Anybody Left A Higher Paying Job In Corporate America For Trucking? How Did It Work Out For You?

Topic 17120 | Page 1

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Zen Joker's Comment
member avatar

First off....Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Here I am again (as I seem to re-appear every 6-12 months), the man infinitely on the trucking fence.shocked.png

So I moved back to the corporate office for the mortgage company I work at after working from home and starting a family in beautiful northern WI 5 years ago. I took a higher paying position with salary, commissions, and bonuses of around $70k, benefits are average. My colleague who pulled for me and got me the position back here died of cancer this fall, I report directly to the president who yesterday basically gave me a performance review 2 hours before the Thanksgiving holiday. When he started out "I'm don't want to distress before the holiday BUT.." I know that wasn't good. My job is not on the rocks but I lately am stressed to the point where it is affecting me physically (sleep and appetite). Problem is my deceased boss left no notes and I have a boss now who doesn't really mentor me much but is happy at any time to tell me how I have disappointing the company that I've worked for for 9 years. No mentor, no real training, and made some honest mistakes in the 7 months I've been down here.

Anyways, the wife keeps saying she gives me her blessing to go truck driving. She hates it down here and wants to move back up north. The company approved me moving back next year , but since I have dropped the ball on a couple things without any real supervision, I can see their tone changing and frankly it has me worried. I'll shovel Sh*t in the furnaces of hell to provide for my family and taking a $20k paycut ($40k first year) is not practical on the surface, but I ask myself what the long term cost is to my health and sanity? I realize trucking is no vacation, but a long term , long distance career which would present me with a whole new set of stresses an challenges. At least I would answer to one person the dispatcher , have one core function and getting trained at Roehl or Schneider after CDL school would put my in a position to be successful. I just need to be showed how, the will is there. Roehl and Schneider offer regional which would get me home every week and after year one would hopefully yield $50-55k a year.

Things could get better at my current job, they hired another Manager for my dept, but I was told he will be focusing on growing the company and I shouldn't distract him too much (wonderful, considering I had less thean 45 days training with my old boss before he went down, and I have been in the new area of Business Development for 7 months). If I continue to grope in the dark and keep getting pulled into senior manager's offices for making errors, this will not look promising for me to move back up north and work from home next fall.

I know the quality of character of most of the members in here and many will disclaim "Only you know you". I realize I assume full responsibility for my decisions. Just wanted some input from some industry professionals who are walking the walk and may have left a higher paying job or anyone that wishes to share their thoughts.

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.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Zen Joker's Comment
member avatar

...I should also mention in talking to the wife, I kind of miss the blue collar. Life seemed simpler to report to one person, take a reasonable amount of training and do my best with it., and work around real people. Thanks!

's Comment
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You will get plenty of advice here of the tru king world, but why don't you seek out you're same career with a different company?

Zen Joker's Comment
member avatar

You will get plenty of advice here of the tru king world, but why don't you seek out you're same career with a different company?

That is a good question, unfortunately moving back to where my family needs to be, that is really not practical. And honestly when I'm being truthful I don't think my heart is really in it anymore.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

It will take you several years to even approach 70 K. Also, this job comes with its own unique stresses. I'm 56 years old, divorced, grown Children. From my experience so far, I can see how this job would be tough on a marriage and family. Do your research

smile.gifgood-luck.gif

's Comment
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I hear that.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Zen I am 57, grown kids, in a 14 year relationship with GF. I retired from my FT corporate job about 5 years ago and entered this profession with my eyes wide open. In the beginning the stress level is very high, but not the same as it is in your current job. Over the course of 3-6 months as you develop a sense for how to efficiently operate, things improve dramatically. I no longer loose sleep because of my job.

Although I run dedicated Walmart and have a great deal of flexibility with home time, I cannot imagine how difficult this job would be on a family.

Tractor is correct, 70k annually is attainable but not likely for the first few years while you learn all there is to know about this business.

One other option, depending on where you live, LTL could be a possibility for you. Line haul drivers typically get home every day. Search on Old Dominion (upper left hand corner). One of our regular contributors, Six String drives for OD and has done quite well.

Good luck.

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

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I completely "get it". Basically your friend brought you in, was training you for this job and then unfortunately passed away before you really knew everything you needed to know to succeed and then you were "thrown to the wolves" so to speak.

I will tell you this. In Wisconsin, you ARE in my company's hiring area. They don't offer a cdl school but they do hire new cdl grads fresh out of school. They do a 30 day training which is paid at, $490 a week last I knew.. they. had discussed raising that so it may be slightly more now. After company training, a midwest regional solo driver, who is home every weekend has a minimum pay guaranteed of $1000/ wk. Of course that is gross and there are very reasonable requirements to qualify, like not having any late pickups or deliveries that are solely your fault, and being available to drive at least 5 days out of the 7 day week. You can definitely earn more than the minimum.

So, yes you can get a home weekly position straight out of cdl school and earn well over $50k your very first year.

I worked in healthcare and more specifically travel contracts and doing that earned between $70-80k per year. I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I can honestly say the pay cut for me was a non issue personally, as my sanity is worth so much more than that.

Follow your heart and your dreams and don't second guess yourself over what-ifs. Oh and btw, after you go solo you are allowed to have a rider so maybe the wife could come along at times. I work for West Side Transport out of Cedar Rapids, IA. They do offer quite a large referral bonus, but i don't brag about the company for that reason and even though I've had a few friends check them out and subsequently work for them, I've never bothered submitting any actual referral forms. That referral requires both parties having quite a bit of personal info on each other-- much more than i feel comfortable disclosing on an online public forum. The company pays me well enough to simply drive and that's what I love to do.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

Not necessarily advice but just my two cents. Your health is worth more than money. I come from a different situation being that I am 22 and from a poor area of New Mexico. I was making 350 net every two weeks being a cashier at the truck stop, they call my state the land of entrapment for a reason haha.

This lead to me driving because I could make more money, even the small checks are more than I used to make. I went from grossing 11k in a year if I was lucky, to netting 13k in 7 months as a a truck driver.

Anyways back to topic, you have your wife's blessing and live in a great freight area. Money is great, but enjoying what you do while you make it, is even better. I wake up ready to get going, been home for 3 days now and I am ready to move. My friend it really is simple. You honestly only know. As the others said, there is a lot of opportunity in your area. Ask yourself if the money is worth more than your mental health. Also what advice would you give a friend if they were in the same position? Good luck...

Fisherman2280's Comment
member avatar

I work in the corporate world still and I can tell you errors are not acceptable in our world ever check and recheck and then get your worked QA again before ever submitting work you should know this. If you got the job they assume you have the qualification and don't need to be baby sat at 70k let alone be making mistakes over and over.

Buckle down stop making mistakes and show them you can be a benefit not a hindrance.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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