First Trucking Job.

Topic 4022 | Page 1

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Kiwi303's Comment
member avatar

Got myself a Class 2 job in Christchurch today.

For those of you who aren't in NZ, (all of you I guess!) I'll just give a run down of the NZ system again.

NZ truck licencing works on a graduated system, Like your C - cars, B - Box trucks, A - Tractor Trailer 5th wheel, only here we have 5 classes, not 3 (or 4, D to A, as in some states) . AND, you can't jump from Car to 5th wheel truck in one jump like CDL-A school over there... you first need to go through the smaller sizes before arriving at the bigger trucks.

Class 1, the basic car licence, like the US D or C licence. Drive a motor vehicle up to 6000Kg gross combined mass, including a trailer up to 3500Kg. Most people have this, it covers most house busses and campervans, though heavy busses and horse trucks may need a Class 2.

Class 2, once you have your Class 1, you can then get a Class 2, A rigid box truck up to 18000Kg, including a trailer under 3500Kg, OR an articulated 5th wheel truck under 12000Kg. There are two ways to get the Class 2, depending on your age. Under 25 you have to pass a theory test and get your Class 2L, the learner licence, and have the 2L for 6 months before passing a practical test where the tester takes you around a city/country route and assesses your skills. For those over 25, you can get the 2L and wait 3 months instead of 6 months, or do a Class 2 Full course, a 2 or 3 day course covering ogbooks, fatigue, heavy vehicle dynamics, maneuvering and practical driving time. Once you pass the course you can get the Class 2 immediately without waiting.

I did the course and picked up my Class 2 without waiting out the 3 months my over 25 status gives me.

I've now a Class 2 driving job, The trucking company I have been hired with has a subcontracting role with a furniture removals company in addition to the normal metro delivery fleet. I will run a couple of weeks as packer/labourer on a furniture removal box truck, helping the driver pack/load/unload the truck, then while he is in hospital having surgery I will take over as packer/driver and someone else will ride along as packer/labourer assisting me. Once the regular driver is out of hospital and recovered enough to resume his normal duties, I will shift sideways from the furniture removals truck to the normal metro delivery fleet running pickups and deliveries around town.

Once I have 3 months down from my Class 2 licence, I will be sitting a Class 4 theory test for rigid box trucks over 18,001Kg to get my Class 4L and either waiting 3 months or doing a Class 4 full course, dependent on cash flow :P Again under 25 have to wait 6 months, not 3.

With the Class 4 I can then shift sideways again up the ranks in the company from Metro class 2 2 axle and 3 axle trucks up to regional deliveries in 3 axle and 4 axle trucks.

Finally after 3 months with my Class 4, I can then get my Class 5, the CDL-A equivalent, letting me drive 5th wheel semis and Truck and Trailer units with trailers over 3500Kg.

So this Class 2 job is the first step towards linehaul. Sometimes looking at the US system, where you go from car to semi in one step I wonder how much of a difference in quality of new trainees it makes for?

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Kiwi! Great news!

I have a good friend who went to University in Christchurch. I've always enjoyed having you here in the forum, it gives us an insight into trucking requirements and equipment in other countries. Thanks for your contributions.

Kiwi303's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Old School.

Which Uni did your friend go to? There are two down here, Canterbury Uni and Lincoln Uni, Cantab is the main academic one, business, law etc while Lincoln is an Ag uni, like Texas Ag, Vet school, soil ecology, Ag science, etc.

My brother went to Lincoln and did an B.Ag.Sci and his Fiancee went to Cantab for a B.com in Accounting. So while one runs the farm the other can keep the books :D

Me? I went to Waikato Management School at the U of Waikato for a BMS in Marketing and Human Resources. All my family went to different unis :D My older sister to Uni of Auckland for premed and Ophthalmology while my lil sister went south to Otago U in Dunedin for a B.Sci in Human Bio. A pretty varied lot, and only my brother is working in the scope of his degree... Farm hand, part on the family farm and part down the road at a station owned by one of the church guys.

Now the Eye doc is a farm manager, the Biochemist is a McDonalds manager and I've chucked management/marketing for trucking, after a stint on the farm and in China.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

She attended Canterbury. I think her course of study was in the realm literature.

Kiwi303's Comment
member avatar

First day of work over today, ain't too bad, a few aches from unaccustomed exertion after sitting around at school too much and a couple weeks of just knocking on doors distributing CVs.

Tomorrow I'll be doing some of the driving, getting used to the truck.

For those who care, It's a Nissan Diesel Condor. 15500 Gross Vehicle Mass, 7700 Tare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Having lived and driven (cars) in other countries and witnessed the average drivers' skills, where the standards for a simple (car) driver's license are significantly higher, your driving skills will most likely exceed that of any new CDL-A driver in the US, as we will have no more than 50 hours of commercial driving experience by the time we obtain our licenses. ... ...even if you do drive on the wrong side of the road ... har-har. lol.

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.
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