Starting School On The 16th

Topic 7702 | Page 1

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Daniel K.'s Comment
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My number one concern has been getting a (recognizable) CDL without losing my FAM. I believe in 5 weeks or so, i will have my license from a 160 hour course. How can I market it to limit extensive OTR time? Are there specific companies who will take recent grads for local routes?


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

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.

Old School's Comment
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Daniel, OTR has been the traditional route to break into the trucking industry, and it is a tried and true way to get that much needed experience to be eligible for local driving jobs. It is a lifestyle that has sadly busted up many families. It clearly is not for everyone, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone whose family ties would be torn apart by the stress it can potentially bring.

I often recommend to someone like yourself to talk it over with their wife and see if the two of you could possibly commit to it for one year with a plan of going for a more local type job after that one year commitment. You know, trucking may not be the thing for you at all. Most people don't even realize the long hours that truck drivers put in, nor the sometimes grueling work schedules that local driving jobs entail. There are few if any truck driving jobs where you will work 8 - 5 and then enjoy weekend outings with your family.

I will say that you happen to live in an area of the country that has a lot of local opportunities. Have you checked out any of Six String Rythm's comments in here about his LTL driving job. He has a thread about LTL work that should interest you. Look into that and take some time to read it. Then you can jump back in here with some more specific questions that Six String would be more than happy to answer. He is a clarion ambassador for the LTL segment of truck driving, and he will be happy to share with you some insight into how to get started in this very lucrative driving job which will usually lets you sleep in your own bed at night.


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

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.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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