Entering industry soon - looking for direction/advice

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by kds_5280, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. kds_5280

    kds_5280 Bobtail Member

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    Jun 25, 2021
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    Hi y'all. Apologies in advance for the lengthy post, but I've got lots of questions/concerns as I prepare to get into the trucking industry. I'll list the main points first and elaborate below if anyone cares to read the rest. It's greatly appreciated if you can address any of my questions.
    • Best companies for flatbed? Anyone like or dislike System Transport?
    • Will any fuel haulers/bulk tankers hire drivers fresh out of CDL school?
    • Best way to get into heavy haul/specialized/oversized freight?
    • How to get into govt/military freight? I live southeast of Denver - nearby to USAF Academy, Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and Buckley AFB. Lockheed Martin is also close by.
    • Can I find local work in Colorado if I start my own authority? I see tons of flatbeds, low boys, and dump trucks here south of Denver - lots of construction happening here.
    • Anything to say about agricultural trucking?

    I'm in my late 20s and attending CDL school late this summer. Will be learning on a manual trans. Already have my CDL permit and passed tests for tanker and HazMat endorsements. I've been doing accounting the last 4 yrs, but have some limited (non-driving) transportation industry experience. My degree is in Supply Chain Management. I've always loved trucks and been interested in what they're hauling and where they're going. I think this industry suits my interests as well as any other and I'd eventually like to be an o/o, possibly with multiple trucks and drivers. Last year I used an F-350 and gooseneck trailer to haul an old truck from IA to CO and loved it - felt like a boss the whole time.

    Originally, my idea was to start my own authority and do hotshot hauling. I'm still considering this. Tell me if I'm wrong, but it seems like with hotshot work you have less choice in where you go and when you can get home? Seems like freight for hotshots is a little harder to find and you have to stay out longer to make good money. Whether or not I go this route I would want to drive a tractor trailer eventually.

    My main interests right now would be flatbed or tanker. I don't have much interest in running a dry van and sitting at crowded loading docks all the time. I also just find the types of flatbed and tanker freight more interesting. I want to eventually get into specialized freight so I can make more money. A buddy of mine who's family owns a large trucking company in Denver simply told me "STEPDECK FLATBED". His company hauls mostly dry bulk. He seemed to think I'd have no shortage of work doing local/regional stepdeck loads.

    Also, I'd probably prefer local or regional work over cross-country OTR. This is as much due to hearing horror stories about mega carriers as it is about wanting to be home somewhat frequently. My biggest problem when it comes to working for a local company is that most of them are located on the opposite side of Denver from where I live. That would be a 45+ minute commute there and back every day - not ideal when you already drive all day...even if you do love driving.

    Looking forward to hearing what you all have to say. I already saw many useful things in other threads here. Just looking for some direction so I can hit the ground running as soon as I have my CDL. Thanks in advance.
     
    Solo Soul Thanks this.
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  3. Solo Soul

    Solo Soul Medium Load Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Seattle
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    Degree in accounting. Why you wanna drive a truck?,
     
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  4. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
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    Lol he said he had an interest in trucking....seems like a good enough reason to me, let's see if we can help out a prospective driver and give sound advice.....
     
  5. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    Trucking is fun man. It has its BS moments but it's a lot of fun. You can definitely find flatbed work. You may have to take the OTR road for a bit of time to get to local or regional gigs and also for experience, but it is possible to get local or regional right out of school. I know System Transport goes some of everywhere nationwide. One thing I will advise is flexibility. It will take a lot of that for you to get to where you wanna be. Get all the experience you can, and soak up the knowledge. Then it's an easier transition for when you do your thing. Don't worry about the horror stories about mega companies. Trucking regardless of where you work, is contingent on what you put in it. If it were me, I'd try one the OTR flatbed companies like TMC, Melton, or wait for it......Western Express. I broke in with Western Express flatbed division, and I did ok there in my first year. Those companies go everywhere and haul everything, so you'll learn how to secure every load. They will send you out for a month at least with a trainer if you go the route of OTR flatbed. That's just getting the feet wet first. Learn to secure the basic loads, then elevate.
     
  6. Solo Soul

    Solo Soul Medium Load Member

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    Seattle
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    Sorry I was just being amazed
     
    bryan21384 Thanks this.
  7. Solo Soul

    Solo Soul Medium Load Member

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    Seattle
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    Now I feel good about myself, highly educated people also drive trucks
     
    bryan21384 Thanks this.
  8. Radman

    Radman Road Train Member

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    JFW end dump hires rookies. All local day light running. They got some of the nicest rigs on the road around town 70mph trucks high HP for decent wage. Tanker will hire rookies last company I heard of was Loves great gig. But a lot of local tanker for rookies is night shift.
     
    kds_5280 and Solo Soul Thank this.
  9. Solo Soul

    Solo Soul Medium Load Member

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    Seattle
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    Sorry OP! Do what makes you happy. It is your life. I wish I had your degree though.
     
  10. Linte_Loco

    Linte_Loco Road Train Member

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    TMC would be a good place to get some flat experience for a new driver. They deliver near Denver often, but not sure if they hire out there
     
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  11. Capacity

    Capacity Heavy Load Member

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    Neenah Wi
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    I drove for Boeing Space and Security for 5 years the back ground check and clearances took 3 months to come back.
    Be careful what you wish for its not all rainbows and unicorns.
     
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