View Full Version : Any truck drivers here?

February 08, 2003, 08:44
What would be the best way to get a kick-ass local job fresh out of school?

Do I have to prove myself OTR first? A lot of people tell me so. I just don't beleive a word the recruiters tell me. I don't know why that is so. I want to get just enough experience so I can apply for a high-paying local job- like hazmat tanker or something. I'm in Okla. City, btw, in case anyone here knows of something sweet in this area.

Oh, and I've been looking at the possibility of doing flatbed back and forth to Houston. Both states are CCW, but I've been informed that DOT won't allow pistols on your rig, but "you can carry a shotgun" (lol). If I'm going to park overnight at some desolate place to sleep, I need to take something, but be legal of course.

February 08, 2003, 09:01
most trucking comp.are going to want you to have 2-5year experience driving.and just starting out your going to get all the shit job's.i"ve been driveing 10 year now.

February 08, 2003, 09:10
I hope you have a absoutely spotless driving record. If you have a tainted record you are screwed. High paying truck driving jobs are hard to find. Thanks to the mexicans. You have to start on the bottom of the totum pole just like we did and work your way up. GOOD LUCK
PS the recruiters LIE One more thing don't let any company push you into doing ANYTHING ILLEGAL they don't give a flying **** about you or your family or anything else just as long as you get your load delivered.

February 08, 2003, 09:21
as with so many other jobs, ya gotta pay your dues, and unless you luck into just the right position....ya gotta pay your dues. /grin/

I'm not a truck driver, nor do I play on on TV, but my younger brother is, he's now a trainer on a dedicated logistics run for a well known manufacturing company working for a midsize trucking company.

you're doing exactly the right thing talking to lots of folks. however you have to qualify the information. As I said on another board, we're all experts, just ask us. But disregard half of what we say as total b.s. Including half of what I tell you. (you have to figure out what half!)

from what I've heard from Tom in lots of conversations:

to get a good, stable job with a top line company, you're going to have to pay your dues. figure a couple of years OTR or team. Tom started out long haul, 25 on, couple of days off, 25 days on, etc. Hard on you, but it pays the bills.

recruiters are paid to recruit. They want you in the pipeline, they don't immediately care if you get a good job. Sorry to any recruiters out there...there are some ethical folks here and there.

make friends with your dispatcher

nothing personal, but keep your mouth shut and do your job. (goes with the last statement) You're gonna get some crap jobs. if you work with your dispatcher, they'll work with you. (yeah, I know there's some sucky dispatchers around). point is, you get the reputation of pulling the dispatchers butt (and the companies butt) of of the fire on short-haul-gotta-get-this-done-now jobs, you're going to get remembered and get the good $$ runs later on.

stay safe.

and again, stay safe. *everyone's* going to screw up. too tight turns, backing, speed (especially in Ohio!) but you can't afford any major lapses in judgement. NO dui's, personal speeding tickets or moving violations, they're the kiss of death with reputable companies.

stay legal on your paperwork - you'll get away with it 9 times our of 10, but that 10 time is a killer. and especially with you looking for haz endorsement on your CDL KNOW the laws you have to follow on that. at worst they'll keep you out of trouble. at best they may keep you alive. most 4 wheeler drivers have *no* clue what dangerous goop is in that big shiny metal tube they just passed and are getting ready to swing in front of with out using their turn signal!

good attitude, remember you never stop learning.

and you can see, I've had waaaaayyyy too much coffee this morning!

February 08, 2003, 14:27
Unless you're gonna pull a flatbed your entire carreer, go get your HASMAT endorsement when you get your CDL permit. Without one, you're seriously limiting your options as to which company you drive for (most big companies require you to have a HASMAT endorsement when they hire you).
As for pulling a flatbed, there are good points and bad points. On the plus side, 99.999% of your loads are gonna be "no touch", the reason is typically somthing is hauled on a flatbed because it's either too heavy or two bulky to fit inside a van. Either way, you stand back and watch as someone else unloads you. (there are carriers who claim to have 99% "no touch freight", but eventually, you'll end up having to unload a 53' van by hand!).
Another plus is typically flatbed drivers get a small "premium"....typically only a few cents a mile, but the miles add up.
Downsides?????? Tarps.....they suck! While you typically get paid to tarp/untarp your load, it's only about $15.....which isn't bad if you're untarping inside a warehouse or some other "clean" area......but when you're standing in the rain/snow with the wind blowing....well....tarps plain suck!
Also, expect to get dirty....more so if you're pulling a flatbed. Because you actually have to climb on your tarped load, you'll get filthy. I carry a set of surplus army tanker's coveralls with me to protect my clothes from being destroyed.
Most of the time, flatbed drivers don't need to back into a dock to unload, which is both good and bad. Good, that it's easier to make a delivery.....bad that you don't learn how to back up! (me? I can back a 48' spread-axle while standing on the fuel tank, reaching into the cab, thank-you-very-much! But I'm not your "typical" flatbed driver :wink: ).
Either way, good luck and be careful out there!

p.s. Legally, you can't have any firearm with you. I keep a Cold Steel "Voyager" clipped to my pocket where ever I go, and a can of ether (starting fluid) in the door pocket makes a rather effective "pepper spray" to remove unwanted guests from your window, yet won't get the troopers/DOT's painties in a bunch should they see it.

February 08, 2003, 17:59
I have been driving 5 axle trucks for 22 years, took crap jobs for first 4 or 5 years, you will too. I now for the last 14 of 22 years been hauling flammables and non flammables and wouldn't do anything else, hooking up hoses and leaving is for me. I'm home almost each nite and make a fortune.:rolleyes: If you are single get a road job to start so you can learn more about your new life.
Keep a clean record for HAZMAT or you won't be able to do it after all no one wants to be a "freight hauler" all there life(LOL).
A great non union job that gets you home each nite pays 60 to 65k per year!!
anything I can do to help let me know.......this is what I drive daily.

Dan at VOW
February 08, 2003, 20:17
I spent 12 years OTR, third generation, hauled freight in dry box, reefers, flats, low boys, doubles and triples. Best job I had was delivering new trucks, decked up, you had to undeck and install axles, brake lines and such. But the pay was great, some of the guys were making 85K a year. As much as I disagree with the union outlook (democraps, and they support the democrap party with YOUR money) you can file with them and MAKE them match contributions to YOUR political party.

You will have to pay your dues so to speak, spend a couple of years OTR. Watch your butt, don't do stupid stuff, start bugging the union carriers in your area after a couple of years. Stay away from trouble on the road, keep your log book up to date (with the major carriers, it can be done, most of the time). Leave the Horizontal Highway Hostess's alone, don't go out and buy the big radio with Echo and Reverb, the chain drive wallet and the black cowboy boots the first week.

Call the places you are going to deliver and get directions, hopefully from someone who remembers how they got to work that day (you other guys know exactly what I'm talking about). Don't carry anything in the truck you can't afford to loose (people steal!) don't buy all of your stuff in the truckstops, they are way over priced.

Most important of all. The day you think you know everything, QUIT. Right then, don't wait, because that is the day that something will jump out and bite you on the ass. You need to learn something everyday. Dan.

February 08, 2003, 20:40
i have agree with everyone so far,
i drive a rig up (gin) truck in the oil field here in northern new mexico...
when you first hire on, you get the shit work, get assigned the worst trucks, and get called out all night...
stick it out, i got a brand new freightliner, last year, air ride cab, a/c, bumpin stereo,(i got to pick), all rigged up as a gin truck,and a 525hp m14 computer controlled cummins motor (yeah i know but it runs and pulls like a raped ape) so i can't say anything bad about it.......
you work long hours, in all weather, (mud really sucks), put chains on ALL tires,
but you get to see the sun come up, and set (sigh),,,,
we work out in the boonies, with noone around for miles, see all knids of critters, scout for hunting season,,,etc..

and best of all with all the terrorist warnings for the oil field i carry my double g built 18" fal, with a few extra mags....in a cool rack behind my swampers seat..
if we would run into someone messing with oil field sights,, first is on the 2 way or cell phone (if i have service) then armed to investigate,,, i may not win the battle but i will try my damndest to take some with me...

and best of all the skies the limit on pay, we aren't limited to hours like roadies,,, so we put in sometimes 100 in a week,,,,:eek:
just figure a minimum of 40k a year to 80k...

sometimes i hate getting up at 3 am day after day,, but i don't have a boss hangin round my neck all day,, either

hey you know why a boss is like a diaper ??
they are always on your ass and most of the time full of shit....


February 08, 2003, 20:50
I tried it for a couple of years hauling drilling mud and acids.Wasn't my cup of tea but my dad has ben driving OTR for decades (about to semi-retire this month).

His biggest complaints...on a very regualr basis:
1. Spending a fortune on truckstop food.
2. Florida truckstops.
3. Truckstop parking rates.
4. Truckstop crime.
5. Waiting to be unloaded.
6. Brokers who have no clue.
7. Tarped loads.
8. Making the log book "right" while pleasing brokers.
9. Any location north and east of Chicago.
10. Hauling for Uncle Sam.
11. Bad directions from brokers and delivery contacts.

While he does make good money, he is rarely home, runs his butt off from coast to coast, and gets little sleep.

February 08, 2003, 21:36
well, i can relate to the little sleep amd gone all day,,
but i am home in my own bed every night, eat at my own table, and have exspenadable cash for for cool toys.. as well as a very nice home, newer vehicles, etc..
plus my wife makes more than i do :D
she's a loan officer, for a mortgage company,, you that "loan origination fee" you all pay...... that's hers.....
she's real good me and like wise.....
just got her a nice pair of yellow diamond earrings for valentines day....
she said she wanted to start collecting "colored" diamonds,,,
kinda like me with fal's,, they're all the same but different...

February 08, 2003, 22:15
I'm not a trucker, but was setting up a moving van this week. In a little friendly conversation with the driver, I asked him what were his secrets to longevity in the business?
1.) Don't eat much on the road.
2.) Stay away from sugar; eat good food.

February 09, 2003, 04:58

February 09, 2003, 08:14
Thanks for the responses. I have all endorsements I need: combo, double, triple, tanker, hazmat, airbrake, etc... I currently am at a state-ran school that gives me some sort of certification that will lower insurance a little for anyone who hires me. Some companies count it as 6 mos. experience.

The only advice I won't follow is about the radio: I will buy a kick-ass CB. I mean, what else is there to do?

I'm going to work my ass off to get a local or out and back job. First companies I apply to will be concrete...to drive their 18 wheeler rock and sand haulers.

February 09, 2003, 10:24
Once apon a time I used to wind up a mile or two on the clock of a semi. I've spent some time haulin' hay a state away and lots of time in bobtails (dump trucks etc.) I can just express myself more artfully in a bobtail. :rolleyes: (ever cut doughnuts in a muddy field with a Mack? I have!) We used to "drag" our trucks too. The IHRBA I called it (International Hotrod Binder Assoc.)
The late model Binder I drove had a 440hp NC855 Cummins :).

The most fun I ever was cleaning out the wash-in behind a dam. A 60ft boom link-belt excavator was dippin' rock and mud onto our trucks, then we wwere taking loaded trucks up and down jeep trails. It was a hoot.

I'd never go OTR. My dad is always shot in the a$$ when he gets in, and he says the road eats up to much money when you're on it, and dispatchers are mostly !@#$%% idiots who have no clue.

Good luck out there.