Older Guy Wanting To Get Into Trucking

Topic 22483 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

61 retired United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant.

Currently working in Tier 1, automotive parts manufacturing plant in Alabama for Hyundai as a team leader over about 25, people.

People aren't buying cars, and the ones that are? Sure as hell aren't buying Hyundai

Job is steadily going South.

Short days and short weeks. The only way you can make any money is via overtime.

My best year working 12 hour days x 6,days a week was $48k. With my Military Retirement that put me in around $69k.

But those days are gone.

Struggling now to just get 40, hours a week. @,$14.20 an hour straight time.

Got informed today we're looking at more short days (less than eight hours, although as a so called team leader I can wrangle that and then some),, And short weeks, (4 day week vs 5)

I'm accostomed to working 12+ days. Seven to fourteen or more hours a day.

Weeks on end.

Going home and wife and kids asleep. Going to work. Wife and kids asleep. (Yes I'm divorced from the first wife)

I'm no Johnny Rambo, nor Special Forces. Mostly what I did in the Corps was training boots. ( Two tours on the drill field, marksmanship coach, primary marksmanship instructor)

10 years at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina

Got tha "bright Idea" to finish my bachelors degree I started while in the Marines.

Got out - retired from the Corps.

Got medical coverage via Tricare Prime.

Premiums run about $26 a month for just me. Wife has Medicare as primary, with Tricare as secondary.

She pays zero out of pocket. I pay $12,copay for doctors visit and about the same for the rare prescription

Living in Alabama at the present.

Looking at moving to West Mississippi. South of Jackson just off I 55 (Family)

Going to have to bust a move soon.

Looking at

Prime KLLM PAM Maverick

No health issues

Caught a Dui six years ago

Wasn't even driving, just sitting in the driver's seat, But my drunk azz had the key in the ignition. I was actually trying to find a buddy to come and get me

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Jason R.'s Comment
member avatar

Never to old to get into trucking, as long as you can pass the physical and obtain a CDL you are good to go.

I don’t know anything about any of the companies you had mentioned, because I don’t really look at reviews. I just do different research when looking at a company that I may want to join. I look at CSA scores, try to find out how long they have been in business, I try to do a little research on freight they haul, I don’t look at reviews because most are negative and I like to make my own judgement on a company. Most reviews are from disgruntled drivers, I also look to see how long ago the reviews were from. Sometimes things and outlooks change when either new management or ownership comes along. Thats my opinion

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

You are fairly young to get into trucking. Many people are getting into trucking after years at a dead end job. Some after retirement. This is one of the last careers where one can make more money by working harder and smarter. Have you looked at CFI? They trained me and I am very happy with them. Also, when speaking with companies, mention that you're a vet. Many companies have special deals for vets. Good luck.

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies.

All good news I could use.

I especially enjoyed how to filter through all of the negative reviews by disgruntled drivers.

From my limited knowledge and experience too many just up and decided to get into the transportation industry without sufficient prior preparation.

Just had an exam, in process of getting prescription glasses for driving. (Vision not so bad a little near sighted)

Planning on getting DOT physical even though it's almost guaranteed I'll have to do a repeat when I get to whatever company I get with. Just want to know for sure and certain before I go. A lousy dead end job is better than no job.

Studying for my CDL Permit as though it was a newly found Gosspel and tomorrow is Judgement Day.

Planning on moving to Mississippi and hire on there as this will be where the Wife and I will be settling down at.

A little disoriented about 1st year income potential. I've seen it as low as $17k up to $41k?

I'm using $30k for planning and plotting. That'll put me in the $51k neighborhood with my Military Retirement.

Figure on going OTR my first year. Would like to Team with an experience driver if I could manage that, as I know any training I get out of a school or training program is only going to teach me about 5% of what I actually need to know. But unsure if anyone with experience would want to Team up with with an inexperienced green horn?

Again thank you for the replies

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I noticed you posted an intro about a year ago. Seems like you want this. What are you waiting for? Many of us started later in life, second career etc. I was in my early 50s when I went to trucking school with Swift. Of note one of our Moderators, Errol, started in his early 60s, drove OTR and Dedicated for several years and is now a driving instructor for Swift's Academy in Memphis. Search on his diary. Old School, PJ and many others began their trucking career in their 50s.

If you are healthy, no reason why you can't do this.

Here is what to expect for the physical:

It's also suggested to review the Trucking Truth Starter kit.

Be aware that a few companies will not consider you because of the DUI. Use these links to determine your best options:

Trucking Company Reviews

Paid CDL Training Programs

Lots to read. Let us know if you have any questions, we are here to help. Good luck!

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.

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Top of the morning to ya, Gunny! (If i may be so bold as to address ya by first name...)

I'm no expert. Matter of fact I'm training myself right now. Not sure I've even earned greenhorn status yet. But some folks a lot smarter and more experienced than me will be along shortly to address your questions. Lots of experience and wisdom to be found here.

In the meantime, I do want to throw some things out there... First, there are some companies out there that will recognize and compensate you for your service (and thank you very much for that). But the recognition, etc., will vary from company to company, from those wise enough to appreciate it to those that just try to hook you in the door. Research is the key - and you came to the right place for that. If I may, have a glance at some of these when you get a moment:

Second, there is a great thread on here, rather recent I believe, all about team driving. If you scroll down the list of recent topics, you should see it here on the first or second page. Might have CRST (a team driving company) in the title - sorry, working on first coffee and memory isn't fully online yet.

Great to have ya on board!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Hey Dan S. I’m in Prime’s TNT training program now. In approximately 1-2 weeks, I’ll upgrade to my own company truck. I’m still teaming with my trainer until I complete 30K miles. In the diaries section of the forums, there are plenty of diaries on the training process for Prime & many other companies.

Here’s another great link, with other resources within it: Questions to ask company recruiters

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi. Im a reefer trainer at Prime. I posted my first year totals a while ago, and this weekend will.post my recent pays to.show the progression.

Prime First Year Pay

Prime does an OTR one on one training with your permit where you actually deliver loads before you test and get the CDL. Driving hundreds or thousands of miles can truly make a difference to some people. After you get the CDL you a d a trainer will team for 30,000 TRUCK miles. meaning all the miles you both drive.

Prime is very selective, but ask them about the DUI anyway .

good luck

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Dan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the plethora of good info!!

Prime requires three years since your DUI was COMPLETELY settled. Which is to say, your court appearance, suspension etc.

Mine was a misnomer as I wasn't actively or actually driving, but sitting in the driver's seat with the keys in the ignition,

That was over six years ago.

Most trucking companies want a minimum of five.

I've hesitated because it's not Just a career move, but moving from Alabama to Mississippi (family, children and grandchildren etc)

I don't want to be tied down to any one specific geographical location.

Trucking offers soooo many different options than a regular job.

If your willing to put in the effort and meet the demands of the occupation.

Again thanks all of you that taken the time to respond.

We've a 10 day plant shut down coming the first of July.

I hope to sync things together by then.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

Hey, Dan!

Thanks for your service to our country.

You are plenty young enough for trucking....many of us are around your age or older.

I want to recommend that you really consider whether you want the trucking life or not; lots of people that get into this primarily because they cannot find another job end up very unhappy.

I bet you could find a job that pays what you need locally, if you are in the right local.

But if you really want the trucking life, then welcome to it! Just read all the stuff in the links you've been sent....learn all you can about different types of trucking, figure out what sort of freight you think you'd prefer, figure out what part(s) of the country you want to run, and choose a successful trucking company that meets your needs. I bet you could do very well with any choice you make. Stick with it at least a year and evaluate again...maybe you will stay where you are, maybe you'll find you want something different. In any case, you can certainly earn the $ you're looking for and then some. The best in this business can earn 60 their first year and more after that, possibly much more, depending upon what you choose to do.

61 retired United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant.

Currently working in Tier 1, automotive parts manufacturing plant in Alabama for Hyundai as a team leader over about 25, people.

People aren't buying cars, and the ones that are? Sure as hell aren't buying Hyundai

Job is steadily going South.

Short days and short weeks. The only way you can make any money is via overtime.

My best year working 12 hour days x 6,days a week was $48k. With my Military Retirement that put me in around $69k.

But those days are gone.

Struggling now to just get 40, hours a week. @,$14.20 an hour straight time.

Got informed today we're looking at more short days (less than eight hours, although as a so called team leader I can wrangle that and then some),, And short weeks, (4 day week vs 5)

I'm accostomed to working 12+ days. Seven to fourteen or more hours a day.

Weeks on end.

Going home and wife and kids asleep. Going to work. Wife and kids asleep. (Yes I'm divorced from the first wife)

I'm no Johnny Rambo, nor Special Forces. Mostly what I did in the Corps was training boots. ( Two tours on the drill field, marksmanship coach, primary marksmanship instructor)

10 years at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina

Got tha "bright Idea" to finish my bachelors degree I started while in the Marines.

Got out - retired from the Corps.

Got medical coverage via Tricare Prime.

Premiums run about $26 a month for just me. Wife has Medicare as primary, with Tricare as secondary.

She pays zero out of pocket. I pay $12,copay for doctors visit and about the same for the rare prescription

Living in Alabama at the present.

Looking at moving to West Mississippi. South of Jackson just off I 55 (Family)

Going to have to bust a move soon.

Looking at

Prime KLLM PAM Maverick

No health issues

Caught a Dui six years ago

Wasn't even driving, just sitting in the driver's seat, But my drunk azz had the key in the ignition. I was actually trying to find a buddy to come and get me

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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.

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