Trucking As A Career - Need Advice

Topic 21341 | Page 1

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Rob's Comment
member avatar

Good day everyone,

I have posted previously on this forum and have been keeping up with it. Additionally, I have read the articles related to new truckers and am very impressed with how well they are put together. My questions is rather simple, and all in all it is up to me to decide, but it would be nice to get other peoples opinion.

Backstory: I am an Active Duty Marine, recently promoted to E-6 (SSgt) and coming up on 10 years of active service. For those who do not know, at 20 years of active service I am eligible for retirement. I have been considering trucking for quite some time now and feel that now would be as good a time as any to start.

The question: In your opinion, do you think starting a trucking career now (w/o military benefits) would be better than waiting 10 years and then starting a trucking career (w/ military benefits)?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

No! Stay in for your 20, then jump in. I did 26 years AD and am beyond thankful every day that I stayed and got the retiree benefits, especially the lifetime healthcare. THEN, I got into trucking with both feet.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Good day everyone,

I have posted previously on this forum and have been keeping up with it. Additionally, I have read the articles related to new truckers and am very impressed with how well they are put together. My questions is rather simple, and all in all it is up to me to decide, but it would be nice to get other peoples opinion.

Backstory: I am an Active Duty Marine, recently promoted to E-6 (SSgt) and coming up on 10 years of active service. For those who do not know, at 20 years of active service I am eligible for retirement. I have been considering trucking for quite some time now and feel that now would be as good a time as any to start.

The question: In your opinion, do you think starting a trucking career now (w/o military benefits) would be better than waiting 10 years and then starting a trucking career (w/ military benefits)?

First of all, LEGENDARY Thank You for your service. Also 2nd I would stay in until you have your 20. That way you will have your benefits and thats more money you could use to help you through CDL School.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rob...first of all thanks for your service to our country.

I am much older than you, so my perspective is rather different. Not jaded, but different. I had a very successful career in technology, mostly consulting, for 30+ years. Long story short about 6 years ago I retired to focus on something I knew I'd be very happy doing until I can no longer pass the physical. Trucking...

My advice is to think about where you'd be the happiest. You read all of TruckingTruth's stuff. You understand the difficulty factor. Just think in ten years you'd be a million plus mile driver if you see it through. It's possible.

Follow the path of greatest satisfaction. Life's too short to work at a job or career that you are not happy with. Only you know what is truly best.

Good luck!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I can not speak to the military benefits specifically because I was never in the military and I'm unsure of exactly what the retirement benefits are. However, I personally agree with G-Town when it comes to following the path that will make you happiest. I could have literally been a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist. I was in fact accepted into the Coast Guard Academy when I was a senior in high school. I was also accepted into the Engineering Society at the University of Buffalo before I even finished high school, which was rare at the time.

I said the heck with all of that. None of it sounded appealing to me. I wanted to travel. I wanted to get out and live. I didn't want to sit in offices or classrooms or shave my head and live in a military-style institution.

This was the late 80's. I had long hair and played guitar in a band, and that was something I wanted to pursue. I also wanted to travel and party and see what the world was really like. I was tired of classrooms and my boring small town life.

So my buddies and I packed up an old Chevy van and headed to Atlanta. I pursued the heavy metal scene, partied, and explored the big city. It was a ton of fun. I was only 19. At 21 I was working in a warehouse making peanuts and decided that trucking sounded like a blast. I would make great money, see the whole country, and pilot an awesome American Big Rig! That was the type of adventure I was looking for!

Let me tell ya, my ma wanted to jump straight into her grave. Her son with all of his unlimited potential was going to become a truck driver, of all things. I totally understood why she felt that way, but she didn't understand where I was coming from. I knew I would make my way through life on my own terms and have a ton of success and a ton of fun along the way.

And man did I ever.

I've always lived that way. Just this past summer I decided on a whim that Western New York was painfully boring so I moved to the Adirondacks to pursue adventure in the big mountains, and man have I found it! I've had an amazing time here and it's only just begun.

Funny thing is, I'm 46 years old now and I still make decisions the way I did when I was 19. I do what I think is going to be fun and exciting and challenging. I don't pursue money. I don't pursue prestige. I'm not trying to make my mark on humanity. I see the world as one gigantic playground and I want to ride all the rides and be amazed by all of the challenges and adventures along the way.

Now most people aren't like me. They aren't motivated by the same things that motivate me so I certainly wouldn't recommend my style of living or my methods of decision making to most people. Only you can decide what motivates you. If you are the type that's motivated by challenge and adventure and you love what you're doing now then stick with it. If you're tired of what you're doing now then go find the next challenge that you think will be fun and exciting.

This website helps people get started in a new career and I've heard every possibility over the years. I've heard many people say they wish they would have stuck with their first profession long enough to get the retirement benefits, and I've heard many people say they should have changed careers years sooner.

They say in the end you won't regret the things you did nearly as much as you'll regret the things you didn't do. I'll never know because I always pursue the things I want to do. But I think that philosophy sounds right to me. Do the things you really want to do. Maybe you're already doing it, maybe not.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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