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Mr Mike's Comment
member avatar

Hi I just wanted to introduce myself, I am an American working overseas as a contractor and I'm retired military, I plan on getting my CDL when my contract ends here. I have just started following this forum and have found it very helpful. I am a little older then most, at 53 I'm starting to plan a new adventure. When I start I will go OTR then after a year or two I will look for a dedicated or regional driving job. I would like to drive a tanker food grade out of Idaho. My kids are grown and my wife of 30 + years is behind me 100%.

Happy Thanksgiving. Mr. Mike

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Prime and Schnieder can both train you and start you in tanker. I think they both offer regional routes as well. Have you mantained your US driver's liscence? If not you may need to have one for a year before they will accept you.

Have you seen these?

Company-Sponsored Training Programs

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Kevin L.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum. As mentioned there may be a few hurdles to go through if you have not maintained your regular United States Driver's License. There are also a few postings on here of how people from overseas go about getting their CDL here.

I am not sure if you are in the minority around here for your age as from what I have read I believe you fall into the average age of current truck drivers. It seems to me that most of the younger people I come into contact with and that is a lot considering I work for a university as well as a local school district are not very interested in the trucking industry. It seems the allure of trucking is fading with all the governmental regulations.

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.
Mr Mike's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Kevin,

I have maintained my stateside drivers license. I have been reading the forum and it does seem like there are a lot of people my age starting out in trucking. I am very incouraged all the time by what the members are saying on here. Up to this point l had always heard the negative parts of trucking, mostly on social media. It is so refreshing to hear what trucking professionals are saying and advice they are giving. It is nice to hear the excitement that the new drivers are posting. I’m looking forward to a new adventure, it will be about a year, but I will read and learn as much as I can until then.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Kevin.

I am 58 now, trained with Swift over 5 years ago, so same age as you when I started.

If you are relatively healthy, highly committed to the learning process, focused on the end goal and the subsequent lifestyle, you'll thrive.

I highly suggest investing an afternoon to read this: Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Brett's book spells out the whole truth about trucking. His book is the best place to start your research and is essential to establishing a realistic set of expectations.

Good luck.

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