Picking My First Trucking Job

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BigOleKraken's Comment
member avatar

So I’d like so advice one where I should start my trucking career. I’ve been looking into regional jobs and have found several that train and give me the home time that “I” would like. However my wife decided that instead of telling me before I paid all the money and went through the 200hrs of training to get my CDL that she doesn’t want me to be gone at all. There are a few local places that are hiring cdl grads near me in north MS but they are food delivery services which is not something I really wanted to do. There are great local jobs around me but they all require 9 months or more experience. What I want to do is go with the regional position to get experience and then down the road one of the better local positions, but I have no idea how my wife will react because she just sprung this issue on me. I was in the process of getting hired when She just up and decided that. Any advice would be appreciated.

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.

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.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Hay, Kraken !!

Have you looked into LTL?

Here's a thread that almost, if not, ALL of our LTL guys have contributed to. This may be something the wife could approve!

Running Doubles / LTL & Linehaul

I'd normally tag more links/threads, but I'm coming out of a bad winter cold.. ^^ That's a start! The main guys are in there.

Best wishes!

~ Anne ~

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Work this out at home before you proceed any further. No matter OTR , regional , LTL , or local delivery driver....this is NOT a normal job.

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.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

You sound like me. In fact, my first Thread here was about that very issue.

I got lucky with FedEx freight being down the road from me. They told me no the first time I applied and yes the second.

Like Packrat says, nothing about this is typical. More often than not, my wife hates my job.. When my phone rings at 530 AM Saturday morning, it's going to be a long day because everything goes out the window and I never say no and she gets mad about it.

Last Saturday, I got a call asking me to take a run to Providence. I had errands to run, so I didn't get to work until 3 pm. I got back at 230 AM and by the time I dropped my trailers and fueled up, it was 3 AM. I got home at 330, by the time I showered, ate dinner (by myself) it was around 5 AM. I was up for 24 hours and it happens plenty of times. I slept until 11, then it was family time.

There are sacrifices involved in this career and none of them are easy. If your wife isn't on board, it won't work. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you can find something that works for you.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Some carriers are more flexible than others in regards to home time. I know it was a very large deciding factor for me. I have the option to be home every 5 to 6 days as a regional position. I usually tend to stay out longer. But it's very dynamic, my home time falls into two categories, hard set and flexible dates.

I was also offered a local position after being with my company and demonstrating desirable qualities for 6 months. I chose not to take it and it's certainly not the norm, but I would think that opportunity may exist with other carriers as well.

While it's been my experience that I had to do training as otr , I've read of local opportunities and programs here. I don't know much about it but hopefully some of the local and LTL folks can stop by and drop some info.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Wile E.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you spoken to companies such as Averitt? They have a "dock to driver" program that's pretty much what it sounds like, working on their docks and training with one of their trainers. Depending upon the terminal , you might have line haul options. I know this because I spoke with one of their recruiters last week. Looks like they have a terminal near Tupelo? I think several of the LTL carriers have training programs, but I don't know that for a fact. Maybe some others here will chime in.

Keep in mind the experienced pros here typically do NOT recommend you start in city P&D , and I agree with them. Having done some driving years ago, I know that P&D can involve getting in and out of a lot of tight places, and increases your odds of a fender bender (or worse) considerably. That's why I suggested asking about the line haul option.

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.

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

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.
CM59's Comment
member avatar

Yowza! Yeah, I’m still pretty new but the number of god awful back I had to do in my first year … Wouldn’t even want to attempt them without a few months in. Luckily my months OTR wasn’t that bad until I went to going regional. P&D need to be in and out as quick as they can. Even linehaul , I’d recommend a good grasp on your time management.

Regional works for me personally but me and my partner like being independent. It was a struggle and uncomfortable for awhile though.

There’s some options with a little experience that I’ve looked into but it depends greatly on location. Intermodal has a regular schedule here with JB Hunt etc.. Amazon and FedEx both have contractor carriers that will hire you in a heartbeat to run a route. For example another driver from my company (brand new) left pretty quickly and hauls contract FedEx doubles from JAX to ATL overnight. I’ve talked to recruiting with the Amazon contractor and it was 22 per/hour but hours were iffy.

YMMV. Good luck!

Have you spoken to companies such as Averitt? They have a "dock to driver" program that's pretty much what it sounds like, working on their docks and training with one of their trainers. Depending upon the terminal , you might have line haul options. I know this because I spoke with one of their recruiters last week. Looks like they have a terminal near Tupelo? I think several of the LTL carriers have training programs, but I don't know that for a fact. Maybe some others here will chime in.

Keep in mind the experienced pros here typically do NOT recommend you start in city P&D, and I agree with them. Having done some driving years ago, I know that P&D can involve getting in and out of a lot of tight places, and increases your odds of a fender bender (or worse) considerably. That's why I suggested asking about the line haul option.

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.

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.

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Another reason I'm glad I'm not married hahaha Bet she'd say different in a year or so, when you can be bringing home $1500 a week or more lol

Good luck in your endeavors going forward

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Have you made her aware that doing OTR or regional for a year will most likely open up a lot more local options for you? Sacrificing a difficult year now could be more worthwhile in the long run.

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.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

Short answer is to take care of the home life before you go any farther. Like others have said this isn't a normal job and even if you get a local job there's no guarantee that you will see her any more than if you got a local one.

I was OTR and was able to be home every other weekend with my first company. My ex wanted me home more so I got a local job. I had to work nights, so I was leaving before she got home from work and was getting home as she was leaving for work. So we still didn't see each other except for the weekend and most of those I still had to work 1 day of the weekend. So coming home for a local job was actually a negative thing.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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