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Getting started after being retired for 15 years

Topic 20449 | Page 1

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Chris B.'s Comment
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Thoughts welcome. I am living overseas after a 22 year military career. I am moving back to the USA in the spring and am beginning the search for schools and companies. I've narrowed it down to 2 schools in SW Ohio and am talking to a couple of companies. Concern I have is that I have been retired for 15 years. I am 55 rs old. I have no real verifiable work history. I have been "working" in a military commissary for 8 years as a bag boy. Basically a lumper for folks and thier groceries. Bag it, cart it and take it to the car for tips. Not a bad gig. My store director is willing to help in any way he can but my fear is no traditional work history in the sense that it cant be "clicked on" and brought up. Am I over thinking this? Thanx in advance. All other indicators are good in so muchas drug free, no record etc etc. Thanx again for your thoughts.

G-Town's Comment
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Welcome to the forum Chris. No, you aren't over-thinking this. Work history and driving history are two equally important pre-qualifiers necessary to become a truck driver. One thing you definitely want to check into before getting too far down the school path (and shell out your money); since you do not have any current U.S. driving history, many states and carriers may require 12 months of verifiable experience. Not sure what state you plan to reside in, but check into their DOT website. Also not a bad idea to call into several companies to get an idea of what to expect.

This link will help you identify the carriers that hire entry level drivers: Company-Sponsored Training Programs. Although there are others not represented on this list...it's a good start. If you want a much larger sampling of data, click on this link: Trucking Company Reviews

Beyond that here is our starter kit chocked full of useful information and a CBT course designed to assist in studying for the CDL permit.

Good luck and please let us know how all of this turns out for you...

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Chris B.'s Comment
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Thanx. I've kept my Ohio DL current for all these years so I'm not overly concerned with driving history as I'd be in the same boat - or cab - as the rest of the newbies as far has having a DOT driving history, or as I see it, having experience. I/we have none. I've poured over the goodies on this site and am in touch with a very interesting company I found thru this site that I hope to work for that takes on entry level drivers after CDL school. It's the verifiable work history that gives me pause as I have been retired. What are folks doing who come out of retirement? TIA

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Okay...

To the extent your manager is willing to vouch for your work at the store, should be all that you need. W2s wouldn't hurt either. I think you'll be fine.

Chris B.'s Comment
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Well, after a few weeks of back and forth with the head of recruiting at one company I am very interested in, they've "approved" moving forward with the hiring come next spring after I grad CDL school. Everything I was asked to provide did the trick and I think that as I am articulate and serious in my day to day approach to business worked in my favor.

Next up.... Experiences with Napier in Hamilton Ohio? Thank you all. Chris

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.
Linden R.'s Comment
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Which company did you decide on?

Chris B.'s Comment
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Linden R, I have been working with Carter Express out of Anderson Indiana.

G-Town's Comment
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Good for you Chris. Best of luck!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Chris, I would talk to a few more companies and get more possibilities lined up. People who are coming into this industry famously latch onto one or two "diamonds in the rough" that they think are the best companies out there, for whatever their reasons. Nothing wrong with Carter I'm sure. But that's the thing - there's nothing wrong with any of the major carriers.

Remember that a pre-hire , which is what you seem to have right now, is not a guarantee and they can change their minds at any time.

You're not moving here until the spring anyhow, so you have a ton of time. But I just wanted to say that you shouldn't fall too deeply in love with any one company out there. You should talk around a bit to see what the others have to offer. Every company has some little perks and unique features they throw in there.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Chris B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the advice Mr Brett. If you have any "private" thoughts please feel free to contact me at my email. I've been in contact with what seems to be most of the big carriers and get limited response. One of the frustrating things is that the recruiters never contact back. I know they are sales folk and that their push is to get as many candidates lined up as possible and that they shotgun replies out and take a wait and see approach. Sort of like we used to say in the military - "kill em all and let God sort them out". Might be that when they find out I am not doing anything until spring, it shuts them down as they have the car salesman mindset of "what's it gonna take to get you in the car today?"

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