What Kind Of Trucking Job Do I Want To Look For?

Topic 30965 | Page 2

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James H.'s Comment
member avatar

On a road I've never been on, and I don't know which lane I need to be in, I end up stuck in the wrong lane, especially when there is a lot of traffic. Sometimes the line turns solid before I can even see the sign that says what lane I want to be in.

Thanks.

If this is happening to you, you're not looking far enough ahead. The first of the Smith System keys is Aim High in Steering, and it will be stressed in any CDL school, that you need to be looking as far ahead as possible (while keeping your eyes moving to scan near and far, right mirror, left mirror). Do this, and you'll have time to position yourself properly. Basically, any time you need to make a quick reaction, you already messed up by not recognizing the situation early enough. This isn't about only driving roads you're already familiar with. It's about using your eyes properly, and knowing how to process the information your eyes gather.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

BK's Comment
member avatar

Anybody calling Old School a “tool” is completely clueless. OS has taught me more than I can list. OS and his fellow moderators are a wealth of critical information

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

As a driver you are going to find yourself in situations no matter how much planning you do. I recently had a load to Brooklyn and had planned every turn going to the receiver and leaving the receiver and executing that exactly. I ended up getting stuck in an intersection because there were cars on the corner that I could not have anticipated. It took me about 30 minutes to get out of that intersection all the while cars were honking and people were yelling at me to move my truck out of the intersection. But I took my time and finally got out.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

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On a road I've never been on, and I don't know which lane I need to be in, I end up stuck in the wrong lane, especially when there is a lot of traffic. Sometimes the line turns solid before I can even see the sign that says what lane I want to be in.

Thanks.

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If this is happening to you, you're not looking far enough ahead. The first of the Smith System keys is Aim High in Steering, and it will be stressed in any CDL school, that you need to be looking as far ahead as possible (while keeping your eyes moving to scan near and far, right mirror, left mirror). Do this, and you'll have time to position yourself properly. Basically, any time you need to make a quick reaction, you already messed up by not recognizing the situation early enough. This isn't about only driving roads you're already familiar with. It's about using your eyes properly, and knowing how to process the information your eyes gather.

I’ve experienced a number of off-ramps where the lane markings are practically gone and/or not marked at all. Usually the problem ones are on some sort of uphill ramp where I can’t decipher how many turn lanes. Otherwise, I agree with you.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

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You'll eventually figure out I am not a tool at all. You are new to all this and I will give you a chance to learn the ropes. You are like so many who come to our forum. You've been indoctrinated by other trucking forum ideologies. We try to hold ourselves to a higher standard here. We will shoot straight with you and we will expect you to up your game in our conversations. We believe there is a lot of misinformation out here concerning our industry. We do what we can to set the record straight. We try our best to help the newcomers understand how to make a good start at this.

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I haven't actually read much from the other forums. This forum is a lot higher quality than the rest of them. Also, I don't think you're all right about everything. Like company sponsored training... I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but I highly suspect you up your chances of getting hired if you get trained elsewhere first. I am not sure anyone will hire me to be trained by their company. Also, I think it's highly likely that a trucking company would exploit the dynamic.

Company sponsored training is actually the easiest way to get hired into the trucking industry. Because these companies are starting from scratch with the drivers they train, they are often a little bit more lenient in some of the things they look at as far as hiring. There is no special skill or background required for being accepted for company sponsored training. Whether or not you choose to go that route is up to you. There are pros and cons to just about every decision and that is just the same with regard to going with company sponsored training.

Here is what you need to do: Find out as much about trucking as you can, the good, the bad, the ugly, the glamorous. Watch YouTube videos, talk to truckers at truck stops, read information on forums, talk to recruiters. Get as big a picture as you can of the industry. Then, once you determine if it's a lifestyle that suits you, make a decision on how you will get your CDL (company sponsored training, self pay, or government grant), and then decide where you want to work. If you don't go with company sponsored training , your best option is to gain as much information about companies that hire with no experience, choose one and find out what schools in your area that company hires from.

If you choose company sponsored training, do the same process in figuring out which company works best for you. If for some reason you don't qualify for that company, move on to the next one.

If you don't want to drive in traffic, or don't feel like you can handle the stress of driving a massive truck in traffic, then it might be worthwhile to just think of a different career. You can't dictate a career in trucking to say "I will only drive in these conditions," because there will come a point in time when life happens and your truck has to be driven from one point to another in conditions that you don't typically like.

So, that is why my suggestion is to absorb as much information about the industry as you can from as many different sources as you can. I suggested talking to recruiters who will lie to you because that's part of the industry. Don't make a decision based on what you have read in one thread on a forum.

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.

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.

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.

Justin's Comment
member avatar

Mikey,

I'm not stressed when it happens to me in a car. It's not a big deal in a car, but I recognize it can be a huge deal in a truck. I'm just aware of my weaknesses. I'd rather drive on ice roads in Alaska than try to navigate roads in LA or NYC in traffic. Perhaps I should get a job hauling trees down from the mountains or something.

You should consider working on what you consider your weaknesses rather than dismissing them entirely. I drive in and out of L.A. every day now; before I started driving, I'd "heard" the same thing about L.A. traffic and can't say I was looking forward to facing it, but... I never had before and was just going on what I "heard". While there are peak times that are busier than others, I found once I actually did it that it was nothing I had to really worry about, but I didn't find that out until I actually drove through it the first time... and, of course, survived.

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You're not as much of a tool as I used to think.

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This quote and others, lead me to believe which-lane-to-be-in is likely to be the least of your obstacles.

When I find myself in the wrong (or less desirable) lane, I put the turn signal on and take it slow. Someone will let you over OR, the traffic will pass, leaving it wide open for you to move. Patience.

Nailed it.

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

In a truck you can see better than a car. You can see the signs sooner.

The other day I thought I was following a detour and ended up on a dead end road that was a construction zone. I had to back down the long road I just drove down. Thankfully one of the construction guys, stopped traffic and moved barrels so I could back down a cross street to turn around. It was a very tight back.

Thankfully all worked out.

You can use a dry erase marker to put notes on your windshield.

Sometimes my GPS will not go the way I need or want. I will write exit numbers on the windshield, so I don't forget.

We read every sign. On a clear day I can see two or more miles in front of me.

When we miss a turn or the exit is closed, we figure it out. We have all made wrong turns or missed an exit and had to figure it out.

Just jump in.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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