How Old Is Too Old To Become A Truck Driver?

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Jack M.'s Comment
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I would like some opinions on whether or not I would be wasting my time trying to get into the trucking industry. I'm 60 years old, in very good health and except for being a little overweight, am in good physical condition. I've been retired for 5 years but would like to go to work as a truck driver. I have good credit, an excellent employment history, no criminal history and an unblemished driving record. I would hate to pay for a truck driving school and go through all the training, only to find that trucking companies aren't interested in a 60 year old "recruit". I'm also a little apprehensive about asking this question to a driving school recruiter. I'm sure they would all say "Sure, no problem at all! Will that be cash, or check?" Thanks!

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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I would like some opinions on whether or not I would be wasting my time trying to get into the trucking industry. I'm 60 years old, in very good health and except for being a little overweight, am in good physical condition. I've been retired for 5 years but would like to go to work as a truck driver. I have good credit, an excellent employment history, no criminal history and an unblemished driving record. I would hate to pay for a truck driving school and go through all the training, only to find that trucking companies aren't interested in a 60 year old "recruit". I'm also a little apprehensive about asking this question to a driving school recruiter. I'm sure they would all say "Sure, no problem at all! Will that be cash, or check?" Thanks!

Welcome to TT, Jack!

I, too, am an old guy. I will be 60 next month. Age does not seem to be a factor in this industry. I figure to have another 15 years or better. You will hear from the experts here that age is more times preferred as older drivers are more mature and do not get easily rattled. As long as you are healthy and alert, along with having the desired attitude to driving, you can drive as long as you want! But I'll let the experienced drivers tell you that. I am making a major relocation from Germany to the USA just to get into this field. I can hardly wait to get back and get started. You will do fine!

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Age isn't a problem in this industry. I got hired at age 21 and if they will hire a kid to drive a semi then they will definitely hire a 60 year old adult. Your age is not a problem at all. As long as you can pass the DOT physical then you'll be good to go.

Since you've been retired for 5 years that might it more challenging though. Before you sign up for any schooling, call companies that you're interested in working for and tell them your situation. Make sure they will actually hire you if you graduate even though you have no recent work experience. Also, ensure that the school you will be attending allows you to have at a minimum of 140 training hours and give you a certificate of completion. Make sure that trucking companies actually hire out of the school that you're interested in attending. A CDL means nothing if the companies won't hire 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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

I started driving school at 52. I have met many drivers my age to yours and older. If you can pass the DOT physical, you will do fine. And as to being a bit over weight, I lost 45 lbs, which I set out to do. I went in with a BP problem and could only get a 1 year med card. I lost the weight to try and get my BP down. Its not that hard. There are subways in a lot of truck stops, if you dont bring your own food. We would stop at Walmarts about every 2 weeks and buy turkey and ham for sandwiches. If you hit places like TA's and Petro's, they usually have really good salad bars. I still want to take another 20 lbs off, and now I am going solo, I will be able to add some exorcize time everyday. I love to walk. As a land surveyor I walked for a living. Working on the team truck, I rarely had time to do that, because the truck just never stopped. Now I can add that, plus I plan to pick up a couple of 25 lb dumbells. There are magazines in the truck stops that usually have good tips on driver health and good programs to work to that.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm 57 working flat bed and never had a physical hands on type of job since I was a kid. I was in pretty good shape, but the last couple of months have put me in better shape. And I'm not a very big guy at 150 on a good day. I really enjoy the mix of driving and working outside. Back to your original question, if you think you can handle it you will. I see us more mature guys (and assume gals) have a good work ethic, don't take everything personal and have mellowed with age so the little things don't bother us quite as much. That being said, it isn't an easy job with the long and varied hours. However, if you like the lifestyle of being out and about, seeing new things constantly and never knowing where you will be going or what you will be hauling, then it is an ageless type of employment. I may change my mind in February in North Dakota while trying to tarp a load, but for now, that's my story and I'm sticking with it. smile.gifsmile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Jack, you are in the right place for straight answers to whatever questions you have, and will come up with the more you look into trucking. I retired a year ago and just been doing my own thing. I relocated cross country, and changed my drivers license. I am 53. I had no problem or concerns from any of the company's I spoke with. When I made my final decision it was just a matter of 1 extra form explaining why I had not been working, and signed by a couple friends that they could contact if necessary to verify. No big deal at all. Look around, learn from the vast experience here, and enjoy the ride!!!!

Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar

AGE: ANOTHER GREAT EXPERIENCE!

I first started in 1986. I met a driver who was 76 with his own truck and life history of beautiful experiences and vast wisdom. Driving is one of those life choices that you can continue until you can't. Go for it Jack. Many companies are looking for us matured folks. I just started a logging career at 51. My muscles hate it, but I love it.

Try a technical school out. You can get most of it paid for through grants. Very little out of pocket. And the school experience and setting is a blast.

Good luck and keep us posted.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Jack, Don't even let it concern you. I got hired into the industry at 53, and the very same week I got hired another gentleman in our group who was 73 got on board also! If you can do the job and pass the fairly simple physical you won't have a problem getting your first truck driving job.

ATXJEHU's Comment
member avatar

Hey Jack,

Age is not an issue in this industry. I am older than you (not saying by how much!) and encountered no problems in this regard. I had concerns about passing the physical, so I paid for one on my own nickel prior to enrolling in a truck driving school and passed with no problem. However, this is not an easy job, so be prepared for long, erratic hours with lots of solitude (unless you drive team). My over-all experience with Roehl has been good and recommend that you at least talk with them in the process of choosing a company. Good luck to ya!

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.

Jack M.'s Comment
member avatar

AGE: ANOTHER GREAT EXPERIENCE!

I first started in 1986. I met a driver who was 76 with his own truck and life history of beautiful experiences and vast wisdom. Driving is one of those life choices that you can continue until you can't. Go for it Jack. Many companies are looking for us matured folks. I just started a logging career at 51. My muscles hate it, but I love it.

Try a technical school out. You can get most of it paid for through grants. Very little out of pocket. And the school experience and setting is a blast.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Thanks for the response and the advice!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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