LA (Lower Alabama), AL
I was living in Germany working as a civilian for the government when circumstances forced me to move back to the USA. I had to find a job and was shown the possibility of becoming a professional driver. I checked into it, the majority of my info coming from this site, and plans were made. I started studying for my CDL permit so when I arrived in AL, I could take my test. In March 2014 I passed with all the endorsements (I took all the tests the same day).
A short time later, I enrolled at the Premiere Driving Academy in Mobile, AL for school. I graduated the end of June and went to Tulsa, OK for orientation with Melton Truck Lines. After orientation, I spent 3 weeks on the road with a trainer. At the end of three weeks, the flow chart has two possibilities. Bus ticket or a set of keys to your own assigned truck. I received a set of keys!!!
Melton is a really great company. If you're armed with the right attitude, you can go far and earn a lot of money. I stayed with Melton for 15 months and would still be there. However, Mrs. Wilson has been wanting me home more often than I had been there. Mind you, I could have been home perhaps every two weeks if I had wanted or maybe even more often than that. But you won't make as much money getting routed home that often.
My trainer at Melton told me he wanted to see what it would be like to go out and not go home for an entire year (his home situation allowed him to do this with no adverse consequences). He told me he made nearly six figures that year! So the coming home thing is really going to be your preference and your decision on how much money you would like to make.
So Mrs. Wilson wanted to see me more often that she had been and I decided to look for a more local type job. I reluctantly left Melton and got hire on with a national company that did local work in my area. The pay looked really great as well. On paper, the job looked really promising and desirable. In reality, it was a nightmare and turned out it just wasn't for me. I was with them for just under 3 months.
After a search that would borderline depressing, I found J-Par Trucking out of Roanoke, AL. They do regional work and I am home every weekend. The job, in my opinion, has minimal stress and is quite enjoyable. I like it even though I went from the prestigious flatbed to a sissy van (did I say that out loud???). I just went over my 2-year anniversary with them in April 2018.