Profile For Matt F.

Matt F.'s Info

  • Location:
    Redding, CA

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 10 months ago

Matt F.'s Bio

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Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

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Considering a career in Redding CA

I'm actively looking at plans for my family to be cared for without me being here every day. Also, I realize somebody who works fewer days will make less money... but probably still similar to what I make now.

So I read about a couple of people who have successfully gone the LTL route straight out of school without having to drive OTR for a year. It is possible. But not at all the common path, and may or may not be available where I live.

These are all hard decisions. Many thanks for the words of wisdom and experience.

Posted:  2 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Considering a career in Redding CA

So, like everybody else around here was at some point, I'm considering a career in trucking. But I'm not quite sure yet.

I'm 46 years old, with an education and previous career in aviation maintenance. (Hold a Commercial Pilot Certificate too, but can't use it for a host of reasons not worth going into right now.) Also have a good deal of warehouse and distribution center experience. For the last seven years I've been working as an in-home caretaker. Yeah, job experience is all over the board! The important point here is I'm educatable, and have some idea of how the transportation world works. No worries about passing any written tests or learning to drive the machine. If other people have learned to back a trailer, then I can learn it!

I'm generally healthy, but have a few knee and back problems which mean I shouldn't consider throwing around heavy tarps or loading/unloading lots of cases of beverages or whatever else. On a couple of prescription meds, and I understand that most (but not all) employers are okay with these particular meds. Physically I'm okay for most driving jobs I've read about. Probably not flatbed or a lot of local stuff, though.

Mentally, I'm definitely an introvert. I've been alone for months at a time, and liked it. I know for a fact I can remain calm and think rationally in the middle of a stressful and dangerous situation. Most importantly, I love to drive! If I can spend a day just traveling in my vehicle, that's a good day.

My current job isn't going to last forever. I don't know whether I'll need to move on in the next month, or maybe a few years. But the work situation right now isn't stable. I don't want to do this caretaking gig anymore. At the same time, I have become very very accustomed to working when the client needs me, and not punching a clock on a fixed schedule. I so very much do not want to go back to any kind of factory or warehouse or mechanic work! I really like my freedom.

So all that looks like driving would suit me very much, right? Hang on, there's a couple potential glitches.

My family needs my support. I have two elderly parents with failing health, and two adult brothers with mental handicaps. All of them depend on my income, and I also help out around the house quite a bit. I think we can all survive my absence for awhile, and the home situation has to change sometime soon anyway, no matter what I do. But I can't keep leaving them for months at a time.

I'm in a serious relationship with a fantastic woman. Not married, but we're definitely headed in that direction. Her dad drove truck for awhile, so she knows a lot about it. She's not happy with the potential time apart, but is still willing to consider all the possibilities. I think we can survive some time apart in the short term, but not long term.

I like woodworking! Have dreams of making and selling high-end ornamental furniture and other custom art. I can't yet make a living at that, but I'm not going to give up the dream. That means I need time at home to practice making things.

To boil it all down... I think trucking and I could be very good for each other, but I absolutely need hometime! And not just 34 hours on a weekend. I've seen where Roehl and some others advertise schedules like 14 on / 7 off, and that sounds perfect. But! Roehl isn't hiring in California. And no matter what company I go with, I imagine the good hometime schedules are only available to experienced drivers. All my reading implies I can expect at least a year of OTR before any other options open up.

I know living in Redding is beneficial to hometime options since I-5 cuts right through town. I see all these reports from drivers saying their company is great about working with them on hometime, and that's encouraging.

I just want to know, realistically, can a rookie expect to get any hometime in his first year? I think my family and my girl can manage without me for a few months while I do initial training, but being mostly gone for an entire year just won't fly. Do you think a guy in my position can make driving work?

Thanks for reading. Matt

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