Profile For Albany Mike

Albany Mike's Info

  • Location:
    Rensselaer, NY

  • Driving Status:
    Considering A Career

  • Social Link:
    Albany Mike On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    5 years, 4 months ago

Albany Mike's Bio

40 year old Navy veteran, father of two (and one on the way) considering a career change to truck driving.

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Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Tesla to Unveil Electric Tractor Trailer

Tesla to Unveil Electric Tractor Trailer

I'm sort of a tech geek and I generally dig what Elon puts out. It is going to be interesting to see if he can make a E-Rig that is comparable in both performance and price to the diesel rigs.

What do you guys and gals think?

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What can I do over the next two years to best prepare myself for a career change to truck driving?

Just a quick update so you guys and gals don't think I've fallen off the map.

I am currently working my way through The High Road Online CDL Training Program. Even though I may not be able to pursue this career for a couple of years I figure the more I am exposed to the information the better off I will be in the long run.

I am researching the private CDL schools in the Albany, NY area.... pretty slim pickings. I've expanded my search to some of the community colleges in the region that have CDL classes. There is one in Rome, NY that has a Sage Truck Driving school that looks promising. It looks as though they have a weekend program and I think that would be best so I can attend and still work during the week. I've decided that I want to pay for my CDL training out of my pocket so I have a choice on the company I drive with. Believe it or not, the union that I am a member of with the state will pay $1100 towards a certified CDL program! I also think I am going to pursue my CDL permit (with all pertinent endorsements), my DoT physical and get the ball rolling on my TWIC before I start CDL school. I don't want to show up, after resigning from my state job, just to be told to go home for some medical or background issue.

I've been watching Red Viking Trucker on YouTube and I think that he has the perfect attitude to emulate when it comes to how to be successful early on in your truck driving career. I'm not quite far enough along in his videos to see if his plan of going the lease operator, owner operator route is panning out for him but regardless, the information and advice is still valuable.

If anyone has an other valuable resources on the trucking industry, CDL training, and just being successful in this business I am all ears.

Thanks again everyone! I'm going to be around here for the long haul (pun intended) so get used to seeing me around.

-- Mike

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Starting a new career with Swift

Good luck! It is exciting to watch everyone start their journey. It allows me to live vicariously.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What can I do over the next two years to best prepare myself for a career change to truck driving?

I'm lucky to have a clean driving record (knock on wood) and solid work history going back to when I was 16. I find my self driving more defensively than ever with this career change as a possibility. Also, the more I read and learn about driving a tractor trailer the more respect I have for, and give to, the rigs I pass on the highway.

Thanks again everyone for welcoming an "outsider" into this community. I really look forward to contributing along my journey.

Albany Mike...all of the previous advice is spot-on, relevant. The number on thing you must do between now and when you take the plunge is to protect your driver's license. That's your number one credential for gaining entry into trucking. Treat it like gold.

Good luck!

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What can I do over the next two years to best prepare myself for a career change to truck driving?

The good thing is the only debt we'll have are my student loans and the mortgage. Like I said earlier my wife also works for the State and has no desire to be a stay at home mom. We have free daycare essentially, with my in-laws moving to the area and refusing to allow us to put the care of their grand kids in the hands of strangers.

I have an awesome wife and if there is something I really want to do shes is supportive. I'm usually the one with the guilty feelings.

I was taking my oldest son (he's 11) back to his mothers and we have to travel the thruway between 787 and 890 here in Albany. Every single truck I passed just about gave me a lump in my throat. It was a mix of the potential excitement of being in one of those rigs someday and the unavoidable heartache of being away from my family and friends. I just have this overall feeling that it is something that I have to take a shot at. I know I can drive the truck (with training), I know I am a professional, and I know I will enjoy the driving aspects of the lifestyle. Wanting that fills me with guilt when I could just as easily stay working for the state, sitting at this desk day after day, and make as good a living as being a Trucker.

Thanks for the tips by the way, Dave Ramsey has allowed me to get out of debt, spot on advice.

-- Mike

I totally understand. If you have debt, get rid of as much as you can in the next two years. If you don't know how, try Dave Ramsey. Take all the advise you've gotten so far. Have open and honest discussions with your wife. While OTR, you can expect to be out 3 to 4 weeks at a time. Most companies give you one day home for every seven out. How will bills be paid? What if the car breaks down? What happens if the heat goes out in the middle of winter with a couple of feet of snow on the ground? Etc, etc. Take the time to be as informed as you can. Good luck.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What can I do over the next two years to best prepare myself for a career change to truck driving?

I def need to get into better shape! I am overweight but in good health if that makes any sense. I don't have high blood pressure, heart conditions or anything like that. I would love to be able to use my GI BILL but the younger me decided to **** that all away on a college degree I never got. I hear where you are coming from on the money side of things, I plan to have at least 3-6 months of expenses in savings so we have a bit of a buffer if we hit lean times. My wife also works for the state but makes more than I do so we will never be completely without money coming in. I am about 23 years away from full retirement with the State, I'm not sure how long until I am eligible for early retirement, but I don't want to get to the point where staying is a reason for not leaving, if you know what I mean. Thanks for the reply and the well wishes!

Mike, you are in the right place to get all the info you need to get the right start in trucking. Since you are willing to wait two years, make sure you are in great shape. If you are overweight, start losing, if you have high BP work to get it down. etc. Your CDL-P is usually only good for six months. Many companies have programs for vets and you may be able to use the GI Bill to pay for your training. Also, save as much money as you can. Depending on what route you go for training, you could go a month or more without pay. How long do you have until you reach retirement with the state. You may not want to diminish that. I hope I have helped. Good luck to you.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What can I do over the next two years to best prepare myself for a career change to truck driving?

Thanks for the tips on pre-hire letters.

Do you think i should study for and obtain my CDL learners permit and maybe even get my DOT physical before I decide on a school? Seems like those are both stumbling blocks right off the rip. I assume they may also be beneficial in obtaining pre-hire letters.

Thanks again for the help and suggestions!

Mike weighs an option:

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I am also looking into the possibility of going to one of the private CDL schools here in the area. There are a few companies that hire drivers fresh out of school so I may not have to wait two years to get this career going!

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The things you've posted here do not indicate there's any issues with getting hired. But remember schools take "anybody" that can sign a tuition finance contract, and it's up to the student to get hired. There may be things in people's past that are ok by the school and even the state, but most companies will hold back on hiring. Like some traffic violations, felonies and drug use.

It won't hurt at all, just before you sign up with school, to talk to your company choices and ask for pre-hire letters. Takes some weight off your mind, too.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What can I do over the next two years to best prepare myself for a career change to truck driving?

Thanks everyone for all of the awesome links, Now have something to read at my boring day job!

I am also looking into the possibility of going to one of the private CDL schools here in the area. There are a few companies that hire drivers fresh out of school so I may not have to wait two years to get this career going!

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

What can I do over the next two years to best prepare myself for a career change to truck driving?

Hey everyone, I have to say this place has already been a great wealth of information!

I'm going to be 40 this year, I work for the State of New York, sitting behind a desk and I've had enough. I want to make a career change to truck driving, have some freedom, see some places, make some money and actually enjoy getting up and going to work.

I would quit my job tomorrow and ship out to driving school if it wasn't for;

My Wife My 17-month-old No.2 Due in July

I have responsibilities to my family and I would never want to put my wife in a situation where she would resent the choices I make, regardless of the long term benefits to your life. We are in a very unique situation where her parents live 2 miles away, provide daycare for our 17-month-old and refuse to allow us to put their grand-kids in the hands of strangers. We will have no-cost daycare until our kids are both in school. It is awesome.

Here is my plan as it pertains to the career change. I figure I can wait 2 years and make my career change in 2019. At that point I will have a 3 year old and an 18-month-old, everyone will have established routines, and I will feel much better about making the time commitment to my training and early employment. My goal is to find a company that will pay for my training, allow me to work off my obligation, and gain the experience I need in order to find a job closer to home with better home-time.

I'm seeking feedback on my plan, alternative strategies and some ideas for how I can best use the next couple of years to prepare myself for like as a trucker. I don't have any commercial driving assistance and the largest vehicle I have ever driven is a 24ft U-Haul truck (well, technically I've "driven" a submarine while I was in the Navy but I digress).

Thanks for reading!

-- Mike

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