Truck Driver Hopeful, Need Some Advice On This Journey

Topic 9401 | Page 1

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Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
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Hello, I am hoping to get into trucking this summer, I am 24, have a perfect driving record (no wrecks, never been pulled over), and I have never been in the cab of a truck, where should I start? I am looking at schools, what should I look for in a good school? Also what should I expect to pay the schools? I am not all that interested in OTR right now, I have commitments at home currently that will prevent that for now. Anyway, any advice is appreciated :)

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to Trucking Truth, Uriah. You've come to the right place. Look across the top of the web page, you'll see things you need to check out.

Never been in a tractor before? Read Brett's Book and the Truck Driver's Career Guide for an idea of a trucking life style.

Look for Truck Driving Schools, both private and Company-Sponsored Training .

Start right now with the High Road Training Program that will almost guarantee passing your CDL tests.

Read How To Choose A School then How To Choose A Company.

You asked who's going to finance all this. You can play your cards right and get almost all of the costs covered, very little out of your pocket. You'll read about this in the "How to choose..." sections above.

And keep up in the forum - both newbies and experienced drivers hang out here, answering questions and otherwise fooling around.

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.

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.

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.

Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

One thing I'll add is you'll need to research your options closely because most newbies start out over the road. Local and frequent home time gigs are rarer and usually ask for experience. That doesn't mean you can't get one. It just means you'll have to work much harder at it. And, company sponsored schools with OTR companies may not work for you because you don't want to go OTR. All I can say is good luck and do lots of research.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys, looks like I might need to reconsider my position on OTR , I have obstacles to overcome with that, one being my Dad is not that in favor of trucking, he drove a logging truck for a Mennonite madman for eighteen months and it was a very bad experience. He is kinda trying to get me to reconsider my interest in trucking. He also keeps saying I can't have a family and drive truck.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
member avatar

I am doing the high road course, which sections do I have to do minimum to pass the CDL test for getting my permit? Also, which endorsements are recommended?

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.
Jay R. R2-Detour 's Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys, looks like I might need to reconsider my position on OTR , I have obstacles to overcome with that, one being my Dad is not that in favor of trucking, he drove a logging truck for a Mennonite madman for eighteen months and it was a very bad experience. He is kinda trying to get me to reconsider my interest in trucking. He also keeps saying I can't have a family and drive truck.

I have a wife and two kids. I am doing OTR for a year to get my needed experience. It is not optimal but if you have a supportive family you can. Obviously I'd rather be home more often than I am, but I'm looking at it as in investment. In a year there should be numerous opportunities available to me with better home time as long as I compete my year safely.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Andy F.'s Comment
member avatar

Uriah, I don't think looking g for any course to do "minimum" is going about it the right way. Do the entire course. It's an awesome course and you'll learn much. If you do this, you'll start out miles ahead of any cdl class you decide on. You don't want minimum scores, minimum success, so no minimum course. That's just my 2 cents.

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.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Wife / daughter / 5 furry kids here.

Is it a challenge? Yep but so is life. If you have a good relationship and a strong woman, you can make anything work.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I am doing the high road course, which sections do I have to do minimum to pass the CDL test for getting my permit? Also, which endorsements are recommended?

We've always recommended getting all of the endorsements. Hazmat is a little more involved because you need a background check, fingerprinting, and a re-test every two years or so. But all of them are just written tests and they'll definitely help open up a lot more opportunities for you.

Here's how our High Road Training Program breaks down:

To Get Your CDL Permit:

  • Rules & Regulations
  • Driving Safely
  • Transporting Cargo Safely
  • Air Brakes
  • Combination Vehicles
  • Pre-Trip Inspection
  • Driving Exam

To get your CDL endorsements which are optional but highly recommend:

  • Transporting Passengers
  • Doubles And Triples
  • Tankers
  • Hazardous Materials

Two sections we've built ourselves with info you'll need for everyday life on the road:

  • Logbook
  • Weight & Balance

Two sections for anyone considering flatbed:

  • Cargo Securement
  • New York State Coil Endorsement

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.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone, I'll go ahead and do the whole course :) Does anyone know about Schneider, are they a good employer? The school I am interested in gets a lot of their students hired by them, and Schneider will pay for your school, without a contract which is quite attractive.

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