Almost A Newbie...(!)

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Roni G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi All,

I am so happy that I found this site! It's much more encouraging than other sites that I have come across! I was currently ejected from my last job (for the second time with the same company!- you'd think I would've learned the first time around!), so I decided it's time to make (another) career change. I have been thinking about driving truck for several years, but my dad didn't make it look or sound very exciting- he really doesn't want me doing it. Besides, I am a petite female who doesn't look I would belong behind the wheel of a semi, but I'm sure I will surprise most, as I usually do. Anyway, I will be starting truck school in two weeks and I am honestly very conflicted and nervous. At first I thought that my biggest concern (other than backing up) would be coming up with a clever handle! Since I was awarded a scholarship through the unemployment office for the school, I have been doing more serious research and I'm beside myself with what I am reading online. I've googled many companies and have found most have no more than 3 star ratings (not that you can really take that as gospel) but I have also googled "women truck drivers" etc. and have come across blogs that are very depressing and very scary. Talking about how the system is set up to make you fail so they can make more money off you, and that you'll deal with sexual harassment on a regular basis and that the companies will micromanage you as badly, on the road, as corporate companies do (causing too much stress on the road- dangerous). After reading some of these entries on this site, I feel a little better about it. I will look into Prime, Conway and a few others I have read about on here.

I am curious about something tho... I have 2 points on my otherwise squeaky clean driving record. One is for speeding (10mph over the posted limit, 2 years old) and the other is for unsafe lane change (which was bogus but I didn't get to go to court to dispute it, so I just paid the fine. This one was about a year ago and carries one point as well. Am I going to have a hard time getting on with a good, reputable company because of these two points?? That is a huge concern of mine.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated:)

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

Just start by submitting applications to all the companies you are interested in. Most important thing to remember, always be honest. Be sure to get a copy of your DMV record so that you will know what is there and most important, when the traffic violations occurred.

The requirements sometimes change as the need for drivers increase, so until you have been turned down, there is always hope.

Not sure how much these 2 tickets will have a bearing on if you will get rejected or not. It varies from company to company.

Ernie

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Jolie R.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Roni! I am a short female (wish I could say petite!) and I have been assured by many that my height will have no bearing on whether I can drive a truck. If you are concern about your driving record begin applying to companies for a pre-hire letter now even though you have not started school. They will get your driving record and you will know which companies it may be an issue to. I am applying for WIA funds for training and in Ohio we are required to have 3 pre-hire letters as a part of our application. Good luck and let us know how things go!

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Roni G.'s Comment
member avatar

Just start by submitting applications to all the companies you are interested in. Most important thing to remember, always be honest. Be sure to get a copy of your DMV record so that you will know what is there and most important, when the traffic violations occurred.

The requirements sometimes change as the need for drivers increase, so until you have been turned down, there is always hope.

Not sure how much these 2 tickets will have a bearing on if you will get rejected or not. It varies from company to company.

Ernie

I will start there. Thank you!

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Roni G.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Roni! I am a short female (wish I could say petite!) and I have been assured by many that my height will have no bearing on whether I can drive a truck. If you are concern about your driving record begin applying to companies for a pre-hire letter now even though you have not started school. They will get your driving record and you will know which companies it may be an issue to. I am applying for WIA funds for training and in Ohio we are required to have 3 pre-hire letters as a part of our application. Good luck and let us know how things go!

Thank you I will start applying tomorrow! I'll let you know how it turns out:)

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Joanna 's Comment
member avatar

Welcome, Roni!

I am also a short female and that was never an issue for me as far as driving goes. I drove OTR 15 years ago and I am currently looking at getting back into it. From what I hear the air ride seats are a lot more comfortable and adjustable than they used to be so I would imagine being short would be even less of an issue in the newer trucks.

I think there will be companies that will hire you with the 2 points you have. There are some that only require than you not have and serious violations like reckless driving or an accident involving a death or high dollar damage. Some are less picky than others.

Definitely do get as many pre-hire letters as you can get. I am working on this myself. From what I understand, all you need to do is apply to companies before you go to school and if you meet their requirements they will tell you they will hire you upon graduation. Get this confirmation in writing from them. I think an email from them will be good enough.

As far as sexual harassment, I have never had a problem with that from trainers. It is important to watch out for yourself out there on the road though. Definitely be mindful of your personal safely at all times. I am currently looking into this subject more, as I plan to go solo this time around. I ran teams last time so it was less of an issue then.

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

If you use your head and go by your gut feeling personal safety is a non issue out here even for females short or tall. Use basic common sense and you will be fine.

Now serial harassment is altogether a different story. Not so much the physical as it is verbal. There will be those certain guys that will always do it. And there is little to nothing that can be done about what someone says. Best to ignore it and move on. I am not saying I agree with it but it is just how it is when it's a majority male work environment. Words are just words and learn to roll with it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

The others have given you some great advice.....trucking is not a matter of size or sex....its a matter of training, common sense, self confidence and interaction with those you come in contact with. So your only problems at this time is finding a good school, learning all you can...and that means get yourself into High Road Training Program......which will help you both in getting your cdl permit and endorsements, AND will be a great help when you get into school. So get in there and start studying...and get those applications out to ALL trucking companies you can...heres a link to help you Apply For Truck Driving Jobs...And keep coming in here when you have any problems, or questions... Woman have earned a spot in the trucking industry. It hasn't been an easy thing, and we have alot of women who came before us to thank for that "foot in the door"...Make them, and US proud, be a professional, well educated, dedicated, honest, and enjoyable truck driver to be around and deal with !!!! and...WELCOME TO TT !!!!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Welcome, Roni!

I am also a short female and that was never an issue for me as far as driving goes. I drove OTR 15 years ago and I am currently looking at getting back into it. From what I hear the air ride seats are a lot more comfortable and adjustable than they used to be so I would imagine being short would be even less of an issue in the newer trucks.

I think there will be companies that will hire you with the 2 points you have. There are some that only require than you not have and serious violations like reckless driving or an accident involving a death or high dollar damage. Some are less picky than others.

Definitely do get as many pre-hire letters as you can get. I am working on this myself. From what I understand, all you need to do is apply to companies before you go to school and if you meet their requirements they will tell you they will hire you upon graduation. Get this confirmation in writing from them. I think an email from them will be good enough.

As far as sexual harassment, I have never had a problem with that from trainers. It is important to watch out for yourself out there on the road though. Definitely be mindful of your personal safely at all times. I am currently looking into this subject more, as I plan to go solo this time around. I ran teams last time so it was less of an issue then.

Ok so you've been out there awhile. I see you're out of Portland- I was raised in Silverton. I only had to drive my car in the snow once and... well it did its own thing and I had no control. Do you drive in the snow much? What about that?

Thanks:)

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Roni G.'s Comment
member avatar

If you use your head and go by your gut feeling personal safety is a non issue out here even for females short or tall. Use basic common sense and you will be fine.

Now serial harassment is altogether a different story. Not so much the physical as it is verbal. There will be those certain guys that will always do it. And there is little to nothing that can be done about what someone says. Best to ignore it and move on. I am not saying I agree with it but it is just how it is when it's a majority male work environment. Words are just words and learn to roll with it.

Thank you. The verbal doesn't really bother me as long as the hands don't get involved. I don't think most men make comments out of maliciousness and I usually take them as compliments (to a point- unless it gets out of hand). I think I would be more concerned with being physically assaulted. I will do whatever necessary to protect myself, and I already have that covered, but I prefer to stay away from it when at all possible.

I have read many of your responses to various other posts and I will tell you that you share a lot of valuable information. I appreciate it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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