Attending NTTS With My Boyfriend! How Hard Is It To Find Team Driving?

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Logan & Rachel's Comment
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Hey everyone! This is my first time on this website & everyone seemed so helpful! I feel like I have a million and one questions, and hoping to get some answers.

My boyfriend and I are starting school together, May 5th at NTTS in upstate NY. We are super excited and have heard nothing but good things about the school. We are looking to find a company after school to do team driving and over the road. Is it hard to find companies that will hire us on as team drivers with no experience? What is the process after school, to find a company that will want to hire us? We have done a lot of research and found that even after attending school for 10 weeks to get our CDL , once we sign on with a company we still have to train with mentor for up to 2 months? Does anyone know any companies that will allow us to get on the road ASAP together even though we would be considered inexperienced drivers? Also, I'm a very petite woman, 5'0 and 113lbs... Is driving a big rig going to be an issue?

Any advice anyone has would be greatly appreciated! We just want to know what is in store for us. The whole reason we are doing this together is because we want to be a team, to travel together and to get financially stable.

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.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Welcome!

I'm not familiar w/ your school, but you should be aware that certain companies only hire from certain schools. Ideally, unless you were going to a company-paid school, you should have researched prospective employers before you committed to a school. You might find a company you really like, only to find out that they don't 'count' the school you attended as one of their 'approved' schools. I'm not trying to scare you w/ this info, but it is something to consider. Normally if you are paying out of pocket or going to a private school, you'd want to get some pre-hires from your prospective employers.

I don't know much about team driving. Hopefully some team drivers w/ hop in here sooner than later. In the meantime, if you haven't already browsed these parts of the website, you should definitely check out these sections:

Truck Driver's Career Guide
Understanding Pre-Hires
How To Choose A Company
High Road Training Program

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
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One more important detail. You don't want to wait until after you graduate to apply to companies. Most prefer that you start the application process around 30 days before your scheduled graduation date.

Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

Although you will probably will have to do your training apart from your boyfriend. most companies will be ecstatic to hire on a new team. It seems to me that the industry is moving more and more towards teams. I don't know if Covenant Transport would balk at an unmarried couple or not (I doubt it) being a religious based company but them and CRST Expedited would be a good starting point for you.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Rachel!

I'm going to touch on a couple of things Bill pointed out.

The first and most important thing to do is go through our truck driver's career guide. It's loaded with tons of information about all different aspects of getting your careers off to a great start. Read through it thoroughly and follow all of the links. You'll learn a ton.

The second is our High Road Online CDL Training Program. Do yourselves a gigantic favor and go through that program beginning to end. It's a big program but you guys have plenty of time to get through it before school starts. Here's a rundown of the different sections of the program and what they apply to:

Study These Sections For Your Written Permit Test:

  • Rules & Regulations
  • Driving Safely
  • Transporting Cargo Safely
  • Air Brakes
  • Combination Vehicles
  • Pre-Trip Inspection
  • Driving Exam

The main sections for your endorsements which are optional but we highly recommend you get:

  • Transporting Passengers
  • Doubles And Triples
  • Tankers
  • Hazardous Materials

And two sections we've built ourselves with info you'll need for everyday life on the road but the manual doesn't really cover it:

  • Logbook
  • Weight & Balance

You will be thanking yourselves endlessly for using that program before you begin your schooling.

Now as far as teams go, they are highly coveted in trucking. Every company that runs teams desperately tries to recruit all of the teams they can get. Team trucks run more efficiently and can of course service customers more quickly so they're a very critical part of the success of big companies. So they'll be thrilled to have you.

As far as training separate from each other - that's a very good thing in my opinion. First of all, everyone goes through training with a mentor when they first come out of school and trust me - you would not want to try to head out there on your own straight out of school. You would be so completely lost and confounded all the time you'd have a nervous breakdown by the end of the second day.

And the idea that you'll be training apart from each other with separate trainers is also a great thing. Like they say, there's 1000 ways to skin a cat. Well by having separate trainers you'll both learn about life on the road from different viewpoints and you'll be able to compare and contrast when you get back together. That's going to help you guys quite a bit. Plus, that stage of learning is quite stressful and you guys would probably be better off learning it separately and then teaming back up afterward. It's going to be hard enough to maintain a peaceful relationship in a truck together without the additional stress of being trained together also. It gets to be too much.

But we're glad to have you. I hope you'll get started right away on those links we told you about and ask a lot of questions. We're always happy to help out.

smile.gif

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

As was said before teams are wanted very badly. There are some companies that don't have teams but that is due to the setup they have and their customer accounts. Most companies do run teams and most times will take priority over solo drivers cause the load will get there twice as fast and they can put you on any load cause you will always have the hours to run.

I have done solo and teams. Currently teaming with my brother since 2009 with only a small break while I drove solo for JB Hunt. Companies need teams and experienced teams is where the money is at.

Just cause I am currently doing sort of the same thing I can guarantee that after taxes once you get a little experience you can easily be putting $1500 to $2000 a week in the bank with both of you driving of course also depends on the miles you run also.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Rachael....one of the lady drivers in the ladies forum did the same thing you and your bf are doing...and THEY got to do their otr training TOGETHER, in the same truck, with one trainer !! So go over to the Ladies of Trucking and give a shout out to Jana Banana....she can give you the scoop on who they trained with.....Good Luck !!

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.

Jopa's Comment
member avatar

Rachael, one thing you are going to find out quick is how compatible you REALLY are . . . no way to fool yourself or each other if you are sharing that little space together 24/7 . . . good luck with that . . . one of the "biggies" out there that specializes in team driving is Schneider National. You didn't mention if you were interested in a company sponsored school or not and I don't know you financial situation, but the are many company sponsored schools where the company pays your ticket and you agree to work for a year in return . . . since that is a good idea anyway (to stay at least a year with your first employer - stressed here all of the time) some have you pay back with weekly deductions and some wave the fees entirely at the end of the year . . . some different ways to go you might want to check out . . . have you ever heard the expression "Absence makes the heart grow fonder?" well be prepared for the opposite effect as well . . . a little 'ole advice from an old fart!

Jopa

smile.gif

Charlie H.'s Comment
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Rachel,

Sent you a private message.

Logan & Rachel's Comment
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Hey Guys, sorry its been a bit since I've responded. Logan & I have been super busy getting ready for school and going through all the helpful information on this website. So far we have taken the rules and regulation tests and passed with a 98%. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. ]

We have 2 weeks now until we start school. Its down to the final count down. To touch base with a few of the comments as far as picking the correct schooling, NTTS is an accredited school that has an almost perfect employment placement. They have recruiters from all sorts of companies coming on weekly basis to check out new and upcoming drivers. We feel we have definitely picked the correct school.

I know a lot of you have said that the biggest issue on team driving is getting sick and tired of your spouse. However, Logan and I are the type of people that LOVE being together 24/7. One of the reasons why we chose this career. We are each other's best friends, soul mates, and already spend almost all day every day together. Its a very natural and comforting thing. Thank God. We have decided that if we can take the 6 week training period together, we will. But if not, I will go with a female instructor and we will just have to deal with the separation for a few weeks until we can get on the road together.

Thank you all for your helpful advice and guidance! We truly appreciate it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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