Career Change And Only Going To Drive For 5 Or 6 Years - Help!

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Barry B.'s Comment
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I am retiring this spring from teaching elementary school kids after 32 years. I will be 57 years old. I am planning to drive truck for about 5, 6, or maybe 7 years, so this isn't going to be a another long career like teaching. I don't want to move from one carrier to another. I want to add to my retirement by making the most money I can and stay in the west. I live near Salt Lake City. Any advice for me as I make a choice for CDL training and who I might drive for to maximize my few short years? Thanks for your advice.

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.
Dan S.'s Comment
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Prime

Turtle's Comment
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Welcome Barry. Yes Prime is a great company, and they have a brand new state of the art terminal located in Salt Lake City, with more additions planned for 2020. They have a "Western 11" regional gig that'll keep you out west.

Truth is, you can be happy at nearly any carrier, provided you're in there hiring area. Don't limit yourself to one carrier right now, explore your options.

While you're at it, check out our starter pack. It's never too early to start. 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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Welcome to Trucking Truth, Barry! I also taught school then jumped into the cab about five years ago. (Middle School math, 11 years of it.)

Turtle gave you the links you need to read and study for the permit.

Several good companies are represented here. I think Prime might have the most drivers active on TT, as well as Swift (my company).

If your read through the forum you'll see many "... Help me decide!" posts. For the most part the major players treat their drivers well and that might make deciding tough You should look at the details, like pet policy, what to do with your truck during home time, things like that.

SLC is a major freight hub and crossroads. You won't have a problem getting a job.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Hi Barry, Good for you for chasing a great adventure! I am 66 and I retired last fall from a construction career. Went and got my schooling, my CDL and hired on with Schneider. Like you, I'm probably only looking at 5 to 8 years of driving because of my age. I discovered Trucking Truth early on, while I was just thinking about driving. The wonderful folks here gave me, directly or indirectly, invaluable advice and corrected some wrong ideas I had. I have made some very good decisions based on the guidance I've received here. Now I'm driving on my own and I love it. Not every minute do I love it, but overall I think it's a great adventure for a man in his golden years. I found that companies looked at my age as an advantage because us old guys usually have good judgment and some common sense. Go for it man, if you're like me it will be great for you.

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.
Barry B.'s Comment
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Barry here - I also forgot to mention that I am single and have no home time ties. Does this make a difference with a carrier?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Barry here - I also forgot to mention that I am single and have no home time ties. Does this make a difference with a carrier?

Short answer: Nope.

Handy hint: with no "home base", you can take your home time anywhere you want - Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, Lost Wages - nearly anywhere.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah Barry. A big difference. All the single women in your age bracket wherever you work will be after you. Better to lie and say you are married. Seriously, the only difference it makes is to you and your schedule. You can usually choose how long you want to be out if you go over the road. If I wanted to keep going for 2 months because I didn't need to be home, I'm sure my company would be happy with that. So I can't think of a reason being single would be a factor. If there is something, one of the experienced drivers will bring it up.

Over The Road:

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.

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.

Smart C.'s Comment
member avatar

Where do you even meet women while OTR?

Yeah Barry. A big difference. All the single women in your age bracket wherever you work will be after you. Better to lie and say you are married. Seriously, the only difference it makes is to you and your schedule. You can usually choose how long you want to be out if you go over the road. If I wanted to keep going for 2 months because I didn't need to be home, I'm sure my company would be happy with that. So I can't think of a reason being single would be a factor. If there is something, one of the experienced drivers will bring it up.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

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
Where do you even meet women while OTR?

I can think of some but those probably aren't women you wanna take home to mama smile.gif

I'd guess that it's more likely to meet another driver or rely on the dating websites.

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.
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