Newbie Here Taking My First Step

Topic 33557 | Page 1

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luminati322 's Comment
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Hello, I'm new just signed up for this forum and made my first call to get into school. i have been around the trucking life for some years now but only on the outside looking in. now i actually decided to take the leap of faith 13 days before I turn 53 I'm very nervous so if anyone can give me some helpful information as a lady driver it would really help out.

thank you

ID Mtn Gal's Comment
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Good morning. We don't get too many women come in here to the ladies forum, so I come in about once a week or so.

If you click on a person's name sometimes they fill out their info. You can read about my trucking life in abbreviated form there. I have been out here over 14 years at two different time frames. When I came out the second time in 2014, after my husband was placed in a home, I went to a school that was not attached to a trucking company. Worst mistake I made. This school brought in a couple companies to talk to us but did not offer us a job. When I got to the point of getting hired, they wouldn't even talk with me and I had the previous experience. In this business it has to be current and I had been off the road 22 years. I should have taken a job with a mega company and would have been guaranteed a job after completing their school. As it was, I went with a small 4 truck company in the next 16 mths and while you learn by doing, I did not learn the proper way. This was still during paper logs. The next company I went to also had me running illegal and while I knew I shouldn't I didn't know how to do otherwise. When their doors got closed by DOT , stranding me in Fargo ND in February 2017, I determined that I would only drive for a company that had electronic logs. It didn't matter really because all companies had to have them installed on trucks, or on a person's phone/tablet, in December 2017. Been running lots of miles legally ever since.

One of the things that people getting into the driving world thinks, is that they have to find a company close to where they live. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you go with a large company, they have terminals and drop lots all around the US, making it easy to park near home. Other companies allow you to park at truck stops nearby or, like me, allows me to park at my house. I live on 1.5 acres and have plenty of room to park my truck right by my house.

If you pick a company, for example is a thousand miles from you, they will either fly, bus or rent a car (which the rental companies make you pay for, but you get reimbursed) to get to orientation. Some companies pay for the motel and meals while you are in orientation. Others have you pay but it's a nominal amount.

Have you thought of who you are going to drive for? Below I will put some links that you should go through before going to school. The pre-trip may seem foreign to you, but it's basically a memory game on that one. Those that do our high road test generally pass it on the first time at their DMV and if not, take it a second time and pass it.

What questions do you have? I will check in once a day to see if you have any. You will learn what recaps are and that is what I'm running on right now. I'm about 60 miles east of Flagstaff AZ on I-40 going to the Port of Oakland. I only have 9 hours of drive time today so I need to get in gear, walk my dog, make my coffee and roll. I'm 795 mi away and can't do that in 9 hours. So I have to park and get up by 0500 CA time and get to the Port of Oakland by 0900 tomorrow.

Here's some links:

Paid CDL Training Programs



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.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.


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.


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.


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.


Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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