Career Dilemma. What Should I Do?

Topic 1309 | Page 1

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Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone, I have a career decision in front of me and I'm not quite sure how to handle it. I have always had a feeling truck driving would be the job for me. I've always really enjoyed driving long distances and having the change of scenery all the time and not just my computer screen. Here's where my dilemma starts. At my current job I make roughly 36k/anually. The other part to this story is that I'm married and have two small children ages 3 and 1. Over the road wouldn't be a viable option for me cause I don't want to be away from them to long. But local driving from everything I've read on here would be hard to get into for a rookie and the pay isn't nearly good enough for me to make the change. How would some of you wonderful people handle this? Is there anyone that has had a similar situation that can shed some light to help me? I would greatly appreciate it.

P.S. Also I love this sight. It's been much more informative as to the life of a trucker than the other sites i've visited. Thank you all for your time and effort you put into letting us wannabies know what it's like on the "inside".

Over The Road:

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.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome Corey. Well, let's look at your situation..yes, getting a local driving gig is going to be tough..those jobs pretty much all go to experienced drivers, but they do pay good money if you get a good gig...you say you are married, but don't say if your wife works..your kids are 1 and 3, meaning they aren't in school yet..why couldn't you get into trucking and take the family with you?? You could be on the road, making money and have your wife and kids with you at all times?? I know that sounds less than ideal, but imagine the education you could give your kids before they ever even step foot in a classroom..I mean, they will know how to balance a load, slide tandems , do a PTI, pee in a bottle, cuss like a trucker, and know how it feels to take a bath once a week, whether you need one or not..rofl-2.gif I'm just kidding you there, but seriously, most kids in America today are extremely sheltered and have NO IDEA about other parts of the country much less other parts of the world..and when the kids get old enough to go to school, there is always the option to let them go to school online..I know like it sounds like a rough life, but heck, when I was a kid, my old man was a boilermaker welder and between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, where he went, my mom and I went..I saw every state East of the Smokey mountains before I was 5 years old and have memories that even today, 40 years later, I can still recall..and just think, by the time the kids are ready to start school, you will have two or three years experience, and you will be MUCH more appealing to those local companies...

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Yea Sorry I forgot to mention that part. Yes she does work and is going to school to advance her career in the medical field. Her job has insanely good benefits that's the main reason she has the job. My kids both go to home daycare that teaches preschool so I know they're learning a lot. I see what your saying about not sheltering them but I just don't know about taking two kids at their ages OTR. What about regional driving. I know your not home every night, but weekends a lot right? I wanna do this but I can't put my family in a bad spot either.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Roadkill (aka:Guy DeCou)'s Comment
member avatar

Yea Sorry I forgot to mention that part. Yes she does work and is going to school to advance her career in the medical field. Her job has insanely good benefits that's the main reason she has the job. My kids both go to home daycare that teaches preschool so I know they're learning a lot. I see what your saying about not sheltering them but I just don't know about taking two kids at their ages OTR. What about regional driving. I know your not home every night, but weekends a lot right? I wanna do this but I can't put my family in a bad spot either.

I see what you're saying..it's gonna be tough, though, to get a local, regional or dedicated gig with no experience...most companies that are willing to pay for your training will want you to spend 8 months to a year driving OTR for them to pay back your schooling..and even if you go to private school, the companies that hire you are gonna do the same thing..put you on OTR..you're options as a rookie are pretty limited..

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar

Roadkill. I do believe you are only allowed one passenger in your truck with you. I don't know about other companies, but several I read there was an age limit also.

I forget what blog it is, but there is one here about family and trucking that really doesn't recommend going into trucking with a family and young kids.

I know, there are times when you have to make a choice and maybe trucking is your only option. But if you have other options when you have kids at home, you really might want to look at your other options.

I can't say anything about being on the road trucking with a small family. But I was in the military when my daughter was born. She was almost 6 months old before I saw her for the first time.

I won't tell you not to do it. But I wouldn't.

Keep it safe out there. Joe S

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Well...lets put this into a time line, so you can look at it in perspective. You will need your CDL...so you would haveto go to a private school, or community college...nights or weekends to get it. Then you will need to find a way to get experience...you may think about looking into part time..say weekends. It will get some experience...Alot of beverage companies run small regional...its a good gig, the benies aren't bad, and the pay can really work its way up there...So give it some more research...it can be duable even while you hold down your regular job...THEN you can make a decision on whether you like it, you want to be away for awhile driving, etc...

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Roger (aka Divebum)'s Comment
member avatar

Cory, if you dont mind my 2 cents. I have always had a love of the road, probably because it is in my blood, my dad drove for 50 years and almost all of my family either drove or still drives. I am 49 and basically dealt with a desk job primarily because I did not want to be away from my kids growing up like I was. Dont get me wrong, I know my dad did the best he could, but he was never at home much so he never went to any of my football games, or wrestling matches etc. I do not know if you kids are boys or girls, but little girls growing up like having daddy going to thier little plays and recitals, I know..i have 2 girls, but now mine are old enough they dont need dad around, and I am divorced so I have nothing holding me back now, but I can tell you from experience both from growing up, and from being with my girls while they grew up, think hard before you make the final decision to go otr. I agree with Star that maybe seeing if you can find someone to give you some weekend trips, or if you know anyone that is a driver, take a couple weeks vacation and go with them..maybe ask someone on here if they are from your area if you can take a run with them. You might have to buy a plane ticket back home but it would be well worth the money to get a perspective on what it would be like on the road and away from your family. Best of luck with your decision

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

By all means Roger give me your two cents. Hell give me your 3, 4 and 5 cents too. That's what i'm looking for is peoples opinion. Star thanks for the advice. I've looked into NTI up here and they offer a part time program for 10 weeks on weekends so I may look into that. Also come to think of it when you said beverage companies I forgot Coca Cola has a distribution facility right here in my home town so maybe I could look at what they could offer if anything. My other thought was after talking with my wife that maybe I do the training program with England, Swift, etc and we suck it up for a year so I can get my experience then I can turn around and find something local or regional. I've read a lot on here about how once you get that year OTR experience that you can go almost anywhere so that might be an option too. Thank you all for your input I really appreciate it.thank-you-2.gif

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

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