Thinking About Dumping My Corporate Job

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Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

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Sometime all the money in the world cant make you happy.

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Indeed. Trucking was a pay cut for me. However, the experience has been one I thoroughly enjoy. You can't put a price tag on that.

Just do your research and be sure what you're getting into. Just like anything else, it's not all puppies and rainbows.

That is absolutely true. I have left two jobs that paid exceptionally well for less money to start my own company, and will now in about a month hopefully be starting my new life as a driver. I am going Monday for my DOT physical, and assuming I pass that, will get my CDL permit and then call to see when the next available class is.

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.

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
Thinking about starting with Swift.

Welcome to the forum FliteRisk...very good choice, but not the only one you should consider. As follows...

As indicated by several of my good friends on the forum, I am indeed a Swift driver; have been running on one of their Dedicated Fleets delivering dry and perishable groceries to NorthEast Regional Walmart stores and Sams Clubs for well over 5 years now. For me this gig fits like a glove; I work with an awesome driver support team and planners. My relationships with them are intrinsic to overall success. Contrary to what you may have read on the Internet or heard, although Swift is a huge company with many, many moving parts, I basically interact with 2 primary Driver Leaders (DL), 2 planners, several weekend and night DL's and our Terminal Manager. At no time have I ever felt like just another "set of cheeks" in the First Seat. Nope... So...I could easily give you an extended commercial on Swift, pimping how wonderful they are. Yes they offer really good schooling, training, solid support for rookie drivers and almost infinite amount of driving options. Not my style to "sell" anyone on the merits of driving for them. Plus, honestly; one size does not fit all. Instead I will suggest that your success is based primarily on you, and NOT the company you are driving for. For the most part, the same basic principles apply and will deliver positive results no matter the name displayed on the door of your truck. If you are a safe and efficient driver, you will be successful at Swift, Prime, CFI, Schneider, West Side, Werner, CRST, CR England, Knight...etc., etc.

I always recommend to Newbies to exercise all of the available options and look beyond a single choice. Review the contents of the Truck Driver's Career Guide to get a feel for the types of OTR driving jobs available. Steer clear of local, tanker, and anything associate with a "Dollar" type of store. Dry van , reefer , and flatbed are your 3 best considerations as a rookie driver. Think about where you want to run be it regional, dedicated to a single customer (like I am) or coast to coast. And how you want to run; be it solo or team.

Spend some time looking through these links:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Trucking Company Reviews

You can use this link to apply once you have settled on your top 3-4 candidates:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

Once you have thought this through further, reviewed the links we have sent, I'd be happy to expand on Swift's Company School (Academy), their road-training called Mentoring and upgrade to First Seat Driver.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

FliteRisk 's Comment
member avatar

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Sometime all the money in the world cant make you happy.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Indeed. Trucking was a pay cut for me. However, the experience has been one I thoroughly enjoy. You can't put a price tag on that.

Just do your research and be sure what you're getting into. Just like anything else, it's not all puppies and rainbows.

double-quotes-end.png

That is absolutely true. I have left two jobs that paid exceptionally well for less money to start my own company, and will now in about a month hopefully be starting my new life as a driver. I am going Monday for my DOT physical, and assuming I pass that, will get my CDL permit and then call to see when the next available class is.

Good luck. Im waiting on the paperwork to take my permit test. In West Virginia, you have to mail the application and wait for them to send you the test card. After that, I will probably head to Swift in Ohio.

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.

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.

FliteRisk 's Comment
member avatar

Definitely read Brett's book. It will give you a realistic view of the life and the career guide has a lot of great info.

Just finished the book in one sitting. Awesome read!!!

Big T's Comment
member avatar

I have no real complaints about Swift. I have been with them for almost 16 months and have been a mentor for 10 months.

Like G-town said though, there is no one size fits all out here. Think about what you want to pull and where you want to pull and go from there.

The big thing out here is communication. That can make or break most drivers.

Just an fyi: if you do come to Swift ask your recruiter about schools other than Columbus. They are dealing with some backlogs right now. It is taking some students almost 8 weeks to get a test appointment. I just did a 34 hour reset there.

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Sometime all the money in the world cant make you happy.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Indeed. Trucking was a pay cut for me. However, the experience has been one I thoroughly enjoy. You can't put a price tag on that.

Just do your research and be sure what you're getting into. Just like anything else, it's not all puppies and rainbows.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

That is absolutely true. I have left two jobs that paid exceptionally well for less money to start my own company, and will now in about a month hopefully be starting my new life as a driver. I am going Monday for my DOT physical, and assuming I pass that, will get my CDL permit and then call to see when the next available class is.

double-quotes-end.png

Good luck. Im waiting on the paperwork to take my permit test. In West Virginia, you have to mail the application and wait for them to send you the test card. After that, I will probably head to Swift in Ohio.

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.

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.

FliteRisk 's Comment
member avatar

I have no real complaints about Swift. I have been with them for almost 16 months and have been a mentor for 10 months.

Like G-town said though, there is no one size fits all out here. Think about what you want to pull and where you want to pull and go from there.

The big thing out here is communication. That can make or break most drivers.

Just an fyi: if you do come to Swift ask your recruiter about schools other than Columbus. They are dealing with some backlogs right now. It is taking some students almost 8 weeks to get a test appointment. I just did a 34 hour reset there.

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Sometime all the money in the world cant make you happy.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Indeed. Trucking was a pay cut for me. However, the experience has been one I thoroughly enjoy. You can't put a price tag on that.

Just do your research and be sure what you're getting into. Just like anything else, it's not all puppies and rainbows.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

That is absolutely true. I have left two jobs that paid exceptionally well for less money to start my own company, and will now in about a month hopefully be starting my new life as a driver. I am going Monday for my DOT physical, and assuming I pass that, will get my CDL permit and then call to see when the next available class is.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Good luck. Im waiting on the paperwork to take my permit test. In West Virginia, you have to mail the application and wait for them to send you the test card. After that, I will probably head to Swift in Ohio.

double-quotes-end.png

Richmond is actually closer to me.

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.

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

That's excellent. Richmond Academy is where I went to school. No complaints, no regrets.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

One of my students from Covenant just got hired on at Richmond to teach backing.

FliteRisk 's Comment
member avatar

One of my students from Covenant just got hired on at Richmond to teach backing.

I will let you know if i get the go ahead. still waiting on my test card for my permit. Everything else should be good. Drug test, background, work history, DMV record all are good.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Lucky Lew's Comment
member avatar

I managed people for many years, got into trucking at the age of 58. Wish I would have done it much earlier. Very challenging but I am only responsible for myself!

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