Advice?

Topic 4296 | Page 1

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Joshua's Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone

I just wanted to stop in and ask some of you experienced drivers some advice. I had gotten a job driving for KLLM and was to start their driving academy on June 30th. Well I went to Pearl, MS on June 29th, checked into the hotel and just kinda started waiting for that next day to arrive. During that time, I started to realize how much I missed my family and how the next year or so of my life was going to be. Just to kinda give you an idea of me, I'm 27 years old, have a wife and two kids. My wife and I have been married for 5 years and have NEVER experienced one single day in those 5 years where we did not see each other. Now I was well aware that this job would make me be away from my family a lot and thought I was prepared for it until it actually happened. I realized, I needed to see my family more per month than KLLM was going to allow. They require you to be out 14 days and you get 2 days home. Also you cannot even request home time until you have been out 14 days so this was going to make me see my family about 2 -3 days a month. That was not going to work for me so I packed my bag and drove home (only about an hour away). Now I still want to drive. Its all my dad has done for 20 years and I love doing it, I just want to do it on a local basis or at least a job getting me home weekly. The problem with that is, I need a company that will help me get my CDL. I have my permit so just need some practice behind the wheel to pass the skills test. Where I live in southwest Mississippi, there are more truck driving jobs than anything else and tons of local stuff like logging and other day cab companies just none that offer training. So I guess my question is, should I give up on driving at this point in my life and try it again later? If I could find a job here locally that can help me get my license and let me be home weekly, I would be all set but that seems a little hard to find but driving is all I can think about. So what do you all think I should do or do you have any company suggestions that may give me what I seek for?

Thanks for all advice!

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hi everyone

I just wanted to stop in and ask some of you experienced drivers some advice. I had gotten a job driving for KLLM and was to start their driving academy on June 30th. Well I went to Pearl, MS on June 29th, checked into the hotel and just kinda started waiting for that next day to arrive. During that time, I started to realize how much I missed my family and how the next year or so of my life was going to be. Just to kinda give you an idea of me, I'm 27 years old, have a wife and two kids. My wife and I have been married for 5 years and have NEVER experienced one single day in those 5 years where we did not see each other. Now I was well aware that this job would make me be away from my family a lot and thought I was prepared for it until it actually happened. I realized, I needed to see my family more per month than KLLM was going to allow. They require you to be out 14 days and you get 2 days home. Also you cannot even request home time until you have been out 14 days so this was going to make me see my family about 2 -3 days a month. That was not going to work for me so I packed my bag and drove home (only about an hour away). Now I still want to drive. Its all my dad has done for 20 years and I love doing it, I just want to do it on a local basis or at least a job getting me home weekly. The problem with that is, I need a company that will help me get my CDL. I have my permit so just need some practice behind the wheel to pass the skills test. Where I live in southwest Mississippi, there are more truck driving jobs than anything else and tons of local stuff like logging and other day cab companies just none that offer training. So I guess my question is, should I give up on driving at this point in my life and try it again later? If I could find a job here locally that can help me get my license and let me be home weekly, I would be all set but that seems a little hard to find but driving is all I can think about. So what do you all think I should do or do you have any company suggestions that may give me what I seek for?

Thanks for all advice!

I was in the same boat when I first started to drive. I have 2 daughters and a wife (I was 23 now 25). I too had never been away from my family for more than 3 days a year. (I do sports massage therapy at a local event in CA)

I can tell you, the first yr is the hardest. If your looking for a local company to help you obtain your CDL , good luck. I don't think anyone would do that. Honestly, most local jobs will require at least 1 yr of OTR experience to let you join them. and with OTR, getting home weekly is just as tough, though it can be done if you find the right company. Any OTR company you go with will be 1 day off for 7 days out. most will be a minimum of 2-3 weeks. (I ran 3 weeks or 21 days and got 3-4 days off.)

If your wanting to drive, then I'd say do your 6months to a year (it will be tough) and then work on looking for something that will get your closer home.

You say your dad has drove for 20yrs, see about getting in with him and having him train you. Or talk to him an see what you can do to make the first year easier.

I've heard of guys/gals who get a laptop with webcam and they will sit talking to their family via skype. (I'd find a cell provider with unlimited data like sprint/t-mobile as Skype does use a lot of bandwidth for video.) Skyping doesn't let you be there with them, but it does help you see them each day.

"absence makes the heart grow founder" - Something i've come to agree with. If you come OTR, then keep in constant communication with your spouse/kids. There are several guys/gals here that have family but are still doing OTR and started out just like you. when you think of your family, call them. You may find yourself crying after talking but, you'll feel better. I called my wife every morning, afternoon, evening and just before bed, just to say I love her. Sometimes a txt just doesn't work. Hearing their voice does though.

Keep pursuing your driving career, get your 1 yr (it comes quicker than you think) and then see if you want to return home or continue with OTR... I did 11months (20 days shy of 1 yr) came home and did a full yr of local and I enjoyed it, but I missed the road. The adventure and the sights. Which is why now Im working on finding a away back out... I love the road, I love my family.

Good luck to you sir.

David

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Joshua, I think every man, or woman, who has a family that they love and support goes through the same emotions and indecision that you are now facing when they decide to tackle this OTR driving job. The simple straight forward truth of the matter is that it is tough on families. There is no getting around that. My wife and I discussed this for at least one year before I actually made the plunge. I love this job, and to be honest with you I seriously miss my wife and family much of the time. I agree with David's comments, in fact he and I have both confessed on this forum to busting out in tears on the road after talking to our wives - there is a loneliness to this job that has to be dealt with. And that loneliness is felt as much at home as it is on the road. Both you and your wife must be committed to it for it to work.

There is also a most rewarding sense of accomplishment that comes with this job. Joshua, you are a young man compared to me, and I have no idea about what type of work you have done in the past, but I want to tell you that this is a job that rewards those who can accomplish more than their peers. If you are the type of person who has grown weary of working in an atmosphere where the lazy people on the job make about the same pay as the ones who are busting their tails to get it done then you may be able to do really well at this job. This is a performance based job with the high performers always coming out on the top. I was self-employed for thirty years before doing this, and I was already quite accustomed to out working everyone around me - it made a huge difference in my rookie year take home pay. You also need to consider that the more you are out on the road the more you can make at this. If KLLM can get you home every two weeks that is a pretty sweet deal when it comes to an OTR job, but if you get to where you can stand to be apart for more lengthier time spans you will discover what I'm talking about as far as the pay goes.

As far as training so that you can get your CDL , you will have to go with an over the road company or a private school. It is a critical requirement that you receive a certificate for that training and I don't know of any owner operators or local driving companies that can offer that certificate.

Here is my recommendation if you are set on doing a local driving job. Discuss it openly and honestly with your wife, and both of you make a commitment to doing OTR for one year. Now, understand that you may not have to go the whole year, but be committed to it just in case. If there are a lot of local jobs in your area, then I would start looking into them now and find out exactly how much experience they require. This requirement will sometimes vary depending on how badly they need drivers. It is quite possible that you will find someone who only requires three months experience. Remember that a local job is very different from an OTR job. Usually they are going to involve much more handling of freight, lots of frequent stops, and a lot of dealing with traffic and tight places to put a truck. It takes a strong back to handle this kind of work, but often times the pay can be very good.

One final consideration that you have to make is that you will be obligated to KLLM for what ever the length of your contract is with them for the training. If you jump ship before your contract is up they will begin collection attempts against you for the money. I don't recommend you go that route, but if you are planning on doing that then you need to have some plan of re-payment already in place.

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.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I Second what Old School says. Both he and I and others here know what it truly takes to be away from family.

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