A Couple Of Questions Before Starting My Journey

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Colin K.'s Comment
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Hello. I'd like to take advantage of the wisdom of the group and ask a couple of questions. I apologize if these questions are silly, but I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.

I plan on going through a company sponsored training program and, thanks to this site, have already done the reading on the various programs. Now for the questions:

Would having hearing aids matter when it comes to passing the physical or the mandated health requirements? I have tinnitus and will be getting some once escrow closes and I can afford them.

I have two other health issues. I'm currently using my CPAP machine to gather the 30 days worth of data that is needed. I also have Type II diabetes, but my blood sugar is at or near 130, well below the 300 mark that would disqualify me. I see those as being three potential red flags to recruiters.

Also, I'm selling my house and escrow just started. I estimate it will be at least mid-November before I can take care of a few other pending personal matters and be ready to make the jump. Given that it will be during the holiday season, would it be better for me to wait until January 2nd to start my training? I don't know how much training companies do around the holidays. I imagine trainers would want to be home during that time.

Thank you in advance for your answers. Again, I apologize if these questions sound silly.

Best Regards and Stay safe out there, Colin K.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Colin, you'll get better answers if you let on what company or companies you have in mind.

I can't answer the questions about medical things, but I went through Swift's Academy starting in early December. Yep, through the ol' holidays. No, school doesn't stop, similar to company operations.

An advantage to this schedule is your classes are a bit smaller - more time for backing practice for you! But duhh, be prepared to be standing outside in cold weather waiting your turn on a truck.

Best of luck!

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Hi Colin, I can answer one of your questions at least. It shouldn't matter when you start training. These carriers train 24/7/365.

I began orientation on Dec. 19 and never saw as much as a hiccup in training time. In fact, I think I had it a little better than at any other time of the year, due to the low number of students attending during the holidays. A normal class size at Prime is approx 100 students. I had 23 in my class.

Good luck!

G-Town's Comment
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This LINK might help...Diabetes and the Physical

Good luck!

Pianoman's Comment
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I have type I diabetes, so I have the diabetes exemption since I'm insulin-dependent. As long as you don't take insulin, I don't think you need any waivers or exemptions. Sounds like you've already done your research on that though. I didn't know about the 300 mark--I just knew I needed the exemption since I'm insulin dependent.

Someone please correct me about this if I'm wrong, but in my limited experience trucking companies don't have a problem with medical issues as long as you have all your ducks in a row. Their main concerns are typically making sure your driving record meets their standards (which are heavily influenced by their insurance requirements), that you have a valid medical certificate and cdl , and that your criminal background meets their standards. So medically speaking, as long as you have or are able to acquire and maintain a valid medical certificate, and as long as you aren't taking any medications prohibited by law or by your company for commercial drivers, you have nothing to worry about.

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.
Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for your replies. I'm glad to hear that I could start training during the holidays.

In answer to some questions that were asked:

I've narrowed it down to Prime and Jim Palmer. I like their training programs and, once my year and a day on my own is done, I want to be able to take a pet with me. Due to G-Town, I would consider Swift but they don't let you bring pets so that is a negative for me.

I know about the 300 level for blood sugar because I started trucking school before at Roadmaster. My recruiter said that Type II was not a problem. True, but he failed to mention that your blood sugar levels must be under 300. I twas too ignorant and did not ask about blood sugar levels for Type IIs. I failed the medical because of that and was bounced from training. I've since lowered my blood sugar levels to between 130 and 140.

I do not have a criminal record. My driving record is clean. I do not do drugs and do not drink. I am single with no kids and no family in the area. If I could get home once every 4 to 6 weeks to visit my God daughter, I'd be happy. Resets on the road would not be an issue. I could see the country that way.

I'm selling my home and plan to live in my truck for the first year. I plan to bank what I don't spend on food, meds and any miscellaneous work expenses.

I'm 55 and have a strong work ethic. I was laid off from a tech company when my job was outsourced to India. Given that I will have no worries about bills, and no family, I plan on focusing 100% on learning this job and being the kind of driver that the moderators here encourage people to be.

Sorry that I went on so long. Since people asked questions, I thought I'd add some context.

Best Regards and stay safe out there, Colin K.

Dm:

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Sorry Colin...I wish Swift would relax the pet restriction. It's unfortunate, I think they're missing out on some really good people as a result.

Best wishes for success.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Just an fyi, at Prime you can bring a pet as soon as you complete training and go solo. No need to wait a year

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

I am type 2 diabetic.

Your a1c NEEDS to be BELOW 10. It is recommended that it be 8 or below. This means your daily average needs to be 200 or below. At 200, you are severely risking your eyesight. As diabetics, we will only ever get a 1 year medical card, as well.

Prime is a fantastic company, as is Jim Palmer.

Good luck!

Colin K.'s Comment
member avatar

<>

Thank you, Turtle, for pointing that out. Driving a truck would be a complete 180 from the type of jobs I've had before. I think it would be better for me, and the company, if I focused solely on driving that first year and not have to worry about caring for a pet on the road.

G-Town: You, and others here, do a great job of countering all of the negative things that I read about Swift. I know much of what is online about trucking comes from the complainers, but it is hard for a new person like myself to sift through everything and figure out what is true and what is not. This site is awesome in doing that, and so much more.

Thanks again, everyone. Best Regards and stay safe out there, Colin K.

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