Newbie In Northern California With A Question For Experienced Truckers.

Topic 592 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Ryan's Comment
member avatar

Hello, I've kind of gotten bit by the bug that's telling me that trucking could be the logical choice for a career change for me. So you have enough to go on, let me tell you a little about me then a question. I'm 39 years old, college educated, and have a spotless driving record. Got one ticked in 1994 and haven't even been pulled over since. I'm confident I would qualify to get into a trucking school.

After a layoff I am looking for work, but the idea of getting back into the rat race makes my stomach turn. As I go through the material and book on TruckingTruth.com the more I think this could be an good option for me. As exciting as it sounds to be a long haul trucker, I have a wife and son at home and being on the road for weeks at a time is not an option for me at this time. However, I could envision driving 3-5 days at a time on the west coast and being home a couple few days at a time or even just local driving. As a newbie, is this trucking lifestyle possible? Are there companies that are looking for just local and regional drivers who can lead a somewhat normal lifestyle for family? I don't know if in the trucking world that is more or less desirable than a long haul life and if all drivers are trying to get what I am describing. Also, if it is possible, can anyone give me an idea of what sort of income could be expected from driving local or just on the west coast? I really appreciate any input. This whole thing sounds very attractive to me but I need to know if this is possible before I make any final decisions on getting a CDL. Thank you in advance for your help and guidance.

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.

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.

Britton R.'s Comment
member avatar

Some of the more experienced people can give you better advice but I'll share what I've seen answered about this type of question. It can be difficult finding local or regional gigs right away. Most of those companies want a year or so of over the road experience. That doesn't mean its impossible by ant means, it just may require a little more searching or effort to find. Also, I believe the pay at local companies may be on the lower side, but I'm not sure.

You mention being laid off. Depending on your length of unemployment you may have difficulty landing a job in trucking. Again, it doesn't make it impossible but may make it difficult. Be sure to look into everything and do all the research you can before spending money on your cdl.

Best of luck to 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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hello Ryan, and welcome to the forum! This same question comes up an awful lot here, and it's understandable because so many people that are raising families need to be home with them. I'm gonna say that it's not impossible for you to land a gig like you describe, but it sure can be challenging in most areas of the country. For the most part any local driving job is going to require a certain amount of experience. The large national fleets are more likely to hire someone without experience because they have their insurance coverage set up that way. It becomes cost prohibitive for the smaller local companies to be able to cover inexperienced drivers on their insurance policies. It isn't so much that the local companies don't want to hire you, but that they've got their insurance carrier dictating to them who they can or can't hire.

You may have a little better luck if you could get on at a company where someone knows you, or with a large national company delivering local freight in your area. You are definitely going to have your work cut out for you to get a local job without any experience, but start doing your research, and make some calls to various local companies and ask if they ever hire inexperienced drivers.

We stress here about getting one year in with your first over the road company, but I have seen some local companies in my area who advertise jobs for drivers with (3) months experience. If you could find something like that maybe you and your wife could come to some kind of an agreement where you take an over the road job for a short period of time then you start looking for that local job.

Best of luck to ya! Keep us posted on your progress in your new career choice.

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.

Ryan's Comment
member avatar

Thank you both for your input. I really appreciate it.

Houkie's Comment
member avatar

I ordinarily prefer not to advocate for one company over another, but check out Roehl. Their home-time program is awesome. If you're looking to get into trucking without becoming a stranger to your family, it might be worth your time to give them a call and ask some questions.

James925's Comment
member avatar

Hey Ryan, first of all great to see another Northern California face on here. I'm from the Bay Area, and I don't see too many Northern California people on here. My family lives in Sacramento as well, it's practically my second home.

Secondly, I'll say this. Life in a truck is extremely hard, and putting a burden like being gone for weeks at a time and only having a few days to spend with them when you get back is, well a burden. It's hard for families. Not impossible, but hard. I definitely don't want to discourage you from trucking, but trucking is the king of unpredictable. You'll start the day out with nothing but sunshine, and the day will end with a thunderstorm, literally and figuratively. And most local companies want you to have experience of at least a year before you get a local job, and for good reason.

If I may make a suggestion, I would suggest maybe trying out at a distribution center (I know Safeway and Costco have huge ones in Tracy) and see if maybe you can be one of those guys that moves trailers all day. That way you can move trailers and still come home at night. Or even try the Campbells soup factory in the South area of Sac. Or who knows, you may be able to get on with a large carrier and get a regional fleet out the gate. Try Schneider or Knight, those two might work. Or even JB Hunt. Either option you choose, just make sure you don't have any regrets. Best of luck to you!

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.

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.

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Roehl Transport Changing Careers Choosing A Trucking Company Older truck drivers Paying For Truck Driving School Truck Driving Lifestyle
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More