Is The Risk Worth The Career Move?

Topic 23966 | Page 1

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Decoy's Comment
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Hello TruckingTruth community!

I am a US expat, who has been employed with the Marine Corps for 8 years now, both active duty and contract work.

I've been itching to get into trucking for almost 2 years now. I am a semi-van dweller, renting vans every other month to just try out the lifestyle of living in a cabin for 1-2 weeks at a time. When I'm at home, I spend a lot of time on American Truck Simulator on PC (500+ hours now!), in my makeshift cabin of a plastic driving wheel, and office chair.

The question that stops me from moving back to the US and contacting a recruiter is the plausibility of employment. I don't want to move back to the states, unemployed, and be told that nobody's hiring drivers. My only home of record is my parents home in SC, but I don't want to impose on them for too long. My dream is to get my CDL , get the training, hit the road, and be a nomad.

What's the reality of being picked up? There are so many ads out there for new truckers, paid training, guaranteed paychecks, but they all ring "too good to be true". I have the funding (GI Bill), the willingness to learn the trade, the mindset to be on the road, but what is the possibility? I have no foreseeable issues passing the DOT physical, am more than willing to do the training involved, but how do I know it will lead to employment?

I want to talk to a recruiter, but I don't want to move back to the states unemployed. Does the TT community have any advice or even recommendations on paving the path?

Thanks, and be excellent.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I don't want to move back to the states, unemployed, and be told that nobody's hiring drivers.

That will never happen! Drivers are in high demand.

You're going to have two issues.

1) As an ex-pat your employment verification may be difficult, not impossible, but it may prove to be a challenge. The fact that you're in the military should help.

2) This career is a rude awakening for many. It takes a great deal of Commitment. It's not always pure pleasure being a nomad, but hopefully you've already got that figured out.

I have no foreseeable issues passing the DOT physical, am more than willing to do the training involved, but how do I know it will lead to employment? Does the TT community have any advice or even recommendations on paving the path?

We highly recommend that you take advantage of the Paid CDL Training Programs. Here's a couple of articles explaining why these programs are preferable over private schooling. Take a look at them and you'll have a better idea of why we suggest taking that path. If they take you into their program and you pass the drug test and don't act like an idiot during the training, you're going to have a job.

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Programs

Busting The Free Agent Myth

So many of the trucking companies cater to military vets. In general they have the "grit" to survive the difficult learning curve that wipes out so many. I'd start a conversation with some of the companies that will pay you to train, and find out what they need from you so they can verify three years of overseas employment. You should have your U.S. income tax records, and that may be all they will need.

Here's some other great information that should help you get prepared.

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.

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