more they tax you. All part of the game, but most def that it is mentally draining, all the driving especially at night. I was watching a video where a truck driving was trying to park the truck into a garage and it took about a good 20 mins or so while blocking the whole traffic, but it's all part of the job. I was looking at the routes, I think for me being local is good to be home everyday, but regional will go home at least once a week which is good, rather than being home 2x a month doing OTR or dedicated. Is it better to be by yourself or with a team member?

I love the customer service that they provided for you! They put in a hotel, have a driver come pick you up and they take care of the rest. I couldn't even imagine being stranded, not even sure if AAA could help, but I don't know.

Had somebody on a FB group, said "Go to a accredited school and get the recommended hours 160" I was talking to usxpress, they said recommended is 300 hrs? You guys recommend going through company sponsored training school?

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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