What Makes a Good OTR Team?

OTR team driving can be a lucrative and rewarding career path. When you drive as part of an OTR team, you can keep the truck rolling longer – not only can you earn more, you get to share the entire experience with a driving partner. That’s why team driving is so attractive to couples (father/son, mother/daughter, best friends, cousins, partners, married couples, siblings, and more).

Like any career, team driving requires professionalism and a can-do attitude. A successful OTR team is built on a common set of principles. When both drivers can reach an understanding, they become a formidable, reliable team that can earn a good living and have a great time in the process.

So, what makes a good OTR team?


Trust

If you’re a part of an over the road team, one of you will often be driving while the other is sleeping. It’s important that you’re able to trust your partner to handle the truck and look after your safety while you’re not at the wheel. Likewise, your partner needs to be able to trust you to do the same.

Establishing trust is the foundation of a good OTR team. If you aren’t already acquainted with your co-driver, you should take the time to get to know them. Discuss each other’s driving styles and lifestyle habits. Establish that safety is your number one priority. You’ll need to depend on one another out on the road.

Respect

If you become an OTR team driver, you’ll be spending a long time in close quarters with another person. So, it’s important that you’re both considerate of the other’s needs and personal space.

Learn about your partner’s habits, likes, and dislikes. Establish rules for the radio and be considerate of each other’s music choices.

A Positive Attitude

To form a good team, it pays to have a positive attitude. You’ll be interacting with your partner often and for long periods of time, so interpersonal skills are key. If your partner is having a bad day, keeping a positive attitude can keep you both on track. Your positivity may even rub off on them.

The best teams can enjoy long conversations and long periods of silence. A good attitude will not only make driving together more pleasant, it will help you overcome tough situations together and stay safe on the road. When each driver is prepared to help the other, they can solve problems faster and reduce each other’s stress levels.

A Reliable System

Since OTR driving teams share responsibilities on the road, it helps to establish ground rules for how you’re going to operate. This includes rules for stops, driving rules, and rules for your responsibilities regarding your cargo.

For example, you may decide that one of you is in charge when loading cargo and the other is in charge when unloading. Or, you may decide that you are both equally responsible. You’ll also need to decide your sleep schedule. It could be that one of you is more comfortable driving at night while the other prefers to drive during the day.

Whatever you decide, make sure you stick to your system. Staying consistent will ensure that both of you know what to expect on the road.

Start a New Team Driving Career

It takes a commitment from both drivers to run a successful team operation. But good OTR driving teams are some of the happiest and highest-earning professionals in the trucking industry. It’s an attractive option for both new and experienced drivers.

If you’re preparing to start a new career as an OTR team driver or looking for a change from your current OTR position, consider a career with Lily Transportation Corp. We’re always on the lookout for safe, experienced team drivers. We provide excellent benefits, competitive pay, custom clothing, and top-of-the-line equipment.

For more information, visit the Jobs Page on our website.

What is the Military CDL Skills Test Waiver?

Obtaining a CDL and becoming a commercial truck driver is an excellent opportunity for veterans to transition into civilian life and start a lucrative career. While every truck driver needs to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a truck, there are several unique programs for veterans that can help them obtain training and become gainfully employed.

There are also plenty of programs available to help veterans obtain a CDL. One such program is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program, which was finalized in May of 2011 as a provision of the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule and is now available in every state.


If you are a military service member who has experience driving heavy trucks/equipment, you may benefit from this program and embark on a new career in commercial trucking.

How the Military CDL Skills Test Waiver Works

To obtain a CDL, drivers need to pass a written exam and take a skills test. The military waiver allows you to skip the skills test. However, you’ll still need to take the written exam and meet certain requirements.

You can obtain a waiver for the skills test if you have two years of experience operating military trucks or buses that are “equivalent to civilian commercial vehicles,” according to the FMCSA. To qualify, you must be 21 years old or older and apply within one year of leaving a military position in which you operated a commercial vehicle.

You must also certify that you:

  • Have a history of safe driving experience
  • Have not held more than one license in the past two years (except a U.S. military driver’s license)
  • Have not had your state-issued driver’s license suspended, revoked, or canceled
  • Have not had any convictions in any type of motor vehicle for any disqualifying CDL offenses

The FMCSA has posted an application form for the waiver on its website. However, the administration notes that each state manages its own skills test waiver. To get more information about your state’s requirements, you should visit the State’s commercial driver’s license website.

The type of CDL you will be eligible for (Class A, B, or C) depending on the type of truck driven during your military career.

Start Your Career in Commercial Trucking

Transportation and logistics companies are actively seeking military veteran truck drivers, not just because of their experience, but also because of the unique attributes they bring to the industry. Veterans with two years of experience driving heavy trucks in the military can also expect substantial pay and recognition for their service, according to Fastport, a veteran employment software firm.

In addition to the military CDL skills test waiver, many trucking schools and businesses offer veteran programs for military CDL truck driving. Most programs, however, require you to deplete your military benefits.

But Lily Transportation Corp. has a one-of-a-kind program that is fully paid-for and doesn’t require you to drain you GI Bill benefits. Once you acquire your CDL, you can join Lily’s training program and:

  • Get paid a salary of $800 per week, including company benefits
  • Receive an annual compensation in the $70,000 range upon graduation

In exchange for the many benefits of the program, Lily only asks for a minimum one-year commitment in an over the road assignment. Currently, 15% of Lily’s drivers are veterans. We’re committed to grow that number by 10% each year.


Looking for military CDL truck driver jobs? Visit our jobs page or talk to a recruiter at 800-248-5459.

The Advantages of OTR Team Driving

If you’re considering a career in the trucking industry, or if you’re looking for a change from driving solo, you might want to consider becoming an OTR team driver! Team driving isn’t for everyone, but if you find the right partner, it can be a lucrative and rewarding experience for both of you. You can even form a team with your spouse if you’re both licensed commercial drivers.

If you’re adventurous and you love to see new places, OTR driving is a great opportunity. Here are some of the other advantages of OTR team driving:

You’ll Be More Efficient

When two people can drive, you can spend more time on the road and log more miles, which means increased earnings. While one driver takes the wheel, the other can rest or sleep. Because OTR drivers must cover such long distances, team driving is an ideal way to increase productivity.


You’ll Always Have Company

Some commercial truck drivers enjoy their alone time on the road. But going without conversation for extended periods of time can impact your mental health and even increase fatigue. When your part of an OTR team, you always have someone to talk to.

Conversation isn’t just a great way to pass the time. It can also help OTR drivers stay positive if they are missing their families and their home. Nonetheless, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your OTR partner, so it’s important to work with someone you trust and get along with.

You’ll Always Have Help

Whether you need a navigator or just someone to bounce ideas off of, your OTR partner is always available to help. Breakdowns and traffic jams happen. Having someone right by your side to help you through them can make them less stressful. You can combine your knowledge to solve problems – two brains are better than one.

You Can Earn More

Every commercial driver is subject to Hours of Service Regulations and must take breaks after driving for a specific number of hours. Simply put, solo drivers must stop driving to rest periodically while teams can switch drivers and keep going. Because OTR team drivers can log more miles in less amount of time, they can often earn more.

Consider OTR Team Driving with Lily

Lily Transportation Corp. is a family owned and professionally managed business. We believe our people are our greatest asset. We’re proud to provide all of our drivers with competitive pay, excellent benefits, and meticulously-maintained equipment.

For more information about career opportunities at Lily, visit the Jobs Page on our website.

What to Look for in a Trucking Job

Whether you’re looking for a change from your current driving position or you’re starting a career as a truck driver, it’s important to do your research. Not every company is equal, so it’s important to compare what each company has to offer. In addition to competitive pay, you’ll want to be sure your company is committed to its driver’s well-being and safety, and that they provide plenty of home time.

Here are some other qualities to look for look for in a trucking job:

A Stable, Experienced Company

Companies with decades of experience have grown and adapted to become the best in the business. They’ve established a solid reputation and will have more stable, consistent freight lanes so you can meet your mileage goals more effectively.

Competitive Pay

Look for companies that offer competitive pay and are forthright with how their drivers are compensated. This may include weekly pay, pay per mile, as well as stop pay and loading/unloading pay.

Equipment

You can tell a lot about a trucking and logistics company by the way they treat their equipment. The best companies to work for use late model vehicles and the latest safety features, such as forward warning systems and lane departure warning systems. If you’re environmentally-conscious, you should also consider a company that’s committed to making its fleet eco-friendly through aerodynamic vehicles and alternative fuels.

A Record of Safety

A driver’s safety is paramount, so you should work for a company that places your safety above all else. You can check the safety ratings of trucking and logistics companies easily through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Companies with a good safety record will have a DOT rating of “Satisfactory.”

Additionally, look for companies that promote their own comprehensive safety program and commit to safe hiring practices. Well-maintained vehicles and state-of-the-art onboard safety features are often a sign of a strong safety commitment, as these will ensure every driver at the company operates in the safest manner possible.

Key Benefits

Your chosen company should provide excellent benefits, like health and dental insurance, paid vacation and holiday time, and a matching 401(k) retirement plan. Look for companies that also provide generous incentives for safety and other key benefits like cell phone allowances and company-supplied uniforms.  

A Veterans Program

If you’re a veteran or you’re just looking for a company with integrity, identify those companies that have a program for veterans. This may include paid training program. Not only do these companies value the skills and characteristics of US military veterans, they also value their military service.

Find the Right Trucking Job

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re searching for another opportunity, it can be difficult finding the right job. Look for a company and job opportunity that meets your specific needs, such as pay, benefits, and home time. If you’re a new driver, some companies may require a minimum amount of experience. But with a positive outlook and some hands-on research, you’re bound to find a job that suits you.

Trucking Jobs at Lily

Lily Transportation Corp. is a family-owned and professionally managed business. We take great pride in our dedication to our employees and are able to provide competitive pay, exciting benefits, and excellent equipment. For more information about career opportunities at Lily, visit the Jobs Page on our website.

How to Become a CDL Driver as a Veteran

Becoming a commercial driver is a rewarding career path for anyone who pursues it. Not only is it a secure career choice, it enables you to travel and earn a good living to support yourself and your family. While commercial driving is available to anyone who obtains a Commercial Driver’s License, it’s also a viable career path for military veterans transitioning to civilian life.

The trucking and commercial driving industry is particularly supportive of military veterans and their families. In fact, many commercial freight companies are actively seeking veterans because their unique skills make such a valuable contribution to the industry.


Why Do Military Veterans Make Such Great CDL Drivers?

Even if you don’t have experience operating military vehicles, or any CDL training at all, you’ve still learned many of the skills that transportation logistics companies seek in their drivers; such as: teamwork, leadership, and an aptitude for mission-focused work.

Commercial drivers must also be reliable and dependable. These are both qualities that are expected in the military, and they translate well when you become a CDL driver.

What is the Process of Becoming a Military Veteran CDL driver?

You can obtain a CDL through the following standard process:

  • Start with your state’s CDL manual: Your local DMV office will have a copy of your state’s CDL manual, which you’ll need to study to pass written exams. Depending on your chosen career path, you should also determine if you need to obtain a Class A, Class B, or Class C CDL. These classifications will dictate which type of vehicle you can operate and what type of cargo you can haul.
  • Obtain a CDL permit: After proving that you meet certain medical requirements, passing a background check, and taking written exams, you’ll receive your CDL permit. This allows you to drive on public roads only while a qualified CDL holder is sitting next to you.
  • Obtain endorsements: Depending on the type of CDL license you wish to acquire, you’ll need to add endorsements for specific types of trailers and vehicles. These endorsements may require you to take skills tests in addition to written tests.
  • Take a CDL skills test: You’ll take a final exam that includes a skills test. Once you’ve passed, you’ll be issued your CDL.

There are resources available to help you become a CDL driver as a veteran. Some companies may even offer training programs specifically for veterans. You may need to rely on your veteran’s benefits to cover training and schooling at some organizations.

However, Lily Transportation Corp. has a one-of-a-kind program for veterans that doesn’t require you to drain your benefits. After certification of your CDL, you’ll enter Lily’s training program, which includes:

  • A fully paid curriculum that doesn’t require you to drain your GI Bill benefits
  • A paid salary of $800 per week, including company benefits
  • Annual compensation in the $70,000 range upon graduation
  • A one year commitment from you in an over the road assignment

Lily has specific programs for:

  • Veterans whose MOS was as a heavy duty truck driver in the military
  • Veterans with prior commercial truck driving experience
  • Veterans interested in management careers

For more information about Lily’s veterans programs, visit the Lily Transportation Corp. website.