New Career

Topic 18127 | Page 1

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Richard E.'s Comment
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So I've been researching calling around all that but having trouble just jumping into trucking I'm lucky enough to have a decent job with a major retailer full time 10 years and good benefits health life and matching 401k I'm making a tad over $13 which just gets me by but I'm really tiered of the same routine daily and retail just isn't "fun" I have a office job so I'm lucky to not have to work with people (which I enjoy not). I'll be dipping into my 401k to pay for school (4500) near my house and I can still work my job, I don't have kids or wife so but I don't have bills/debt.. I've seen a few company's with tuition reimbursement which is nice and I will use. So I'm just curious do you think I should give it up and go for it the uncertainty of not making enough and all that my first year scares the crap outa me and I know there is a lot of variables but I'm amore a dedicated hard worker so I'm confident in my ability but is trucking a smart move... I've spoken with us xpress and they seem like a legit company if I can get on which would be my intent (I'm from wv) they have jobs posted in my area etc.. So I guess my question is you think I'd be ok moving forward and being able to at least make the money I would loose leaving my current... Thanks all sorry for the long post..

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.

Dan E.'s Comment
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Hi Richard I am also from WV (Beckley area) and am considering accepting an invitation for company sponsored training with TMC. If flatbed interests you and the thought of being home most weekends take a look at them. You should get some good feedback on this board for all your questions. Good luck!

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.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Richard E., welcome! (Moderators, am I allowed to welcome new posters?) Yes, in your first year you should make at least what you were earning in your retail position. The first several months will be lean, as you'll be spending time in CDL school and then with a trainer, and just not making very much; training pay is quite low, but, don't let that discourage you. Once you get on your own, and as long as you maintain your "dedicated hard worker" approach to this lifestyle, you'll do fine. And you'll be doing fine in a job where there is no 'daily routine.' Be sure to check out the links below for great in-depth information that might help you; and if you decide to become a trucker, absolutely positively work through The High Road Training Program, it is the very best preparation you can get for obtaining your CDL permit. Also, reading the various topics covered in this forum provides invaluable information for your trucking career. Good luck to you!

The High Road Online CDL Training Program

Becoming a Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Trucking Company Reviews, Job Listings, ...

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.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

I would be careful about "dipping into" your 401K. I'm not an accountant, but, very seldom a good idea. There are other options.

good-luck.gif

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Hey Richard...I echo what Pete said and suggest also taking a look at this link as well:

Truck Driver's Career Guide

BillTheSlink's Comment
member avatar

By all means study the links. From what you'll be told on here trucking is more of a lifestyle than just a job. Listen to Brett's podcasts too.

Also I would be aware if I were you that there are companies out there that will put you through their own CDL school without you paying a dime if you will stay with them a certain amount of time. As Brett cautions us if you do commit to trucking stay with one job one year. They guys say you really can't tell if it's the right job and company for you for a year and I can tell you as a former career councilor leaving a company before one year looks very bad in the eyes of other employers, and the way the economy and job market have been over the past few years you don't want a black mark on your work record.

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.
C T.'s Comment
member avatar

You will definitely make more driving. I flipped burgers last year for 13.50 and doubled my income out here.

Landion's Comment
member avatar

They key IMO is choosing the correct company. After training my first company had me run team making 12 cpm with a 1 cpm raise each month until I was at 17 cpm.

I could have made this work, but we were running solo miles at that really low rate. I literally lost my car and my rental house before I switched companies. Had I gone with the second company first I would not have had those issues. So do your homework - ask questions of the recruiter, here, and also if you're looking at one company in particular pop down to the local truck stop and chat with a driver or two.

I switched companies very early on in my career, hopefully you will not have to do that - but keep in mind that after your first company odds are once you come into a company as a qualified driver many will not offer tuition reimbursement. From my experience, that is something that seems to only be available at your first company.

The link that G-Town listed has a bunch of great information, I recently used a bunch of the questions when evaluating companies. You can tell a lot about a company by how forthcoming they are with answers to questions.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

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