Too Smart To Go For My CDL?

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MissIncognito's Comment
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I am receiving quite a bit of flack from others who think that I am too smart to want to obtain my CDL and look at trucking as a new career field. When I start to explain why I would consider this, I am shutdown by head shaking and told to use my degrees to look for something else. I have read on here about others who have moved on from other prominent careers and seem to be happy with their decisions. I absolutely know I am ready for a change. Has anyone else dealt with this?

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.
Splitter's Comment
member avatar

What does it matter what others think or say? That’s their misconception, prejudice & quite frankly, their ignorance shining through. They look at this industry through a clouded lens & have no idea of what it takes to be a successful trucker out here. Now by no means am I an expert being that I’m fresh out of training but you’ll meet drivers from all walks of life.

If this is something you feel compelled to accomplish then read all the training material on this site, along with as much research information as you can find on here also. It’s what gave me the insight & preparedness I needed to succeed where many who started in the same class as me failed. If you have questions or doubts ask away!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

A lot of us have degrees, some of us have multiple degrees. You will find truckers an extremely diverse group of people.

I went to college, was in business for thirty years, and then started working as a trucker. I've met so many people out here who chose this lifestyle as a second career. I still remember a former lawyer, and a former dentist that I met in a truck stop cafe. Our Moderator "Errol" has a most unusual degree, and he was a former teacher.

Brett's Mom wanted to die when he told her he wanted to be a trucker! He had a great mind and was capable of doing a lot of different things.

You really should check out this thread. It's a fascinating show of What we did before becoming Truckers.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

That is exactly the postings I was referring to. It amazed me with the diversity.

A lot of us have degrees, some of us have multiple degrees. You will find truckers an extremely diverse group of people.

I went to college, was in business for thirty years, and then started working as a trucker. I've met so many people out here who chose this lifestyle as a second career. I still remember a former lawyer, and a former dentist that I met in a truck stop cafe. Our Moderator "Errol" has a most unusual degree, and he was a former teacher.

Brett's Mom wanted to die when he told her he wanted to be a trucker! He had a great mind and was capable of doing a lot of different things.

You really should check out this thread. It's a fascinating show of What we did before becoming Truckers.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I am receiving quite a bit of flack from others who think that I am too smart to want to obtain my CDL and look at trucking as a new career field. When I start to explain why I would consider this, I am shutdown by head shaking and told to use my degrees to look for something else. I have read on here about others who have moved on from other prominent careers and seem to be happy with their decisions. I absolutely know I am ready for a change. Has anyone else dealt with this?

Don't worry about it …. do what you feel is right for you. I graduated college with a BS in Automotive Technology looking to go to work for the Big 3, but soon realized I was not a "suit & tie" kind of guy, so since I had driven a tow truck throughout college, I already had my commercial license and decided to drive locally for awhile ….. well, that was in 1977 and I just retired from trucking in 2015. I learned my first love is DRIVING, so trucking was a perfect fit and I never looked back. You are entering a time when drivers are needed badly and you should receive pretty good pay and a good career. Go for it !!! :)

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

It's very easy to say; "who cares what others think." If it's your close friends and family, very difficult to actually adopt such a posture. I won't arbitrarily offer advice like that.

Others may think they know what's best for you, however in reality it's a value judgement driven by their personal pregidice. It's your life, kindly but firmly remind them of that. If you believe this will make you happy, then commit to it. For those who think this is beneath you, they know nothing about the challenges we face and how it tests even the best and brightest among us. Try to educate them as best you can without losing focus on your goals.

Once the naysayers see your level of commitment and focus, they might begin to seek a higher understanding of what trucking is all about and what is motivating you to attempt it. Some will and some won't. In the end it's about "you" and not "them".

Good luck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Driving doesn't mean you can't keep thinking. You might explain to your interlocutors that while driving you can listen to books and lectures. You can also have a voice-activated recorder handy and write as you drive. If anything, it's an opportunity to get away from the lure of computers and the distraction of phone calls, and focus on your thoughts. (This assumes, of course, that such activities would be of interest to you.) That time to do nothing but think can produce amazing results. Dr. Kary Mullis, for example, was seeking a way to detect mutations in human genes. Only when he was driving his Honda down a long and winding road in Mendocino County did the idea for PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) occur to him. In his case, knowledge, a problem to solve, and space to think led to a Nobel Prize. Just sayin'.

MissIncognito's Comment
member avatar

I actually thought about that, Audible came to mind. Mostly I'm looking for personal achievement, a real sense of customer service, and getting away from a glass ceiling.

Driving doesn't mean you can't keep thinking. You might explain to your interlocutors that while driving you can listen to books and lectures. You can also have a voice-activated recorder handy and write as you drive. If anything, it's an opportunity to get away from the lure of computers and the distraction of phone calls, and focus on your thoughts. (This assumes, of course, that such activities would be of interest to you.) That time to do nothing but think can produce amazing results. Dr. Kary Mullis, for example, was seeking a way to detect mutations in human genes. Only when he was driving his Honda down a long and winding road in Mendocino County did the idea for PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) occur to him. In his case, knowledge, a problem to solve, and space to think led to a Nobel Prize. Just sayin'.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

People thought I was crazy when I quit a $55k/year job to start my own business, in a town where we had no family and no support network, should my plan fail. After ten years, I sold that business. Unfortunately it wasn’t the kind of business you could sell for enough to retire on.

I like driving and, apparently, I’m pretty good at it. But I miss the customer contact of my previous business. I miss the relationships I established and the opportunity to serve others while generating revenue. But here I am.

If where your bio says you live is still accurate, you probably have many more options than many people who go into trucking. But it’s still your decision.

I encourage you to get specific feedback from people who’ve been with you through the toughest of times. Where do they suggest you apply and why? What skills have they observed and what companies do they recommend for your skills?

Friends and relatives usually have the best of intentions. But what works for them may not work for you. Know what you’re good at. Know what you can put up with and know, I mean really know, this job isn’t much at all like most people think.

Hang in there. If you’ve earned more than one degree, you’ll likely analyze all the necessary information. At some point, action will be required. Whether it’s to pursue this or something else. But (as I once heard Zig Ziglar say), if you wait for all the lights to turn green, you’ll never get to the store.

I hope this helps.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Lisa suggests...

Driving doesn't mean you can't keep thinking. You might explain to your interlocutors that while driving you can listen to books and lectures. You can also have a voice-activated recorder handy and write as you drive. If anything, it's an opportunity to get away from the lure of computers and the distraction of phone calls, and focus on your thoughts. (This assumes, of course, that such activities would be of interest to you.) That time to do nothing but think can produce amazing results. Dr. Kary Mullis, for example, was seeking a way to detect mutations in human genes. Only when he was driving his Honda down a long and winding road in Mendocino County did the idea for PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) occur to him. In his case, knowledge, a problem to solve, and space to think led to a Nobel Prize. Just sayin'.

To be honest Lisa, overall your perception of this job is a bit skewed, dangerous. We are not driving little Hondas. I sit at the head-end of a modest size 73' long, 8.5' wide, 13' 6" tall building capable of "pancaking" the Professor's Honda.

Safe and efficient operation definitely requires you to focus on thought...but primarily on driving; understanding the variable real-time situation you are in, managing your space, constantly adjusting, scanning, and always prepared to safely handle the unexpected. Defensive driving on steroids.

I mean seriously...do you honestly believe driving a truck requires no conscience thought?

That it's mindless?

That it's 11 hours of contiguous mental downtime that safely enables total immersion in deep intellectual thought, at a level capable of curing cancer or solving world peace?

Sorry but it's none of the above.

We do much more than babysit these behemoths...figuratively they have a mind of their own, quick tempered and will physically make a collosal mess of things in the blink of an eye. Capable of inflicting unthinkable damage if in the hands of a distracted, unfocused, "intellectually drifting" driver.

There is a time and a place for everything. Listening to books and lectures might be okay to a point, but creating meaningful content using a voice recorder for hours on end? At the intensity level you described? Sorry no, I don't agree with that.

Our primary focus, especially in the first few critical months, must be total concentration on driving. By intent and design, your mind just cannot be on lots of other things... Just sayin'

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