Trucking For My New Second Career.....

Topic 6727 | Page 1

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Don R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Brett, and others.

I am seriously thinking of the trucking industry as my second career, having my current position eliminated in the company Ive worked for for the past 11 yrs. I live on an interstate corridor in the Northeast. I see 'em all, Schneider, Prime, Conway etc... Knowing nothing of the trucking industry and how the pay works, to how long away from home to how much home time is there being an OTR driver. Ive read the pros and cons of the driving schools as opposed to the company sponsored training . Im sure there are other men and women , middle aged looking at trucking as a new adventure in their life and have or had the same questions. I do know that I don't know, what I don't know. I am doing the study materials that you have on this great site! And Im doing very well. It's awesome Brett, great job!!

Don

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Don, welcome to the forum!

Getting into trucking as a second career is more common than you probably realize. I myself retired from a 30 year stint in my first career and then went into trucking. It is a whole new lifestyle that will keep one away from home for lengthy periods of time, but it has it's own set of rewards for the adventurous type of person whose marriage and family can withstand the lengthy absences it will involve.

If you haven't already done so take a careful read through our Truck Driver's Career Guide, it will provide you with a lot of information and answers to your questions while probably giving you more questions that you didn't even know to ask. Follow all the links in that section and you will unveil a lot of useful information that is pertinent to your personal quest into this new career. The moderators here are all professional drivers with busy schedules, but we will do our best to help you with a quick response when ever we can. Feel free to post as many questions as you like.

I started this at the age of 53. There is no discrimination against age in this industry - I have personally met drivers in their eighties and nineties still out there chasing that long black ribbon. It is an adventurous job with rewards known only to this profession. It has it's down sides also, but each individual must decide it if it will work for them. Having a supportive spouse and family is one of the biggest helps anyone could ever wish for when making the transition into trucking. I wish you the best and encourage you to participate in the forum. Feel free to ask us about anything that might come up as a question or concern. There are no dumb questions - trust me, we have heard it all, and still enjoy helping others get a grip on what it takes to pursue this career that we have found to be so satisfying.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Old School, Thanks a lot for your response. I have gone thru this website pretty thoroughly and I must say , what a great site! Again a big thank you to Brett. Great job. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and following along the daily events of Andy C. and PJ. And some others as well. Great recruiters for those companies I tell you. I am coming from an aviation career of some 20+ yrs and always had this truck driving thing in the back of my mind. I remember back in military flight school the counselors would always say to us if we thought we couldn't hack the current training we were in that, "Well , theres always tractor trailer driving school". Literally put a magazine pull out for a school and pin it to the information board we had to look at everyday. But as a child I grew up around some family who drove logging trucks and fuel trucks. Again it always interested me I currently live near the only big truck stop between Albany NY and Canada so I see a lot of truckers pulling in and leaving and hell I even eat there a lot. good food. I have been doing the CDL training materials here on the site preparing for the permit exam. Wow big help. It's awesome. Just have to schedule the DOT medical now before taking the permit test. Would love to find something Regional or Dedicated . Don't know if that's possible being a rookie. It fits my schedules (family) but understand might not be possible for some time. I want to thank everyone that contributes to this great forum. So much help and information. It surprises me as I read in someones blog, maybe Daniel B. how unhelpful he found other drivers in helping one another out. But here it seems everyones great. I guess theres always a few eh? Thanks Don

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Don.

I get up your way every now and then running freight to our terminal in Albany, NY. I-87 can be a bugger in the winter time. If you're looking for a regional or dedicated route , you might also want to look into LTL companies. Linehaul jobs and especially P&D jobs will get you home daily if not weekly. Of course truckload jobs can be more abundant - it all depends on your area.

This site has a ton of resources and lots of friendly truckers. I used the High Road Training Program and it gave me a tremendous advantage, even during my time at private CDL school.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

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

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Don R.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Don.

I get up your way every now and then running freight to our terminal in Albany, NY. I-87 can be a bugger in the winter time. If you're looking for a regional or dedicated route , you might also want to look into LTL companies. Linehaul jobs and especially P&D jobs will get you home daily if not weekly. Of course truckload jobs can be more abundant - it all depends on your area.

This site has a ton of resources and lots of friendly truckers. I used the High Road Training Program and it gave me a tremendous advantage, even during my time at private CDL school.

6 String,

Thanks a lot. I have been doing the High Road training and it is a good deal. As for LTL, I don't know what that is. I've found reading a ton of contributions here that there are Acronyms that I've no clue what you guys are saying. Maybe Brett or someone can have a page for all your abbreviated terms, lingo etc. Unless there is one and I haven't discovered it yet. There are soo many trucking companies out there that its overwhelming to try and start to look them up as you don't really know anything to ask yet but the very basic . But I'll manage. Don

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

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

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
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