For many, your first year as an otr driver is going to
bring many new opportunities, exciting changes - and
perhaps a few serious challenges.
There is no way around it - you have to pay your dues to earn the right to move up the career ladder as an experienced otr driver. Perhaps the second biggest career decision you make is selecting the right company to work for after graduation from cdl training school.
So, what is the first biggest career decision you will have to make?
|The first biggest |
You've heard the expression "forewarned is forearmed"..... doing you research and diligence can make a big difference, but if you have not done diligent research on cdl driver training and trucking companies, and you went to work for the wrong company, don't leave and become just another statistic.
If you leave before you've completed that first year, you may be sabotaging your professional truck driving career. If you couldn't go the distance on this job why would any other trucking company believe that you will last with them? These are just some of the repercussions that can occur:
- You may owe the trucking company monies for your cdl training plus other expenses
- You may be viewed by a future employer as someone who really is not serious about becoming a professional OTR driver
- A negative complaint may be filed on your DAC Report which will follow you during your career
- You may be unable to find another truck driving job within the allotted time and have to take a CDL Refresher Course at an additional expense
But even if you are not happy with the company you've gone to work for right out of the gate, don't make a decision to leave that company that could well end your career before it even began. Trucking companies don't like to see new drivers bouncing from company to company. And if you're away from the trucking industry for a couple of months, you may have to take a CDL refresher course - and start all over again !
The Biggest and Most Important Career Decision
You Can Make Is Your Commitment To
Do What It Takes To Make It
Through Your First Year
Your objective should be to earn the qualifications to get hired by a company that hires only experienced drivers, which represents more than 90% of the trucking industry. Learn the ropes, get the feel of the industry and its regimen and work and prepare for bigger and better times. These are your 'beginner days'....
To qualify as an experienced driver you must have a minimum of one year's incident free, verifiable otr driving experience. Note that I said "incident-free" and "verifiable".
After one year of otr driving experience, you are eligible for hire by one of the "good companies"....companies that hire only experienced otr drivers. You can expect better working conditions, better equipment, better wages, more home-time, and better driver treatment.
When starting out with your first OTR trucking job, look ahead to better times. Try to prepare for one year of sacrifice, plan your finances, and consider that you may have to dip into your savings or make other temporary life altering changes. Whatever the case, it's critical that you be prepared for the commitment and sacrifice of running OTR for no less than one year - no matter what it takes....
Getting a job with a "really good company"
is worth working for, worth sacrificing for,
and worth waiting for.