What kind of trailer/freight to haul? (Career planning) OTR

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Sapphire_Glitter, Jan 18, 2022.

  1. Sapphire_Glitter

    Sapphire_Glitter Bobtail Member

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    Hi everyone and thanks in advance, this is more of a career planning question to see where I want to direct my career. I'm a pretty new driver (only been driving 6 months). And I've been looking for a new company to drive for

    Well I have an issue there. I know there's many thousands of companies having all different kinds of freight, anything from dry van to doubles, tankers, intermodal, etc.

    I'm wondering what is going to be the best freight to haul? I have tanker and doubles endorsement. And I plan to get hazmat (unless I won't need it)
    I just want something that's going to work for both me and what I enjoy. Is it bad to try different companies/different freight and if I don't like it then move on? I want to find something I like but not have to hop jobs to find something "perfect" because we all know that's not realistic

    I want something OTR that pays decent with decent miles. It's certainly more about being happy than good pay for sure as well as having the ability to transition to owner op with my company if I decide to make that move

    What are some advantages to hauling different freight like Food grade tank, bulk tank, liquid tank, doubles, triples, reefer, intermodal, flatbed

    And how do each of these end up transferring to owner op? Do they pay decent for company but I can get better with different freight?

    I'm certainly open to getting a job hauling any of those mentioned, I just need the planning and the pros/cons of all of it, miles I should expect and what I would deal with day to day and kind of shippers/customers I end up taking freight to (ex facilities, how I end up picking up/dropping off, procedures etc.)

    Any info that would help me make a better decision on what I should go for is appreciated
     
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  3. Michael 247

    Michael 247 Medium Load Member

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    What kind of Trailer have you been pulling ?? Maybe you should get 1 Full Year with your current Company.. Then you can work about anywhere..
     
    bryan21384 Thanks this.
  4. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    I 2nd this post. I did flatbed for a couple of years, went local, then did dry van, then went reefer and I never looked back. Reefer has the steadiest miles year round I'd say, but I like working night hours too so it fits.
     
    Chinatown Thanks this.
  5. goga

    goga Medium Load Member

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    Does it matter what kind of trailer to pull, if you'd like decent miles and pay p.m? Get anything, that gives you miles. Reefer and van have most of work year round, if that matters, but it requires to have sleepless nights on deliveries sometimes. Everything else is a day job.
     
  6. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    I 2nd what @bryan21384 posted. Go for a good refrigerated coast-to-coast company.
    Where is your location?
    Leonard's Express will hire you with the experience you currently have. Lots of very long runs. Hires in 48 states. If you're still interested in teams, Leonard's hires teams and solo drivers. All get long runs.
    Home - Leonards
     
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  7. Blu_Ogre

    Blu_Ogre Road Train Member

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    There is a trade off of rate per mile. Van and refer tend to pay a little less per mile. Trade off being: it is easy to get a lot of miles so the pay check at the end of the week is the same. As an example I did over 150k miles in 11 months solo on e-logs because I had a good load planner and dispatcher who liked keeping me busy.

    What region do you work out of, would prefer to work out of?

    To me there was a significant difference in how I was treated between rail and ship inter-modal.

    You can use a flatbed for inter-modal work. Main disadvantage being you need to return the empty someplace to free up the trailer.

    Carrying the IBC totes on a flat or in a box requires that tanker endorsement.

    What are you looking for for home time? Are you a weekends off kinda person? Or drive the weekend and take a day here and there during the week.

    Ship ports around me are closed to trucks on the weekend. With limited gate hours during the week. Very easy to do a M-F gig.

    Van and refer you have a higher probability of customers being open on the weekend and over night hours. Been to several grocery D.C.s where Refer was received over night. Dry goods during the day.

    Dairy tankers need to service the farms most every day.
     
    Sapphire_Glitter Thanks this.
  8. Sapphire_Glitter

    Sapphire_Glitter Bobtail Member

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    Oct 16, 2021
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    I've been pulling exclusively dry van. My company was supposed to start giving me doubles but my co driver went lease purchase and I'm solo (they don't allow solo to pull doubles)
     
  9. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

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    Potatoes were always my favorite freight followed closely by shampoo. You can pack that stuff high and tight, and they just flood those taters out of yer trailer. Ooooo, you’d like watching that. Amazing thing to watch.
     
  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Henderson, NV & Orient
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    Which company do you drive for?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
  11. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Most tanker drivers started out pulling van or reefer. Once they pull tanker many say "I wish I had switched sooner." Tanker has better customers, the trailers are easier to see around and back. The loads pay more so you don't have to drive 4,000 miles per week to afford groceries AND electricity. I did HazMat and liked most everything about it except wearing a rubber suit in El Paso to unload while it was 110 F. Food-grade might be good also. Some of the tanker companies require 1 year of CDL driving. Many DO NOT require prior tanker experience, especially these days. If you are currently a safe and careful driver you can EASILY handle pulling tankers. The surge feels violent at slow speeds, where there isn't much danger. A couple of simple rules for driving at highway speeds prevents 95% of rollover potential.
    1 ALWAYS slow to the speed you will take a turn BEFORE you get to the turn.
    2 You can brake hard OR you can steer. You can never do both at the same time.
     
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