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Old 12-22-2012, 05:15 PM   Topic Starter
BigMeatballDave BigMeatballDave 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
BigMeatballDave BigMeatballDave is offline
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Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
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, 05:27 PM   #4
Bowser Bowser is offline
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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, 05:37 PM   #5
BigMeatballDave BigMeatballDave 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.
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   #6
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, 05:20 PM   #7
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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, 05:36 PM   #8
Unsmooth-Moment Unsmooth-Moment is offline
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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   #9
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I know OverHead did before he got into another gig.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:23 AM   #10
Over-Head Over-Head is offline
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I know OverHead did before he got into another gig.
Indeed I did Greg 2.6 million miles in 12 and a half years as an Owner Operator delivering to every damn nook and cranny of North America you can think of.
And YES, I've also run the "Ice Roads" in Alaska, Yukon, and NWT.
Flats, drops, double drops, trombones, step's, tanks, rocky mt doubles, Super B's, quads, boosters, vans, reefers, ...Just about ANY kind of trailer you can think of.
And as far as loads, just about every size/weight imagionable.

One of my more scarier moments was when some nut job in gold Vett past me on an off ramp out side of Billings one night


My advice a rookie starting out, let the "big" company pay for the mistakes your abbout to make...(and you will) Like Schnider or J.B Hunt. Get about 6months to a year with them, then go for a smaller better paying private carrier.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:33 AM   #11
ROYC75 ROYC75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over-Head View Post
Indeed I did Greg 2.6 million miles in 12 and a half years as an Owner Operator delivering to every damn nook and cranny of North America you can think of.
And YES, I've also run the "Ice Roads" in Alaska, Yukon, and NWT.
Flats, drops, double drops, trombones, step's, tanks, rocky mt doubles, Super B's, quads, boosters, vans, reefers, ...Just about ANY kind of trailer you can think of.
And as far as loads, just about every size/weight imagionable.

One of my more scarier moments was when some nut job in gold Vett past me on an off ramp out side of Billings one night


My advice a rookie starting out, let the "big" company pay for the mistakes your abbout to make...(and you will) Like Schnider or J.B Hunt. Get about 6months to a year with them, then go for a smaller better paying private carrier.

This is the ticket. They will take you, you can get the training, some experience and move on.

If you want to stay local, get the experience as stated above, hook up with your local LTL carriers. I worked as a casual on the dock for Yellow in Lenexa and also Bowman in the est bottoms before getting day time PU & DU. That took me to a run to Memphis, then pulled triples & doubles to Wichita.

You can work your way to what you want, have to be patient and put in your time.

OverHead, I always wanted to take a trip to Alaska & the NW when I was on the road. I use to run Toronto weekly when pulling a tanker back in 1989.

Like you, some of the truck driving stories I can tell is just nuts.

Dave, one guy mentioned keeping the left hand door closed ..... This is important. Do not let the truck stop beauties and game rooms consume you and your quest to make money.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
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OverHead, I always wanted to take a trip to Alaska & the NW when I was on the road..
The Ice roads are wild on a good day. And trust me from personal experience, the "Roller Coaster" on Ice Road Truckers WILL leave skid marks in your shorts the first time your behind the wheel

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I use to run Toronto weekly when pulling a tanker back in 1989...
My old haunt was 2 blocks north of 401 on Dixi Rd. hang a left...Shell Access.

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Originally Posted by ROYC75 View Post
Like you, some of the truck driving stories I can tell is just nuts.
.
worst of it is...1 out of 10 will believe the shit we saw on a daily bassis
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #13
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Indeed I did Greg 2.6 million miles in 12 and a half years as an Owner Operator delivering to every damn nook and cranny of North America you can think of.
So you ran 208,000 miles a year?

It's was always my understanding that you could only legally log 135-140k a year?

Just curious, as that's a lot of miles since it works out to 4000 miles a week 52 weeks a year.

The most I ever run was 15k a month. I think I was more stressed over running 3 logbooks vs. ever being tired. I had a lot of light loads that month. A restored fire engine ladder from Boston to Seattle & in turn took back a "core" ladder so right there that was like 6k miles. I averaged 6.6 MPG on those trips', of course that was back in '91 & it absolutely sucked in the Midwest both times due to snow slick roads.
I was never intimidated by inclement weather as long as I was heavy & the load wasn't high catching wind.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmike View Post
So you ran 208,000 miles a year?

It's was always my understanding that you could only legally log 135-140k a year?

Just curious, as that's a lot of miles since it works out to 4000 miles a week 52 weeks a year.

The most I ever run was 15k a month. I think I was more stressed over running 3 logbooks vs. ever being tired. I had a lot of light loads that month. A restored fire engine ladder from Boston to Seattle & in turn took back a "core" ladder so right there that was like 6k miles. I averaged 6.6 MPG on those trips', of course that was back in '91 & it absolutely sucked in the Midwest both times due to snow slick roads.
I was never intimidated by inclement weather as long as I was heavy & the load wasn't high catching wind.
Prior to the log book changes a few years ago, we could run 120hrs in 14days with 1, 48hr period off. And an auto reset crossing the border
Our lawys up here were a lot different than the US HOS.
But either way, being an independent, I ran "loose leaf" as opposed to books. Show a weigh master a clip board wiuth 7 sheets and the 1 your working on, and they'll close it up and hand it back to ya.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Prior to the log book changes a few years ago, we could run 120hrs in 14days with 1, 48hr period off. And an auto reset crossing the border
Our lawys up here were a lot different than the US HOS.
But either way, being an independent, I ran "loose leaf" as opposed to books. Show a weigh master a clip board wiuth 7 sheets and the 1 your working on, and they'll close it up and hand it back to ya.
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