Profile For Clif S.

Clif S.'s Info

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    8 years, 10 months ago

Clif S.'s Bio

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Posted:  7 years, 4 months ago

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It's that time of year!

the buds are popping and the birds are singing ... ah spring ... and my annual "I'm tired of my job and why don't I go be a truck driver" starts playing in my head ...

it's easy to set aside the itch in the winter when it's cold and the roads are bad ... so to that end

my girlfriend says I'm a wussy when it comes to bad roads, but I've had some bad experiences ... here's my question

truly how often do you experience truly 'bad' highways? You see the horror stories on the news ... I can handle a little snow etc. But do you just pull over when it gets bad? How often does it GET bad?

honestly I'd quit today and go to school except for this one issue.

Posted:  8 years, 5 months ago

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Hello again!

well it looks like my truck driving career just got moved forward a couple of years. I WAS looking to retire from school teaching in two years and then maybe go into the driving career ... however events conspired against that plan. I am now on paid leave (in other words my school is paying me to NOT come to work) until the end of August 2014. I'd rather not talk about why that happened other than to say that I am not entirely blameless ... long story short, I'm having trouble finding another teaching job (which I think has mostly to so with my age and position on any district's pay scale than anything else), and if I don't teach I need another job for three years before I can get my teaching retirement. Which brings us back to truck driving ... oh and the events that led to this situation will in no way prevent me from being able to get a job driving a truck (no drinking or drugs or criminal activity etc etc).

ok ... so now I need some advice. I've already applied to Central Refrigerated and been accepted into their school for May 16th. I've also called Prime and talked to them and was told that I need to apply 30 days before I want to go to school. Prime seems like it pays a little better than CF at least in the training phase, but from reading on here it seems that they are much tougher as to physicals etc. I don't think that'll be a problem ... but I do have high blood pressure which I control with medication. So I guess my first question is about that ... the DOT physical. Will they simply measure my blood pressure and if it's within the acceptable range (which it will be so long as I take my meds), then I'm ok? I understand that I'll have to report that I'm taking medication to control my BP, but surely that's not uncommon ... any comments or information about that would be great.

I've also recently looked into TMC and they actually look very interesting. I have no problem with the physical aspect of flatbedding and the pay looks very good as well as the commitment to home time. Home time is not any kind of deal breaker for me really ... in fact part of the attraction of this job is the opportunity to be out on my own for long periods of time. But I do have a son still in high school (who plays football) and I would love to see him play at least a couple of times in the fall. I also have a girl friend in a different state (son's in southern Missouri and GF is in Michigan) who I would like to see occasionally too. TMC sounds like they may be more accommodating than either CF or Prime. Any comments or advice about that? Oh yeah I don't quite get the TMC school thing ... they don't have their own school but then put you through training similar to what Prime and CF do when you sign on? Do I need to go through an independent school to get my CDL before going to TMC for training? Any help on that?

Thanks a bunch guys. I wouldn't be able to do this without this resource. And yes I AM working through the training materials as we speak! So thanks again!

clif

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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One year's worth of experience ...

That's kind of what I was thinking ... perhaps the guarantee of that many miles is basically them saying we'll give you as much driving as you can handle and as you want. Which is still cool by me ...

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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A Week In The Life Of A Flatbed Driver

Thanks from me as well. You are illuminating life on the road and answering many of my questions. I can hardly wait as I'm a trip-planner from way back (used to drive the spouse and kids crazy with all the planning as we went on vacations). Looking forward to future installments!

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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One year's worth of experience ...

And as a follow-up .. will the company that already employs you be competitive with those higher rates and miles?

All assuming that you are an excellent trucker in all regards of course! ;-)

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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One year's worth of experience ...

as I continue to research the idea of pursuing driving a truck after i retire as a public school teacher, I see more and more advertising by companies offering many incentives and (much) higher pay after the first year of experience. As this site repeatedly emphasizes the value of getting through that first year of driving, I'm coming to the conclusion that the real money to be made as a trucker comes later ... after that first year (or three).

as an example I found an ad (they seem to pop up all over the place now) that guaranteed 4000 miles a week at .48 cents per mile. 51 weeks of that and you'd be making nearly a 100k per year. Is that realistic?

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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Yet another newbie ...

Thanks for the welcome guys! Sounds like I'm a good candidate for the career ... so far as stress goes, I suspect I won't really know if I can handle it until I try. A lot of people think teaching can be stressful, and it can be sometimes ... and I've never really had a problem handling that (but I don't really think it's ever that stressful to be honest, but you listen to other teachers and sometimes you just go 'wow', little things bother them way out of proportion). One of my job duties in the Navy was to actually drive an aircraft carrier into and out of port (actually anytime it required skill ... underway refueling, tight navigation areas, etc).

I'll keep reading and working through the excellent material on this site and researching the schools. Still have some time to go before I get to launch, but I'll keep you posted! Thanks again!

clif

Posted:  8 years, 9 months ago

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Yet another newbie ...

sorry guys, I know you probably get tired of hearing the words "hey I'm thinking of truck driving for a career and have a few questions" ... but here I am, and hey I'm thinking of driving a truck for a 'new' career and have a few questions.

A little about me ... I am currently a high school teacher and am looking to retire either next year or the year after (or maybe even one more if the incentives to stay are right). I'll most likely be 57 years old when I retire, am in decent physical shape with no serious medical issues. I do have high blood pressure which I control with medication. I am a Navy vet having served in the 80's active duty and as a reservist for 10 years on and off in the 90's. While in the reserves I learned how to drive a "deuce and a half" (2 1/2 ton) truck that hauled a surveillance van around.I didn't get to do it much beyond getting my license cause it was fun and I was pretty low on the totem pole at the time.

questions 1) will my age be a factor at all? I've read that many companies gladly accept and train retirees ... but I'm probably not going to want to drive for much more than 8-10 years. 2) I'm divorced, children are grown and gone to college ... I like my own company, and don't mind being alone at all. I would actually prefer the OTR aspect ... being away for weeks at a time, etc. Living obligation free ... From what I've read, that desire sounds like it might be greatly to my advantage, yes?

3) I'm accident free, not a drinker (outside of the occasional beer), or a drug user. Apparently being a school teacher has pretty much the same requirements as being a truck driver. I'm reasonably intelligent and am good at keeping my mouth shut and eyes and ears open. I appear, to myself at least, to be an ideal candidate for just about any truck-driving school. Yes?

4) I do have two brothers who have driven a variety of different trucks over the years who have warned me away ... saying that truck driving schools and companies are essentially similar to "puppy mills". My response to them more or less mirrors the attitudes I see on this site. That YOUR attitude has as much to do with how well you get along as anything else.

Even though I'm at least a year away from pursuing this dream ... I'm pretty excited about it. So much so that I couldn't help but go ahead and post on this forum to ask questions.

Last question ... aside from reading everything I can find on this site and working through the test preparation materials ... is there anything else I can do to learn more about this career? I'm a pretty shy retiring kind of guy ... so just walking up to a trucker and starting a conversation ... well I'm not sure I could do that. I might see if I can locate a truck stop and go have a cup of coffee sometime though.

Anyway thanks in advance for any advice and/or encouragement.

clif

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