An Encouragement To Rookies

Topic 8976 | Page 1

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6 string rhythm's Comment
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Utilize the High Road Training Program on this website and glean the wisdom from members on this forum, along with having a positive attitude and good work ethic, and you will be successful no matter where you choose to work.

One year will fly by before you know it. I'm on the eve of my first year in trucking and it has been a whirlwind. I had no idea it would be so hard in the beginning. Getting lost in the metro NYC area after 3 days being solo will rip the welcome mat from under your feet in a hurry. But all experiences are good experiences if you learn from them. As one of my favorite philosophers wrote, "experience is the greatest teacher in life."

Things move quickly, and with great intensity. It's amazing how much you will progress when you have the time to pause and reflect. And don't forget to reflect, otherwise you might miss how much you've learned. It's easy to get frustrated, especially in the beginning with the steep learning curve, but having that sense of accomplishment and being able to navigate a big rig in a big city is extremely rewarding. What's also rewarding is knowing that you know how to handle your rig with all the other people you share the road with. A good driver will account for the mistakes of others, read them ahead of time, and go about the day without being thanked for it. That's all part of being a professional driver - and it's a sense of pride, at least it should be.

As some of you know, I'm a linehaul driver for an LTL company. I had a small taste of living on the road when I had to stay out for 3-4 days at a time during the first few months. That's nothing compared to what some OTR rookies have to do. Plus, I stayed at hotels, which is nothing like having to make the time to find a truck stop. My time at truck stops was limited to fueling and grabbing a quick cup of coffee. But I was able to rub elbows with some of the other drivers and have a quick peek into the world of the OTR driver. I have a great deal of respect for OTR drivers. Had I gotten into trucking before I had a family, I might have become an OTR driver for at least a short while, in order to experience the lifestyle.

I will always have more to learn, and never want to become complacent in my responsibility as a driver, but it's been great to see the progress and start to settle in more with my job. Hold on fast rookies - you'll surpass a year in no time at all. Enjoy the ride and grow with those experiences. Don't give up when it gets too tough, there's a reason they say to wait a year. You might miss out on a rewarding career if you give up in the beginning during that brutal learning curve. And don't forget to have fun!

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

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