I am starting orientation with Schneider on 7/23. I just graduated from CDL school and like you, never set foot in a big rig. It is intimidating at first, the first time I drove down the road my hands were sweating, and I was nervous as all get out, but eventually the nerves calmed down and I just enjoyed the view as I was driving(unless I was in town, LOL)
I can tell you a couple things about Schneider so you have a little info. They have a strict NO PET policy, they do not allow them in their trucks. Their trucks also do not have APU's, so those pictures of flat screen tv's, x-boxes and refrigerators are not gonna happen in a Schneider truck.(any Schneider drivers can correct me if I am wrong, that is just what my recruiter told me).
Questions for experienced drivers.
Page 2 of 4
Welcome to the TTR Forum and the industry. Here's my standard advice. Maybe you will find something useful in it.
You need to research and find out what the important questions are. You can make an above average living but you will make sacrifices that other jobs don't require. Read the "good companies" and "bad companies" section on this forum and get an idea of what company you want to work for and what kind of trailer you want to pull. Don't just go to school and then try to figure out where to go.
I don't know your financial situation. Don't take training from a company if you can afford it or get it with financial aid. You will be their slave for up to year. If you leave they will trash you DAC and credit record. Check out your local community colleges and employment office.
Just know that most training and trucking company recruiters will do nothing but lie to you. They will let you talk about what you want and then tell you what you want to hear. Trucking is about moving freight to make money for the company. Your home time, family, paycheck and everything else comes second.
It is not like any other job. Local is usually backbreaking delivery work 10+ hours a day, 6 days a week. Often you unload dozens of times a day or you are a salesman. In my area most dump truck jobs pay less than a good factory job. Regional is lots of loading and unloading time, fewer miles than OTR and not as hard as local but will wear on you and push your HOS limits. OTR is out 3 - 5 weeks with 3 - 4 days home, less manual labor and more miles.
You'll probably have to pay your dues before you get the gravy job. Weekends off, if you are lucky enough to get something like that starting out, may be home Thursday afternoon and leave Saturday night or home Friday night and leave Sunday afternoon. Loads deliver on Monday early and you leave in time to get them there. Often your home time will be in the middle of the week.
Regardless of your driving choice, after school you will go through company training. For OTR this can be six weeks to three months with little or no home time. The first phase is usually $400 a week and the second phase is $500-550 a week. Some pay less. One company pays 12 CPM for training.
You don't want to wait around too long after training or you'll have trouble finding a job. If you get out before you have a year in, when you try to come back a few months later you will find they want you to start over.
One last thing, if you have anything that makes you less desirable than your competing job applicants, a phone or in-person interview will often bring the best results. Even if I am the best candidate I will choose face-to-face if at all possible and phone if not. Sure you may have to fill out that online application but that isn't the best way to get a good job. You have to do something or be someone who stands out from the crowd. Do regular follow-ups by phone on the jobs you really want.
I broke out when I was 21 sharing the cab of a 69 COE White Freightliner with my father. We pulled Rocky mtn doubles 45' flatbed with 28' pup. and hauled cattle pullin a bull rack. After 6 months teaming with my father I went to work for a Oil field company, hauling pipe and drilling rigs with a gin truck in Wyoming. Then things got interesting, in the early 80's I started going 48 states and Canada, pulling produce, frozen freight in a reefer. To places like Philly, Hunts Point in the Broncs, and Chelsea Market in Boston. Keep your nose clean, and a word of advice my father gave me. Keep your mouth shut and listen to the old hands, you'll learn something. And always go down a hill one gear lower than what you climbed it with, and always... always check and adjust your brakes at the top of the hill. I started out when sections of the Interstate were still two lane goat paths for passes over the Rockies. But after retiring I can look back with pride keeping a clean driving record only a couple of minor load claims. Made a decent living. But your going to be a driver marry a TRUCK not a woman. Don't run over any Lot Lizards and stay away from pill pushers! Truckin's been good to me... I respected the truck, took care in my load, obeyed the law and show courtesy as a driver.
Drive safe and as they say on the two-way. Shiney-side up, rubber-side down, see yah on the flip-flop. 10-4 good buddy!
Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
- File size:
- 226.6 KB
You will soon see if its for you or not. I love trucking but its not to say you wil, if its for you it'll get your blood.
I'd like to give you a few pointers ie. Never rush ANYTHING, think each move through carefully and by this I mean especially when driving your rig at slow speeds- in and out of yards- backing up etc.
G. O. A. L - get out and look (this is somthing to be proud of, never be shy to practice G. O. A. L)
Never think about who is watching you- you have enough to think about.
Put good effort into your paper work, keep it neat and organised.
Be the kind of trucker you would like working for you if you owned a fleet and soon you will not be aplying for jobs but rather excepting jobs, the job YOU want!
Well good luck friend
All the best.lammchop558 Thanks this.
Never call another trucker a good buddy. You will learn why after you get out there.
Learn about relative motion and closing rates.
Two objects in motion heading towards the same point at different speeds or from slightly different angles will arrive at the same time.
Keep in mind Fairy Tales start with once upon a time, Truckers Tales start with "you aint gonna believe this but."
There is much more to learn that all comes with time. I still see things on a daily basis that make me say "well I never."
Welcome to the Road.BigJohn54 Thanks this.
Page 2 of 4