Topic 4150 | Page 1

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Christian H.'s Comment
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I am thinking of getting into this industry. I am located in southern illinois and there seems to be a lot of hiring going on here with someone with a cdl.

This is something I think I would enjoy...however learning to drive a truck looks a little intimidating. i mean these are large magnificent pieces of machinery. .. is it difficult to master piloting a rig? Things that concern me are backing up and steep grades....

I also did have questions about these jobs from swift and usexpress among a few others.

It seems they are offering NEW grads/students, local routes with home daily schedules and most weekends off with small signing bonuses and saying 35k to 45k first yr.

I have read on here that to get that kind of routing, pay and flexibility you need experience first...so I was wondering how genuine these offers really are for new drivers?

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
This is something I think I would enjoy...however learning to drive a truck looks a little intimidating. i mean these are large magnificent pieces of machinery. .. is it difficult to master piloting a rig? Things that concern me are backing up and steep grades....

Welcome to the Forum, Christian!

I have always maintained that learning to drive trucks is a process. You go through several different layers of training. First there is school, then once you get the CDL and get hired you will have to go with a trainer, which is usually at least four weeks living right on the truck with them as they go through all the daily chores and responsibilities of the job. Of course you are helping them, and driving much of the time. Then once you've proven yourself to the trainer's satisfaction you go back to the main terminal , and if you pass your road test you will be handed the keys to your very own truck to start running solo on your own. Now at that point you are still learning, and in fact it is the steepest part of the whole learning curve. Personally, I don't know of anyone who was really totally confident that they were really ready at that point, but it's sink or swim time, and you'll make a few mistakes along the way, but as long as you don't hit anything during that time you will be okay. It may look a little intimidating to you right now, but in reality millions of normal everyday people just like you have managed to learn to drive a rig, and there is no reason why you can't do the same. It will be awkward at first, and you will struggle with many of the different things that all have to be coordinated into a smooth package to be a professional driver, but it is doable and very possible with a little determination and a willingness to listen and learn. Don't let things like backing or steep grades be intimidating factors, but rather look on them as challenges because that's what they are. I actually am the type personality that enjoys a challenge, and if you can get your mind set in that way it will make the learning process so much more enjoyable as you systematically overcome each of the challenges and obstacles that stand in your way.

I also did have questions about these jobs from swift and usexpress among a few others.

It seems they are offering NEW grads/students, local routes with home daily schedules and most weekends off with small signing bonuses and saying 35k to 45k first yr.

I have read on here that to get that kind of routing, pay and flexibility you need experience first...so I was wondering how genuine these offers really are for new drivers?

I can't really answer this specifically simply because I don't know the details involved here, but in some areas of the country there is such a demand for these types of positions that they are available to new inexperienced drivers. My personal opinion is that you would be better off by getting one year of over the road experience first, because you will learn so much by doing it that way. Also, keep in mind that most of these home daily and weekends off driving jobs involve considerable amounts of time spent loading and unloading your truck and also will have a multitude of places that you will be stopping at with lots of city driving in heavy traffic, and some very tricky places to have to back into. If you are young and strong with a lot of energy this may be just the thing for you. Keep in mind when I say a lot of unloading it is quite possible you will be unloading two entire truck loads each week. That amounts to around 90,000 pounds of boxes or crates that you will be off-loading by hand in a weeks worth of work. Like I say, I'm just guessing at the specifics here, but I bet if you contact someone in response to some of the ads you've seen, you will find that I'm pretty close on what I'm telling 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.

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.

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.

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