Home Time?

Topic 962 | Page 1

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Blue C.'s Comment
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My biggest concern in becoming a Truck Driver is the the "away from home time". I've read a lot of the blogs and one really stood out. Forgive me, I can't remember the author but it was very adamant about not taking a job that will keep you away from home for weeks at a time if you are married or have children as it is hard on the family. that is a huge concern to me.But, is it possible to get a regional , or dedicated route when you're a new hire out of school? Is it a situation where you bite the bullet and do long haul for 6 months to a year and then are qualified? I'm fine with that. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems from what I've read that it's better to go with a larger dry van carrier to have more opportunity for regional or closer to home dedicated routes? I don't expect to get rich but can you make a decent living/get enough miles doing the regional or dedicated thing?

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Britton R.'s Comment
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Getting a gig that will get you more home time is tough straight out of school. Its not necessarily impossible but its harder. Certain companies will have better opportunities so research the companies before going there. Most local gigs want a year or two of experience due to the congestion of city traffic and driving. Once you've put a solid year in otr quite a bit will open up for you.

I believe dry van and flatbed get you home more often while reefer keeps you out longer. I may be mistaken though.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Everything Britton said is right on.

But, is it possible to get a regional , or dedicated route when you're a new hire out of school? Is it a situation where you bite the bullet and do long haul for 6 months to a year and then are qualified?

Yes to both. There are some companies that will offer regional or dedicated straight out of school, others will require maybe 6 months of OTR first. Off the top of my head, TMC, Schneider, Swift, Millis, and Roehl are all companies with good home time packages straight out of school - home weekly is at least a possibility at those companies. But they're certainly not the only ones.

I believe dry van and flatbed get you home more often while reefer keeps you out longer. I may be mistaken though.

That is definitely true. You'll want to focus on dry van and flatbed for home time.

I don't expect to get rich but can you make a decent living/get enough miles doing the regional or dedicated thing?

Absolutely. A lot of over-the-road drivers wind up sitting for a day or two each week, especially over the weekend. So getting home on weekends does not necessarily mean making less money. It depends on the quality of driver you are and the opportunities available in the division you're in. But you can make a solid living and be home on weekends.

One thing to consider for staying home if you don't mind the hard work is driving for places like beverage and grocery distributors. You'll do a lot of unloading everyday and it's hard work but you can make $40k+ and be home every night - Pepsi, Coke, Budweiser, Frito Lay - places like that.

Also, for getting your career started, check out Roehl Transport Company-Sponsored Training . There are like 4 or 5 pages of information, but the big thing is on page 4 where you'll see their Roehl Transport Home Time Plus™ Fleets which are the best home time packages I know of in the industry. Now with some of those options you're not going to make the best money, simply because you're sitting home almost half the time. But it might be a great way to get some over-the-road experience while still getting home quite a bit, and then you can move on to something local that pays well and gets you home every night.

Those are just some considerations.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Blue C.'s Comment
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Thanks for the info! I greatly appreciate it. I'm so glad I found this site. All the other ones I looked at were non-stop griping and complaining. I previously mentioned i did some time in prison years ago and there were these same types in there..."wah wah its not fair! wah wah". really gets on your nerves. You have to accept responsibility for your own actions, some people would rather blame everyone and everything else for their problems. Everyone here is very helpful. No arrogance or condescension. Thanks!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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You're quite welcome! We're always here to help out in any way we can smile.gif

Bruce K.'s Comment
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I accidentally hit "report" - what I WANTED to do was express agreement. Thanks, BlueC. And you're right...there's a lot of negativism on Trucker forums.

Thanks for the info! I greatly appreciate it. I'm so glad I found this site. All the other ones I looked at were non-stop griping and complaining. I previously mentioned i did some time in prison years ago and there were these same types in there..."wah wah its not fair! wah wah". really gets on your nerves. You have to accept responsibility for your own actions, some people would rather blame everyone and everything else for their problems. Everyone here is very helpful. No arrogance or condescension. Thanks!

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