Career Change: 54 Too Old?

Topic 12623 | Page 1

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Mike S.'s Comment
member avatar

At age 54, a change in career is looming for me. I am exploring options, and the trucking industry is a possibility. I have always loved driving and travel. I have no wife or children which gives me flexibility. I have a class B CDL with air brakes and passenger, but need to move up to a class A and pick up more endorsements. I have long considered retiring early from my field, and taking on a driving job, such as a truck or motor coach. Now it's time to actually think about doing so. What is the feasibility for employment for someone my age? Thanks!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Age is absolutely not an issue. There are some really old farts out there lol... sorry Errol. As long as you can pass the dot physical, you're fine. And yes there are 70 year olds out there driving, so you're a spring chicken at only 54.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Sue gets descriptive:

There are some really old farts out there lol... sorry Errol.

Not to worry Sue, I always wanted to grow up and be an Old Fart!

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Hahaha, I've seen you refer to yourself as an old fart, so I couldn't resist.

smile.gif

Fire-Man's Comment
member avatar

Hey Mike. Welcome to Trucking Truth. If you do decide to become a Class A driver you will be happy you found us. Many great people who are very motivated to help others. Brett has put together a great training plan and the community in general is great. But back to your question...unless you are physically or mentally disqualified, or have a bad driving record, then you should have no problem finding a good company to realize your dream with. Many men and women, for that matter have started driving OTR after retiring from their primary career myself included. In fact I honestly believe that trucking is one of those industries that doesn't discriminate based on age. They let DOT and the physical do it for them. rofl-1.gif

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mike S.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, I'd really like to get through all the states. At 54, I certainly don't feel old, but in some places it's not about how old you feel, but how old people make you out to be. I did a stint driving school bus, and also worked as a driving instructor for 15 years. No driving record problems. I would have to give up my beloved church organist job where I get to play a beautiful pipe organ, but music is music, and I figure the banjo will fit nicely in the cab. :-)

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Mike...I started at 52 yrs old and my Current Co-Driver was about 61 when we went through Prime Inc's orientation... Age won't be an issue for you as long as you can pass the DOT Physical and adjust to the lifestyle of a OTR Trucker but being single with no kids should help make it a little easier. Wish I could have done it 15 yrs ago cause I've had a blast and made some good friends & money

Ken C.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Carl A.'s Comment
member avatar

Lol, I am 52 and getting back in the industry, now I think after reading the comments I might be a young turd which could be seen as something messy, so yes I wanna be a old turd truck driver, yeep... just a laugh. You all are awesome on this site.....

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of the American truck driver, as of 2014, is around 50 years old.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

You're just a young lad compared to some folk here. Old School is nearing triple digits and he's still going strong doing flatbed work. He hasn't seen color on his hair for decades so definitely don't get the impression that you missed out. The average age in this industry is right around your age.

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