Profile For Brian S.

Brian S.'s Info

  • Location:
    St. Cloud, MN

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 week, 4 days ago

Brian S.'s Bio

If I have a full year of driving under my belt, am I still a rookie?

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Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Too old? And best school?

How long ago did you get your CDL-A? For the last 10 years, since I got mine, there have been schools run by big carriers only requiring 10 months to 1.5 years commitment with most all of them requiring only 1 year on their contracts.

I was going by what the instructors at 160 were telling me which was "most companies that put you through their finishing program are going to require you to drive OTR for them for two years". I just took their word for it and didn't pursue that option. Maybe I would have if the commitment was only one year? It all worked out in the end but I can tell you that the Manions experience was not fun at all.

Posted:  1 week, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Too old? And best school?

Hello. New member from Utah. I currently own a business but have gotten bored with it and want to go into local trucking.

First, will my age of 54 be an issue? I’m in great health and don’t see me ever wanting to retire.

Next question would be what school would you recommend? I want to get at least 160 hours.

When I close my company, I will pay off all of my debt so I am planning on school full time.

Thanks all.

Hello.

I'm new here, too, and your situation seems very similar to mine.

I'm 56 and got my CDL a little over a year ago from a school called 160 Driving Academy. Basically, for 5 grand they teach you how to pass the test and not much else. I'm not sure how other academies operate but in hindsight, I would have benefited from some instruction on how to be a professional driver rather than just a guy with a CDL.(there is a gigantic difference between the two) But I did pass the test so I can't complain. They did for me what I paid them to do.

After getting my license, I quickly realized that with no driving experience, I had few opportunities available to me. It was either sign on with a large carrier OTR where they put you through their finishing program but you are then obligated to be OTR with them for 2 years, or take a bottom of the barrel LTL job. I chose the second option and took a job with a company called Manions delivering building supplies to lumber yards in a piece of junk 2014 International pulling an equally piece of junk curtain side trailer.

Manions was a miserable, grueling job. Their turnover rate was ridiculous. It was common for drivers to start and quit within just a few days. I stayed there for 6 months and by that time I had more drivers behind me than in front of me in terms of seniority. Long days and hard work. I received 4 days of "training" and then I was on my own, fresh out of driving school and 4 total days of experience. I did have other drivers there that I could call and ask for help or advice when I needed it but I was pretty much on my own to learn the ins and outs of becoming a professional driver. I learned many lessons the hard way like the importance of route planning, highway etiquette, challenging backing situations, etc... It would have nice to have known a little more than I did before hand.

Fortunately, I was able to land a much better job with a small time outfit(which suits me just fine). I now have a dedicated route which I drive from central Minnesota to Nashville and back. Leave Saturday at noon and I'm home by noon on Tuesday. It is perfect for me. I had to endure some pretty difficult and challenging situations to get to this point but I'm better for having gone through it. I really do love my job now.

Good luck to you.

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