LTL Trucking/Should I Work the Dock?

Discussion in 'LTL and Local Delivery Trucking Forum' started by Davo53209, May 24, 2021.

  1. Davo53209

    Davo53209 Bobtail Member

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    Hello Everyone:

    At this present moment, I'm in the process of getting my class A CDL permit, so that I can take a trucking driving class at the local community college to get my license. Shorty after which, I also plan to get my hazmat, tankers and doubles/triples endorsements.

    I'd like to get into LTL trucking, while also being fully aware that companies like Old Dominion, Estes and FedEx provide Dock to Truck Driver Training programs.

    My question to everyone, is if whether or not I would be better off to get my CDL license first; or to just work the dock and then transition into the truck driver training program....which option is most preferable the employer?
     
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  3. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

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    It's really not about what's preferable to the employer, it's more about cost.
    You go to school, you pay.
    You do the OJT, they pay you.
    Good luck.

    BTW, personally, I'd do option 2
     
  4. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Road Train Member

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    I’m no LTL expert, but I imagine it wouldn’t hurt to get the dock experience, always good to know the “inner workings” if you know what I mean.
     
  5. Anywhichwaybutloose

    Anywhichwaybutloose Light Load Member

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    Go work the dock and take the class at the LTL. Easier to drive for them using their school.
     
  6. Davo53209

    Davo53209 Bobtail Member

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    It's really not about what's preferable to the employer, it's more about cost.
    You go to school, you pay.
    You do the OJT, they pay you.
    Good luck.

    BTW, personally, I'd do option 2



    I've applied for a grant for truck driving school, so either way, cost may not be the issue. However; say for example, I were to show up and get hired with my CDL license in hand. What would be most likely to happen? Would I...
    • Get put into a truck as put to work right away as a driver?
    • End up working the dock and waiting for a driving position to open up?
    • Or would I just skip the dock altogether with my CDL license in hand and be put into the truck driver training program?
    The answer might determine which way I decide to go.
     
  7. jmz

    jmz Heavy Load Member

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    I don’t know how every LTL does it, but FedEx Freight has a specific job called “Driver Apprentice” where you learn to drive and transition into a Driver position after about 2 months. Minimum requirement is having your CDL permit and they’ll help get your CDL. If you already have a CDL when you start, it’s still the same training, but it does give you a leg up over other applicants.

    I would not recommend taking a regular dock work job at FxF in hopes of eventually becoming a driver. Your terminal might not do driver training or they might not even need drivers for a long time.
     
    bentstrider83 Thanks this.
  8. some other trucker

    some other trucker Bobtail Member

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    some driving schools will provide enough training just to pass the dmv test.

    You will still be taken on an initial road test for any company you’re trying to get on with and if they feel that your knowledge and abilities up to that point aren’t enough for what they want from a driver, you’ll be out luck.

    Some companies may still bring you on as a driver apprentice/student to send you through their own company training program to get you up to the level they want.

    going through an ltl school will likely be much more thorough and you will be trained properly with all the various equipment that you will be using from day to day.
     
  9. Bob Dobalina

    Bob Dobalina Road Train Member

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    If the school doesn't cost you anything, that might be the route to go. An LTL company won't put you directly into a truck without further training, but they may put you into the later stages of their training program quicker than another dock worker who has to go through all the training and practice required to test for their CDL.

    Regardless, my advice is this: don't be lured by the prospect of "quick money" and go with a training OTR company. It will cost you in the long run. LTL is where the real money is and I promise you it will ultimately take much longer to get a good job if you go that route.
     
    Texas_hwy_287 and jmz Thank this.
  10. Davo53209

    Davo53209 Bobtail Member

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    Sir, your answer is just the very reason as to why I decided to post this question to the forum....Thank You!

    I don't have any problem working the docks, just so long as it's an adjunct to driving. However; I also don't want to get stuck working the docks indefinitely, off the gamble that a driving position might someday open up. That reason alone is why I'm avoiding UPS. I can't stand the idea of loading and unloading packages into a truck for the next four years and never being in the driver seat.

    Are there any Old Dominion or Estes guys who agree with Jmz's statement?
     
    Texas_hwy_287 and Bob Dobalina Thank this.
  11. Davo53209

    Davo53209 Bobtail Member

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    I was hoping that someone would be able to allude to this point. Very enlightening!
     
    Bob Dobalina Thanks this.
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