Can New Truck Drivers Get Home Every Night?

Topic 58 | Page 2

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Jason C.'s Comment
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People complain about america and blame the president and all that, but at the end of the day what are they doing to help. Unemployed people complain cause they cant "find" a job, but come on now, there are jobs everywhere. I heard a guy say that and i respond with well truck drivers are in a high demand, he says ahhh i dont wanna do that. Thats the problem, u dont want to so u will just sit on your ass and draw unemployment while the drivers drive the paper to print the check to support his ass. Lol just ranting but damn, quit complaining and go do.somethin, it might not be what u wanna do but eventually u are gonna have to do somethin. If you are unemployed please dont take me the wrong way, im referring to the lazy people that complain but do nothing about it. This is so off topic but its on my mind so I shared it lol.

Larry E.'s Comment
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You guys hit it! There seems to be some pretty similar issues with life in the military and trucking. You get to see things and do things that most people will never have the opportunity to do. You may get near death experiences on a simi-regular basis and it is the norm. Personal space - what's that? Everything seems to be hurry up and wait. The sacrifices are many, but the personal reward knowing you did the best you could leaves a smile on your face. You listen to people complain about their jobs/boss/life and you just shake your head; if they only knew what some other jobs were really like. On a purely hourly basis, both jobs suck.

However, with out either of them, we would not have the nation that we have and we should ALL take pride in that. A little extra cash thrown in would be pretty awesome, too.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jason C.'s Comment
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Nicely said

Steve B.'s Comment
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Almost everyone requires at least 6-12 months of over the road before they'll hire you on as a local driver.

Once we made the decision for CDL school and signing on board with a carrier the plan is to look for something local. I couldn't find anything local with out experience. SO I'll get the experience, trusting I (we) can do this for ONE year and then there will be a few open doors in the local market. I can walk away anytime and go back to what I've been doing but that has been very hard on me personally and our family to be "under employed" -

thanks again Brett for all the hard work and this site it is full of encouragement and very helpful information.

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.

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.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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Thanks for all the input everyone. I guess like any other field you have to "pay your dues" in the beginning. I've been digging deeper into obtaining my CDL and now have another question for you wizened souls.

There is a PTDI Certified School near me.

I have the money to pay for the schooling upfront. With all else being equal, should I go with the school or with company-sponsored training to get my CDL? I know company-sponsored means I will be contractually bound to that specific company for roughly 1 year.

I've read through everything on this site and others regarding the issue and it is still a difficult decision. 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.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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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.

Ryan S.'s Comment
member avatar

You listen to people complain about their jobs/boss/life and you just shake your head; if they only knew what some other jobs were really like. P>

Nailed it!

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the continuing input. Talked it over with my fiance and she seemed to have the same view as Brett; pay for the school so I get individualized attention and have more resources at my disposal. Her reasoning was that a company-sponsored program is just there to turn me into an employee as fast as possible, not necessarily to develop my skills for a long-term career. She also suggested I try to find a trucker or company that will let me ride along with a driver for a few days to see what the life is like.

Any idea if that last suggestion is possible or will insurance considerations and Federal regulations prohibit this sort of thing? And if it is possible, should I just start calling local companies and asking, or is there maybe some more formal way to go about it?

Thanks again.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

She also suggested I try to find a trucker or company that will let me ride along with a driver for a few days to see what the life is like.

Thanks again.

Some companies WILL let a driver have a guest on a ride along, but you may have to fudge it and say you are related. BTW, your fiancee sounds pretty smart...good-luck.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Any idea if that last suggestion is possible or will insurance considerations and Federal regulations prohibit this sort of thing? And if it is possible, should I just start calling local companies and asking, or is there maybe some more formal way to go about it?

Yeah, that one's really gonna be tough to pull off. There are indeed a ton of regulations and such. It can be done - companies do have rider policies but I wouldn't even know where to begin when it comes to finding a driver or company to let you ride along with them. It's kinda like if you lived in an apartment and wanted to know what it was like living in a house. You could go knocking on doors asking people if you can live there for a few days to see what it's like, but you're going to get some baaaaaad responses wtf.gif

Her reasoning was that a company-sponsored program is just there to turn me into an employee as fast as possible, not necessarily to develop my skills for a long-term career

Well, it's true they want you turn you into a productive employee as fast as possible, but at the same time you are going to be driving one of their trucks on the highway and it's not very productive to turn loose a bunch of "killing machines" because they're in a hurry. So they're going to train you properly.

The private schools are trying to turn you into a licensed commercial driver as quickly as possible, so in that regard they're not much different. The quality of the training is pretty much equal, but the pace is faster in company-sponsored programs and they won't be as patient with you as a private school will.

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.

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