Starting School In The Morning.

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Tom W.'s Comment
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Hey Tom i started a post in the diary's section. Im gonna keep everything updated there. I had a pretty good first day it was mainly going over policies and studying the cdl book so pretty boring overall.

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That's good. I'm a bit embarrassed to ask though, being that I really have been on this site for some time now, but where is the diary's section? I am unfamiliar with it.

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CDL Training Diaries Forum I think thats a link to it im not sure i did it right.

Thanks. Got it...finally.

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.
Craig H.'s Comment
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Hey Tom W and Jake Break,

Craig H here. Started CDL school this morning at Heavy Metal Truck Training in Twin Cities. Six guys in the class. That means lots of drive time for each student. But today it was paperwork, lectures and a couple of videos. Just finished my homework assignment and took the online tests on the chapters I studied. We have trucking company recruiters coming to the school for hiring events. In the next week we have Dedicated Logistics, Werner, Dart and America Transport. When I first started thinking about this I was leaning toward Werner or Dart for a dedicated route or as a regional driver in the western states. Now I am not sure. So much to think about as far as who to work for. That's all for now I will check in later and let you know how I am doing. I hope you do the same.

Craig H. fro Minnesota

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.

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.

Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
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Nothing to be nervous about, because its gonna be a lot of work.I never had to study and work so hard for anything in my life.After all the training,it starts to get easier as you gain confidence.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Tom, to answer your question the best pay will normally be found in jobs that require more of a driver, like flatbed or some sort of specialized hauling. Most of the best paying jobs require at least some OTR experience, even as little as 3-6 months.

However there is one exception to that and it's linehaul or LTL trucking. Traditionally linehaul companies were union companies. Today some of them are union, some are not, but they all still pretty much pay union wages. The Teamsters are the union I'm referring to and they're in companies like Yellow-Roadway, Old Dominion, and USF-Holland.

Those linehaul jobs pay way more than most any trucking job you'll find anywhere and are well worth looking into. It's hard to get into those companies straight out of school but it has been done a few times. It's well worth the wait if they require a bit of experience.

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

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tom W.'s Comment
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Tom, to answer your question the best pay will normally be found in jobs that require more of a driver, like flatbed or some sort of specialized hauling. Most of the best paying jobs require at least some OTR experience, even as little as 3-6 months.

However there is one exception to that and it's linehaul or LTL trucking. Traditionally linehaul companies were union companies. Today some of them are union, some are not, but they all still pretty much pay union wages. The Teamsters are the union I'm referring to and they're in companies like Yellow-Roadway, Old Dominion, and USF-Holland.

Those linehaul jobs pay way more than most any trucking job you'll find anywhere and are well worth looking into. It's hard to get into those companies straight out of school but it has been done a few times. It's well worth the wait if they require a bit of experience.

Hey Brett, Yes, linehaul is actually an area I am looking out for as well after reading everything 6 String has written. Until he posted about his pursuit of linehaul and then actually getting the job when it was considered rare, if not virtually impossible, for someone straight out of school to get such a gig, I had never heard of the word "linehaul". His writings very much intrigued me, and the fact that you can be home much more than OTR but still accrue a good amount of miles at a very high cpm got my attention. I have a friend who did this for UPS for many years (I didn't know what it was called then) and I always thought that if I ever drove, that type of driving might be for me. Who knows?!

A major part of what will play into my decision making is that I am married and it will be hard to leave my wife alone for extended periods like the first year or two will probably demand. We both accept this but it doesn't make the thought much easier since, as with hopefully all married couples, we got married to be together. That is one of the reasons linehaul is appealing even if it's not very likely immediately (still keeping my eyes and ears open though). Other than the little detail about being married (slight understatement!) I really think the OTR lifestyle fits me pretty well. Like everyone, lots of factors to consider.

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

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tom W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Craig H. and Jake Break, Today we took some tests and did a lot of work on manual logs and the rules. We are also doing a pre-trip inspection as a group every day. So far, the instructors have done it both days but I suspect we will get to start doing them shortly.

It's funny, today our instructor got interviewed by the local Fox station and will be on the news tonight. Apparently, there is some talk in NC to limit or ban trucks from parking on exit/entrance ramps for "safety" reasons. They interviewed him for this topic and also asked him about the driver shortage.

If anyone is interested and has access to Fox 46 Charlotte, it's on the 10 o'clock news. In fact, they did take a shot of us in the classroom. If they show it, I'm the goofy looking guy in the grey t-shirt sitting in the middle of the room. This could my shot at 1.3 seconds of fame.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Tom W.'s Comment
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Here's a question: One thing that has me limiting the list of companies that I can consider (at least in my head) is there are only a few companies that have terminals in Charlotte, NC and I will not be able to park my truck at my house. If I go with one of the many companies hiring in this area but they don't have a terminal here, how can I handle this? What options are there that can solve this issue?

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.

Old School's Comment
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Tom you can try to check with places like Wal-Mart to see if they will let you park a truck there for a couple of days. I've seen drivers make all kinds of arrangements with places that have a large enough parking area to get a truck into. Sometimes you may find a restaurant or a large convenience store, or whatever. If you live anywhere near an interstate or even a small state highway with a truck stop nearby you could park there and have someone come pick you up for your home time. Keep your eyes peeled for places around your town that might work - you have lots of options. Don't limit yourself to companies that have nearby terminals.

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.

Interstate:

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

Tom W.'s Comment
member avatar

Tom you can try to check with places like Wal-Mart to see if they will let you park a truck there for a couple of days. I've seen drivers make all kinds of arrangements with places that have a large enough parking area to get a truck into. Sometimes you may find a restaurant or a large convenience store, or whatever. If you live anywhere near an interstate or even a small state highway with a truck stop nearby you could park there and have someone come pick you up for your home time. Keep your eyes peeled for places around your town that might work - you have lots of options. Don't limit yourself to companies that have nearby terminals.

Thanks, Old School. I totally forgot about Walmart being a possibility. Other places might be too. Will look around and will definitely keep options open. Individual companies might even have some arrangements made since Charlotte is a fairly major intersection with both I-85 and I-77 coming through here. Will ask them too.

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.

Interstate:

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

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Yep even check close to home, depending where you live. My buddy owned his own rig and trailers(2 Flat beds) 1 block from home, these people had huge fenced graveled yard, and rented space. $75 a month he parked his rigs there (Fontana, Calif. 2 blocks across from the Int Speedway) Was real convenient

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