Getting My First CDL Job

Topic 31652 | Page 1

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Trenton H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello truckers! I am signed up to attend a CDL school in June for one month. Once completed I will obviously get my commercial drivers license as long as I pass.

I wanted to ask for recommendations pertaining to starting my job as a new CDL driver. I am a single male 28y/o with a dog. I understand for many truckers this is a lifestyle and can work up to 70 hours a week (currently work 60-72 hours at current job). I am looking to hopefully start off doing regional or dedicated or car hauling, but I’ve heard this can be difficult because many companies require OTR experience. And at some point I may want to move into the hazmat field of transportation.

I’m having trouble finding companies that will let me bring my dog with me. He is a very friendly 95 pitbull and I could never consider adopting him out. As a rookie driver would it ever be possible for me to find a job with maybe 50 hours or less a week, regional or dedicated? What was your first CDL job? And what advice would you give to a new driver? Thank you for whatever input and advice you can provide!

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

That size and breed will be a tough sell for most companies because "a few bad apples..."

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

You could look into local LTL companies in your area, that would get you home everyday. Some train in house and hire new grads. Some that I know have dock to driver programs are ABF(I’m currently training with them) YRC, Pitt Ohio, Estes, Fed Ex. You could also look into food service companies like Sysco and Performance food group.

good-luck.gif

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
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Hello truckers! I am signed up to attend a CDL school in June for one month. Once completed I will obviously get my commercial drivers license as long as I pass.

I wanted to ask for recommendations pertaining to starting my job as a new CDL driver. I am a single male 28y/o with a dog. I understand for many truckers this is a lifestyle and can work up to 70 hours a week (currently work 60-72 hours at current job). I am looking to hopefully start off doing regional or dedicated or car hauling, but I’ve heard this can be difficult because many companies require OTR experience. And at some point I may want to move into the hazmat field of transportation.

I’m having trouble finding companies that will let me bring my dog with me. He is a very friendly 95 pitbull and I could never consider adopting him out. As a rookie driver would it ever be possible for me to find a job with maybe 50 hours or less a week, regional or dedicated? What was your first CDL job? And what advice would you give to a new driver? Thank you for whatever input and advice you can provide!

Howdy, Trenton!

Welcome to Trucking Truth! You could start here, for one:

This will help you get acclimated toward what's to come, for sure.

If you apply here >>>>>>>Apply For Paid CDL Training you could sure save your MONEY, in June, as well!

Once you specify your pet friendly desire, the companies that DO have that policy, will call/email/text you. Many sure do allow, but usually NOT during training phase; you'd have to board your pittie . . . somehow. Almost for SURE. 99% sure.

That size and breed will be a tough sell for most companies because "a few bad apples..."

He's entirely right, Trenton.

HowEVER, 'some' states are more amenable to the breed. Ohio, for instance. We 'LOVE'EM!' My guys company, for instance, has no issues. CFI (or as they used to be, before TFI,) aren't breed specific.

Prime would probably say no, unless it is / was a 'service dog.' Anymore, that's not too hard to 'obtain' a certificate for, though!

It would be awesome if you'd ADD your state to your profile, much more help from the folks here!

You could look into local LTL companies in your area, that would get you home everyday. Some train in house and hire new grads. Some that I know have dock to driver programs are ABF(I’m currently training with them) YRC, Pitt Ohio, Estes, Fed Ex. You could also look into food service companies like Sysco and Performance food group.

good-luck.gif

Trenton,

Delco Dave poses another great idea/way to save your money, and be home! However, I'm not sure about LTL's (being daycabs) having ANY pet policy. I'm trying to recall if that question has ever BEEN posted, to be honest. Don't think so, sorry.

Hope some of the info we've given you (collectively, at least!) helps!

Sure wish you the BEST! The more you can share (in your profile; even the state!) would help us (them) help you!!

Stop back soon; let us know~

~ 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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

James H.'s Comment
member avatar

There are companies that don't discriminate based on a dog's size or breed, but I'm not aware of any company that will let you bring him along from Day 1. You'll have to go through training and at least a couple months solo before you're allowed to have a rider, either human or canine. As far as part-time jobs, the ones I've seen all require at least six months' experience, some want a year. And part-time will just mean fewer days, but your shifts can still be ten hours or more.

Entry-level local jobs are out there, but again you're likely looking at shifts of 10-12 hours, possibly more. If you have a reliable dog-walker, this could work. And even with local, there's always the possibility that a break-down or other delay will result in you exhausting your Hours of Service, and you'll have to sit until you get your ten hours off duty and can drive again. Again, a reliable support system back home will be essential.

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