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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Topic 7924 | Page 24

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Texaslady0804's Comment
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I was an accountant and HR director for 30 plus years. Tired of fighting Corp CEO that knew less than me telling me how to do my job. Now I'm team driving with my husband and love it. We get to be together always.

Larry K.'s Comment
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20 years as a Programmer, last 11 where at Walmart, did stints as Network engineer, IT service dept. Mgr, Computer sales, and 7+ as a draftsman at a Nuc. Plant construction doing as-builts. 8 years in Army as a Heavy and POL driver, so kinda back full circle, just dont think they will be turning me loose with 100+ ton loads any time in the near future.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Llandros's Comment
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I'm bumping this thread up because it has been VERY instrumental in helping me figure out the next part of my life. Big thank you to Errol V. for starting this thread. Just like him, I am a teacher - and am beyond the point of where I should have gotten out. Currently in my 16th year but will finish this contract, ride out the apartment lease, and transition to trucking in June. This thread was important because I have read about so many different people with such a varied background.

Honestly, this thread along with all the wealth of information on this forum (thank you Brett! - and everyone else that contributes in whatever manner) I would never have probably thought I could do this. But I'm looking forward to starting. For now, I lurk and am using the tools to study like a mad man - at least for 8 months!

So mark my answer to the question as a teacher that has finally discovered a new direction and can't wait to get started.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Llandros, here's my teacher hint: make sure you get your school paychecks to continue through August. Take your truck school while you have the income. Most company schools don't pay during school - before you get a CDL.

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.
Kemo's Comment
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Fun to see the vast variety of different backgrounds of what people did prior to trucking :D

I lived paycheck to paycheck and job to job as a single mom. From auto parts warehouse, cashiering and billing etc. Last job I had prior to trucking was working at a small/medium trucking company but paperwork end, essentially everything except for driving and signing paychecks. My job description covered like 4 major job titles. For $11 p/h :(

Accounts receivables, Dispatch, Secretary/Receptionist, IT - office/network admin, HR Assistant, Logistics, Legal person (fill out/submit paperwork to courts when someone doesn't pay) And keeping all of the trucks paper work up to date, also delegated tasks to shop employees. And other stuff.....bleh

SO GLAD that I am driving now. I still have to do most of that other stuff but at least the price is right and it's way way less paperwork. Also I'm no longer "single" and my daughter is now a teenager AAAH.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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.
Lil Stevie's Comment
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I used to be a social worker for 16 years. I was also in the Army for a bit; I got injured soon after making Captain then they forced me to retire in 2012. I just got tired of trying to fix the world. I kept hearing people say how "lonely" trucking can be then I realized, I need a break from humanity! Unfortunately, Prime is making me team-up with a trainer for 40K miles which equates to about three to four months but if I can make it in the military, I'm sure I can handle THIS.

Nancy F.'s Comment
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25 years as a home health aide in Florida, before that a draftsperson Long Island, NY. Sewers. Loved it. Back when drafting was a sport. (not sitting at a computer)

Errol V.'s Comment
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25 years as a home health aide in Florida, before that a draftsperson Long Island, NY. Sewers. Loved it. Back when drafting was a sport. (not sitting at a computer)

You mean with real pencils or India ink?? Can you say "vellum"??

Llandros's Comment
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Llandros, here's my teacher hint: make sure you get your school paychecks to continue through August. Take your truck school while you have the income. Most company schools don't pay during school - before you get a CDL.

This was great advice but unfortunately, I can't do that. I've started a blog on the training forum to document my progress. It's going to be fun and scare all at the same time!

Here is the thread that I started if anyone is interested in reading about my experience. From Teaching to Trucking - My Journey So Far

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.
Johnny 3's Comment
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For the last 8 years I have been an insurance agent in a call center. The place I work at cares more about call center statistics which have nothing to do with the quality or amount of business that is written & is heavily micromanaged by people that don't know how to do the job though. The micromanagement that happens here make the stuff that happen in Office Space seem pretty mild. I can't do offline work (which is often necessary to effectively do the job) for more than 5 minutes without multiple supervisors instant messaging me to have me provide an explanation of what I am doing (this often takes as long or longer than the actual work) I am burnt out & need to move on. Even though I have a business degree that I went to a 4 year university to get, I have found that my opportunities are limited by the amount of people that took the same generic boring path as I have. I also don't particularly like playing dress up or "networking".

I decided a few months ago that I needed a new path. I take the interstate to work every day & I have subconsciously envied the truckers driving along with me for a while. I never discounted the long irregular hours or sacrifices truck drivers make to do their job & have always had great respect for the field. However, I have envied the freedom to do the job & be left alone for the most part.

Even though this has crossed my mind more times than I could count, I never thought of it as being a career that was within my reach. At this point, I have a family (wife & 3 kids) & I never thought of this as an option. Making this kind of leap just seemed too intimidating I guess between having to gamble on having the ability to pick it up & asking my family to make sacrifices to allow me to go down this road.

Anyhow, fast forward to a couple months ago...... I had been looking for other paths for a while and still haven't seen a logical way out that would still provide similarly enough for my family as what I was currently doing... Then my wife actually brought up an idea that I was thinking on my own but never brought up. She suggested that trucking would be a good fit for me, at this point I had to research it.

After brief research I determined that the length of time needed to learn wouldn't be as much as I expected & cost of schooling was manageable. I also contacted the VA to see if I could still use gi benefits even though I left the military over 10 years ago & discovered they would pay for a good chunk of my schooling & provide other benefits as well well schooling. I got so excited when this started to seem plausible. ( & I still am).

My wife still had to convince me that she could hold the fort down while I am over the road eventually. I would probably still be unconvinced if it weren't for input from her parents as well.... The thought of being away from my children & dog & cat for weeks will take some adjusting as well, but the quality of time spent with them seems likely to be much better once we get used to a routine.

A lot of balancing went into deciding to do this but I did come to the conclusion that I would regret not giving it a shot so I am registered for a 6 week school starting December 5th t Des Moines Area Community College ( a very reputable one that has many trucking companies that visit & recruit from it). I can't wait to see where it goes from there!

Over The Road:

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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