Looking For Advice On Whether Or Not To Get Into Trucking

Topic 30559 | Page 1

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BigOleKraken's Comment
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Ill be 30 this year, I'm married, I have a 2 year old little girl and I just bought a new house. My wife just finished her masters and has started her new career and now I'm looking at getting into trucking, which I've thought about doing for about a year now. I work as an audio technician and make about $35000 yearly, it pays the bills but Id like to make more and I honestly just don't have a passion for audio work. Some of my audio gigs had me driving a pensky truck all trough the south east for shows which was my favorite part of the work, diving that big truck to and from the gigs. I think I would like a trucking career but I have some concerns. I am very worried about getting into trucking and missing too much time with my little girl. I want to get on to a local route but I know most local routes are gonna want you to have a year of experience at least. Also I've been doing my current job for over 8 years and the guy I work for is a really good person to work for, hes help me out on many occasions and even payed me for days I missed just to help me out. So leaving a good work environment like that is a concern for me especially when Id be getting into a field I know very little about. But every time I see a truck rolling down the highway I just get a feeling that I should be doing that and making a better life for my family. If anyone, especially drivers with kids, has any advice for me about getting into the industry or weather I should stay out of it, I'm all ears.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I'm 31 started at 27 and wish I had done so sooner. if you live near a major city I would suggest looking into LTL companies, you can do linehaul be home nightly and have 2 days off a week. Possibly earn 100k+ after a few years.

If you are not near any LTL companies I would still do it, just try to find a job that can get you home weekly at least.

But I would start looking into LTL companies near you first. ( no bias) of course!

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.
Andrey's Comment
member avatar

If anyone, especially drivers with kids, has any advice for me about getting into the industry or weather I should stay out of it, I'm all ears.

Being a driver with kids is easy, giving advice though is another story. I have four of them, the youngest is 10, the eldest is 20, and personally I would not jump onto anything more than 5 days away from home. I did it once with the trainer for a month, but that's it, OTR life is not for everybody. While you are right about getting some experience on the road before driving locally, it is possible to find a local job straight out of school. Or there are some other schedules, such as regional gigs which bring you home every weekend plus you may be at home few more times a week depending on routes. Or if you like to drive at night, there is an abundance of line haul jobs where you sleep at home every day. So there are many options, but nobody can tell you what to do - only you yourself know that.

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.

Line Haul:

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.
BigOleKraken's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice guys, I had heard a driver talking about how much he was making doing LTL on a podcast so I'll look into the companies around hear that do that. There are alot of trucking companies near where I live and a Ashley Furniture distribution plant about a mile from my house but I know for a fact they require 2yrs of tractor trailer experience for their line haul department.

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

Line Haul:

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.
Jay F.'s Comment
member avatar

Where are you at in the southeast? Bobcat has some great advice. I wanted to do LTL but there just wasn’t any openings when I got my CDL. The dock workers for LTL make great money as well and most have dock to driver programs. Bobcat works for one of the best in OD. Southeastern is another great one, but honestly none of them are bad.

I have two small kids I hated being away from them, and OTR is a lifestyle not a job. I quickly learned it’s not for me. There’s a lot of Class B jobs that get you home every night that you can make north of 50K. My drivers will make 70k plus with overtime this year.

Thanks for the advice guys, I had heard a driver talking about how much he was making doing LTL on a podcast so I'll look into the companies around hear that do that. There are alot of trucking companies near where I live and a Ashley Furniture distribution plant about a mile from my house but I know for a fact they require 2yrs of tractor trailer experience for their line haul department.

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

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.

Line Haul:

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.
BigOleKraken's Comment
member avatar

I'm in north Mississippi, I know there is an Old Dominion and a Southeastern depot about 20 minuets away from where I live. I guess my next step is to turn in the application to the trucking school here and get started. If I can get something local that will take the only reason I had not to do it out of the equation.

Bush Country's Comment
member avatar

I'm in north Mississippi, I know there is an Old Dominion and a Southeastern depot about 20 minuets away from where I live. I guess my next step is to turn in the application to the trucking school here and get started. If I can get something local that will take the only reason I had not to do it out of the equation.

Averitt Express has a terminal in Belden, between New Albany and Tupelo, as well as one in Waites. They hire new graduates out of driving school. I have some interest in the company but I'm with someone else right now.

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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