Driving With Wife That Has CDL, Should We Team Drive Or Solo?

Topic 6873 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Soren L.'s Comment
member avatar

I was hoping someone here might be able to give me some advice on trucking, and team driving(any advice you can tell me). Me and my current girlfriend(soon wife) are thinking about becoming truck drivers, both of us getting our CDL and hitting the road together. Now we are thinking about going homeless kind of living in the truck, making deliveries and seeing the world. So here are some questions if you want to answer them for me.

Should we buy our own truck and go from bid to bid on trailers, or should we apply for a big company, and team drive for them?

Its in her high interest that she wants us both to be driving, and also both be awake, so we are both on the same sleep schedule. So she can see the world with me and experience everything I do. I'm unsure on how this would work for team driving, since usually one is driving and the other sleeping.

Should I just apply to a company for a solo driver and see their rider policy, and on occasions she drive the rig, with her CDL?

if you have any other advice or things you want to tell me I'm all ears. We are both interested in this idea, but we are also new to it.

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.
TxsGent's Comment
member avatar

Soren, I think that the best option would be for just you to get your CDL. A team driver does not make more money. The driver actually makes less for the miles he or she drives, but gets money for all the paid miles the truck travels. That comes out a little ahead. For a husband/wife team, this is a benefit because all the money goes to the same household. Companies, don't know if it is most all or a few, will not allow a CDL rider. Experienced drivers can correct me if I am wrong.

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.
Soren L.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay thats a start, thank you TxsGent

Now she tells me she would definitely want to drive the truck, so what would be my best choice, for us both to be able to drive? Sounds like some major companies (based on your reply) would not allow her in the truck because of said CDL.

Ive heard some people buy their own trucks and act as a private delivery company, that(is what i think) would probably be our best bet to be able to both drive and experience the trucking lifestyle.

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.
TxsGent's Comment
member avatar

You can definitely team drive, but the driving responsibility would be equally shared. Team trucks stay rolling for the most part. The company I am in training with utilizes teamed trainees to get freight to the west coast in a timely manner. A solo driver is restricted to eleven hours of drive time, but a team, twenty-two. When you throw in fuel stops and mandatory breaks, that is around the clock.

Soren L.'s Comment
member avatar

Yea team drive doesn't sound good for the both of us. We want to experience the world together while we can before we settle down. Best case scenario we want a truck, both be able to drive it, and get as many trailers as we can. And its in my best interest to try and accomplish this goal.

I appreciate the info TxsGent But id also like to hear some others opinions and options on this matter.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey there Soren.

First of all, completely put the idea of buying or leasing a truck out of your mind and I say this for two reason. For one, the economics of it are awful. The trucking industry has extremely high capital expenditures, high litigation risk, and razor thin profit margins of around 3%. You don't want to get involved in that mess, especially when you have no experience in the industry.

The second reason I say that is because anyone who thinks owning a business will give them more freedom, flexibility, and time to enjoy themselves has clearly never owned a business. You're going to be painfully disappointed when you realize you have to run yourselves to death in order to pay the bills on that thing and do a mountain of additional work on top of your job duties that any business owner has to do.

So forget about buying or leasing giving you more opportunities. Not a chance.

Now you might be able to find an arrangement at some point that will let her ride along and only drive once in a while. But I don't know for sure and I don't know how difficult that might be to find. That's a question you can ask some of the recruiters from the major companies and see what they say. But I don't think that's much of a long term strategy and here's why....

First of all, you guys are going to want to make some solid money since you're out there running the highways and you have the rest of your lives to live. If you run solo you're going to top out around $50,000 we'll call it after a few years. If you run team that's going to be over $100,000. That's a lot of money to give up when you're already living in a truck and travelling the highways.

Also, if she enjoys driving she's going to hate sitting there all the time while you drive. And you're going to hate sitting around bored while she drives. I mean, it's boring just sitting there staring at corn fields for 10 hours a day, ya know? At least driving makes it a little more interesting, but not much.

I think I would start out as company team drivers. Refrigerated carriers are usually the best place for teams because they have the largest volume of coast to coast freight. Get your CDL's, become team drivers for whatever major carrier you choose, and see where that leads. Maybe you'll love it, maybe not. But once you get some actual experience out there you'll have more options for future jobs and you'll know what you want to do with your careers. If after a short time you decide it's not for you then no harm done. You just walk away. But at least at that point you both have your CDL and you both have driving experience so your options are open. Not only that, but since you didn't buy or lease a truck you're not stuck under piles of debts to pay off.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

If you're driving teams - then it's usually one drives - the other sleeps. As elaborated above - truck stays rolling all the time pretty much, except for fuel/meal/rest stops.

If you're new to the industry - the notion of buying your own truck and "chasing loads" may seem attractive, or even romantic. I ran the numbers a few years ago (and I have connections for freight), and to get in "fully capitalized" for a 2 year old tractor only setup - with insurance, 60 days estimated operating expenses, and a $30K "maintenance fund" to start out - was around $225K. You will not be able to get interstate trucking liability insurance for the first year, and your intra-state (one state only) is going to run you around 12K.

Even the "major lease-on companies", that take O/O's on as lease-ops, won't take you on with less than 1 years experience, because they can't insure you. The "majors" (Swift, etc.), that will try to get you to lease after you're ready to go solo, are self-insured (for the most part) and you have to pay your own Comp/Collision/PI on the rig.

Unless you have a pile of money sitting there doing nothing - buying your own rig is not the way to go - and even if you DID - it's STILL not the way to go. And as Brett is so fond of saying - if you have that kind of money to risk losing by buying your own truck - go ahead and SEND IT TO ME.

Not trying to be a "wet blanket" here - I did a complete business plan, HAD the startup capital, had freight connections and the savvy to work the load boards, along with a sharp business mind - and I still opted to NOT DO IT.

Just like having a wife at home and a man on the road for 3-4 weeks at a time can "make or break" a relationship - I would think living in a walk-in-closet that never stops moving with your partner risks the same thing. Not doubting the "power of true love" here, just saying. It takes a "special kind of person" (and couple) to do the OTR thing, make that 2 special kind of people to do it together.

So explain to us why "it is in the best interest to try and accomplish this goal"? There are no real "one-size-fits-all/best-case-scenarios" in this industry.

If you want to team with your wife, you'll both have to go to school, do your 3-4 months on the road separately with a trainer (and not see each other at all during this period - as the odds of separate trainers being able to get you both home at the same time, is virtually NIL), and THEN - you'll be able to run teams. There's NO WAY y'all are going to be able to walk in with new CDL's (and ZERO EXPERIENCE), and just be assigned a team truck together. You're going to HAVE TO go out with a trainer for a period of time.

As also mentioned - if you want to go solo, and just have the wife as a ride-along - they're NOT going to allow it if she has a CDL also. Too much risk of someone "cheating" and allowing the "rider" to become a driver.

Sorry to say - there are no "shortcuts" or "different angles" to play in this - if there WERE, I'd have figured it out (I'm pretty good at figuring out all the angles).

Perhaps if you explain your situation in a little more depth, board members here can make some better suggestions. WHY do you think owning a truck is your best option (and do you have the startup capital to do it)? WHY do you think OTR trucking is a fit for BOTH OF YOU? While a lot of people have the perception that it's just about "driving around the country seeing the sights", it's NOT - IT'S WORK.

It's stressful, it can be dangerous, it requires the ability to live in a closet for weeks on end. It's a LIFESTYLE. No one gets rich at it. But those who are a fit and love it - couldn't see doing anything else.

Rick

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.

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).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Choosing A Trucking Company Owner Operator Team Driving
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