Thinking Of A Career Change To Trucking

Topic 23451 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
RAMS4LIFE's Comment
member avatar

Hello Truckerland

I have a few questions about this possible new adventure/career change. But first here's my story

I've been working for the same major retail company for 25 years. It is time to move on. Times are changing in retail and I am not happy with my current employer. Actually have never truly been happy. It was a secure job with decent benefits. The biggest struggle I'm having is giving up my 6 weeks paid vacation, paid holidays + time and a half if working on those paid holidays, and 2 weeks paid sick time. Not bad huh. But if I hate going to work every day, then what's the point.

I have thought about trucking on and off over the last 25 years. Never really looked to seriously into it. It was just always a thought of, that might be a fun job. But now I'm seriously considering it. I started researching about three weeks ago and it is constantly on my mind. I found this wonderful site and have enjoyed the forums and have been doing the high road training. I'm currently at 22% progress with 99% on my score. I'm more of a hands on learner, so this has taken me probably at least 8 hours to get this far.

Over the last three weeks I have had some serious moments of doubt, but for the most part I think I can do this with great success. I think I'm sold on the paid training through Prime. Ultimately, after my 1 year with Prime, I want to run local or regional. At the minimum I just need my weekends off at home. I have an Adult Son and a domestic partner at home. She is on board with me and supports my decision if it will make me happy.

Okay, here are some of my concerns/questions

I'm a socially awkward guy. I'm awful at meeting new people. I'm very uncomfortable with one on one interactions. I'm apprehensive about spending two/three months in a truck with a stranger. Is there anyone else that is like me and survived to tell their survival story?

I heard that some people have gotten fired just before their 1 year contract is up. That would suck. All that time spent and now you're stuck with the training bill and out of a job. Makes me nervous 😓. How often does this happen?

I want to get out of my Job ASAP. But I need to build up my PTO so the unpaid training will essentially be paid for. But also knowing that there is a new chapter to my life right around the corner, it will be hard to put myself through another hellish holiday season in retail😬. Also was thinking that it's probably a better time to go in January so that by the time I'm done with TNT and go solo, it will be Spring time. Thoghts?

Well crap, I'm brain farting right now on other questions.

I'll post this for now and ask questions as they come to me.

TIA

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to TT. You are at the right place. Have you seen Brett's Book? Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving Also reading through training diaries can be a huge help in learning what to inspect from training.

To get fired from this you have to be very unsafe, speeding tickets, accident involving personal injury, DUI , rolling the truck, etc. These things represent someone who is unsafe. Now, companies who train, expect new drivers to have minor accidents. Don't sweat those.

Prime is an excellent company with great training and many perks. I was trained by and drive for CFI. With them, you need to get your permit and medical before they get you into training. They provide all your transportation, food and housing during training. After school, you go back to Joplin for four days of orientation then out with your trainer for at least 7500 miles, about 3 weeks. You are dispatched as a solo truck, so you do all the driving while the trainer sits in the passenger seat.

Best of luck to you. We are here to help.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

First of all, I'm an Eagles fan, so I'll try to overlook your Rams affiliation. Lol.

Like you I'm not comfortable around groups of new people. I struggle with social anxiety, and going away to CDL school, surrounded by total strangers , was not an easy decision to make.

I was surprised to find out that it was actually not so bad. If I needed to retreat, I studied. I would just write questions and answers over and over for my permit tests and after that, I did the same with pretrip...it paid off too.

I'm sure you will find a few people you feel comfortable around. You will also find people who are nervous and struggling in a worse way than you.

I posted my questions and concerns here at trucking truth and always received good advice from Big Scott and the moderators.

I got lucky with my company trainer after CDL school. He was easy to get along with, patient and helpful. He did talk nonstop but, maybe that helped make the time go by faster. I thought it would be horrible sharing a truck with a person for that long. I'm not so great at being stuck with a total stranger for a few minutes let alone 6 weeks. I just treated it as part of the job, not a social situation.

All in all it was not a bad experience. Plus, I really like what I'm doing now. It was totally worth any anxiety I experienced along the way. Winter is coming soon and I'm sure I'll be needing all the advice I can get for driving in Winter conditions.

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.
Jamie's Comment
member avatar
Now, companies who train, expect new drivers to have minor accidents. Don't sweat those.

This is true, I work for Schneider and I have only been out solo right out of orientation for almost two weeks. Well last Friday I was parking at a loves truck stop for my 34 hour reset and while backing into the spot I found... I hit a rock piller thats used to block off the area they re-fuel the tanks at. It cracked my bumper. I was a little worried at first, but I talked to my DBL about it and he scheduled me for extra training which was watching a safety video about defensive driving(because I had a hard braking event the same day) and I had to show what I have changed since and that I can backup safely.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Your situation is extremely similar to what mine was. 12 years of retail and needed an out. The change has been one of the best decisions I have made. I paid for my school though and went the local route (typically unadvised) because it fit my personal needs and couldn't be happier with the company I started with. I started this journey at the same time you are thinking for the same reasons. I think having the summer to learn and practice will be beneficial this winter but only time will tell.

When you do decide to start jump in fully committed and ready to learn. No matter how bad it may seem just stick with it. Everything gets easier and the money starts rolling in.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Oh I almost forgot, I also had to put it In writing on what I have learned and what I will do differently to prevent it in the future. it sucks that it happened, totally my fault. But at the same time I'm glad, because it was an experience that has helped me with both being safer and having to extra training has helped me out a lot.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Prime was my first choice. I'm still with them, and couldn't be happier. The training, pay, facilities, and atmosphere far exceeded my expectations.

Don't sweat the TNT phase. It'll go by in a blip. You'll only be strangers for a couple of minutes. Pretty soon you'll both know each other on a personal level, and can become good friends. I still speak with my trainer almost two years later.

Don't sweat being fired. Operate your truck in a safe, efficient, productive manner and not only will you have job security, but you'll also quickly rise to the top of the food chain. Your longevity at this job is on you. Trust me, they don't want to fire you.

I began my TNT phase in the first week of January, and was done by late February. Training during the winter wasn't part of my thought process at the time, but I'm glad it worked out that way. I got the benefit of my trainer's guidance through the snow and ice. Going solo has enough of a learning curve as it is without throwing that into the mix.

So yeah you've made an excellent choice, and can't go wrong with Prime. There are many of us Primates here to help you along the way.

Umm... I'd keep the whole Rams fan thing on the down low though. You don't want that getting around. Go Jags!

smile.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Rams4Life, you've obviously been getting some bogus information from your trucking research. We understand the dilemma. It's absolutely horrific how much outright blasphemy is on the internet about trucking, and it all comes from the people who couldn't make the cut. The trucking failures seem to have the most time on their hands to continuously produce venom and lies about the industry that we thoroughly enjoy.

Look, none of these companies who are willing to invest their time and treasure to train new drivers are the least bit interested in firing them at the last minute just so they can collect the training fees. They need drivers far more than they need cash. They do what they do in the hope that they can find a few professionals who can be contributing members on their team. If you even show a little bit of ability to succeed at this job, they will work with you and help you get up to speed.

Don't believe all the nonsense. You can find good reliable information right here. Anytime you are feeling concerned about something, we will be more than happy to help you get a better understanding of what we call "Trucking Truth."

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Umm... I'd keep the whole Rams fan thing on the down low though. You don't want that getting around. Go Jags!

I would keep the whole Jags thing on the down low. TITAN UP!!!!!!!!!

shocked.pngsmile.gif

RAMS4LIFE's Comment
member avatar

Wow, thanks everyone for the replies. This has really helped me with some of my fears.

Thanks big Scott for the link to Bretts' book. How long ago was that written? The pay scale seems a bit low.

The amount of info, good and bad, that's out there on trucking is incredible. Overwhelming to be honest.

Well, I'm just going to keep studying the High Road Training and hopefully get my permit by November.

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