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Discussion Starter #1
I just got one last week. I can now drive everything from 2 wheels to 18!
got hazmat and tanker endorsement yesterday. Just waiting on that background check.
Id love to haul tankers for a company close to my house but cant apply til that background clears and that may take 45days.
50k yr home every night sounds perfect. And i know they'll take guys out of the class i took.

Also my #1 pick is pepsi delivery driver. 50k year home every night too. verifiable experience too.
They emailed me yesterday wanting me to apply for a new position as the one i applied to last week got filled. sounds hopeful. I really want that gig.

OTR's not for me. my youngest girl is so attached to me, i cant leave her.
And im into bodybuilding, that dont mix with OTR trucking at all. dont want to give it up after 5-6yrs of effort.
but if i have to do it for 3 months to a year i guess i will so i can be set with a home daily job later.

spent a long time looking into these companies that will take recent grads for OTR or regional runs and after researching i see a lot of it is sugarcoated and half truths. makes it even less appealing.
hopefully i wont have to worry about it tho and Pepsi will put me on.



Whats your experience?
 

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SDSU Alumnus
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Awesome news and congratulations!
 

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LessThanSane
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OTR companies that take new grads have a very high turnover, so lots of "emergency runs". They'll generally start off pretty decent, then the douchbaggery sets in. BUT they are a good way to get that one or two years experience that a lot of the better paying local/regional carriers require. I did OTR for almost 5 years - there was a lot of good, and a lot of bad. The travel is AWESOME. I had a lot of leeway with routing, so as long as I made my appt times, I could take the scenic routes - unfortunately they were not always truck friendly, but that added it's own experiences. :)
I worked for Carter Express, out of Anderson, IN to start with. It was a medium sized company - around 500 trucks, and I was REALLY happy with the quality of the equipment and regular service. I had 1 breakdown my entire time with them - a mechanic forgot the coolant line retaining clip on the turbo. Truck shut down just over the Ohio line. Aside from that, I had a few blowouts, and my driver window shattered for no apparent reason in Texas once (that'll make your butt pucker). Working for a large company, I was never in the same truck for long, equipment was often crap - MANY tires needed replaced before I could legally hook to a trailer I was supposed to pick up, which of course led to tardiness that was blamed on the driver...
Most importantly, I NEVER ended up getting paid what was advertised, but I have been to almost every state, and I've been to Canada and Mexico - so some pay isn't necessarily in cash I suppose.

I am no longer driving (I am a stay-at-home Dad these days! :) ), but I absolutely LOVED the experience. When I go back to work I'll do some local stuff, and once the kids are grown, I do expect to do some more OTR.

So, my advice:
1. Stay away from the large companies - Drivers are just another piece of equipment to them.
2. NEVER let dispatch bully you into doing something illegal, Driving time (logs), weight, equipment compliance (lights, tires, brakes, etc), are all your responsibility. - The tickets go on your record, and the fines come from your pay.
3. Don't be an asshole trucker - 4-wheelers will piss you off daily, but remember - you see thousands of them a day. Give em a smile and a wave and you might just make someones day once in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Awesome news and congratulations!
Thank you. And I enjoy your videos. Plz do more!

And thanks for the advice gonesh. We heard some of that in the classes. One instructor loved setting the record straight for us when recruiters came sugar coating things. Some recruiters were straight up to begin with tho.

I didn't know when I decided to go this route that I'd likely have to go otr.
I'm in it soley for the money. I wouldn't mind a few trips out west cause I've never been but I don't care to travel really. I just want a local route, can be the same thing everyday and I wouldn't mind.
I was a machinist/metal worker and it didn't work out as planned so I'm done staring at machines all day.
This seems like a good change up from that.
 

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Good luck with job search . 80k lbs of inexperience going down road is a big liabilty for Companies. I think you will have to gain experience where you can for year or so until you find better job.
I would not hire an inexperienced driver, too much liabilty.
I have hired drivers with only 6 mos exp. OTR but OTR is relatively easy compared to all other trucking. GOOD LUCK, DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
 

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Fellow Class-A driver right here, CB Handle is Texas Mouth Piece.

Gonesh is definitely right about the 4 wheelers, GEESH they piss you off. The reasons being they don't have a clue that when you try to stop your truck from 70mph it's gonna take a bit. Lord forbid you're bob tail and they think you can stop shorter because you aren't pulling a loaded trailer. I think if people had to drive a tractor/trailer for about a year then people would definitely drive their cars totally different. I hate the fact that the average driver doesn't understand that if you have 53 or 56 foot trailer behind you you're gonna have to swing wide to clean the curbs. I hate that. they try to run up underneath you not realizing or caring you're turning right and you have to cover both lanes momentarily just to clear the corner. annoying stuff. Add to that the multimedia and cell phone distractions and throw in a side of me first everyone else can wait and you gotta a recipe for a tractor trailer vs car wreck. Be careful out there brotha. That's gonna be the single biggest issue with not seeing much freeway time and doing mostly city driving.


William-
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good points. All around.
I've ridden motorcycles for five years now and I think a lot of what I know from it translates to safe driving in the trucks. Like constant scanning, alertness/awareness, and just avoiding bad drivers.
I think I'll definitely treat things different and do what it takes to keep cool and safe, being its my job as a professional.
 

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LessThanSane
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Good points. All around.
I've ridden motorcycles for five years now and I think a lot of what I know from it translates to safe driving in the trucks. Like constant scanning, alertness/awareness, and just avoiding bad drivers.
I think I'll definitely treat things different and do what it takes to keep cool and safe, being its my job as a professional.
Funny you mention that. I thought on more than one occasion that my motorcycle experience was more valuable in preparing me for the real world of trucking than class. Except for backing up - That's easy one day, hard the next. There were days when it seemed like I was NEVER gonna get lined up properly on a completely open dock, then there were days that I blindsided into an angled dock, inside a dark warehouse - from a bright spring day - on the first try...

To get in the door, with little or no experience, AND stay local - look for delivery companies with a large fleet of small trucks - box trucks, vans, propane delivery (the ones that carry lots of small tanks), etc. City driving in a big truck sucks, and is the most dangerous at any experience level. It's not just other drivers, though they are a HUGE part, it's the low bridges, the NO TRUCKS signs, weight limits, and narrow streets. They add significantly to the distractions.

And remember, it is ALWAYS better to arrive late, than to risk not arriving at all.

On a side note: I just saw you were in Virginia - Those "hills" around there were absolutely the most terrifying roads I EVER drove, so at least you're prepared in that regard. Looking out your window down a hundred foot cliff (from 9 feet off the street, and a 65K load) can give you a butt pucker factor of 100 in a hurry!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know how it is with backing. I practiced in a 48' then went to test in a 53' a few weeks ago and blew it on the offset and parallel parking. I went back to practice after that switching between the two and seen how much a difference it makes. its alot. I chalked my failure up to that. i re-tested in a 48' after practicing in the 48' and did perfect.

Ive interviewed with a propane delivery company and they didnt have any positions atm but the manager told me to apply on the 15th when he posts a new position. not a bad gig but doesnt provide verifiable experience. but $17hr 10hr days and a few saturdays is still $50k yr.

I had another position like that lined up with a company that picks up recycling bins in the area but since i failed my test at first, now the position is filled. Sucks cause i spent $50 and a whole day on a DIP class to get my points up for them, specifically.

Ive heard about dispatchers sending dudes down some bad routes. And heard to simply tell them NO if you know any better. If they dont like it there is always another company that would love to have ya!

I live half mile from the blue ridge parkway. Surrounded by mountains on all sides of the city here. like living in a bowl.
I hear the WVA mountains are worse and if i get the tanker job, thats where ill be going everyday most likely. Sounds kinda treacherous especially with a giant rolling bomb behind you. Im willing to give it a shot tho. Probably no more dangerous than being on the bike is the way i see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
So my dreams are coming true! Interviewed with Pepsi today and immediately got an offer! $50k+ yr!

I had researched what they ask in the interviews so I already had the answers well thought out and rehearsed. Made me look really good!

I just have to pass the background check which I am a lil worried about. I got a dui in 2007- 9yrs ago. The application said they "typically" don't hire people with dui's. So I might be ok, but I might not.
I know a lot of background checks only go back 7yrs so i hope that's the case here.
I didn't have a chance to ask but I'll be up front when they call to set it up
 

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So my dreams are coming true! Interviewed with Pepsi today and immediately got an offer! $50k+ yr!

I had researched what they ask in the interviews so I already had the answers well thought out and rehearsed. Made me look really good!

I just have to pass the background check which I am a lil worried about. I got a dui in 2007- 9yrs ago. The application said they "typically" don't hire people with dui's. So I might be ok, but I might not.
I know a lot of background checks only go back 7yrs so i hope that's the case here.
I didn't have a chance to ask but I'll be up front when they call to set it up
Nice work, congrats! And I respect your honesty is the best policy method. There doesn't seem to be much of that left these days. Not in these parts at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks man. Yea integrity over everything. I'd still have my previous job if I wasn't so honest lol. Made a mistake, totally owned it, got fired. I Should have lied!
 
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