Profile For Mike B.

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    8 years, 2 months ago

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Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

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Pondering Truck Driving Career

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Go for it bro. I just went through an orientation session for private school and I was impressed. They said they will do everything in their power to assure passing of the tests and getting a student placed even before they complete the program. Essentially they would continue to work with you at no extra charge even if you fail the tests a number of times. A good school's reputation is based on pass / fail rates and want all students to graduate. This school also gave 40 hours of road testing above and beyond what is required by the DOT. They have companies lining up to hire people who graduate from their program. They also would not bad mouth any trucking companies, but only handed out materials on those they thought were worth working for. Seems to me like the private school is the way to go if they are credible. Company offered training appears to severely limit your options, but is a viable option if you don't have the cash for a private school. Most private schools do offer aid and sometimes you can get gov't funding. Good luck!

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Sounds like a great school. Do you mind sharing the name and location of it?

The training is through Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, WI. It is a partnership with the college and a training company called Eagle Training Services. Eagle Training Services might partner with a local technical college in your area or just offer the training 'solo.' Any way, here is a link to Gateway's site - www.gtc.edu/cdl

Good luck!

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

Hey, good luck to you. Hope you get the information you need at orientation. I am 39 and recently lost some of my work due to some recession issues and have decided to start a career in trucking after much research and talk with my wife. Like you I would like to start regional or local and prefer LTL. I know that may not be reasonable to start but am keeping my eyes open. I decided to go with a private company that job places with about 15 companies. I am extremely nervous about passing all the test since this is ultimately all or nothing for the family since I put money up for the school. I want to thank this site as I have been working on the practice test so far. I start my class on monday so my fingers are crossed. Hope to see some of you on the road shortly. Best of luck in your decision!

Go for it bro. I just went through an orientation session for private school and I was impressed. They said they will do everything in their power to assure passing of the tests and getting a student placed even before they complete the program. Essentially they would continue to work with you at no extra charge even if you fail the tests a number of times. A good school's reputation is based on pass / fail rates and want all students to graduate. This school also gave 40 hours of road testing above and beyond what is required by the DOT. They have companies lining up to hire people who graduate from their program. They also would not bad mouth any trucking companies, but only handed out materials on those they thought were worth working for. Seems to me like the private school is the way to go if they are credible. Company offered training appears to severely limit your options, but is a viable option if you don't have the cash for a private school. Most private schools do offer aid and sometimes you can get gov't funding. Good luck!

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

Welcome Mike...glad to see you're doing your research. I originally pondered driving as a career about 7yrs ago. Still had a daughter just finishing college and I was hesitating. Ended up doing tons of research which helped ALOT...and opted to wait it out just a bit. Now 7 years later, after a decent job finally went kaputt...I was back doing my research. Good thing is, Both my kids are out on their own, done with college. My daughter got married two years ago...another BIG money event past. And my grandson was born in February. What I'm getting at, do your serious research. Look at all the angles, just like Brett, Guyjax, and the rest of the guys are saying. Then when you are totally confident in the way your heading...go for it. Took awhile for me to get there but I'm 53, have a great wife thats all for it, and I start school in October. BTW....ask the private schools you've looked at if they get inquiries from local companies that hire newbies. I did and there are two that I'm honestly considering right out of the gate. Some overnights and crazy schedules but home on a more regular basis. If not..there's plenty of regional gigs hiring in my area. Best of luck to you!

Jimbo, great feedback! Best of luck to you. Everyone here has been so helpful. It seems like there is a fraternity amongst the driving community and that is awesome!

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

Welcome Mike B. Glad to have you here. I know your concern for the family but let me tell you this then ask a question. First off trucking is not going anywhere. It will be around long after we are gone and that even goes for but but since I am never going to die I guess trucking will be around forever.

Now the question. While I know you are fed up with office life and you mentioned a time period for your kids leaving is there a reason, besides corporate life sucks, that you might not be able to hold out a little longer and let the kids leave the house then be free to pursue any trucking job you would like then? 5 years is not much and I know how important the younger years are. Since trucking is the way it is you will miss out on a lot of their last teenage years being gone a lot. Of course this would be ideal but hey I understand if you can't.

We have a list around here somewhere with the questions you are talking about. Maybe someone can track down a link to that post for you.

Guy, thank you for the insight. I have read that there are home nightly (local) and home weekly (regional) gigs? Is that not true? Is the pay way less than OTR? There is just so much out there. My uncle drove trucks for many years so I have been reaching out to him for advice also. He mentioned that some jobs offer you the option to be a 'Lumper' which will provide a driver with additional income. I mentioned to Brett that my spouse has a pretty good job so I don't need to make a killing right off the bat to start this potential journey.

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

Hey Mike, I started at 43 (last year) and honestly can not see myself doing anything else. Like you, I grew tired of the rat race and a go nowhere government job, so I took the plunge and do not regret one minute. As for the info you seek, just click through all the links at this site and your questions will be answered.

Happy reading and I hope you decide to join the industry, we could use some more good ones.

Thanks Rolling Thunder. I have my orientation for the driving school tomorrow and that will also provide some additional insight. Drive safe and keep trucking! :) Hope you continue to enjoy it.

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

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I am a 40 year old male who is thinking about leaving my job as a Finance Manager to start a new career in truck driving. I have had it with Corporate America and want to try something new. I am fully aware that this will be a life altering change for me, my wife and two children. I have been doing a lot of research and have nearly selected a private training program. If I ultimately decide this is a career for me I would probably try to land a regional or local gig first. OTR is something I would consider, but only after my children have grown up and leave the nest (4-5 years). There is an orientation session before classes start in September. Any advice on what questions I should ask at the orientation and what are some other things I should be consider along the way? I am cautiously optimistic this might be the right opportunity for me since there is such a need for good truckers. Thanks in advance!

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Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

Welcome aboard Mike!

For starters, I have to agree with Guyjax that holding out a few more years might be the prudent choice. For one, your first year you're only going to make about $35,000 and the second year maybe $40,000-$42,000 or so. That's not much to support a family on.

The other big problem is what happens if trucking doesn't work out? Maybe you'll hate it. Maybe your family will hate it. Maybe you'll get in a couple of fender benders right off the bat and have trouble landing a new job. Maybe some sort of health condition comes up that keeps you from driving. If something didn't work out, would you be able to jump back into your current industry and land a job that pays the bills? It's one thing to be completely broke and out of a job. It's quite another to leave a perfectly good salary at the chance of a new career which likely will not pay any better than where you're at. It's a bit risky with the kids still at home.

Between leaving the family, the meager wages in the beginning, and the inherent risk of changing careers while supporting a family I'm not sure it's the right move at the right time.

Read through our Truck Driver's Career Guide thoroughly and follow all of the links you come across. That will give you a ton of information about the industry and what it takes to get your career off to a great start. It will help you learn how to choose a school, how to choose a company, and what life on the road is all about. The information will definitely help you make a decision one way or another. It will also lead you to some lists of questions to ask at orientation.

Thanks Brett. I bought you book online and that has been very helpful. My spouse has a good job and that allows me a little flexibility when it comes to the starting wages. What do you think about the local and regional gigs? Won't those allow me to be home nightly and or weekly? Is the pay much less then OTR?

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

I am a 40 year old male who is thinking about leaving my job as a Finance Manager to start a new career in truck driving. I have had it with Corporate America and want to try something new. I am fully aware that this will be a life altering change for me, my wife and two children. I have been doing a lot of research and have nearly selected a private training program. If I ultimately decide this is a career for me I would probably try to land a regional or local gig first. OTR is something I would consider, but only after my children have grown up and leave the nest (4-5 years). There is an orientation session before classes start in September. Any advice on what questions I should ask at the orientation and what are some other things I should be consider along the way? I am cautiously optimistic this might be the right opportunity for me since there is such a need for good truckers. Thanks in advance!

Thanks Rolling Thunder. I have my orientation for the driving school tomorrow and that will also provide some additional insight. Drive safe and keep trucking! :) Hope you continue to enjoy it.

Mike

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

View Topic:

Pondering Truck Driving Career

I am a 40 year old male who is thinking about leaving my job as a Finance Manager to start a new career in truck driving. I have had it with Corporate America and want to try something new. I am fully aware that this will be a life altering change for me, my wife and two children. I have been doing a lot of research and have nearly selected a private training program. If I ultimately decide this is a career for me I would probably try to land a regional or local gig first. OTR is something I would consider, but only after my children have grown up and leave the nest (4-5 years). There is an orientation session before classes start in September. Any advice on what questions I should ask at the orientation and what are some other things I should be consider along the way? I am cautiously optimistic this might be the right opportunity for me since there is such a need for good truckers. Thanks in advance!

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