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Matt 's Comment
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So here it is I'm.not one to put things out there or want anyone's opinion. But for some reason i think different opinions may be helpful. My dad drove truck his entire adult life until he lost his arm due to cancer. I remember him being gone for days,weeks,even months at a time but I never was upset at him about it. I always worried but I wasnt mad at him I grew up loving trucks and I.had never grown out of it. He always told me he didn't want me driving truck that wasnt a life for a family. So I.made a agreement with him when I was about 12 that I would find a fall back career. Well I.started twisting wrenches on them and that ended up becoming my main career. I still see these trucks coming into the shop and some what long to be driving them. Its different now I have kids and another on the way I love coming home and hearing him yell daddy. I really dread the idea of twisting wrenches my whole life "them brake drums and heads are heavy now what about in 40yrs" I seen a part time driving job locally with Schneider I thought maybe that would get me an idea of it however I need my cdl first. I have traveled the country before I had a family for work and loved it I know I need to make enough to make a good living on. How do i know my kids will still feel the same way about me as I did. What are your opinions? I have never posted anything like this on a internet site before so hopefully if I make a fool out of myself someone will at least let me know.

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.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Sounds to me like you need to discuss this with your wife. For married people everything is a team effort. Good luck.

George G.'s Comment
member avatar

A tale as old as time. You want your family to live a good and happy life and you want to be a part of it too. Where is the balance between your happiness and your families. Do the two coincide?

I have been in the communications industry for the last 10 years. A lot of that work did involve travel. Not nearly as extensive as the OTR lifestyle. Nonetheless it was time away from home to make money to pay for said home. A lot of that work paid well, supported my family, but drained on me. I have had jobs that didn't pay as well but I loved to do. There is a balance somewhere and I believe I may be able to find a balance in trucking. The needs of my family are shelter, medical, dental, and food. The DESIRES of my family are luxuries, unlimited time together unhindered, all the money in the world.

Can I create a perfect equilibrium by trucking? No way. Could I do it with any of my prior jobs? No way. Could I satisfy more of the needs section than the wants section by trucking? Sure can. Can I satisfy more of the Desires section by trucking? No, but I think the only thing that could would be winning the lottery.

My point here is that I chose to go into trucking so that my family can hopefully find a decent lifestyle. I don't need to get rich, but I don't want to be poor either. There will be sacrifices, there are with any job. I believe the rewards that can hopefully be reaped from trucking outweigh those sacrifices. Either way I will hopefully have 150,000 miles to find out.

Good luck.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bob O.'s Comment
member avatar

So here it is I'm.not one to put things out there or want anyone's opinion. But for some reason i think different opinions may be helpful. My dad drove truck his entire adult life until he lost his arm due to cancer. I remember him being gone for days,weeks,even months at a time but I never was upset at him about it. I always worried but I wasnt mad at him I grew up loving trucks and I.had never grown out of it. He always told me he didn't want me driving truck that wasnt a life for a family. So I.made a agreement with him when I was about 12 that I would find a fall back career. Well I.started twisting wrenches on them and that ended up becoming my main career. I still see these trucks coming into the shop and some what long to be driving them. Its different now I have kids and another on the way I love coming home and hearing him yell daddy. I really dread the idea of twisting wrenches my whole life "them brake drums and heads are heavy now what about in 40yrs" I seen a part time driving job locally with Schneider I thought maybe that would get me an idea of it however I need my cdl first. I have traveled the country before I had a family for work and loved it I know I need to make enough to make a good living on. How do i know my kids will still feel the same way about me as I did. What are your opinions? I have never posted anything like this on a internet site before so hopefully if I make a fool out of myself someone will at least let me know.

Why do you care how your kids feel about you? They are kids. You do what you have to do to put bread on the table, end of story. When I was forced into trucking last year, I didn't think once about how my kids "felt". They had shelter, food, and health insurance.

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.
Miss Rose's Comment
member avatar

Hi Matt!

I've been lurking the website and forums for a while now in order to get a feel for everything. What I've seen so far is a lot of positive support, candid insight, and great information. I think this is a good time for my first post. I'm studying for the CDL and after some research, have a top three list of the companies that I'm leaning towards. However, I don't plan to apply to a company yet due to family obligations...which is why I'm offering you my 2 cents. :)

I grew up in a Navy household. I remember my dad being gone for at least six months every year. After leaving the military, he drove a truck for several years. I have a few good memories of being able to go with him for trips during the time he drove locally.

My husband is a retired veteran who drove OTR and now drives locally while he's attending school. During his military career we endured many long months apart. The length of deployments can vary greatly. Time, distance, and safety concerns are challenging for families.

We've been together for 20 years and endured a lot. In my experience, I have two favorite ways to keep a family strong: First...communication! Social media, phone calls, e-mails, FaceTime, cards, letters, care packages. There are many ways to keep a family close and involved. You don't have to be in the same room to be a family. Second...do what you love! If there's a career out there that you want because it's what you love to do, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If you choose to "twist wrenches" until retirement, it will likely wear you down quickly. You'll move through each day probably tired, frustrated, irritable etc., and your family will be affected by your mood.

If you are doing what you love to do, you'll be relaxed and more fulfilled. Your personal happiness with your chosen career is a benefit to your spouse and your children. No, driving a truck is certainly no cake walk. But, you can always tell when someone loves their job no matter how challenging it is or how dirty they get while doing it.

Whether at home with your family, or on the road for weeks at a time, you always have value as a father. I believe if you are involved with your family as much as you can be, they will supportive and respectful of the choices you've made. You have great memories to build with them.

Well, that went into more rambling than I meant but...I hope my humble opinion helps a bit. Remember you asked for it! :)

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Kids love getting things in the mail, mainly because they never get anything. They get excited to get a postcard even.

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like you have your head on straight. Since you are a family man, and have a job already, I'd suggest looking into trying to get a PART TIME yard dog job and see if you still want to drive a truck after you spend a couple months shuttling trailers. Your backing skills will be top notch before you ever get into a truck stop.

Your experience as a mechanic would be a plus for many yard jobs, not only because you might be able to help fix things, but because you might be able to better explain problems to people who do fix things.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Matt W wrote:

I seen a part time driving job locally with Schneider I thought maybe that would get me an idea of it however I need my cdl first.

Matt, no need to be embarrassed. Thanks for checking in.

Usually (not always) this type of job requires experience. I do understand your quandary and can empathize with you. I waited 30 years before I re-entered the field for the very reasons you mentioned; family. I do not regret waiting. However had I taken a different path, it's likely that I would have missed out on many of the memories with my children that I now cherish. Impossible to put a price on that. So yes, I do get it.

So back to the Schneider job,...I would inquire and find out what the qualifications are for this specific job. At least this way you will know if it's a realistic possibility, or not. Expect that at a minimum you will be required to perform several weeks of Road Training once you have your CDL,...forcing a temporary absence from home life.

Good luck.

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.
Matt 's Comment
member avatar

I do appreciate the replies gives me some more to think about and different ways to think about it thanks again!

IR0ND0G's Comment
member avatar

As I prepare to head to school next month, your concerns about your kids are similar to mine. While I do care what they think and how they feel, there are only so many things we can do. It's a balancing act. For me, knowing that my decision to go OTR will ultimately help us (as a family) keep our house outweighed how anyone felt. Our home will be preserved, the heat will stay on, and there'll be food on the table. In the longer term, I'll gain the necessary experience to eventually find something that may accommodate more home time, but until then I will do whatever is needed for the overall betterment of the family as a whole.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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