Finding an OTR job after school

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by abdogg1684, Oct 4, 2021.

  1. abdogg1684

    abdogg1684 Bobtail Member

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    Hi guys and gals! After 15 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 8 years living in Europe, I've decided to move back to the US and get into trucking. I'll be living in the Seattle area, and I've already chosen a private school to go to (I can afford to pay for school and don't want to be "locked" in with a company). I want to start off with an OTR position, but I'm not exactly sure how to find a gig that pays decent for a new driver without going to a company-paid school. I don't have a family, so being out for long stretches is not a problem. I'm an introverted nomad, so I like to travel and not be around people a ton. :) I'm open to any and all suggestions, because I know I don't know jack about anything in this business. Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. TNSquire

    TNSquire Light Load Member

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    First step, figure out what you want to do... be it van, reefer, flatbed, tanker, etc...
    Then, find companies that do that.
    While you're in school, you'll have company recruiters visit and pimp their company.
    Long haul is easy to get hired on, local much more difficult, but possible.
    Most long haul companies will hire school graduates.
    But, look for a 220 hour school, or 160 hour school... not the cdl mill 3 week course... reason being is companies see that and know you've been trained.
    I went through my local community College cdl course, and had 11 job offers before I graduated.
    I went local tanker for a few reasons... money and home daily.
    I find tanker being most lucrative, especially since most drivers don't want to deal with it.
    It's dangerous, make no mistake...
    I drive an 8800 gallon gas can, and start chemical school today.
    I looked at all the options, and tanker was the only one that really interested me.
    It's different, each load is unique, and the risks bring solid rewards every payday.
    Yes, it has drawbacks.
    I'm a rolling DOT magnet.
    I have to stop in a straight line.
    If I wreck, I have a very low survivability rate.
    Hazmat has many inherent risks too...
    But, most companies pay extra if you have the endorsement.
    Oh, yes, get all your endorsements coming out of school.
    It's harder once you're out on the road.
    The only endorsements I don't have are school bus and passenger.
    No desire at all to haul anything that talks back to me while I'm driving.
    Good luck, you'll do great.
    Roll safely, be patient, and remember you cannot stop on a dime.
     
  4. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Heavy Load Member

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    Are you military?

    Some companies have a military program

    I “ think “ Long Haul in Albertville Mn will bring military on and train them for flatbed without having to have their normal 2 year experience
     
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  5. abdogg1684

    abdogg1684 Bobtail Member

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    Aug 29, 2021
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    No, I'm not military. Thanks for the info though!
     
  6. abdogg1684

    abdogg1684 Bobtail Member

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    Aug 29, 2021
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    Thanks for all the info! I was actually going to get my hazmat and tanker endorsement, as well as my TWIC. I haven't read a lot about how beneficial the TWIC is to getting a job, but I figured it couldn't hurt and it's easier to do in the beginning like you said. I'm with you on not wanting to drive anything that talks back to me while driving. :D
     
  7. nredfor88

    nredfor88 Road Train Member

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    From living in Europe to living in truck stops will be culture shock.

    That said, your choices will be plenty. Figure out what regions of the country you want to drive, what type of trailer you want to pull, then evaluate companies based what’s important to you. For me, I wanted the lease amount of time on a trainers truck as possible, and I wanted to drive all regions in the country. Others want more time with a trainer. Some want money more than other considerations. There will be a wide variation in onboarding and mentorship/training. While in school take a look at offers and compare.
     
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  8. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Heavy Load Member

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    Not sure but might be worth a call

    Maybe they can do something with your other experience and background??
     
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  9. tarmadilo

    tarmadilo Heavy Load Member

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    After 20 years driving buses, I upgraded my CDL from B to A and started looking for a job. I live in the Dallas area, and knew that there were many trucking companies operating out of there, and I also knew that to a trucking company I was a rookie. I figured to hire on with a company that did hire new drivers, and put in a year with them before trying to get a “perfect” job.

    I did a search on Google Maps for trucking companies within 25 miles of my house in Mesquite, and was pleased to discover one that fit my criteria (close by, hired rookies, had decent online reviews) was less than 3 miles from me. J Rayl Transport hired me right away, and I guess I got lucky, because I’m about to finish 3 years with them, and I’m not looking for any better job, because they suit me just fine.
     
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  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    Plenty of OTR companies to choose from that hire new cdl school grads from Seattle.
    As others posted, get all the endorsements plus TWIC.
    ~
    Lynden - Shipping to Alaska and Worldwide - Air, Ground, Sea
    www.lynden.com
    Lots of Texas, Arizona, etc.
    Lynden began with a clear mission: put the customer first, deliver quality, be the best and have fun doing it. Lynden Transport pioneered trucking to Alaska via the Alcan Highway in 1954. Today, Lynden operates multi-modal services to, from and within Alaska with global air cargo and freight forwarding services.
    [​IMG]
     
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