I'd Like To Become A Driver, But Having Trouble Finding What I Need...

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Zen Joker 's Comment
member avatar

Hey James,

That is an enormous thing you would do by realizing what is best for your cat and putting him in a different home. That is a completely selfless and loving act that will undoubtedly come back to you, tenfold, and some other area of life.

To expand on old schools, suggestion of becoming an a nomadic truck, driver, with only expense being cell phones you’re going to rack up a ton of income over time. If you don’t want to save up and settle down and buy a house, you could take some of your money and fund charities for children in foreign countries that are starving or need shelter, education, etc., animal rights groups, or whatever is close to your heart.

You can enjoy the open road and have a tremendous impact in the lives of many people, and or animals depending on where your charitable dollars would go.

Something to consider best of luck, and success to you, sir. 🙏

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
Do trucking companies have some type of Covid mandate? I never got the Covid shot and I really don't trust it either. If anyone knows one way or the other, please let me know. Thanks!

None that I'm aware of. There's still a few shippers I go to that won't allow drivers inside due to covid protocols so you call them to check in then they bring you paperwork. I like it better that way anyways!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Yes James, staying in the truck, rather than an apt or house, you CAN rack up cash fast! I had a 5th wheel at best friends huge 2.5 acre yard, in the back corner out of the way, and a shed. When I took home time, if i had a trailer, I'd park in the dirt road out front. No 53 footer, I'd park by my trailer, and use my little red civic to run around town in. So I gave my buddy some cash for my spot, and a cell phone bill. Trailer was off grid, so no utility bills.

The last 3 months driving, before retiring, I literally saved up $20,000+ cash those 3 months. My cash headstart, to live here in Asia. I gave my car back to my buddy, to do with as he wished....Now I think back, that if I drove a full year, I could've, maybe, saved up close to $80k at that rate ****il the recent economy/load drop)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
James M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all! Sorry I haven't replied to anyone in a while. I've been extremely busy trying to get everything done that I need to get done. So, I finally made a choice as to where I'm going to get training.

MTI (Millis Training Institute). It starts off with 3 weeks of classroom training then 3 days of orientation. During this time they will pay me $600/wk. Their training facility is in Eden, NC; it's just under 2 1/2 hours away, but I don't see why I can't commute daily at least until the classroom portion of the training is completed. Weeks 5-8 (or until I reach 15,000 mi.) I'll be OTR with a trainer. During that time, they will pay .44 cpm and once I get my own truck it increases to .48 cpm. They've already done the background check and all that and I've been approved! I start training on 4/15, so I gotta study my butt off and pass the CDL permit test and get a DOT physical.

I have been giving serious thought to the nomadic lifestyle, but had questions about it and I really don't understand the notion of getting "my own truck". Even MTI in one of their emails said that I would get my own truck after training is completed. The question is....is it really my own truck? I mean, let's say I'm done whatever load(s) they wanted me to deliver for however long it is until I get time off. Aren't I suppose to drop the truck off to them for other drivers to use? Or is it my actual truck that I will always be using? If the answer is that it is in fact "my truck" then can I use it in my off hours? Also, if it is my truck, currently I live in an apartment. If I don't drop the truck off somewhere...where do I park it? I know there is one person that lives in my complex that drives a truck and he does park it here, but I'm not sure if he made special arrangements or if he has to pay extra per month or something like that. Also, if I do decide to sell everything in my apartment and end the lease and live in my truck, where could I park it during the times I'm not working? Truck stops? Rest stops? How would I get mail without an address? Doesn't the IRS, banks, doctors, insurance companies, etc. need to know where I'm living? Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to talk myself out of it. I have a decent amount of debt that I'd love to pay off and I would also love to save a ton of money, I just don't know how to go about the nomadic lifestyle and actually live in my truck. Old School & Stevo Remo, if you have the time, please let me know as much as you can on how to go about living in my truck. I greatly appreciate it!

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.

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

ID Mtn Gal's Comment
member avatar

It's easy enough. Go to the white box above the post and type in Living in Truck and a bunch of posts will pop up that you can read. A number of guys have done it, including BK (Bruce) that I can think of right off hand.

You have a bunch of questions which I would answer a few of them but I have to leave in 15 minutes. There will be guys that come along, just be patient.

Laura

BK's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations James!!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

Looks like you are off to a great start.

I live full time in my truck and have for just over 2 years now. I’ve had to figure out how to do everything you are planning to do and it is not all that difficult to accomplish if you take it one step at a time. And of course you have a great resource here to ask any question you want.

First of all, it is customary for an OTR driver to get a personal truck that you don’t share with other drivers. It’s still the company’s property, but you use it exclusively. But there are rules and limitations. Nobody else uses the truck when you are on home time, 34 hour resets or even vacation. But if you need to be off for an extended time, the company might have you empty out the truck and give you another truck when you return to work. Normally you can’t use it for a personal vehicle when you are off work or on some kind of break. This is called “PC” or personal conveyance. Each company follows the FMCSA rules on this but there are variations. This should be covered in your school material and/or orientation. You are free to live in the truck but not to take it anywhere you want. You will have to find out Millis’ parking Policy and probably find a place to park. That place will have to (normally) accommodate both the truck and trailer.

And you do need a valid address which you can get from a business that specializes in that. I use a service I learned about on TT, Your Best Address in Sioux Falls, SD. But there are others. You change your address to one of their personal mailboxes and they will then forward your mail to whatever place you want them to.

I know you have a lot of questions. Others will give you the pertinent information you will need. Good luck with school!

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

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.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, it's the companies truck, but it's referred to as your truck. Most companies have varying lengths of time that the truck can sit before it can be taken. At my company, it's terminal specific, meaning the policy is generally after 7 days you need to clean it out, but if you perform well, then your TM can allow much longer times. I've gone to Europe for 3 weeks and my TM saw to it that my truck stayed mine. Individual results may vary.

Usually, although it varies at companies, they have you park the truck for a reset at a nearby safe location. In my case there's a terminal about 80 miles from my "home" I leave one of my cars at the terminal and park there, other times, like for my home in Texas, I just park it at a truck stop nearby. Many drivers find a yard and rent a space there and/or see if the company will pay for one.

This industry is performance based. If you're safe, reliable on time and easy to work with, after building a reputation for that, you will be able to gain a lot more leeway on items, it's bargaining power.

Terminal:

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

You're thinking of commuting between Eden and Fayetteville each day? Good luck staying awake.

James M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Bk. Thanks for the congrats! I've been busy with studying and trying to sell everything in my apartment, but I still have questions about "mailing address" and "permanent address". Can I use the mailing address that I would get from a mail forwarding service as my residential address? I had done some searching around on here and from what I found so far, it looks like everyone is using a family member or friend for their permanent address. I'm sorry to bug you, I'm just a bit confused. Has anyone posted a step-by-step how to? If so, that's all I should really need. If the answer is that I would need an "actual" permanent address and it can't be from a mail forwarding service.....then I'm going to have to stop selling everything and hold onto the apartment, unfortunately. ;-(

Congratulations James!!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

Looks like you are off to a great start.

I live full time in my truck and have for just over 2 years now. I’ve had to figure out how to do everything you are planning to do and it is not all that difficult to accomplish if you take it one step at a time. And of course you have a great resource here to ask any question you want.

First of all, it is customary for an OTR driver to get a personal truck that you don’t share with other drivers. It’s still the company’s property, but you use it exclusively. But there are rules and limitations. Nobody else uses the truck when you are on home time, 34 hour resets or even vacation. But if you need to be off for an extended time, the company might have you empty out the truck and give you another truck when you return to work. Normally you can’t use it for a personal vehicle when you are off work or on some kind of break. This is called “PC” or personal conveyance. Each company follows the FMCSA rules on this but there are variations. This should be covered in your school material and/or orientation. You are free to live in the truck but not to take it anywhere you want. You will have to find out Millis’ parking Policy and probably find a place to park. That place will have to (normally) accommodate both the truck and trailer.

And you do need a valid address which you can get from a business that specializes in that. I use a service I learned about on TT, Your Best Address in Sioux Falls, SD. But there are others. You change your address to one of their personal mailboxes and they will then forward your mail to whatever place you want them to.

I know you have a lot of questions. Others will give you the pertinent information you will need. Good luck with school!

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

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.
James M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Davy. Thanks for your comments! So, let's say I just got finished dropping off a load and then I have time off. My time off would be at the terminal? The company would let me stay there? I'm sure you're all laughing at me. I just don't know where I would be when my time off happens. Would it be at a company that I dropped a load off to or do I go back to a terminal and just park there? I'm still trying to figure out if I can actually live in my truck without a permanent address. I see mentions of mail forwarding services and you can use them as an address, but then I saw a woman's reply (sorry, I didn't catch her name) say that legally you can't use them as a permanent address. I was trying to sell everything in my apartment and I'm not sure if I should stop doing that because I might have no choice but to stay here.

Which brings me to another question. If I'm living in my truck and I can't use it for personal reasons and I still had my apartment.....how would I get back to my apartment? Uber or cab every time? I'm sorry, I'm just thoroughly confused.

Yes, it's the companies truck, but it's referred to as your truck. Most companies have varying lengths of time that the truck can sit before it can be taken. At my company, it's terminal specific, meaning the policy is generally after 7 days you need to clean it out, but if you perform well, then your TM can allow much longer times. I've gone to Europe for 3 weeks and my TM saw to it that my truck stayed mine. Individual results may vary.

Usually, although it varies at companies, they have you park the truck for a reset at a nearby safe location. In my case there's a terminal about 80 miles from my "home" I leave one of my cars at the terminal and park there, other times, like for my home in Texas, I just park it at a truck stop nearby. Many drivers find a yard and rent a space there and/or see if the company will pay for one.

This industry is performance based. If you're safe, reliable on time and easy to work with, after building a reputation for that, you will be able to gain a lot more leeway on items, it's bargaining power.

Terminal:

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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