Can New Truck Drivers Get Home Every Night?

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ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

Hello all. My name is Dave, I am from Allentown, PA (Brooklyn, NY originally), and I am looking to get into trucking. First off I am a complete newbie to trucking, never been near a truck, on a truck, in a truck, don't know anyone with a truck or driving a truck. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Philosophy and Economics (yeah I know...) a few years ago but been sort of floating around since then.

I've been looking into trucking for about 2 weeks and seems interesting. I am recently engaged so the idea of being OTR for weeks at a time is not very appealing... to HER.

Firstly, I am finding it hard to find information about going straight into something where I will be home daily, as far as I can tell UPS Freight, Con-Way, and maybe some others do have these sorts of opportunities (LTL mostly). Any help here would be great.

Secondly, I am confused as far as schooling goes. I like Con-Way's Student Training Program it is 12 weeks long and free as far as I can tell; I know I will have to work dock for half the day but that is fine. I also looked at A. Duie Pyle Truck Driving Academy it is 8 weeks long and free as well. What I am most confused about for ALL the school-sponsored training programs is do I need my CDL Permit BEFORE applying? If so, like I said I am a TOTAL newbie... will plowing through the Training Materials on TruckingTruth for 1-2 weeks be enough? Should I take all the endorsement tests at once as well, just to keep my options open?

Please tell me if I am pure crazy for thinking I can start trucking and be at home every night straight off the bat.

Thanks.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Welcome aboard! Glad to have ya. You'll definitely find all the answers to any questions you may have here at TruckingTruth.

Firstly, I am finding it hard to find information about going straight into something where I will be home daily, as far as I can tell UPS Freight, Con-Way, and maybe some others do have these sorts of opportunities (LTL mostly). Any help here would be great.

There are very, very few companies with that sort of opportunity. Almost everyone requires at least 6-12 months of over the road before they'll hire you on as a local driver.

And also, let me say this. I always tell everyone that's considering a career in trucking that if you're not interested in the travelling lifestyle there are way better career opportunities out there. Going through the trade schools for things like welding, auto/boat/motorcycle mechanics, the building trades (plumbing, electrical, etc) - that kind of stuff. Trucking doesn't pay all that great, especially considering what you have to go through with protecting your license, DOT inspections, traffic, weather, and the really long hours that most trucking jobs entail. If I were looking for a career to keep me home every night trucking would not be on the list of considerations. I'm not saying you definitely should not do it. I'm just saying there are careers that would fit better. But that being said, onward...

Secondly, I am confused as far as schooling goes. I like Con-Way's Student Training Program it is 12 weeks long and free as far as I can tell; I know I will have to work dock for half the day but that is fine. I also looked at A. Duie Pyle Truck Driving Academy it is 8 weeks long and free as well.

I'm not familiar with Pyle's program to be honest with you, but Con-Way seems to run a great program. We have an awesome series of articles on how to choose the right truck driving school and they'll cover your options for different types of schools and all that. You can find those here:

How To Choose A School

Read through those. Also, read through our Trucker's Career Guide. That is loaded with information on every topic imaginable that pertains to getting your career underway. Really essential reading I must say.

What I am most confused about for ALL the school-sponsored training programs is do I need my CDL Permit BEFORE applying? If so, like I said I am a TOTAL newbie... will plowing through the Training Materials on TruckingTruth for 1-2 weeks be enough? Should I take all the endorsement tests at once as well, just to keep my options open?

No, yes, and yes! :-)

You won't need your permit first but everyone reports back that you're far better off getting it before you go. That way you're spending more time learning other things while everyone else is studying for and taking the permit exam.

And yes, give yourself at least two weeks or so but go through our High Road Training Program beginning to end and you'll have everything you need to pass the CDL permit exam and more.

And definitely take all of the endorsements tests right away. Since you're already in study & testing mode, that's the time to do it. You don't want to come back months later and have to start studying and testing again. Do it right away and be done with it.

Please tell me if I am pure crazy for thinking I can start trucking and be at home every night straight off the bat.

You're pure crazy. :-) Actually, that's not true. There have been a few people that have said they've landed local jobs straight out of school but it's pretty rare, you'll have to do a ton of digging to find local companies that will give you that opportunity, and as I mentioned above you might want to consider other career choices also if you're not interested in travelling.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Just to give you an example. This week I had a SLOW week. only 2200 miles for the week. Most times I get 2900 to 3100 miles per week and home for a restart every week but anyway....

I worked 51.25 hours this week. I will take home $610 after taxes.That's $11.90 an hour.Trucking does not have overtime.Sounds great huh? I was away from home 120(5 days) hours. Mo.....$610 divided by 120 hours is $5.08 dollars an hour and I did not even get to sleep in my own bed. Not sounding so good now huh? Now that is 51.25 hours that I get paid for. There is 68.75 hours I got paid zip, zero, zilch...nada. That 68.75 hours extra I spent on the road includes but not limited to....long fuel lines....shower lines....traffic lines.....check in and out truck lines at shippers/receivers.

This is not just a cliché.....Truckers really do move America. We are needed and a vital part of what keeps America moving BUT tuckers are some of the most abuse people in america. We are grossly under paid and over worked. We are listed as "Unskilled Labor".....OMG to think McDonald's and Walmart and the like are in the same category. AS IF!!!!! But that is the truth of it in the government's eyes.

And you know what else gets thrown in for free? ALL the attitude people can throw at you and you have to bite your tongue (and that is just from other truckers :P) and take it cause that is what we do. A shipper call us "dumb truck drivers"....we bite our tongue so we can get loaded and down the road.

This is just one slow week in my life on the road. To think I have been doing this since May 5 1998. 15 years of my life. That is 5475 days give or take a few.

I wish I would have had a bad day then I could blame this "attitude" of this post on that but the truth of it is I can not. This is simply the truth of the matter but I digress.

Brett is right though. If your wanting to be home every night or nearly every night go into the trade skills where the money is better BUT.....If you are wanting an adventure unlike any other than trucking maybe for you.

You may ask if I feel this way then why do it day after day and week after week and year after year....The answer is not a simple one but I will try....the new people you meet....The sites you can see where otherwise you would never know existed. The "lifestyle" of trucking. That last one can only be done out on the road. Its an even harder thing to describe...."The trucking Lifestyle". Its a feeling you get when everything goes completely right and completely wrong. :P Its the days and night on the road away from family and loved ones. Its a tear in your eye as you say "Goodbye" to your kids as you watch them fade away in the rear view mirror of your truck. Its the tense and knotted muscles from driving through a zero visibility snow storm through Wyoming in the middle of December. Its the feeling you get after having your first shower in 3 days cause you spent the last 3 days in the middle of no where.

I could go on but I don't think this forum's server has that much hard drive space. lol Basically you need to do a lot of research BEFORE jumping forward. People have read everything on this site and spent months preparing themselves only to realize that what we share on here is only a small part of what they will be experiencing in the next months and years down the road. Read everything you can on this site. I mean everything. And if you think you still want to give trucking a try then by all means give a shout cause we will be more than happy to help you any way we can. Start here Truck Driving Blogs Many useful stories and experiences within those pages

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
My main concern is the school, any school for that matter, teaching me enough to actually do the job versus a company training me in their ways and me having to relearn things if/when I leave the company.

Ok, here's the thing with choosing what type of school you'd like to attend:

If you have the money to pay for the schooling up front, a private school like the one you linked to will be a nicer environment than a company-sponsored program.

Company-sponsored programs are more like a tryout than a regular school. The company is fronting the time and money it takes to train people so they tend to cherry-pick the best students and send anyone packing they don't feel has a solid chance of becoming a good driver for them. And that could mean you're not picking up on things quickly enough or your attitude is terrible or whatever - doesn't matter.

At a private school you're a paying customer and you can expect to be treated as such. They'll take extra time with you if you need it and they teach things at a slightly slower pace with a little more practice time and individual attention.

At a company-sponsored school it's more like your privilege to be there. They're fronting the money and taking a chance on you so they expect you to be sharp and perform. If you're not a team player who's willing to work hard and able to catch on quickly they'll send you packing in a heartbeat. And I don't blame em. If I was fronting the money to train someone in a new career and they weren't serious about it or weren't cut out for it I'd send em packing too. These companies are giving you a great opportunity, but not everyone seems to realize that and a lot of big-mouths get sent packing.

So the biggest advantage of using a company-sponsored program is not having to pay anything up front. That's the main reason for choosing one of those programs. You may wind up paying a little less in the end than a private school, but that depends on which program you choose and which private school you're comparing it to. The company-sponsored programs are not always cheaper in the end.

Personally, if I had the money to pay for a private school up front, that's the route I would take. That is indeed the route I took, back in '93. You're going to have a little bit better experience at a private school.

The training will be pretty much equal either way - so that doesn't matter.

In the end it would work out equally well regardless of the path you chose. Why? Because your happiness and success in trucking is going to depend 95% on your performance and attitude, and not on the schooling you choose or the company you work for. I swear if I could, I would stamp that on the forehead of every new driver that comes into the industry. If I could just get that one point across to people it would greatly improve the chances of success for a ton of student drivers.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
should I take the Knowledge Test (and all Endorsement tests) BEFORE I go to the school?

Absolutely. They can't let you skip the classroom portion because it's mandated by the states and by the trucking companies that hire their students. The schooling has to be a certain number of hours and part of that has to be classroom time.

But our High Road Training Program has the CDL manual built right in and will teach you everything you need to pass the permit exam and all of the endorsement exams. On top of that, it has the logbook and weight & balance sections we built ourselves because the schools don't teach it well at all.

You'll know more after completing our program than the school is going to teach you those two weeks. In fact, you'll know the materials well enough that you could be teaching those two weeks.

Believe me, tons of people come through here and complete our program before they start their schooling and everyone is just thrilled they did it. It put them light years ahead of everyone else in the class.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I can assure u that the cdl schools are not free, they will sponsor you thru school but u will have to pay it back. You have come to the right place. The CDL training will set you up for success. There is plenty of information on TT, read the blogs and learn as much as you can, that's what its here for. Read the whole series on becoming a truck driver and u will be amazed at the amount of info inside. Good luck to you. The veterans on here are true professionals and I'm sure they will help you any way they can.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Welcome aboard! Glad to have ya. You'll definitely find all the answers to any questions you may have here at TruckingTruth.

Firstly, I am finding it hard to find information about going straight into something where I will be home daily, as far as I can tell UPS Freight, Con-Way, and maybe some others do have these sorts of opportunities (LTL mostly). Any help here would be great.

There are very, very few companies with that sort of opportunity. Almost everyone requires at least 6-12 months of over the road before they'll hire you on as a local driver.

And also, let me say this. I always tell everyone that's considering a career in trucking that if you're not interested in the travelling lifestyle there are way better career opportunities out there. Going through the trade schools for things like welding, auto/boat/motorcycle mechanics, the building trades (plumbing, electrical, etc) - that kind of stuff. Trucking doesn't pay all that great, especially considering what you have to go through with protecting your license, DOT inspections, traffic, weather, and the really long hours that most trucking jobs entail. If I were looking for a career to keep me home every night trucking would not be on the list of considerations. I'm not saying you definitely should not do it. I'm just saying there are careers that would fit better. But that being said, onward...

Secondly, I am confused as far as schooling goes. I like Con-Way's Student Training Program it is 12 weeks long and free as far as I can tell; I know I will have to work dock for half the day but that is fine. I also looked at A. Duie Pyle Truck Driving Academy it is 8 weeks long and free as well.

I'm not familiar with Pyle's program to be honest with you, but Con-Way seems to run a great program. We have an awesome series of articles on how to choose the right truck driving school and they'll cover your options for different types of schools and all that. You can find those here:

How To Choose A School

Read through those. Also, read through our Trucker's Career Guide. That is loaded with information on every topic imaginable that pertains to getting your career underway. Really essential reading I must say.

What I am most confused about for ALL the school-sponsored training programs is do I need my CDL Permit BEFORE applying? If so, like I said I am a TOTAL newbie... will plowing through the Training Materials on TruckingTruth for 1-2 weeks be enough? Should I take all the endorsement tests at once as well, just to keep my options open?

No, yes, and yes! :-)

You won't need your permit first but everyone reports back that you're far better off getting it before you go. That way you're spending more time learning other things while everyone else is studying for and taking the permit exam.

And yes, give yourself at least two weeks or so but go through our High Road Training Program beginning to end and you'll have everything you need to pass the CDL permit exam and more.

And definitely take all of the endorsements tests right away. Since you're already in study & testing mode, that's the time to do it. You don't want to come back months later and have to start studying and testing again. Do it right away and be done with it.

Please tell me if I am pure crazy for thinking I can start trucking and be at home every night straight off the bat.

You're pure crazy. :-) Actually, that's not true. There have been a few people that have said they've landed local jobs straight out of school but it's pretty rare, you'll have to do a ton of digging to find local companies that will give you that opportunity, and as I mentioned above you might want to consider other career choices also if you're not interested in travelling.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Hockey_Dreamer's Comment
member avatar

I see you live in Allentown, PA?

Schneider National have regional positions available for new driver graduates on their tanker division. Since you live in eastern PA if you choose them you might be out of the Keasbey, NJ office near Kearney, NJ. They also have other divisions like dry van and intermodal (container trailers). I now they recruit new driver graduates for dry van but don't know about the intermodal division. I think they have the tuition reimbursement program (something they did not had when I came in 3 years ago). You can look around their recruiting website and call if interested.

About schooling, my advice is to go with the one you feel will better suit your learning skills and you can afford if you choose to pay it yourself. There are companies that offer training but you will have to commit to them for a fixed amount of time to reimburse them for their expense schooling you.

I'm not recommending a specific school or program for like I said you look and pick the one that better suit your needs.

About your fiancee not liking the idea of you being away for weeks at a time... You're not the first much less be the last. Congrats on your engagement and the best of luck in your search.

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Schneider National have regional positions available for new driver graduates on their tanker division.

Ya know, that's an excellent call. I can't remember the division specifically, but I was talking with someone recently that got on with Schneider out of Eastern PA and was getting home on weekends I believe.

I rarely promote any companies or schools over any others, but I must admit I'm pretty fond of Schneider. I never drove for em, but I definitely would.

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.

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.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Just to give you an example. This week I had a SLOW week. only 2200 miles for the week. Most times I get 2900 to 3100 miles per week and home for a restart every week but anyway....

I worked 51.25 hours this week. I will take home $610 after taxes.That's $11.90 an hour.Trucking does not have overtime.Sounds great huh? I was away from home 120(5 days) hours. Mo.....$610 divided by 120 hours is $5.08 dollars an hour and I did not even get to sleep in my own bed. Not sounding so good now huh? Now that is 51.25 hours that I get paid for. There is 68.75 hours I got paid zip, zero, zilch...nada. That 68.75 hours extra I spent on the road includes but not limited to....long fuel lines....shower lines....traffic lines.....check in and out truck lines at shippers/receivers.

This is not just a cliché.....Truckers really do move America. We are needed and a vital part of what keeps America moving BUT tuckers are some of the most abuse people in america. We are grossly under paid and over worked. We are listed as "Unskilled Labor".....OMG to think McDonald's and Walmart and the like are in the same category. AS IF!!!!! But that is the truth of it in the government's eyes.

And you know what else gets thrown in for free? ALL the attitude people can throw at you and you have to bite your tongue (and that is just from other truckers :P) and take it cause that is what we do. A shipper call us "dumb truck drivers"....we bite our tongue so we can get loaded and down the road.

This is just one slow week in my life on the road. To think I have been doing this since May 5 1998. 15 years of my life. That is 5475 days give or take a few.

I wish I would have had a bad day then I could blame this "attitude" of this post on that but the truth of it is I can not. This is simply the truth of the matter but I digress.

Brett is right though. If your wanting to be home every night or nearly every night go into the trade skills where the money is better BUT.....If you are wanting an adventure unlike any other than trucking maybe for you.

You may ask if I feel this way then why do it day after day and week after week and year after year....The answer is not a simple one but I will try....the new people you meet....The sites you can see where otherwise you would never know existed. The "lifestyle" of trucking. That last one can only be done out on the road. Its an even harder thing to describe...."The trucking Lifestyle". Its a feeling you get when everything goes completely right and completely wrong. :P Its the days and night on the road away from family and loved ones. Its a tear in your eye as you say "Goodbye" to your kids as you watch them fade away in the rear view mirror of your truck. Its the tense and knotted muscles from driving through a zero visibility snow storm through Wyoming in the middle of December. Its the feeling you get after having your first shower in 3 days cause you spent the last 3 days in the middle of no where.

I could go on but I don't think this forum's server has that much hard drive space. lol Basically you need to do a lot of research BEFORE jumping forward. People have read everything on this site and spent months preparing themselves only to realize that what we share on here is only a small part of what they will be experiencing in the next months and years down the road. Read everything you can on this site. I mean everything. And if you think you still want to give trucking a try then by all means give a shout cause we will be more than happy to help you any way we can. Start here Truck Driving Blogs Many useful stories and experiences within those pages

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Hockey_Dreamer's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Schneider National have regional positions available for new driver graduates on their tanker division.

double-quotes-end.png

Ya know, that's an excellent call. I can't remember the division specifically, but I was talking with someone recently that got on with Schneider out of Eastern PA and was getting home on weekends I believe.

I rarely promote any companies or schools over any others, but I must admit I'm pretty fond of Schneider. I never drove for em, but I definitely would.

I have been with Schneider for 3 years now, 2.5 in their tanker division as a company driver and independent contractor (owner operator) and the past 6 months in their dry van division as a independent contractor in their choice program (self dispatch). I do not have any complaints about the company. Being a great experience so far and not going anywhere.

11 minutes ago Just to give you an example. This week I had a SLOW week. only 2200 miles for the week. Most times I get 2900 to 3100 miles per week and home for a restart every week but anyway....

I worked 51.25 hours this week. I will take home $610 after taxes.That's $11.90 an hour.Trucking does not have overtime.Sounds great huh? I was away from home 120(5 days) hours. Mo.....$610 divided by 120 hours is $5.08 dollars an hour and I did not even get to sleep in my own bed. Not sounding so good now huh? Now that is 51.25 hours that I get paid for. There is 68.75 hours I got paid zip, zero, zilch...nada. That 68.75 hours extra I spent on the road includes but not limited to....long fuel lines....shower lines....traffic lines.....check in and out truck lines at shippers/receivers.

This is not just a cliché.....Truckers really do move America. We are needed and a vital part of what keeps America moving BUT tuckers are some of the most abuse people in america. We are grossly under paid and over worked. We are listed as "Unskilled Labor".....OMG to think McDonald's and Walmart and the like are in the same category. AS IF!!!!! But that is the truth of it in the government's eyes.

And you know what else gets thrown in for free? ALL the attitude people can throw at you and you have to bite your tongue (and that is just from other truckers :P) and take it cause that is what we do. A shipper call us "dumb truck drivers"....we bite our tongue so we can get loaded and down the road.

This is just one slow week in my life on the road. To think I have been doing this since May 5 1998. 15 years of my life. That is 5475 days give or take a few.

I wish I would have had a bad day then I could blame this "attitude" of this post on that but the truth of it is I can not. This is simply the truth of the matter but I digress.

Brett is right though. If your wanting to be home every night or nearly every night go into the trade skills where the money is better BUT.....If you are wanting an adventure unlike any other than trucking maybe for you.

You may ask if I feel this way then why do it day after day and week after week and year after year....The answer is not a simple one but I will try....the new people you meet....The sites you can see where otherwise you would never know existed. The "lifestyle" of trucking. That last one can only be done out on the road. Its an even harder thing to describe...."The trucking Lifestyle". Its a feeling you get when everything goes completely right and completely wrong. :P Its the days and night on the road away from family and loved ones. Its a tear in your eye as you say "Goodbye" to your kids as you watch them fade away in the rear view mirror of your truck. Its the tense and knotted muscles from driving through a zero visibility snow storm through Wyoming in the middle of December. Its the feeling you get after having your first shower in 3 days cause you spent the last 3 days in the middle of no where.

I could go on but I don't think this forum's server has that much hard drive space. lol Basically you need to do a lot of research BEFORE jumping forward. People have read everything on this site and spent months preparing themselves only to realize that what we share on here is only a small part of what they will be experiencing in the next months and years down the road. Read everything you can on this site. I mean everything. And if you think you still want to give trucking a try then by all means give a shout cause we will be more than happy to help you any way we can. Start here Truck Driving Blogs Many useful stories and experiences within those pages

Definitely agree.

I have to say for a owner operator $610 is tough either getting paid by the mile or by percentage like I do. Not to forget those unpaid hours we spend just for the fun of it (note sarcasm in the last statement).

Definitely research is the way to go but experiencing it is better to know if you can handle it. Do lots of research before jumping in it.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Owner Operator:

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

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah I had a slow week but you know what? I can't complain. When I was a lease op thorugh another company I grossed $8500 a week. My take home after settlement was roughly $1350 a week but I ran a team operation back then.

Mostly my take home now is around $850 to $900 if I stay out the full 7 days but I had to get a "B" service done on my truck and JB Hunt is serious when it comes to taking care of their trucks so I had to come home 2 days early.

Jason C.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, amazing insight into the life. Makes me get flashbacks to deployments, been to Iraq twice and afghanistan twice. Unless you have lived the military life or the trucking life you have no idea what its like. Yeah i havent been a truck driver, but i can relate two fold where your coming from in a military point of view. What doesnt kill u only makes you stronger. Its cliche to say, but its true. 8 months straight in a shithole 3rd world country in a combat zone will get to ya. But man u guys dont get the respect you deserve. You will have to go on strike and stop driving for a month the get society to realize how important you are.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Ryan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, amazing insight into the life. Makes me get flashbacks to deployments, been to Iraq twice and afghanistan twice. Unless you have lived the military life or the trucking life you have no idea what its like. Yeah i havent been a truck driver, but i can relate two fold where your coming from in a military point of view. What doesnt kill u only makes you stronger. Its cliche to say, but its true. 8 months straight in a shithole 3rd world country in a combat zone will get to ya. But man u guys dont get the respect you deserve. You will have to go on strike and stop driving for a month the get society to realize how important you are.

soooo true! like we discussed earlier in faghan right now brother! semper fi!

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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