Starting out for rookies

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by MACK E-6, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    A question that is often asked is how does a rookie get his first job with no experience. Well, I have a few suggestions.

    One option is to talk to construction and/or aggregate companies that use dump trailers. This would pay either hourly or percentage.

    You could also seek out a local flatbed outfit that hauls building materials. This doesn't pay well as building materials is not the best paying freight, but they would also hire rookies.

    If neither of those is possible, you could also talk to rigging and crane companies. You would be hauling parts for the cranes to be set up at the job sites, and sometimes even the objects to be lifted by the cranes.

    This pays a good hourly wage, but your responsibilities would include things other than driving. If that's not a problem, than this option may be an interesting one.
    HammerheadJ, MrIT, ricmillr and 3 others Thank this.
  2. Lil'Devil

    Lil'Devil Heavy Load Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    Great White North
    Good suggestions MACK E-6, you have to start out somewhere to get some experience, It might not always be the best paying job but at least you're getting experience. I always say you have to crawl before you can walk
    AZ_Equine and gary77 Thank this.
  3. midget28

    midget28 Light Load Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    What Cheer Iowa
    thanks for the advice
  4. sleepinbeauty

    sleepinbeauty Light Load Member

    Feb 18, 2007
    in a world all my own
    Personally for me it will take a long time before I get to do long kids are coming first. But with that in mind, my dream, I do have my Class 1A with air, and I'm told that unless I do something beyond stupid that causes me to lose my license altogether, I do have that starting off point. I've been checking into companies in town that will hire drivers in whatever form that happens to be. Be it a dump driver, or a 5 ton with flatbed in tow, either will give me a jump point. A few years doing that, set aside a little earnings and I will have 2 options:

    1) contact the companies for hire as I'm doing now (simply for research and "feel")....amazing how many wish to jump to get me my full license (immediately if I were just "stupid Jane of the jungle" most of which I would not waste my time with) but if time taken can do the proper research maybe not write my ticket....I'm not that niave but at least sign on to some of my own terms.

    2) put my time in as a city driver, pay will not be great but don't assume we'll starve, get some benefits (again some is better than a kick in the arse) pay my own way into school again if necc. Go to the specific companies that I have been following, write a better ticket, put my time in again and prove my worth.

    Thus far I have learned 2 great lessons in life (more but these are the important ones for me)
    1)you're right being a PROFESSIONAL driver is not for everyone (having watched little boys cry, as they tucked their tails between their legs and gotten fired),
    2) but determination, common sense, use of working braincells to find information to be at least a little bit prepared in life will get you far.
    Chicagodriver Thanks this.
  5. camo

    camo Light Load Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    If your looking to start out as an otr driver then the best option is a company that trains new drivers (SNI,Swift,cr england,etc)If you stay with SNI for 1 year the schooling is free.And if you stay with CR England for a year" Your crazy".
    zotoa, johnnybgood and Christensen Thank this.
  6. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

    Jan 1, 2007

    We like to give good advice on here! CR??????????????????????? How long have you been in trucking?
  7. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    He's a former CRE driver who leased a truck for them for about 6 months or so. Then he left and went to JB Hunt for a while, then went to CFI, and just left them a short time ago. Now he is looking at various options, including going back to JB Hunt as a dedicated driver on a Family Dollar run.
  8. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    Some of those local jobs pay better than you think. I know out in Las Vegas NV hauling dirt with double 40 footers pays better than any large OTR company. Also once you get the experience you can try for the oil companies that even pay better. But I agree that learning the way MACK E-6 suggests is a very good way to go. I always say work for a company that does NOT get their revenue from the truck and you'll be better off.
  9. Carolina_Beaver_Teaser

    Carolina_Beaver_Teaser Light Load Member

    Apr 8, 2007
    Mooresville , NC
    Try some of local distributors for the breweries. You find your local Bud or Miller distributor. They will help you get your CDL, usually as long as you get the learners permit , and the city maneuvering is invaluable, plus good exercise and $$.

    And as MACK said, the dump truck companies, work your way up to frameless dump. It's always a rush when put 39 to 40' frameless aluminum in the air.

    Look around, ask ?, It will happen.
    JustSonny and Chicagodriver Thank this.
  10. crazymama

    crazymama <strong>The Gardener</strong>

    Jul 14, 2007
    Kansas City Missouri
    I actually have no desire to work for a local company. I read the long haul is an area that drivers are always needed. Is this really true?

    I figured I would drive for any company that wants to pay my way and get me started for 1 year or 2 if they make me sign for that long, then I'll write my own ticket.

    nickinc75 and Spatchy419 Thank this.
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