Ask a Trucker. (1 Viewer)

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germanicus12

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I decided that maybe creating a thread where the average person can ask a truck driver any questions about driving or anything else.

Originally I was going to make this for only American truckers but decided we could ask questions to drivers of other countries too.

If your question pertains to a specific country please word it to those drivers. I.E I have a question for an American driver..... Etc. Otherwise all questions will be assumed answerable by any driver in any country.

So ask away. :)
 

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Muzz

The Baron
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I have a question..

How do you find the working hours? Do you find it at all unsociable?
 

germanicus12

Active Member
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On your first question the hours are a bit tricky to answer. On a given day American truck drivers are given 11 hours to drive in a 14 hour period split by 10 hours consecutive sleeper berth and/or off duty time.

When I drove the oilfeilds in Texas I was considered a local driver and given a 16 hour day with no 11 hour limit on driving time. Though I lost about 4 hours anyways due to all the time I spent hooking and unhooking hoses.

Currently with the company I lease out with I get flexible loads that generally allows me to choose my hours and when I work. This enables me to enter cities like Los Angeles at night when there are less traffic. Drivers with inflexible loads are usually forced to drive when they don't want to. So my hours tend to be: get up at 0800 do pretrip inspection then hit the road for 4-6 hours take a small 30 min break (required by federal law) then drive another 4-5 hours sometimes less and I am usually tucked into a truck stop by 1900 to 2000. Depending on whether I cross time zones or not.

As to your second question, lately with Facebook and other social media this is not such a big deal these days. I usually call my wife around 12 noon when she gets off work and we talk for awhile while I drive, and occasionally I would spend time socializing with other drivers at truck stops or other meeting places like bars.
 

Muzz

The Baron
1,709
876
On your first question the hours are a bit tricky to answer. On a given day American truck drivers are given 11 hours to drive in a 14 hour period split by 10 hours consecutive sleeper berth and/or off duty time.

When I drove the oilfeilds in Texas I was considered a local driver and given a 16 hour day with no 11 hour limit on driving time. Though I lost about 4 hours anyways due to all the time I spent hooking and unhooking hoses.

Currently with the company I lease out with I get flexible loads that generally allows me to choose my hours and when I work. This enables me to enter cities like Los Angeles at night when there are less traffic. Drivers with inflexible loads are usually forced to drive when they don't want to. So my hours tend to be: get up at 0800 do pretrip inspection then hit the road for 4-6 hours take a small 30 min break (required by federal law) then drive another 4-5 hours sometimes less and I am usually tucked into a truck stop by 1900 to 2000. Depending on whether I cross time zones or not.

As to your second question, lately with Facebook and other social media this is not such a big deal these days. I usually call my wife around 12 noon when she gets off work and we talk for awhile while I drive, and occasionally I would spend time socializing with other drivers at truck stops or other meeting places like bars.
Very informative!

Could you see yourself doing a regular 9-5 job, like office, or shop work?

What do you enjoy the most about being a trucker, and what do you dislike the most?
 

germanicus12

Active Member
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No, I don't think I will ever enjoy an office job but I may be OK with a 9-5 job if it is something active that keeps me moving. Like a police officer or city worker.

This is a tough question to answer because I cannot really nail down the best thing I like about my job, but I suppose the ability to see all parts of the USA and Canada in different times of the day and year would be right up there. There is nothing like seeing a fresh blanket of snow covering a forest floor.

The worst thing about my job is being away from my wife for long stretches of time. But we both entered this relationship knowing the demands our job would have and we expected it.
 
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John Necir Rebellion

Well-Known Member
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Like as in the Game (Euro Truck Simulator/American Truck Simulator), have you ever have a truck before you have jobs or you have already a truck for you jobs?
Do you have a Air Hole Cap as a Typical American Trucker?
How long do you have the longest delivery?
Do you use your truck once just for your personal delivery?
(Sorry for having many questions, If you may)
 

germanicus12

Active Member
132
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Like as in the Game (Euro Truck Simulator/American Truck Simulator), have you ever have a truck before you have jobs or you have already a truck for you jobs?
When I drove the oil fields in Texas I drove a company daycab tanker truck with tanker trailer. It was my truck until they gave me a newer model or it broke down. I never drove different trucks like we do in the game.

When I went OTR (over the road) I lucked out and my uncle agreed to loan me the cash to buy my truck outright so I began my career doing flatbed hauling and the occasional tanker/dry van/reefer loads. Always different trailers but my truck remained the same. Eventually when I entered heavy haul I bought a newer truck and outfitted it with beacon lights and a stronger engine. But the trailers continued to be provided by my clients.

Now I lease out to a company so I still drive my truck just with company logos on it now.

Do you have a Air Hole Cap as a Typical American Trucker?
How long do you have the longest delivery?
Not sure what you mean by air hole cap. Never heard the term. Explain it in more detail or post a pic if you can.

My longest delivery is probably a coast to cost haul from Long Beach, Los Angeles California to The Bronx in New York City. Just under 3,000 miles. But on average for a month I usually rack up 10,000 miles a month, or some 150,000 miles a year.

Do you use your truck once just for your personal delivery?
(Sorry for having many questions, If you may)
I have never used my truck for personal delivery, but my uncle once paid my fuel and meal (about 6,500 dollars) to go down to Florida and get his custom built RV and haul it on a lowboy to his place in Idaho.
 

John Necir Rebellion

Well-Known Member
1,183
116
21
When I drove the oil fields in Texas I drove a company daycab tanker truck with tanker trailer. It was my truck until they gave me a newer model or it broke down. I never drove different trucks like we do in the game.

When I went OTR (over the road) I lucked out and my uncle agreed to loan me the cash to buy my truck outright so I began my career doing flatbed hauling and the occasional tanker/dry van/reefer loads. Always different trailers but my truck remained the same. Eventually when I entered heavy haul I bought a newer truck and outfitted it with beacon lights and a stronger engine. But the trailers continued to be provided by my clients.

Now I lease out to a company so I still drive my truck just with company logos on it now.
Wow, Texas "My Dad have Texaco Insulated Mug
from Texas because He was a Former Security Inspector from that Gasoline Company"
Not sure what you mean by air hole cap. Never heard the term. Explain it in more detail or post a pic if you can.
I mean the Truckers' Cap /click here for more info.
 

germanicus12

Active Member
132
53
Wow, Texas "My Dad have Texaco Insulated Mug
from Texas because He was a Former Security Inspector from that Gasoline Company"


I mean the Truckers' Cap /click here for more info.
Nice mug, didn't drive for them. Drove for BP.

As for the cap, I have several of them. Mostly given to me by clients with their company names on them. But I never wear them and I rarely see other truckers wear them as well. Only the old school drivers.

do you prefer to drive at night or morning?
When I did heavy haul, I usually had to work nights due to lesser traffic. But I vastly prefer daytime driving as you see a lot more.
 
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Dr.Bull

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I've got a question.

How expensive is it to get a CDL in the US and would it be smarter to just look around if a company wants to pay for the CDL (and maybe give additional training) and hire you directly than pay for your CDL and training yourself?

Also, how did you get your CDL?

I like this thread by the way!;)
 

germanicus12

Active Member
132
53
I've got a question.

How expensive is it to get a CDL in the US and would it be smarter to just look around if a company wants to pay for the CDL (and maybe give additional training) and hire you directly than pay for your CDL and training yourself?

Also, how did you get your CDL?

I like this thread by the way!;)
Well CDL prices appear to vary from state to state. The average cost is usually about 20 dollars more than a Class D License, for my State it costs me 40$US to get a CDL.

Now to take the test including the road test is generally done at Truck training facilities or Trade Schools, for a good one it can cost up to 10,000$US, but most usually average around 6,500 to 7,000$US. Remember this price covers usage of their truck equipment, diesel costs, and tuition/books. The courses generally last about a month for the good schools, or 2-3 weeks for the lesser quality schools.

Trucking companies, like the top 5 in the US, CR England, Swift, CRST, Prime, and Werner, all have their own schools and the costs is usually around 2-3,000$US, and they take it out of your check, but you have to agree to drive for them for up to a year.

If you are thinking of getting your CDL training done, please do not go through a trucking company, they train poorly and many drivers fail after graduation within 3-4 months. (high accident rates) If you can afford it, go to an accredited Truck Program at your local Trade College and then sign on with a company (not the top 5), like Gordon or Pride, they tend to reimburse your tuition costs after a year employ.

I got my CDL by going into my local DMV and taking the test. When they informed me I needed to do a road test by an accredited driver trainer, I went to my Uncle's friend who manages the training program at the local Trade College and he waived my fee and gave me my seal of approval after the test. Then I began driving, so in total I spent about 150$US. Had to pay for the test and the CDL License only.

Also, a new law recently passed probably last year or 2 year ago now require all potential CDL applicants to now acquire a Medical DOT card before they can drive a truck, even in training. So most of the prices listed above include your Physical cost, and are usually done by a Company doctor if doing it at a Top 5 Company. Before that law, you could drive a truck in training without a Medical DOT card but will have to get one before you can drive it unsupervised, for lack of better word. A basic Medical DOT Physical cost generally varies from doctor to doctor, or state to state, mine generally costs about 150$US. Also, make sure your doctor is legally licensed to perform this physical, they are different from normal physicals and are strictly enforced. If a doctor issues you a Medical DOT card and is not licensed to do so, not only do you lose the card, you lose your CDL as well and the doctor will have his practice license revoked and he will not be able to practice medicine again.

So to summarize:
Top Truck Training Programs: 10,000$US
Mediocre training programs: 6,000-7,500$US.
Top 5 Company training: 2,500-3,000$US with contract of 1 year service.
Medical Card physical (if not covered by above programs): 150$US
DMV Tests and CDL License (usually covered by programs): Test 100$US (maybe less now not sure); CDL License around 40$US.
Road test (Done at Trade Colleges): 500-2000$US depending on how many times you retry test.(unless you know someone there then they may waive fee.)


Bolded are requirements needed to drive truck. If you only do the bolded and pass, you can drive a truck.

EDIT: Should also be noted that the test has two parts to it, first is the general knowledge test that test your knowledge on traffic laws and physics of truck driving versus car driving. The 2nd part is the air brake test, a requirement if you get a Class A license, or a CDL, in which you must prove knowledge in air brakes and how they work. 70% is considered passing grade on both tests, anything less and you can retake the test for free, but fail again, and you will be asked to pay 10$US for any retakes after that.
 
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Dr.Bull

Member
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Thanks, that was very informative (and it was actually way more extensive than I expected!).

I'm actually kind of surprise that it's so expensive to get a CDL in the States, hell, it's even more expensive than in Europe.

Over here it's not very common that companies pay for someones training (exept for additional training for their drivers).
And the cost of getting all the training (25 driving lessons) and such is just around 2.500 euros at really good driving schools. That doesn't include all the theoratical classes/tests and medical tests and what not though.
I'm talking about western-Europe here by the way. I wouldn't be completly surprised if getting your CDL in eastern-Europe would cost about ten times less...

Anyway, driving for a company that will pay for your training does look very tempting for younger people I guess.
 

Amko

New Member
25
1
50
How good you need to be in school to become trucker?
Dont think that school need to do anything with ur skills and sense of driving bro....some1 is born to be driver,some1 learn trough the life and some guys never learn but still dont gave up hehehe
 

Amko

New Member
25
1
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What do you like the most about trucking? Is there something special?
Sense of freedom....am curently without job,but i cant imagine my self siting in one chair all day or be in closed space for long...i just need to move...my dad was trucker i literally grown up in truck....and thats job that i love and enjoy in it ;-)
 

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Moose

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Do you have a favorite road/route that you like to drive? Also, which town that you've stopped in seems to have the nicest/worst people?
 

MrSimsFani

New Member
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Dont think that school need to do anything with ur skills and sense of driving bro....some1 is born to be driver,some1 learn trough the life and some guys never learn but still dont gave up hehehe
Lol :D My math was only 6 out of 10 when i was in school. I got truck license on Army, and i am trying to get myself to trucker.
 

Amko

New Member
25
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Lol :D My math was only 6 out of 10 when i was in school. I got truck license on Army, and i am trying to get myself to trucker.
Army have differnet exptetion from u as driver...i was working for US army here in bosnia,iraq and afghanistan...diferent story...and driving croos europe is something...but most experinced drivers are in woods,mines etc....and if u want to became good trucker u need to have something from my previous post ;-)
 
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