Local skills enough for OTR?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by SamTheTrucker, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. SamTheTrucker

    SamTheTrucker Bobtail Member

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    Oct 31, 2020
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    Hey Guys, i’m 20 years old and just got my CDL a month ago. My uncle has a dump truck company so he hired me as soon as I got out of school, but I really want to go OTR instead of local, Im just waiting to turn 21. I want to know from drivers who’ve done both local and otr if the skills i learn while doing local dump truck driving will be useful for otr. Does it still require skill to drive a dump truck w no trailer in the city all day? How is it compared to driving a semi with a 53 footer. I know the semi w the trailer in general needs more skill to maneuver, but considering that when you do otr youre on the highway most of the time, hows the skill required compare to driving a dump truck in city traffic for most of the time?
     
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    When will you be 21 yrs. old?
    Where is your location; some companies hire drivers under 21 yrs. old to drive intrastate (within the state)
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    Only way the dump truck job will help you is makes you very aware of your surroundings concerning traffic.
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    Don't get a ticket or bump anything that will get a ticket because that will derail or delay getting in a big rig to run OTR.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2020
  4. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2020
  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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  6. Lunatic Fringe

    Lunatic Fringe Light Load Member

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    The three biggest differences you will face:

    1. Backing. You have to learn how to position your trailer where they tell you to sometimes only an inch or two away from something that's going to leave a mark - both on the truck and on your DAC! The truth is for a new driver driving the truck is something you throw in for free - like a plastic toy in a box of cereal. You earn your pay backing the truck!

    2. Weather. Every year new drivers hit the road and every year Winter weather thins the herd. Ice, snow and wind all take their toll. You'll see dozens of wrecked trucks on I-80 in Wyoming every year. Towards the end of Winter all that's left are the drivers who figured out how to slow down and drive safe and the former drivers usually looking here for a company willing to give them a, "second chance".

    3. It's not a job - it's a lifestyle. You weren't out for weeks at a time driving local. You didn't have to do wash your laundry and yourself at a truck stop. You probably worked regular hours and slept the same time every day. You ate what you wanted because your cupboards and fridge were full and it was no big deal to go to your local grocery store and stock up at the end of your workday or on a weekend. Hanging out with friends and family was no big deal - a call, a text and you're with the people you care about on your next day off. Need a haircut? Just go to the local barber shop on your day off! Treasure those memories because you're about to kiss all that goodbye.
     
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  7. Lunatic Fringe

    Lunatic Fringe Light Load Member

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    I left one out, sorry.

    4. Calling it a day. After a hard day of driving you just had to get the truck back to your uncle's lot, park it and drive home. Now you will live like a character in a horror film getting more and more nervous as the sun starts to set. Once it gets the dark the vampires come out/the truck parking is full and you will ROAM THE EARTH looking for a safe, legal place to park your truck! It can take hours depending on what part of the country you're in and what time of day you're shutting down. Of course, there's always the bonus round - not having a place to park after dark and not having much time on your clock either.
     
  8. Spyro2112

    Spyro2112 Medium Load Member

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    Mar 17, 2018
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    More than
     
  9. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

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    You need to know how to make left and right turns with trailer and in city traffic. You need 4 lanes to make a Right turn counting the lane your in. If you don't have 4 lanes then you need to split the lane your in and take both lanes.

    On Left turns you pull up till your left shoulder is even with the yellow line or left front corner or the car or stop line. Because that were you trailer will cross on left turn. Cut it to short and you will pull trailer over Hood of car sitting at traffic light. If cars don't stop at the stop line your trailer won't clear them. So you might have sit and wait for another green light on left turn. You don't follow traffic into intersection on Left turns. Because you can't backup and you might get stuck in intersection if light turns red.
     
  10. tarmadilo

    tarmadilo Medium Load Member

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    Everything that the other drivers said above is true, but it isn’t actually difficult, you just need to add a few new skills. As for the pure terror of trying finding a parking spot, well, I don’t lose any sleep worrying about it! :D
     
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  11. abyliks

    abyliks Heavy Load Member

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    ludlow MA
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    They both have their own skills to learn, none of it is really hard, Dumps are heavy on less axles depending on your state, we haul 77k with a Tri axle in MA, so you have less brakes, you are also carrying the weight not pulling it so you want to be careful with weird angles and such. It also usually doesn’t pay #### because people will work cheaper to be home every night, there is also no consistency, you may work 8 hr days for 2 months and then 14 the next.

    Otr you are going to have your parking issues and eating health being a thing, going to have to swing wider then a dump with even a tag trailer behind it. In ~13 years though I have never been out more then a week

    you can always get in the middle and find a job pulling a 40’ trailer on the road and usually be home weekends
     
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