Thinking About The Trucking Lifestyle, Team Driving With An Old Friend, Both Newbies.

Topic 3850 | Page 1

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Matthew M.'s Comment
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So, I recently found out about the trucking career/lifestyle in a bit more depth. I've been working for a Loves Travel Stop Tire Care Center, getting to know truckers and asking questions. It seems both challenging work and enjoyable at the same time. I have been mulling over trucking with a friend for a couple years, and we have decided to make an attempt at team driving. I have done a bit of research and though it seems like Knight has the best training program, CR England has the best opportunity to be trained as a team. I'm just curious if anyone has any advice on the matter. We are both past the stage in friendship where living in extremely close quarters would bother us, and we maneuver well around each other and know where to pick up slack and cover the others weaknesses (disagreements still happen I know, but that's life). I'm currently in the process of saving the money for a sleep test during school, my BMI is large enough to get me tested for sleep apnea , and truthfully I believe I have had it and not been diagnosed for years (heavy snoring, ect). so, trying to cover my bases before I bother to apply and get booted from training for not having the money up front to get the test and machine during my 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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Matthew M.'s Comment
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Having moved further into research, I also found out about CRST. Again, any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey Matthew. Sorry it took so long to get you a response.

If you're looking to team drive then you'll probably be best off with a refrigerated company, but of course there are plenty of dry van options also. Refrigerated tends to stay consistently busy throughout the year where dry van companies tend to fluctuate more, especially around the holidays. That's the only real advantage refrigerated has for teams.

Teams are highly sought after in trucking so that will put you in a good position. You guys should take a look at Company-Sponsored Training Programs. Assuming you both have pretty good background records and all most of those programs would jump at the chance to bring a team onboard.

It's really not a matter of finding a "good company". It's a matter of finding a company that suits you well. Consider what you're looking for when it comes to types of freight, home time, pay & benefits, and all that.

And if you want the real scoop on life at any company, the best thing to do is go to a truck stop and speak with some of their current drivers face to face. Either talk to them while they're getting fuel or catch them when they're walking into the building. Drivers ask each other all the time how they like the company they're with so nobody will think anything of it. Almost anyone will be happy to give you a few minutes of their time.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Allan Burden's Comment
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Look at US Xpress also if you want to team. They do a lot as far as teams go.

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