Attn Olds: Trucking

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Post by exray on Sun May 10, 2009 8:19 pm

hi i figured i could use this forum to ask a few questions about a future career. I'm looking to be a long haul truck driver and i was wondering if anyone knew the regulations for trucking in the USA (i'm a canadian residant now but i would like to re-locate to the southern states somewhere either dixie or NM Arizona area) I'm trying to figure out how to get a green card or student visa, and i was also wondering what kind of money one could make running as an independant or with a company and do i need to finish my grade 12?

Hi Robert,
I can't respond to your question over on ARF (still banned) so I'll try here.

I can't say much about the regulations and licencing for such work. My son recently got a 'commercial' licence for driving a local delivery truck but here there are additional licencing requirements as you get into larger vehicles.

I can address some of the immigration aspects. Often one can come into the US under the auspices of a work Visa. This is a temporary status. Without a particular sponsor (ie - guarantee of employment) I would guess that a Visa for this type of work would be nigh impossible to get since the judgment for approving an application is somewhat predicated on demand. A student Visa is just what it says...for schooling. Doesn't entitle a guy to work because thats a separate issue but it is considerably easier to obtain work permission under the Student Visa.

A Green Card is for Permanent Residency. And for that you have to meet certain criteria like established income, career, etc. Not easily done as a young independent. The process can take quite a bit of time (took my family three years to get their Green Card when they moved here although things have much improved ).

What I would suggest is to start logging some experience as a local driver in your hometown. That may be delivery truck schtick for a year or two as you move up to bigger things. There's not really an easy way for a young guy to just jump into the long-haul business.

As a sidenote...there's quite a few "trucker" schools in the States and I imagine you have such in Canada as well. You might look into this. That way you can learn the classroom side of things - regulations and whatnot. Trade schools like this often have 'leads' to get a newbie into the business - that is to say that many of the major lines would rather have someone who graduated from the school than some guy who walks in off the street. Just like any business. If part of your goal is to get away from the "maritime boredom and the chowder" maybe you can finagle a way into a US trucking school and work the Visa from that angle?

All that said. Definitely finish Grade 12. No question there. You'll definitely need some years of experience under your belt before getting into things like Immigration and Long Haul work.
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Post by terry h on Mon May 11, 2009 10:31 pm

Hi, Exray covered things pretty well. States all have their own requirements, and will have their hands out for license fees for your rig. Don't even try to deliver to NYC.

The driver loads and unloads the truck, or helps to. The driver keeps the log, and better keep it up to date. Don't get caught overloaded.

Vast quantities of money required to own your own truck and be independent. You may own the Tractor, but can't haul anything without a trailer. Insurance major.

Over the road trucking is not just driving down the road yacking on CB or listening to radio. Get all the schooling you can.

If I had enough money to be an independent truck driver in my back pocket, I wouldn't. Same with farming from scratch. Smile

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