Profile For Grandpa Clark

Grandpa Clark's Info

  • Location:
    Lynchburg, VA

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 9 months ago

Grandpa Clark's Bio

According to this website, I have been lurking on here for nearly 8 years! Where does the time go? I remember when I was a young man of 19-years-of-age, sitting with my wife and a couple of friends after dinner. My friend was an owner-operator and offered to take me under his wing and teach me to be a professional truck driver. We had just had our first (of what would eventually be seven) babies, and despite every fiber of my being wanting to jump at the opportunity, I knew it would not be a good fit for what we hoped would be a large family with lots of kids. I said no. I have been fascinated with heavy equipment, tractors, trucks, and everything in-between since I was a kid growing up on a dairy farm in Ontario. I couldn't care less about livestock, but I loved the smell of diesel. I have been driving tractors and various farm implements since I was 8-years-old. It is only natural that I would gravitate towards tractor-trailers. I have driven dump trucks part-time in Canada, hauling agricultural products on my days off from my real job. I loved every minute of it. But, those tractor-trailers keep calling my name.

I eventually joined the police department in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and embarked on a law enforcement career. After 9-years of duty in Southern Ontario, my family relocated to Central Virginia, where my wife's family was located. I worked for the next 15-years in law enforcement in Virginia. After nearly 25-years total in the law enforcement arena, I made a drastic change and became a Technical Trainer for a large communication company, serving police, fire, and military customers with our digital communication system. That has been my job for the past 10-years. Not a day has gone by, that I haven't wondered what would have happened all those years ago if I had taken up my friend on his offer to drive trucks.

Well, that's all ancient history. Here we are in June 2022 and I'm 57-years old. My sweetheart and I are celebrating our 38th anniversary today and we have raised five of our seven boys. The last two boys are 16 and 18. Everyone, including our soon-to-be eighteen grandchildren, are healthy and happy...and life is good.

Except for one little issue. I still can't get the truck driving out of my mind. I'm just a sentimental old fool I guess. Who would consider hiring an old guy with zero experience? Is there any interest out there? We shall soon see as I quit my very well-paying job yesterday. I can't really explain how all of this transpired, but it probably has something to do with my best friend dropping dead unexpectedly a couple of months ago at the age of 59. When we last met for breakfast he talked of all of his dreams for retirement. He was a very successful businessman, a multi-millionaire who hated what his life had become. He had raised his children and had dreams and plans for a long and happy retirement after slaving away for nearly 40-years building his business which he had grown to despise.

Life has a way of changing your perspective on things. I had planned to ride out my remaining years in a very stressful, low-level management position making good money and being absolutely miserable. But, the money was good. My blood pressure was high, my spirits were low, and I do not like the person that I've become. Yesterday, I did something I've wanted to do every day for the past 14-months. I gave my 2-week notice and signed up at the local Community College to get my CDL! My classes start on June 17. In thanks for all of the fantastic information that I have gleaned from others, I'll start my diary here and we'll see what happens.

It's time to stop lurking on the sidelines. I feel more excited than I have in years...and of course, that could just be the beginning stages of dementia. Let the adventure begin!

My personal thanks to Brett and all of the administrators of this website, who have stoked the dream for all of these years. I have watched (and read) from the sidelines for nearly 8-years now, so I guess it's finally time to step up and see where this adventure will lead...if anywhere.

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Posted:  3 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Semi interested in getting CDL :-)

Hello everyone :-D I’m interested in getting my CDL but I’m not sure which school I should go to. I’ve read online that Swift & C R England will pay for your CDL class & training but you will have to sign a contract. C R England contract is 12 months & Swift is 26 months. What’s making it even harder to choose are the reviews online. It seems like there’s one positive review after reading 20 negative reviews then it continues to repeat. Also I’ve worked as a RSS & seen firsthand how some companies treat their truck drivers. Some allowed MRT on steer tires, trailer tires on the tractor or just retreads or repair only no new tires. A lot of drivers I spoke with were overly thankful or sounded defeated….writing this I see I have a lot to think about. My main reason for wanting a CDL is my dad. He’s retiring soon & plans to buy 1 or 2 dump trucks. He doesn’t like women doing “men” jobs but until my brother gets his driver’s license I wanted to help out. I like that these companies pay for your CDL but if there are better companies to work for then I can try to pay out of pocket. All feedback is welcomed. Thanks in advanced :)

Hi MrsCrownVic, I was seriously considering going with a company for my training and there are many good reasons for doing this. There are tons of excellent posts on this site that will give you all the pros and cons of going in this direction. I was looking at Maverick and was offered a spot in their school. However, it was a 27-month contract valued at $8,000. I was moving in that direction until I came across Virginia's Community College Program. The CDL Training is done in partnership with Ancora Corporate Training.

If you are in Virginia, you might want to check out the Workforce Program at Virginia's Community Colleges. If you check out my posts, you'll see the process and my reasons for going the Community College route. I'm halfway through the 4-week course at Central Virginia Community College and I have been quite pleased thus far. With all the grants offered here in Virginia, the $4500 tuition was reduced to $750. If you have lived in VA for at least a year, you are also eligible for the Virginia Ready Program which will pay you $1000 if you complete the program according to the course schedule.

Posted:  3 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Grandpa Clark, and BK, thanks for your wonderful comments. I am not sure why my "doe snot" always seems to appear in many posts that I write. I was curious and actually found that it is a common error: https://www.amazon.com/doe-snot-Erich-von-Abele-ebook/dp/B00IQ30R10 . From a trucking standpoint, there is likely many a truck that encountered a road kill that left a bit of doe snot on the radiator grille. BK, from the great city of Madison, WI, I say hello!

Grandpa Clark, I a glad that some of my post resonated with you. I have enjoyed and absorbed all of your comments on this post, and appreciate your years of service in law enforcement. Thank you for that service. I have had a professional career for over 35 years, but a few years ago I have trained as a chaplain and focused on First Responder (Police) Chaplaincy as a volunteer avocation. This avocation seemed a good way to both connect with my new hometown, and to try to give back to the First Responders that give so much to our communities.

In terms of the CDL, once my schedule clears a bit, I'll likely start a registered CDL program in the early, Fall. My goal is to have the CDL and possibly authority by 2023 to either augment my semi-retirement as an O/O, or if that doesn't pencil out, as a .65-75 c a mile driver for a reputable local carrier. Going to work within the transportation industry is such a radical shift from how I have spent the last 35 years, but it's that radical shift that I think I am looking for.

Hi Michael, I also was interested in chaplaincy years ago, right after I left law enforcement. I attended Seminary and obtained my MDIV in 2013. I had a great chaplain when I was a law enforcement officer in Virginia and it sure helped with some of the difficult situations that I always dreaded (sudden death notifications, etc.) Two of my boys are sheriff's deputies here in Virginia. My son Taylor has a quasi-chaplaincy ministry he does in conjunction with his job. His website is www.weaponsofrighteousness.org.

I'm wrapping up my second week of CDL training and am loving every minute of it! Even the pre-trip, if you can believe that. It is such a blessing to be able to start doing something I've wanted to do for so many years. I miss the paycheck right now, but from what I can see, the pay should be decent from the start. I expect there to be a significant learning-curve, once I actually get started on the job, but my goal is to replace my previous corporate salary within the first 2-years. Considering how long it took me to get to that salary in my previous profession (technical training), it's pretty crazy to consider I could equal that within 24-months of starting a brand new career from zero. We'll see how it all works out, but I wanted to encourage you on your chaplaincy plan. Stay in touch and thanks for sharing your insights.

Posted:  3 days, 22 hours ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

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Grandpa Clark, and BK, thanks for your wonderful comments. I am not sure why my "doe snot" always seems to appear in many posts that I write. I was curious and actually found that it is a common error: https://www.amazon.com/doe-snot-Erich-von-Abele-ebook/dp/B00IQ30R10 . From a trucking standpoint, there is likely many a truck that encountered a road kill that left a bit of doe snot on the radiator grille. BK, from the great city of Madison, WI, I say hello!

Grandpa Clark, I am glad that some of my post resonated with you. I have enjoyed and absorbed all of your comments on this post, and appreciate your years of service in law enforcement. Thank you for that service. I have had a professional career for over 35 years, but a few years ago I have trained as a chaplain and focused on First Responder (Police) Chaplaincy as a volunteer avocation. This avocation seemed a good way to both connect with my new hometown, and to try to give back to the First Responders that give so much to our communities.

In terms of the CDL, once my schedule clears a bit, I'll likely start a registered CDL program in the early, Fall. My goal is to have the CDL and possibly authority by 2023 to either augment my semi-retirement as an O/O, or if that doesn't pencil out, as a .65-75 c a mile driver for a reputable local carrier. Going to work within the transportation industry is such a radical shift from how I have spent the last 35 years, but it's that radical shift that I think I am looking for.

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Howdy, Michael; and welcome to the forum! My driver & I are in the 'mature' club, too! :)

Have you gotten to look at our wonderful 'starter' pack? There's no 'Doe Snot' in this, haha!

It would be awesome if you'd put your location in your profile, so as I think of companies that may fit your needs, I can list them appropriately, re: region. Thanks!

~ Anne ~

ps: Once you get some 'wheels/miles' under ya, you could look at Rand Trucking and FAB Express; both do part time out of Wisconsin, with a bit of experience, I believe. It's in their websites, respectively.

If you are going to community college, they may indeed be interested in you, sooner. Nix the O/O dealio for now.... read within these walls, especially Steve & PJ's posts.....

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pps: Sorry to 'hijack' on behalf of many of us, Steve! (aka: G'pa Clark!)

No problem at all Anne! I always appreciate your helpful advice.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

I pulled chemical tankers for 5 1/2 yrs. Just about everything liquid non food grade. Any company that would put a inexperienced driver in that position is a complete idiot, in my opinion.

Liquid is constantly moving. The smoother you are the better, but still a product in constant motion. That is a challenge. New drivers don’t have the skills needed to safely deal with this. I have experienced surge of product and would have sworn someone rear ended me.

That is just the driving part. Tankers are not all the same. It takes much more training and experience to safely deal with the tanker plus the wide variety of products.

I loved the job, maybe I’m a bit off, lol.

I have moved forward toward slowing sown and back to flatbed work. Same product all the time, so not really a true flatbedder.

Thanks for the advice PJ. It sounds like tanker might be a bit of a stretch for a rookie. Interesting that you consider flatbed "slowing down". It looks to me like it can be quite physically demanding at times. I'd like to get started in flatbed to learn how to secure and tarp loads properly from the beginning. Maverick and TMC seem to be great options for rookies. I've got 3-more weeks of CDL School, so as G-Town reminds me, "First things first." Lots to consider moving forward. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Many carriers do offer part time work. That’s true.

However, in order to qualify you’ll need experience. The extent of the experience depends on the carrier and quite possibly, the individual’s performance with their carrier.

That makes sense G-Town. My contact in Central VA had about 6-months with CR England before he switched to Schneider Part-Time. He said there was lots of waiting for loads which makes sense. From a company perspective, who are you most motivated to keep rolling? Your PT or your FT drivers? Seems logical to me that the FT guys/gals would get the first crack at loads and the leftovers would fall to the PT folks. However, if $$ is not the primary motivation, perhaps for some of us more seasoned people, it might be a great option. I believe I saw some part-time options for Roehl as well.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

An observation of mine on an APU equipped truck or not:

After five months of having a truck with an APU for the first time, I greatly prefer it over the Optimized Idle or just plain idling the truck to stay cool. When it runs as advertised, it's a great feature for me.

I was either sweating or freezing during the warm weather months with every company Freightliner using the O.I. feature.

Hi PackRat, Freezing I could deal with! However, my Canadian blood is not well-suited for heat! I'm not opposed to sweating while tarping/strapping etc., but when it comes to sleep, I really struggle with hot temps. As a rookie, I'm prepared to do what it takes to get started in this industry. If I get stuck in a sweat-box, I'll reach out to you veterans to try to figure it out. Hard to believe that just a few decades ago, people lived quite well in the South without AC. Whoever invented AC should have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and every other award for contributing to the well-being of humanity.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Trucks that do not have APUs utilize Optimized Idle technology integrated with the thermostat in the bunk. If the temp goes above the setting, the motor automatically kicks on so the AC can run. Once the desired temp is met, it shuts down.

You mentioned about the training is all about passing the CDL test. This is primarily true for every program… although Paid CDL Training Programs tend to include some company policy and procedure in their training. The essence of your learning will occur when on the road with a trainer… this is when you begin to learn about truck driving and all that goes with it.

One step at a time… get that CDL!

Good luck.

Thanks for the encouragement G-Town! With so many variables in play, it's fantastic to have so many experienced voices provide advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

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All things being equal, if I was in your shoes, wanting a shot at flatbed, I’d focus on Prime and have others like TMC as backups.

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I agree, and I'll add that Prime has refrigerated, flatbed, tanker, and dedicated divisions, so you have a lot of versatility there. It's nice to try different things but stay within the same company.

Hi Brett, Thanks for your advice and I recently finished your book for the second time. I found it very helpful and I found lots of answers to so many questions. I seriously considered Prime for my CDL School and to get my start. I talked with their recruiting and I agree that they seem to have a rock-solid training program with great options for different divisions and the promise of good pay. I see lots of Prime trucks (dry van) in my area and I don't know how much weight one should put on the amount of local activity one observes when considering a carrier.

Right now I'm leaning towards TMC or Maverick. Maverick has been super-responsive and offered me a slot either in their CDL training program, or, immediately upon graduation from my CDL School. For the reasons I wrote above, I decided to get my CDL locally at the local Community College. My Week 1 Summary is in the Training Diaries section. Regarding local activity, I see tons of TMC trucks and a decent amount of Prime van traffic here in the Lynchburg, VA area. However, I don't know if I've ever seen a Maverick truck or a Prime flatbed locally. I'm thinking about it this way and please feel free to correct me if I'm incorrect in this assumption. If I see lots of traffic from a carrier in my city, I'm assuming they have a significant amount of local freight, which means I should be able to get home reliably. Maverick is 12-14 days out, and 2-3 at home which is a bit more than I'm interested in with everything I have going on at home. My family runs a small business that is primarily working special events 2-3 Saturdays a month (Clarkboys Kettle Corn). TMC says they will get you home nearly every weekend and their drivers seem to confirm this. Maverick makes no such claim and the Maverick drivers that I have talked to say that until you get a dedicated assignment, you should plan on 2-weeks out, 2-3 days home, not necessarily on the weekend. Prime also said that initially, it would be 2-weeks min out, with the option of dedicated if available, in the future.

Thanks again for all you do Brett! This site has been such a blessing.

Sincerely, Steve

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Such an interesting and timely post, Gpa Clark! Perhaps out here in the ether there are more than a few of us over 60 types, with many hours and miles logged behind desks and computer monitors, looking for ways to enhance our retirement years and enhance our cash flow, as well. Like most of us, I have worked most all of my life since I was delivering newspapers on a bicycle as a kid. Retirement, to me, doe snot mean stopping work, but finding a kind of work that is less tedious, less sterile, and more interactive. As an aside, I have always found long driving trips a kind of refuge to long weeks tethered to a desk. And so, naturally, I am researching CDL schools in my area (Madison, WI) and studying the most reasonable ways to enter this business of either regional or OTR truck operations.

I've talked to some peers that have retired, and some a literally doing nothing but being restless and irritating their wives at home. One fellow I know took a job part time working as a guide at a fitness center. Another, after 30 years in academia, works in a coffee shop to make some extra funds over his Social Security and pension from the UW. It seems that post retirement from corporate or professional life suggests part time work in a fairly undemanding position, but this kind of day to day is not for me. The idea of being around transportation and logistics, managing a truck, and interacting with both road and other humans from state to state seems compelling.

My own idea is to start to hire on as a company driver on an ad hoc or part time basis, to see if such a role is obtainable, I'd like to be able to work on a seasonal basis, or ad hoc basis, so as to travel from time to time out of country and to visit family for blocks of time. Perhaps even in the midst of high fuel prices, insanely overpriced used trucks, and low per mile rates on load boards there's a chance to make a reasonable income working as a skilled and wise (age has its advantages : ) ) driver for an Upper Midwest company.

Thanks Trucking Truth, and to Grandpa Clark, for the inspiring forum and OP. It'll be great to see the responses from others here, and I wish all of us the best of luck.

Hi Michael, Your comment resonates with me in so many ways. Sitting around the house watching TV, trying to stay busy with hobbies, or endlessly traveling on my own dime does not sound like the way I want to finish the last chapters of my story. Your comment about "irritating their wives at home" made me smile. My wife is a saint...or, at least she should be. Any woman who births seven boys and raises them to be successful adults, along with putting up with me for nearly 40-years, definitely qualifies. I've watched retired couples pick at each other and get petty and childish with each other over the years and I've always told me wife, "We're not going to be like that when we get older." My wife and I agree wholeheartedly on the most important issues in life: faith, family, finances etc. but have vastly different ideas of what we like to do on a day-to-day basis. Variety is the spice of life, correct? I love to read quietly and tend to rarely talk, while my wife is very outgoing, loves to socialize, and loves nothing more than to fill the house with grandkids constantly. Don't get me wrong. I love to see the grandkids and we have 18 of them to keep up with!

I also was very interested in your comment about part-time driving. I researched that a couple of years ago and found that a few of the mega-carriers have these types of programs. I know a man here in Central Virginia that worked one of the part-time assignments for Schneider National out of Charlotte. He said he didn't make much money, but it was exactly as advertised. He could come and go when he wanted as long as he didn't let more than 90-days between driving assignments. I looked in your area and Schneider is currently offering part-time near Madison. You need to be within 75-miles of Sterling, IL. Looking at Mapquest this puts Madison, WI in the ballpark. Here is the link: Schneider Part-Time

I hope to get hired FT with a flatbed carrier once I finish my CDL school in mid-July. I want to do flatbed because I've always been fascinated by that role and I want to do it while I'm fit and healthy enough to climb loads etc. Feel free to reach out to me directly if I can be of any encouragement or assistance to you. All the best on your journey and thanks for your post! My email is clarkboys7@gmail.com.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Great read, Steve!

So far, so good, eh?

You might want to look over this pretrip, as you get to that stage of the game:

I'm really not recalling if TMC has APU's or not; it couldn't help to look at some diaries.

Solo, who just went 'office' again, had an EXCELLENT TMC diary, if you want to dig it up.

Another flatbed (training!) company not (yet) on here, is Keim : Keim TS.

Best to you; following!

~ Anne ~

Thanks for the helpful resources Anne. I'll definitely take a look at those. In most of the threads I've read here and elsewhere, I've seen several comments that TMC does not have APUs, but Maverick has EPUs. I've also read that TMC (at least a couple of years ago) does not have a "no-idle" policy, although it can affect your fuel economy score which impacts your percentage for pay. I suspect lots of companies who formerly didn't care about idling will now be considering adding policy to limit that as much as possible. Based on what we learned of a truck's fuel economy this week, we were told a truck takes one gallon of diesel to idle for 1-hr. That definitely gets expensive with fuel costs the way there are now.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

First Week Complete- Ancora Corporate CDL Training through Central Virginia Community College:

This was a short week as Monday was the new Federal Holiday (Juneteenth). Our schedule is 7 am-5:30 pm each day. This is a new program operated by Ancora Corporate Training at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, VA. The school started in March of this year and while it is not yet a well-oiled machine, I was very happy with my first week. Having been a professional trainer for both law enforcement and communication networking in my previous life, I was very interested to see how this training would progress. Overall, I'm very happy with my first week.

They have two trucks (both automatics) which means all students will have an automatic restriction on their CDL. The trucks are older and unfortunately one of the trucks has been in the shop for the past couple of weeks, dropping the available trucks to one. Hopefully, the second truck will be repaired next week when we go out on the range. If a student desires an unrestricted license, CDS Training in Roanoke provides CDL training in manual transmission trucks through the Virginia Western Community College. I'm okay with an automatic restriction, as my career plan is much different than someone starting in their 20s or 30s. If I were at a different stage in my career, I probably would opt for the unrestricted license.

The three instructors (two women and one man) are all ex-drivers and have extensive training experience with other companies. They are all very casual, friendly, and approachable. They are willingly sharing their experiences, both good and bad. This week was all in the classroom, with the exception of a couple of hours on the range. The training materials provided are all from J.J.Keller and Associates.

We had our first recruiter on Thursday from TMC. Since I am very interested in flatbed, I was all ears. The differentiator with TMC seems to be their percentage pay plan (although you can ask for cpm if you desire that), and their Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Since TMC is owned by the employees, each one receives a yearly distribution related to the profits of the company. The proceeds of this account are fully vested after 6 years. TMC's percentage pay is estimated to work out to somewhere between 50 and 60 cpm. Several students expressed their opinion that this was pretty low. This attitude surprised me as I don't know too many jobs that I have worked that provided that kind of compensation to brand new people with no experience. I thought it was a pretty good rate for a rookie driver. There are numerous ways to increase your percentage which rewards drivers who go to extra effort. I asked the recruiter if they have APUs, which is very important to me as a Canadian...who hates heat. I have no issue with sweating when I work, but I'm a true believer that you need to be cool to sleep well. The recruiter said they do have APUs, but this doesn't seem to be the case with many of the drivers who write in forums or record on YouTube. Perhaps the new trucks are being ordered with APUs. The TMC website says they have bunk heaters but makes no mention of APUs. If anyone knows for sure, I'd appreciate confirmation one way or the other.

This week was lots of videos and prep for the Pre-Trip Inspection which seems to have most of our class pretty concerned. Our class is made up of nine people, six men, and three women. Being senior to the rest of the students in the class, I've had the opportunity to observe the younger generation in action. As a professional technical trainer in my previous job, I've learned to read students pretty accurately. In our class, I would say that about 30% of the class are less than serious about this undertaking. Perhaps it is just the classroom that has them bored and uninterested, but I suspect this attitude will carry over onto the driving range. It could be that with all the grant programs and subsidies currently in place, we students don't have as much "skin in the game" as we would if we had all paid the full $4500.00 tuition. Time will tell, but I have been impressed with how the instructors have dealt with some students who have been disrespectful and less than attentive.

The instructors have made it clear that they are teaching directly to the Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles CDL test. They have repeatedly told us that we will truly learn trucking over our first years with our first company. At first, I was a bit taken aback by this statement as I typically am not fond of teaching just to pass a test. I find that I tend to forget much of what I learn if my goal is simply to pass a test. However, with 1/4 of the entire class behind me, I can see that there is no way that they can adequately prepare us for every contingency. It is a 4-week, 160-hour sprint to the exam and I will check-in at the end of week 2 with another update.

Overall, thus far, I'm very impressed with the instructors, the training materials, the facilities, and with the operation of a brand new school that is only a couple of months old. I have no doubt that in the future, they will iron out the wrinkles, get more equipment, and expand their course offerings. They indicated that the next course they hope to add is the HAZMAT Training Course.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Best of luck to you. I walked away from being the broker owner of 3 real estate franchises to start this adventure at 62. You can do it! I can say from conversations I’ve had with our corporate owners, safety department and terminal manager our company (Knight Transportation) loves their “older” drivers. One at our terminal is 77. Don’t want to say it’s the easiest but from my limited experience would recommend training and experience in dry van. Then move to what interest you from there. I really wanted flatbed work, but it was not sustainable for me. Gaining experience every day DV with the new goal of moving to tanker someday down the road. Keep an open mind and be receptive to correction/direction. There’s a good chance your trainer will be half your age.

Thanks, Glenbob, I appreciate you sharing your experience and advice. When you were considering flatbed, did you then, or do you now have any companies that stood out to you as good options for guys of our era? I'm looking for some physical exercise after sitting in a cubicle for the past 25+years. I'm in good health and looking to stay very active as I move into my retirement years. The corporate stress bs has definitely taken its toll on me and I have no preconceived ideas that a new career as a driver will be stress-free, however, I have always felt that if your attitude and work ethic are on point, you can tough your way through new and challenging experiences. Based on reading the experiences of others, including your own experiences, it seems that it is an intense, ongoing learning experience for the first years for sure. Having been a life-long learner, I'm always suspicious when I meet experts that say that they know everything and have nothing left to learn. This website has really helped me glean some great information from people who are willing to share their victories and their failures. Both can be equally valuable. Learning new skills is one of life's greatest blessings and I'm looking forward to learning this new skill-set.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

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I watched a news story on the cvcc program I will see if I can find it again. The story mentioned partnering w Foster Fuels and Watts petroleum to hire grads. Looks like a tanker job could possible right out of the program.

Thanks for the information, George. I might just reach out to Foster Fuels and see if I can find anything out about that. Much appreciated. If you can find that link I'd be very interested.

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Tankers, especially food-grade (unbaffled), are not recommended for rookies.

Flatbed, Reefer and dryvan is far more forgiving as you hone skills and develop “a feel” for the dynamics of a 72’ long, 80,000lb semi.

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Steve, Grandpa Clark;

I TOTALLY agree w/ G'Town here, 1000% ! Tom had many years of driving behind him, before he even pulled asphalt tankers. Very low viscosity, even. Yet you could SURE feel the movement, the surge could push one right into the intersection if not in the right gear/brakes/everything just so. I was with Tom for the few years he had that job. It's NOT for 'starters,' trust me from knowing and being there.

Foster Fuels will still be hiring a year or two from now, after you get your feet wet ! Read some of PJ's posts; he was with a mega (or 2?) before he got into hauling tanks, and Daniel B., as well. Daniel was even a trainer for Prime, before he moved to tanks. Now, he's with ODFL. Have you considered LTL? Read G'Town's thread on PFG; there's definitely some 'physicality' to it, as well!

Many other recruiters will probably show up at your class, with offers right out of the gate, as well. System Transport is another flatbed company to look at; since you'll already have your CDL. Pianoman worked for them, as did (i believe?) Starcar, quite some time ago. You can search by member, and read their materials. Keim is another flatbed company you can look into; don't know their level of experience required, however; I'll let YOU look! Keim T.S. . Another 'big boy' in the flatbed world you can look into, with some van experience, that hires in your area, is Transport National.

Always something to work TOWARD!

Regarding your training, here's that info you were talking about: CVCC's New CDL Program! Looks pretty cool; just published 2 days ago.

Best to all;

~ Anne ~

Wow, Anne! Ask and ye shall receive! Thanks so much for the helpful links and everyone's advice is very consistent regarding starting w/tankers. As with any industry, you don't know what you don't know and that's why this group has been such a blessing over all these years I have been lurking. Hearing this great advice from people with real-world experience makes all the difference. Thanks to G-Town and you both for taking the time to provide such valuable information.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

I watched a news story on the cvcc program I will see if I can find it again. The story mentioned partnering w Foster Fuels and Watts petroleum to hire grads. Looks like a tanker job could possible right out of the program.

Thanks for the information, George. I might just reach out to Foster Fuels and see if I can find anything out about that. Much appreciated. If you can find that link I'd be very interested.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Grandpa Clark, you mention your interest in pulling tanker. My observation is that the experienced drivers advise new drivers to drive dry van, reefer or flatbed for a year or two before considering tanker. Driving tanker is a very risky endeavor for a new driver. Perhaps another forum member will weigh in to elaborate on this issue. I switched from dry van to reefer and have no interest in tanker based on everything I know about it. But I can enthusiastically recommend reefer over dry van now that I have done both. Physically, flatbed is out of the question for me.

BK, thanks so much for sharing your advice. Schneider would be my option for tanker training if I'm successful in obtaining my CDL and getting my license. However, my first choice is flatbed which appeals to me because it tends to be more physically demanding. After sitting in a cubicle for the past 20+years, I am really in need of activity. I'm hoping a tanker driver will weigh in as I really appreciate all of the advice you people so willingly share. Your advice seems very prudent and reasonable, especially for someone like me with zero experience. Thanks again, Steve

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Here is how I ended up choosing Central Virginia Community College, in Lynchburg, VA for training. My class starts June 21, 2022, on the CVCC campus. They partner with Ancora Corporate Training which provides the instructors, equipment, etc. I will keep a day-by-day diary in the "CDL Training Diaries" here on TT.

I had initially checked out CVCC 4-years ago when I almost pulled the trigger on this adventure. At that time, I received a great offer to go back to my corporate job as a Technical Trainer and I opted for the "safe" known, instead of the scary "unknown" of CDL training/driving. I actually had an offer to join TMC 4-years ago to get my CDL but decided to turn it down to return to the corporate (safe) rat race. Perhaps this decision resulted in the lack of interest I received from TMC this time around? I wouldn't blame them. Getting back to CVCC, when I checked 4-years ago, you had to take the training in Roanoke or Charlottesville, which is not that big of a deal as they are only a little over an hour's drive from my location. I used to commute over about 70-mins each way, every day as a police officer in Toronto, so that wasn't really a deal-breaker, just a bit inconvenient.

This time around I called CVCC and they said that as of March 22, they are offering CDL Training on-site here on the Lynchburg campus. I submitted a simple application online which was managed by Ancora. They quickly sent me a start date of June 21, 2022. The course is 4 weeks, 160 hours and the price is $4500. Now, here's the amazing part. Because CDL Drivers are in great demand, Virginia's Workforce Development gives you an instant $3000 grant which reduces the class fee to $1500. There is nothing to do in order to qualify for the grant, just sign up for the class! Then, my CVCC admission counselor asked what county I live in? I replied "Campbell County." "Great!," she replied, "you get another $750 grant from the Tobacco Compensation Fund because you live in a tobacco-producing county." So, my fee to pay the class in full was $750.00. My admissions counselor also signed me up for the VA Ready Program which will pay me $1000 if I successfully complete the program in the 4-week period. Because this $1000 has nothing to do with tuition reimbursement but is rather a single payment for completing an in-demand training program, any company that offers tuition reimbursement will still see my out-of-pocket as $750 which should be repaid. I should note that as part of your fee for the class, Ancora covers the DOT Physical and DOT Drug Test (urine).

I hope this clearly explains the reason I chose CVCC/Ancora for my CDL training. Virginia is certainly making it easy and inexpensive to get your CDL!

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Salary to Begin Training as a Trucker- Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

I initially intended to take the company-paid training route. I investigated every one of the paid-training links here on TT and carefully weighed the pros/cons of each. I decided to submit my application to the following: Roehl, Schneider, TMC, Swift, Knight, and Maverick. I also applied to the company-sponsored training from Cypress (Jacksonville, FL).

Before I go through the responses and my eventual decision, here are my application details: 57 years old, zero CDL driving experience, clean driving record, no criminal history, excellent credit, excellent health, and already in possession of my CDL Permit and a 2-year DOT Medical Card. Here is a summary of the responses I received:

Roehl-very quick and responsive, with an offer to join their training class in Wisconsin within a couple of weeks. My recruiter was very friendly and professional, answered all of my questions, and understood when I said I was weighing my options and would get back to them. Offer was for dry van OTR.

Swift-very quick and responsive initially and I was very interested because their training is in Richmond, VA, not far from where I live. However, after extending a conditional offer to join their class, the recruiter ghosted me and refused to return my calls, emails, etc. I took that as a "not interested". I called them and emailed them at least ten times but after the initial positive exchanges, they went completely silent.

TMC- No response, despite repeated attempts to contact my assigned recruiter. He didn't return calls or emails. I called the general recruiting line multiple times over several weeks and every time was routed to "Mike", but Mike never picked up and didn't call me back. I am very interested in flatbed and tanker, so TMC was definitely of interest to me. I took this lack of response as a "not interested".

Cypress- very responsive, very professional, and very helpful. They are 100% flatbed and they showed great interest initially. I went through the process and had a great experience with them. However, in the end, they very professionally and politely said that they could not extend me an offer for training at this time. I thanked them for their very professional and respectful process, and I have a very high opinion of the way Cypress runs their recruiting operation.

Schneider-My interest in Schneider is in their tanker division as my ultimate goal once I get enough experience, is to join a local company that hauls either fuel or flatbed. There are multiple great options in those areas here in Central VA. Schneider discontinued their in-house training, so they said they could pay for me to attend a class at one of the schools they are affiliated with. I advised that if I were to go the local school route, I would prefer to just pay for it myself and avoid a contract. They were very professional, informative, and asked me to please contact them when I had my CDL in hand and they would be very interested in hiring me.

Knight- Their recruiter immediately sent me an email, and asked me to call by phone. I did call Tyler about six times over a two-week period and all I received were endless spam emails from Tyler advertising their various opportunities. I texted Tyler, phoned their general recruiting line, emailed Tyler, and phoned Tyler, but to this day I'm not really sure that Tyler is a real person. It's possible he is a bot that simply sends endless spam about Knight. I abandoned my efforts with Knight and blocked Tyler, lest he fill up my email with endless Knight propaganda.

That leaves Maverick. Maverick was near the very top of my favorites list because they are flatbed and seem to have a very good reputation for training. They were very responsive, very professional, and always answered my calls/emails. My recruiter, Jeff Bone, was very friendly, and patiently answered the dozens of questions that I sent his way. After working my way through the process, Maverick extended me an offer to join their class in Little Rock on June 11, 2022. I carefully pondered my decision and had a slight reluctance at the thought of a 27-month contract and the $8,000.00 contract amount. Don't misunderstand me. I've paid far more, for far less training and support than Maverick extends to their students. They pay for food, lodging, and transportation to the class, about $600 to cover expenses during your first couple of weeks while you go through the CDL training. Before I committed, I decided I would do one final check of the local options. That's when I discovered Central Virginia Community College. I'll explain their program in another post as I've hit the limit on this one.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

I was researching Ancora. They appear to be a vocational training company. Schools will outsource to them. I can never copy links on here. Sorry. Anne?? Not sure what to think. lordbyron1970@yahoo.com Message me Grandpa Clark.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Ancora, How it Works Summary:

From Ancora Corporate Training - CDL Program:

"We offer Entry Level Driver Training to obtain a Class A CDL. Training meets the new FMCSA regulations. Students will participate in classroom, range and On-The-Road Training. Classroom training will cover topics such as basic control, safe operating procedures, distracted driving, hazard perception, vehicle systems and much more. Range training consists of Pre-Trip Inspection, Straight Line Backing, Off-Set Backing, and Parallel Parking, all of which are required to pass the DMV skills test. On-The-Road training covers speed and space management, and many other control topics. Our program uses automatic transmission trucks. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, a DMV skills test will be scheduled, and a truck will be provided."

~ Anne ~

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks for finding the link Anne. Here is how I ended up choosing Central Virginia Community College, in Lynchburg, VA for training. My class starts June 21, 2022 on the CVCC campus. They partner with Ancora Corporate Training who provides the instructors, equipment etc. I will keep a day-by-day diary in the "CDL Training Diaries" here on TT.

I had initially checked out CVCC 4-years ago when I almost pulled the trigger on this adventure. At that time, I received a great offer to go back to my corporate job as a Technical Trainer and I opted for the "safe" known, instead of the scary "unknown" of CDL training/driving. I actually had an offer to join TMC 4-years ago to get my CDL, but decided to turn it down to return to the corporate (safe) rat race. Perhaps this decision resulted in the lack of interest I received from TMC this time around? I wouldn't blame them. Getting back to CVCC, when I checked 4-years ago, you had to take the training in Roanoke or Charlottesville, which is not that big of a deal as they are only a little over an hour's drive from my location. I used to commute over about 70-mins each way, every day as a police officer in Toronto, so that wasn't really a deal-breaker, just a bit inconvenient.

This time around I called CVCC and they said that as of March 22, they are offering CDL Training on-site here on the Lynchburg campus. I submitted a simple application online which was managed by Ancora. They quickly sent me a start date of June 21, 2022. The course is 4 weeks, 160 hours and the price is $4500. Now, here's the amazing part. Because CDL Drivers are in great demand, Virginia's Workforce Development gives you an instant $3000 grant which reduces the class fee to $1500. There is nothing to do in order to qualify for the grant, just sign up for the class! Then, my CVCC admission counselor asked what county I live in? I replied "Campbell County." "Great!," she replied, "you get another $750 grant from the Tobacco Compensation Fund because you live in a tobacco-producing county." So, my fee to pay the class in full was $750.00. My admissions counselor also signed me up for the VA Ready Program which will pay me $1000 if I successfully complete the program in the 4-week period. Because this $1000 has nothing to do with tuition reimbursement but is rather a single payment for completing an in-demand training program, any company that offers tuition reimbursement will still see my out-of-pocket as $750 which should be repaid.

I hope this clearly explains the reason I chose CVCC/Ancora for my CDL training. Virginia is certainly making it easy and inexpensive to get your CDL!

One thing I forgot to mention. My class fee pays for the mandatory DOT Physical and Drug Screen (urine) which is required prior to the start of class.

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

double-quotes-start.png

I was researching Ancora. They appear to be a vocational training company. Schools will outsource to them. I can never copy links on here. Sorry. Anne?? Not sure what to think. lordbyron1970@yahoo.com Message me Grandpa Clark.

double-quotes-end.png

Ancora, How it Works Summary:

From Ancora Corporate Training - CDL Program:

"We offer Entry Level Driver Training to obtain a Class A CDL. Training meets the new FMCSA regulations. Students will participate in classroom, range and On-The-Road Training. Classroom training will cover topics such as basic control, safe operating procedures, distracted driving, hazard perception, vehicle systems and much more. Range training consists of Pre-Trip Inspection, Straight Line Backing, Off-Set Backing, and Parallel Parking, all of which are required to pass the DMV skills test. On-The-Road training covers speed and space management, and many other control topics. Our program uses automatic transmission trucks. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, a DMV skills test will be scheduled, and a truck will be provided."

~ Anne ~

Thanks for finding the link Anne. Here is how I ended up choosing Central Virginia Community College, in Lynchburg, VA for training. My class starts June 21, 2022 on the CVCC campus. They partner with Ancora Corporate Training who provides the instructors, equipment etc. I will keep a day-by-day diary in the "CDL Training Diaries" here on TT.

I had initially checked out CVCC 4-years ago when I almost pulled the trigger on this adventure. At that time, I received a great offer to go back to my corporate job as a Technical Trainer and I opted for the "safe" known, instead of the scary "unknown" of CDL training/driving. I actually had an offer to join TMC 4-years ago to get my CDL, but decided to turn it down to return to the corporate (safe) rat race. Perhaps this decision resulted in the lack of interest I received from TMC this time around? I wouldn't blame them. Getting back to CVCC, when I checked 4-years ago, you had to take the training in Roanoke or Charlottesville, which is not that big of a deal as they are only a little over an hour's drive from my location. I used to commute over about 70-mins each way, every day as a police officer in Toronto, so that wasn't really a deal-breaker, just a bit inconvenient.

This time around I called CVCC and they said that as of March 22, they are offering CDL Training on-site here on the Lynchburg campus. I submitted a simple application online which was managed by Ancora. They quickly sent me a start date of June 21, 2022. The course is 4 weeks, 160 hours and the price is $4500. Now, here's the amazing part. Because CDL Drivers are in great demand, Virginia's Workforce Development gives you an instant $3000 grant which reduces the class fee to $1500. There is nothing to do in order to qualify for the grant, just sign up for the class! Then, my CVCC admission counselor asked what county I live in? I replied "Campbell County." "Great!," she replied, "you get another $750 grant from the Tobacco Compensation Fund because you live in a tobacco-producing county." So, my fee to pay the class in full was $750.00. My admissions counselor also signed me up for the VA Ready Program which will pay me $1000 if I successfully complete the program in the 4-week period. Because this $1000 has nothing to do with tuition reimbursement but is rather a single payment for completing an in-demand training program, any company that offers tuition reimbursement will still see my out-of-pocket as $750 which should be repaid.

I hope this clearly explains the reason I chose CVCC/Ancora for my CDL training. Virginia is certainly making it easy and inexpensive to get your CDL!

Posted:  2 weeks, 4 days ago

View Topic:

Old Man Leaves Six-Figure Management Position to Begin Training as a Trucker: Psychiatric Evaluation Pending

Thanks for posting something after all these years…

I began my trucking career at the age of 54 after a 30 years in technology. That was 9 years ago.

I read through your story and wondered if you considered Paid CDL Training Programs. Many of us on this forum successfully followed the company sponsored path.

Why We Prefer Company Sponsored Training

Regardless, best of luck to you.

Hi G-Town and thanks for all of your fantastic advice I've absorbed over the years. I certainly intended to take the company-paid training route. I investigated every one of the paid-training links here on TT and carefully weighed the pros/cons of each. I decided to submit my application to the following: Roehl, Schneider, TMC, Swift, Knight, and Maverick. I also applied to the company-sponsored training from Cypress (Jacksonville, FL).

Before I go through the responses and my eventual decision, here are my application details: 57 years old, zero CDL driving experience, clean driving record, no criminal history, excellent credit, excellent health, and already in possession of my CDL Permit and a 2-year DOT Medical Card. Here is a summary of the responses I received:

Roehl-very quick and responsive, with an offer to join their training class in Wisconsin within a couple of weeks. My recruiter was very friendly and professional, answered all of my questions, and understood when I said I was weighing my options and would get back to them. Offer was for dry van OTR.

Swift-very quick and responsive initially and I was very interested because their training is in Richmond, VA, not far from where I live. However, after extending a conditional offer to join their class, the recruiter ghosted me and refused to return my calls, emails, etc. I took that as a "not interested". I called them and emailed them at least ten times but after the initial positive exchanges, they went completely silent.

TMC- No response, despite repeated attempts to contact my assigned recruiter. He didn't return calls or emails. I called the general recruiting line multiple times over several weeks and every time was routed to "Mike", but Mike never picked up and didn't call me back. I am very interested in flatbed and tanker, so TMC was definitely of interest to me. I took this lack of response as a "not interested".

Cypress- very responsive, very professional, and very helpful. They are 100% flatbed and they showed great interest initially. I went through the process and had a great experience with them. However, in the end, they very professionally and politely said that they could not extend me an offer for training at this time. I thanked them for their very professional and respectful process, and I have a very high opinion of the way Cypress runs their recruiting operation.

Schneider-My interest in Schneider is in their tanker division as my ultimate goal once I get enough experience, is to join a local company that hauls either fuel or flatbed. There are multiple great options in those areas here in Central VA. Schneider discontinued their in-house training, so they said they could pay for me to attend a class at one of the schools they are affiliated with. I advised that if I were to go the local school route, I would prefer to just pay for it myself and avoid a contract. They were very professional, informative, and asked me to please contact them when I had my CDL in hand and they would be very interested in hiring me.

Knight- Their recruiter immediately sent me an email, and asked me to call by phone. I did call Tyler about six times over a two-week period and all I received were endless spam emails from Tyler advertising their various opportunities. I texted Tyler, phoned their general recruiting line, emailed Tyler, and phoned Tyler, but to this day I'm not really sure that Tyler is a real person. It's possible he is a bot that simply sends endless spam about Knight. I abandoned my efforts with Knight and blocked Tyler, lest he fill up my email with endless Knight propaganda.

That leaves Maverick. Maverick was near the very top of my favorites list because they are flatbed and seem to have a very good reputation for training. They were very responsive, very professional, and always answered my calls/emails. My recruiter, Jeff Bone, was very friendly, and patiently answered the dozens of questions that I sent his way. After working my way through the process, Maverick extended me an offer to join their class in Little Rock on June 11, 2022. I carefully pondered my decision and had a slight reluctance at the thought of a 27-month contract and the $8,000.00 contract amount. Don't misunderstand me. I've paid far more, for far less training and support than Maverick extends to their students. They pay for food, lodging, and transportation to the class, about $600 to cover expenses during your first couple of weeks while you go through the CDL training. Before I committed, I decided I would do one final check of the local options. That's when I discovered Central Virginia Community College. I'll explain their program in another post as I've hit the limit on this one.

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