What Did You Do Before Becoming A Truck Driver?

Topic 7924 | Page 29

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Bumping this one up again. Haven't seen it in a while and we have a lot of new people......

Blake 's Comment
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Active duty Soldier.

Linden R.'s Comment
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29 pages, so if you've gotten this far then good for you, you must've had some extra time on your hands... Apparently, I did...

Joe S.'s Comment
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Started working when I was 13 years old on a dairy in Arkansas. Did everything from plowing fields, processing and bottling milk to delivering the milk to the stores. Moved to Texas with the family and worked in a restaurant while in high school. Upon graduation I went to work for Mars Corp. making Starburst and then assisted in starting the Twix bar line. When I turned twenty-one I joined the Waco Fire Department. I stayed there for 27 years and was promoted to driver. There was nothing like the rush of going into a burning building! Driving that big red machine! The reason I retired because I took a job to assist my brother fire fighters in the State of Texas with worker's comp issues, labor contracts and wrong full terminations. After successfully doing this job for nine years my employer told me that I was no longer needed and let me go.

I am drawing my pension and receiving health insurance from my job as a fire fighter. I am going to attend CDL school and get out on the open road. This is something that I have always wanted to do and now I am going to do it.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Robert F.'s Comment
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Joined USAF at 17 in 1985. I was based at Avon Park Air force base in Florida as a heavy equipment operator. At 18 I was putting heavy equipment, including D9 bulldozers, on the back of low loaders and let me tell you driving this massive beast up a ramp and onto the back of a low load trailer (a trailer always appeared a quarter of the required width), was no easy task and took nerves of steel, especially when going over the rear trailer wheels where it felt for sure you would tip off the edge. I would typically transport heavy equipment to different parts of the base, the total journey was never more than 20 miles, but felt much much longer due to having to negotiate narrow, twisty, uneven, sandy and poorly graded roads and over rickety bridges. We occasionally drove off base, this was really easy in comparison to driving on base although Tampa city center during rush hour was a test for sure.

I then moved to the UK where I attended university. I became a CSI and did it for nearly 20 years. Recently re married and now back in the states. Just obtained my CDL so I am very much a newbie, but the experience I had in the military will hold me in good stead, even though it's been nearly thirty years. Very much looking forward to starting a new job with a local company who decided to give this Newbie a chance, it's not great pay but they are an honest, highly rated company, where driver turnover is very very low, more than anything am looking forward to being home every night with my family, who are the most important thing in my life.

I know no-one is asking me and this is not that relevant to this specific topic but I'll say it anyway, the best advice I can give anyone from my 50 years of life both in the UK and the US is always give 100 per cent in any job, but first make sure you do as much research about a particular employer or job role prior to agreeing to do it, this will avoid wasting your time, as well as that of your employer.

Lastly, having work and a job is very very important but no job is worth more than your family, your health and friends.

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.
Will A.'s Comment
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I spent my first career in law enforcement and retired as a federal agent three years ago. At that point I went to work for a worldwide company managing Alabama and Mississippi until a nationwide layoff. At my age, it's very difficult to get hired even with my background and experience. My dad drove a truck when I was a youngster and I always loved to go riding with him. I have researched many truck driving companies, and independent truck driving schools to make the right decision I hope. Now it's time to make the decision as to which I decide to choose. This website has been great and provided some insight that I was looking for. Any opinions from those of you who currently drive would be great! Be careful, and be safe out there.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

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.

Krytter's Comment
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As a youngster, right out of high school, I became an EMT then up to paramedic. Tried to go military but was denied due to eyesight, weight/height and I had a GED. I moved outta state long enough to lose my license. Did a bunch of security work, mostly VIP escort and body guard type stuff. Spent several years in and out of warehouses and manufacturing jobs electric motor and magnet shops. Did some oilfield and refinery work, which i enjoyed a bit, but an oil recession took care of that. Was a slot tech in Las Vegas for a short time. Spent about 7 years as an animal control officer and humane investigator for a couple of different cities and the SPCA of Texas. it effected me to the point I started drinking smoking and popping pills. All the euthanizing and the sick things people do to animals finally got to me and I burnt out on it. Quit, cleaned up and out and never looked back. After that I landed a job as a correctional officer in a private owned regional jail and immigration hold facility. Worked my way up to Sergeant and was in charge of the SRT and fire team, as well as a gang intel officer. My unit was closed down, which in a way was a blessing in disguise, because here I am...on the verge of driving which I dunno why I didnt do sooner!

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Mothman's Comment
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I've been a graphic artist and front-end web developer for about 20 years (including some upper office management and c-level positions in the corporate world)... Most recently worked for a top-level international development firm handling multimillion dollar projects for non-profits and government agencies.

About two years ago I became a widower then I got sick and could no longer work, moved back in with some family and took about a year to recover and work on "me." Since then, I have been trying to find a new path in life.

I refuse to lock myself down again "behind a desk," sitting in meetings and wearing a tie everyday. I just cannot go back and do that lifestyle everyday.

So after some soul searching and putting together the things I love about work... like travel, adventuring alone in a new city, the joy of a job well done and on time (without having meetings all day about everyone's status updates), ...and it helps that I love driving and attention to details.

So I've been researching, lurking here, doing the High Road training, talking to family and friends that are in trucking, gathering all the information I can... I'm about to go to trucking school and get out there on the road. For once again, I'm excited for my future.

— — —

PS. This website has been amazing. I love the resources, the training, and all the great/amazing stories from everyone. Stay safe out there!

Cato's Comment
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I have done a lot of different things in my life including school bus driver, social worker for a Head Start program (this was really rewarding but paid nil) radio communications ( installing radios into emergency vehicles i.e. Police cars and fire trucks) and most recently I was a corrections officer for Texas Dept. Of Criminal Justice. I am looking forward to this new journeym I've always wanted to drive and I am glad to finally be in a position to do so

Paul's Comment
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Well, not technically a trucker yet, but will be very soon, so I'll comment. I've kind of pursued anything I was passionate about, so I have a bit of an eclectic resume. Bag boy at 14 making $4.25 an hour, and man I was glad to have it. Newspaper salesman in San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Houston at 16. Edited and published a mildly successful fiction magazine when I was 17. All the kid type work to make money--convenience stores, pizza delivery, etc. Played in a few bands in south Texas...don't know if that counts. Not a whole lot of money in that. Then started a publishing company in '07 and still publish off and on to this day. Volunteered at a sobriety house and thrift store ministry, ended up seeing huge growth and became director, then owner. Pastored a church for a couple of years. And, finally, drove a taxi in San Antonio and Oklahoma City--still own a cab in OKC. Now, hopefully leaving on my first load with a trainer tomorrow. Plan on sticking with this one. :-)

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TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

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