Trying To Find A SMALL Carrier

Topic 34005 | Page 2

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Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

As for "going stale" I doubt it lol it's like riding a bike, once ya get back into it, things come back to you. Maybe out of practice in the manuevering about, but what? a week, or so to regain the "feel" for it....

Insurance might be the determining factor also, maybe BK will find out talking to his big shots lol

I'd think, that at least a returning driver, would be better than a green horn, fresh out of school, with no actual experience would be more risky. Since they wouldn't really need much time to get reaquainted with driving.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Pianoman assumes

it was because of insurance requirements. Does that have anything to do with it?

Think of any insurance as a bet. The wager is you will or won't get some injury/ crash/ bad day. If you do, you "win" and your insurance pays off. And just like a casino, your insurance company wants to minimize risk so they might make rules so you'll live safely.

TruckInsur insists your company, National Freight, only hire drivers with at least five years recent experience or the insurance rates will increase.

So the proverbial "stale" driver must look elsewhere. I'm with Stevo on insurance. I also agree on the bike riding thing. I learned manual double clutch shifting 40 years ago (school bus) then didn't drive for most of the following years. Got my CDL-A in 2015. The double clutch "pop-pop" was right there when I needed 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.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

If the driver was local, he didn't run logs like we do, often don't have set appointments like we do (its more boom boom boom), and being local means you know the area. Locals prpbably don't worry about weights like we do.

Many people feel comfortable within their own area. But take them out of their comfort zone and they get lost. Also, OTR has very different roads. Example.... service roads of Dallas wow oh wow. NJ parkway nope, not for trucks.

I would imagine all of that is a big change for someone who never did it. Someone who has... idk. I think it would come back.

However the technology on these trucks keeps changing so quickly.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

To be clear, what I'm questioning is the need to have recent OTR experience, even if you're an experienced OTR driver. So if you have three years of OTR experience, but none in the past year, some companies won't hire you. This is the situation I'm talking about. I'm not referring to people with no OTR experience.

I would imagine all of that is a big change for someone who never did it. Someone who has... idk. I think it would come back.

Of course it would come right back. That's why, "It's like riding a bike" is one of the most famous cliches of all. Once you know something well, you get it back quickly.

However the technology on these trucks keeps changing so quickly.

If truck technology changed quickly, that would only make things easier for the driver. As far as I know, no technological inventions have made it harder to drive a truck.

Back in '93, when I started, you had no cell phones, GPS, internet, automatic transmissions, adaptive cruise control, proximity sensors, on-demand weather radar, or satellite communication. Your "toolset," if you could call it that, was a notebook, a pen, and a long-distance calling card. The trucks were the same height, weight, and length as today.

So navigation and communication were infinitely more difficult and limited back then. Things are much easier today.

And honestly, I don't think the technology has changed much from a driver's perspective in recent years. Most of the technology gains that affected drivers happened in the late '90s and early 2000s.

The bigger changes have happened with regard to the office staff. You now have more advanced mathematical modeling, including the use of AI and machine learning, for things like freight pricing, fuel hedging, fleet sizing, financing, hiring, and load planning.

None of that has made it into the driver's cab.

My best guess is they require recent OTR experience because of the lifestyle more than anything. If you ran OTR and came off the road to run local, it's likely because you didn't want the OTR lifestyle any longer. If you're returning to OTR, it could be temporary, and there's a good chance it won't last.

  • You may need to fill a temporary hole in your finances
  • You're going through a major life-changing event like a divorce
  • You're making ends meet while you wait for a better opportunity to come along
  • You're unhappy with your current circumstances, so you're going back to OTR, hoping for a spark

I know this about myself: I'm incredibly driven when pursuing my latest obsession, but once I lose interest, it never returns to its previous level. I find something that fascinates me, I dive in head-first, and I live it to the fullest until I reach a point where I can say, "Ok, that was really cool. I'm glad I did that. But it's time for something new."

And just like that, I'm off on my next adventure, never to return.

I suspect it's that sort of thing that keeps people from succeeding when they return to an OTR job after coming off the road for a while. I left the OTR scene to go local a few times over the years, and returned to OTR because I found that I still preferred that level of adventure and lifestyle. Finally, I got my fill, and I never returned to OTR or driving professionally. I felt I had experienced all it had to offer, and so I moved on. If I returned to OTR trucking tomorrow, it would take me less than a week to be back in the groove, but I'd soon remember that's no longer where I want to be.

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.

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

it’s all been NO because of no recent tractor trailer experience

double-quotes-end.png

Does anyone know why recent OTR experience is so important to many OTR companies? I've wondered this for 30 years and never heard a definitive answer.

I think it has a lot do do with how "insurance" is handled by different size companies. For the larger self insured OTR carriers the companies themselves make the call on the risk assessment of a driver. No traditional insurance company is involved. These companies have determined what factors they consider important and base their hiring practices accordingly.

Smaller companies like the ones I have worked for over the last 3 years do it differently. They work more like we do when shopping for individual car insurance. When my company looks at a driver they actually contact their insurance company with the drivers info. My understanding is that the insurance company looks at the individuals driving record and how long they have had their CDL. The insurance company either says yes or no. Nor sure if they quote a rate at the individual driver level or how billing works.

I have driven semis for 3-4 companies since I had to switch to intrastate only driving and have never been asked anything about OTR vs local driving.

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.

Intrastate:

The act of purchasers and sellers transacting business while keeping all transactions in a single state, without crossing state lines to do so.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

The technology has to be learned, easier or harder makes no difference. Gone are the days of start the truck and go. Some companies wont even let the truck start until you walk around the entire truck with a tablet and scan certain sensors to prove a pretrip.

For example... i went from a FL manual to an International auto. Turned it on, put it in gear, pushed the brakes and nothing. No shifting. For the life of me i couldnt get it to move. No one told me any specifics and even laughed when i said i couldnt get it going. That truck had a certain sequence u had to do things or it wouldnt shift. (Can't remember now the order... but it had something to do with when to push in the brakes)

One of my trucks beeped endlessly if u opened the door right away. Had no idea why it did it. I had to wait until the dealership opened to call them... after 5 hours of beeping. It was a "safety feature" and had an non descript switch that i didnt know was there.

I said screw it and got a hotel room cause i couldnt stay in a beeping truck.

Now the onguard similar system reads speed limit signs of the ramps from the interstate and slams on the brakes... not realizing you arent going on the ramp so it tries to drop you to 40mph or less!

I coukd go on... it is tedious crap. Now Prime is putting in cameras by september. It doesnt sound good. If they want to put it in newbies or bad drivers... fine. But Im not liking the idea.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Joshua S.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

it’s all been NO because of no recent tractor trailer experience

double-quotes-end.png

Does anyone know why recent OTR experience is so important to many OTR companies? I've wondered this for 30 years and never heard a definitive answer.

My best guess is that they figure you came off the road because you didn't want to be OTR any longer, and you might be returning temporarily to 'fill a hole' in your finances or as a holdover while you look for another local job.

I'm sure the large carriers have statistics showing that someone without recent OTR experience is less likely to stick around and be successful, but I've never had the conversation with any higher-ups.

Anyone know? Any theories?

Seems to me it’s mostly just an insurance issue. Although for the past year and a half I’ve been insured at a motor carried with a DOT number and the whole deal but it’s not OTR or just conventional tractor trailer. Doesn’t help me get back out there tho.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joshua S.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes it is due to insurance. I was still working in the industry as a heavy tow operator towing many of these NEWER trucks.

I did find a small company that would let me run. Figured how bad could it be? I’m stuck here till I get enough verifiable experience to move on elsewhere

Turns out might of been a bad idea but I’ll do what I have to so I can move on somewhere else

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joshua S.'s Comment
member avatar

Been an adventure for sure. Was long haul OTR for 13 years before I desired to try being a heavy tow operator. I knew coming back out after that long off the road was going to be challenging. But this company I landed at does not give a F&$@ about maintenance. My truck needs tires and brakes. Just hoping I can skate by for a few months and get the heck away from here

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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

"Knowing" you have brake and tire issues, isn't an excuse to continue using that truck. What type of truck? And do you go thru scales or no? lol If it were me, I think I'd find a way to be "inspected" then you'd be put out of service. THEN the owners would HAVE TO fix the truck, no if an's or butts about it.

It's YOUR butt on the line in case something bad were to happen because of said defects. Document what ever you do to CYA is my thoughts.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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