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Topic 14403 | Page 1

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Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

I have been looking into upgrading my CDL from a class B to a class A for a while now. I have been driving a bus for King County Metro which is a transit agency here in the Seattle, WA area. It's a good job, pay starts at 22.41 an hour and tops off around 32 to 34 an hour within 10 years. I have been doing my research and have been wanting to drive a truck for a while now. There are a lot of old veteran truck drivers here that now drive a bus and everyone tells me I'd be an idiot to give up this job and drive a truck. They all drove in the 70's, 80's, and 90's and they all tell me that the pay will never be what I could get here driving a bus and that I will hate the job. I'm honestly trying to ask if anyone on here agrees with them or thinks they are wrong. This is considered a state government job so it has a pension instead of a 401k. Would I make just as much in the long run as a truck driver? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Thank 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.
Mark P.'s Comment
member avatar

You would be insane to leave that job

I have been looking into upgrading my CDL from a class B to a class A for a while now. I have been driving a bus for King County Metro which is a transit agency here in the Seattle, WA area. It's a good job, pay starts at 22.41 an hour and tops off around 32 to 34 an hour within 10 years. I have been doing my research and have been wanting to drive a truck for a while now. There are a lot of old veteran truck drivers here that now drive a bus and everyone tells me I'd be an idiot to give up this job and drive a truck. They all drove in the 70's, 80's, and 90's and they all tell me that the pay will never be what I could get here driving a bus and that I will hate the job. I'm honestly trying to ask if anyone on here agrees with them or thinks they are wrong. This is considered a state government job so it has a pension instead of a 401k. Would I make just as much in the long run as a truck driver? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Thank 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.
Jared H.'s Comment
member avatar

So would I be I sane to leave this job because I'll never find a trucking company that would pay as much in the long run or because of the pension?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Jared, you really don't say what you are looking for in your job. All you've mentioned is the money. If that is all you are interested in then stay where you are. You will work close to twice the hours as an Over The Road Driver to make the same money.

I'll make around seventy thousand dollars this year, but I can promise you I will put in some very long hours compared to what you are doing at your job. I'll also get all kinds of perks that I enjoy. Things like seeing the countryside as the seasons change, stopping off at a nice beach in Florida for a 34 hour break and enjoying some really nice fresh seafood while I'm there. Meeting all kinds of interesting people along my way. Enjoying a beautiful sunrise in one state and then seeing it set and work it's magic in another state that evening. Driving through places like this on a fairly regular basis.

beautiful mountain scenery picture taken by truck driver

The thing about being a truck driver that makes it enjoyable for some is also the thing that causes others to despise it. Some people don't appreciate it when their job must also be their lifestyle, and that is how it is with any successful truck driver. It is very demanding, but also very rewarding. For some the demands far outweigh the rewards, while for others the rewards are worth all the demands of the job. There are days I can hardly believe someone is willing to pay me good money to do this, but at the same time many truck drivers are complaining about how little they make. I do pretty well at this because I understand the relationship between my performance and my net worth to my employer. Unfortunately so many people think they should be getting good money just for pulling on their clothes and showing up for work.

I'm not sure what to tell you, but if you want to drive a truck you will have some big adjustments to make. It is an all consuming job that requires a great deal of commitment and discipline for one to succeed at it, but it also is pure pleasure for someone like myself.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

My brother lives in St Petersburg, FL. He has driven a school bus for ten years, and a few years ago added a tourist trolley along the St Pete Beach area. That's two jobs. He doesn't get your pay level. But he's home every night.

I've talked to him about OTR , he says "Nah, I'm good."

It's true, driving a truck isn't for everybody. Local jobs for newbies are like hen's teeth - you've basically going to have to drive OTR for a year or so.

Make two lists, one the things you like about your bus job, and the the things you don't like. Do the same for driving a semi, be sure you focus on OTR.

Old School, who loves his job, lists some good and bad. (BTW, you'll be making more like $30-40 grand your first years.)

It's your life. If your want to get out of Seattle, trucking may be your ticket. If you want to chase money, compared to what you do now, trucking may be a mistake.

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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