Comments By Tom W.

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  • Tom W.
  • Joined:
  • 4 years, 1 month ago
  • Comments:
  • 26

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Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

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Starting school in the morning.

Hey Tom i started a post in the diary's section. Im gonna keep everything updated there. I had a pretty good first day it was mainly going over policies and studying the cdl book so pretty boring overall.

That's good. I'm a bit embarrassed to ask though, being that I really have been on this site for some time now, but where is the diary's section? I am unfamiliar with it.

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

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Starting school in the morning.

Hey Craig H. and JakeBreak, How did it go today? I'd love to hear.

My first day was rather tame but I suspect it will not be that way for long. Going through a good bit of the CDL Training Materials here on TruckingTruth already paid dividends when I was able to breeze through all the quizzes they gave us plus most of a large "test" I jumped ahead and took. My brain got stuck last night when I ventured into the material on combination vehicles and it just so happened that that was the last topic on this test I did today. I was stuck on it again as I read the manual they gave us so tonight that is my assignment. I will use the material here and work on it again. I am very thankful such a learning tool has been made available for all of us.

Brett, I plan on taking you up on the offer to run my career options by all of you. All the contributors here have already played more of a role in my career direction than you probably can know. It would be foolish of me to ignore the nuggets of wisdom I can get from everyone on such an important decision. It reminds me of the old adage, "If you are going to walk through a minefield, follow someone." While we are on the topic of career direction, I will throw out my preliminary thoughts to you now just to get the ball rolling. Mind you, I realize this is still very early in the process but it will go quickly.

I have a resource here locally in a gentleman who has been in the trucking business as a driver and owner of a few rigs for 55 years. Talking on the phone, the one thing that stuck out with me was to find a way to differentiate yourself to one degree or another, thus making oneself a little more valuable to the right company and their customers. By this he is not suggesting that there is a way for me to be different from EVERYONE who drives. But rather, he is simply saying if I can learn an extra skill or two early that most new drivers don't, or even pick an area relatively few drivers want to enter into (yes, there are often good reasons the masses aren't attracted to some areas of the business), I will be a little more "needed" than otherwise. Ideas like driving tankers, flatbeds, or even linehaul are areas of trucking where not as many people choose to enter compared to, say, dry van. By this, he is not putting down one driver or career option over another. He has done all of it and knows it is all honorable and noble work. He is just suggesting I strategically think about how to make this career a bit more lucrative than otherwise.

If I can make an additional $5-10K as a rookie (and maybe $10-20K/yr more ongoing) driving one type of truck and still enjoy it, that will definitely play a role in my decision making. Yes, I very much realize that the first year needs to be viewed mostly as training and gaining general experience, but if I'm going to be on the road away from my wife most of the first year or two (or much more) I need to find how I can make the most of it.

This is one part of my thinking at the moment and will leave it there for the moment (that's enough for tonight and for one post). Please, if any of you have thoughts about this, please feel free to jump in. As you can probably guess, I respect the opinion of someone who has done something for 55 years but I realize that is still only one man's opinion. Agree or disagree? Different thoughts all together? I value the many voices here on TruckingTruth and want people to be free to jump in anyway they see fit. Thanks.

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

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Starting school in the morning.

I am also starting school tomorrow. I am really hoping i made the right choice, really nervous and excited at the same time. I already have 1 prehire so that makes me feel a little better, but still really nervous about getting my cdl.

Hey JakeBreak, I wish you the best in school. I will be looking to hear of your success through school and landing an excellent job.

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

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Starting school in the morning.

I want to thank Brett and all the contributors to TruckingTruth for sharing your insights about life in the trucking industry; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've been visiting this site for a couple of months or so and have read for hours and hours learning whatever I can to help decide if trucking would be a good choice for me.

After much contemplation, I start truck driver school tomorrow morning. I am excited, and a little nervous, to jump in with both feet and pursue this new career. I will do my best to post every now and then about how things are going, the surprises I run into along the way (maybe that's a bad phrase for a driver to use), and to ask questions of y'all...whether about things being learned or about career options as they arise. Since I will still be working some during school, there may not be much time to check in, but I'll do my best. Hopefully, I will have a thing or two to share so the next guy or gal who is considering this career will glean something useful from it. Also, if any of you trucking veterans sense I need a different or better perspective on some part of this life, I do welcome it. I'd rather be corrected now than to be working off of an incorrect mindset. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this very new venture in my (and my wife's) life and am glad to be a part of this forum.

Posted:  3 years, 12 months ago

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Schneider National OTR: Tanker or Truck

Hey everybody, thanks for your replies and your help. Special thanks to ThinkstooMuch! I just got my email with flight and hotel information to start orientation for Schneider National in Houston. Heading out Monday and I can't wait. Again, thank you all and happy trails out there to ya all.

Hey Mark B., I know this thread ended over a year ago but am hoping you are still out there. I start at a private trucking school tomorrow and am seriously thinking of driving tankers for Schneider. Do you (or anyone else too) have insight you can share that will help me with deciding what direction will be best?

I am looking for thoughts on starting out in tankers first (pros and cons), choosing to train in Houston or Pittsburgh (if given the choice), life with Schneider generally...not necessarily pros and cons but any nuances about Schneider that will be good to know in advance, etc.

Thanks in advance to anyone who is able to share their thoughts.

P.S. Hope I posted this and quoted Mark's comments correctly.

Posted:  4 years, 1 month ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

After college, I spent a few years in banking. Loved it for 3 years but decided it was time to pick up and move from NYC area to Charlotte, NC as I was young and wanted to experience life in another part of our great nation (love North Carolina, by the way). For various reasons, I stopped enjoying my work in banking and eventually got out. Bounced around doing various things including managing a restaurant, selling hearing aids, and even sold car stereos out of the back of my car. Eventually settled into working for my church for 15 years, the last 8 of which were as facilities manager. When they decided to outsource my department, I found myself unemployed. This coincided with rupturing a disc in my neck. After a few months of pretty bad pain, I had surgery to replace the disc, which went very well (it's amazing what they can do these days!). During that time, the job search really suffered. Since then, I've been able to gain back all my strength and then some, am getting into better shape overall, and just recently got a part-time gig working for Lowe's. However, I need to get back on a successful career track and am seriously considering trucking. I love this site and have really enjoyed reading the other posts on this thread.

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