Profile For Hambug

Hambug's Info

  • Location:
    Vancouver, WA

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    8 years, 3 months ago

Hambug's Bio

I am considering a career change. My current position is planned to be eliminated this year, so after 25 years in the field I am trying to decide if it is time for a change. I enjoy road trips and seeing the country as I go, so when I stumbled upon something about a local truck driving job fair I started looking into it and found this wonderful site. My wife has reservations and it would be a pay cut (a pretty big one the first year or two) so lots to consider.

I dabble in amateur (ham) radio and imagine making contacts from the truck during downtime. I'm not sure if that would work well in a company truck, but it could make a 34 hour reset in the middle of nowhere more enjoyable.

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Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Accredited Schools?

Hi Julius,

I don't know if they are accredited or not, but if you take the advice given here, How To Choose A School, it won't matter because you will find out if companies hire their graduates and if current students would recommend them.

I hope this helps,

Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Pay for school vs. company paid?

Welcome Janet,

You have found your way to the best site for help getting into trucking. I had read your thread about 30 minutes before Brett's post. I was going to read the other new posts and then respond here. But when I saw that Brett was posting on other threads I held off because he is so much better at explaining things and speaks from experience.

Like you, I am looking into a possible career in trucking and have been reading on TruckingTruth since August. After I found TruckinTruth I stopped checking most of the other trucking web sites and quickly found that Brett and the others on this site are right about what it takes and the best way to get started in this field. I went back and read the first year or so of threads here, and I found that the folks who reported the best success were doing it the way Brett says. And there were also many examples of folks who had started trucking after only reading the other sites, and some of them had real problems trying to get themselves out of the holes they had dug themselves into. If you read all the sections in the Truck Driver's Career Guide link that Brett shared, you will find all of the right things to do to be successful in trucking, and get info you need to make sure you are a good fit for trucking.

Brett and the other experienced drivers here say trucking is more of a lifestyle than a career, so you need to make sure that trucking is a good fit for both of you before you commit or spend any money on training. I think most of us have a pretty good idea what trucking is about before we start looking into it, so the lifestyle concerns probably won't be an issue for you. But there are a few threads I read about folks realizing that an aspect of trucking wouldn't work for them and they were greatful to have figured it out before they spent money or had started company training.

You and your husband seem to be at a great point in your lives to make the move to trucking, and you were already realizing that all of the garbage on the other sites couldn't possibly be 100% accurate, so you've already got a good start. And now you have the found the site to help you figure out the rest!

Anyway, good luck, and keep coming back here with questions. Also to let us know how things are going for you as you go down this path.

Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Career change to driving truck

Welcome to TruckingTruth William,

I am 51, expecting to be laid off this year, and have been reading here for months. As Scott correctly said, you have come to the right place. I have learned that companies value your age as it usually includes a better understanding of safety and reliability. You probably won't even be the oldest person in class when you go to training!

Scott has given you some great links to start out. I just wanted point out that the Truck Driver's Career Guide is a step by step list of things to learn and do to learn about the job, how to be successful, what type of freight you want to haul, what part of the country you want to work, what home time options you prefer, how to evaluate and choose a school, how to study for your CDL permit and get ahead of the class, and how to apply for and get that first job!

And a free version of Brett's Book is available. It is a quick, fun read that will help you too.

And come back here with any questions you have.

Good Luck, Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

2 Weeks OTR with David

Thanks David. Enjoy your home time!

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

2 Weeks OTR with David

Hi David,

I've been enjoying your log. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I also enjoyed your posts on Daniel's log and your many other posts. It's already Sunday where you are, but still your birthday here, so Happy Birthday. Sorry you weren't able to make it home for today.

I've been looking into GTI because they are a Washington company and I see their trucks almost every time I get on the freeway. And you may be the first GTI driver to post here, at least since they moved from the old website. Thank you. I have wondered if you have any comments on GTI as it compares to Swift or what you hear from other drivers about their companies. And I know that drivers aren't usually affected too much when their company merges or is bought, but have also wondered if you have heard much from the other GTI drivers about how the Heartland purchase has affected them so far.

Anyway, Thanks and Good Luck on the rest of your trip home,

Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Company school or private? East Texas

Old School beat me to the punch!

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Company school or private? East Texas

Hi Alyssa, Daniel and Jeffrey,

I just wanted to say hi and point out that Brett has set up the Truck Driver's Career Guide to help you figure it all out. It has sections on what to expect in a truck driving career, Truck Driving Schools, Company-Sponsored Training and How To Choose A School. One thing he recommends for choosing a school is to visit the school and ask your questions of the staff, including which companies hire their graduates. You should then check with those companies to confirm. He also recommends that you take some time with the students away from the staff, maybe on break or something, and ask them what they think of the school. Since they are paying for it they should be pretty honest about whether they feel they are getting the needed training.

And all the time you are investigating trucking and schools, make sure you do the High Road Training Program. It is free and I have read so many posts from folks that completed it reporting that they aced the tests and got their permit and endorsements, many in one sitting, and most without even using their state manual. Others reported a quick review of the manual after completing the High Road helped to know the few unique rules their state had that weren't covered in the training.

Keep posting your questions on this forum. It is one of the friendliest and most helpful forums I have ever read! Although the ham radio sites I go to are friendly and helpful, there is still the occasional flame session. But here, even when they discuss whether unions are helpful or not, its all civil!

Good Luck to each of you, Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Pay scale for trucking

Welcome Allen,

From what I have read here, if you follow their recommendations as a driver, you should make about $30,000 - $35,000 your first year, and about $40,000 the second, fairly close to the numbers you are wanting. But you will need to be ready for some fluctuation week to week and month to month.

Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Dock workers and truckers: respective perspectives

Hi Freight N., I'm not a driver either, but you came to the place that is trying to correct your complaints as part of helping new drivers get into trucking. Two parts of the regular mantra are:

1. Treat everybody with respect because you don't stand much of a chance getting help or a favor when yelling or complaining. 2. Get all the CDL endorsements so you get more load opportunities.

As for how non-hazmat drivers get dispatched for hazmat loads, I've just got guesses. It could be a mistake in how the load was reported to the trucking company, but that probably wouldn't happen often enough to account for your experience. I would think the truck company's load planning/dispatch software would help prevent a non-hazmat driver getting assigned a hazmat load, but it does sound like something dispatch might do to drivers that are in the doghouse, so to speak, especially if those drivers are also the angry ones.

Maybe some of the experienced drivers will have some answers to your question.

Thanks for your post, Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Can fiance/wife come with me to CDL school?

Hi Lewis, I have been lurking on this site for months, although this us just my second post. From what I have read you won't be able to bring any rider with you until after you go solo. Make sure you find out each company's rider policy as you investigate them, because there are probably some that will be more restrictive than others. You can get started on that by going to the Trucking Companies area here on the site.

Anyway, best of luck in your career planning, Paul

Posted:  7 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

Strategizing the Long Term.

Hi Jake,

Welcome to Trucking Truth. Although this is my first post, I have been a long time lurker. I can't answer your questions about how to find the high paying job opportunities other than to repeat some of what I have learned. In general you make the most money by operating safely and not hitting anything, accepting whatever load you are given, getting it delivered on time, treating everybody with respect and a smile regardless of how they treat you, and not letting the other stuff get to you. As you do that your dispatcher will come to recognize your dependability and will take care of you. Doing this first year drivers will probably make about $35,000, about $40,000 to $45,000 the second year, and about $50,000 to $55,000 by the fourth year.

There are some opportunities to make more so look for them, but many of the big money "promises" are linked to leasing or owning the truck which isn't recommended here. There is just so much to learn about trucking in your first years, and so much risk to leasing/buying that the chances of just breaking even are slim, and many who go this route end up failing or just barely making more than a company driver while working much harder.

The general recommendation is not to get into trucking looking for big money. You will make enough for your needs and more, but if you are looking for big money you should probably be looking at other career fields. Getting into trucking is more of a lifestyle choice. And it isn't for every one. You mentioned several characteristics that would help you be very successful in trucking, but I would recommend that you take some time looking at the resources here on this site. Since this is my first post I'm not comfortable inserting links, but if you browse the different areas here you will find a great step by step process for getting into trucking including choosing what kind of freight you are interested in and choosing a school. There is also link to a free book Brett wrote about his career and what worked and what didn't. It might be a little old (Sorry Brett) but the only dated info is about the logbook. It is a fun and enlightening read.

Anyway, if you are still interested in trucking, stick around. As the site name states, you will find the truth about trucking here, both the good and the bad. That is very different from most of the other trucking sites.

Anyway Welcome,

Paul

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