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Old 12-22-2012, 05:15 PM  
BCD BCD is offline
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Do we have any OTR drivers here?

I'm looking into getting my CDL.

There is a CDL training school just a few miles from me.

I've been a CNC Machinist for years and I'm sick of the lack of job security.

I'm 42 and I need something with solid job security.

I think R8ers drives for FedEx, right?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
Bowser Bowser is offline
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What are you looking for, specifically? A road job that takes you all over the country, or just a city job where you're home every night?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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What are you looking for, specifically? A road job that takes you all over the country, or just a city job where you're home every night?
All over for a while to get the experience, and earn the most money.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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I considered it a while back and if I recall, all the good local jobs usually require 2yrs exp. from what I gathered , I would need to do OTR for 2 yrs before I could consider the local gigs.

Of course that's just my take. R8rs would have more accurate info I think.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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All over for a while to get the experience, and earn the most money.
To earn the most money it would depend on who you work for. If you're a n00b driver, they would most likely send you out as part of a team; one guys drives, the other sleeps, and so on and so on. DOT rules state that a driver can only stay in the seat for 11 hours at a time.

Driving in town can give you great experience as far as dealing with traffic and other drivers. Even staying in the yard and shifting trailers can help give you a feel of pulling that long assed shit. But after a time, driving tractor and trailer is no different than driving your car, at least comfort wise when you're behind the wheel.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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Go for it. Trucking has a good upside for your take home pay. You can make a lot of money if you are dedicated to your business. I work for a trucking company internally and there is always a need for more drivers.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #7
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
BCD BCD is offline
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Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
To earn the most money it would depend on who you work for. If you're a n00b driver, they would most likely send you out as part of a team; one guys drives, the other sleeps, and so on and so on. DOT rules state that a driver can only stay in the seat for 11 hours at a time.

Driving in town can give you great experience as far as dealing with traffic and other drivers. Even staying in the yard and shifting trailers can help give you a feel of pulling that long assed shit. But after a time, driving tractor and trailer is no different than driving your car, at least comfort wise when you're behind the wheel.
Yeah, I'm not looking forward to ride with someone I don't know for a month, but I'll deal with it.

I have driven a tractor trailer before, briefly. 10 yrs ago, a buddy of mine was driving and I went out on the road with him for a few weeks. There was more than a little anxiety when I did it. That was the 1st time I had ever been behind the wheel. I lost contact with him a few yrs ago. He would be a lot of help right now.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
ROYC75 ROYC75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
To earn the most money it would depend on who you work for. If you're a n00b driver, they would most likely send you out as part of a team; one guys drives, the other sleeps, and so on and so on. DOT rules state that a driver can only stay in the seat for 11 hours at a time.

Driving in town can give you great experience as far as dealing with traffic and other drivers. Even staying in the yard and shifting trailers can help give you a feel of pulling that long assed shit. But after a time, driving tractor and trailer is no different than driving your car, at least comfort wise when you're behind the wheel.
This, most schools will offer placement if you score high enough you get the better jobs.

Use to be some companies did their own schooling and hiring but many drivers quit after a few weeks on the road leaving an expense that didn't meet the break even part of placement.

Be prepared to be a driver in training during school and a co-driver with a lead driver teaching and giving additional training for at least 6 months to a year.

Once on your own, you have more freedom of your own rig with an excellent view of the country. A few things to keep in mind here for your advancement and pay .....

Flatbed or step drivers generally pay a driver more per load /per mile than the vans or reefer units do. How ever, if getting paid by the mile the average of miles is usually lower per week. You get tarp pay to do the extra physical work, of which usually sucks since most of companies do not pay enough for tarping, but some do.

Heavy haul / over dimensional is where you can make really good money per load basis. But you can run into a lot of idle time.

Heavy haul / O.D. and tanker require brains and common sense approach. There are many things to consider at all times with your load and the experience drivers get paid more money for their wisdom.


Van drivers and reefer drivers ( with the bigger companies )generally have longer runs which allows you to load and travel farther between points that allows you to turn more miles per week. But keep in mind the new DOT & CVSA rules suck, keeps drivers from working or driving more miles with tighter regulations. Many companies allow team drivers with vans & reefers which allows you to turn 5 to 6 K miles ( + ) per week ( per team ). If you do not get hung out on either coast you'll turn some miles.

Tanker drivers get paid really well, depending on what you haul. If you are good enough with the experience, being able to handle hazmat loads are very good paying jobs. But you have to know and handle the safety aspects of it. When I was younger I make very good money doing this.

Easy loaded flatbed, van, reefer require just a basic common sense approach person behind the wheel. Most of the bad truckers or the perception of truckers come from most of these drivers. If you are of level headed, be prepared to be lumped into this class of driver. When I took over as GM foe a company, I had the fleet owner once told me that the only reason a guy would drive a truck is he can't hold down a real job. I told him with reasoning like this he will be short a lot of drivers really quick.

Honestly, If I was to go back to driving, I would look at the JB Hunts, Schneider's, Werner's will get you some good experience and plenty of miles quickly. If you score well go with them, better pay & benefits.

If possible later you can get with one of the LTL outfits, go with them and be home more often.

I've done flats, steps, Heavy haul, O.D., tanker, LTL , grain hoppers, end dumps,vans and reefer.


Good Luck!
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
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Many local p&d companies will hire you with little experience. The philosophy is that they can train you their way before you pick up bad habits. Question is, are they hiring? If you go that route union companies are best. The pay between non union and union is usually similar but the union companies usually have a much better benefit package. The non union companies will provide the benefits but want you to pay a few hundred bucks a month for the medical. Union companies also usually have a true multi employer pension plan which is far superior to most 401k plans.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #11
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They don't make shit anymore. I looked into it, and actually did the trucking school with a company in Springfield. It is garbage ass money. I mean, shit. You won't make 40k your first couple of years, and you'll only get close if you roll. You don't make shit when those tires aren't rolling. Don't shoot the messenger. Long haul trucking has been ruined. Too many people willing to do it for shitty, shitty, money.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by KCFaninSEA View Post
Many local p&d companies will hire you with little experience. The philosophy is that they can train you their way before you pick up bad habits. Question is, are they hiring? If you go that route union companies are best. The pay between non union and union is usually similar but the union companies usually have a much better benefit package. The non union companies will provide the benefits but want you to pay a few hundred bucks a month for the medical. Union companies also usually have a true multi employer pension plan which is far superior to most 401k plans.
Insurance companies are setting the bar high on hiring, even local union jobs. No experience or lack of recent experience and the rates rise dramatically, thus leaving companies to hire drivers with recent experience of at least 2 years recent.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:07 PM   #13
ROYC75 ROYC75 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
They don't make shit anymore. I looked into it, and actually did the trucking school with a company in Springfield. It is garbage ass money. I mean, shit. You won't make 40k your first couple of years, and you'll only get close if you roll. You don't make shit when those tires aren't rolling. Don't shoot the messenger. Long haul trucking has been ruined. Too many people willing to do it for shitty, shitty, money.
Taking away tariffs allow cut throat rates, less profit and less driver pay.

Reason you see the tide shifting in trucking.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:17 PM   #14
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FedEx is a great company, 4 different Divisions FedEx Freight, Ground, Express and Services... I love working for Freight pay is exceptional and the benefits are awesome as well!!
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
They don't make shit anymore. I looked into it, and actually did the trucking school with a company in Springfield. It is garbage ass money. I mean, shit. You won't make 40k your first couple of years, and you'll only get close if you roll. You don't make shit when those tires aren't rolling. Don't shoot the messenger. Long haul trucking has been ruined. Too many people willing to do it for shitty, shitty, money.
What division was that in? Also, what time of the year did you do the school? There are high/low volume seasons in trucking. A driver should be able to clear 40k relatively easy. What a lot of people don't understand is that if they go lease a truck from a third party they can make more money. If you lease from the company you work for, you are likely paying a marked up price. Become an owner op and you can make pretty good money.
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