Considering A Career Change

Topic 1703 | Page 1

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Brian A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi folks First,let me give you brief history. I retired from the military almost a year ago. I was fortunate to be hired as a Defense Department civilian and will always be grateful for the opportunity.

My problem is I'm going crazy with the slow pace of the job and need to make a change...if not for anything but my own sanity. Hence I'm seriously considering becoming a trucker. I have been studying the prospect rather intently and Truckingtruth has been a large part of my research.

I would greatly appreciate any advice anyone is willing to share. I'm considering attending Roadmaster and looking into applying to Schneider's apprenticeship program. I'm fortunate enough to use my GI Bill to pay for my education. My wife is very supportive and we are empty nesters.

Again, if anyone has other options that i should look into, please don't hesitate to share.

I guess I should also mention we live in NC and we have no plans to relocate.

Thank you so much for your time

Brian

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Hi Brian and welcome. Your most definetly in the right place. First of all thank you for your service sir!!!!! I am a vet as well, however only did 8 years and changed careers. I'm a card carrying American Legion member. I am like you, retired and bored. I have looked into many companies and I decided to go to Roehl and should get the final nod this coming week. I don't have my cdl and plan on going through their program. A few of the folks here are using private companies, just depends on what works best for you. The high road program here was a blessing to me. There is a ton of info on many companies here at your finger tips. I talked to several companies during my research and they are like every other business, represent their company in the best possible light. There is a web address her in a post or more to a web site that you can actually look up the safety stats on the companies. I found that very useful. Another thing many of the experienced folks here will tell you is go out and talk to drivers at truck stops and they will tell you their opinion of their company. I had a supervisor at Roehl tell me the exact same thing. Hope this helps a little. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing how you progress. Also I'm in Georgia so nice to have more southern presence!!!!

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.
Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome, Brian. I, too, am retired military. I am presently working a job here in Germany with NAF, but I am planning on relocating back to the US of A. I have looked around and am also planning to utilize my GI Bill to get my CDL. I discovered that Schneider has an apprentice program with the VA that pays VA funds to you for a year. The way I understand it, this will be on top of your wages and retirement! Upon further research, I discovered the Roehl also has an apprentice program and the VA pays for TWO years! I have yet to confirm all this. What would really rain on my parade is if I find out something like there are no wages during the apprenticeship, just the VA benefits. But I just don't think it will be that way. You will find on this site the ability to practice for your CDL test. It is really set up nice with built-in review questions for lots of repetition. Good for learning and retaining!

Make sure you keep us updated with your progress and don't hesitate to ask questions. There is a lot of expertise and experienced drivers on this site that are more than willing to help. They haven't banned me yet for all the questions I have asked so far. smile.gifgood-luck.gif

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.
Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar

The more questions we get the better we can serve all those who come by to see us. That is how we all gain wisdom, from the many questions and experiences of other people.

Glad you have stopped by to check us out Brian. Their is a ton of information here for making informed decisions about a trucking career. Taking the time to go through it all or at least as much as you can will help you to make a great decision.

It really does come down to what type of work you want to do and the level of ease you will feel with a certain company. I will agree that their are some companies that are not so good, but a majority of the time it is really more the driver than the company. I know many are heating up now that I have said that. But, the truth is the truth. it is what we make of it.

But, their are some great companies to work for out their and some are very hard to get on with. I am going through a personnel company myself right now to see what they can do for me. Because of personal issues, I can only work in state so a local job is all I can handle at this time. I have done OTR in the past...a long time ago! And have done local LTL frieght for a small trucking company here in Georgia. Truck Driving Jobs

This link will get you started if you have not already been to it. It will give you some insight as to what is out there.Trucking Companies

This one helps you to understand the different companies and to see some of what comes from their side of the industry.

My advice is to choose say 5 companies at a time and do your own research from their websites and possible reviews. How To Choose A Company

After you have done a little research on your own, use this link to check yourself on what you have learned and see if their is anything you may need to know. It is a process and takes time, but you want to be happy in what you do, so take your time.

Good luck and let us know if we can help you any further.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.

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.

Scott L.'s Comment
member avatar

Steve,

Like you I am a VET and also work for a company that has a contract with SPAWAR. I am done worrying about whether I am going to be employed every quarter, six months, or FY. So I am also seeking a career change to become a driver.

I have some remaining Post 9/11 I plan on using to earn my CDL and also to use for OJT/Apprenticeship. Because of how much I make now, compared to how much I won't be making my first year. I am making a list of companies that are approved by the VA for the apprenticeship program. Keep in mind, using your education benefits are (and must be) in addition to your wages. NOT a part of your wages, and good thing is that it is not taxable.

Here is what I have so far:

COMPANY/ APPRENTICESHIP LOCATION REMARKS CONTACT INFO Con-Way Y OK Vern Hartnett 405.634.8491 May Y OR Scott Smith, Kory Knox, Kim Garnica 800.547.9169 x. 8831 TMC Y IA FLATBED Duane Boswell 515.974.3447 Transam Y KS Russ Mcelliott 913.324.7808 Covenant Y CA-Pomona 423.463.3006 Roehl Y WI HEAVY Jacob 800.825.8367

Rather than taking a companies word that they are approved, recommend using the VA site for confirmation. Select the OJT/Apprenticeship and search for entire US rather than specific states as it appears it goes by the company HQ.

As I find out more info I will share.

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.
Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
member avatar

^^^ Thanks, Scott.

I am going to get on the VA site and do some checking and double checking. I just got an email from Schneider and they told me they have rescinded their CDL schooling. However, they still do the apprentice program for 1 year. They recommended attending a private school and to contact them a week before graduation to get the ball rolling.

So, yeah. If you hear anything new, I'll be glad to read about it as well as any other VETs out there that are in the same boat as we are.

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.
Scott L.'s Comment
member avatar

BTW here is the VA link also: http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/searchInst.do

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
member avatar

^^^ Thanks! I'm on the VA site now. I can't seem to find the link to where it says how many benefits ($$$s?) I have remaining. I may just be blind in my old age. :P

Scott L.'s Comment
member avatar

Goto: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal

Login Click: Check Post-9/11 GI Bill Enrollment Status

The next page will show you summary.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
member avatar

Goto: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal

Login Click: Check Post-9/11 GI Bill Enrollment Status

The next page will show you summary.

Got it, thanks!

Too bad this is what it currently says:

78494001.JPG

Good for me, eh??? LOL!

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