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Trucking as a way to help pay for college?

Topic 17607 | Page 2

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Jason G.'s Comment
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I guess another question is could you do trucking more than a year and do some of the college stuff online? But since I'm not started in trucking yet, maybe I don't have a good sense of if it's doable to drive the truck and get some schoolwork done before getting the 10 hours of rest.

I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum. Military paid for my degree (Creative Writing) so I'm looking to trucking to give me a stable income and hopefully work on writing a novel and screenplays in my downtime. And if I ever sell a screenplay for six figures or more then I'll say goodbye to trucking and live the writer life.

G-Town's Comment
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Brett wrote in response to Ryan:

If you intend to go back to school in September I would say forget about trucking for now. If anything I would shoot for a job in an office of a trucking company because you have experience there already. You could jump in and contribute rather quickly and wouldn't have to worry about paying back any tuition for schooling.

But you don't enough time between now and when school starts in September to make it really pay off financially. You'll be roughly six months into your rookie year of driving and that's about the time people really just start putting it all together. That's when you've gotten better at managing your time and resources on the road, you've developed a decent relationship with your dispatcher , and the company is trusting you with more important freight and higher miles.

I would only consider going into trucking if I had a minimum of one full year to put into it. Otherwise the slow start that rookie drivers usually get and the contracts that have to be paid off if you don't stick around long enough would prevent the endeavor from being financially worthwhile.

Ryan I totally agree with Brett on this. Perhaps what you are not taking into consideration is the un-paid time while in school, some un-paid time between graduation and getting the CDL , and then any wait for a mentor (trainer). Once mentoring (road training) you are paid about $10 per hour for any time you drive. 200 hours is the minimum training drive time with Swift.

From the time you start school to your first check (assuming you graduate on time and pass the CDL on the first attempt) you are realistically looking at a minimum of 6 weeks until your first paycheck.

Your only other option would be to look into Roehl. They will pay you while in school. But again if your long-term goal is to drive, the time you are not driving while in graduate school may require you to retake all of the schooling before any company will promote you to solo status.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Ryan F.'s Comment
member avatar

I would only consider going into trucking if I had a minimum of one full year to put into it. Otherwise the slow start that rookie drivers usually get and the contracts that have to be paid off if you don't stick around long enough would prevent the endeavor from being financially worthwhile.

Thanks for the feedback. I sent in an application to Prime and was told to call back tomorrow to see whether I'd be approved. The recruiter seemed optimistic and said she couldn't think of any reasons I might be rejected. She also said, tentatively, that I could be enrolled for the next course, which begins on January 16th.

If I were to accept any possible offer and go down to Missouri for training, it'd be with the intention of completing the terms of the contract. I like the thought of taking a year to re-consider my career path, pay off my debts, and focus on school without so many loans hanging over my head. Since I've already been out of education for a year, I don't think another is going to make a big difference.

My biggest reservations are just with the contract and any possible problems with expected pay not matching up to reality. I'm an adventurous guy too - I went off and lived in India by myself for a year and a half, earning money writing magazine articles and being an extra in Bollywood movies. Change isn't something I mind, but a year-long obligation is intimidating.

What do you all enjoy about doing trucking that makes you love it so much? It's just hard for me to get a good angle on looking from the outside-in. I asked my parents for advice and they just recommended doing whatever I thought would be best.

Appreciate all the advice from everyone. I have thought about the military long and hard as well, but like I said, I'm very contract-averse.

Thanks again for all the advice. Trying to make sense of this idea is tricky. Everything I read online contradicts everything else.

Ryan F.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett wrote in response to Ryan:

double-quotes-start.png

If you intend to go back to school in September I would say forget about trucking for now. If anything I would shoot for a job in an office of a trucking company because you have experience there already. You could jump in and contribute rather quickly and wouldn't have to worry about paying back any tuition for schooling.

But you don't enough time between now and when school starts in September to make it really pay off financially. You'll be roughly six months into your rookie year of driving and that's about the time people really just start putting it all together. That's when you've gotten better at managing your time and resources on the road, you've developed a decent relationship with your dispatcher , and the company is trusting you with more important freight and higher miles.

I would only consider going into trucking if I had a minimum of one full year to put into it. Otherwise the slow start that rookie drivers usually get and the contracts that have to be paid off if you don't stick around long enough would prevent the endeavor from being financially worthwhile.

double-quotes-end.png

Ryan I totally agree with Brett on this. Perhaps what you are not taking into consideration is the un-paid time while in school, some un-paid time between graduation and getting the CDL , and then any wait for a mentor (trainer). Once mentoring (road training) you are paid about $10 per hour for any time you drive. 200 hours is the minimum training drive time with Swift.

From the time you start school to your first check (assuming you graduate on time and pass the CDL on the first attempt) you are realistically looking at a minimum of 6 weeks until your first paycheck.

Your only other option would be to look into Roehl. They will pay you while in school. But again if your long-term goal is to drive, the time you are not driving while in graduate school may require you to retake all of the schooling before any company will promote you to solo status.

My bad - I didn't realize I had a second page with replies.

The company I'm talking to right now is Prime. They said they provide $200 advances per week for the first 14 to 30 days and then guarantee at least $700 per week for the second phase of training (60 days running teams with a trainer). After that, they said you can choose to go solo and gave a rate of $.43 cpm for flatbed, which seemed a little high for such a large company.

If I do this, I'll put school on hold for another one or two semesters. I've already been out for a year; I doubt another year is going to kill me, or my motivation to finish (I really, really just want to get my damn degree).

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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