Looking At A New Career And Need Advice

Topic 22467 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone. First, some background info on me: I am a 55 year old female that works in a supervisory role at a large corporate law firm. I have wanted to drive a truck since I was a kid and rode OTR with my grandfather, however, life happened. Now that my youngest is getting ready to graduate high school in a few days and move off to attend college in the fall, my old, buried dream is tearing its head once again. January, 2017 I was hospitalized for a month with a staph infection, had surgery, and lost my ability to walk...I was a day away from dying. I was discharged from the hospital to a nursing home for physical therapy for another month. Four and a half months after the beginning of my descent into hell I was released to go back to work, still in a wheel chair. However, I am now walking again and still working toward 100%. I am a fighter and a survivor and I do not give up.

Because of that health scare I realize life is too short to have regrets. So, my questions:

Which companies with a CDL school hire around Charleston, West Virginia?

There is a PIA trucking school close to me...do any companies pay for training at a private training facility? (I make good money but coming up with a big lump sum is not feasible.)

My BP, blood work, eye sight, etc. are all good. But, with the health info above, what do you think my odds are of passing a DOT and company physical?

After going solo, about how long does it take to get on your feet financially?

How hard is it to adjust to living in a box for weeks with a trainer, someone you don’t know?

Ok, I think that’s all the questions I have for now. I’m sure I will have a lot more at some point.

Thanks!

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey, Kim. That's an amazing story. With that determination you'll now be able to handle anything life throws your way. So trucking school won't be much of a problem.

Healing from a bedridden patient to an independent walker in less than a year is an awardable achievement. Obviously Trucking Truth isn't the place to discuss the finer points of your physical condition, but people with prosthetic limbs have climbed into a cab to make a living. Start with your attending doctor, and discuss the physical demands of trucking and your own abilities and limitations. The DOT medical exam physician would probably need to see a letter from your own doctor. (I'm just guessing on this and haven't looked up the medical standards.)

Do not worry about where your hiring company sends you to school They will simply put you in a Greyhound bus toi go wherever they ahve an opening. True, studying close to home has its advantages, but you'll soon be on the road for weeks at a time.

Speaking of which, remember, your hiring company selects people to be the road trainers. Maybe you do not know them personally, but most of these people have literally opened their homes (the truck sleeper) many times a year to strangers on their own account. Mostly these trainers want to help the new people get used to how a regular truck lifestyle works.

Here's some reading we set up for people interested in trucking:

Here are some links to things discussing Company sponsored training:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Finally, some reading about DOT physicals (noting exactly about physical requirements, but you can look into these.):

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.

Hypertension:

Abnormally high blood pressure.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

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.

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.

Bran009's Comment
member avatar

I'm a newbie but I just wanted to welcome you to the forum! It is great that you have the determination to get to the point you are.

Keep it up and that will serve you well.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Errol. My kids tell me my stubbornness and determination got me walking again. Brats. lol

I only gave the health information as a background for my thoughts and questions. Over the years I have revisited my dream of driving a truck. I now think I’m ready to try the High Road training, talk to my doctors and start moving forward. I will definitely study the links you provided. I’ve researched different companies and each have pros and cons. I’ll just have to whittle the list down.

Thank you again.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Bran. I’ve been stalking here for a while and have learned a lot from the moderators, experienced drivers, newbies, and also the people that are just looking into driving as a career. I’m looking forward to reading and learning more.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Kim!

Thanks so much for introducing yourself to us. That was awesome!

It sounds like you've already been poking around in here, and that's great. Hey, I hope you can avoid the stress that comes from straining over every little detail you can find on these trucking companies. People tend to go on these monumental research misadventures in hope that they can find that perfect trucking company that treats it's drivers fairly. Thanks to a bunch of losers who fabricate all manner of nonsense on the internet, that is how most trucking careers get their start these days. It's really sad.

Here's a couple of articles you might want to read. Hopefully they can assist you in getting the proper mindset from the get go.

A Critical Part Of Success As A New Trucker

Four Traps That New Drivers Fall Into

Once again, we welcome you! Please join in our conversations and keep us updated on your progress.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forums. Since the paid training but has already been bludgeoned to death, I will touch on your question about private school. If a large sum upfront is daunting, many places can finance you. If there is a technical college near by with a program you may be able to do an education type loan. Most companies have tuition reimbursement. Many will even setup the payments directly to your financial institution that issued your loan.

Another option is to contact various private institutions and see if any companies sponsor training. Sponsored training is kinda a middle ground between a company owned school and private institution. A company will pick up the tab on the private institution in exchange for a contract. This allows you to attend CDL classes near home while having the security and reduced cost of a company ran program.

As far as the money after going solo it all depends. Some people pick up on the nuances of this profession easier than others. I would say 6 months is a average timeframe to get to a point of consistent income. Some figure things out quicker, some slower.

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.
Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Old School. One thing I’ve learned in life is...what works for one person may not work for another. So, I will keep that in mind as I read reviews on the different companies I’m interested in. I won’t be starting school next week so I have time to figure out my options and the direction i believe will work best for me. One of my main worries is financial. I don’t want to miss mortgage payments but I may have a solution for that. Time to start making a list of everything I need to do and get things marked off. 😃

Thanks again!

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Patrick. The financial part of it, from beginning to consistent income, is daunting to think about. I’ve been rock bottom financially and had nothing a couple of times in my life and have bounced back from it. I’m older now and don’t bounce as easily. lol But, this is something I really want to do. I will do research, weigh my options, and come up with solutions to the issues that worry me the most.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Kim, the financial reasons is one of the reasons we highly recommend you attend a company sponsored training. Whether that be a company owned school or a sponsorship at a private institution. The other is simply you should stay with your first company for at least a year anyways. So the contract is no big thing.

I realize many people do not have access to the crutch I used to prop myself up financially. I used my education benefits from the military to do a "apprenticeship program". Basically I traded time off my education benefit and a whole lot of extra paperwork for a nice little monthly check to supplement my income while I "figured it out."

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.

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More