Looking For Advice And/or Opinions. Be Nice

Topic 21637 | Page 1

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Lanette H.'s Comment
member avatar

I am about to go into truck driving school as long as my grant goes through. I was laid off in August of last year as a Civil Inspector for Nuclear construction. I have a caseworker that is helping through the process of getting the grant for Vocational Rehabilitation. The caseworker has asked me several times "are you sure you want to go into truck driving? I just don't see you as a truck driver." My response is this; I'm a 45 year old woman, with 3 grown kids, 2 of which are in college at the same time. I'm tired of the playing field constantly changing in the Nuclear industry, it's like I will always have to have extra training and test twice before being allowed to do a job that men are allowed to do without testing. I have been a trainer as a Paramedic in my first career and a damn good inspector in my second. Along with the constant of proving myself on paper for these companies there isn't steady work and when there is steady work you are working 72-84 hours weekly. Money is good but it isn't when you have no time to enjoy it. (Feast or Famine) I've been in famine 6 months. My question is; why is it so hard for guys/men to understand a female wanting to go into this field? I don't want to be deterred from the decision I have made. I need a solid answer to give this guy to change his opinion of truck drivers.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Rob's Comment
member avatar

Do a search on this website for Rainey D, and Susan. Both are females who have been very successful at this LIFESTYLE. Also, you made a mention of long work weeks. Are you sure this would be a good choice for you as you may be required to put in long hours driving? I haven't done OTR , so I unfortunately am not able to offer you more first hand knowledge, or advice. However have you read the "starter package " here? I'd suggest getting started on these links to be sure you fully understand what you're getting into, not trying to tell you that you can't do this, it's just standard we offer these links.

.

I'd definitely recommend reading bretts book...its free as long as you use it through this website. Hopefully those with experience will be here shortly to better help answer your questions. Whatever happens, please don't be a stranger. This website is a great tool for those just getting started, as well as those experienced.

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.
Jan P.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds more like you have your own bias, I don't know many men who feel or act that way at all.

"test twice before being allowed to do a job that men are allowed to do without testing." Seriously in this day if your good your good if you suck they test you over an over because it's not so easy to can someone.

Why would they spend money testing more than needed and NOT test a man this isn't 1960 maybe the problem was you?

And maybe just maybe this case worked said that because you come across as someone who blames men for your troubles and Trucking is generally considered a mans world although that's changing fast.

I have a hard time believing just because your a woman they make you test twice. I really do.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Lanette H.'s Comment
member avatar

OK, well thanks I guess. I didn't think I blamed men for anything. You could be right I guess. But just in case you have EVER worked in the nuclear construction business or the nuclear shutdown business you already know about the good ole boy system. BUT from 5 years of experience I can tell it does exist. Thanks for the response. you're the best.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Lanatte, the advise Rob offered is 100% Spot-On. Please focus on the links and information he replied with.

Good luck!

Keith G.'s Comment
member avatar

So with my limited experience on the civilian side of the industry, I've seen many successful women. Plenty at every stop, many behind the wheel of some stunning rigs. So you can be successful with the right attitude.

Now I get that some industries have the "good ole boy" issue. The Cliques will tend to form in every industry. Be it men or women. So my personal suggestion is to go into the career eyes open, and understand you'll be a "rookie". That means possibly getting some of the worst selection of loads, long hours, limited home time, etc. Clearly that's not a firm "this WILL happen". Just be ready and prepared. Your experienced in 2 fields, neither related to trucking. So be prepared to start a brand new career from the bottom rung..The rookie rung.

P.S. Your in good company, I'm a rookie in Civilian trucking!

Good luck!

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi. Before i got into trucking, i worked at the male dominated USPS. i can say, forget the good ole boy thing.

if you want to run with the big boys you need to get some thick skin and be willing to give it back to them. and yes, it does sound as though you have some prejudices. even the title "be nice" sounds as if you expected a bunch of men to be nasty. If women want to be successful in anything, they need to stop blaming and stop playing the victim.

Out here on the road, you need to accept responsibility. There is no one else to blame. Those who try with the "it wasnt my fault he cut me off...the yard dog.dropped the trailer too.close to.me so i hit it...the GPS told.me to drive down this road before i hit the bridge"....they all fail. Most newbies fail, regardless of.men or women. It all starts with attitude. My FM says he loves women drivers because we are more concientious and dont have that machismo get in the way. Not once has any man in my company, including the mechanics talked down to me as a woman. In fact when i told management how impressed i was, the foreman told.me that he would fire any man who belittled a driver. Hedk, the doctors office in my terminal does my pap smears, writes my birth control script, and gave me a mammagram referral. sounds real good ole boy, huh?

Now, as far as hours per week, yes you will be working 70-80 hours per week and only home 4 days a month in most cases. i get a hotel once in awhile and take a 34 break. but normal people dont understand a 34 is not a weekend. its not very long.

You were in high pressure jobs so if you got any anxiety disorders, depression, etc it could be a problem. Vocational rehab in my state is for those with disabilities, physical or mental. Have you found out what the physical and mental demands of the job are? Do you know if any meds you are taking are DOT compliant? can you deal with changing sleep schedules and not having a morning routine? do you realize there is no "start my day off with a shower and breakfast"?

I admit, i just had a slight melt down tonight and had to drive away from the customer for a few.minutes and shake it off before trying to back in the door again. I even called dispatch crying "Im having a bad day and its 2am and you are the only one awake to listen" lol. he did too and calmed me down. And ive been driving 2 years and just got an award for 2 yrs on time delivery. The training and testing were grueling and frustrating, but even years later there are days where i want to cry and go back to bed. There are times i pull the "Im a girl and you are blocking my door with your truck so move" whining. lol

Did you know that you can go to CDL school and then not get hired by a company due to your past? And if it takes months to get hired then your school certificate basically expires so you need to retrain? Did you know that even after getting a CDL you will still need a company to teach you the business? the CDL school teaches you how to drive. The training company will teach you procedures and how to handle issues like customers, breakdowns, payments, fueling, trip planning etc.

You stated you are tired of the ever changing field you were in, but trucking is a constant change. change of company policy, of DOT rules, change of sleep and dietary habits, change of dispatchers, heck...change in tempertures. You can be in 10 degrees one day and 80 the next.

I seriously think you need to read Bretts free book. I LOVE trucking and Prime is a great company that is excellent for women. We have double the national average of women, but even so, if you are not prepared for a total life overhaul, having a day spa in the terminal for facials and pedicures wont matter.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I can understand the caseworker's doubt. Here is why he asks.

A typical class of students who have all made that decision to be a truck driver will lose 75% of its students by the end. Only a quarter will get their cdl. Even less than that will actually follow through and get a job. On top of that most of that tiny remainder will quit or be fired before even finishing a year of driving.

The reason most fail at this career is because you got to really want it. You have to want it enough that you are willing to do whatever it takes.

Yes there are women truckers. My own company has no problem hiring females and will give them the exact same testing and expectations as the men. Out of our current 35 drivers zero of them are women. It is just the demographics of trucking.

The caseworker is just concerned that this money you will be given will be wasted.

But one thing you can do to convince him otherwise would be to go get your commercial driver's permit on your own. This site has enough material that you can study for it in just a few days time. If he sees you have initiative enough to do that then that should be enough to get your grant. It will also give you a great head start in your training.

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.
Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

Lanette, if you want to become a truck driver, don't let anything stand in your way. Lots of ladies are in trucking these days...I see them all the time.

It isn't a job for you if you don't want long hours though...we work more than most people could even grasp. On the other hand, we're not stuck in an office, and there is never a lack of work.

I pull a reefer for Pride Transport. I enjoy the job and appreciate the company.

It is impossible to fully understand this lifestyle without doing it for a while. Nevertheless, you can gain a great deal of insight by reading the forums and the reference material on this site, especially Brett's book which you can find off the main menu.

If you study the information and continue to feel that it is the right path for you, then just tell that guy that you've researched and studied and this is what you want to do.

Best wishes to you for a great career.

I am about to go into truck driving school as long as my grant goes through. I was laid off in August of last year as a Civil Inspector for Nuclear construction. I have a caseworker that is helping through the process of getting the grant for Vocational Rehabilitation. The caseworker has asked me several times "are you sure you want to go into truck driving? I just don't see you as a truck driver." My response is this; I'm a 45 year old woman, with 3 grown kids, 2 of which are in college at the same time. I'm tired of the playing field constantly changing in the Nuclear industry, it's like I will always have to have extra training and test twice before being allowed to do a job that men are allowed to do without testing. I have been a trainer as a Paramedic in my first career and a damn good inspector in my second. Along with the constant of proving myself on paper for these companies there isn't steady work and when there is steady work you are working 72-84 hours weekly. Money is good but it isn't when you have no time to enjoy it. (Feast or Famine) I've been in famine 6 months. My question is; why is it so hard for guys/men to understand a female wanting to go into this field? I don't want to be deterred from the decision I have made. I need a solid answer to give this guy to change his opinion of truck drivers.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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