Would it be Unadvisable?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by bandit24, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. bandit24

    bandit24 Light Load Member

    86
    6
    Feb 11, 2007
    Near Charlottesville, VA
    0
    I am looking to get into trucking as a career change. I have driven a freightliner Toterhome with 48' gooseneck trailer for over 50k miles with no problems. Since I only have one working arm, I am having problems finding a company to go to for my initial year of driving. Most don't seem to be thrilled about the liability side.

    My question: I believe that I can obtain my CDL without a company subsidized training, meaning paying my own way. Afterwards, Would it be practical to buy my own truck and become an O/O from the getgo? Would / Should I be able to get loads to haul if NOT leased on to a known company. We have a Walmart distribution center within 10 minutes from my home. Is it possible to hire on as an O/O directly?
     
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  3. Brickman

    Brickman Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    12,906
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    Sep 17, 2006
    WY
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    If you have the vast resources needed to begin O/O from day one you might be OK.

    You'll have very high insurance premiums for the fact that there is no commercial driving history on you. An insurance company isn't going to look at your previous non CDL driving as usable history.
    Also you'll have to be able to float all costs until the money starts rolling in. Many companies pay 30 days from date of invoice. You'll need to be able to buy fuel and all break downs for about 60 days. LOTS of money there just in fuel.
    If this is the route you chose to go try to get a truck that gets good MPGs. 6 being the low end of acceptable and 7 a much better number.

    Good luck.
     
  4. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Oct 23, 2005
    Vegas/Jersey
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    I'm sorry to tell you this but you'll need to perform extra qualifications since you only have one working arm. See FMCSR §391.41. You'll need to obtain a waiver from the Regional Director of Motor Carriers. You have to submit the waiver along with the company that will hire you. Or you can submit by yourself but you'll need to meet all the requirements including medical evaluation.

    I know my company required that the driver be able to grasp the steering wheel with both hands. I know this because a friend of mine got caught in a fire and burn his hand so bad that his little finger curled up and was useless. He had the doctors cut his finger off and went on to retire.

    It's not impossible to become legal and it would be in your best interest to do so. Please read the requirements because you could really get into a bind if you were driving illegal.
     
  5. bandit24

    bandit24 Light Load Member

    86
    6
    Feb 11, 2007
    Near Charlottesville, VA
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    In no way would I ever consider driving illegally. I know about the required DOT medical waiver, that is why I am looking in this direction. When I approach major companies with this issue, all of them, up to this point, have shy'd away from any possible committments. I have a few friends that drive now, and they know my ability and say that I should be able to do this.

    Once I have my Class A CDL, I'm not sure why any company should care that I only have one working arm. Obtaining my CDL should show that I am qualified to drive.... Right?
     
  6. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    6,257
    4,333
    Oct 23, 2005
    Vegas/Jersey
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    The waiver comes from the Director of Motor Carriers in your region and not the doctor. The doctor will play a big role in getting the waiver but it's not granted by a doctor. I just wanted to make that clear. You'll have to do all of this just to get your CDL. The waiver will determine what you can do and can not do. And it's only good for 2 years. I suggust that you go by a truck stop and go in and buy the FMCSR pocketbook or search on the net and read all you can about this waiver. To me it's looks like a major function and in my opinion I don't think you are aware of what is all required. I don't mean to be blunt but only informative. I think you'll get your answers once you see what the waiver is all about. Because to me what I've read once you get the waiver it's the federal motor carrier that's telling what you can drive and not drive.

    Also you'll need to remember that the waiver is only to get your CDL. A job may require more than just driving and most do. You might have to demonstrate your abilities to a company that might be interested in you. It's not an easy road to go down and I wish you all the luck in the world. I think once you have a waiver the companies might change their viewpoint towards you. But then again I'm not sure if they are governed by any laws to even consider you as a driver. I think it's unfair and I'm sure you'll experience alot of prejudices but it's the real world. Just starting out you're already limited in job selection and may have to accept the bad jobs and spend some time there. But once you have some experience you should have the doors open wider and your goals may be obtained. It's all up to you on how much you're willing to go through. I say "Full Speed Ahead" and don't stop trying.
     
  7. captainhook

    captainhook Bobtail Member

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    Dec 14, 2007
    WI
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    hey bandit, maybe I can give u a hand, but then I would'nt have any! I'm missing my left hand, and recently went through all that crap. WHEW! I start with deboer this month. I'll give u any help I can.
     
  8. Radman56

    Radman56 Bobtail Member

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    May 2, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
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    You may want to check into your rights as they pertain to the Americans with Disabilities Act. There might be something in there that may help ya. I would hope so ! !
     
  9. Smokinjoe

    Smokinjoe Bobtail Member

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    Feb 7, 2008
    Louisville Ky.
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    I work for a big flatbed company and we hired a guy about 4 months ago who has only one arm. I know how hard just driving must be with that disability working against you so I can't imagine how much harder it would be securing loads like that but I really admire that he hasn't let it slow him down. So I wish you lots of luck and hope you can work that out. I'll call that driver up and see how he went about it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
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