Woman Wanting To Start Trucking Carrer.. But Lil Nervous Doing It

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Rainy D.'s Comment
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I was almost bankrupt when i got on that bus. Less than 2 years later i paid off $57,000 in debt!

Kim T.'s Comment
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Rainy, how did you get past the debilitating fear of losing everything? I’m the only income at my house and I have a mortgage, car payment, insurance on both, property taxes, utilities, etc. I’m old enough to know there are no guarantees in life but going from a stable job and a good, steady income into the unknown is terrifying. My biggest fear is quitting my job, signing on with Roehl or Prime and not being able to pass the agility tests...I’m 55 and not a ‘little’ woman. Any suggestions or advice?

Rainy D.'s Comment
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Im not little either. the agility is basically bending and reaching. lifting weights and climbing a few rungs of a ladder. they made me test for apnea the first year and passed. 2 years later i tested again and am now on a cpap.

i was so desperate i just left. while in training, i still had to pay $1200 per month for my apartment, $400 for my car and $150 for car insurance. I borrowed all i could from my brother and got on that bus determined not to fail.

i worked out deals.with my credit cards and landlord explaining the situation. my credit was so bad, i didnt care at that point. my house was destroyed in a hurricane a couope years before....a house i bought when i was 21 and my family had owned for 50 years. i felt like i already lost everything.

If you have a clean driving and criminal background, and can pass the physical these companies will want you.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Kim T.'s Comment
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It’s a scary thing when you are the adult responsible for your finances and nothing to fall back on. I do have a clean driving and criminal record, no drugs, stable work history, etc. I have worn a cpap for about three years.

So, I’m thinking I will make an appointment for a DOT physical.

Thank you for your input. Your posts are always informative and appreciated.

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.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Keep in mind any company you go to will make you do another physical. i understand you might want to be safe... but each company has lists of drugs they will.not accept.

Are you on any Rx meds that are addictive?

Any anti anxiety/psychotropic drugs?

is your BP regulated?

Can you submit 30 days for the cpap? (not all companies care about the cpap. prime is a stickler. i recommend if you choose prime, you call Cardinal Sleep and ask if your cpap can be fitted with a modem. otherwise, they may make you buy a new one that can be monitored from the road).

Any anti seizure or diabetes meds?

Be sure to talk to your doctor.about any of these things. If you are on a banned med, the company will want you to change to another med and come back in 30 days with a clearance letter from the prescribing doctor.

Be sure to have a certified by the state copy of your birth certificate. it needs to have a raises seal from the state. so many people got sent home for having the hospital ceetificate, not the state one.

I totally get your fears. I was terrified when i failed the CDL backing tests...then the driving test. Prime gave me extra help to get me to pass it.

I absolutely love my company and believe it is an excellent place for women. so.many amenities and understanding dispatchers. However, most drivers will say that about their company or they wouldnt be there.

whichever company you choose, plan to stay there a year. then you can go anywhere!

The steam shower in the spa here is worth the trip lol

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.

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.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

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.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

I’ve heard more good about Prime than I have bad. As a matter of fact it’s one of my top two choices. The steam shower is another plus. lol

I am on prescription meds but none are addictive/narcotic/controlled, anti-seizure or diabetes meds. I am on the smallest dosage of bp meds (also regulated). I don’t think that will be a problem. I have an appointment with my GP next week and I will get any paperwork I need from her then.

I don’t know if my cpap has a modem but it does have a card reader. I’ve been at 100% for the last three months, at least.

I have the state certified copy of my birth certificate. I’ve worked in a law firm for 20 years so I’m pretty anal about documentation. lol

My son is going to borrow a trailer to hook to his pickup and let me play around backing and parking. Yes, I know it’s not the same but it should help me get used to which way I need to turn the wheel to get the trailer go in the direction I want/need it to go. My youngest daughter, who is moving off to college this fall, is making flash cards for me for the pre-trip. I think they are both tired of heralding me talk about how much I want to drive.

Yes, I have every intention of staying a year at my first company. Besides telling us to be safe, you guys remind us about the first year most often. smile.gif

Thank you again for sharing your experience and advice.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

rofl-1.gifrofl-2.gifrofl-1.gifrofl-3.gif

Our forum member Splitter recently trained then upgraded to solo from my truck. He says i drilled so.mich stiff into his head....but now he misses me. lol

You will do great!

Do the High Road and you can pass the written exam.no problem. Apex driving school has a great youtube video that helped.me. Also Daniel B on the forum has a pretrip guide. dis hou see those?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

My opinion is, better to be told too much than not enough. I’ve read a lot of Spkitter’s posts and it seems to me you’ve taught him well.

I played around with High Road several months ago but I’m going to reset it and go through the entire thing...redoing things I am weak in until I’m sure I know it. I have watched a few videos on YouTube but I’m not sure if the ones by Apex were any of them. I will check them out. I will also check out, and probably print, Daniel B’s pre-trip guide.

For now I have to clean my house so that I can focus the rest of the day on research and studying. Be safe!

Kelly B.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m new here, I’m going to be starting school soon also . Excited and nervous at the same time! Thank you for sharing!

I am a "change of life" female trucker and I've never regretted my decision! I was 44 y/o and had worked in the medical field my entire adult life. When I decided I really wanted to make the leap of faith into trucking I did my research on training and getting my CDL. I opted NOT to go through a company paid CDL school because I didn't want to be locked into a company for X amount of time until my training was repaid. I was warned about CDL Mills by many established drivers in various forums. I finally found a state run school here in Oklahoma which turned out to be about 75% cheaper and had a highly rated scorecard. I was petrified going to the first day knowing I was going to be not only the only woman but probably the oldest student! Much to my surprise there were 2 other women and most of the class averaged my age. They said usually the independent student classes were of similar make up vs the "company" classes. Central Tech was outstanding! At the end of the month recruiters from about 10 different companies came in and spoke and answered any and every question we asked. They really made it easy to make an informed decision as to who to start my new career with. I've been with several companies since I got my CDL 12 years ago until I found my niche (flatbed, oversize, heavy haul, oilfield). Once you get started and get comfortable driving it gives you the courage to explore more areas of this business. Good luck and have fun! 😀

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi kelly and welcome!

Please check out these links on trucking for realistic expectations.

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.
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