What Did You Do Before Becoming A Truck Driver?

Topic 7924 | Page 13

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Greenhorn Trucker's Comment
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Until recently I was going to college for medical billing/insurance claims but got burned really hard by the school to where I couldn't finish, lets just say I was getting the run around while others, girls in the same field, were getting passed along without issues. Before that I worked 7 years in an eye glass laboratory owned by Ziess Optical, but driving four hours round trip plus working 8 hours was really kicking the crap out of me. Also with that job during the holiday we would typically work 7 days a week (exceptions of Christmas and New Years Day) 10 hour shifts. As far as before that I held the odd job here and there in the small town I grew up in doing mostly retail and food industry stuff, but I took the time to learn things on my own outside of work to keep me mostly entertained (AKA kept my nose clean). I had a dream long ago of owning my own video store but netflix came along and ruined that idea.... stupid netflix.

Justin N.'s Comment
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Man you guys all had real jobs and stuff.

I was working at Papa John's pizza for five years, and the only reason I am driving a truck now is because I got fired from that job. Talk about an income shock, I am now making over three times what I made delivering pizza all those years.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Man you guys all had real jobs and stuff.

I was working at Papa John's pizza for five years, and the only reason I am driving a truck now is because I got fired from that job. Talk about an income shock, I am now making over three times what I made delivering pizza all those years.

I is strange to say that my last job, in all honestly, did not pay all that well considering the length of time I was there, and doing the college thing has kind of demoralized me a bit since to me it was a waste of time now. Oh well time to move on to bigger and better things!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I went from last day of high school to getting my class a license on my 18 bd. Went to work for my dad who had 3 trucks. Did that 4 years then bought my own. Did trucking for myself for 26 years. Watched the industry change damatically over those years. Good luck new drivers its the best job you will love to hate. Retired now at age 50.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Sean M.'s Comment
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I have worked in kitchens most of my life. I have been a chef for the last 20 years or so. Started as a dishwasher, worked my way up through. Did a stint in the Marines, as a cook. Had some other jobs along the way, but have always ended up in a kitchen.

Scott D's Comment
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Graduated from a college-prep high school (Columbus,Ohio) in 1986. Wanted to go to truck driving/diesel mechanic school (Lima, Ohio) (the school even came to my house, gave me a great presentation, and I was sold!) but the parental units said I needed to get my college degree first. So in 1990 I graduated with a BS in Criminology. Landed a police officer position in the Tampa, Florida area in 1991, entire career on the road (patrol). Became an FTO (Field Training Officer), Sergeant, and really enjoyed traffic enforcement. Even went to Commercial Vehicle Accident Investigation, and Commercial Vehicle Drug Interdiction schools (therefore I'll be searching for a company that really emphasizes safety; quality, safe equipment; and is well versed with the rules and expects compliance with them), among other specialized training in the police/patrol arena. After almost ten years I also tired of the political (for lack of a better term) garbage that comes along with governmental entities (I like to tell it like it should be told instead of spin-doctoring it - which is one of the reasons this site is so valuable - the truth and nothing but the truth - give 'em the facts and let them decide for themselves instead of trying to persuade/shame/force 'em to believe what you want them to believe) so off to North Carolina I went. Sold cars (LOVED it but made too little money) then went into retail management at a big box warehouse company based out of Massachusetts. Did Loss Prevention, and Inventory Control and Receiving management positions for over seven years. Married and moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to be the Area Manager for some local quick lubes that my brother-in-law owns. I've done that for the last eight years. However, I'm done with that and heading back south (Cincinnati) to pick up where I left off back in 1986. I'm amazed at how, still to this day, I am mesmerized by the big rigs, travelling the roads of this great country, and living the dream I've had since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Five year plan - become a trainer with a quality company, then drive a hauler for a NASCAR or NHRA team. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but you gotta have a plan. smile.gif

Mike V.'s Comment
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Oil field mechanic working on rig floor drilling equipment.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
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Alright, after seeing this thread keep popping to the top repeatedly, I guess I'll take a stab at it:

Born and raised in the SF Bay Area, on the peninsula between SF and San Jose.

Went to Cal Poly SLO straight out of high school for aeronautical engineering because I thought I wanted to be an astronaut or something.

Due to overprotective parents when I was younger and my newfound freedom in college, I partied myself into flunking out within 1.5 years.

Joined the Navy to straighten up. Signed my enlistment papers on September 4, 2001...

Spent my first 2 years in the Navy training to become a nuclear electionics technician. Finally got assigned to the USS Alabama in Bangor, WA and did one 3 month patrol before being sent to the gulf for a 6 month temp duty assignment as a translator, since I speak Farsi and they were shorthanded I guess.

Got back home and got out of the Navy a short time later (long story as to why and how).

Collected unemployment for about 6 months then moved back in with my parents.

Took one semester of online courses before moving to St. Louis to be with my girlfriend who later became my wife.

Did the stay at home dad thing for a few months while she worked in a bakery.

Moved back to the bay area and worked at a tech startup being run by my brother and some of his friends, doing marketing and tech support for a year. They later went on the create the SoundHound and Hound apps.

Moved back to St. Louis due to financial difficulties involved in maintaining a purchased house there an an apartment in Santa Clara.

Spent the next year as an assistant manager at a carwash/gas station. Was wrongfully fired when I told them I was thinking of going back to school and might need to cut my hours. Appealed to DOL and won the right to collect unemployment.

Moved to Texas and used my GI Bill to go to a community college for a year and then to UNT. Studied graphic design for 2 years before my wife separated from me, moved to western Washington and I followed to be near the kids.

Took a job washing dishes and prep cooking for another year, very near to where I was stationed when I was in the Navy.

My wife and I finally reconciled and we moved to Coeur d'Alene where we've been ever since.

Continued working in several restaurants in the area. Also cooked in a rehab hospital and a nursing home. Even did the UPS driver helper thing last Christmas.

Did graphic design on the side for friends and clients found through craigslist advertising.

Finally realized I needed to make a major change on our financial situation because we were going nowhere.

Used the last bit of my GI Bill to pay for my CDL course through the local community college.

Applied for jobs all over the place and found my current employer, who trained me for about 3 more weeks and now here I am!

Ultimate dream goal? Save up enough money through trucking to buy a top of the line, custom food truck and use it to make and sell authentic Persian kabobs and sides made with all organic, gluten- and dairy-free ingredients, then go national with franchises in every state.

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.
Sami's Comment
member avatar

I've been tending bar for about a hundred and fifty years. Okay, not quite, but I just hit the 20 year mark in May.

Two years ago I took a road trip by myself that, all total, ended up being just over 5000 miles, through 13 states over about 3 1/2 weeks. I loved loved loved the solitude! I did stop and see friends and family when they were close, but for the most part I was just alone inside my own head. I guess socializing for a living has really made me a wannabe hermit. I don't leave my house or talk to anyone at all on my days off, if I can at all help it.

The only thing I really didn't like about the trip was unloading into a hotel room every night, just to turn around and re-load a few hours later. No worries there once I have a sleeper.

Since that trip I spent a year and a half dreaming of becoming a full time solo RVer, but I don't have the money to stop working completely. I'm completely burnt out behind the bar, so a few months ago I googled "jobs with 100% travel" and it hit me like a brick. Of course! The next day I stumbled onto TruckingTruth, read Brett's book in one sitting and have been lurking here ever since, and planning.

The more I think about getting into this industry the more I wonder what took me so long!

I'm planning on starting school as soon as my lease is up (two months) and going "homeless" OTR for at least a couple of years. Without the expenses of a household I figure I can pay off my debts fairly quickly and then start saving for the future, whatever it may bring.

So excited!

Thanks to everyone here for all you do, and great thread Errol!

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

A respiratory therapist for 17 years, I worked in the ER, ICU and was on the neonatal flight transport team

Hahaha, I'm an RRT also. I completed my sentence (20 years) and committed no crime and I'm so glad to be away from healthcare and ready to enjoy life and do something fun for ME for a change!

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