What Did You Do Before Becoming A Truck Driver?

Topic 7924 | Page 27

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Plot Twist!'s Comment
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That makes me feel a little better about my chances, thank you for sharing all that Patrick.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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That makes me feel a little better about my chances, thank you for sharing all that Patrick.

No worries. You can accomplish what you set your mind to. There may be obstacles or hiccups to overcome. But, if you want something bad enough perseverance will prevail. As the saying goes: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!"

TripleDigits 's Comment
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Everything. I've worked retail, warehouses, fast food, carpet mills, landscaping, 911 Operator, but before I went to CDL school I drove a class B propane tanker. It got me used to being in a large vehicle, and I did very well in school. Now I start orientation Monday and look forward to learning all that i can from my trainer!

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.
timerider's Comment
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I managed for Home Depot for 8 years, quit in 1998. Started my own handyman business which led to 16 years of home repo's for multiple banks....economy turned around, foreclosure's slowed down and at 55 not too many options for employment......so now I drive a big truck all over the place!

Do you enjoy truck driving now?

mountain girl's Comment
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Everything else.

-mountain girl

smile.gif

mountain girl's Comment
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Do you enjoy truck driving now?

-timerider

Iiii still do, so far ... After 2 and a half years ...

-mountain girl

Michael A.'s Comment
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I haven't ever had a "real" job before this. I didn't go to college because I didn't want to put my parents further into debt only to have a difficult time finding work for any decent amount of time/money like my sister did. I did work at UPS, first as a driver helper, and then as a package handler, but I didn't like it at all and the hours and pay were crap. They would not offer CDL training to me so I left and asked my parents for the money for the school and I'm glad I did.

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.
Garth M.'s Comment
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I have been a carpenter for the last 35 years, I was getting tired of it and last spring a buddy talked me into working with him and his son in a totally different line of business however it only lasted 6 months and now I'm down a friend. My brother suggested truck driving, he's worked for a variety of oil field companies in western Canada and he thought it would be a good fit for me, so I started looking into it about a month ago. I called a local driving school and they suggested a couple companies who work with them and I started reading up on it, the work, and the life, then I studied and completed my written test with the air endorsement. The day I passed the written I applied to two companies, that was a Wednesday and the following Monday I got a call with a phone interview. This morning I went in for a second interview and complete filling the application, as well they gave me a tour of the operation. It's about 40-50 trucks. flat beds (tandems, multi axles and b trains). After reading everything I could get my hands on here and other forums and watching Youtube till my eyes bled I think they will be a good place to start. Hopefully I will get into the course that starts end of February, if not I'll have to wait a month. Up here as of July 1st this year I think, any one who wants to get a CDL will have to attend one of these schools and they have to be recognized by the Ministry of colleges and universitys or something like that, the school I'm going to go to already is. I'll let you know how it goes. This is a good site and it contributed a lot to my making my mind up

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Stacie T.'s Comment
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I worked as a Hospital pharmacy technician for 10 years on overnights and I also was raising my daughter. Somehow I think without my control I lost my job at the hospital when I found out I had a skin cancer spot that was down to my skull so I had to have it removed. I am cancer-free and looking to get back into truck driving in May 2017. I would go sooner but my daughter is having a baby boy in April. My first grandchild 🤗 I have a little bit of experience but it's been a few years since I've driven but I really really loved it. In 2011, I drove for Werner Enterprises. I drove from Omaha Nebraska to Iowa City Iowa Monday through Friday and I really liked my job but I ended up getting sick and had to have surgery. I ended up having to have a full hysterectomy but I feel much better! So I had a couple of health issues but I feel really good and I'm glad I'm healthy. Dad has been a truck driver for 50 years yet he's going to retire soon! I even had plans to go to pharmacy school but when I had my skin cancer removed I had a change of heart and told myself if there's anything I can do well I'm still here I like to drive semi again and go to all points of the United States. It is a good way to see the country geographically but it's also more than that. I didn't mind the lifestyle and I liked the responsibility. I could ramble on but won't! I currently work at Harrah's Casino in the bank as a cashier. I'm excited to leave that atmosphere and do what I really want to do...... I love life!!❤ that skin cancer scare changed me.... I loved life before I love it even more now❤

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Root B.'s Comment
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I was raised in the cattle business with a little farming on the side in N Central Texas. Country. 5 yrs old, Grandfather had me out in the hot sun, holding and handing him wrenches while he explained the tear-down on the Stromberg 1 bbl carburetor on the old Ford 8N.. and other chores about the place. At the age of 10 he had my fast-growing frame on that old 8N raking Coastal hay ahead o the baler.. Work was a way of life. I tied onto that concept way too early. Every summer after that, I was uhh "placed" with various custom farmers as a Hand driving old open-top tractors raking, baling, even Cutting with a Swather - unheard of for a tall skinny 14 yr old. And yes, hauling that hay. Yes, there's a book to be writ.. I'll try to refrain from that here.

Out of a 2A high school, where I did well enough, it was straight to college - where it was not well at all. Went to work at Texas Steel, from the Hot Stack - ReBar side o the plant - on up to the Rebar Fab floor. Union, as a General Helper at $2.25/hr.. was taught by the Operators - they had me running the Bar Shears, Pin Bender, everything but the Crane. But Union - it would be Years before any formal advancement into what I was Already doing. Lasted a year and a half. And on the side, I was bar back at a Biker Bar across the street from the plant. Needed the money. Work didn't scare me.

I went back to ranching with my Dad. He's a Book on his own, but his Temper was something else back then. Found it necessary to move along and found myself back in the big city, in the warehouse of a prominent wholesale plumbing supply company. In 6 years there, worked my way up front to a suit n tie desk job where I found out that my Name wasn't 'such n such', I didn't play golf and this was as far as I would get there.

I went back to the ranch. This time, it lasted 26 years, and for those that know "the romance of the cow business" from television or John Wayne - truly successful ranching is 25 hrs a day/ 8 days a week. As a 5th Generation cattle rancher and a work-a-holic, it cost me two wives and a retirement/ pension plan.. My Grandfather had told me, as a young lad, "Ranching is a great Life. It's just not a good Living." He was right about that and much more. Gentlemen, all wives need Some attention here and there... Be advised.

In 2005, a Business Decision was made in the family to close the barn doors and cease operations. At the age of 49, I needed a new career and pronto. Having spent many an hour, night and day, with a large number of cattle trucks in and out, I had been awestruck - Intimidated - by long-nose Pete's, KW's, cab-overs.. with straight stacks, 18 spds climbing our steep, winding limestone road up the hill to our corrals - using every low gear in the crawl, and by God still racking off those pipes with the Jakes on once they got up on level ground.. Then, from 6 feet up in the air the driver's door Flies open and out crawls a red-eyed, pilled-up crooked pile of a man with his good cowboy shirt unsnapped in awkward places, grasping for his manure- covered Redwing workin boots with one hand and trying to yank off his good Olathes with the other. I would gawk in Amazement, staring up into the cab at the giant steering wheel, 30 chrome Gauges on the dash, a Shifter Stick or Two with Switches all over it.. Got my Attention.. And I'd be Stricken each time: "BOY, I wish I could handle That!" .. very quickly followed by: "Man, there's no way in Hades I'd figure all That out.." Being a successful cattle operator is a Big Thing. But here - here was a Giant Thing.

At 49, with college hours but no degree, an abject Fear of returning to any form of City Life or a Desk Job, etc., and a dire Need to make up for the income 'lost' in living the Dream.. (Grandfather was right..), I startled myself and family by deciding to go get a CDL and drive a Truck. Twice divorced, living in a grand Olde house on leased ranch property from which I knew I would have to eventually Evacuate, I did not have the restrictions and responsibilities most of us have to deal with in the way of wives and families.. God Bless all of you making a Go of Truckin', trying to keep your Personal dreams and the American Dream together in this business. Nuff said.

I did my research on CDL schooling. 2 week, $6,000 CDL mills... Company Sponsored Training/ instant Hire... (let's don't go There, Here).. Living near Fort Worth, TX, I found Houston Community College/ NE Campus and chose their 7 week PTDI CDL course. $2,450? Ranked 4th or 5th nationally.. I wanted the Mostest for the Bestest, got a motel room at a decent weekly rate. Signed up. I got what I paid for, and more.. (I Highly Recommend this school.) Upon graduating, I felt Ready for it. And then it Hit me.. I have to pick a Company. A Type: flatbed. Van. Refer. Tanker. Doubles! HazMat? (Does Houston still have my fingerprints on file?) More research.. Sweats..

Long story short, given my past of hard work and long hours as a Life, I chose flatbed. A certain company in Alabam took me in *90 days* past my graduation from HCC. Been with them coming 12 years. A million and near a half accident-free miles behind me. Rode hard and put up wet, even with E-log.. Still lovin' it, folks.

Please tip your bartenders and waitresses, and many thanks for the use o the Hall....

ROOT

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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