Preparing For CDL School Is A Family Affair!!

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HomeHalf's Comment
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I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me your opinions and advice. All really good stuff that makes it easier to understand what to expect. we have a really close family. We all support each other in just about everything we do. We do have four kids but they really aren't kids anymore. 3 Girls, 22, 20, and 18 and 1 boy, 16. All pretty much adults. And then my mother. We all do our part and Daddy being gone won't be much more than just missing him. Plenty of help to take over what his normals were. I am not as needy as it has seemed in my other post. I know I sounded like a whiny woman that can't live without him. I know why he is doing this and I know that if he thought I truly wanted him to stay, he would have. He would have done anything I asked. I just needed to get through all of the emotions and come to acceptance on my own. @Susan and Old School....we are really good at doing nothing together. I work from home and make my own schedule so sometimes I can go for 4 or 5 days without leaving the house. I am good with that lol. I have family close by and some really good friends too. I am pretty handy around the house too if you don't mind me bragging just a bit :) (too late if you do mind, sorry) I will keep the griping to a minimum :) He knows my mom very well and "grandma is being grandma" is enough said. I promise all of your advice has not fallen on deaf ears or blind eyes i guess. I will take all of it to heart and let him set the pace of what we do when he gets home time. Just seeing his face and being able to reach out and hug or kiss is all I need. @LDRSHIP.... I hope he does feel that way too. I want him to be as comfortable, at home as possible and have everything that he could possibly need or want in that truck. It will certainly be his home. No jealousy here!!! @Doug...It takes a special person to be in Hospice. We went through that with my dad last summer. Thank you for all you did for the families you interacted with. I know they appreciated it as much as my sisters and I did. @PJ...I am sorry it did not work for you and your wife.

Bottom line I guess is that I love him so darn much it hurts. I am not worried about us here at all. I want him to be happy and know that we appreciate everything he is doing for our family. I want to support him in every single way I can and all of your advice is priceless. Thank you all so much!!

Keep us in your prayers, dropped him off at the hotel last night for the first day of school today. I can't wait to hear all about it when/if he gets to call later!!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

What a great discussion. I'd like to chime in here. Home half, from what I read you and your other half are built for success. Not all truckers have such a supportive wife. So, he's ahead of the curve right from the get-go. My best advice would be to keep posting all your questions and concerns. You will get sound advice from all the experienced drivers and from new drivers who have just gone through training and can freshly relate to getting started. There is no problem, concern or question too trivial. There are lots of jobs out there where your husband can, in time, be home every night. Maybe that is what you should look for, maybe not. Let's say your husband lands a job like mine. 2 weeks out, 3 days home time. What would I look for, as the driver, from my home time? Because I'm strictly on my own when I'm driving, I'd like to be able to choose my meals and not have to fix them myself. I'd like someone to help me with my laundry, help clean my truck. And then when I'm ready to go out again have a fully stocked cooler of veggies, sandwiches and healthy snacks. I don't have that because I live alone and do all that stuff myself, but if I had someone like that at home, I would be eternally grateful. You don't fully realize it yet, but you at home are just as valuable as your husband. There will be frequent times when he has to call you and say: "Honey, I need you to do this for me because I can't do it from my truck." Or something of that nature. Good luck getting started and I expect to hear from you on a regular basis!

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

What an incredible post. Your husband really is a very lucky guy. The biggest thing is to remember the main reason he's out there. It's for THE FAMILY.

Bruce says :

There are lots of jobs out there where your husband can, in time, be home every night.

Local is all I've done and even being a local driver will put a strain on the relationship. Unfortunately thats a side effect of the long, exhausting hours. The company I started out with had me start at 330am 5 days a week. I got 12 to 14 hours a day, 60 to 65 a week on average. Many days it was just barely enough time off to get my 10 hour break in. In those 10 hours I had to fit in my commute to/from work, shower, eat spend time with wife and kids and still somehow sleep. My current job I could start anytime from 10pm to 10am, don't find out until 3pm that afternoon (sometimes 9 hours before I leave) where I'm going or what time I start. I've had days I started at 5am, but most I've had to start at 11pm. I just finished my first full week alone delivering to grocery stores. I was sent from des moines ia to Madison wi, Sioux falls sd, St Joseph Mo and Davenport ia. I put in 52 hours in 4 days. Madison and Sioux falls were over 600 miles in snow and ice. One day I made it back with 6 minutes on my 14, the other I had to go over my 14 (16 hour short haul exception) just to make it back. The goal is to make it back everyday but when the days are that long and weather is crap its next to impossible to know if I'll even be home that night. I cant predict how roads will be in 200 miles when I go through. Even though I was home at night I have to go to sleep nearly right away to prepare for the next day. I made the mistake (?) Of telling my sons school that him and I would be at a little party his school was having. Instead we didnt make it because it was 5 to 7 and I had to be up at 9pm to get ready for work, keep in mind I didnt find out until 3pm. My wife has said numerous times I should just go OTR instead because she feels it'd be easier on her and our 3 very young kids. Me being home physically, but not mentally is very hard on them. I get done with work and want to relax but they've been anxiously awaiting me to get home and go do stuff. Believe it or not with this job I'm more tired after driving 500 miles a day than I was driving 100 miles and physically unloading 18k pounds by hand. Anyways I got rambling....

Trucking in general pays quite well and can support a family. There's sacrifices the entire family needs to be on board with otherwise it can very well tear the family apart.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Rob, Well said and a good description of your daily life. All said, truck driving is not an 8 hour a day and leave the worries at the office career. Regardless of the particular job.

HomeHalf's Comment
member avatar

We have definitely done our research and went in knowing that there is no guaranteed time he will get to come home. I did weigh in with my opinion that I would much rather a few days at home if possible even if that means stay out longer to let them add up. Whatever is good for him is what we will do and we will be here when he gets home. Whenever that is we will just be thankful for it.

I do have another question though I can work at home, on a beach, in a truck..... wherever as long as I have a laptop and good internet connection. Is there any device or product that would give me that on the road? I know cell phones are iffy a lot of the time. I do get a lot of paid time off with my job (6 weeks plus can borrow up to 40 hours from the next year) but if I could do my job on the truck then I could potentially go with him some without using PTO that could be saved for family vacations. Of course I know this is way down the line for us. I want him to get his experience and feel comfortable having "guest riders" before this happens. I was just wondering if it may be possible.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I use a Verizon "hot spot" for my laptop internet connection on the road. It serves me well.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, I've heard of that. How do you set it up and how exactly does it work? I have Verizon also. Thanks

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Old School, I've heard of that. How do you set it up and how exactly does it work? I have Verizon also. Thanks

It's just like having a phone with Verizon. You pay so much per month for so much data. It's a contract with payments.

You can probably tether your laptop to your current phone if you're already using Verizon, and use your phone connection as a hotspot. The next time you're near a Verizon store just go in and ask them about how you can provide yourself an internet connection while on the road. They'll be glad to show you how to spend more money with them!

Seriously, if you can use your phone, it may not cost you anything more. Just don't go over on your data limits. The salespeople at Verizon can show you how to use your phone as a hotspot for your laptop internet connection.

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

What an incredible post. Your husband really is a very lucky guy. The biggest thing is to remember the main reason he's out there. It's for THE FAMILY.

Bruce says :

double-quotes-start.png

There are lots of jobs out there where your husband can, in time, be home every night.

double-quotes-end.png

Local is all I've done and even being a local driver will put a strain on the relationship. Unfortunately thats a side effect of the long, exhausting hours. The company I started out with had me start at 330am 5 days a week. I got 12 to 14 hours a day, 60 to 65 a week on average. Many days it was just barely enough time off to get my 10 hour break in. In those 10 hours I had to fit in my commute to/from work, shower, eat spend time with wife and kids and still somehow sleep. My current job I could start anytime from 10pm to 10am, don't find out until 3pm that afternoon (sometimes 9 hours before I leave) where I'm going or what time I start. I've had days I started at 5am, but most I've had to start at 11pm. I just finished my first full week alone delivering to grocery stores. I was sent from des moines ia to Madison wi, Sioux falls sd, St Joseph Mo and Davenport ia. I put in 52 hours in 4 days. Madison and Sioux falls were over 600 miles in snow and ice. One day I made it back with 6 minutes on my 14, the other I had to go over my 14 (16 hour short haul exception) just to make it back. The goal is to make it back everyday but when the days are that long and weather is crap its next to impossible to know if I'll even be home that night. I cant predict how roads will be in 200 miles when I go through. Even though I was home at night I have to go to sleep nearly right away to prepare for the next day. I made the mistake (?) Of telling my sons school that him and I would be at a little party his school was having. Instead we didnt make it because it was 5 to 7 and I had to be up at 9pm to get ready for work, keep in mind I didnt find out until 3pm. My wife has said numerous times I should just go OTR instead because she feels it'd be easier on her and our 3 very young kids. Me being home physically, but not mentally is very hard on them. I get done with work and want to relax but they've been anxiously awaiting me to get home and go do stuff. Believe it or not with this job I'm more tired after driving 500 miles a day than I was driving 100 miles and physically unloading 18k pounds by hand. Anyways I got rambling....

Trucking in general pays quite well and can support a family. There's sacrifices the entire family needs to be on board with otherwise it can very well tear the family apart.

I know you can drive City.

Follow this link and apply. Go through the interview process. Ask questions about start times (pretty consistent), pay, (overtime after 8), benefits, time-off, etc. It's about as 'normal' as a 8-5 job as you'll get in this industry. Ask the questions and then decide if you want to stay with your new job or try something your wife may actually enjoy too :) Given the hours you currently work you may take a cut in pay but you can volunteer in other areas to make up for it should you desire.

I believe the terminal in Des Moines is about 200 doors so it should be busier than most.

Oh, and we deliver to PFG ;)

https://careers.fedex.com/freight/jobs/25892-345449?lang=en-us

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

End of third day of school. I miss my TruckerHalf like crazy but his excitement and enthusiasm is definitely worth the time apart. He doesn't know how happy it makes me to see him feeling good about a job again. Loving seeing him smile. Only two more days until our first home time. I can't wait!!!!

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