I Spoke With An Owner-Operator Yesterday

Topic 32352 | Page 1

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Pelican's Comment
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While I prepare for CDL school, which begins in October, I've been doing a side gig. Well, I was already doing this but this helps with tuition anyways so it's a win-win. I'm a high school athletics official. I referee games and stuff. I'm real new to it.

Was talking to one of the others about my plan to become a commercial driver and he said it was a great idea. Good money, he said. He told me he was OTR for 12 years then got signed onto a dedicated account where he went to Dallas from Houston every day. Said he always got home in time for dinner. Did that for 8 years.

He said now he's bought himself a daycab truck and only takes loads within a three hour radius. For example, he'll take a load up to Little Rock and get back to Shreveport in about 8 hours. He said he takes weekends off.

I found his career trajectory really interesting. Seems like you can, eventually, be a truck driver and have a semi-normal lifestyle.


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.


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.

PJ's Comment
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Once you get experience depending where you live it is possible to do just what that driver has.

I have been mostly over the road for 9 years. I moved into a gig where I run about 1200 miles a week, run 1 load and work between 2-4 days a week. It’s my way of slowing down.

Over The Road:

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.


Operating While Intoxicated

Delco Dave's Comment
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I work in the LTL world for ABF Freight. My terminal is 25 mins from home. I typically work 10-12 hour days Mon-Fri. Home everyday, off every weekend. There’s so many options with a career in trucking, just have to find what works best for you.


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.


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
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