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Keach's Comment
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I have been lurking around for awhile for info and the trucking truth has helped alot.I have been considering trucking for awhile but im realy worried.I have been in manufacturing since i was 27 and now im 45 and the job im at now i have been there for 13 years and i just down right sick of it all.Tired of the backstabbing and the slackers that dont want to do their job.Right now im at a time in my life that i having nothing to hold me back,the kids are older and with their mom and they couldnt give two craps about me anyway.I moved away from my city years ago and dont have friends or family where i am.My question is is there a life for me in trucking? I make ok money in manufacturing but i want out.I dont mind being alone cause i have been alone anyway so i could sell my house and leave anytime.

Old School's Comment
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Welcome aboard Keach! We are always honored to help newcomers find their way through the maze of the difficult beginnings of this career. Stay in touch and keep us informed. Also feel free to ask questions along your way. There are no dumb questions, and one of the best ways to learn in this forum is to participate in the discussions. We're glad to have you in here!

Dan S.'s Comment
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For what it's worth? I left my manufacturing job, and the manufacturing field after twenty years.

I've had a few misfires here and there, getting started in the trucking industry. All of my own doing, but the good folks here at TNT , got me turned around and headed in the right direction.

My ONLY regret, REALLY? Is I wished I had done it 20 years ago!

Listen to the Folks here, and you'll be in good hands.

Best of luck!

As a side note, I've literally just gotten off the phone with my former assistant. Things have gotten so bad at the plant I left?

They're having to bring office workers, staff, payroll, HR, managers and assistant managers out of the front office to work on the plant floor.

She told my old boss an Assistant Manager, "You can't be on your cell phone unless your own break!"

She was serious.

Love it!

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 14ยข 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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
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Welcome to the forum Keach. We are happy to help. This is a lifestyle and can be very rewarding. There is a lot of hard work to get going. The best place to start is with our starter pack.

Also read through Training Diaries . These will help you understand what is involved in this lifestyle. 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.
Pennywise's Comment
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My response will be limited due to the fact that I am not a trucker yet. My little knowledge comes from reading trucking forums and articals. The biggest hurdle for most (not all) is the not being home a lot, and being alone. For me its easy, for others it is very hard and depressing. You sat you do t mind being alone, but just remember it can be different in a truck 24/7 on the road, not just at your house alone. There are ways around this a little if you know about trucking and have been reading articals on here such as the carrear guide. Dedicated, local, and regional trucking can get you home weekly or daily. Opposed to OTR where you are out for a month give or take.

I am kind of like you, sick of the people I work with. I want drive a truck, because basically you don't have to deal with other people at work (for the most part), just you and the open (or bumper to bumper) road. You still have to have limited dealings with the office and other drivers in the road that might **** you off more than the people at your manufacturing job. Though you are leaving the job you hate, make sure you are ok with the reality of truck driving. Not just being alone and away from home, but also driving 11 hours a day, crazy sleep times, traffic frustrations, eatting different, sleeping in a truck, truck stops etc. Truck driving sounds cool because I always picture it in my mind as driving across the open, flat, highway in the Midwest with no one around (to many movies). In reality, its not like driving your Jeep down the highway doing 65 then going home to sleep. Driving a 53' into a major city which is barely car frindly, then sleeping at a truck stop in a bad area with some very sketchy people walking around. Its a lot more that just driving, lots of trip planning also. But you said you have been lurking around here a reading a lot so I am sure you know all this. Just want people to really think hard about the realitys of trucking and not the Hollywood version the think they know. Sorry to hear about the situation with your kids and family, sounds very sad. Just watch yourself because trucking can be very depressing for some because of the isolation and it can just add and build to an already not so good situation. Or on the other hand the isolation can be joyful and liberating, just depends on the person. Best of luck!

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Keach's Comment
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Thanks for the welcome.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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Hi, Keach. I'm new here, been driving for about 5 years, so certainly not a seasoned vet, but have a few things to add to the above comments.

1) Downside - If slackers bug you, you'll experience a few of them in this industry, mostly as applied to inspections, cleaning equipment, and general willingness to do the job. Upside? If you have a work ethic, and you take care of equipment and follow the rules related to inspections / safety, etc, you will make your name mean something. No matter how big or small the outfit is, positive interactions with dispatchers and customers is gold.

2) Downside - 14/10. It's a cycle. Many days you will be on duty for 14 or more hours, with just 10 off as an OTR driver. Accept it. Upside? You will work a lot. Most times, your 10 hour break will start immediately behind your driver seat. You can get in a brief workout (jog the lot, carry a couple of weights in your truck, etc) before you take in a shower and get your meal. You will have enough time for some daily tasks, just not a whole lot.

3) Downside - drivers. Truck drivers. 4 Wheel drivers. Motorcyles (sometimes the worst). Keep your head on a swivel while driving, especially in your formative year or so and you'll see some really dumb stunts. Upside? If you have a dashcam running, you'll also get some epic footage. Maintain that 360 bubble concept, remember the concepts of following distance, and if you're in a governed tractor be sure to avoid being one of the tractors in a tortoise race on a two lane interstate.

4) Downside - solo operation. You nailed it when you said you will be alone. Upside? Zen moments. You can drive, keep your spatial awareness, and still allow your brain to chill. Many nights on the road, I had moments where stuff from my youth would just bust into my brain. It's pretty cool...

My year and a half of OTR were a good thing. I missed my family, and being in my own bed, so making the most of your home time is critical. I came into this profession after retiring from 28 years doing something completely different. The truck driver life is VERY low drama if you will allow it to be. Do everything you can to make each interaction with a customer (shipper, receiver, broker) a positive one, and don't let their bad day give you one - I found that helped. After some time OTR, with a solid safety and work history, you will be eligible for local work. Much of that is hourly, home every night.

Good luck to you, keep us posted on what you decide.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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