Newbie FAQ

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by tjgosurf, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. tjgosurf

    tjgosurf <strong>New Driver Helper</strong>

    Feb 20, 2006
    There is a good chance if you have a question it will be covered here.

    1. Where should I get training?

    This is debatable, because there are some really good companies that will train you right, and some private schools that will. But then there are some companies and private schools that will just let you slide thru. The general consensus is, if you have the time going to a community college is best, and will normally be free.

    2. But I am unemployed and Company X is offering me A, B, and C.

    These companies are always hiring, they will have the same offer in six months as they are having now. They don't run specials. Some luck that people have had here with company sponsored training is, Schneider, Maverick, and Roehl.

    3. I know that I've heard bad things about Company X but I am going to try them anyways.

    We cannot predict how you will be treated at a company, but to keep your options open its best if you do not have a contract to sign. But there is always the chance you may enjoy company X.

    4. How much is too much to pay for training?

    Anything more than the cost of food during training. You can get alot of training for free, or even at a indentured servitude with a good company.

    5. Company X is offering me lots of miles, good home time, and great pay, but I've heard only bad things about them, who should I listen to?

    Every company says that. Just a fact of life, driver recruiters are just what they are recruiters. On the same level as a used car salesman, they don't care how you're treated after you work for the company, they only need bodies.

    6. I have to be with a trainer for how long?

    It's honestly never too long, it may be for you financially, or you're bored talking to the same guy everyday. But its a way to get your experience and driving ability up.

    7. What should I bring with me?

    Your company should give you a list, here is a sample of what you will need:

    -Light jacket(reefer students)
    -Work gloves
    -Sleeping bag, or bedding
    -Boots or work shoes
    -CDL, permit, or medical card
    -Clothes for seven days

    8. Whats better? Dry van? Reefer? Flatbed or Bulk?

    There is not a which one is better, they all have the advantages and disadvantages. A dry van is the majority on the road, you would be hauling basically anything that can fit in there legally. Reefer is your frozen products, meat, ice cream, produce, even disposable cameras. Flatbed is labor intensive, from carrying tarps, to securing loads. Bulk is the tanker trailers, some manual labor involved, normally only experienced drivers move into this but its possible for a newbie to begin as a bulk driver.

    9. How do I become an Owner/Operator?

    Buy a truck. Seriously be more focused on learning how to drive, logging, and safety. Keep your eyes open, and pay attention to things around you. You will pick up a lot and begin to learn, it does take years to gain the wisdom to suceed.

    10. But Company X has a lease/purchase program!

    Even lease operators will tell you its a scam. Very few people complete the lease, it allows the company to throw off expenses on the driver. Yes you can make a pretty good wage doing it. But then you can also fail horribly. It is possible to finish, but not recommended for someone who has never driven a truck before.

    11. All of these places say they give lots of home time, how much is lots?

    The industry STANDARD, which can be more could be less, more than likely less, is one day at home for every six days on the road. Which means, go out for two weeks, come home for two days, go out for 3 weeks, come home for three days. There are some companies that offer different things, Schneider has a Home Run program, Maverick has 97&#37; of the fleet home for a few hours on the weekends, and many other different things. If it happens great, but don't plan to be home EVERY weekend.

    12. I want to work local!

    None of us live around you, we know it sounds cruel but there is a sticky with the best advice( Most people will tell you to go over the road for a year then get a nice local job.

    13. But I have a special situation that requires me to be at home!

    Again this sounds cruel, but too bad. If thats the case these companies don't need you. Majority of truckers are tough people, they spend countless nights away from home, sometimes in freezing cold weather, burning hot, over ice and snow, and if your situation is so grave that you have to be at home being a trucker isn't for you.

    14. But my kids...

    Listen, this is the cruel part, no one forced you to have kids, no one forced you to drive a truck. Millions of others have gone before you and made it ok. None of their kids were taking people out from a clock tower because daddy wasn't there.

    15. I want to drive a team.

    Good, you will be favored in this industry. Drop and hooking all the time, Schneider treats their teams very well. There are even some companies that are entirely team oriented. Good luck.

    16. How do I run illegal?

    Running illegal is well illegal, your log book is a federal document, they do not take kindly to those who forge it. Worry about staying legal first, once you get that down if you run illegal its on you. But remember if you get into an accident no matter how minor and you're running illegal there is a 98% chance you're going to prison.

    17. Driver X at Company X said his company is so much better than mine, should I apply there?

    Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side.

    18. Someone on the CB was making fun of me while I was backing up at the truck stop, how should I handle this?

    You can respond when you are finished backing, or just ignore it. After this happens to me I normally say something along the lines of, "Driver, you know if the situation is reversed I would have been doing the same thing." No one backs up perfect everytime.

    19. What about prostitution?

    Prostitution is illegal in 49 states. The only state it is legal in is Nevada, and there only by a licensed brothel.

    20. I heard that prostitutes knock on your door?

    Yes, they do. Crack the window and kindly let them know you will not be needing them. The same advice could be used with anyone knocking on your door late at night. I would not advise leaving your truck for anyone in the middle of the night, nor cracking the window beyond anything but a hair.

    21. Can I bring my pet?

    Different companies, different policies. If you must have your animal with you contact the company you are applying to first.

    22. I am diabetic, can I still drive?

    As far as I know, if you control your insulin thru diet and/or pills you will be fine. As for those who control their insulin with needles; no you cannot drive.

    23. What should I expect on the road?

    If you expect nothing then you will be prepared for nothing. But if you prepare for everything you will be ready. While that makes little sense to even myself here is a list of things to expect, you will be: burning hot, freezing cold, wet, hungry, tired, sleepy, bored, aggravated, stressed, excited, and accomplished. At least thats what I feel. You will see alot of different shippers and receivers, I have hauled glass, steel coils, the powder mix they spray on ceilings, steel plates, shop vacs, beef, chicken, pork, sunny delight, narcotics, and even IV fluid.

    24. Hauling all that stuff are you tempted to steal?

    No. 99% of loads I haul are sealed, a broken seal leads to a bad day, one that I won't want to have. Not to mention I think stealing is extremely wrong.

    25. Ever had anything stolen?

    Most companies recommend some type of lock, others will issue their own locks. The lock that I use is heavy duty, cannot be picked, the only way to get it off is to cut it off with air tools, or a very high speed cutting device.

    26. Why do I see drivers look at their 5th wheel before moving the truck?

    Drivers check to make sure their 5th wheel release has not been pulled by themselves or someone else. Pulling a trailer with a 5th wheel released is dangerous, because it wont immediately drop out, it could drop in a straight line, but could also fall while making a slow speed turn. Either way its a very bad day.

    27. What about laundry?

    Most will discourage laundry on the road, in truck stops its expensive, at terminals the price goes down, its just easier to do it at home.

    I have racked my brain for the last two weeks trying to add more, if anyone has anything else to add PM me and I will put it in the original post so no one will have to search thru 20 different posts.
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  3. jeepkid7998

    jeepkid7998 Light Load Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Albany, Oregon
    May want to add shower shoes or flip flops. You dont want to shower bare footed.....
  4. ziggystyles

    ziggystyles Road Train Member

    Actually, unless Im mistaken, this is no longer the case. I think the original building was burned down or smething and the company was sold to someone. I could be wrong.
    RuthlessPumpkin Thanks this.
  5. tjgosurf

    tjgosurf <strong>New Driver Helper</strong>

    Feb 20, 2006
    Huh? Prostitution is legal in the whole state of Nevada in any county that does not have more than 500,000 people, as long as it is licensed and inspected by the state.
  6. ziggystyles

    ziggystyles Road Train Member

    actually the number is 400,000. I was thinking of Sheris Ranch...although I thought it had burned down or closed down recently...but I can't find any information proving I was wrong in that regard.
  7. newbietrucker06

    newbietrucker06 Bobtail Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    Beaverton, OR
    Great post, although i found it amusing that after 25 points the only responses to any of them happen to be for where prostitution is still warped mind, lol. anyways thanks for the tips and stuff....was a good read:biggrin_25525:.
  8. Delle1961

    Delle1961 Bobtail Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    St. Charles, Missouri
    Hi, I had posted this in several of the fourms and I never received a reply from anyone. I was wondering if you could address this issue my husband has with parking. We live in St. Charles Missouri and he started working for Star of Morton Illinois, in April of this year. At first he was parking in the commuter lots for 3 months, unitl he got a $50.00 ticket. Apparently they decided to start inforcing an old ordinance, but we see other trucks parked there all the time. Then we talked to police officers and the City HAll and they suggested to park at the Ameristar Casino lower level where there are alot of other truckers parking, well he was parking there for about 1 month and then Ameristar gave him a warning message not to park there anymore, then we talked to MTC where he went to school and they don't want him parking a loaded trailer on there lot. We are at a loss of where to park when he comes home for the weekends do you have any suggestions.
    Thanks, :biggrin_25514:
  9. smurf-316

    smurf-316 Resident Nut Case

    Oct 4, 2006
    North Carolina

    Back when i was otr i would park at walmart then call my wife to come and get me. they never said a word about it.
    TnVols Trucking Thanks this.
  10. Delle1961

    Delle1961 Bobtail Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    St. Charles, Missouri
    I am so sorry. I did not realize what I had done. I was just trying to get a reply. I thought that I was not addressing the right group. Anyway I will never do that again.

    I guess that things have changed. Walmart has apparently made complaints to the St. Charles Police, and that is why they are now enforcing this ordinance. We are in a very desperate situation here, and are hands are tied. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  11. ILMChris

    ILMChris Bobtail Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Wilmington NC
    I'm facing a similar issue. But in my local area they have a law that you can't park an RV or Boat in public view. So now there are several storage places that will let you rent a parking space. So I will be checking with them about a truck when I get a better idea of what's going on.
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