Starting At 60 Years Young Am I Crazy.

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Robert P.'s Comment
member avatar

I am thinking about getting my CDL. I have been in the Landscape construction business for 35 yrs as an owner operator. I have owned and driven single axle dumps with various trailers. I want to get my class A CDL as I have been told that I would also be able to drive any vehicle in class B-C with the proper endorsements. I want to start driving as my second life career as I recently sold my Landscape business. I am physically fit don't smoke ,drink or do drugs. I have a clean driving record. Kinda nervous to lay out the cash to train (getting a job when done) but I need to do this to get the proper training. Just wondering will I be able to find work in the trucking industry as a new driver at 60.

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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

You definitely can get into trucking at the ripe age of 60. As long as you can pass that DOT physical you'll be fine. If there's any doubt in your mind that you cannot pass the physical then I urge you to find a facility nearby and pay for the physical yourself (around $90 usually). Your company will still want you to do another one with their approved doctors but at least you'll know you'll be in the clear.

Also, I recommend Company-Sponsored Training Programs as there is no upfront cost. If you finish the program you're guaranteed a job, but they usually require you to sign a 1 year contract with them which shouldn't matter because the worst thing you can do is company-hop.

Check out the

and before you head to school be sure to do the High Road Training Program.

Any questions feel free to ask!

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.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

So many of us in the same position as yourself. Trucking is an excellent second career that can be very rewarding. Mind you realize your first career was very physically demanding. Trucking will be more mentally exhausting.

So many potential drivers believe since they can make a long journey in a four wheeler being a professional driver will be a breeze. That's just not the case. It's truly a profession that rewards you as much as you dedicate to it.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Robert!

You are in good company - a lot of people get into trucking as a second career. I myself started at the age of 53 after retiring from my business of thirty years. The week I got hired for my first truck driving job the company also hired a man who was 73! This business has a long reputation of hiring more seasoned adults because they tend to be more responsible and know how to make better judgement calls when it comes to dealing with bad weather and things like that.

I've actually met a few drivers out here who were in their 80's - so if you'd like you can have another career for the next twenty years!

Take a look at those links Daniel B. gave you. He's just a kid, but he knows how to share a good link when it's time to help a new person out.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Robert P.'s Comment
member avatar

Guys can't tell you how much it means that you would take the time to answer my first ever post. I kinda feel excited and to be honest a little scared. I remember when I was younger I would daydream about a life on the road. Never been afraid of a hard days work but hey better late than never. Again thank you for your words of support. I appreciate your input. Robert

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Kinda nervous to lay out the cash to train (getting a job when done) but I need to do this to get the proper training.

Just wanted to mention that the training that you will receive at a private school is only the bare minimum necessary for you to pass the driving exam at the DMV so you can get your CDL. We've had plenty of folks who didn't really understand this come in here complaining that they didn't feel they got their money's worth at truck driving school. That is just the way it works, the real training is on the job. At most companies you will go out with a mentor for a minimum of four weeks, living right there with them in those extremely close quarters of the cab of a big rig. After they feel you are ready they will turn you loose in a truck of your own, but trust me, you will still have doubts about your own abilities. That whole first year is a really steep learning curve, which is why we always encourage folks to stick with it at their first trucking job for one full year of safe driving.

This industry has more than it's share of detractors due to the high volume of folks who never get to first base, so to speak. It is a tough challenge at first, so prepare yourself. I, like you, was self employed all my life, and I personally think it gave me a huge advantage over the folks who come into this being accustomed to punching a clock. I was already used to putting in long hours, and doing what ever it took to get the job done - those are qualities that will serve you well when trying to make a start in this challenging, but rewarding career.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, Robert! Don't worry about being "old". I started driving trucks with Swift last year when I was only 63.

Old School is right about school - you'll get enough learning and practice to pass the CDL skills (driving) test. Not to worry, you get more training once you're hired and ride for several weeks with your trainer. One thing O. S. forgot: many companies will actually pay for your schooling. Check with the Trucking Companies you're interested in. Maybe they will cover your tuition once you're hired, or you might consider going to a Company-Sponsored Training Program. Whichever works best for you!

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Here's a tip: get yourself a goofy looking hat like Errol's got and nobody will ever dream that you are an old man, in fact you'll look like you're nineteen again!

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Robert,

I will be 56 in June and Starting training with Swift at the end of March. This will be my 3rd and hopefully last career move. As mentioned in the previous post, Company Sponsored Training was a no brainer for me. No up front costs, I would rather keep several thousand dollars in the bank and take the ZERO interest financing option that Swift offers. In return I sign a contract to work for them for 13 months and they take $150.00 per month out of my check for 13 months. It will be nice having that financial cushion available, so as not to be stressed out over the slim paycheck weeks that will be sure to come as a rookie.

I would highly suggest that you begin the Highroad Training Program on this site. I utilized it to the fullest and aced all of my State tests including Doubles/Triples, Hazmat and Tankers. Having my permit in hand prior to school will ease the stress level of 3 weeks of bootcamp schooling!

I think this Business needs more "Seasoned Citizens" like us.

Good Luck to you,

Tractor Man

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Tractor Man - unless things have changed at Swift, I think you missed one thing. I don't recall the exact numbers, but yes, there is a deduction to pay for school, but Swift begins paying you back for school at the same time!

So there's a deduction, plus a little bit paid back on errands paycheck. The deal is Swift pays you all your tuition back over 26 months.

I'm not clear on this because I took the Veteran option: no deductions, and after one year of driving (next month for me), Swift just clears the balance and school is down right free.

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