Any Advice For A Potential Trucker?

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Shane M.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings, all! I've tried everything from retail, customer service, desk jobs, apartment jobs, merchandising; pretty much you name it and I've probably worked in that industry. Nothing fits. I'm seriously considering entering the trucking industry because I love driving, being on the road, and travelling the country. I am married with a teenage son, so I'm looking at possibly doing regional , but I'm not opposed to doing OTR. I'm basically looking for the harsh truth about being a trucker: best companies to work for, average home time, average miles per week, etc.

Thanks in advance!

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.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Where are you located? How old? Could you pass a DOT physical?

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Shane M.'s Comment
member avatar

Where are you located? How old? Could you pass a DOT physical?

Springfield, MO, 35 years old, passed a DOT physical a little over two years ago so I should be good since nothing major has changed, plus or minus a few pounds

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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

double-quotes-start.png

Where are you located? How old? Could you pass a DOT physical?

double-quotes-end.png

Springfield, MO, 35 years old, passed a DOT physical a little over two years ago so I should be good since nothing major has changed, plus or minus a few pounds

Welcome to TT, Shane'

Heck, you're just the RIGHT age; some of the folks on here have grandkids going on to their teens, haha! This industry actually adores mature drivers; yet they can't just say that, lest be discriminatory. (Or maybe it just 'seems' that way?!?!? LoL...)

Have you dove into this? Best stuff to start:

Sprimo? Wow . . . choice place for truckers to begin their 'next' future, for sure!

Look here: Paid CDL Training Programs

And that's only the tip of the iceberg, haha! Many of these OTR companies, indeed DO have regional lanes. We highly recommend company paid training, for all the apparent reasons; won't be wasting any time, learning 'the company' way, and having a job/truck waiting for you, upon successful completions!

Stick around; great group of folks in here. As Bruce mentioned, it'd help if you would put your locations in profile; thanks!!

See you soon, then ~ welcome !!!

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps; You'll probably have to grabanother DOT physical when obtaining your permit: FMCSA How To's, re: Obtaining CDL.

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.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

You are in a great location for trucking.

Prime's main HQ is in Springfield, MO. This is a solid company that produces a lot of successful drivers.

Swift has a yard in Harrisonville, MO, also a very good company that has a proven track record for training and producing successful drivers.

Wilson Logistics is located in Strafford, Mo.

RBX is also located in Strafford, MO. I think they train through Roadmasters.

Werner has a couple of yards in Fulton, MO.

Knight Transportation has a location in Kansas City, KS.

TMC has a location in Joplin, MO, which has excellent training for flatbed.

CFI is HQ'd in Joplin, MO, also a very good company that produces very good drivers.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Shane M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Where are you located? How old? Could you pass a DOT physical?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Springfield, MO, 35 years old, passed a DOT physical a little over two years ago so I should be good since nothing major has changed, plus or minus a few pounds

double-quotes-end.png

Welcome to TT, Shane'

Heck, you're just the RIGHT age; some of the folks on here have grandkids going on to their teens, haha! This industry actually adores mature drivers; yet they can't just say that, lest be discriminatory. (Or maybe it just 'seems' that way?!?!? LoL...)

Have you dove into this? Best stuff to start:

Sprimo? Wow . . . choice place for truckers to begin their 'next' future, for sure!

Look here: Paid CDL Training Programs

And that's only the tip of the iceberg, haha! Many of these OTR companies, indeed DO have regional lanes. We highly recommend company paid training, for all the apparent reasons; won't be wasting any time, learning 'the company' way, and having a job/truck waiting for you, upon successful completions!

Stick around; great group of folks in here. As Bruce mentioned, it'd help if you would put your locations in profile; thanks!!

See you soon, then ~ welcome !!!

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps; You'll probably have to grabanother DOT physical when obtaining your permit: FMCSA How To's, re: Obtaining CDL.

Thanks for all the great tips! I’ve actually almost finished Brett’s book and it’s been an amazing resource so far. I had a meeting with the branch manager at 160 Driving this morning that went pretty well. I think I’ll end up going to Driver Solutions, though. They have a payment plan that will work better for me, they’re partnered with PAM, and offer job placement as well. I was kinda leery at first, but after getting more info into the industry from the school and Brett’s book, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and see this beautiful land of ours. On my off days I pick up random jobs assembling furniture and today’s gig has me in Neosho. So many trucks on the road practically begging for drivers lol

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.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Why need a payment plan? Prime, CFI and Wild Trans (I'm pretty sure) charge you nothing unless u quit the first year. Work a year an pay nothing.

Yesterday marked 7 years since I headed to Prime. Love it.

Other companies have variations on the contract... Roehl has you drive 150k miles... But a lot won't charge you a penny

I live in sprimo now. Hi neighbor!

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar
Thanks for all the great tips! I’ve actually almost finished Brett’s book and it’s been an amazing resource so far. I had a meeting with the branch manager at 160 Driving this morning that went pretty well. I think I’ll end up going to Driver Solutions, though. They have a payment plan that will work better for me, they’re partnered with PAM, and offer job placement as well. I was kinda leery at first, but after getting more info into the industry from the school and Brett’s book, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and see this beautiful land of ours. On my off days I pick up random jobs assembling furniture and today’s gig has me in Neosho. So many trucks on the road practically begging for drivers lol!!

Why need a payment plan? Prime, CFI and Wild Trans (I'm pretty sure) charge you nothing unless u quit the first year. Work a year an pay nothing.

Yesterday marked 7 years since I headed to Prime. Love it.

Other companies have variations on the contract... Roehl has you drive 150k miles... But a lot won't charge you a penny !

I live in sprimo now. Hi neighbor!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (BELATED,) KEARSEY/RAINY !!! WOW ! 7 YEARS, ALREADY??

Seven years sure went by quick, m'lady~! Wild Trans? I'll add them to 'my' list, too!! (Oh, you mean Wilson/Ashley, former Wil Trans?) I'm just pickin' at ya, haha!

Yeah, Shane . . . she's right. I still think you should add your state (at least~!) to your profile, people like Kearsey will see it at a glance, haha!. Also, Some of us know a few 'wildcard' training companies, should the linked ones not like your background, too.

Did you get no replies from the companies, here? Apply For Paid CDL Training

I believe DriverSolutions/Pam is linked above, as well. Their payment (through app on TT) was always in the past, a deduction of your earnings; should you indeed hope to drive for Pam.

After you get done w/ Brett's book, and Kearsey's YouTube Channel... here's more for ya!

Best to ya, man . .

Keep on it!

~ Anne ~

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

ps: Oh, her channel ! ~ Truckin' Along w/Kearsey ~!Tons of great info; not just for 'Prime' folks, and not just for female drivers, either!

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.

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.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Where are you located? How old? Could you pass a DOT physical?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Springfield, MO, 35 years old, passed a DOT physical a little over two years ago so I should be good since nothing major has changed, plus or minus a few pounds

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Welcome to TT, Shane'

Heck, you're just the RIGHT age; some of the folks on here have grandkids going on to their teens, haha! This industry actually adores mature drivers; yet they can't just say that, lest be discriminatory. (Or maybe it just 'seems' that way?!?!? LoL...)

Have you dove into this? Best stuff to start:

Sprimo? Wow . . . choice place for truckers to begin their 'next' future, for sure!

Look here: Paid CDL Training Programs

And that's only the tip of the iceberg, haha! Many of these OTR companies, indeed DO have regional lanes. We highly recommend company paid training, for all the apparent reasons; won't be wasting any time, learning 'the company' way, and having a job/truck waiting for you, upon successful completions!

Stick around; great group of folks in here. As Bruce mentioned, it'd help if you would put your locations in profile; thanks!!

See you soon, then ~ welcome !!!

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps; You'll probably have to grabanother DOT physical when obtaining your permit: FMCSA How To's, re: Obtaining CDL.

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks for all the great tips! I’ve actually almost finished Brett’s book and it’s been an amazing resource so far. I had a meeting with the branch manager at 160 Driving this morning that went pretty well. I think I’ll end up going to Driver Solutions, though. They have a payment plan that will work better for me, they’re partnered with PAM, and offer job placement as well. I was kinda leery at first, but after getting more info into the industry from the school and Brett’s book, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and see this beautiful land of ours. On my off days I pick up random jobs assembling furniture and today’s gig has me in Neosho. So many trucks on the road practically begging for drivers lol

Kearsey just mentioned 3 companies that offer training with nothing out of pocket and I believe that they actually pay you while you are acquiring your CDL.

I don't know much about PAM, but I do know that there are a handful of people who regularly post on here about those 3 companies specifically, and the reports are quite good. There are many, many posts going back years on those 3companies, so the training has longevity and staying power.

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.

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ryan wrote:

Kearsey just mentioned 3 companies that offer training with nothing out of pocket and I believe that they actually pay you while you are acquiring your CDL.

Can someone with specific first-hand experience confirm this… doesn’t sound right.

Why would a company pay a student before they pass their CDL; technically not an employee at that point. IMO, too risky for any company to throw money around like that when the wash-out rate is way over 50%.

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.
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